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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  June 2, 2013 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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just across town at the university of pittsburgh, was imagining how people like jan might be restored. andy schwartz, on the right, is working on an ambitious defense department project called "revolutionizing prosthetics." five years ago, we visited his lab, and schwartz showed us how he implanted tiny sensors like this one into the brains of monkeys, and then wired them to a crude robotic arm. schwartz told us that, when the monkey thinks about moving his own arm, his brain cells, or neurons, fire off electrical signals. the sensor in his brain can pick up these signals and send them to the robot. so he's operating the arm in three dimensions-- up, down, forward and back? >> andy schwartz: as well as the gripper. >> pelley: what you're telling me is that the monkey is operating this arm with nothing but his thoughts?
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>> schwartz: absolutely. >> pelley: what are the chances that a human being would be able to do this same thing? >> schwartz: oh, we think a human being could do much better. >> pelley: that conversation was in 2008. and since then, the $150 million revolutionizing prosthetics program has reached farther than most thought possible. >> geoffrey ling: awesome. >> pelley: dr. geoffrey ling, a retired army colonel and neurologist, is in charge. after seeing the wounded on several tours in iraq and afghanistan, he told his team that he wanted a breakthrough within five years. did any of them say, "look, colonel, we're not sure we can do this." >> ling: oh, absolutely. they... they thought we were crazy. but that's quite all right, because i think it's in our insanity that things happen. >> pelley: that madness led to genius in labs all across the country. at the applied physics laboratory at johns hopkins university in maryland, michael
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mcloughlin led the multimillion- dollar engineering of what has become the most sophisticated hand and arm ever developed. it's the same size and weight of an average man's arm and hand, and everything is inside, including the computers and the batteries. is there anything that your natural arm and hand can do that the mechanical hand can't? >> michael mcloughlin: well, i can do this. ( laughs ) >> pelley: okay. there's that. >> mcloughlin: but other than that, virtually everything your natural hand can do, this prosthetic is able to do. same strength, too. >> pelley: same strength? >> mcloughlin: same strength. so we can curl 45 to 50 pounds with the arm. >> pelley: they've thought of a lot of ways to use it. when set on wheels, it can bring a human touch where no human can go. in this demonstration, we wore a visor that showed us the video feed from the robot. these gloves moved the robotic hands. and we practiced pulling a wire out of a bomb.
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come on, give me that pinch. awesome. but the holy grail in the project was finding a way to connect the robot directly to the brain. >> scheuermann: who wouldn't want to do this? when they told me... i heard about the study, i said, "oh, absolutely." i... i couldn't not do this. >> pelley: in 2012, jan scheuermann put herself on the line for a more sophisticated version of the surgery that they had done earlier in the monkeys. there's a brain surgery involved. it's experimental. why were you so excited about it? >> scheuermann: i've always believed there's a purpose to my illness. i didn't think i would ever find out what it was in my lifetime, and here came this study where they needed me. you know, they couldn't just pick any tom, dick or harry off the street. and in a few years, the quadriplegics and the amputees this is just going to help. the department of defense is funding some of this for the vets.
