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That Hannibal Penney interview is kind of awkward :lol: The interviewer was scared to offend him in any way.

I think it's kinda sad...he said he trust the writers to give him a story somewhere down the line, and I don't think he ever got one. Too bad, because he would have been a very gorgeous leading man.

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No he never did get one. He appeared less and less until finally he stopped appearing -- probably only about six months after this interview. He didn't even get a last scene. I believe someone said, "He went to Arizona," or something. It's a shame because he was a good actor. And aside from Nell Carter's brief run that was it for black characters for almost a decade.

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This is interesting. From the August 76 SOD.

NEW YORK NEWS

Joyce Becker

In case you're wondering why you haven't seen Malcolm Groome (Dr. Pat Ryan) of "Ryan's Hope" gracing the pages of some of your favorite magazines, it's because he has decided to curtail giving interviews and taking pictures for the mags. Seems that Malcolm is in a bit of a fit because his part on "Ryan's Hope" has been cut rather than increased.

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Normally, Kim grates on me, but the scenes where she keeps referring to her baby as "Senachael" are hilarious. laugh.gif It probably helps that I can't stand Seneca (SP?) and think Kim is giving him everything he deserves right now. What 50 something marries an 18 year old and doesn't expect to play daddy? Surely not one who passed his psych rotation in med school.

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Normally, Kim grates on me, but the scenes where she keeps referring to her baby as "Senachael" are hilarious. laugh.gif It probably helps that I can't stand Seneca (SP?) and think Kim is giving him everything he deserves right now. What 50 something marries an 18 year old and doesn't expect to play daddy? Surely not one who passed his psych rotation in med school.

Seneca does get what he deserves but I just hate how he and Rae were both trashed as characters for this twit. Even then I might be able to tolerate her more if every scene where she is there or where she is mentioned has to revolve around how she was abandoned and boo hoo. I think Seneca in some sick way did look on her as someone he could be a father figure too, but he didn't understand how poisonous she was, he just thought he was saving her from Rae or whatever.

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From the 9/6/82 SOD, a photo of a story which isn't on Soapnet or the Youtube episodes -- the aborted wedding of Roger Coleridge and EJ Ryan.

08-30-2010045142AM.jpg

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9/25/81 SOD.

CRITIC'S CORNER

In recent weeks, viewers of Ryan's Hope have been treated to some memorable scenes featuring Louise Shaffer and Kelli Maroney. As mother, Rae (Shaffer) valiantly tries to defend her daughter Kim's (Maroney) complicity in the murder of their lover, Michael Pavel, the chemistry between the two actresses has never been more electric. In her portrayal of Kim's fiercely loving mother, Shaffer displays her remarkable range as an actress, as first soothing and protecting her naughty child and then striking like a lioness at anyone who dared threaten Kim.

Similarly, Kelli Maroney deftly exudes that intricate melange of child-like vulnerability and grown-up self-interest that makes Kim both a complicated and compelling character.

Moreover, these scenes have been so astutely written as to bring out all the subtle complexities inherent in what must be the most baffling and most intimate of human relationships: between mother and daughter, an unsevered cord.

J.C.

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Similarly, Kelli Maroney deftly exudes that intricate melange of child-like vulnerability and grown-up self-interest that makes Kim both a complicated and compelling character.

Umm no. She's an annoying little twit. I do think the character's on Ryan's Hope put today's poorly constructed characters to absolute shame, but Kim was always too annoying to me. That voice! The whining, screaming and wailing is just too much for me.

The brings me to Jack, who I think might be the most well written character to even grace a soap. There are times when I've wanted to wring his neck, but his development is so touching. Even when I don't much like him, I have to root for him.

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I agree with you on both, although Kim seemed to be quite popular in her initial run, enough to grace the cover of People anyway (with Andrea Evans and Genie Francis).

Jack's a fascinating character. I know he can be loud and annoying and self-righteous, yes, but he has a big heart, and the show doesn't let us forget that, especially in his relationship with Maeve. I'm glad that ABC did not feel the need to put him out to pasture once they started trying to make the show over in the 80s.

