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Justin Deas (Bucky): The Center Of Our Lives Is Our Work (1978)

Matthew and Sylvia greeted me enthusiastically as soon as I had climb three flights of stairs to their cozy Westside apartment. Never had I been so lavished with attention by two strangers, but their owner Justin Deas, says these two curly haired dogs crave attention.

Justin too, is warm, friendly, and hospitable and before long I was given coffee and bagels, and that adorable smile well-known by “Ryan's Hope” fans.

Justin said, “My wife, Jody, is out interviewing right now, and my daughter, Yvie, is at school – she's in the fourth grade. And while I'm making you coffee, I'd better make some for my friend Leonard, who's coming by any minute to bring over some fish he caught. It's whiting, ever had it?”

Then in came Leonard who laughed and told me, “ I can describe Justin's life in two words: deadly dull!”

After the fish exchange was made, Justin and I settled down to talk about his life in earnest. “ I was born on a cold wintry day in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, “ he says. “I lived all over the place because my father was a businessman and my parents like to travel. We lived in Mexico City ;Tehran, Iran; all over the United States. I went to college at William and Mary, then came to Juilliard, but it was unfeasible to stay. I was already married and it was expensive. I taught a couple acting classes at Florida State University, then I got my first professional job with the Aslo Repertory company down in Florida. It's a pretty good company.”

“I did that for a year, then I came to New York. I'm primarily a stage actor so that's primarily what I did ; dinner theater, stock, road tours, etc. Then I got this job.”

I wanted to hear more about Justin and Jody, especially after he casually said, “My wife was on the show, by the way, playing Delia's lawyer Ann Burney.”

“Jody and I met at William and Mary, “ he goes on to say, “ She was junior and I was a freshman. We did plays together. We just did a play together, in fact. Back then we did the 'Taming of the Shrew. She was Kate and I was Petrucchio. That's when we fell in love. We eloped when I was 18 and she was 20. We married in a barber shop! The justice of the peace was a barber. Then we had a fancy wedding a few months later.”

Since he was so young when he married, and had eloped on top of everything, I wondered if he met with any parental disapproval.”

Justin says, “ I told my father when I was on my way to the the hospital to get my tonsils out. It was pretty hard for him to overreact. No one said much. I'm sure they were shocked, but I was always doing things like that. Everyone hoped for the best.”

It seems there has to be a secret to their 10 years together in these times when divorce is so prevalent. It appears to be even harder for actors to stay happily married.

Justin claims it's because “ The center of out lives is out work. So that takes the pressure off of it. We don't have to fulfill everything, be everything each other. But I haven't been privy to too many marriages falling apart.”

And of course their eight-year-old daughter is a great delight. Yvette was born when Justin was only 20 and he says, “ We left it to chance. I don't want to talk about this much when Jody's not here. “ he laughs. “She might read it and say, 'Oh, no, is that what he thought?' If my mother read something she doesn't like, at least she's hundred miles away!”

Yvie was baptized in the same font that Pocahontas was baptized in, in Williamsburg. It's a great place to fall love and have a baby. Yvette's been on the show playing Mary as a child.”

This means the whole family has appeared on “Ryan's Hope!” But Justin continues, “I don't really want Yvie to be an actress. It's a very difficult profession, But she looks a lot like Kate Mulgrew which is why she's been on.”

“Ryan's Hope” is Justin's first soap, but not for lack of trying. He says. “ I had screen-tested for many soaps before. I had gotten right to the end, then didn't get them. With “Ryan's Hope” it was a better experience. Most of us are stage actors.”

At this point Jody bursts into the apartment. She was flushed with cold and looked beautiful and animated and – although a very different person from the tough divorce lawyer she had portrayed on” Ryan's Hope.” She sat down and explained how she did research for that roles. “I met several criminal lawyers. I went to the courts and soaked up the atmosphere. I stopped one of the women and asked for help and she got all excited and said, 'You even look like me.'

“ I went down there just hoping to become familiar with the legal terminology, but I left there all impressed by their dedication. They believe in what they're doing. I met some judges. They gave me the name of a woman divorce lawyer and she was a help. These lawyers are not beyond using any form of persuasion on the jury and the judge. The women lawyers will use their sex appeal, I'm told. They'll use anything they've got.”

Jody loves doing plays most of all, and appeared on one with Justin and another “Ryan's' Hope”cast member awhile ago. “We did 'Fantasies' at the Frick with Ilene Kristen (Delia) in Soho. It was a wonderful play. Before that I played a neurotic nymphomaniac in 'Porno Stars at Home' by the same playwright (who happens to be friend Leonard who brought the fish). There wasn't any nudity. It was about 5 porno stars at a birhtday party and they were stripped emotionally. “

It must be pretty hard for a young couple both trying to grow as actors and trying to do a good job raising a daughter at he same time. Jody says,” Actually, there are lots of advantages to having us both in this career. There's a lot of give and take.” Justin does a lot of laundry and does the dishes. We're both supportive of each other's careers.”

“But we take turns caring for Yvie, the other day I was walking her home from school and she said, ' Mommy, I think you really ought to spend more time with me.' I said 'Yvie, my career is what makes me very happy. If I were unhappy, I wouldn't be any fun to be with.”

