Blue–blooded Broadway Royalty

As well as a five-decade stage career, Len Cariou's work has included film and television. In addition to the film adaptation of A Little Night Music his feature film credits have included About Schmidt, The Four Seasons, Flags of our Fathers, Thirteen Days and One Man, which won him a Genie Award. He was Emmy nominated for television film Into the Storm.

The television series in which Cariou has appeared are many and varied. Amongst them are The West Wing, Star Trek: Voyager, Damages, Law and Order and playing Michael Hagarty alongside Sweeney Todd co–star Angela Lansbury in Murder, She Wrote.

Currently Cariou is playing Henry Reagan in CBS–TV drama Blue Bloods (aired here on Sky). It concerns a family of law enforcers with Henry the retired NYPD police commissioner, a position his son and father of three played by Tom Selleck (Cariou's junior by only five years) now holds.

Blue Bloods is a character–driven rather than procedure–driven cop series from the team associated with mobster family drama The Sopranos (Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green). In its third season it is shot on location in New York and features a multi–generational full Reagan family dinner at the end of every episode, something to which Cariou attributes some of the show's huge success:

"We've just finished our current year, and we've been renewed. It's a very big hit in the United States, it's in the top twenty shows.

"It's a different kind of cop show in that we're looking at different generations of New York cops and every Sunday we meet at our home and have Sunday dinner together and talk about what's gone on and I think that it's captured people's imagination because they can all relate to it. They're a Catholic family, grace is said before dinner, and I think that appeals to a lot of people."

With the fourth series starting filming in July his break hasn’t got long to run but Cariou plans to take his cabaret show to Vermont; as to the longer term future he would like to direct again—Shakespeare or something completely new—and what about writing, what about an autobiography?

Cariou looks at me with a smile: "My wife is getting after me to do that, and I'm hearing it from other people too but I think that maybe she is telling them to say that!" He laughs, "I guess I might."

The Night of 1000 Stars takes place at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on Sunday 5 May. The charity benefiting from the event is Gloria Hunniford’s cancer support charity, The Caron Keating Foundation.