Writer/producer Norman Lear's turbulent childhood, early success with sitcoms 'All in the Family,' 'The Jeffersons,' 'Good Times' and 'Maude,' and social activism.
Interviews and vintage performances of The Highwaymen -- the country music group that featured Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson -- provide detail about life on the road and in the studio.
Rock singer Janis Joplin's life is explored through letters and previously unseen footage.
Singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn balances family and a music career that has spanned 50 years.
The New Orleans rhythm and blues of Fats Domino helped aid integration in the South.
Rare home movies, performances and photos help illustrate the life and career of singer-songwriter Carole King, from 1960s New York to Los Angeles in the 1970s to the present.
The challenging life and career of blues guitarist B.B. King; candid interviews feature Bono, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and Ringo Starr.
The life and 50-year career of director Mike Nichols, one of only two people who have won Peabody, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.
The life and work of Mexican-American photographer Pedro E. Guerrero.
Althea Gibson becomes the first black person to play and win at Wimbledon and Forest Hills, a decade before Arthur Ashe.
Rehearsal footage, virtuoso performances and interviews with key figures of the American Ballet Theatre.
Itzhak Perlman, students, archival performances and home movies offer insight into the artistry of violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz.
The legacy of American playwright August Wilson; actors relay their insights about bringing Wilson's voice to the stage.
The achievements of stage magician, author and actor Ricky Jay; narrator Dick Cavett.
Photographer Dorothea Lange had the ability to capture the human condition, most notably through her photo of the Migrant Mother, which continues to stand as a haunting symbol of the Great Depression.
Ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq inspires George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins before being stricken with polio in 1954.
The life of journalist George Plimpton, co-founder of The Paris Review.
An exploration of the environmental movement spans 50 years of grassroots and global activism; narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep.
The life of writer-activist Alice Walker, the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for literature.
As a prodigy accepted into the Juilliard School at age 6, composer Marvin Hamlisch is only one of two people to win all five of these prizes: a Grammy, an Emmy, an Oscar, a Tony and a Pulitzer.
A profile of tennis champion Billie Jean King commemorates the 40th anniversaries of the match between King and Bobby Riggs as well as the launch of the Women's Tennis Assoc.
Author Philip Roth discusses his unliterary upbringing in Newark, N.J., his writing process and the inspiration behind his work.
The life, career and influence of gospel singer and guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
The struggles and triumphs of the Joffrey Ballet from 1956 to the present, including the breakthroughs of choreographers Twyla Tharp, Laura Dean and Margo Sappington, and excerpts from signature works 'Astarte,' 'Trinity' and 'Billboards.'
The life and work of poet and novelist Carl Sandburg, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner.
The life of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee ('To Kill a Mockingbird,' 'Go Set a Watchman').
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Margaret Mitchell endured depression and illness until her death in 1949.
Singer, dancer and band leader Cab Calloway led one of the most-popular black big bands during the 1930s and '40s.
The life of activist and singer-songwriter Phil Ochs.
Designers Charles and Ray Eames influenced major events and movements in America, from modernism to the rise of the computer age.
Conductor James Levine celebrates 40 years at the Metropolitan Opera.
Founder of the Sierra Club, John Muir preserved the Yosemite Valley of California and was the force behind the creation of the National Park Service.
Musicians launched careers during the 1960s at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, including Carole King, James Taylor, Randy Newman, and Jackson Browne.
The life and career of Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges.
Classical pianist Glenn Gould was renowned as an intrepreter of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.
John Lennon's life with his family in New York.
Director Elia Kazan was praised for films such as 'On the Waterfront,' but his merit was sometimes overshadowed by his cooperation with the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
Afro-Cuban bassist Israel 'Cachao' López helped make mambo music popular in the U.S.; narrator Andy Garcia.
Life on the road and at home with musician Merle Haggard.
The history of the Doors includes original footage shot between the group's formation in 1965 and singer Jim Morrison's death in 1971; narrator Johnny Depp.
