Remembering Shelley Duvall's Star-Studded Faerie Tale Theatre
Much of the world became acquainted with Matthew Broderick through his iconic role as Ferris Bueller. Robin Williams was, of course, the alien Mork. And America recognized Jean Stapleton as All In The Family‘s Edith Bunker. But I was a child of the ’80s. I’d been born too late to watch Mork and Edith on primetime TV, and Ferris Bueller was definitely taboo for a preschooler. Instead, I was introduced to Broderick, Williams, Stapleton and a slew of other Hollywood A-Listers through a different outlet: Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre.
Looking back years later, it’s rather amazing to see the lineup that starred in these re-told fairy tales. Helen Mirren appeared in The Little Mermaid. John Lithgow and Carole King shared the screen in Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Tim Burton directed a version of Aladdin. Mick Jagger acted in The Nightingale. Howie Mandel made Ellen Barkin chuckle in The Princess Who Never Laughed. While Jeff Bridges’ recent Oscar speech drew many comparisons to his Big Lebowski character “The Dude,” I instead saw him as the prince in Rapunzel, carefully climbing the trapped princess’ impossibly long braid.
Below are a few notable Faerie Tale Theatre appearances. Episodes are available via Hulu as well.
For starters, here’s the 26-episode series’ intro, complete with an array of familiar faces:
Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Beals and Jean Stapleton in Cinderella
Original Air Date: August 14, 1985
Susan Sarandon and Angelica Huston in Beauty and the Beast
Original Air Date: August 13, 1984
Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp (directed by Tim Burton)
Also Starring: James Earl Jones and Valerie Bertinelli (not shown in clip)
Original Air Date: July 14, 1986
Helen Mirren and Treat Williams in The Little Mermaid
Original Air Date: April 6, 1987
Gregory Hine and Ben Vereen in Puss in Boots
Original Air Date: September 9, 1985
Melissa Gilbert in The Snow Queen
Original Air Date: March 11, 1985