Entertainment Tonight "KAZAAM" 1996
MARK STEINES ("ET" Co-host): Well, the man who directed Shaq's movie is Paul Michael Glaser. You know him as Starsky in the hit TV series "Starsky & Hutch," but he's since become an accomplished TV and movie director. Life was wonderful, then, you may remember, it all came crashing down. His wife Elizabeth contracted AIDS through a transfusion, and his two kids were infected as well. His wife and daughter died. Well, now Paul is turning that tragedy into a lesson about life, and he shares his powerful story tonight with "ET's" Jann.
PAUL MICHAEL GLASER: I go on. I move on. I open my heart. That awfully painful and difficult journey was a.....was a gift.
Jann: There are few people who could survive the tragedy that Paul Michael Glaser has and describe the experience as a gift. Yet, he does. Despite the loss of his daughter to AIDS and the specter of losing his HIV-positive son, it's the memory of his wife Elizabeth and how she lived that most keeps Paul looking forward.
PAUL: The tragedy met with its match in Elizabeth , because she did what she had to do, she did what she thought she could do. And she even pursued things she thought she couldn't do, and that's what she was about.
ELIZABETH and PAUL: (clip from a June 6, 1994 interview) When you're struggling, you learn to appreciate each day even more than you could have imagined you would appreciate it before.
Jann: What Elizabeth did was become the voice for pediatric AIDS. Even as she was being ravaged by the disease, Elizabeth worked tirelessly on behalf of the children who had and would become infected. And this Sunday her work lives on as the Pediatric AIDS Foundation she co-founded holds its seventh annual picnic.
PAUL: We're celebrating her, we're celebrating everyone's ability to partake in an event where you can feel positive and feel good about your ability to make the world a better place for your children.
Jann: And it's Paul and Elizabeth's son Jake who, despite being HIV-positive since birth, is healthy and fills his father's life with joy.
Jann How is Jake doing?
PAUL: He's just wonderful.
Jann: That's great.
PAUL: He's great. Thank God. He's doing really well. He's holding his own medically. He's a remarkable boy-a remarkable boy. I'm very proud of him.
(Footage shown of PAUL directing on the set of "Kazaam")
Jann: Paul says one other thing that's helped him move on is work. He began directing chores on a new film with NBA star Shaquille O'Neal just months after Elizabeth 's passing.
PAUL: It was very meaningful to me because, you know, I was-for me it was about my heart-about finding my heart. And I had a great time doing it.
Jann: What do you mean it was about finding your heart?
PAUL: Well, when you lose someone-when you lose someone. When I-you know, I had lost Elizabeth two months ago-two months previous.
PAUL: And so I was looking for myself.
Jann: Paul Michael Glaser has found himself again. And though his own journey may be only partly over, he credits many of the lessons learned to a teacher still very much alive in his heart.
PAUL: The important journey here is to understand that we're not victims and that there's an opportunity to be had here. However painful, however scary, however difficult, however frightening, however uncomfortable, there's an opportunity here.
Jann: That movie Paul directed starring NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal comes out July 17th. It's called "Kazaam."
transcripts by Pam