Moonlighting With
Cybill Shepherd
Cybill Shepherd

Click to hear Cybill on how she played Maddie.
ListenCybill mp3 809k

Cybill with Glenn Gordon Caron, Creator & Exec. Producer of Moonlighting
Cybill with Glenn Gordon Caron

Bruce Willis as David Addison and Cybill as Maddie Hayes. Cybill says that Bruce has certain aspects that remind her of Cary Grant.

Click on the cover of Cybill's book to order.

Cybill Disobedience

The scene in Symphony in Knocked Flat where Maddie is angry about last night's date. Cybill talks about not wanting to play this scene the way she was being directed to and toning down the anger they wanted her to project.
Maddie is angry about her date last night

Maddie lets David know she is mad

Cybill saw a DVD set of a few episodes on a recent trip to England; but they are Region 2 encoded and are not playable on US Region 1 DVD players. This set can be ordered online at
The front of the DVD set available in Region 2 format only

From early 1987, the creative team for "Moonlighting" pictured l to r: Jay Daniel, Bruce, Cybill, and Glenn.
The creative team behind Moonlighting

Cybill and Bruce mastered the screwball technique of overlapping dialogue--and no mechanics involved.
David and Maddie-- the bantering twosome

In typical "Moonlighting" style from 'Twas the Episode Before Christmas, David distracts Maddie from calling the police by mimicking her every move and word. "I hate you!" she declares. "You love me!" he counters.

Cybill in "The Lady Vanishes" inspired Glenn Caron's vision for Maddie Hayes
Cybill starred in The Lady Vanishes

Cybill is who came up with many of the ideas in this scene from Knowing Her with the hose around Maddie's ankles and the camera shooting between her legs to get David's reaction
The camera angle between Maddie's legs to get David's reaction

Pies in the face in the food fight from The Murder's in the Mail was Cybill's idea. She is who had to go tell Bruce that they were both going to get a pie in the face.
Maddie takes a pie in the face in The Murder's in the Mail

Maddie's reaction to David's comment about him looking up her dress as she climbs up the side of the clock tower in the pilot.
Maddie reacts to David's comment

This scene in Big Man on Mulberry Street, Cybill cites as one of her favorite dramatic perfomances. In the scene, Maddie has flown to New York City on the spur of the moment to offer support to David who is there for his ex-brother-in-law's funeral. Here Maddie tries to offer an explanation to him as to why she has come.
Maddie in a dramatic moment from Big Man on Mulberry Street

Maddie and David in the midst of a heated discussion. Cybill's says she and Bruce would pick a fight before each fight scene just to "rev up" for the scene.
Maddie and David

Maddie is furious with David

Maddie listening intently to David in one of those catch-up the schedule car scenes where they usually had to learn inordinate amounts of lines very quickly--and then tape script copies to the dashboard for reference.
Maddie Hayes in the Car

From the pilot, an angry Maddie with David in hot pursuit. Cybill says the first take of this scene ended up being the one used because they both just nailed it right off the bat.
From the pilot an angry Maddie with David in hot pursuit

Cybill and Bruce worked long, hard, exhausting hours, and along with Glenn Caron, were passionate about making Moonlighting great.
From Portrait of Maddie

Maddie trying to convince David

David flirting with Maddie

You can see the screwball influence in antics such as this scene from Next Stop Murder when Maddie and David get stuck on a train after they are accidently folded up inside a Murphy bed.
The bed folds down revealing Maddie and David

And in many of their silly chase scenes such as this one in a hearse from Knowing Her
The chase scene in a hearse from Knowing Her

Cybill cites Carole Lombard as a favorite of hers, and says she is who inspired her. Click this photo to see Carole Lombard/Cybill Shepherd comparison.
Click to see pictures

Symphony In Knocked Flat is a favorite episode of Cybill's. It is one of those totally humorous episodes in the series, with mishaps, confusion, and silliness all around. In the prologue, Cybill rocks out to The Temptations.
Maddie gets down to the Temptations

In Symphony in Knocked Flat, the fine evening out with David starts out to be every thing wonderful Maddie had hoped for as he arrives to pick her up in a tux with a limo.
David arrives to take Maddie out for her fine evening.