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to be of use to them and service to them, what an honor. >> elizabeth tyler-kabara: what i'm going to do right now is i'm just going to make some marks here in your hair. >> pelley: the procedure was done by university of pittsburgh neurosurgeon elizabeth tyler- kabara, who showed us that the area that controls hand and arm movement is accessible right on the surface of the brain. what are the dangers? >> tyler-kabara: we worry about if we were to accidentally tear a blood vessel when we were putting them in, that we could cause a blood clot that would collect on the surface of the brain. probably the thing we worry about the most is the possibility of infection. >> pelley: i mean, you do have a connection through the skull to the outside world? >> tyler-kabara: absolutely. may i have some irrigations? >> pelley: during the six-hour surgery, two sensor arrays, each the size of a pea, were placed on the surface of jan's brain. >> woo hoo! >> pelley: then, they were wired to two computer connections called pedestals, the gateways
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to jan's thoughts. you know, people are going to look at those pedestals in your skull, and they're going to think, "that has to hurt." is it painful? has it been difficult in any way? >> scheuermann: for a few hours after i woke up, i had the worst case of buyer's remorse. i was thinking, "oh, my god, i had brain surgery. why didn't anyone stop me? why didn't they say, 'jan, you're crazy'." but as soon as the headache went away, that kind of talk went away, too. >> pelley: five months after the surgery, we came back to see whether she would be able to control the robotic arm with nothing but her thoughts. they plugged her brain into the computer and this is what we saw. >> scheuermann: i can move it up. and straight down. and left and right, and diagonally. i can close it. and open it. and i can go forward and back. >> pelley: that is just the most astounding thing i've ever seen. can we shake hands?
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>> scheuermann: sure. >> pelley: no, really? >> scheuermann: yeah. >> pelley: like, come right over here? >> scheuermann: yes, you come over there. >> pelley: okay. >> scheuermann: let me grasp your hand there. there we go. >> pelley: oh, my goodness. >> scheuermann: move it up and down a little. >> pelley: wow. >> scheuermann: and i can do a fist bump, if you'd like. >> pelley: that's amazing. what are you doing, jan? what's going on in your mind as you're moving this arm around? what are you thinking? >> scheuermann: okay, the best way to explain it is, raise your arm. now, what did you think about when you did that? >> pelley: well, not much. i do it all the time. >> scheuermann: exactly. it's automatic. >> pelley: is that hard work? are you having to concentrate? >> scheuermann: it... no, it was hard work getting there. i struggled greatly to go up and down at the beginning. now, up and down is so easy, i don't even think about it. side to side, don't even think about it. >> pelley: just like your arms used to? >> scheuermann: yes. >> pelley: we asked dr. ling, the program manager, where all of this is headed.
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>> ling: i'm old enough to have watched neil armstrong take that step on the moon. and... and to watch jan do that, i had the same tingles. because i realized that we have now stepped over a great threshold into what is possible, and very importantly, what patients can now expect in terms of restoration. this is a very important part-- not rehab, but restoration of function. >> pelley: i wonder what your experience with jan has taught you about the brain and the brain's ability to adapt to new circumstances. >> ling: i think it's taught me something really fundamental, and that is, we are tool users. and our arms and legs are just tools for our brain. and so, when we give another tool-- in jan's case, a robot arm-- she will adapt to that tool to do the things that she wants to do. >> pelley: of course, many who could use a robot arm are not paralyzed like jan; they're amputees. and for them, the project has found a way to connect the arm without brain surgery.
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58-year-old johnny matheny lost his arm to cancer. dr. albert chi, from johns hopkins hospital, found the nerves that used to go to johnny's hand and moved them to healthy muscles in his remaining limb. >> albert chi: now, elbow extension. >> pelley: sensors on his skin pick up the brain's signals from the nerves and use those signals to control the robotic arm. >> johnny matheny: come here, i want to see you. >> pelley: so even though the limb is missing, the brain still sends the signals as if the limb was still there? >> chi: correct. >> pelley: johnny, it feels in... in your mind like your hand is... is there again? >> chi: yes. >> pelley: as if your arm had never been lost? >> matheny: correct. >> pelley: unlike jan, the connection for johnny runs both ways. sensors in the fingers send signals back so he can feel what he's touching. okay, i'm holding the object and you can close on it.
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to see how well, we put him to the test. hard or soft? >> matheny: soft. >> pelley: correct. very good. now, let's try again. i'm holding the object. hard or soft? >> matheny: soft. >> pelley: yep. quite right. all right. he got it right every time. hard or soft? >> matheny: hard. >> pelley: amazing. the next person to have jan's surgery will have additional sensors placed in the brain to receive the sensation of touch. andy schwartz believes that will help with some of the things that jan has trouble with. for example, sometimes, when she looks right at an object, she can't grab it. >> schwartz: okay, i'm going to take the cone away. just go ahead and close it. >> scheuermann: oh, sure, no problem. >> schwartz: so as soon as i take the cone away, there is no problem. but as soon as i put the cone there, she can't do it.