Architect I.M. Pei designs a modern museum to house the antiquities of Suzhou, China, where he grew up.
Singer Sam Cooke brings the spirit of the black church to popular music, becoming the first black artist to reach number one on the R&B and pop charts.
Louisa May Alcott, author of 'Little Women,' leads a double literary life by writing under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard, and that identity remains until the 1940s.
Joan Baez begins singing and writing songs as a teenager playing in Cambridge, Mass., coffeehouses and becomes a conscience of a generation.
Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was convicted and jailed for refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
Behind-the-scenes of the radio show 'A Prairie Home Companion,' created by humorist and commentator Garrison Keillor.
Neil Young traces his musical journey from the 1960s to the present and his success with Buffalo Springfield, Crazy Horse and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Actors, writers and directors discuss how Chinese people have been portrayed in film over the past 90 years.
A year in the career and life of composer Philip Glass includes his annual ride on the Coney Island 'Cyclone' and the world premiere of his new opera in Germany.
Director and choreographer Jerome Robbins transformed Broadway with shows such as 'West Side Story' and 'Fiddler on the Roof'; narrator Ron Rifkin.
Box office smashes 'Superman,' 'Batman' and 'The Matrix' all become franchises; the Harry Potter series captivates the world.
A family biography of the four Warner brothers who founded and ran the Warner Bros. studio during its first decades.
As television arrives, Warner Bros. employs new technology and new stars; showdown between Harry and Jack Warner; 'Woodstock' signals a new era.
When television arrives, Warner Bros. introduces new technology and new stars; showdown between Harry and Jack Warner.
Warner Bros. becomes home to Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn and others; after World War II films reflect off-screen anxiety of blacklists.
Four brothers incorporate their motion picture company on April 4, 1923; James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson dominate the gangster genre.
Four brothers incorporate their new motion picture company on April 4, 1923; after World War II, films reflect the off-screen anxiety of blacklists.
Singer Marvin Gaye combined gospel, rhythm and blues, soul and jazz, challenging the face of popular music.
Author Zora Neale Hurston was one of the most celebrated figures of the Harlem Renaissance.
Everyone from Bob Dylan to the Dixie Chicks relays the story of folk singer Pete Seeger, often misunderstood by critics because of his views on peace, civil rights and ecology.
Carol Burnett survives a difficult childhood to become the star of a TV variety show that entertains America for more than a decade.
The Peanuts characters represent facets of cartoonist Charles Schulz's personality as well as his perspectives on the 20th century.
Muralist José Clemente Orozco, a leader of the Mexican Renaissance, inspires President Franklin Roosevelt to hire painters to work on public walls during the Great Depression.
Tony Bennett, born in New York's Little Italy, enjoys an international career, selling 50 million records and winning 15 Grammy Awards.
John James Audubon realized his dream of publishing 'The Birds of America,' a collection of 435 life-size prints.
David Hockney's inventive stage designs have transformed opera into an exciting thing to watch as well as hear.
Guitarist Les Paul, inventor of overdubbing and multi-track recording, still performs at New York's Iridium Jazz Club at the age of 92.
Ahmet Ertegun created a new genre of music which combined the African-American music of 1940s Washington, D.C., with the European sensibility.
Photographer Annie Leibovitz talks about her influences and work ethic, and maintaining a balance between her career and motherhood.
Architect Frank Gehry's designs blur the line between art and architecture, evident at the Guggenheim Museum and the Experience Music Project; director Sydney Pollack.
Andy Warhol moves into directing films, then produces hundreds of portraits of living superstars during his Post-Pop period.
One of the founders of Pop Art in the 1950s, Andy Warhol exhibits an obsession with youth, culture and consumerism, prompting his fame as an enigmatic artist.
Although he stepped down as CBS anchor 25 years ago, Walter Cronkite's legacy continues today.
Photographers Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Inge Morath and painter Andy Warhol create images of Marilyn Monroe.
Woody Guthrie's prolific and uniquely patriotic music gives a voice to millions of downtrodden citizens; narrator Peter Coyote.
