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Where the Heart Is 1969-1973


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Thanks. I've heard some of those stories but didn't realize Weiss was behind them. I guess that makes sense, as his time at WTHI seemed to have some risque stories (did he come up with the priesthood and the artificial insemination stories at Secret Storm). It's too bad this didn't help the ratings for The Doctors. Perhaps by then a lot of people had left and weren't coming back.

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I know. I was shocked. The face is still the same but the Emmylou Harris type hair is a big change. There's a color photo of her on the cover, a small one - I'll try to put that up sometime.

I wonder what her wardrobe was on WTHI. Her clothes on Ryan's Hope were so horribly unflattering and then it got even worse when Kimberly arrived.

Edited by CarlD2
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at New York University. She also studied ballet and is studying singing with Mark Zeller, but "dramatic and classical theatre are my goals right now. Initially, I wanted to do musicals."

When did the acting bug get to her?

"I've wanted to act since I was thirteen. My brothers took me to the theatre a lot, and I loved it. Also, my brother Jim took drama courses at University of Michigan and I got to watch during classes."

How does she feel about doing daytime serials?

"I make no distinction between daytime television or any other media that I perform in. Anything that gives me the opportunity to explore and experience my art, I enjoy. I enjoy the people and numbers of people I'm reaching on the show. My fan mail is gratifying. When fans like my performance, they write and tell me so. I'm all for communication, and I love television for just that reason. I sincerely hope that the television media gets to recognize its potential soon. It can really make a difference in our country. We need to spread some awareness around on a personal level and we can do that on television by dealing with personal problems on these shows. Some people are geographically left out of things.

"There is actually a big bond between people if they'd open their eyes and see it. I really like people - I guess that's why I'm an actress. I also like to read books which are sociological, anthropological and, in a sense, psychological. I've been in analysis the last two years, and am a fervent believer in the good it can do, depending on how good the analyst is. I was very confused by my behavior, my actions and reactions, also my fears, anxieties and insecurities. Most of these emotions showed when I had to meet people. I was actually a wall flower in every sense of the word. But I went into analysis to help myself, and did.

I take other people and myself very seriously. I'm happier since I'm in analysis because I've made peace with the conflicts that raged inside of me."

When it comes to sports, Jeanne is not just a spectator. She loves to horseback ride and is quite good at it. Her brother Jim took her riding when she was younger. She also loves swimming, water skiing, camping and hiking. She's pretty much an all-around girl.

How does Jeanne feel about the Women's Liberation movement?

"I'm not opposed to the ideals or much of the work they're doing in reference to teaching people about their body functions; that's all necessary and good. But I sometimes question the motivations of some of the people who jump in on these things. I'm all for people liberating themselves, and that includes women, but I do believe that some women should stay home and be good wives and mothers, if that's what they want and are best suited for. And they shouldn't be made to feel guilty about it. That, too, is a chosen profession."

Jeanne's next statement expressed exactly how she felt:

"Everybody should just cool it a a little and get back to basics."

From Women's Lib, Jeanne moved right into the world situation. There, too, she had pretty definite opinions. "I'm aware of man's need and right to defend himself, but the type of aggression going on in Vietnam is in defense of nothing but our own insecurities. We're killing ourselves. We're damaging ourselves psychologically as well as on the battlefield. The chaos in the world is an extension of all our personal problems. Things will get cleaned up if and when people take care of their own needs.

"I have feelings about red Chine being allowed into the United Nations and Nationalist China being thrown out. I was for the two-China Policy. Kicking the nationalists out is what I call arbitrary discrimination. It was done for political reasons, but those people need help, too."

Because of Jeanne's seriousness about important things, it seemed logical to ask her if she was a religious person.

"One person I greatly admire is Jesus Christ. I think He had a job to do and did it well. I am not religious in the sense that I follow any particular organized religion. I am heavily influenced by other denominations. I have learned a great deal about the Jewish faith because my analyst, whom I greatly admire, is Jewish. I also like some of the ideals of Catholicism. I guess you could say I have a spiritual vent. I take whatever religion I've formed for myself very seriously. I don't know what I'd do with my children when I have some."

Jeanne is married to Doug Ross, who played the role of Terry Prescott on the show.