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>> pelley: why is still a mystery. the progress is coming rapidly. they are working on a wireless version of the implant to eliminate the connection in the skull. and dr. geoffrey ling told us that the lab experiments will one day enter the real world. >> ling: and we're going to not stop at just arms and hands. i think that it's going to open the way for things like sight and sound. and... and my dream, i dream that we'll be able to take this into all sorts of patients-- patients with stroke, patients with cerebral palsy, and the elderly. >> scheuermann: i think when other quadriplegics see what i'm doing with the arm, they're all going to say, "oh, wow! i wish i could do that!" awesome. thank you so much. ( applause ) i just feel very honored to be the one who gets to do it.
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>> simon: american history is housed in the national archives-- 44 of them, spread all over the country. they contain documents, photos, maps, artifacts that go back to our founding fathers. every school kid knows about some of them-- the declaration of independence, the constitution, the bill of rights. but there are millions of others, from the patent for michael jackson's moonwalking shoes to benedict arnold's loyalty oath. many are priceless treasures, which means they attract not
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only scholars but thieves, more and more of them all the time. getting to the crooks before they get to the archives has become a new priority in law enforcement. as we reported last fall, no one knows more about this than barry landau, a self- described presidential historian and one of the foremost collectors of presidential memorabilia. that's because barry landau carried out the largest theft of these treasures in american history. prosecutors say he is one of the most accomplished con men they have ever encountered. for decades, he was a regular guest at the white house. here he is with president ford and queen elizabeth. he's the guy with the beard. >> president ronald reagan: well... ( laughter ) >> simon: he showed up with president reagan and nancy at the inaugural gala in 1985, and
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met a whole bunch of presidents-- richard nixon, george h.w. bush, bill clinton. he wrote an impressive, picture- laden book, "the president's table." and was invited to the finest anchor desks in town. >> barry h. landau is presidential historian... >> the story of the ultimate inauguration collector... >> simon: but when we met up with him in june, he no longer wanted to tell his story. he'd been convicted of the single largest theft of historic artifacts in the united states. he stole thousands of items, including hundreds of documents, signed by some of the most famous names in history-- george washington, thomas jefferson, francis scott key, marie antoinette, and voltaire. he'd pilfered them from museums and libraries all over the country. u.s. attorney rod rosenstein was in charge of the prosecution. he was a con man? >> rod rosenstein: barry landau was a con artist. and he used his reputation as a
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presidential historian in order to gain the confidence of museums and other people who had custody of important documents. and then he stole them. it was a reputation, it turns out, that was the product of his rich imagination. landau claimed he'd worked for every president since lyndon johnson, had served as chief of protocol at the white house. >> rosenstein: but in fact, there is no evidence that barry landau was ever employed by any white house, or had any of the relationships he claimed to have, or indeed had any legitimate job at all. >> simon: the landau case, and a few others, let law enforcement know they had a problem they hadn't really been aware of until very recently. >> paul brachfeld: every institution now that has collections is threatened. we all know that there is a major threat and it's getting larger. >> simon: former secret service employee paul brachfeld is the inspector general of the national archives. he runs the tiny and little- known archival recovery team--
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armed federal agents and historians who, along with the f.b.i., go after stolen national treasures. now, landau, was he a good thief? was he a good con man? >> brachfeld: from everybody i talked to, he was a master thief. because he did it over a duration of time. he shopped. he got what he shopped for. >> pelley: a trusted researcher and regular at libraries around the country, landau's strategy, along with his accomplice, they conquered with kindness, as they did here at the maryland historical society, where pat anderson is the director. some thieves work with knives, others with guns. these guys worked with cupcakes. >> pat anderson: yes, they did. yes, they did. they brought us cupcakes, and the second time they visited, they brought cookies. evidently, they took treats to every repository they visited. >> simon: and it worked. >> anderson: it did work. >> simon: but on july 9, 2011,
