The TV actress gives an interview to thank the public for its messages of sympathy

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated December 06, 2004 09:00 AM

Grieving mother Susan Saint James, the wife of NBC Sports chief Dick Ebersol, poured her heart out to the network’s Tim Russert in interviews that were broadcast on Friday’s Today show and Nightly News.

Ebersol, 57, was seriously injured when his plane crashed in Colorado over Thanksgiving weekend, killing two crewmembers and the Ebersols’ 14-year-old son, Teddy. Saint James, 58, said her public appearance was her way of answering the flood of sympathy messages the family has received and acknowledging her appreciation to those who have contacted them.

The actress, best remembered for the TV shows McMillan and Wife and Kate & Allie, told Russert: “It’s really important to say thank you for that because we’ve been reached by all these people. I mean, how can I ever say thank you? If you know anybody that loses somebody, call them on the phone. People always say, ‘I know you don’t want to be bothered.’ You can’t be bothered enough … and I just want them to know that.”

Of her son, Saint James, who retained her composure throughout the interview, said: “Teddy was funny. The youngest one …. Teddy was kind of like – Teddy, come on, Teddy. Hurry up, Teddy. Quietly he developed this way of thinking that you would never know about, except the school he went to makes them write an autobiography.”

When the family read what Teddy had written, said his mother, they “found out things we didn’t know about Teddy and how much we all meant to him as a family. One quote said something about, ‘On the road of life, the only person ahead of the love of your family is God.'”

She also said, “Teddy has found peace. He found peace on earth … He was one happy guy.”