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12 Perfectly Arranged Facts About Designing Women

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Determined to use television as a tool for social change, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason developed Designing Women partly with the purpose of creating a television series that featured intelligent women who were both sassy and sympathetic and who expressed differing views on women’s issues and other topics of discussion that came across her soapbox. Almost 30 years after its initial debut, here are some facts about the Emmy Award-winning series.

1. NONE OF THE LEAD ACTRESSES HAD TO AUDITION FOR THEIR ROLES.

When Linda Bloodworth-Thomason decided to create a show about four intelligent, sassy Southern women, she had Delta Burke, Dixie Carter, Jean Smart, and Annie Potts in mind from the start. She’d previously worked with Burke and Carter on a short-lived series called Filthy Rich, and Smart and Potts had guest-starred together on an episode of the Robert Wagner series Lime Street. Of the four, only Jean Smart was not a native Southerner; she was born and raised in Seattle.

2. ANTHONY BOUVIER WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE A REGULAR CHARACTER.

Anthony Bouvier was originally supposed to make a one-time appearance in the sixth episode of season one. The script for the episode wasn’t yet complete when Meshach Taylor auditioned, so instead he was instructed to improvise with the other cast members. The producers were so impressed with the chemistry between Taylor and the four female stars that Anthony became a recurring character, and then a series regular. Taylor was the first cast member to be nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on the show.

3. A LETTER-WRITING CAMPAIGN SAVED THE SHOW FROM CANCELLATION.

Midway through season one, CBS moved Designing Women from its Monday night time slot to Thursday, directly opposite NBC’s Night Court. The show plummeted to number 65 in the Nielsen ratings and was put on hiatus, which was network code for “this is close to being cancelled.” Executive producer Harry Thomason contacted a grassroots organization called Viewers for Quality Television (VQT) to enlist the assistance of their membership. A letter-writing campaign was launched, with viewers encouraged to write letters of protest to CBS president Bud Grant as well as to major TV journalists and critics. All told, CBS received an estimated 50,000 letters in support of Designing Women. The series’ stars appeared on an episode of Entertainment Tonight to discuss the campaign and encourage viewers to support them. Obviously, the strategy paid off; the show was not only renewed, it was also moved back to Monday nights.

4. DIXIE CARTER HAD SOME “DESIGN” WORK OF HER OWN DONE AFTER THE FIRST SEASON.

Dixie Carter was 47 years old when Designing Women debuted in 1986. Keen-eyed fans probably noticed a slight difference in Julia Sugarbaker’s appearance between seasons one and two. That’s because after Carter watched the screening of the pilot episode she thought, “If this turns out to be my first big success, after all these years of performing, I couldn't bear to be identified as ‘the older one.’”

5. SADLY, “KILLING ALL THE RIGHT PEOPLE” WAS BASED ON A REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCE.

The title of the Emmy-nominated season two episode was inspired by an actual quote series creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason overheard in a hospital corridor. In late 1986 her mother was dying of AIDS following a contaminated blood transfusion, and Thomason kept a vigil at her bedside while simultaneously writing the early scripts for Designing Women. She was indignant at the ignorance of many of the medical personnel (some nurses refused to touch the AIDS patients and instead placed their medication in a bucket and kicked it into their rooms) and it saddened her that so many of the patients were dying alone in their rooms with even family members afraid to get too close. She put pen to paper when she heard a woman in the hallway confiding to a companion, “If you ask me, this disease has one thing going for it. It’s killing all the right people.”

6. DIXIE CARTER FELT UNEASY DELIVERING MANY OF HER FAMOUS RANTS.

Julia Sugarbaker was a staunch liberal who never hesitated to launch into one of her trademark Terminator Tirades if someone got her dander up. Dixie Carter, however, was a registered Republican who sometimes felt a little uncomfortable with Julia’s politics. She reached a compromise with Harry and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason: for every instance where Julia was required to spout off on a Thomason pet topic, Carter (who’d had years of professional vocal training) would get to sing a song in a later episode.