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the esteemed mr. landau got careless, and pat anderson's archivists got suspicious, caught them stealing, and called the police. how many things did they have when they were caught? >> anderson: they had 60 pieces of our library material. >> simon: okay, now, this is some of the stuff they stole? tell me what we're looking at. >> anderson: there are inauguration souvenirs. >> simon: from which inauguration? >> anderson: this is grover cleveland's. and these are fun-- tickets to andrew johnson's impeachment trial in the u.s. senate. and they grabbed a fistful of those. >> simon: i bet. there wasn't much security at the maryland historical society. but still, how do you walk out in front of the librarians' desk with 60 documents? the secret was sartorial-- deep pockets. and those are his costumes? >> rosenstein: these are the jackets that mr. landau used,
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and he had altered in order to steal items from the historical societies. now, what's interesting about these coats is that he arranged for a tailor to install interior pockets, hidden pockets inside the jackets that are large enough to fit these documents. >> simon: landau had a whole collection of them, including a trench coat. how did you react when you saw his jackets? >> brachfeld: fascinated. again, in my world, every criminal is different, every thief is different. and you just always... you kind of respect them. you kind of learn from them. >> simon: after the bust in maryland, inspector general brachfeld and the f.b.i. decided it would be a good idea to get a search warrant for landau's apartment in new york. it was your agents who broke into landau's apartment. how did they react when they found what they found? >> brachfeld: well, my focus was getting them a truck, because when we got to mr. landau's apartment, we came to the quick realization that we needed a
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truck. this was, by far, in terms of quantity, the largest amount of documents and artifacts that we've ever recovered from one site. >> simon: 10,000 items, including 300 of extraordinary historical value. what were they worth on the market? >> brachfeld: i think the value was astronomical. and for me, it's so difficult to put an empirical number on them. it's basically how much the market would bear. for all i know, to some collector, one document might have been worth millions. >> simon: all of these were found in landau's apartment? >> rosenstein: all of these documents were seized from mr. landau's apartment in new york city. >> simon: there were remarkable documents-- letters signed by mark twain, sir isaac newton, charles dickens; a document penned by lorenzo de medici 533 years ago; an epitaph written by benjamin franklin for himself... and he wrote, "lies here food for the worms, yet the work
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shall not be lost." pretty good stuff. a letter written by john hancock with a real john hancock signature. and for 20th-century buffs, there was the original reading copy of f.d.r.'s 1937 inaugural address-- this one... >> president franklin roosevelt: one-third of a nation, ill housed, ill clad, ill nourished... >> rosenstein: it was a rainy day. in fact, the reading copy of the speech, the document the president read from that day was waterlogged. and you can see that on the document that we seized from mr. landau. >> simon: and landau didn't just steal from historical libraries. he had taken his campaign of kindness all the way to the white house, befriending president clinton's former secretary, betty currie, who made the mistake of inviting landau to her house. landau was pretty good at making friends with people who could
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help him, wasn't he? he spent nights at her place. >> brachfeld: bad, bad offer to invite him into your house. >> simon: he robbed her of more than 250 items, including copies of presidential speeches from her personal collection. naturally, we wanted to ask barry landau about all of this, so last summer, we tried to talk to him in new york city. bob simon, "60 minutes." talk to us a minute. >> barry landau: no, no, no, no, no. >> simon: just answer some questions. it's... you're being accused of a lot of things and we want to hear your side of it. they say... the prosecution says you're a con man, a thief. what do you say to that? don't you have anything to say at this point in your own defense? landau may have been the maestro of his craft, but there have been others thieves. last summer, prosecutors put leslie waffen behind bars. he was in charge of the
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archives' audio and film records department. he stole thousands of original recordings and sold them on ebay, gems like this eyewitness account of the hindenburg disaster. >> it's a terrific crash, ladies and gentlemen. the smoke and the flames. oh, the humanity! >> simon: another employee stole most of the presidential pardons from the philadelphia archives, as well as hundreds of photos taken by astronauts in space and on the moon. do you look on ebay for suspicious documents? >> brachfeld: that would be one of the sites we would look at. many times, when a thief is trying to move a document on the internet, the buyer may be a federal agent. and that's real sweet. >> simon: you're talking sting operations? >> brachfeld: yes. >> simon: have you been successful with sting operations? >> brachfeld: yes. we ask our sentinels, historians and collectors and dealers, to help us. we go where a lot of federal employees usually aren't welcome. we'll go to gun shows, we'll go to dealer shows.
