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Neil Johnson

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  1. Nelson tells a nice story, but logistically this would have been impossible. It would take weeks (if not months) to negotiate the hiring of an actress as popular as Louise Shaffer (was at that time) into a role. Plus, other actresses would have been at least considered, if not auditioned -- further slowing the casting process. Nelson makes it sound as if Shaffer was hired over-night, and was on camera the following day. Plus, soap opera actors criticize writers all the time, and they don't tend to be fired for it unless it affects their performance or the atmosphere in the studio (George Reinholt, for example). IF Maree was fired, it was probably because of some lame attempt to "youth-ify" the show by recasting Stephanie with an actress considerably younger AND more popular with youthful members of the audience. This recast most certainly took weeks to complete.
  2. Plus, both Rachel and Sharlene had been married to Russ.
  3. Another World never improved in the ratings after 1979. Never once got above number 9, whatever shenanigans they tried: Bringing back Steve and Alice; devoting a third of the cast to crime/mob stories; firing Beverly Penberthy; the comedy of Felicia and Wallingford; the return of Iris; beautiful huge sets courtesy of Jill Ferrin Phelps; Vicky Wydham as Justine, the Lumina plot; a gorilla in the final episode. Nothing raised the ratings. I wonder if anyone ever considered returning to class-conflict with a middle-class family as the core? Obviously not.
  4. Actually this episode is on Youtube. I watched it a couple of years ago. I don't know the original episode date, or how you would search for this particular episode, but it's there somewhere, if you're interested.
  5. Thank you for sharing! Maree has told this story before. It seems to be the only story she is willing to share about Mary. Nobody else from SFT will share even that much. Most of the time, when asked about Mary -- members of the cast respond with vague comments such as "Oh, dear Mary," or "Sweet Mary, what a joy." Nothing specific whatsoever. I have heard genuinely positive comments about Mary from members of the Guiding Light cast, but nothing more than vague comments from anyone connected with Search for Tomorrow.
  6. Believe it or not, the Chromokey scenes were one of the few things AW got right about Steve's return. Since the days when Agnes Nixon created Steve, he always had a house in St Croix. And between 1968 and 1975, Steve went to St Croix several times with Alice, and at least one time when he was married to Rachel. Each time, the beach beyond the terrace was shown with Chromakey. And when Mary Matthews died on this same St Croix terrace in 1975, it was done with the Chromakey horizon. Corrine Jacker got almost nothing accurate about Steve and Alice's history, but somebody in the studio (probably Paul Rauch) must have told her about Steve and Alice's romantic times at the old place in St Croix, and the Chromakey beach. So I can't complain about that.
  7. Can you tell us about Maree's anecdote about Mary? Maree is notoriously tight-lipped about Mary, so I'm excited to know what she shared.
  8. Hugh Marlowe was by far my favorite Jim Matthews. But Marlowe was a film actor who was obviously unprepared for the rigor of daytime television. He stammered and flubbed through his lines to the point of embarrassment at times. And his acting did not improve after Dwyer was fired. His blaming Virginia Dwyer for his problems remember lines was ridiculous. Still Marlowe had a great fatherly/grandfatherly presence on Another World, and I did enjoy him as Jim. Marlowe was sort of the "Jonathan Frid" of Another World. A very good actor who simply had a problem remembering his lines. And it was no ones fault other than his own.
  9. Actually, Mary was a strong archetypal soap matriarch in the mold of Nancy Hughes and Alice Horton -- from the beginning of the show, and up through the Cenedela years. The reason Mary is less remembered is Harding Lemay did not appreciate the matriarchal role on AW and began to diminish the character almost immediately upon his arrival at AW. First Lemay attempted to change Mary's motherly supportive nature into that of a meddling busy-body. When that didn't work, he brought back Aunt Liz and gave her all the traits he wanted his version of Mary to have, and then Mary's screen-time became minimal. She was often explained as out of town, or sneaking away to care for Missy and Ricky (without Liz knowing). As someone mentioned in an earlier post, many of Mary's scenes were, at the last minute, given to Ada or Liz, or occasionally even Helen Moore. It became ridiculous, especially for fans of the character, like myself. Lemay did not like writing for happy families, and despite all their personal problems, the Matthews family had always been fundamentally happy and loving (similar to ATWT's Hughes, DOOL's Hortons, and AMC's Martins). Lemay preferred writing the family as fundamentally flawed by making their mother (Mary) a thorn in everyone's side. Unsuccessful at that, he minimized then killed-off Mary, which threw-off the balance of the show for the final 25 years of its run.
  10. Totally agree. This was absolutely one of the most memorable scenes in AW's entire history. One of a handful I was lucky enough to view during the original airing. And yes, it was time for Alice to finally, finally, FINALLY kick Rachel's home-wrecking a$$. . . And Jacquie Courtney handled it with aplomb.
  11. Will he finally get somebody from SFT to talk openly about Mary Stuart?
  12. I can't imagine Mary Matthews and Lenore Curtain in the same universe as this garbage. My opinion only.
  13. I believe Tanquir was first described as a tropical island on AW, when the location was used in one of Cecile's capers (maybe 1984-ish?). Previous to that it had been a Middle-Eastern stand-in for Saudi Arabia on both AW and Texas. I don't remember Quint and Nola's version of Tanquir, because I wasn't watching GL at that time. In fact, this is the first time I've ever heard Tanquir was used on GL. No, it was not one head-writer going from show to show using Tanquir. William and Joyce Corrington were the head-writers of Texas when the location was first used on AW in the lead-up to Texas, so that was their creation. On GL, Doug Marland and Pam Long wrote for Quint and Nola, so either Marland or Long was responsible for Tanquir on GL. And I don't know who was writing AW, when Tanquir was part of Cecile's plot -- but it was not Marland, Long, or the Corringtons.
  14. Tanquir was originally used during a plot for the lead-up to the spin-off, Texas. It was a Middle-Eastern oil rich country in the desert -- sort of a fictionalized version of Saudi Arabia. After Texas premiered, the plot continued for a few months with characters in Houston interacting with characters in Tanquir. A few years later, the name Tanguir was used again on AW -- this time to describe a tropical island nation, nothing like the original version of Tanquir. It was used mostly for laughs, rather than a serious plot. It seems lazy writers just used a name they remembered from the past (Tanquir), but really created an entirely new fictional location. Too bad they weren't creative enough to think of a new name.
  15. Do they have many AW episodes pre-1979 on the Youtube channel?
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