Archival performances, home movies and interviews illustrate singer Nat King Cole's achievements during a 30-year music and television career.
Director John Ford wins six Academy Awards and transforms actor John Wayne into a national icon.
Martin Scorsese's film biography of Bob Dylan includes archival footage of the singer's childhood and life on the road.
Ernest Hemingway remains one of the most widely read and widely written about American authors.
'O Pioneers!' author Willa Cather destroyed much of her personal correspondence and kept her life a mystery.
Actor Bob Newhart began his career doing local radio sketches and stand-up comedy before television sitcoms.
George Stevens Jr. pays tribute to his father's career as a film director and producer.
The female ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock fuses African songs with gospel, blues, jazz and hip-hop.
The film personae of actor James Dean echo some of his own life experiences and contribute to his legacy.
Chef Julia Child changes the way people cook, eat and think about food.
Musicians, musicologists and family members discuss the life of singer Hank Williams.
Photographs, news footage, readings from essays and first-hand accounts describe the life and career of Time co-founder Henry Luce.
Actress Judy Garland tells her own story through recordings she made while preparing to write her autobiography.
Audio and video clips spotlight George Balanchine, the transplanted Russian dancer, choreographer and co-founder of the Ballet Society, which became the New York City Ballet.
Bristol-born Cary Grant performs in an English vaudeville troupe, which takes him to New York in 1920, then he takes various jobs before achieving Hollywood success.
Performance clips and interviews with Little Richard, Al Sharpton, Dan Aykroyd depict the life and career of singer James Brown.
The relationship between director Elia Kazan and playwright Arthur Miller ruptures after Kazan appears before the House of Un-American Activities Committee in 1952.
Archival footage, movie clips and interviews with author George Plimpton and historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. depict the life and career of writer Gore Vidal.
War photographer Robert Capa's pictures and writings depict his life.
Film clips and interviews depict the life and career of blues musician Muddy Waters.
Singer Joni Mitchell's musical innovations.
Chef Alice Waters creates Chez Panisse restaurant and rocks the international culinary world with her ideas on nutrition and environment.
Prestigious performing arts school Juilliard permits a full year of filming within, which reveals the creative process and the essence of discipline and dedication required to achieve excellence.
Lon Chaney establishes himself as a makeup artist, a director and an actor in silent films.
Concert footage and interviews depict the life and career of Willie Nelson.
Entertainer Gene Kelly incorporates American athleticism into dance.
Film footage and interviews depict the life and career of author Ralph Ellison.
The career of choreographer Merce Cunningham.
Entrepreneur Sam Phillips creates Sun Records, giving Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and others their start.
Entertainer Quincy Jones fuses various forms of music.
Composer Richard Rodgers' musicals include 'Oklahoma,' 'The King and I' and 'The Sound of Music.'
Interviews depict author F. Scott Fitzgerald's life and career.
Goldwyn's contributions to film; narrator Dustin Hoffman.
Photographer Edward S. Curtis' pictorial history records the traditional lives of American Indian tribes.
Photographer Alfred Stieglitz demonstrates the expressive power of pictures and modernism in America.
Actor Gregory Peck has a dialogue with audience members.
Interviews, film footage and concert clips chronicle musician Bob Marley's career.
Carol Burnett, Fran Drescher, other comedic actresses, relatives and filmmaker Pamela Mason Wagner chronicle Lucille Ball's talent, business acumen and ascent into legend.
Robert Trachtenberg chronicles fellow filmmaker George Cukor's career through archival movie clips and interviews with the director's friends and colleagues.
The career of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Norman Mailer extends to activist, critic and exponent of American existentialism.
Filmmaker Bruce Ricker chronicles the career of Clint Eastwood from early B-movie cameos to major feature films.
Archival footage and interviews profile violinist Isaac Stern.
Lee Grant narrates a profile of Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier.
Dancer Paul Taylor travels with his company to India, works on Broadway and creates a dance.