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>> simon: like the civil war collector's fair in gettysburg, pennsylvania. here, hundreds of dealers and thousands of visitors show up every year to meander and to buy. many documents, including a few signed by ulysses grant and robert e. lee, are for sale. have any of them been stolen from archives or museums? that's what archival recovery team agents kelly maltagliati and mitch yockelson are looking for. what would you be happiest to find? >> mitch yockelson: we're missing the wright brothers' patent. that would thrill me to no end to recover the patent for the flying machine of 1903. >> simon: when did it disappear? >> yockelson: we don't even know. we discovered it was missing around 2003 when a staff member had wanted to pull it for an exhibit commemorating the centennial. >> simon: also missing, the bombing maps of hiroshima and nagasaki. so where do these things end up?
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>> rosenstein: in foreign countries. for example, in eastern europe, there is a market-- a black market-- for american historical documents. >> simon: how do these black markets function and where are they? >> rosenstein: i think it's like any illegal market anywhere in the world. if you know of somebody who has a lot of money and wants to collect significant, unique items and you make that connection, then you may well be able to make the sale. >> simon: but barry landau has been put out of business. this summer, he was sentenced to seven years in prison. and that's not all. >> rosenstein: even after mr. landau is released from prison, he will be prohibited from visiting museums, libraries, or any other places where documents are deposited. >> simon: one after-effect of the landau case is that security is being tightened in many of these places. pat anderson is imposing new rules in the maryland historical society. >> anderson: our patrons are no longer allowed to wear jackets in the reading room. and it's unfortunate-- some of our older patrons, they get
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chilly, and we have to say "i'm sorry" and... so they can wear a shawl but they can't wear jackets, so... ( laughs ) >> simon: you're going to have to hand out blankets. >> anderson: well, exactly and hope that they don't have pockets in them. >> simon: yeah. and ms. anderson will not just be hoping. she'll be there on the front lines guarding our past. you are the custodians of more than these documents; you're sort of the custodians of american history. >> anderson: yes, we are. we're the stewards. we make sure it gets from one generation to the next. this is what survives of the american past. we never have all of it, which is what makes what survives so much more important. these things don't belong to us. they belong to the american people. >> simon: after we finished reporting this story, longtime inspector general paul brachfeld was put on administrative leave with pay, in part, for allegedly leaking sensitive information to "60 minutes."
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>> kroft: of all the great british actors of the past half-
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century, none are more respected or honored than dame maggie smith. she is most familiar now as the dowager countess on "downton abbey," which concluded the third season this winter. she has won two oscars, three emmys, and a tony award, all wrapped around a long and illustrious career on the british stage. as we reported last february, at age 78, she is at the peak of her fame, much in demand, and quite bankable. last spring's "the best exotic marigold hotel" was a surprise hit, and there is a new film out, "quartet," directed by dustin hoffman, still in theaters. she doesn't have much time or interest in giving interviews, which she's compared to testifying in court. they're a rarity. we were fortunate enough to get one. you seem to have no interest in celebrity and fame. >> maggie smith: absolutely none. i mean, why would i? >> kroft: do you accept the fact that you're a star? >> smith: if you say so. yes.
