American Masters

Genre: Documentary
Premiere: 1985
Network: PBS
IMDB Rating: 8.1/10
Sessons: 30
Full Episodes: 205
Watch Stream Online:
American Masters Series
Full Show Summary

AMERICAN MASTERS is an ongoing series of award-winning primetime specials examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists. Created in 1984 by Susan Lacy and produced by Thirteen/WNET for national public television, the series is both a celebration and an exploration of creativity in America. Consisting of more than 250 hours of programming to date, AMERICAN MASTERS is a growing film library documenting the role important individuals, groups, and movements have played in the formation of our cultural identity. Since its premiere in 1986, AMERICAN MASTERS has been the only PBS primetime series committed to developing and producing comprehensive film biographies about the broad cast of characters who comprise our cultural history. The illuminating film portraits chronicle the process of discovery and evolution in the working methods and lives of our most significant and influential writers, musicians, visual and performing artists, and filmmakers. (Source: PBS) more less
  • Episode Guide
  • Cast
Date Aired American Masters Episodes
Season 1
23 June 1986 Season 1, Episode 1: Private Conversations
30 June 1986 Season 1, Episode 2: Philip Johnson: a Self-Portrait
07 July 1986 Season 1, Episode 3: Katherine Anne Porter: the Eye of Memory
14 July 1986 Season 1, Episode 4: Unknown Chaplin (1)
21 July 1986 Season 1, Episode 5: Unknown Chaplin (2)
28 July 1986 Season 1, Episode 6: Unknown Chaplin (3)
04 August 1986 Season 1, Episode 7: Billie Holliday: the Long Night of Lady Day
11 August 1986 Season 1, Episode 8: James Levine: a Life in Music
18 August 1986 Season 1, Episode 9: Aaron Copland: a Self-Portrait
25 August 1986 Season 1, Episode 10: Thomas Eakins: a Motion Portrait
01 September 1986 Season 1, Episode 11: Georgia O'Keefe
08 September 1986 Season 1, Episode 12: Eugene O'Neill: Glory of Ghosts
Season 2
06 July 1987 Season 2, Episode 1: Isaac in America
13 July 1987 Season 2, Episode 2: Directed by William Wyler
20 July 1987 Season 2, Episode 3: Rubinstein Remembered
27 July 1987 Season 2, Episode 4: Nik and Murray
24 August 1987 Season 2, Episode 5: George Gershwin Remembered
31 August 1987 Season 2, Episode 6: Maurice Sendak
14 September 1987 Season 2, Episode 7: The Negro Ensemble Company
21 September 1987 Season 2, Episode 8: Unanswered Prayers: the Life and Times of Truman Capote
28 September 1987 Season 2, Episode 9: The Wit and Legend of the Algonquin Round Table
18 November 1987 Season 2, Episode 10: Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow
Season 3
11 July 1988 Season 3, Episode 1: Lillian Gish: the Actor's Life for Me
18 July 1988 Season 3, Episode 2: A Duke Named Ellington
08 August 1988 Season 3, Episode 3: Andre Keretz of the Cities
22 August 1988 Season 3, Episode 4: Aretha Franklin: the Queen of Soul
29 August 1988 Season 3, Episode 5: Rivera in America
05 September 1988 Season 3, Episode 6: Saint-Gaudens: Masque of the Golden Bowl
08 March 1989 Season 3, Episode 7: Neil Simon: Not Just for Laughs
26 June 1989 Season 3, Episode 8: Broadway's Dreamers: the Legacy of Group Theater
Season 4
03 July 1989 Season 4, Episode 1: Harold Clurman: a Life of Theater
10 July 1989 Season 4, Episode 2: Stella Adler: Awake and Dream
31 July 1989 Season 4, Episode 3: Satchmo: the Life of Louis Armstrong
14 August 1989 Season 4, Episode 4: James Baldwin: the Price of the Ticket
17 August 1989 Season 4, Episode 5: Celebrating Bird: the Triumph of Charlie Parker
11 September 1989 Season 4, Episode 6: Jasper Johns: Ideas in Paint
18 September 1989 Season 4, Episode 7: Mort Sahl: the Loyal Opposition
25 September 1989 Season 4, Episode 8: W. Eugene Smith: Photography Made Difficult
15 November 1989 Season 4, Episode 9: Harold Lloyd: the Third Genius
20 December 1989 Season 4, Episode 10: Milos Forman: Portrait
Season 5