“I have to hope she understand. We really have special times together, But it's tough for a kid in New York, It's so hard to arrange for the kids to play together. It's not like in the suburbs where I grew up,”

But Jody and Justin are both warm and loving, it's obvious they are terrific parents.

As we spent time taking pictures, they both clowned around a lot. They seem to bring fun into everything they do. As Jody kept saying throughout the session, "I've got to stop smiling in some of these pictures. It's a habit I have, I can't stop smiling."

It's contagious.

Story by Merrill Cherlin

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Ron Hale (Roger):I Met My Wife Under A Hood Of A Car (and found a great family too!)

TV Dawn to Dusk – June 1977

It's not easy to become an “instant father.” Parenthood is hard enough when you get to grow into the task as the baby is growing up. But when the family comes ready-made, the job may seem even tougher.

Ron Hale, however, takes it all in stride. He's said wholeheartedly: ”I've always loved kids. I fell in love with someone and I knew she had children. They were part of her – and I liked them immediately.” Ron lives on Staten Island with his wife, Dood, and this three step-children (from Dood's previous marriage) Erin, 15, Dana, 13, and Piper, 11.

The most exciting thing that's happened to Ron, outside Ryan's Hope – on which he plays rotten “Roger Coleridge”, is the family's house-hunting. “I've lived in apartments all my life,” Ron says, “and this will be an exciting major step for me. We've been looking north of th city, and we've found a place that is in the country, about 65 miles north of Manhattan. It's a 187 year old caretakers house, really kind of a dream house for us. It's the kind of thing we've alway wanted. There's well over an acre of land.”

“Whether or not we got it depended on the bank. Being an actor, of course, it's very difficult to get any kind of credit. It's very alarming, but I suppose I can see their point of view. It's like you're a second class citizen if you're an actor. You don't have any secure background. You can't give a bank your resume over the last 12 years and show then how much you've worked, how steady a person you are. They don't want to hear about it. They want to know how long you've been with said corporation and how much money you owe. They love it when you owe money. It shows you are reliable. It's kind of contradictory. But we owe nothing because I've always paid for everything in cash. But when our mortgage goes through, we'll be moving in at the end of June.”

Both husband and wife work (perhaps improving the before-mentioned creditworthiness) although Ron is the only performer in the family. “If we were both actors,” Ron points out, “ you'd have two people needing the same kind of things and we really couldn't give them to each other. Plus separation in this business - the constant serpentine – is bound to cause problems.” This is not to imply the “little woman” waits at home with feather duster in hand. “My lady is a very strong woman,” he says proudly, “ and I wouldn't have it any other way.”

Dood broke her leg last spring and has only been back to work for couple of months. “Right now she's managing an auto parts store. She's done various things, been a buyer for a major department store, run needlepoint shops - lots of everything.”

“She got into this project about 2 years ago. A friend of our owns probably the largest auto supply company and warehouse in Staten Island. He asked her to come design a store that would be more conducive for a woman to come into... not just a great-looking place where mechanics come day in and day out. There are more women buying auto parts for themselves and their husband. So she designed it and we worked together on the building. I did most of the carpentry. It's been a challenge for her, and I think she's done very well.”

As if anticipating a further question, Ron is happy to talk some more about his wife, explaining: “Dood is the

nickname she was given as a young girl and it stuck. It comes from 'doodlebug'. She used to race sports car. It's very strange too. In the beginning of our relationship everything fit in. When I was teenager, somebody asked me about what kind of girl I'd like to have, and I would say 'a gal who'd get under the car with me and change the transmission.' Basically, I was saying I wanted someone, of course , who would be be feminine and attractive. I wanted someone intelligent and with a good sense of humor. But I wanted someone who'd be be a little more interested in doing things and learning things other than what's the latest make-up. Or how to keep her fingernails from splitting and breaking. So at the beginning of our relationship I was amazed. Here was someone who had trophies for sports car racing. She also did a marvelous job in raising three kids alone. She's a super lady!”

Ron's hobbies consists mainly of sports and the whole family often joins in, “I've been active all my life, sports-wise, I played football all the way through high school and college. I fought in the Golden Gloves as a boxer in Chicago. I wrestled. I played soccer and taught my boys how to play. This last year I played in the Broadway softball league. I used to race cars. I raced motorcycles a little bit in high school and college.”

Ron has a basic philosophy in life, which is easy to tell he's passing on to his children. “Do unto others ,” he says, “Be yourself, whatever that may be. Strive to just treat people the way you'd want them to treat you. Just think of what the other person is thinking. This has carried me through a lot of hard times. I think we basically all want the same things out of life – someone to love, to be loved, to do what you want to do professionally, and to reap the benefits of those things. If you put a tremendous amount of yourself into your personal and professional life, you get back twofold what you put into them.”

Professionally, you should put 100% into it. If you fail, it doesn't hurt as much because you know you've put as much as you can into it. But, generally, if you put that much into it, it'll come back to you. The rewards are tremendous.”