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i do... i don't feel any different to the way i felt before, and i'm not quite sure what it means. i am familiar to people now, which is what i was not before. that is entirely due to the television set. >> kroft: she's talking about "downton abbey," the highbrow british soap opera that follows the intrigues of an aristocratic family and their servants at the turn of the last century. it's drawn critical acclaim and record audiences in britain and for pbs's "masterpiece" series here in the u.s., due in large part to maggie smith's portrayal of violet, the imperious, sharp- tongued dowager countess of grantham. >> mama, may i present matthew crawley and mrs. crawley. my mother, lady grantham. >> what should we call each other? >> smith: well, we could always start with mrs. crawley and lady grantham. >> kroft: her role as a privileged matriarch coping with the intrusions of the modern world has become one of the most
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memorable in a storied career, and has already won her two emmy awards. >> smith: i'm so looking forward to seeing your mother again. when i'm with her, i'm reminded of the virtues of the english. >> but isn't she american? >> smith: exactly. >> kroft: did you have any idea that "downton abbey" was going to be this successful? >> smith: no, i didn't. no, a whole very startled group of people, you know. i mean, very pleased, but very amazed. >> kroft: you're proud of it? >> smith: yes. well, yes, of course i am. i was just... just thinking, pausing because i haven't actually seen it, so i don't... i don't sit down and watch it. >> kroft: never? >> smith: no, i haven't watched it. >> kroft: you must be the only person in england who's not watching it. >> smith: well, that's a record then, isn't it? of some sort. >> kroft: don't you have a desire to see how the whole thing turned out? you do it in bits and pieces. >> smith: i will look at it when it's all over, maybe, because it's frustrating. i always see things that i would like to do differently and think, "oh, why in the name of god did i do that?"
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>> kroft: but if you don't watch the finished product, what do you get out of it? >> smith: it's the delight of... of acting. >> kroft: it was a childhood obsession that turned into a 60- year career, despite early advice from her grandmother that she wasn't pretty enough to be an actress and should learn to type. she made her broadway debut at 21, and was later recruited by sir laurence olivier to join britain's national theatre. she was already one of britain's preeminent actresses when she first came to the attention of most americans with "the prime of miss jean brodie"... >> smith: morning, girls. >> kroft: ...a film about a spirited teacher who becomes embroiled in scandal at an all- girls' school. it won her the academy award for best actress. >> smith: if scandal is to your taste, miss mckie, i shall give you a feast. >> miss brodie! >> smith: i am a teacher! i am a teacher first, last, always. do you imagine that, for one instant, i will let that be
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taken from me without a fight? >> kroft: it's been 44 years since you won your first oscar. >> smith: jesus, is it? >> kroft: mm-hmm, 1969. >> smith: good god. yeah. >> kroft: what do you think your greatest talent is? >> smith: i really don't know. if i knew, i would maybe teach or something. >> kroft: you've worked with everybody. i mean, you've worked with olivier, gielgud, burton, michael caine, albert finney, judi dench, alan rickman, michael gambon. i mean, there're so many. do you have any favorites? >> smith: i'd be mad if i said. >> kroft: michael caine said that you steal every movie that you're in. >> smith: oh, that's far from true. he's a pretty good scene stealer. >> kroft: they worked together in 1978 in the film "california suite." >> michael caine: where are you going? >> smith: i need another drink. >> kroft: she played diana barrie, a strung-out oscar- nominated actress in los angeles for the academy awards.