But then, things start to go wrong at the symphony when there is a seating mishap, and David disrupts the audience in an attempt to get Maddie's attention to apologize. Maddie is not amused.
Maddie is not enjoying the music in Symphony in Knocked Flat

Maddie as Rita in The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice, another favorite of Cybill's. This shot shows Rita belting out "Blue Moon" in Maddie's version of the murder.
Maddie as Rita singing away in The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice

Cybill also cites the pilot as a favorite episode. In this scene Maddie and David react to the man who has staggered out of the elevator and is about to drop dead at their feet.
David, what is that man doing?

From the pilot, David has just discovered a dead man in the back seat of their car, and he is trying to get Maddie out of the car without upsetting her too much.
There is a dead man in the back seat!

A Conversation with Cybill Shepherd

On June 19, 2002 at 2:00 in the afternoon PST, Cybill Shepherd took a call from us (the editors of for an interview for this site.

As most of you can imagine, it was a thrill for us to actually be talking to Cybill, and we found her to be a very likeable person--well-spoken, energetic, affable and clearly intelligent. There wasn't the least hint of iciness that we perhaps expected associating her with her "Maddie Hayes" image. There also was no anger, no melancholy, and no outrageousness--just a nice, very real, easy-to-talk-to person on the other end of the line. Funny at times, thoughtful at others, Cybill had plenty to say, and so we just let her, allowing her the freedom of taking the conversation in whatever direction she wanted. With most of our carefully thought out questions cast aside, we just sat back and listened and were surprised to discover that she answered many of our questions along the way, in most cases without having to be asked.
~~ Cindy and Diane

Interview conducted by Cindy Klauss & Diane Hopkins, All Rights Reserved

June 19, 2002--telephone interview with Cybill Shepherd

Introduction: Cybill greeted us warmly, we introduced ourselves, and she jumped right in with both feet--she wanted to tell us her idea for a potential Moonlighting Reunion. She tossed out potential titles--"Moonlighting, the Sequel"; "Moonlighting, the Movie"; "Moonlighting Revisited"; or "Moonlighting, the Continuing Travails of Maddie and David." We laughed along with her as she related an amusing tongue-in-cheek scenario that mixed past, present and future as David and Maddie review their history and have "fights about the fights."


Cybill: I actually called Glenn Caron yesterday.

Cindy: Did you?

Cybill: Yeah because I was saying, this would be so funny! Can we do this? And he's on vacation. So he's going to call me back. I wanted to talk to him because I was having so much fun with this idea...

Cindy: It would be funny. In fact, it would be great!

Cybill: But you are we going to get Bruce to do it? That's the problem.

Cindy: Maybe Glenn, somehow...?

Cybill: Glenn would probably be the only person that could, if he could at all.

Cybill: You know, all the hatchets have been buried with all of us. We don't travel in the same circles. Glenn moved to New Jersey, the East coast or Connecticut or some place, and Bruce...well, Bruce has done all this wonderful, wonderful work absolutely justifying everything I ever imagined him to be.

Cybill: I think he IS unique. I compare him to as close as we can get to Cary Grant, but they're certainly not the same type at all. But Bruce has his own different kind of suaveness, and he's that rare combination of a really funny actor that's really sexy and attractive, but he's also a great dramatic actor, and it's just very rare. I don't know. I mean there have been very few.


Cybill: I look back on it ["Moonlighting"] in my book "Cybill Disobedience."

Diane: Yes, I think we have all read that.

Cybill: And I have to tell you something, they just happened to be running the "Moonlighting" Marathon...I had never seen a marathon of my own stuff.

Cybill: I on and off watched all I could for 17 hours. I had to take some breaks in there. Everybody who came in had to watch it with me.

Cindy: Isn't it so wonderful?

Cybill: And the thing that really struck me about it as I write about it in "Cybill Disobedience" is the fact that through it all, whatever difficulties we had, it doesn't matter at all now. It was wonderful again, and it seems so fresh still.