Ron was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and went to Furman University in Greensville, South Carolina. His parents enthusiastically supported his decision to go into show business. “ My family's a very good one. They thought if that's what I wanted to try, then terrific. They just wanted me to put everything I have into it, and if I discovered it wasn't what I wanted, then I should go onto to something else. There was never any pressure in my life. I could be anything that I wanted to be.”

Ron extends the same privileges of freedom and responsibility to his step-children. “They take care of themselves, “ he comments. They haven't had babysitters in years. They are very self-sufficient, very mature for their ages. Since I've been doing Ryan's Hope, I've been home about four days a week. If my wife is working, I take care of the house. I do the cooking, which I love. And the kids pretty much take care of themselves. They don't have to be babied.”

We can go way for weekends, and sometimes they'll stay home. But 99% of the time, they go with us. If we're going skiing, the kids go with us because they love to ski, too. But if we want to go away for a three-day weekend, we just say 'OK, Kids!' And they get a kick out of that ,too. They all takes turns cooking and cleaning. They're very proud of themselves because they take care of everything. No problem is too big for them.”

What do the children think of having an actor in the family? “ I think they're like most actors' children. Very early, the bubble starts to burst. When I first got to know the kids, they were fascinated by it. But they spend a lot of chem backstage and reading scripts with me, and they know that it's 95% work. Acting is a profession, a trade. They know that there's really very little glamor involved. They don't go around bragging about me. Of course, all their friends know. But their friends also know me.”

When our daughter was about 12 or 13, a friend or ours said, 'Isn't it hard to live with Ron?' She said, 'When Ron is acting, he acts. When he's home, he's himself.' I was very proud of her. This something I've always believed in. I do what I do. When I'm acting, I'm creating a character. But when the curtain comes down, I don't carry it with me.”

And a good thing, too.

Dr. Roger Coleridge is a home wrecker (not to mention a gambler and a blackmailer, to boot!) but real-life Ron Hale is quite the family man!

Kris Metcalfe

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Ron Hale (Roger) : A Reformed City Boy (1978)

Can a city boy change his ways and find happiness in the country? Ron Hale (Roger Coleridge – Ryan's Hope's resident bad boy) he seems to thinks so. He and his family have moved from the cramped Manhattan streets to a new home in upstate New York.

How do the Hales' find country living? “The country has been marvelous – wonderful.” Ron bellowed happily. “We just love it to death. We moved into a 178 year old house that was originally a grist mill and then was converted into a carriage house. The house has been passed down for year and there's been lot of occupants since. But it is magnificent.”

Was the transition from city to the country a smooth one ?

“Well the first week I had to work on the show four days in a row. And I think it was quite an adjustment for the kids in the beginning- particularly with school. I think they were a little nervous about making new friends, but being the kids they are, there was no problem.”

Getting his wife Dood, and their three kids Erin, Dana, and Piper out into a countrified existence was always terribly important to Ron. And talking with him after his dream turned into a reality, he made the right decision.

“We've always wanted to live in the country. We love nature and there's mountains and woods. It's been a healthy thing for me especially – mostly because its like going through a decompression chamber after being on the show all day. The further north I go, the more trees I see. Then you get into the mountains. By the time I turn into my old dirt road, I leave everything behind me. I'm really home.”

And the emotional changes within have been positive as well.

“ I find I'm much more relaxed. For example, there's a lake with fish, and I'm a fisherman from way back. Last evening around sunset, Dood and I walked down to the lake and we stood there with martinis in hand while I started casting away. I threw the fish back in, but it was a soothing time for us – just being there – relaxing and looking out over the water.

“And the kids do the same thing. Last summer when we moved up during the horrible heat spell, the kids would be working hard for hours and then I would tell them to jump in the lake. They they came back refreshed to do more work.”

Obvious his exodus from the city to the country has worked wonders for him in his personal life, but I was very curious to find how he is taking the changes of his on-screen character. In the last number of months Roger Coleridge has gone from “never to be trusted” to “ aide-de-camp” to many of the shows characters.

“ I think that they felt it was time to show another side of Roger. I think it's a side that has always been there, but was never pointed up. He's able to care for people besides himself. His sisters needed his support. I think also at this stage of the game, Delia needs him a lot because everyone has given up on her and revealing that he can totally care about others – that he is not totally self-serving. But I hope it doesn't continue this way for much longer.”

Ron has always had a particular fondness for Roger-the- bad-guy and he's certainly played the part fiendishly well.

“ I think that it is nice for a change to be Mr. Nice Guy, but only in small doses. I'd much rather do things that make people say to themselves ”Is he really being nice or is it a ploy?” I've loved playing that.”

Another thing which seems particularly good is an upcoming fishing Ron talks about with glee.

“I'm going deep-sea fishing for the first time in my life. We're going to fish off Bimini and it's a dream I've had since I was a kid. I'll be in the Caribbean for eight to ten hours a day fighting the big fish and it's terribly exciting, It's just incredible to me to think about it! I'm going down with a friend and neighbor, Dr. Ken Pollack and his father-in-law,and we're just going to be fishing whole time. I'm bringing my camera and I'm going to shoot every possible thing that I can. It's just so hard for me to believe I'm actually going to do it.”

