1980s Icon Cast In New Ryan Murphy Show

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Molly Ringwald is joining the cast of Ryan Murphy’s Feud: Capote’s Women and will play Joanne Carson, wife of Johnny Carson.

By Mark McKee
| Published

Anthology series have become much more popular nowadays thanks to the success of American Horror StoryTrue DetectiveBlack Mirror, and American Crime Story. The approach that each season is a different storyline with different actors and nothing connecting them keeps the audience engaged by avoiding story fatigue or the need for fillers. One of the newer Anthology series, Feud, has cast 80s icon for the second season now that Deadline reports Molly Ringwald has signed on to appear. 

The second season, now featuring Molly Ringwald, will be titled Feud: Capote’s Women and will follow the last years of the troubled author’s life and the eventual publishing of his roman à clef (real people appear under different names) novel, “La Côte Basque 1965.” The book stabbed many of his swans (the name he gave to his inner circle of female Hollywood elites) in the back, including Babe Paley, Slim Kieth, Pamela Churchill Harriman, Lee Radziwill, Gloria Guinness, and CZ Guest.

Molly Ringwald joins an already stellar cast that includes Tom Hollander, Naomi Watts, Calista Flockhart, Diane Lane, Chloë Sevigny, and Demi Moore hovering nearby for a part. 

Molly Ringwald will play Joanne Carson, Johnny Carson’s second wife and good friend of Truman Capote, who remained close with him until his death. She was married to the king of late-night hosts from 1963 to 1972 and spent much of that time arguing with Carson; as she said in later interviews, they were both opinionated with tempers.

After the divorce, she returned to California, where she eventually became one of Capote’s “Swans” and even kept a writing room in her house for the author. They were so close that that writing room is where Capote passed away on August 25, 1984, at the age of 59. 

The series was created by Ryan Murphy, who made a name for himself with Fox’s Nip/TuckGleeScream QueensEat, Pray, Love, and American Horror Story; Feud is his third anthology series and his second focussing on real-life events. American Crime Story has focused on such events as the trial of OJ Simpson, the murder of Gianni Versace, and the impeachment of Bill ClintonFued focuses on conflicts between real people.

Feud: Capote’s Women will serve as a reunion between Murphy and Molly Ringwald as she plays Shari Dahmer, the stepmother of notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, in Murphy’s Netflix original series, Dahmer

Season one of Feud was subtitled Bette and Joan as it chronicled the backstage conflict between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford on the set of their 1962 film, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? The two leading ladies (Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lang) received significant praise for their performances.

It landed a 91% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes for its delve into 60s-era Hollywood that included portrayals of such stars as Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra, and Patty Duke. However, not everyone loved the series as actress Olivia De Havilland filed a lawsuit for misrepresenting her and using her likeness without her permission, which the courts dismissed, stating no one can “own history.”