She loves to write poetry, play her guitar and piano and has written many songs. She also enjoys sketching and is quite an avid reader. She is catching up on her reading now that she's finished with school. Thomas Wolfe, Hesse and Krishnamurti are some of her favorites. She enjoys both fiction and philosophy books and is presently reading the autobiography of Isadora Duncan.

Jeanne Ruskin is a happy girl, a serious girl and a very beautiful girl. She is not setting any special goals for herself. She'll take whatever comes along in its stride and enjoy it. She's glad she's working at her craft and is concentrating on each and every performance she gives. She's learning and enjoying her craft at the same time.

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Hi, it's me (edgeofnight)...I have had e-mail problems, and a lot going on (with yet another surgery), so I had to change my user name etc...I love the Jeanne Ruskin article. May I copy it and send it to her?

Since I've had these e-mail problems etc...I have missed 'talking' to all of you. Thank you, CarlD2, you're the best. Your articles cheer me up in ways that you can not imagine. I spoke to Donald May the other day. he turned 82 years old. Can you imagine? And here's another shock...he is about to become a grandfather for the FIRST TIME. He said it will be a new role for him.

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Sure, if you think she'd enjoy the article. I hope she does :) If you want me to scan the actual pages of text just let me know - I usually don't because they can blur and typing them out means people can see the words.

That's great about Donald May. I hope to be as active if I get to 82.

I'm glad the articles help make you feel better. When I have a chance I will scan more.

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I'll make the photocopies as they are now, if there is a problem, I will let you know. As disappointed as I am at not going to the conference, I am hoping that I am on the fast course in getting these long-standing problems resolved. All eyes are on March 10, when I have my second surgical consultation and then we will set a date for BIG surgery #1. Hey, maybe Dagne Crane (ex-Sandy ATWT 1965-71) will be my chauffeur to the hospital. The next surgery will be with a neurosurgeon -- in a race against time before the compression on my spinal chord paralyzed me...my, what fun...and I'm only 54 years old!

I am also keeping my fingers crossed that, perhaps, maybe Jeanne Ruskin, herself, will VISIT me at NYU. Wouldn't that be wild? We'd have over 40 years of soap memories to share with one another. I wrote to her about my surgery. Who knows? Stranger things have happened.

Thank you for all your help and your prayers and friendship.

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skirts. Slender and lithe, a mini-skirt never had it so good! It's hard to believe that this chic, mod gal has been married for almost ten years and is the mother of two - Adrienne, eight, and Matthew, six. She looks more like their groovy big sister, and has just about as much energy as her kids, maybe more!

An average day for Diana starts at 6:30 a.m. when she gets her son and daughter ready for school, makes breakfast, then sends them off at 7:30. Morning is also her time to take care of some personal grooming. She starts by hitting the shampoo bottle - washing her hair is almost a daily ritual. personal chores finished, she does some at-home rehearsing for Where the Heart Is before dashing off to the CBS-TV studios where she spends the better part of the day.

"I usually get back home late in the afternoon - about 4:03," says Diana. "By then," she continues, "Adrienne and Matthew at at home with our housekeeper who usually leaves shortly after my return. Then it's fun time. I relax listening to them tell me about their school day and all the things they've been up to. They enjoy hearing about some of the things that happened during my day at the studio. Occasionally, they get to watch the show on TV. Matthew's funny about that. After seeing me on the screen, he can't figure out why I didn't wave to him. He doesn't quite understand yet that what he's seeing is just a picture and not the live me. After I make dinner, get the children off to bed, spend a few hours with my husband, then study my lines, it's bedtime.

Diana admits that, "Being a wife, mother and actress takes a bit of doing. But," she says cheerfully, "like a good juggler I can keep everything going when I watch my timing. A workable time schedule is my secret weapon. For me, it's the only way to accomplish all the things I want to do."

Diana laughs as she says, "Not exactly the glamorous nightclub-hopping theater-going life that so many people think actresses are constantly leading, is it? But I love every moment of it," she says in a way that lets you know she wouldn't trade places with anyone in the world!

Diana is married to book editor, Roger Donald. A shipboard romance, they first met aboard the Queen Elizabeth on route to England. Diana sighs softly as she remembers that memorable journey. "It was wonderful. We saw each other, almost constantly during the voyage. We continued to spend time together in London.