02 July 1990 Season 5, Episode 1: Preston Sturges: the Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer
09 July 1990 Season 5, Episode 2: John Cassavetes
16 July 1990 Season 5, Episode 3: Martin Scorsese Directs
23 July 1990 Season 5, Episode 4: You're the Tops: the Cole Porter Story
30 July 1990 Season 5, Episode 5: Edward R. Murrow: This Reporter
20 August 1990 Season 5, Episode 6: John Hammond: From Bessie Smith to Bruce Springsteen
27 August 1990 Season 5, Episode 7: Sanford Meisner: the Theater's Best Kept Secret
17 September 1990 Season 5, Episode 8: John Cage: I Have Nothing to Say and I'm Saying It
Season 6
01 July 1991 Season 6, Episode 1: Helen Hayes: First Lady of the American Theater
08 July 1991 Season 6, Episode 2: Miracle on 44th Street: Actor's Studio
22 July 1991 Season 6, Episode 3: Albert Einstein: How I See the World
29 July 1991 Season 6, Episode 4: Sarah Vaughan: the Divine One
05 August 1991 Season 6, Episode 5: Frederic Remington: the Truth of Other Days
12 August 1991 Season 6, Episode 6: Menuhin: a Family Portrait
26 August 1991 Season 6, Episode 7: Robert Motherwell and the New York School
03 January 1992 Season 6, Episode 8: Ray Charles: the Genius of Soul
01 May 1992 Season 6, Episode 9: Waldo Salt: a Screenwriter's Journey
Season 7
14 March 1992 Season 7, Episode 1: Paul Simon: Born at the Right Time
17 March 1992 Season 7, Episode 2: George Lucas: Heroes, Myths, and Magic
24 March 1992 Season 7, Episode 3: D. W. Griffith: Father of Film
Season 8
08 December 1993 Season 8, Episode 1: Benny Goodman: Adventures in the Kingdom of Swing
13 May 1994 Season 8, Episode 2: Martha Graham: the Dancer Revealed
Season 9
30 November 1994 Season 9, Episode 1: Rediscovering Will Rogers
19 December 1994 Season 9, Episode 2: Tennessee Williams: Orpheus of the American Stage
15 February 1995 Season 9, Episode 3: Placido Domingo: a Musical Life
22 March 1995 Season 9, Episode 4: Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul
Season 10
29 November 1995 Season 10, Episode 1: Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval
22 January 1996 Season 10, Episode 2: William Styron: the Way of the Writer
24 January 1996 Season 10, Episode 3: Richard Avedon: Darkness and Light
10 April 1996 Season 10, Episode 4: Buckminster Fuller: Thinking Out Loud
17 April 1996 Season 10, Episode 5: Nichols and May: Take Two
Season 11
25 November 1996 Season 11, Episode 1: Lena Horne: In Her Own Voice
10 December 1996 Season 11, Episode 2: Danny Kaye: a Legacy of Laughter
09 April 1997 Season 11, Episode 3: Man Ray: Prophet of the Avant Garde
07 May 1997 Season 11, Episode 4: Jack Paar: As I Was Saying
25 June 1997 Season 11, Episode 5: Isamu Noguchi: Stones and Paper
Season 12
17 September 1997 Season 12, Episode 1: The Life and Times of Allen Ginsburg
26 November 1997 Season 12, Episode 2: Vaudeville
04 February 1998 Season 12, Episode 3: Billy Wilder: the Human Comedy
29 April 1998 Season 12, Episode 4: Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart
01 May 1998 Season 12, Episode 5: Don Hewitt: 90 Minutes on 60 Minutes
17 June 1998 Season 12, Episode 6: Alexander Calder
Season 13
28 October 1998 Season 13, Episode 1: Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Moon
06 January 1999 Season 13, Episode 2: The Line King: Al Hirschfield
24 February 1999 Season 13, Episode 3: Paul Robeson: Here I Stand
07 April 1999 Season 13, Episode 4: Robert Rauschenberg: Inventive Genius
30 June 1999 Season 13, Episode 5: The Lives of Lillian Hellman
07 July 1999 Season 13, Episode 6: Dashiell Hammett: Detective, Writer
18 August 1999 Season 13, Episode 7: Yours for a Song: the Women of Tin Pan Alley
Season 14
01 November 1999 Season 14, Episode 1: Hitchcock, Selznick, and the End of Hollywood
24 November 1999 Season 14, Episode 2: Norman Rockwell: Painting in America
08 December 1999 Season 14, Episode 3: Ella Fitzgerald: Something to Live For
05 January 2000 Season 14, Episode 4: Paul Taylor: Dancemaker
02 February 2000 Season 14, Episode 5: Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light