He also looks forward to quiet period of doing nothing more than puttering around his home.

“We'd like to spend as much time as possible working in and around the house, We have a lot of cosmetic work to do, It's beautiful place, but there has been so many other people living there that it is going o take a lot of work. So I'll be doing carpentry and Dood has been getting the garden going. She does wonderful things to the garden. She goes into the woods and gets wildflowers – she hardly buys anything – she utilizes what's around.”

He says earnestly, “It's a very good time in my life right now. I can't remember being happiness or more excited about personal things. It's very strange because every once in awhile I get a sense that something is going to happen and it usually does. Usually it has to do with work and comes out of the clear blue sky. It happen when I got Ryan's Hope and All the Presidents Men within months of each other. Prior to that I hadn't been doing that much – I'd been working - but not that heavily. This feeling has been going on for about three weeks now and I wish I could explain it – I wish I knew what it was.”

Whatever or not Ron's instincts prove to be correct, he does have a great sense of the here and now. He also has a feeling of what should develop in the future.

“ I think that what's happened for me on Ryan's Hope for the past three years has been a very positive thing. I don't foresee being with it for more than another two years tops. I'll have run the course with Roger by then. I think that giving yourself for five years to a project is maximum. I don't think that I would be doing that kind of work I'd like to be doing . I'd be cheating the character and I'd be cheating myself. So after that, who knows?”

It's full steam ahead for this happy reformed city boy.

-Ronni Ashcroft

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Bernard Barrow (1976)

Bernard Barrow Ph.D., former school mate of Paul Newman, former classmate of Marilyn Monroe, intends to become a barfly – in the interests of research, of course. Ever since creating the role of John Ryan on “Ryan's Hope”, Bernie, as he prefers to be called, has felt he ought to become more familiar with bar life. After all, the character he plays on “Ryan's Hope” is the owner of a bar and Bernie feels his life experience with bars is sorely lacking.

“I was born in New York City, in the Yorkville area, and grew up very middle class. There were many Irish bars in my neighborhood – along Third Avenue -- Clancy's O'Brien's , The Shamrock -- I always used to pass them on my way to school or to the park to play baseball. And I used to look through the windows and see shadowy interiors and dark wood walls and never dared go in, because you just didn't go into a bar. There was something mysterious about it – a forbidden land. It was just something no self-respecting middle-class kid did.”

“When I was in high school, even in college, I'd never go into bars. Of course, in the last twenty years or so, though I still didn't go into neighborhood bars, I began to think of them as a great tradition, as a place to go, I guess it happened because I began to meet a lot of different kinds of people – writers especially-- who adore bars. They have a lot of time on their hands, and actors do, too. A lot of time. Actors have favorite bars they hang out in even when they ore working. But, I was still never comfortable just sitting in a bar, and then getting cast as the proprietor of a bar....”

In addition to his role on “Ryan's Hope' Bernie teaches theater arts at Brooklyn College. Much of the faculty is composed of professional such as he and, “the students really appreciate and recognize our professionalism.”

He teaches twelve hours a week, four different classes of three hours each. Also once a year, he directs a play there, and then teaches one less class.

When asked how he manages all the work he does, he replied, “Knock wood, I do have an extraordinary amount of energy. As an actor there is a certain part of myself that I use, and there is different part that I employ as a teacher. We all like to be used a people. When I wasn't teaching for a couple of years, I found I was miserable-- even though at the time I was employed as an actor. I wasn't really fulfilled, My brain needs to be used, too.”

“My wife and I do have a chance to unwind on the weekends at our country house. I find I do a lot of physical work up there -- chopping wood and fixing things that need repairing.”

Bernie certainly seems to enjoy his life and appreciates all that he has and can do. When asked how he would describe himself, he said, ”I'm a private person. I used to be a turned-off person. Acting helped me get emotions out. I've always admired people who don't hide themselves from others. I'm still a little hidden, at the beginnings of relationships, but not as much as I used to be.”

“I like myself, I guess I'm really a happy person.”


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Thanks so much for these articles. She seemed to have a keen sense of what worked for her character. It sucks that she left because of lack of story, that they wouldn't use such a phenomenal actress, who carried a hell of a lot of unplayable stories.

The stuff where she talks about politicians and her aversion to them is very interesting.

I really miss Nancy. What a talent she was. She played two very different roles, Jill and Deborah, superbly.

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Helen Gallagher (1976)

“I was born in Brooklyn,” declares Helen Gallagher (Maeve Ryan on Ryan's Hope) “and raised in the Bronx with my brother. My father is long gone, but my mother is still alive – and if you've seen any pins on my the floor, it's because she makes all my clothes. Oh, I see one gleaming right now.” A laugh bubbles out.

“My husband used to say, 'Wait, I'll take my shoes off and I'll find them!' He and I have been separated four or five years now, but we are still legally married. That has nothing to do with religious conviction because we were married out of the Church. It's expensive to get divorce!” Another quick laugh.