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michael caine played her bisexual husband. >> caine: i've never hidden behind closed doors, but i am discreet. >> smith: "discreet"! you did everything but lick his artichoke! >> kroft: in the film, maggie's character did not win the oscar, but maggie did for her performance-- best supporting actress. that looked like it was fun. >> smith: i found the director a bit tricky, a bit spiky. >> kroft: what does that mean, "spiky?" that's a british term. people have called you "spiky." >> smith: sort of... yes, they do. he was jagged. he was very difficult, but when i got upset, somebody said, "try not to be, because it happens to a lot of people, and walter matthau left the set the other day in tears." so that cheered me up a bit. ( laughter ) i realized i wasn't the only one being picked on.
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>> kroft: is it already to libel this man? is he... is he above... >> smith: he's no longer with us. but i had nothing to do with his demise. really, i didn't. >> kroft: she once said, "i don't tolerate fools and they don't tolerate me." >> smith: oh, that's tacky, that's really tacky. leave it. >> kroft: she's made a career playing spiky characters, and given her stature as an actress and the pressure she puts on herself for perfection, she admits being terrified before every take. she can be an intimidating presence on the set. so, everybody says you're a real professional. >> smith: oh, i hope so. it's about time, now isn't it? >> kroft: that you're a perfectionist, that you take it very seriously. that you have no time for low standards. >> smith: you're trying to say that i'm... what everybody says. they always seem to think that i'm... i'm scary. and i understand that totally-- old people are scary. and i have to face it.
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i am old and i am scary and i'm very, very sorry about it, but i don't know what you do. >> kroft: i was concerned enough to ask somebody who had worked with you if he had any advice and he said, "don't let her smell your fear." >> smith: who said this? >> kroft: i can't tell you. >> smith: i insist upon knowing who this dreadful person was. >> kroft: well, it wasn't julian fellowes, the writer and creator of "downton abbey." he agrees that maggie can be difficult, but he says it's always about the work. >> julian fellowes: it's never about having a pink dressing room. you know, that's... that's not it at all. it's about whether or not the scene works. "is this the right prop? you're hurrying. that... that thing is wrong." for me, her bothering is worth attending to and listening to because she ends up with a better product. >> kroft: lady grantham in "downton abbey" is not the first role that fellowes created with maggie smith in mind >> smith: ooh, yummy.
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yummy, yummy, yummy. >> kroft: she was also the inspiration for the countess of trentham in "gosford park," a performance that earned her one of her six oscar nominations. >> fellowes: she has a style as an actress which is very, very rewarding for a writer. she's very dry. she has this strength, this kind of emotional strength, that is also underlying every laugh she gets. so if you write her a funny line, or you know a reasonably funny line, she'll make it very funny. >> smith: don't worry, your turn will come. >> will it? or am i just to be the maiden aunt? >> smith: don't be defeatist, dear. it's very middle class. >> kroft: how important is maggie smith to "downton abbey"? >> fellowes: maggie is probably the hardest one to replace, could we put it like that. she would be, i think, the greatest loss. >> kroft: don't worry, it's not in the script or on the story boards, and dame maggie has signed on for season four of
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"downton abbey," which is now filming. at 78 and a breast cancer survivor, she displays no appetite for slowing down. "quartet," her 53rd film, which is now in theaters, is about a retirement home for opera singers. guess who is the diva. >> smith: this is not a retirement home, this is a madhouse. >> kroft: it was directed by dustin hoffman, another strong- willed actor, in his first effort behind the camera. how did you get along? >> dustin hoffman: perfectly. i mean, she... she did what she should do. in the middle of a scene, she'd say, "i don't know what the 'bleep' this scene is about." and you know, strong and hard, and the whole crew goes like this. and i literally enjoy it when that happens. >> kroft: he got maggie smith to say a word that she had never uttered in more than 50 movies, and she delivered it with the authority of a dame commander of the british empire, which she is. >> smith: i'm going to say something very rude to you-- ( bleep ) you...