12 April 2000 Season 14, Episode 6: Isaac Stern: Life's Virtuoso
31 May 2000 Season 14, Episode 7: The Source: the Story of the Beats and the Beat Generation
Season 15
27 September 2000 Season 15, Episode 1: Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows
04 October 2000 Season 15, Episode 2: Mailer on Mailer
22 November 2000 Season 15, Episode 3: On Cukor
03 December 2000 Season 15, Episode 4: Lucille Ball: Finding Lucy
14 February 2001 Season 15, Episode 5: Bob Marley: Rebel Music
09 April 2001 Season 15, Episode 6: A Conversation with Gregory Peck
16 April 2001 Season 15, Episode 7: Alfred Steiglitz: the Eloquent Eye
23 April 2001 Season 15, Episode 8: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indians
Season 16
07 October 2001 Season 16, Episode 1: Goldwyn: the Man and His Movies
14 October 2001 Season 16, Episode 2: F. Scott Fitzgerald: Winter Dreams
21 October 2001 Season 16, Episode 3: Richard Rodgers: the Sweetest Sounds
18 November 2001 Season 16, Episode 4: Quincy Jones: In the Pocket
28 November 2001 Season 16, Episode 5: Good Rockin' Tonight: the Legacy of Sun Records
16 December 2001 Season 16, Episode 6: Merce Cunningham: a Lifetime of Dance
19 February 2002 Season 16, Episode 7: Ralph Ellison: An American Journey
20 March 2002 Season 16, Episode 8: Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer
Season 17
02 October 2002 Season 17, Episode 1: Willie Nelson: Still is Still Moving
30 October 2002 Season 17, Episode 2: Lon Chaney: a Thousand Faces
29 January 2003 Season 17, Episode 3: Juilliard
19 March 2003 Season 17, Episode 4: Alice Waters and Her Delicious Revolution
02 April 2003 Season 17, Episode 5: Joni Mitchell: a Woman of Heart and Mind
23 April 2003 Season 17, Episode 6: Muddy Waters: Can't Be Satisfied
28 May 2003 Season 17, Episode 7: Robert Capa: In Love and War
30 July 2003 Season 17, Episode 8: The Education of Gore Vidal
Season 18
03 September 2003 Season 18, Episode 1: Arthur Miller, Elia Kazan, and the Blacklist
29 October 2003 Season 18, Episode 2: James Brown: Soul Survivor
07 January 2004 Season 18, Episode 3: Cary Grant: a Class Apart
14 January 2004 Season 18, Episode 4: Balanchine
25 February 2004 Season 18, Episode 5: Judy Garland: By Myself
29 April 2004 Season 18, Episode 6: Henry Luce and Time-Life's America: a Vision of Empire
23 June 2004 Season 18, Episode 7: Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues
18 August 2004 Season 18, Episode 8: Julia! America's Favorite Chef
Season 19
11 May 2005 Season 19, Episode 1: James Dean: Sense Memories
29 June 2005 Season 19, Episode 2: Sweet Honey in the Rock: Raise Your Voice
06 July 2005 Season 19, Episode 3: George Stevens: a Filmmaker's Journey
20 July 2005 Season 19, Episode 4: Bob Newhart: Unbuttoned
07 September 2005 Season 19, Episode 5: Willa Cather: the Road is All
14 September 2005 Season 19, Episode 6: Ernest Hemingway: Rivers to the Sea
27 September 2005 Season 19, Episode 7: Bob Dylan: No Direction Home
Season 20
10 May 2006 Season 20, Episode 1: John Ford/John Wayne: the Filmmaker and the Legend
17 May 2006 Season 20, Episode 2: The World of Nat King Cole
12 July 2006 Season 20, Episode 3: Woody Guthrie: Ain't Got No Home
19 July 2006 Season 20, Episode 4: Marilyn Monroe: Still Life
26 July 2006 Season 20, Episode 5: Walter Cronkite: Witness to History
20 September 2006 Season 20, Episode 6: Andy Warhol: a Documentary
27 September 2006 Season 20, Episode 7: Sketches of Frank Gehry
03 January 2007 Season 20, Episode 8: Annie Leibovitz: Through a Lens
Season 21
04 April 2007 Season 21, Episode 1: Novel Reflections on the American Dream
02 May 2007 Season 21, Episode 2: Atlantic Records: the House That Ahmet Built
11 July 2007 Season 21, Episode 3: Les Paul: Chasing the Sound
18 July 2007 Season 21, Episode 4: David Hockney: the Colors of Music
25 July 2007 Season 21, Episode 5: John James Audubon: Drawn from Nature
12 September 2007 Season 21, Episode 6: Tony Bennett: the Music Never Ends