The she turns suddenly serious.”I suppose it's a way of getting myself out of the market. There's no one else. And I want to discourage myself from getting married on impulse. I'm very impulsive. Besides, we may get back together. We've remained mutually concerned about one another, He's a stagehand, a 'number-one man.' That's union lingo for someone who can work in the New York area. I met him when I was in 'Pajama Game' (1954).”

The phone rings. Helen comes back after a short conversation “that was a student checking. I have to re-establish my teaching schedule now that I've finished my theater work I've been doing.”

“I teach performing in song.” she explains. “I'm not an acting teacher. The kids call it groups therapy in song. My work is my life. I don't have kids of my own so that's it. My problem isn't pupils. I get plenty of them. It's pianists – good ones that I'd want to work with. Do you know any?” she asks hungrily.

That phones rings again. “ I could be on the phone all day long,” she resumes, settling back into the chair. “Total stangers call and ask me about all sorts of things – recommending singing teachers. I don't have an answering service. I answer my own phone.” A laugh. “ but I have a lot of screening out to do. Kids call long-distance” she says with a certain delight. “they say, 'Is this Helen Gallagher?' I say 'Yes.” “the one on Ryan's Hope?” “Yes.” The I hear them squeal, 'I got her! It's her!' She laughs again.

I was always a shy kid. I could never get a long with people. As a result of that shyness, I think, I became asthmatic when I was fourteen. I'd done it to myself. And the thing that got me out of it was dancing.”

It is why Helen is always ready to answer when kids ask for help. “They can't talk to anyone who'd understand, so they try me. You know, children are raised in a way that make them conform to society for their own survival. Well, a certain amount of that is good. But then, conformities are put upon them that aren't necessary at all. Why must they be taught with such cruelty? Why are there so many humiliations that go along with teaching?”

“I love the business I'm in. I've had painful experiences but I wouldn't erase them. Some people say, 'Oh, soaps.' Turning up their noses. Or, 'Commercials? You want to do commercials?' Of course, I do, but I can't get them!” A quick laugh. “ If you can look like a human being and at the same time do what they want you to do, you get a gold star!”

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Kate Mulgrew (1976)

Twenty-one-year-old Kate Mulgrew came to New York at the tender age of seventeen...alone. At nineteen she landed a part to play the part of Mary Ryan in ABC's “Ryan's Hope.”

“I come from a very large family,” she explains “There were eight of us, and Mom and Dad. It was a very extraordinary life because it was not by any means normal, and very seldom healthy, if you can understand that. It was extremely Irish Catholic – raucous, loud, vital, devious, you'd better believe that right now. I'm giving you a clue to our true nature. Because of the religion which is overwhelming in out lives, and though I've abandoned that aspect of it, it still is, what shall I say...it's haunting. I was raised in a very spiritual manner. I was taught to believe in the soul and the heart, and the mind and the body were very secondary, if not unimportant”

“The love I have for my family is strange, powerful, extremely important and vital love. It's so close, it's crazy. I mean there is always somebody here with me. My sister just left; my brother was here the week before; my father was here the week before that; my mother was here for a month; next week somebody's coming. Its beautiful in a way, but in a way it's rather odd.”

Her reminiscing about her family apparently led her to thoughts about the death of her two younger sisters. She told me that one had died from a kindey disease as a baby, the other from a brain tumor at the age of thirteen. As she talked about Tess, her “favorite sister”, it is obvious that Tess's death had a profound effect on Kate Mulgrew and very likely altered kate's whole perception of life.

“You want to blame somebody, you want to blame something. You blame it on the fact that maybe she wanted to get out. I saw her deteriorate in front of my eyes. It was the brain tumor, the only kind that you can't help – a butterfly tumor. It envelops the brain and suffocates it.”

“It's the one real thing that ever happended to me. I could stand on a million stages. I could do a millions television programs. I could sleep with million men. I could do anything...but that's not real. What's real is when that love is gone and you don't know where the hell it went and you don't know why, because you loved.”

“When I came to New York, I learned or saw very quickly that this is a barnyard. Everything is very physical here, everything is of an earth quality. The transition was hard for me. You see I aspire toward a certain spirituality. There is a thing in me that wants to merely contemplate for the rest of my life, and pray. Sex is still a problem. I'll be uptight for the rest of my life. I'm quite sure. But I wouldn't even call it uptight. I find sex shallow. That's because I am an Irish Catholic girl. Had I been a man things would be different for me. You see I'm all for sexual promiscuity for men. I think that's where they come from, that's their drive and that's their attraction.”

I proceeded to ask her if she had any ongoing relationship. And she very politlely told me that it was none of my business. But she did say that she was”independent and single by nature.” She also pointed out that she was very young and that she anticipated great many changes in her attitude as she matured.

“I want to do something good. I don't know. You've got to give back what life gives you. Don't you think that is true?”

I responded with an “absolutely” and a bit of a smile, and she began to loosen up and get herelf back together again.

“ I mean, it's so extraordinary, everything is here. The gifts are just showered, one after another, upon your head until you feel like a princess.”

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Ilene Kristen: Delia Is Finally Minding Her own Business (1977)

Like Delia Reid Ryan, the character she plays on Ryan's Hope, Ilene Kristen has her own ambitions.