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I agree with you on both, although Kim seemed to be quite popular in her initial run, enough to grace the cover of People anyway (with Andrea Evans and Genie Francis).

Jack's a fascinating character. I know he can be loud and annoying and self-righteous, yes, but he has a big heart, and the show doesn't let us forget that, especially in his relationship with Maeve. I'm glad that ABC did not feel the need to put him out to pasture once they started trying to make the show over in the 80s.

Really? I find that shocking, although she was very pretty. Maybe people could relate to her on some level as an abandoned, hurt little girl. It just never worked for me, although I find her more sympathetic this time around than last. I can only assume it's because I'm older and in the mother role myself these days. I wonder why they wrote her off. I remember being surprised when she left with Arley and never came back, given how much airtime she got. Plus it seemed like they were going to hook her up with one of "Faith's kids", but nothing ever came of that and he just disappeared.

I think Jack was really a victory for Claire Labine. His transformation was so well crafted and believable. I LOVE his relationship with Mauve and the way she never gives up on him for Mary's sake. Plus the early stuff with Jack's love for Ryan and the way Mauve tricked him into admitting it was some really good, simple soap. Those were the days. Now we can barely get relationships between adult children and their parents on soaps, never mind such a rich MIL/SIL story.

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I'd forgotten Kim interacted with the drunk teen counseled by Faith. I did wonder why he just disappeared. They didn't seem to have any idea what to do with Faith. I preferred her in that story and with the cop to the Egyptian story they shoved her in.

I don't know if Kelli Maroney has ever said but I assumed she left RH by her own choice. She was in some early 80s movies (Ridgemont High, Night of the Comet). I'm not sure what after that, although she was on OLTL for a few months in 1984 as Tina, until she left, supposedly to get away from Paul Rauch.

I think Jack was really a victory for Claire Labine. His transformation was so well crafted and believable. I LOVE his relationship with Mauve and the way she never gives up on him for Mary's sake. Plus the early stuff with Jack's love for Ryan and the way Mauve tricked him into admitting it was some really good, simple soap. Those were the days. Now we can barely get relationships between adult children and their parents on soaps, never mind such a rich MIL/SIL story.

The show, in those early years, did a great job of showing bonds between parents and children, and a lot of tender scenes. When the writing and the casting were both there, then the character could be just brilliant. Like a lot of the scenes between Maeve and Sarah Felder's Siobhan.

There's also something very touching about the idea of Jack continuing to be a part of a family and being loved even after Mary is gone. That is something which a lot of soaps would not do. People eventually move on and you would forget they were ever involved. Probably the only show I've seen in recent years which tends to keep that thread going is Emmerdale.

Edited by CarlD2

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From the October 27, 81 SOD. Interview with Richard Backus. If you want to see the photos let me know.

RICHARD BACKUS PLAYS

DAYTIME'S

MOST

DEVIOUS

CHARACTERS

By Joanna Coons

He has lied, schemed and cajoled his way through countless daytime TV plots. Recall, if you will, the infamous and heartless scoundrel Jason Saxton (For Richer, For Poorer) or the deviously demented Ted Bancroft (Another World), and presently, the whimsically cavalier Barry Ryan (Ryan's Hope). In the flesh, Richard Backus, acutely intelligent, gracious and soft-spoken, is certainly the antithesis of this motley bunch. An engaging conversationalist whose interests range from astronomy to Tosca in Central Park, Richard admits to feeling a certain empathy with his colorful repertoire.

"I identify with most of the characters I play on some level or another. I find aspects of my personality in them. So it's just a matter of having to extend or exaggerate a particular aspect. But I don't draw on personal experiences, by and large. I find you can only do that a certain number of times before they begin to be not very evocative. You know," he quips, "you can only cry over your dead dog so many times. I think an actor has to find the emotion or the anguish in the scene itself."