Performance clips and interviews profile musician Ella Fitzgerald; narrator Tony Bennett.
Steven Spielberg, authors, photographers and models offer personal perspectives on the artist Norman Rockwell's life and career.
Gene Hackman narrates an examination of the filmmaking partnership of Alfred Hitchcock and David O. Selznick.
Archival clips and interviews tell of four successful female songwriters.
Dashiell Hammett's life and career.
Playwright Lillian Hellman's life and career.
Artist Robert Rauschenberg utilizes technology, vibrant colors and interactive pieces.
Singer Paul Robeson affirms political beliefs and fights for social justice.
Filmmaker Susan W. Dryfoos profiles caricaturist Al Hirschfeld of The New York Times.
Friends and colleagues reflect on composer Leonard Bernstein's influences and concerns.
Abstract sculptor Alexander Calder creates the mobile and stabile.
Newsman Don Hewitt creates the television news magazine.
Clips and interviews chronicle singer Lou Reed's career with the Velvet Underground and as a solo artist.
Filmmaker Billy Wilder writes, directs and produces more than 50 movies and wins six Academy Awards; narrator Walter Matthau.
Stage shows dominate four decades of American popular culture.
Two cultures shape artist Isamu Noguchi's life and work.
Broadcast pioneer Jack Paar's career includes being host of an early version of 'The Tonight Show.'
Emmanuel Rudnitsky's talents include photography, painting, collage, film, poetry, philosophy.
Interviews and film clips characterize the career of actor Danny Kaye.
Ossie Davis, Alan King and others talk about singer Lena Horne's path to stardom.
Television highlights and interviews profile the comedy team of Mike Nichols and Elaine May.
Buckminster Fuller, creator of the geodesic dome, is an architect, engineer, inventor and philosopher.
Interviews, audio recordings and photographs profile photographer Richard Avedon.
Interviews and excerpts spotlight Pulitzer Prize winner William Styron's ideas and scope.
Interviews with colleagues, friends and family show writer Rod Serling's creativity and ambition.
Interviews, archival materials and dramatized vignettes depict Edgar Allan Poe, with Treat Williams, John Heard, Rene Auberjonois.
Tenor Placido Domingo's creativity proceeds from zarzuela to performing with Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic.
Narrator Edwin Newman chronicles Will Rogers' contributions with newsreel footage, radio broadcasts, photographs, home movies.
Martha Graham's career as dancer, choreographer, teacher and ballet-company director spans many decades.
Oscar-winning screenwriter Waldo Salt ('Midnight Cowboy,' 'Serpico,' 'Coming Home').
Film, interviews and performance clips profile Ray Charles and celebrate his music.
Robert Motherwell helps shift modern art from Paris to New York in the '40s.
Interviews, footage and photos profile violinist Yehudi Menuhin as prodigy, musician, husband, father and teacher.
Gregory Peck narrates a portrait of 19th-century Western artist Frederic Remington.
A profile of Sarah Vaughan from childhood shows her accomplishments in jazz and popular music.
Interviews and archival film show scientist, humanitarian and philosopher Albert Einstein.
A portrait of the Actors Studio features Paul Newman, James Dean and many more.
Jason Robards narrates a profile of Helen Hayes, with interviews and film clips.
Composer John Cage combines silence and unique sounds.
Sanford Meisner, a founder of the Group Theatre, trains actors, writers and directors.
Record producer John Hammond's career influences five decades of U.S. music.
A profile of newsman Edward R. Murrow recalls his live radio broadcasts and his TV programs ('See It Now,' 'Person to Person,' 'CBS Reports').
Interviews and film clips recall the musical legacy of Cole Porter ('I Get a Kick Out of You,' 'Be a Clown').
Martin Scorsese ('Taxi Driver,' 'Raging Bull') works on a production. Includes interviews with associates.
Actors in John Cassavetes movies ('Husbands,' 'A Woman Under the Influence') discuss the filmmaker's legacy.
Film clips and interviews recall the legacy of director/writer Preston Sturges.