When Delia tries to rise above her shanty Irish background, Ilene dreams of a better New York. The ambitious actress at 25, has launched a new career as a director of a new theater complex on the lower East Side. Together with two partners, Ray Blanco, 21, a film distributor, and Nancy Newell, 29, one of the first women admitted to the Projectionist Guild. Ilene has opened the newly refurbished Gate Theater Center at Second Avenue and 10th Street and renamed it the Jean Renoir Theater.

Many friends and co-workers turned out for the first screening and opening party. Wishing her well and offering help with food and beverage, either tending the table, or eating, were Ron Hale ...( This is one of those sections that becomes too hard to read clearly. On the other pages there is a photo of Nancy Addison with her date, Howard Linker. Anohter one, Malcolm Groome with writer Steve Schafer. Another of Ilene and Paul Avila Mayer, and another of Kate Mulgrew with her date, Ben Levitt- Rachel)

Films are not the only thing planned. A “Music At Midnight” series is planned that will consist of live concerts. They also plan to open a book shop offering material related to the theater program and a Children's Hour, a weekend series of cartoons and feature films. Poetry readings, art exhibits and original plays will also be offered.

“There are really two main reasons,” Ilene explained for her venture .” If you don't put money back into the business, it won't get any better. The business has been very good to me. I've made good money - not great, great money, but money has never been important to me. Anyway, this project really didn't take much money, and secondly, I think I owe the business something.”

“My friend, and now one of my partners, Ray Blanco, worked in the drugstore right downstairs. I'd always notice a newspaper in the store named, White Arrow. I asked him who put the aper out and he said he did. He'd been reviewing foreign films since he was fifteen or sixteen years old. He took an interest in my career, too and we'd often sit and talk about the things we wanted to do in the future. He had booked a film into a theater on the West Side and it didn't sell. So, I told him that if he had his own theater he wouldn't have these worries.”

“He started looking for place and I told him I would give him my support if he did come up with one. A short time later he presented me with the Renoir Theater. He wanted me to determine if it was good for plays. By the way Ray also had his own film distribution company so he was very familiar with all the material.”

“I looked over the theater and met Nancy who had backed Ray's distribution company. She was the projectionist at the First Avenue Screening Room. Needless to say, she's a crackerjack at what she does. The three of us have different things to offer."

Edited by safe
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Dennis Jay Higgins ( Sam) (1976)

Day TV '76 Fall Annual

Just when a loving and stable relationship is achieved by Mary Ryan and Jack Fenelli, a tall, dark, and handsome Sam Crowell enters the picture to complicate matters. Sam is being played by newcomer, Dennis Jay Higgins and he is thrilled with his first experience on a daytime drama.

Dennis is originally from Oakland, California and comes from a family of five brothers, including his twin, Barry. The family once lived for 10 years in Sidney, Australia.

Because he feels most comfortable with people in the arts, most of his friends are actors. He values loyalty in a relationship and feels that possessiveness, as long as it doesn't get out of hand, is natural instinct when you care for someone.

Dennis, who is single, just moved to a new apartment on the Upper West Side. He and Kate Mulgrew frequently go swimming together on Saturdays...though Kate has a steady in real life too.

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Hannibal Penney Jr. (Clem) (1976)

Day TV '76 Fall Annual

Hannibal was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and is making his daytime debut as Dr. Clem Moultrie.

This talented young actor received his training at the Yale School of Drama and has a appeared in such films as “The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3 “, “Gordon's War”, “Live and Let Die”, and several TV commercials as well.

He has done much work in regional theater and was in the New York Shakespeare Festival.

Besides acting, Hannibal enjoys swimming, dancing, fishing, and motorcycling. He is 6'2” tall and weighs 180 and is single.

Michael Fairman (Nick Szabo) (1976)

Day TV '76 Fall Annual

Born in the Bronx, at Hunt's Point Hospital on February 24, 1934, Michael fell in love with acting while he was in the Air Force stationed in Tokyo, Japan. A buddy at the base asked him to help build sets for the community theater and then gave him a small part in the play which led to another and another.

After the service, he went back to college to study drama, and then did a lot of road shows as well as becoming a stand by for several Broadway show actors. He has appeared on “Love of Life”for one year before joining “Ryan's Hope” He is divorced and has one son Jeremy, 6 ½. He lives on the west side of Manhattan.

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Ed Evanko (Alex): Ed Evanko's Glad To Have Someone Special In His Life (1977)


The character of Dr. Alex McLean was originally introduced on Ryan's Hope as a possible love interest for the shows unhappily married heroine, Mary Ryan Fenelli.

But when Kate Mulgrew, the actress who plays Mary, became pregnant in real life, the writers decided to let Mary become pregnant, too – by her husband Jack – which kind of left Alex in the lurch. And so, Ed Evanko, who portrayed young Dr. McLean, was written out of the story in February.

Since Ryan's Hope, Ed has been keeping extremely busy doing a production of Showboat in Florida, appearing in Knickerbocker Holiday at New York's Town Hall in April, and auditioning for a role in the Broadway revival of The King and I starring Yul Brynner.