A highly versatile actor, Richard has an impressive list of theatre credentials. Born and raised in New Hampshire, he began his acting career in repertory companies. "I started out at Theatre-by-The-Sea in New Hampshire and worked there for a year." Then, in 1969, he came to New York where he performed in off and off-off Broadway productions. But since his involvement with soap opera, his stage appearances have become more and more infrequent. "I just finished doing an off-off Broadway Show called Missing Persons," he says, "and that was the first theatre work I'd done in about a year."

In fact, just over a year ago, New York Shakespeare Festival devotees will remember Richard's cleverly understated performance at The Public Theatre in The Sorrows of Stephen, an off-beat romance about the nature of romantic love and real love. "I loved playing William," he admits. However, when Richard first received the script, he thought he was reading for ht title role. "Stephen is the kind of part I've done before - sort of a sensitive young man." But after reading William's part, Richard was thrilled to have the chance to play another type of character. "I finally had the opportunity to do someone who was older and a little square - something I had never done. It was a challenge."

An English major at Harvard who once considered entering medical school ("Family pressure," he confessed, as his father as a doctor), Richard found the challenge he needed in acting. "Acting has always been more than just a job to me, it's been a thrill. But of course, after a certain point you stop being overwhelmed just from being on stage and it becomes more of a craft. Mostly though, it's a passion." He is thoughtful for a moment. "No one in his right mind would go into acting unless he had to. And it's just a great, great thrill to be on stage and to have people respond to you. But after awhile, you realize that the thrill begins to lessen and it becomes more important just to do good work and find excitement and challenge in the work itself."

As we chat, Richard miraculously and simultaneously (not necessarily in that order) prepares a gourmet feast (see a future food column for his recipe) of poached scallops and braised leeks with butter sauce. Cooking, he admits, has become somewhat of an avocation, introduced to "the art" by an actor friend who studied at Peter Krump's New York Cooking School, Richard decided to take up the apron himself. "My friend would come home and start chopping away and I just got very jealous." When he was living in the suburbs, Richard did woodworking. "When you're an actor, it's very satisfying to have something to do with your hands because the acting profession is so ephemeral - it just vanishes," he observes. This is especially true of stage acting, where once the show closes everyone goes his separate way.

Soap opera acting, however, has provided Richard with both the stability and enrichment he craves. "If you want to live and work in New York as an actor, acting in a soap is almost an economic necessity. You can't make a living in the theatre. Maybe there are a few people who can - one or two. In the city, there aren't that many acting opportunities unless you're in musical comedy and even there it's getting harder and harder to work steadily. So," he says, stealing a glance at his recipe, "you either have to do soaps or commercials if you want to stay alive in New York."

Happily, steady work on soaps has not impeded Richard's personal growth as an actor in the least. Quite the opposite, in fact. After playing Barry Ryan on the popular Ryan's Hope for two years now, Richard can still get excited about his role.

"Working on Ryan's Hope has really been terrific," he comments. "It's awfully well-written. At its best, Ryan's Hope is better than most movies and at it's worst, it's still better than most nighttime TV. So there's an awful lot you can do on the show; an awful lot you can learn as an actor about being honest and trying different things."

Although Richard does not feel stagnated in the role of Barry, he admitted an actor could easily get that way if he didn't work in any other medium. "You have to be able to do film work and stage work, you really have to keep alive that way."

But of all the characters he's played, Richard has a special affinity for the rakish Barry. "He genuinely needs love," Richard laughs. "He just needs too much of it. Actually, Barry has matured since I started playing him. He was written pretty multi-faceted. There's also a lot about Barry that's fun - particularly his wisecracking. And when he was womanizing and sneaking around, it was really fun to do."

