She lost her virginity to Eddie Murphy her Entertainment Tonight virginity, that is. It's been nearly a quarter century since Mary Hart joined the show and scored that first celebrity chat (Murphy was still a regular on Saturday Night Live). And since then, she says, "it seems like I've interviewed the world." Though she'll never forget her first, these are the ones Hart recalls most vividly.
FRANK SINATRA Sept. 12, 1988
"That interview was long in coming. You know his reluctance about being interviewed and his attitude toward the media he was tough as nails, he intimidated everyone. I'd flown to Atlantic City and I sat and waited and waited for him. The longer I waited, the more nervous I got. I was quaking in my boots, but he answered every question, even about his notorious run-ins with the press. That night, I saw him in concert and he introduced me from the stage as his 'friend.' I nearly fell over. I was like, 'Hellooo, I guess that interview went fine!'"
MICHAEL JACKSON Feb. 24, 1988
"I'd gone to Pensacola, Florida, to watch him in rehearsals for his concert tour. I spent a couple of days watching a master at work. Whatever you think of him today, he was in total control of every aspect of the production back then. Three weeks later I flew to Kansas City, and as we walked from backstage into a stadium of 40,000, this shy, quiet guy held my hand nervously. Then, in an instant, he transformed into this wild, magical, larger-than-life superstar. It was stunning to see."
GLORIA ESTEFAN Feb. 4, 1991
"It was her first interview after the terrible bus accident that broke her back. I was the first person to talk about it in her home in Miami. She was in physical therapy so torturous it made her cry, but we had a great time. She even cooked me Cuban food. Her strength of will was inspirational. She displayed such determination, courage, and love and appreciation for her fans, who had really helped carry her through it. The doctors said she'd never walk again, but she was determined to prove them wrong."
RICHARD PRYOR Oct. 7, 1992
"He was my best and my worst interview. Prior to ET, I interviewed him for an Oklahoma City talk show and he was so angry, foulmouthed and obnoxious, it wasn't airable. When I went to see him after his MS diagnosis, his eyes teared up, and he apologized for his horrible behavior. He said, 'I am so sorry that I made that day so difficult for you. I was horrible to a lot of people and I feel very badly for that.' I was like, 'Whaaat?' Then he gave me the interview of a lifetime. I appreciated that so much because he touched me personally."
CAROLINE KENNEDY Nov. 18-19, 2005
"We talked about her mother, her brother, her days in the White House with her father. And she had a great perspective on it. I was so impressed: I expected her to be reserved, given the tragedies she's had to bear, but she was very funny and forthcoming. She dreads the spotlight and for years she thought, 'Great, let my brother represent the family he's the glamour boy!' Now she knows it's up to her. She wanted to stay private, but that's not going to happen because she's the only one left."
But wait, there's more to remember: Mary Hart flashes back to the assorted hairstyles she has sported over the past quarter century in the new TV Guide, now on newsstands.