A talented Canadian of Ukrainian decent, Ed is also a very fine singer. In fact, he became famous during his stay on Ryan's Hope for singing on the set at 7 a.m. rehearsals. And from time to time, he travels around the country with the Koshetz Choir and Rusalka Dancers doing authentic Ukrainian music.

Ed was born in Winnipeg, where his family still lives. After earning an honors degree in English, he went to England for six years to attend the Old Vic Theater School in Bristol. These days, though, home for him is a bright, spacious West Side Manhattan apartment, which he not only decorated but cleans himself. He laughs when he's told he'll make someone a wonderful husband someday because the apartment is immaculate.

He keeps himself looking right by going to the gym and by keeping tabs on what he eats.

Displayed proudly on the desk in his bedroom is a photo of Andra Akers, who recently played Christine Addams on Mary Hartman.

Ed and Christine co-starred a while back in A Little Night Music. “We had a wonderful time on tour,” he says, conceding that she is a special lady in his life. “Touring is very different and strange and uprooting. You're in a state of future shock all the time, especially the way we did it- the long stays, three months, two months in different places.”

“You get an apartment or hotel suite and you get settled in, but at the end of three months or whatever you have to move your whole life. It's like moving six, seven times a year, and it's hard going. So we were saying how grateful we were that we had each other as something that was constant in this year of change.”

But Ed is non-committal about their future together, especially since she's in Los Angeles while he is in New York.

“ I think marriage is very hard in this business, I really do. We travel so much. I suppose it is not easy in any business. You have to work hard at it and even sometimes work doesn't make it happen. I've been exposed to a lot of marriages – my four sisters are happily married and have families – so I'm very aware of families and children. I do love children - I think they're really wonderful.”

“I've been very fortunate. If marriage hasn't happened, I have a lot of wonderful friends.”

Right now, Ed has his fingers crossed that he'll get a chance to sing on Broadway in The King and I. “If it transpires,” he promises us, “ I'll be sure to let you know. Perhaps the readers of Daytime TV would be interested to know that Dr. Alex is alive and well and singing his heart out in Siam.”

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Kate was only 19!?

Dood, that's an interesting name. She's glad she wasn't born a Gen X or Y'er, though I'm sure she didn't exactly go unscathed.

I had the same reaction but apparently Dood was just a childhood nickname she carried on with.

Kate always seemed older than her age onscreen. I guess the voice helped. She seems very conflicted and tortured in that interview -- and not too long after that is when she got pregnant and gave the child up for adoption.

The interview with Justin Deas fascinates me, partially because of what was to come -- knowing he met another wife through their acting work together, and then all that about a happy marriage and so many divorces today, I wonder if they would look back at that and kind of wince a bit. I didn't know his wife played on the show, or his daughter. If RH had tried to write for Bucky I wonder if Justin would have stayed.

Roger never really did go back to the heel he was in the show's first few years. Instead he just kind of became a judgmental scold/shoulder to lean on who sometimes told a joke. Interesting to see him say he might leave in five years. I guess he realized there wasn't a lot else out there.

I love the interview with Helen Gallagher. She really does seem different from Maeve, which we've heard before.

Sam Crowell was one of the many spoilers for Jack/Mary who went nowhere. He <gasp> was a dope dealer! I don't even remember if he had an exit.

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I liked the Helen interview too, that's a trip about people just ringing up her listed number and her answering like that. :lol:

Wait, Michael Fairman, that's not... :unsure:

Edited by SFK
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[Jack Fenelli or Michael Levin?

March 1978

Jack Fenelli is tough, street-wise, abrasive, and cynical. So is Michael Levin. Jack was also rotten to his wife and furious about having a child. Michael is very different – he's happily married and crazy about kids.

Michael is warm and friendly. He does things like build little men out of fruit when we pass an outdoor fruit stand, and he teases little old ladies walking past us on the street.

He lives in the suburbs of New York because the schools are good and it's a good environment for his kids to grow up in. He doesn't want them to grow up in Manhattan to become future Jack Fenelli's.

Unlike the Italian Catholic Jack, Michael is Jewish, and says,” I grew up in Minneapolis, in a rapidly moving Jewish ghetto. It was right when everyone was moving out to the suburbs. I started out in a northtside community that was tough, then moved to a sweet little suburb.”

“Minneapolis is where most of my family is. I have two brothers, one older, one younger. My mother is still there, my father is dead. I decided to become an actor because I didn't want to work. I was totally naive about the whole thing. I'd never acted in my life, I thought it was sissy stuff. I used to fight and play baseball. I was going to go into writing and work in advertising.”

“I went to the University of Minnesota and was in the Navy. I guess I went into acting because of my Aunt Frances. She was in New York and was secretary to the vice-president at Universal Pictures. After my junior year of college I wanted to get out of advertising and I came to New York to see some girl, a stewardess, I think. I met the casting director at at Universal and he said go back and finish one more year of school, then come back, and I could be an actor.”

Michael laughs as he thinks back to his incredible innocence regarding acting and what it takes to be successful. “I went back to school,” he continues, “where they thought I was a diamond in the rough. They put me into a couple of major productions at the University of Minnesota. I didn't know what I was doing.”