Cybill: And the writing just holds up, and the performances just hold up. It was wonderful. It was just thrilling really. And the one episode that I remember as being like the worst experience that I write about in my book, turned out to be the most brilliant episode.

Cybill: And in it I was right not to get too angry too soon.

Cindy: And that episode is?

Cybill: The episode is called....something about the symphony...

Cindy: Oh, Symphony in Knocked Flat.

Cybill: That's it!

Cindy: Yes, it's hilarious. That's one of the funniest things in the whole series.

Cybill: Yes, of the whole thing. But at the very beginning I believe I am supposed to slam into the office because of this horrible date the night before. And in my book I talk about they were trying to force me to be too furious.

Cybill: So I kept refusing to be too furious, and everybody got more furious with me, but I just wish I could have stood up to them. I mean I was right. And I was glad I stood up. And when they wanted to marry Maddie off to this geeky guy, you know I really objected to that, but if I had to do it all over again, boy, I'd fight for that more.

Cybill: But it is a wonderful show. It holds its own, and it's always running. That, and the Cybill show.


Cybill: You know I saw something when I was in England just recently. Somebody had a DVD set of some of the episodes. They are going to sell the episodes on DVD in Britain. But they have slightly different DVD systems than here so I couldn't bring them back. But hopefully they'll do that here soon. That would be so great.

Diane: Actually we are campaigning like crazy for this. We are really trying.

Cybill: Oh?

Cindy: Yes we are. Let me tell you a little bit about the online fans. We have Moonlighting Fan Sites and Mail Lists and Fan Fiction sites and Message Boards. There's a whole group of fans out there that love "Moonlighting," and the interesting thing is that some of them are young and have only discovered it now that its running on BRAVO, and other channels overseas.

Cybill: Right, right, right. You know, I'm going to call Glenn Caron, and I'm going to ask him to talk to you as well.

Diane: Oh wonderful, that would be great!

Cindy: We would love that.

Cybill: Well, maybe the best thing would be if I could talk him into writing this, and talk him into trying to talk Bruce into doing it.

Cindy: Yes. We're working on trying to reach him too. We're working on talking to everybody, but Glenn would be great. We would really love to talk to Glenn.


Diane: We know that originally the script for "Moonlighting" was developed with you in mind.

Cybill: Do you know what actually happened? That Glenn wrote and developed it--maybe you already know this since I wrote about it in my book--but Glenn was writing the script, and he said he didn't realize it at first and all of a sudden, he went: "Oh my Gosh..." he'd written 60 pages, and he was writing ME! He was writing it for me.

Cybill: So he said: "Well, we better see if we can get her now before I continue writing this" or something like that. I don't know exactly. I'm kinda just making this up.

Cybill: So we had this meeting with Jay Daniel and Glenn Caron and me, and I had just finished that series "The Yellow Rose" and I read the first 60 pages and I recognized it as the part of a lifetime cause I got to do comedy and action.

Cybill: And sending up my image, which I always love to do. So I had the meeting with Glenn after I read the script, and I said to Glenn Caron, "I know what you've done here. You've created a Hawksian Comedy" and he said: "Hawksian...what do you mean Hawksian? Who's Hawk?" I said: "Howard Hawks." "Who's Howard Hawks?" I said, "Well, he's a great director of the greatest screwball comedies of the '30s and '40s. You know--"Bringing Up Baby."

Cindy: Yeah, we know. I love screwball comedies.

Cybill: Oh yeah, and let's see. "Bringing Up Baby." "His Girl Friday" with Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant? And he said: "Oh, we haven't seen those." So then I said: "Well, I'd thought for sure you'd seen those," and then I said: "We should all watch those shows cause we want to get that overlapping dialogue." Cause that's what he wanted to do anyway. So we all studied them. And when we saw them that's what gave us the belief that we could actually do it this way cause every sound man said at the beginning: "That's impossible. You can't do studio overlapping. You have to do it separate, and then we'll overlap it mechanically." So Glenn would have to go in and tell them, "No, we're going to go for this, and the actors are committed to it, and we are going to try." So what we had to do was match those overlaps as close as possible.