7. ANNIE POTTS HAD TO HIDE HER PREGNANCY.

The actress was in a family way during season six but the producers decided that they didn't want her character, Mary Jo, to be a single mom. So Annie had to spend much of that season hidden behind furniture or oversized shirts. There was a brief attempt at a pregnancy plot—with Mary Jo longing for a baby and visiting a sperm bank—but the writers had already gone the motherhood route not too long before with Charlene. Besides, Murphy Brown (which aired in the time slot just prior to Designing Women on Monday nights) was raising all sorts of hackles with her impending maternity, and the Thomasons didn’t want to seem like they were hopping aboard the single motherhood bandwagon as an attempt to leech off of some of Candice Bergen’s publicity.

8. JULIA SUGARBAKER AND REESE WATSON WERE MARRIED IN REAL LIFE.

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Dixie Carter and Hal Holbrook were married in 1984, the third time down the aisle for both. He turned down the role of Julia’s beau, attorney Reese Watson, several times until Bloodworth-Thomason asked him, “Do you really want some other man making love to your wife on television?"

9. SUZANNE SUGARBAKER AND DASH GOFF WERE ALSO MARRIED … EVENTUALLY.

Gerald McRaney edged out John Ritter to win the role of Suzanne Sugarbaker’s first ex-husband, writer Dash Goff. There was an immediate attraction between the actors when they first met at a publicists’ lunch in 1987, which only strengthened when he was cast on the show. One scene called for the pair to kiss, and the two were inseparable afterward. They were married in 1989 in an elaborate ceremony in front of 400 guests, with Dixie Carter serving as Burke’s matron of honor.

10. CHARLENE AND BILL WERE NOT A REAL-LIFE COUPLE, BUT CHARLENE AND J.D. WERE.

Richard Gilliland was cast in a recurring role as Mary Jo’s boyfriend, J.D. Shackleford, in season one. But it was Jean Smart who sat across from Gilliland during the first table read and decided that she needed to get to know him better. “I asked Delta to find out if he was married,” Smart recalled to Ladies Home Journal in 1990. “Naturally, Delta walked up to him and blurted, ‘Jean wants to know if you're married.’” Smart invited him to her dressing room to help her with a crossword puzzle, and in June 1987 the couple tied the knot (in the garden of Hal Holbrook and Dixie Carter’s Brentwood home).

Even though they were now married in real life, on TV Gilliland was still paired with Annie Potts' Mary Jo, and Smart's Charlene eventually married Air Force Colonel Bill Stillfield (played by Douglas Barr). All four of the men appeared with their onscreen better halves in just one episode, season two’s “Reservations for Eight.”

11. DELTA BURKE CLAIMED THAT SHE WAS BEING TERRORIZED ON THE SET.

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In 1990, Delta Burke appeared on a Barbara Walters special without alerting the Designing Women producers. During the interview she stated that the set was not a happy one, and accused the Thomasons of “terrorizing” and “manipulating” her. She claimed that Harry Thomason once locked her and her co-stars in a room and screamed at them (no other cast member corroborated this story). She also expressed her sadness that her friend Dixie Carter had sided with the producers.

Burke started showing up late or not at all during season five and the cast was forced to learn two versions of each script—one with Suzanne, and one without Suzanne. At the end of the season, Harry Thomason asked the cast to vote on whether or not they’d like to continue working with Burke. The result of the vote was that Burke was released from her contract.

12. 227’S JACKÉE HARRY WAS CONSIDERED AS A REPLACEMENT FOR BURKE.

Season six started out with two new cast members, since Jean Smart had decided that she’d had enough of the sitcom format and work schedule and wanted to spend some time at home with her infant son. Julia Duffy (Newhart) was cast as Allison Sugarbaker and Jan Hooks (Saturday Night Live) was brought in as Charlene’s sister (and replacement) Carlene.

Bloodworth-Thomason stated to TV Guide at the time that, “There are only a handful of actresses who can pull off being whiny and petulant and self-centered and still be liked by the audience, and Julia Duffy has that quality.” Unfortunately, the writers tried too hard to make Allison different from Suzanne, and they never quite got the “likeable” part of her character down pat. Duffy’s contract was not renewed at the end of the season.

Jackée Harry made a guest appearance as Anthony’s fiancée in the season six cliffhanger finale, with the plan that her character would buy into Sugarbaker’s and become a series regular. But it was decided that her personality was too over-the-top and that idea was scrapped.

Additional sources:
Close-Ups: Conversations with Our TV Favorites by Eddie Lucas, Pub. by BearManor Media

Trying to Get to Heaven by Dixie Carter

Delta Style by Delta Burke

Entertainment Tonight Presents The Real Designing Women (2000 TV Special)
 
"Delta Burkes Escalates Was with Designing Women Brass on Weighty Issues," Baltimore Sun, November 14. 1990

"Burke at the Top, Trying to Change," Orlando Sentinel, August 2, 1990

"Delta Burke Bad-Mouths Bosses—Again," Sun Sentinel, November 14, 1990

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25 Fascinating Facts About Breaking Bad
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Ben Leuner/AMC

On January 10, 2008, Breaking Bad made its debut. Though it didn’t premiere to over-the-top ratings, over the course of five seasons, it morphed into a television phenomenon—thanks in large part to word of mouth and the increasing popularity of binge-watching. At its most basic level, it’s the story of a soft-spoken chemistry teacher who, after being diagnosed with lung cancer, risks everything he has worked for to make sure his family will be taken care of in the event of his death. But, like all great TV shows, the story is really not that simple. And it evolves over time, with each season somehow—and miraculously—managing to top the one before it.

Regularly cited as one of the greatest television series of all time (Rolling Stone ranked it number three on its list of the 100 best shows, right in between Mad Men and The Wire), here are 25 things you might not have known about Breaking Bad, in honor of its 10th anniversary.

1. LOTS OF NETWORKS PASSED ON IT, INCLUDING HBO.

In 2016, it was announced that Vince Gilligan is working on a limited series about Jim Jones for HBO. But the “It’s not TV” network wasn’t always so hot on Gilligan. In a 2011 interview, Gilligan shared that he pitched Breaking Bad to HBO, and that it was “the worst meeting I’ve ever had.”

"The trouble with Hollywood—movies and TV—is people will leave you dangling on the end of a meat hook for days or weeks or months on end,” Gilligan said. “That happened at HBO. Like the worst meeting I ever had … The woman we [were] pitching to could not have been less interested—not even in my story, but about whether I actually lived or died.”

HBO wasn’t the only network that ultimately said no to Walter White: Showtime, TNT, and FX all passed on Breaking Bad, too, for various reasons.

2. THE NETWORK REALLY WANTED MATTHEW BRODERICK TO STAR.

It’s impossible to imagine Breaking Bad with anyone other than Bryan Cranston in the lead role, but he wasn’t as well known when the series kicked off, and AMC wanted a star. They were particularly interested in casting either Matthew Broderick or John Cusack in the lead.

"We all still had the image of Bryan shaving his body in Malcolm in the Middle,” a former AMC executive told The Hollywood Reporter about their initial reluctance to cast Cranston. “We were like, 'Really? Isn't there anybody else?’” But Gilligan had worked with Cranston before, on an episode of The X-Files, and knew he had the chops to navigate the quirks of the part. The network brass watched the episode, and agreed.

"We needed somebody who could be dramatic and scary yet have an underlying humanity so when he dies, you felt sorry for him,” Gilligan said. “Bryan nailed it."

3. JESSE PINKMAN WASN’T SUPPOSED TO LIVE PAST SEASON ONE.

Aaron Paul in 'Breaking Bad'
Doug Hyun/AMC

While Breaking Bad ultimately ended up being largely about the tumultuous partnership between Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, Jesse wasn’t originally intended to be a major character. While it’s often stated that he was supposed to be killed off in episode nine, and that it was the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike that saved him, Gilligan set the record straight in 2013, saying it became clear much earlier than that that Jesse’s character—and his relationship to Walter—was integral to moving the show forward.

“The writers’ strike, in a sense, didn’t save him, because I knew by episode two—we all did, all of us, our wonderful directors and our wonderful producers,” Gilligan said. “Everybody knew just how good [Aaron Paul is], and a pleasure to work with, and it became pretty clear early on that that would be a huge, colossal mistake to kill off Jesse.”

When asked during a Reddit AMA about how he would have felt if Jesse had been killed off in season one, Paul posited that, “My career would be over. And I would be a sobbing mess watching week to week on Breaking Bad.”

4. THE WRITERS STRIKE DID CHANGE THE STORY ARC FOR SEASON ONE, WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE A GOOD THING.

The Writers Strike did end up shortening the show’s first season, which forced Gilligan to cut two episodes that would have seen Walter’s transformation into Heisenberg happen much more quickly—and violently. Gilligan was glad it worked out the way it did.

“We had plotted out all our episodes before the show ever went on the air, and we didn't know how well the show would be received,” Gilligan told Creative Screenwriting. “Not knowing how the public would take to it, you tend to want to be a little more sensational. You want to really keep the show exciting and interesting and keep 'em watching. All of that to say that those last two episodes, because of that, would have been really big episodes, and would have taken the characters into a hugely different realm than that they were already in, and it would have been a hard thing to come back from, coming into season two.”

“We're not just doing those two episodes coming into season two,” he added. “We threw those out completely and we're starting somewhere else. We're building more slowly than we otherwise would have built. I think that's really good, because I know we've all had our favorite shows that were really interesting up to a certain point, but maybe they just go too far, and then there's no going back from it. To me, the trick is to do as little as possible with the characters, and yet keep them as interesting as possible. It's a real balancing act.”

5. THE DEA HELPED OUT, AND EVEN TAUGHT BRYAN CRANSTON AND AARON PAUL HOW TO COOK METH.

Because of the subject matter, the show’s creators thought it was only right to inform the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) what they were making—and welcome their help. “We informed them—with all due respect and consideration—that we’re doing this show, and ‘Would you like to be a part of it in a consultancy in order to make sure that we get it right?’” Cranston told High Times. “They had the choice to say, ‘We don’t want anything to do with it.’ But they saw that it might be in their best interest to make sure that we do it correctly. So DEA chemists came onboard as consultants and taught Aaron Paul and me how to make crystal meth.”

6. THE SCIENCE IS SOUND, BUT NOT PERFECT. AND THAT WAS INTENTIONAL.

Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston on the set of 'Breaking Bad'
Doug Hyun/AMC

Dr. Donna Nelson, a chemistry professor at the University of Oklahoma, began serving as a science advisor on the show midway through the first season, and was tasked with making sure the show got its science right—or, at least as “right” as is safe.

“I don’t think there’s any popular show that gets it 100 percent right, but that’s not the goal,” Nelson told Mental Floss in 2013. “The goal is not to be a science education show; the goal is to be a popular show. And so there’s always going to be some creative license taken, because they want to make the show interesting.”

Of course—particularly with a show about drug-making—you don’t want to give viewers a primer on how to start their own meth empires. “In the case of Walter White, his trademark is the blue meth,” Nelson said. “In reality, it wouldn’t be blue; it would be colorless. But this isn’t a science education show. It’s a fantasy. And Vince Gilligan did a fantastic job of getting most of the science right. And I am just thrilled with that. I think Vince Gilligan is a genius, and you can quote me on that!”

7. THAT ICONIC BLUE METH IS ROCK CANDY.

Whenever you see Walter and Jesse’s signature blue meth, what you’re actually seeing is blue rock candy. More specifically: blue rock candy from The Candy Lady, a boutique candy store in Albuquerque. (They have a whole line of Breaking Bad-inspired treats, which they sell under The Bad Candy Lady line.)

8. GUS FRING’S ROLE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MUCH SMALLER.

Initially, Giancarlo Esposito wasn’t interested in taking on the role of Gus Fring, which was a much smaller part in the beginning. “I had not seen Breaking Bad, but my manager at the time told me it was his favorite show,” Esposito told TIME. “My wife said I should I try it, but it was a guest spot and I’ve done a lot of guest spots. I wanted to develop a character. But I did one episode and then I agreed to do two more with the caveat that I wanted to be part of a filmmaking family.”

When Gilligan offered him another seven episodes for season three, Esposito countered that he wanted a bigger role. “There was some negotiating and I ended up doing 12,” Esposito said. “I wanted to create a character who became intrinsic to the show. And at some point, I realized that I had slid into the Breaking Bad family. Vince told me that I changed the game and raised the bar for the show. And I’m proud of that, but I could only do that because of the depth of the writing and due to the chemistry between Bryan Cranston and myself. And their writing inspired me to think, to create someone who was polite, threatening and poignant.”

9. GIANCARLO ESPOSITO CHANNELED HIS INNER EDWARD JAMES OLMOS.

Giancarlo Esposito in 'Breaking Bad'
Ursula Coyote/AMC

In the mid-1980s, Giancarlo Esposito made a few guest appearances on Miami Vice. The experience clearly had an effect on him, as he used Edward James Olmos’s character from that series, Lieutenant Martin Castillo, as a model for Gus Fring.

“Eddie did very little and he was very convincing,” Esposito told the Toronto Sun. “I also thought he was a bit flat, but he did very, very little in playing [Castillo] and I thought it was really effective. Juxtaposed to Philip Michael [Thomas] and Don [Johnson], who were at times a bit full of themselves but were doing a little bit of acting, Eddie was just doing his job. And I wanted Gus to be in that mode."

10. GILLIGAN GOT SOME HELP FROM THE WALKING DEAD CREW FOR FRING’S FINAL EPISODE.

Fring’s final sendoff is one of the most memorable visual images from the entire series—and they were able to enlist the help of some true gore experts. “Indeed we did have great help from the prosthetic effects folks at The Walking Dead,” Gilligan told The New York Times. “And I want to give a shout-out to Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger, and KNB EFX, those two gentlemen and their company, because their shop did that effect. And then that was augmented by the visual effects work of a guy named Bill Powloski and his crew, who digitally married a three-dimensional sculpture that KNB EFX created with the reality of the film scene. So you can actually see into and through Gus’s head in that final reveal. It’s a combination of great makeup and great visual effects. And it took months to do."

11. YES, AARON PAUL DOES SAY “BITCH” A LOT—BUT PROBABLY NOT AS MUCH AS YOU THINK.

While any Jesse Pinkman impression ends with a “bitch,” by one calculation, Paul uses the word a total of 54 times throughout the series. Which, considering there are 62 episodes, seems a little on the low side.

12. PAUL RELEASED A “YO, BITCH” APP.

Aaron Paul in 'Breaking Bad'
AMC

Even if that above number seems underwhelming, Pinkman’s favorite add-on became so synonymous with Paul that, in 2014, the actor released an app called Yo, Bitch.

13. WALTER’S BOSS AT THE CAR WASH IS A CHEMIST IN REAL LIFE.

Marius Stan, who played Bogdan, Walter’s boss at the car wash, wasn’t a familiar face to many of the show’s viewers. That’s because the series was his (and his eyebrows’) acting debut. In real life, rather coincidentally, he has a PhD in chemistry and, according to a Reddit AMA, is a “Senior Computational Energy Scientist at Argonne National Lab—which is one of the national laboratories under the U.S. Dept. of Energy—and a Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago, the Computation Institute."

14. WALTER WHITE’S ALTER EGO IS A NOD TO A REAL PERSON.

Walter White’s drug kingpin alter ego, Heisenberg, is a nod to Werner Heisenberg, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who developed the principle of uncertainty.

15. HEISENBERG’S SIGNATURE HAT WAS A MATTER A PRACTICALITY. 

Bryan Cranston in 'Breaking Bad'
Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

Heisenberg’s porkpie hat came to identify Walter White’s dark side, but it originated from a very practical place. “Bryan kept asking me, after he shaved his head, ‘Can I have a hat?’ because his head was cold,” Kathleen Detoro, the show’s costume designer, explained. “So I would ask Vince and he kept saying no; Jesse wore the hats. Finally, Vince said, ‘I think there’s a place …’ It was Bryan asking for a hat, me asking Vince, and then Vince figuring out where in the story it makes sense: It’s when he really becomes Heisenberg.” (If you want to buy your own Heisenberg hat, it was made by Goorin.)

16. THE WHITES’ HOUSE HAS BECOME A TOURIST ATTRACTION—AND LOTS OF PIZZA HAS BEEN THROWN ON THE ROOF.

Though Walter White and his family live at 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, the home that you see in exterior shots is actually located at 3828 Piermont Drive NE, a private home in Albuquerque that has become a pretty major tourist attraction. Many fans, caught up in the excitement of seeing the home where Walter White managed to hurl the world’s largest pizza onto the roof in one swift move, have attempted to recreate that scene—leaving the home’s owner with a regular mess.

In 2015, Gilligan appealed to the show’s fan base to refrain from throwing pizza onto the home’s roof. “There is nothing original, or funny, or cool about throwing a pizza on this lady’s roof,” Gilligan said. “It’s been done before—you’re not the first.”

“And if I catch you doing it, I will hunt you down,” added Jonathan Banks, in true Mike Ehrmantraut fashion.

17. CRANSTON MANAGED TO GET THAT PIZZA THROW IN ONE TAKE.

Speaking of that infamous pizza scene: It really was Cranston who threw it, and he managed to do it in one take. Gilligan called it a “one-in-a-million shot.”

18. TUCO GAVE JESSE A CONCUSSION.

A fight scene between Jesse and Tuco (Raymond Cruz) turned serious when Cruz ended up accidentally knocking Paul unconscious. “Yeah, Raymond Cruz who played Tuco gave me a concussion during the episode ‘Grilled,’ where Tuco takes Walt and Jesse to his shack in the middle of nowhere where we meet the famous Uncle Tio,” Paul said in a Reddit AMA. “Tuco takes Jesse and he throws him through the screen door outside, and if you watch it back you'll notice that my head gets caught inside the wooden screen door and it flips me around and lands me on my stomach and the door splinters into a million pieces. Raymond just thought I was acting so he continued and kicked me in the side and picked me up over his shoulder and threw me against the house, but in reality I was pretty much unconscious ... I kept pleading to him, saying ‘stop.’ The next thing I know I guess I blacked out and I woke up to a flashlight in our eyes and it was our medic. And then I hopped up acting like nothing wrong, but it appeared like I was drunk, and I kept saying, ‘Let's finish the scene’ but then my eye started swelling shut so they took me to the hospital. Just another fun day on the set of Breaking Bad!”

19. JANE’S DEATH WAS THE HARDEST SCENE FOR PAUL TO SHOOT.

When asked about the hardest scene to shoot during a Reddit AMA, Paul said that it was Jane’s death. “I honestly think the hardest scene for me to do was when Jesse woke up and found Jane lying next to him dead,” Paul said. “Looking at Jane through Jesse's eyes that day was very hard and emotional for all of us. When that day was over, I couldn't be happier that it was over because I really, truly felt I was living those tortured moments with Jesse.”

The scene was hard on Cranston, too, who reportedly spent 15 minutes crying after filming was complete.

20. MIKE’S DEATH WAS HARD FOR EVERYONE.

Jonathan Banks in 'Breaking Bad'
Frank Ockenfels/AMC

When asked about filming his final scene, Jonathan Banks shared that, “The crew on the set that day all wore black armbands all day long. There are a lot of friends on that crew. It was an emotional day to say the least on set—a lot of tears. Tough day, brother.”

21. JESSE’S TEETH STILL BOTHER GILLIGAN.

When asked about whether he had any regrets about the show or any of its storylines, Gilligan admitted to one: "One thing that sort of troubled me, looking back over the entirety of the show: Jesse's teeth were a little too perfect. There were all the beatings he took, and, of course, he was using meth, which is brutal on your teeth. He'd probably have terrible teeth in real life."

22. WARREN BUFFET RESPECTS WALTER WHITE’S BUSINESS ACUMEN.

Warren Buffet was a fan of the series, and even showed up to its fifth season premiere. On the red carpet, he expressed admiration of Walter White’s entrepreneurship, calling him "a great businessman," and saying that, "he’s my guy if I ever have to go toe-to-toe with anyone."

23. THERE ARE 62 EPISODES IN TOTAL—A NUMBER THAT HAS A SPECIAL MEANING. 

The cast of 'Breaking Bad'
Frank Ockenfels/AMC

Over the course of five seasons, Breaking Bad produced a total of 62 episodes—which is no arbitrary number. The 62nd element on the periodic table is Samarium, which is used to treat a range of cancers, including lung cancer.

