Elizabeth Ashley knows she’s the B-word — a “broad,” that is — and she’s happy with it.
“I’ve been called a lot of other things,” the Tony-winning actress laughingly told The Post at the Season 2 premiere of “Russian Doll” Monday at the Bowery Hotel.
“I’ve been around for so long, there’s probably nothing in anybody’s vocabulary that I have not been called at one time or another,” she added.
Ashley, 82, got her start on Broadway, starring in 1961’s “Take Her, She’s Mine,” and transitioned into film with movies such as 1964’s “The Carpetbaggers” and 1965’s “Ship of Fools.” She was a frequent guest on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and is probably recognized most for her role as Freida Evans in the 1990 to 1994 CBS sitcom “Evening Shade.”
When asked about what it was like toiling in Hollywood decades before the #MeToo movement and whether she had any pearls of wisdom for the younger generation, she was happy to reply.
“Darling, I have often said when questioned by the young actorettes, as I like to call us,” she said in her trademark throaty drawl. “You have to work like a horse, sweat like a dog and on occasion crawl like a snake and if you do your very best and you’re very lucky, you can skip the snake part and just substitute a really sharp stiletto heel. Got it? You may have to think it over.”
The Louisiana-raised actress — who was married to the late actor James Farentino and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” star George Peppard, with whom she had a son — is still working, once again playing Natasha Lyonne’s therapist, Ruth Brenner, in the new season of Netflix‘s “Russian Doll,” which premiered Wednesday.
As for her distinctive basso voice, Ashley laughed when asked about its origins.
“I’ve been smoking since I was 11, so I’m sure that has something to do with it,” she declared.