Cybill: But for every sound man we still had some to say nope, and we had to say, "Guess what, we're going to really overlap this." I think a lot of times it was thrilling, just really thrilling. We were both committed to it.

Cybill: And so actually, when I asked Glenn what made him think about me when writing it, he said he had seen me in this film where I wore this white silk/satin gown cut from the bias. "The Lady Vanishes." A remake of "The Lady Vanishes." And that is my only costume. I run all over the place in this white satin gown, and like I said, cut on the bias, with very little under it. And that was the thing that hooked him in to me.

Diane: So after you started, did you have any input into the character of Maddie?

Cybill: Well, I brought a little humanity into Maddie just the way I played her, and I was the one who kept on insisting that when something had happened like when I came in and was supposed to be looking like I'd rolled in mud, and everything. I said "Let's have my pantyhose down around my ankles...and shoot between my legs," and I was the one that begged to do that food fight, which was I think we did for two days. We actually worked a 26-hour day to finish that food fight. That's the one at the Embassy.

Cindy: That's in The Murder's In The Mail. Just ask, we know the names of all the episodes, Cybill.

Cybill: Isn't that the one with the man with the mole on his nose?

Cindy: Yes, it is.

Cybill: We actually had to have two crews because you can't work the crew that long. As I was reading the script, I went to Glenn and said: "Bruce and I have to have a pie in the face. I mean that would be just the funniest, most hysterical thing." And Glenn said, "I totally agree with you, but I'm not asking him." So what I did was, I went to Bruce, and I said, "We have to have a pie in the face. It will be so hysterical." He said, "Okay, well, who's going to throw it?" And we had the stunt coordinator Chris Howell throw the pies at us or maybe somebody else too. That was one of my favorite moments.

Cybill: Yes, pies in the face. I like that. And I really loved the stuff like in the pilot when I'm going up the ladder, and he says I can see up your skirt.

Cindy: So you like the humor a lot? These are your favorite moments?

Cybill: I think the dramatic moments, too. That was the thing about "Moonlighting" the first year, of course, you know we were classed as a comedy, and I think we didn't even have any nominations [Emmy nominations]. The next year we were a drama, and that's when it started. That's when we got the 14 nominations.

Cybill: I'll have to tell you something. The year that Bruce and I were both nominated for the Emmy. I said "Well it's okay if I don't win, but if he wins, and I don't win, I don't know what I am going to do." And of course that's what happened. (She laughs.) You know it's funny, but the awards don't mean anything unless you don't win them.


Diane: You mentioned dramatic moments. Do you have specific dramatic moments in Moonlighting that you are really proud of?

Cybill: Oh yes. I guess the ones that I think of is the scene--you remember the episode where he [David Addison] goes back for the funeral. And he said he had been married. And I go there to support him.

(Cindy and Diane both react with delight.)

Cindy: Ohhh, you were both wonderful in that episode.

Diane: Yes. Big Man on Mulberry Street. That one is a fan favorite.

Cybill: It's a defining dramatic moment.

Cindy: Yes it is.

Cybill: As for the anger and the realness of the anger, that was something that I'm very proud of. It was so real for both of us, but...and the other thing is, of course, we realized that we were fighting before every angry scene. We realized that. I realized it about a year and a half into it. I realized that we would have a fight for every fight scene. And I said to him, "Did you notice before every scene, we would have a fight?" And he said, "Oh yeah." We would have a fight, that's how we would rev up, we would have a fight. We picked something. He hated my hair, or you know he was late, or he was, you know, whatever...

Cindy: So you found something to fight about so you could get into the scene?

Cybill: That's right. That's just how it works.

Cybill: It was so exciting because I would rather be in a position with "Moonlighting." Certain actors turned it down because they had to have the scripts way in advance. And Glenn Caron wanted the brilliance. He really kept control of it. Even though he had writers, other wonderful writers, he really wrote the scripts himself.