"But," she admits, "it wasn't a whirlwind romance that led directly to the altar. That came four years later." She explains, "after London we didn't see each other again until we met once more some four years later. This time it was in San Francisco. Roger was there on a visit. I was appearing in a play. It was as though there had been no time lapse between London and San Francisco. We picked up where we had left off - saw each other every day. This was it! We became engaged in San Francisco and have been married for nearly ten years."

A Canadian, Diana was born in Toronto. She has been in the United States since 1956. "I came here," she explains, "on holiday to visit some former roommates of mine. At the time, I had no intention of staying. My friends were out most of the day attending auditions. Left pretty much on my own, I soon got caught up in the excitement myself and began to make the rounds. Through an agent, I got an assignment to make a TV commercial which appeared on The Red Buttons Show. One thing led to another. What started out as a brief holiday has been going on for 14 years!

"My parents live in Canada. We make trips back and forth quite often. Adrienne and Matthew and Matthew are mad about their grandparents, and of course, the feeling is a mutual one. My folks come to New York for Thanksgiving. I had worked the day before, so the children and Roger all pitched in with me making the dinner which couldn't have been nicer.

"Growing up in Canada was great," Diana says with a note of patriotic pride in her voice. "It's a beautiful, majestic country with lots of room to grow in. I had a very happy, normal childhood. My father was an architect and interior designer. He is retired now. He and Mom love to travel. They've brought the children back souvenirs from all their trips. My mother's occupation has always been that of being a wife and mother - she's marvelous at it!"

Diana attended the University of Manitoba and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Playing Kate Hathaway in Where the Heart Is marks Diana's debut in daytime TV. Before joining this serial she appeared in six Broadway plays, guest-starred in many nighttime TV shows, and made a host of TV commercials.

"I made one commercial with Adrienne and Matthew," Diana says. She smiles as she confesses, "Matthew hammed it up on the set and got a bit squirmish during the day's shooting, but everything came out all right. In the commercial we represented the clean, clean typical at home family. We were dressed in white, not a speck of dust to be seen of a thing out of place." She looks around her living room, shakes her head in mock despair, then says, 'That might be a nice way to live. No. I don't think so," she notes, having giving the matter a second thought.

Diana and her family live in an apartment in Manhattan. They are planning to move into a larger, cooperative apartment shortly. Their present home is attractively decorated. It has a warm, comfortable lived-in feeling. In the living room, Adrienne and Matthew have a large fish tank which creates a steady, persistent buzzing sound at all times! "We're used to it, don't even notice it any more," Diana volunteers. One thing's certain, it doesn't seem to bother the fish any!

At about four in the afternoon, Adrienne and Matthew come home from school. Adrienne is a pretty, soft-spoken girl who resembles her mother. Matthew has the face of an angel, the smile of a pixie, the urgent chatter of a six-year-old, and the appetite of a quarterback. After telling his mother the details of a small skirmish at school, he promptly dives into a bowl of cheese chips on a nearby table.

On Friday evenings, the family leave the confines of their apartment and head out to their 40 acre farm in the country. "The house is 200 years old," reveals Diana. "We're doing some renovation on it now." Adrienne adds excitedly, "We got ice skating on our pond in the winter." Matthew confirms his sister's statement as he polishes off the last of the cheese chips. Having contributed his bit, he takes off for the kitchen to explore the hidden depths of the refrigerator.

No matter how busy Diana is, she manages to squeeze in time for two of her favorite things - sewing and cooking. "Sewing is creative as well as relaxing," says Diana. "Cooking is a necessity, but it's exciting and rewarding when you put a little bit of effort into it. We all love Italian food." At the mere mention of the words "Italian food" Matthew forsakes the kitchen to see what's cooking in the living room!

It's Friday evening, almost time to take off for the farm. Diana and the children anxiously await Roger's return. At about 6 p.m. he arrives home, much to the delight of all. "As soon as we have dinner, we'll leave," says Diana. "Yeah, Mom," says you-know-who. "I'm getting hungry!" Man does not live by bread alone - neither do little boys! As Diana well knows, it takes meatballs...spaghetti...ice cream...!

by Diane Porter

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Perhaps this has been asked and answered already, but does anyone here know what happened to Diana Walker, who portrayed Mary? There are a lot of actors from WTHI and LIAMST I've always been curious about, and van der Vlis and Walker are always at the top of the lists.

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