“Then I wrote to Universal and said I was ready for my screen test. I went to Hollywood to be tested at Universal. I was sure I'd be a movie star. It must have been some sort of emotional need. Everyone thought I was nut-s. But they also thought I was a serious actor from New York. They were waiting for great parts to come up for me.”

“Eventually they told me to call the casting director at the studio. I wanted a contract, which I thought I'd get. But I didn't want to work! The guy said, 'Well, we'll let you know if we can give you anything. Bye!' And hung up the phone. It took me ten minutes to realize it was over. I started reading trade papers to learn how to be an actor. Finally got a part in a play in a little theater in Hollywood. A reviewer said it was the most unfunny comedy she'd ever see. "

"Then I was in a sexy French play, which eventually fell apart. But I met someone who got me a part in something called 'Wire Service' on TV. It was just a bit part but it allowed me to join the Screen Actors Guild.”

“I have to tell you something funny. I was in an acting class for a few months, and Robert Vaughn, Jack Nicholson, Sally Kellerman, Robert Blake, Sheree North, Ann Francis, Barrie Chase, and Leonard Nimoy were all in that class! Nicholson and Kellerman had never acted before. Blake had been a child star, but was then in the dumperoos.”

“Finally I left Hollywood and went to New York which I found very bleak. I got very unhappy. I could never do things through contacts and parties. I'd look in the showbiz papers for jobs. I got summer stock, finally.”

“Then I got a McKnight Fellowship in 1962 to work at the new Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. All kinds of big stars were there then. The rest of what I'd been doing was sheer nonsense – that's when it really began. I had learned a lot from everything, but I was never serious. So now I became a very serious actor. I did all kinds of classical parts, I found that I could act. I did original plays. It was very exciting.'

Michael is extremely reticent when it comes to talking about his personal life, but he briefly told us, “ I met my first wife in Hollywood, then wherever I went after that we either went together or corresponded. We had a son, Jason, who, is now 15 and who lives in California. I have a steps-son, Scotty, who's 16, and a son from my present marriage, Aaron, who is 11. My wife's name is Elizabeth.”

“In 1965, I came to New York, “ he continues, “ and immediately got a good part in a Broadway play 'Royal Hunt of the Sun' with David Carradine. Then I messed up my career pretty badly. It was basically fear. I'd get into fights. “I quite 'Royal hunt' to do an off-Broadway play written by a friend. Finally, I found myself without a career. I was always in fights.” The resemblance to the character he plays in “Ryan's' Hope” inevitably come to mind as Michael describes what he was like then.

“There were very bad times for a couple of years, “ he goes on to say. “I did some plays.”

“Then I did my first commercial. It was the first time I was cast as an Italian. I did the commercial for Atlanta Airlines, as the spokesman and went to Italy for two weeks. Two months after that coincidental, I was offered the part of Jack Fenelli, and a role on another soap as an Italian”

“Michael Fairman, who plays Nick Szabo, on “Ryan's Hope” had recommended me for the part. It was a week before shooting and they still hadn't found a Seneca Beaulac or a Jack Fenelli. Michael Fairman told them about me and they called me and I got the job right away. It was a brand new soap, which was very exciting. It's been terrific. It's the first show with a lot of ethnic types. We've been very successful. I feel we're the most innovative and dynamic soap on the air. The writers are among the best, if not the best.”

“ But the question is can we push for quality or will we fall into the usual soap stuff? We're still on the battleground. I think the viewers will take more. Trapping characters in storyline events that can't get out of can be exciting.”

Michael says he plans to stay on the show quite awhile, and he has no desire to quit, which makes his fans happy. He adds ,” I'm surprised - thought I'd be bored after 2 years, but I'm not. It's exciting – the success of the show and the possibilities. The Mary and Jack relationship was loaded with dramatically valid problems.”

“The biggest reason for the success of “Ryan's' Hope' is the writers, who also happen to be the producer. Andy Robinson, who plays Frank, has done lost of stage work, but after his first day on the set, he staggered back to his dressing room and said, ' Wow, this is hard!' Claire and Paul took a lot of chances. They cast a lot of people who are not standard-looking soap types.”

“ I'd much rather do a soap that has a chance of being a good soap than do Shakespeare if it isn't going to be as good as Shakespeare.”'

Going back to the subject of the similarities to Jack Fenelli, Michael says, “Jack's history, background, life are completely different from mine. His psychological make-up, though is very much like mine. I'm not nearly as aggressive, not nearly as frightened of families and children, and so forth. But his feeling of being a victim, fighting for everything he's gonna get, seeing the world in very cynical way, hating the good-goody atmosphere of the family gang, his insecurity, I share them all. That feeling that you have to do it all alone, and be sure of everything you do -I share it.”

“I find his aggression difficult. His denial of kids , I find difficult. It's not that he doesn't like kids, he loves them, he just doesn't want the responsibility. I'm not as aggressive and driven, but otherwise, were on the same track. I would like the writers to add more humor, however.”

“One of the most difficult things for me as a professional, whether it's as an actor, writer, or whatever, is consistency.”

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