Emmys champ Sharon Gless loves facing danger on ‘Burn Notice’ [Audio]

“What’s happening with my character Madeline is they are putting her in more dangerous situations,” revealed “Burn Notice” star Sharon Gless. Speaking by phone to senior editors Rob Licuria and Chris Beachum about the upcoming fifth season of the USA hit crime drama, she admitted, “there is an episode just for me that is emotionally very rough. I think you’re going to like it.”

The two-time Emmy-winning actress plays the chain-smoking mother of an ex-CIA agent (Jeffrey Donovan). She said, “I love the scenes with Jeffrey. There’s a lot of history there between the two of us. There was a lot of abuse in the background of that family.”

Gless was nominated for Drama Supporting Actress at last year’s Emmys but lost to Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”). She admits to being surprised at the recognition, “because usually in the dramatic category they want you to bleed for them. Part of Madeline’s role is she brings humor to the show.”

That marked her 10th Emmy nomination. She received six consecutive bids for Best Drama Actress for “Cagney & Lacey ” beginning in 1983 that pitted her against co-star Tyne Daly. She lost the first three races to Daly, before winning back-to-back awards in 1986 and 1987. As she recalls that first victory, “I thought that if I win this year, I know exactly what I’m going to say — ‘I want to thank my partner Tyne Daly, who I am sure is the most relieved woman sitting in this room tonight.’ If she had won again, she was going to apologize to everyone she ever met.”

Gless credits the Emmy Awards with saving “Cagney & Lacey” from being axed by CBS in 1983. “We were canceled before Tyne and I were nominated and the show was nominated,” remembers Gless. “I believe the network was embarassed by that, they didn’t step up. We went to the Emmys knowing we had been canceled. When the writing campaign started, Barney (Rosenzweig, show creator and now Gless’ husband) said that you (the viewers) do have a choice about what you watch. When the public wrote in, they responded. They saw the combination of the Emmy nominations and the public getting furious.”

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