19 September 2007 Season 21, Episode 7: Orozco: Man of Fire
29 October 2007 Season 21, Episode 8: Good Ol' Charles Schulz
05 November 2007 Season 21, Episode 9: Carol Burnett: a Woman of Character
27 February 2008 Season 21, Episode 10: Pete Seeger: the Power of Song
09 April 2008 Season 21, Episode 11: Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun
07 May 2008 Season 21, Episode 12: Marvin Gaye: What's Goin' On
23 September 2008 Season 21, Episode 13: You Must Remember This
25 September 2008 Season 21, Episode 14: The Brothers Warner
28 January 2009 Season 21, Episode 15: Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About
Season 22
08 April 2009 Season 22, Episode 1: Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts
27 May 2009 Season 22, Episode 2: Hollywood Chinese
10 June 2009 Season 22, Episode 3: Neil Young: Don't Be Denied
02 September 2009 Season 22, Episode 4: Trumbo
14 October 2009 Season 22, Episode 6: Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound
28 December 2009 Season 22, Episode 7: Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women
Season 23
31 March 2010 Season 23, Episode 1: I.M. Pei: Building China Modern
12 May 2010 Season 23, Episode 2: The Doors: When You’re Strange
21 July 2010 Season 23, Episode 3: Merle Haggard: Learning to Live With Myself
20 September 2010 Season 23, Episode 4: Cachao: Uno Mas
04 October 2010 Season 23, Episode 5: A Letter to Elia
22 November 2010 Season 23, Episode 6: Lennon NYC
27 December 2010 Season 23, Episode 7: Glenn Gould: Genius Within
12 January 2011 Season 23, Episode 8: Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides
Season 24
02 March 2011 Season 24, Episode 1: James Taylor, Carole King and the California Scene
18 April 2011 Season 24, Episode 2: John Muir in the New World
01 June 2011 Season 24, Episode 3: Maestro James Levine: 40 Years at the Met
21 October 2011 Season 24, Episode 4: Pearl Jam Twenty
11 November 2011 Season 24, Episode 5: Bill T. Jones: A Good Man
20 November 2011 Season 24, Episode 6: Woody Allen (1)
21 November 2011 Season 24, Episode 7: Woody Allen (2)
19 December 2011 Season 24, Episode 8: Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter
Season 25
23 January 2012 Season 25, Episode 1: Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune
27 February 2012 Season 25, Episode 2: Cab Calloway: Sketches
02 April 2012 Season 25, Episode 3: Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel
02 April 2012 Season 25, Episode 4: Harper Lee: Hey, Boo!
14 May 2012 Season 25, Episode 5: Johnny Carson: King of Late Night
24 September 2012 Season 25, Episode 6: The Day Carl Sandburg Died
13 November 2012 Season 25, Episode 7: Woody Guthrie: Ain’t Got No Home
20 November 2012 Season 25, Episode 8: Inventing David Geffen
Season 26
28 December 2012 Season 26, Episode 1: Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance
22 February 2013 Season 26, Episode 2: Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock and Roll
29 March 2013 Season 26, Episode 3: Philip Roth: Unmasked
20 May 2013 Season 26, Episode 4: Mel Brooks
10 September 2013 Season 26, Episode 5: Billie Jean King
05 November 2013 Season 26, Episode 6: Jimi Hendrix
27 December 2013 Season 26, Episode 7: Marvin Hamlisch: The Way He Was
Season 28
20 February 2015 Season 28, Episode 2: August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand
Season 28
15 May 2015 Season 28, Episode 4: American Ballet Theatre: A History
04 September 2015 Season 28, Episode 5: Althea
18 September 2015 Season 28, Episode 6: Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer's Journey
25 September 2015 Season 28, Episode 7: The Women's List
Season 30
29 January 2016 Season 30, Episode 1: Mike Nichols
Season 30
12 February 2016 Season 30, Episode 2: B.B. King
19 February 2016 Season 30, Episode 3: Carole King: Natural Woman
26 February 2016 Season 30, Episode 4: Fats Domino
04 March 2016 Season 30, Episode 5: Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl