Great dames: Holland Taylor on Ann Richards

Taylor said that when Sheen's public behavior was so outrageous, "I was terrified for him. I really, I love Charlie. I was very, very, very frightened for him. And when he very much regained himself -- at least now, living a very different life - I was so happy and relieved."

Now, 70-year-old Taylor is devoting her full energy to "Ann," opening on Broadway this week. She spends hours transforming herself into the late Texas governor each night.

"I don't really look like her, but if I just change the eyebrow line and the lip line, it helps in some ineffable way," she said.

She says that most of the lines on stage are not direct quotes, but Taylor's interpretation of how Ann Richards saw the world -- a view which still rings true today.

"The government isn't 'they.' The government is you. It is me, it is us, and sometimes us, not at our very best. Public servants work for you. You have the power to call 'em out, and call 'em down."

And when the governor's daughter Cecile comes back stage after a preview performance, it is clear that Taylor has succeeded.

"For someone who never knew my mother, really, just in passing, I feel like she's just captured her spirit in an amazing way," Cecile Richards told Braver.

But Taylor's view is, this was a role she was meant to play.

"I wouldn't be so grand as to say a calling, but I do feel sort of like a vessel," she said. "You know, I serve at the pleasure of the governor. I gotta do whatever she wants."

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