American Masters (2015 Season): The Women’s List

Film Interviewee Bios

Air date: 09/25/2015

American Masters: The Women’s List


Premieres nationwide Friday, September 25 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)


Film Interviewee Bios


Madeleine Albright

U.S. Secretary of State, 1997-2001

Madeleine Albright was the first woman to serve as the United States’ Secretary of State. Born in Czechoslovakia, Albright and her family emigrated to the U.S. through Ellis Island when she was 11 years old. Albright served, under President Clinton, as Secretary of State from 1997 – 2001. At the time of her appointment, she became the highest-ranking woman to have served in the U.S. government.


Gloria Allred


Gloria Allred is a leading women’s rights lawyer. Her firm handles more women’s rights cases than any other private firm in the nation and has won hundreds of millions of dollars for victims.


Laurie Anderson


Laurie Anderson is an experimental performance artist, composer and musician. Anderson is a pioneer in electronic music and has invented several devices that she has used in her recordings and performance art shows.


Sara Blakely


Sara Blakely is an American businessperson and founder of Spanx, a hosiery company based in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2012, Blakely was named in Time magazine’s annual “Time 100” list of the 100 most influential people in the world. As of 2014, she is listed as the 93rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.


Margaret Cho


Margaret Cho is an American comedian, fashion designer, actress, author and singer-songwriter. Cho is best known for her stand-up routines, through which she critiques social and political problems, especially those pertaining to race and sexuality.


Edie Falco


Edie Falco is an Emmy®-winning actress who won acclaim for her roles on the television series The Sopranos and Nurse Jackie. A mother of two children, Falco has appeared on Broadway, in feature films and on television throughout her career.


Elizabeth Holmes

Scientist and Entrepreneur

Elizabeth Holmes is an American entrepreneur. She is the CEO of Theranos, a blood test company, which she founded in 2003 at age 19 while she was a chemical engineering major at Stanford University. She is the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire to date.


Betsey Johnson

Fashion Designer

Betsey Johnson is an award-winning fashion designer known for her whimsical and feminine designs. Johnson started her career in New York City in the 60s and was part of Andy Warhol’s underground scene that included the Velvet Underground, Edie Sedgwick and Lou Reed. Her namesake brand has been in business nearly 40 years and is still going strong.


Alicia Keys


Alicia Keys is a 15-time Grammy® Award-winning singer/songwriter/producer, an accomplished actress, a New York Times best-selling author, an entrepreneur and a powerful force in the world of philanthropy and in the global fight against HIV and AIDS.


Aimee Mullins

Athlete and Fashion Model

Aimee Mullins is an athlete, actress and fashion model, who first became famous for her athletic accomplishments. She was born with a medical condition that resulted in the amputation of both of her lower legs and has become one of the most prominent thinkers on the topic of prosthetic innovation.


Nancy Pelosi


Nancy Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and served as the 60th Speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011. She is the only woman to have served as the House Speaker and to date is the highest-ranking female politician in American history.


Rosie Perez


Rosie Perez is an Oscar-nominated actress who starred in such films as White Men Can’t Jump, Fearless and Do the Right Thing. Perez started her performance career as a dancer and went on to choreograph music videos and the television series In Living Color. An activist who raises awareness for many causes, Perez has acted on stage, on television and in feature films.


Shonda Rhimes


Shonda Rhimes is a screenwriter, director and producer. Rhimes is best known as the creator, head writer, executive producer and showrunner of the medical drama television series Grey’s Anatomy, its spin-off Private Practice and political thriller series Scandal. Rhimes also serves as executive producer for legal series How to Get Away with Murder. In May 2007, Rhimes was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 people who help shape the world.


Wendy Williams

Talk Show Host

Wendy Williams is a media personality, actress, comedian, author and a daytime talk show host. She hosts the nationally syndicated television talk show The Wendy Williams Show.


Nia Wordlaw


Nia Wordlaw is one of the few African-American female pilots flying for a major airline in the U.S. today.