Czechoslovakian-born Milos Forman directs 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,' 'Hair' and 'Amadeus.'
Film comedian Harold Lloyd forms a partnership with Hal Roach. Narrator: Lindsay Anderson.
Peter Riegert portrays photographer W. Eugene Smith in a dramatized documentary with archival footage and interviews.
Political satirist Mort Sahl's career spans presidential administrations from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush.
Friends and critics of artist Jasper Johns comment on his work and its impact on U.S. art.
Saxophonist Charlie Parker excels, but destructive habits cause his untimely death.
Author James Baldwin, as revealed in his written and spoken words and in interviews with friends and colleagues, including William Styron, Maya Angelou and Bobby Short.
A profile of Louis Armstrong examines the roles of culture and personality in the creative process as well as barriers facing black artists.
Stella Adler, champion of method acting, discusses years teaching and performing.
Clurman introduces method acting to the United States and helps form the Group Theatre.
Joanne Woodward interviews former members of the 1930s Group Theatre, with archival footage of actors and teachers.
Associates and friends discuss playwright Neil Simon's artistic evolution and accolades.
A film portrait of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens traces his career's development.
The subjects of Mexican artist Diego Rivera's San Francisco, Detroit and New York murals spark controversy.
Detroit gospel singer Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
A profile of the photographer examines his renowned work, including the 'Distortions' series.
Ellington forms a publishing company, lands a gig at the Cotton Club and gains world renown.
A profile of Lillian Gish includes clips from 'The Birth of a Nation' and 'The Wind.'
The comedian starts in vaudeville at age four, achieves subsequent fame as a silent screen star, then loses a lucrative job because of alcoholism, marital troubles and problems with studio executives. In the late 1940s, Keaton re-emerges as a star.
A ritual meeting of 1920s wits impacts strongly on American humor.
A study of Truman Capote's literary genius examines the person behind the image.
Ossie Davis narrates the company's 20-year history, featuring performance footage and interviews.
The illustrator's love of Mozart and other classical music.
A profile of George Gershwin explores his career as a popular and classical composer.
The 35-year-long collaboration of two modern dance choreographers, Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis.
Music, film clips, home movies and interviews profile pianist Arthur Rubinstein.
A profile of the director features interviews with Bette Davis, Barbra Streisand and Laurence Olivier.
The profile of Yiddish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer includes interviews and readings by Judd Hirsch.
A profile of the Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist includes Jason Robards, Zoe Caldwell, Blythe Danner and Tony Lo Bianco enacting excerpts from O'Neill's most famous plays.
An interview with painter Georgia O'Keeffe contains her home-movie footage and photos of her life with photographer Alfred Stieglitz.
Profile of the painter features archival interviews with models, his works and re-enacted scenes of his life.
A film biography with performances, interviews, and documentary material celebrates the composer's 85th birthday.
The artistic director of the Metropolitan Opera is seen rehearsing, coaching and conducting.
Film and television appearances of jazz singer Billie Holiday illustrate her career from the 1930s to the late '50s.
Outtakes from Charlie Chaplin's early career illustrate this look at the comedian's work. James Mason narrates.
The effect of Katherine Anne Porter's childhood on her later writings is examined through interviews and dramatized excerpts.
Noted American architect Philip Johnson discusses his career with close friend, writer Rosamund Bernier.
The filming of 'Death of a Salesman' features author Arthur Miller, Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich.
A profile of violinist Yehudi Menuhin includes interviews and footage of him as a prodigy.
Keaton re-emerges as a star in the late 1940s after several lean years.
Keaton struggles with alcoholism, a failed first marriage and other problems.
The comedian starts in vaudeville, moves to films and becomes a silent screen star.
Movies that Chaplin made for fun or abandoned are mixed with scenes from 'City Lights' and 'Modern Times.'
Chaplin's early efforts as an independent filmmaker.
The career of actor, writer, director and producer Mel Brooks spans 60 years and has earned him Emmy, Grammy, Motion Picture Academy and Tony awards.