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and you. >> kroft: the f-bomb scene, she said that she's never said it in a movie before. >> hoffman: well, maggie, you certainly said it in life. ( laughter ) it's one of her favorite words in life. that's one of the main reasons i love her-- she's a sailor. >> kroft: hoffman and smith have become great friends, and she relaxed noticeably when he joined our interview-- two septuagenarians, still in the game. how are you dealing with the whole aging thing? >> smith: i don't like it at all, but then i don't know who does. noel coward, and i don't mean to name-drop. but he said, "the awful thing about getting old is that you have breakfast every half hour." and that's sort of what it is. i can't... i can't understand why everything has to go so fast.
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>> kroft: she has two sons from her first marriage to robert stevens, her co-star in "the prime of miss jean brodie," and both of them are successful actors who visit regularly. she remarried to playwright beverley cross, who was the love of her life. your second husband passed away. >> smith: some time ago now. >> kroft: is it lonely? >> smith: i don't know. it seems a bit pointless. >> kroft: what seems pointless? >> smith: going on on one's own and not having someone to share it with. >> kroft: but you have no interest in finding someone else? >> smith: absolutely not. i... no way. >> kroft: how many grandchildren? >> smith: five. >> kroft: can you deal with that? >> smith: yeah. >> kroft: you like it? >> smith: they're wonderful. they're wonderful. >> kroft: she lives very comfortably now, splitting time between her house in london and a place in the country, her only
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annoyances being a tricky hip and the unwanted celebrity of being a tv star. the seven "harry potter" films she appeared in provided her with what she calls her "pension," and a legacy with a new generation as professor mcgonagall, plus a decade of memories with her young co- stars. >> smith: potter, take weasley with you. he looks far too happy over there. it was extraordinary to see them grow up like that. ten years of their lives-- half their lives, that is, in fact. >> kroft: and you didn't change at all. >> smith: no, i just got meaner and meaner, and spikier and spikier. no, i didn't change at all. >> kroft: what do you look forward to? >> smith: i guess just... just to go on. >> kroft: well, there's season four. >> smith: there is indeed season four, but i mean, logically, violet must be about 100 and something now, so i don't know how long she's going to last. i really don't.
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>> kroft: julian says he's never going to kill her off. >> smith: and there'll be... have to be bath chairs and various things that they can push me around in. >> kroft: he said they'll send you to the seaside. they'll never kill you off. ( laughter ) >> smith: i think he'll have to. >> kroft: have you ever thought about retiring? >> smith: i think that the date for that has gone by. i fear that i won't work in the theater again. i'm sad about that. but i won't... won't retire. i think i'll keep going with violet and whatever other old biddy comes along. >> go to to hear maggie smith and the creator of "downton abbey" deconstruct her best scenes. change makes people nervous. but i see a world bursting with opportunity, with ideas, with ambition. i'm thinking about china, brazil, india. the world's a big place. i want to be a part of it.
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visit your sprint store or today. they have no idea what it was like before u-verse high speed internet. yeah, you couldn't just stream movies to a device like that. one time, i had to wait half a day to watch a movie. you watched movies?! i was lucky if i could watch a show. show?! man, i was happy to see a sneezing panda clip! trevor, have you eaten today? you sound a little grumpy. [ laughter ] [ male announcer ] connect all your wi-fi-enabled devices
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with u-verse high speed internet. rethink possible. >> i'm steve kroft. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes."
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captioning funded by cbs, and ford-- built for the road ahead. captioned by media access group at wgbh >> jeff: on your marks, get set, bake! ♪ ♪ we scoured the country for america's best amateur bakers and you won't believe where we found them. at a fire station. in a law office. even down on the farm. they're ready to show what they have got. ♪ >> ♪ light 'em up, up, up light 'em up, up, up >> chocolate explosion! >> jeff: welcome to "the american baking competition." i'm here to prove that guys and young guys, especially, can bake. that looks amazing. >> for me, baking is just not a hobby. it really is a craft. there's a science.