24. THE FINAL DEATH TOLL IS PRETTY IMPRESSIVE.

Though you may have underestimated the number of times Jesse uttered “bitch,” you might be surprised by how many people were killed throughout the show’s entire run: 270. (BuzzFeed created a thorough breakdown of some of the most memorable ones.)

25. IN 2016, A METH COOK NAMED WALTER WHITE WAS WANTED BY THE AUTHORITIES.

In 2016, a 55-year-old man named Walter White rose to the top of Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s most wanted list for manufacturing and selling meth. Though White wasn’t a teacher, there have been other real-life stories that mirrored Walter White’s descent into the criminal underworld: In 2012, a chemistry teacher named William Duncan was arrested for selling meth; in 2011, Irina Kristy, a 74-year-old math professor, was arrested for running a meth lab.

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7 Things You Might Not Know About Audrey Hepburn
Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Though she’ll always be known as the little-black-dress-wearing big-screen incarnation of Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, there’s probably a lot you don’t know about Audrey Hepburn, who passed away in Switzerland on January 20, 1993.

1. HER FIRST ROLE WAS IN AN EDUCATIONAL FILM.

Though 1948’s Dutch in Seven Lessons is classified as a “documentary” on IMDb, it’s really more of an educational travel film, in which Hepburn appears as an airline attendant. If you don’t speak Dutch, it might not make a whole lot of sense to you, but you can watch it above anyway.

2. GREGORY PECK WAS AFRAID SHE’D MAKE HIM LOOK LIKE A JERK.

Hepburn was an unknown actress when she was handed the starring role of Princess Ann opposite Gregory Peck in 1953’s Roman Holiday. As such, Peck was going to be the only star listed, with Hepburn relegated to a smaller font and an “introducing” credit. But Peck insisted, “You've got to change that because she'll be a big star and I'll look like a big jerk.” Hepburn ended up winning her first and only Oscar for the role (Peck wasn’t even nominated).

3. SHE’S AN EGOT.

In 1954, the same year she won the Oscar for Roman Holiday, Hepburn accepted a Tony Award for her title role in Ondine on Broadway. Hepburn is one of only 12 EGOTs, meaning that she has won all of the four major creative awards: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Unfortunately, the honor came to Hepburn posthumously; her 1994 Grammy for the children’s album Audrey Hepburn’s Enchanted Tales and her 1993 Emmy for Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn were both awarded following her passing in early 1993.

4. TRUMAN CAPOTE HATED HER AS HOLLY GOLIGHTLY.

Blake Edwards’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s may be one of the most iconic films in Hollywood history, but it’s a miracle that the film ever got made at all. Particularly if you listened to Truman Capote, who wrote the novella upon which it was based, and saw only one actress in the lead: Marilyn Monroe. When asked what he thought was wrong with the film, which downplayed the more tawdry aspects of the fact that Ms. Golightly makes her living as a call girl (Hepburn had told the producers, “I can’t play a hooker”), Capote replied, “Oh, God, just everything. It was the most miscast film I’ve ever seen. It made me want to throw up.”

5. HOLLY GOLIGHTLY’S LITTLE BLACK DRESS SOLD FOR NEARLY $1 MILLION.

Audrey Hepburn in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'
Keystone Features, Getty Images

In 2006, Christie’s auctioned off the iconic Givenchy-designed little black dress that Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s for a whopping $923,187 (pre-auction numbers estimated that it would go for between $98,800 and $138,320). It was a record-setting amount at the time, until Marilyn Monroe’s white “subway dress” from The Seven Year Itch sold for $5.6 million in 2006.

6. SHE SANG “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” TO JFK IN 1963.

One year after Marilyn Monroe’s sultry birthday serenade to John F. Kennedy in 1962, Hepburn paid a musical tribute to the President at a private party in 1963, on what would be his final birthday.

7. THERE’S A RARE TULIP NAMED AFTER HER.

Photo of Audrey Hepburn
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

In 1990, a rare white tulip hybrid was named after the actress and humanitarian, and dedicated to her at her family’s former estate in Holland.

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