A modest man, Richard Backus scoffs at comments that he is too gifted an actor to work in soaps. Having been nominated for a Daytime Emmy, Richard observes that not everyone can do a soap; there is a specific technique involved. "Basically, you have to be able to work fast." This, Richard insists, is the biggest problem a stage actor would have to cope with in the transition to soaps. "Stage actors work slowly, learning lines with the action." Conversely on a soap, an actor must be able to memorize a huge volume of dialogue fast." Not only that but the schedule itself is a rigorous one. Usually, Richard's day at the studio begins at 7:30 and continues until the filming is complete - well into the evening. When an actor is doing one role for an extended length of time, the character tends to linger long after the day's taping ends. But he adds, "The more familiar you are with the role, the easier it is to stop it."

Because his life revolves so much around the character he plays, Richard Backus admits that his personal life often suffers. "The schedule is particularly demanding for me because I have my kids coming on weekends, so between them and the soap, I'm kept busy." His children, he says, are the most important thing in his life.

His basic complaint is that he's usually so over scheduled he has no time to think about his life. "I like having time to reflect," he admits. And right now, he just doesn't have enough time. What he'd really like to do someday, he says, is to paint. "I have no idea whether I'd be any good but I have this desire to be like Winston Churchill at the end of his life and sit around and paint."

A quiet-living man, Richard, when asked if he'd like to play "juicy" love scenes, replied exuberantly, "Sure I would!" He added, "I haven't yet on Ryan's Hope but I did on some of the other soaps." He grins. "Of course, I've done some pretty comic love scenes as Barry Ryan!" It's a bit bizarre to do a love scene on camera," he admitted but observed, "I think everyone fails a little bit in love with the person they're working with." How interesting! And does Richard Backus fall in love so easily? "No," he replies thoughtfully. "But I used to fall in love with my leading ladies." He gives the butter sauce a decisive stir. "But I've given up on that because you can get very involved, especially when you're doing a play, and then when it's over, you find you don't have that much in common with the person. So I've learned to mistrust those feelings."

At this point, Richard announces that the luncheon is served and we sit down to a king's elegant repast. As we raise our wine glasses in a toast, I ask Richard if he would like to be reincarnated as anyone particular in the annals of civilization. His eyes sparkle with invention. "If I had my choice, I'd like to be an Indian before the white man arrived...I'd like to be Chief Pontiac!"

Somehow I think he and Barry Ryan would get along famously. Richard Backus laughs. Maybe we should introduce them?

Ed. note: At this writing, Richard Backus has left the cast of Ryan's Hope. Due to lack of storyline, the character of Barry Ryan has been written out of the show. We are all sorry to learn of the departure of this very gifted actor, but look forward to seeing him on another soap in the near future. Good luck, Richard.

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From the 12/21/82 SOD:

Love'n Libido In The Afternoon by Dr. Kenneth Haun

Dear Dr. Haun:

Please explain to me Kimberly Harris' absolutely rotten behavior on "Ryan's Hope." She has blackmailed her mother, cheated on her husband and even kidnapped her own daughter! Now she is lying to Hollis Kirkland. Can't she see the consequences of her behavior?

Every now and then any therapist may be confronted with a person like Kim - and it is an unnerving experience. We know that people's feelings and behavior are to a large extent determined by childhood experiences. For most people their conflicts and problems in maturity can often be resolved by consideration and working through those early influences. But then comes a Kimberly. No doubt she suffered from rejection by Rae as a child. No doubt her ignorance about her father was hurtful. But on the other hand many people endure worse problems - certainly she did not suffer from poverty or neglect. She also had the reliable support of her grandmother.

The hallmarks of Kim's problem are her inability to learn from experience and her total self-involvement. She will sacrifice anything and anybody (including her daughter) to obtain what she feels is justifiable revenge and her birthright - never mind caring, reasonableness, love. Such people are called "psychopaths." In older, less-sophisticated times they would have been called just plain evil. Calling them by a technical name doesn't change their essential meanness or selfishness.

I'm glad she is not a patient of mine. Nobody likes to have to deal with a hopeless, obnoxious person - no matter what training he or she has had! Kim will never improve or learn (unless the greater gods of her destiny, the writers, pull off a miracle!) Watch out for the Kims in the world, Mr. C.M.! There are many, male and female - about. All they will ever do for you - as Rae perceives - is harm!

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