Cybill: A lot of times we would be waiting on the set for the pages, and then down would come an 11-page scene of driving in a car. To catch up on schedule we had those driving scenes. Here are all these pages that we are going to try to do to catch up on schedule. So we're driving in a car, and they are already set up for driving in the car.

Cybill: So that's it. It's already mounted. They can set the scene and lights and everything while we're doing the other scene. Then we'll run out and jump in the car. They got that all pre-done. So we'd have these 11 pages, and I remember I would look at them, and I would just suddenly go "OHHH!" They would say "You're getting 11 pages." So they sent 4 pages down and said 'The next ones will be down soon, I think 8 more pages" and I'm looking at those...and they said, "We understand that you knew the last ones but please learn these as quickly as possible" and I would look at those and I would just go, "I have to sleep." I would say to the dialogue coach, "Look, you sit there. I'm going to have to sleep. Time me. 5 minutes." And the truth is this is something that the brain has to do sometimes.

Cybill: And I would sleep for 5 minutes. Because just looking at those pages that everybody was waiting for me to do...I would sleep for 5 minutes, wake up, and then I would learn it. But then because it was just so much, we would also tape them all the way across the dashboard.

Cindy: Hey, whatever works, and it obviously worked very well.

Cybill: Yes. It was really wonderful.


Cybill: Remember the scene in the pilot when we come walking out of the office? I think it's coming out of the detective office, and we're walking on the sidewalk. We're walking really fast, and I am saying "No David!" I was very angry, and all that.

Cybill: It was like one long shot with a lot of dialogue, and us moving along and the first take we did was UNBELIEVABLE, and I remember going to Glenn, and afterwards we did it again a couple of other times or however many times we had to do it. And I went to Glenn and I said, "Oh please use the first one." And he said, "Yes, I know it was the best one." And I am begging him, "Oh please. Oh Please. Make that one work." Cause it just had that wild, spontaneous, you know, we were ready. It was just like at the rodeo.

Cindy: Oh, like horses at the racetrack?

Cybill: Yes, like two thoroughbreds. (She laughs).

Diane: With two people carrying the weight of the show as you two did, you had to be in synch, didn't you?

Cybill: Yeah, we were kind of in synch but there was just so much pressure, and the three of us were very, very, very passionate about it being great. And so any of the strife, and the struggle, and the exhaustion and whatever -- it was unbelievable.

Cindy: Yes. So we've heard.

Cybill: So you know all that. We'd start on Monday. We'd start at a normal time let's say 8 o'clock, and then we would have a 12-hour turn around, let's say we started at 7, and then we'd finish at 9. The next day we start at 9, and finish at 11. The next day we start at 11, and finish at 1.

Cybill: And it was hard. It was just so hard. But again, let's get back to my point about the lateness of the scripts. Any day I would rather have the brilliance of Glenn Caron's script at the last moment then have something way in advance that's not as good. I mean that was part of the brilliance of it.


Cybill: I think one of the major contributions I made was drawing the analogy to Hawks' greats, especially to "Bringing up Baby" and "His Girl Friday." He [Glenn Caron] had never heard of Howard Hawks. I suggested we really study these films, and so we did. And we all loved them. And we watched them over and over again. So that was one of my main contributions--it was to see that they did it. They did the overlapping. Real overlapping, not like fake, and then put it together mechanically.

Cybill: But we learned. I mean there's no better model. I actually got to know Howard Hawks before he died, and I studied his films, all of his films, and of course the Preston Sturgis Comedies.

Diane: Yes, The Lady Eve.

Cybill: I love those. Yeah, that was the biggest contribution. This was the goal to try to make. This was the bar.

Cindy: And you guys did it beautifully. I mean just beautifully.

Cybill: And the reviews reflected that. It was tremendously satisfying for me, and I thought that it was so special. It's sad that it stopped when it did, but I have to say that these shows that go on and on sometimes like for 9 years or 11 years, you know I'm not sure that they stay as good.

Cybill: I think at that time we stopped at the right time for the show. We did. Because I'm not sure we had any more in us, and it was time to stop. "The Cybill Show: was four seasons. I think "Moonlighting" was four and a half?

