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Nelson Mandela on TV, through the years

Nelson Mandela holds a key to the city

Nelson Mandela holds a key to the city during a 1990 visit to New York. (Jun. 20, 1990) (Credit: Jon Naso)

Nelson Mandela, who died yesterday at the age of 95, seemed like an indelible and welcome presence on our TV screens over the last two decades -- not quite omnipresent, but hardly invisible either. In fact...that's all a bit of an illusion: He didn't do all that many major TV interviews. I suppose this all comes under the heading of "He Had More Important Things To Do..."  But more important than TV! In fact, there are some politicians who don't make a beeline for the camera, and he was apparently one of them. 

  I've collected a few notable interviews here,however, from Oprah to Charlie Rose, and a couple in between. Of course, this is hardly conclusive -- far from it -- but this small tour does reveal a gracious screen presence who seemed to intuitively understand the two rules of interviews: 1.) Don't evade; 2.) say what's in your heart  (as long as what's in  your heart isn't loathsome, I suppose  --  then please hide it.) 

I've posted Charlie's full interview below -- please don't blame me, Charlie, but it's good; the world needs to see! Meanwhile, if you're a Newsday app-ster, please head on over to Newsday.com/tvzone. .

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