Cybill: We never did 22 [episodes a season]. The most we did was 18.

Cindy: Yes, that's true. There are 66 total episodes if you count the pilot as one. So that's probably all together really only three full seasons isn't it?

Cybill: Right, right, and I feel, but I just never managed to get that ranch that all the big stars have and the private jets you know. (laughing) Cause my series didn't run long enough.

Diane: Well, you know it's quality not quantity...


Cindy: Cybill, who are your comedic influences? Is there an actor or actress that you try to emulate?

Cybill: Absolutely. I would say the most important one was Carole Lombard. I carry a DVD of "My Man Godfrey" around in my purse. Everywhere I go.

Cybill: It was directed by Gregory La Cava, and it has William Powell in it and a great cast. It was the first time I ever saw a blonde, gorgeous, sexy woman be hysterically funny, and then she [Lombard] also did "Twentieth Century" with John Barrymore which is one of my very favorites. So anybody who doesn't have these...this is like a must for Carole Lombard--"Twentieth Century" with John Barrymore, directed by Howard Hawks.

Cybill: And then there's "To Be or Not to Be," who directed this...oh, yes, Ernst Lubitsch. He's one of the greatest directors ever.

Cybill: I believed that it was really possible to be all of these things. Of course there was Marilyn Monroe. And Jean Harlow in "Dinner at Eight." She's really funny, but there's something about Carole Lombard that is different, and I really related to. There's something smarter about this dumb blonde.

Diane: I was going to say intelligence. I think that's it.

Cybill: Yes, she has this wild, zany quality, and of course, there's Katherine Hepburn in "Bringing up Baby” and "The Philadelphia Story." My particular favorite is the "The Philadelphia Story" directed by George Cukor and "Bringing up Baby” directed by Howard Hawks. So that's what gave me the whole thing--smart, intelligent, sexy and funny--to see that this was possible.

Cindy: Which is what you brought to Maddie.


Cybill: Collaborating was one of the greatest things about Moonlighting, which we all contributed. I learned a very important lesson in doing it, which was that my job as an actor was to come up with as many ideas as possible, and to not attach my ego to any of them and believe me I didn't achieve that all the time. But you know, my rule is that no one is the absolute arbiter of what's funny.

Cindy: That's true.

Cybill: I think we had a great show because we had great talent, and we were passionately involved, and whatever positive, negative, it doesn't matter now. It's all resolved. And the writing was great, you know. I feel really grateful that people care enough about it, and I think it'd be just a crime not to do SOMETHING.

Cindy: I think so too. We all agree on that.

Cybill: Even it was a just television special.

Cindy: Yes, although I have to admit I would really like to see a feature film.

Cybill: Yeah, you might be able to do that. I mean anything. I would love to do it. I think it could be a hoot.

Cindy: Me too! I'm glad you feel that way. I know this will excite a lot of people.

Cybill: I've always wanted to do that. People ask me wherever I go. All over the world. They ask me that.

Cindy: Well we would love to have that type of thing happen. I know that you said that you were pressed for time.

Cybill: Yes, I have to go now.

Cindy: Ok, then a very quick question--What are your favorite episodes of Moonlighting?

Cybill: Symphony in Knocked Flat. And the Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice. And I like the pilot.

Cybill: I love them all!

Cindy: Yeah, we do too! They're great.

Cybill: Thank you so much.

Diane: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us Cybill.

End of Interview


Special recognition should go to two individuals, both of them from Cybill's organization: Jason, Cybill's assistant, who so kindly made this happen for us. He has been invaluable in this effort and without his involvement, this interview would not have ever taken place. And my most sincere thanks to Laura, Cybill's webmaster. She has offered assistance, valuable suggestions, and support all along the way. Laura, thank you. It has been a pleasure getting to know you, now if we can just keep from killing each other over on eBay...

~ Webmaster, Cindy K.~


Or read about Maddie Hayes, Cybill's character


This is not meant to violate or infringe on any copyrights.
It is just a labor of love and is for entertainment purposes only.
© 2002-2004. All rights reserved. CYber SYtes, Inc.