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Ben was sort of like Van's son in the early years of the show, right? Were they close when Ben returned as an adult?

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Not sure on the Ben/Van relationship but judging by the type of character Van was, am sure she was supportive of Ben. From what I have read,it seems she was close to Cal. In fact,Cal returned to Rosehill before Meg as she sought out her Aunt Van,feelong neglected by her own mother. This was further exascerbated by the Meg/Ric/Cal triangle.

Incidentally,I just found out that Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me and now Hot in Cleveland) appeared on LOL in 79 as Miss Jones.

Here is the final synopsis

Arlene tells Ray she's going to shop and have lunch in Manhattan with her mother. Ray suspects she's really planning a secret rendezvous with Hal.

When her mother cancels their lunch date, Arlene arranges to meet Hal. She tells him that she and Ray are having a baby. Hal informs Arlene that he's arranged to be transferred to New York City permanently. Meanwhile, Ray's jealousy grows after he calls Hal's office and learns he's out to lunch....

Back home with Ray, Arlene lets him know she had lunch with Hal, for she wanted to say "hello." Ray retorts he'd be happy if Arlene never saw Hal again. Surprised by Ray's attitude, Arlene says his jealousy is ridiculous. Alone, Ray vows to get the truth about the baby -- even if he has to beat it out of Hal!

Mr. Chang (Tran's foster father) informs Kim that Mrs. Chang has an inoperable malignant tumor. And Mrs. Chang wishes to spend as much time as possible with Tran before she dies. To grant his wife her request, Mr. Change offers to pay Kim and Tran's airfare to Denver, where the Changs have their home.

Steve admits to Van that she was right when she tried to tell him his love for her was really only a crush. "I've been acting like a fool," Steve adds. Van counters that he acted the way he did out of loneliness. In the hallway, Joel overhears Steve telling Van that he loves her and admires her in a very special way. Will Joel tell Bruce what Steve said?

Amy wraps up a locket Bruce gave to her mother, Loretta, in 1956, and place sit on his desk in an envelope. After opening the envelope, Bruce comments how strange this is -- he gave the locket to "someone" a long time ago....

Kelly, Liane's exuberant younger sister, arrives in town to attend Rosehill University.

The Trial Begins

At Ben's trial, Dr. Marriott testifies that Betsy was rendered sterile after the accident and has a hazy memory of recent events. He admits Betsy's hairline fracture of the skull could have been caused by Ben hitting Betsy over the head with an oar, or when she bumped her head on the boat.

Van is called to the stand next and testifies that Ben and Betsy had quarreled bitterly before departing for the lake.

Mia, feeling revengeful and angry, testifies that she and Ben were lovers up until a week before the incident on the lake. She lies that she phoned Ben "on business" while he was at the lake with Betsy, but Betsy immediately began attacking her and demanding the details of their affair! Mia also fibs that Ben threatened her over the phone and then hung up. Furthermore, she reveals that Meg tried to bribe her into not testifying against Ben.

Ray is hurt when he overhears Arlene confiding in Carrie that Hal is in love with her (Arlene), and has been ever since they met in Des Moines.

On the witness stand, Carrie recalls the nightmares Betsy has had about the accident in which she begged Ben to take her back to shore. Carrie confesses Betsy doesn't remember Ben trying to kill a snake that supposedly crawled on her....

Mr. Wilber, the fisherman who photographed the accident, testifies that he didn't see a snake when he helped Ben rescue Betsy. He also says they seemed very angry with each other and were arguing before the boat tipped over. Elliott then presents to the jury the pictures of en holding an oar over Betsy's head. Bruce points out that all the photos show are Ben and Betsy reacting to something in the boat... they stood up, causing the boat to overturn.

On the witness stand, Ben explains he took Betsy out on the lake to find out what Mia had said to her over the phone that upset her so much. Ben adds that Mia has always been jealous of Betsy, because Betsy is the only woman he ever loved. He then relates how a snake had crawled on Betsy and declares he would have given his life to save her from it.

Meanwhile, Betsy hears on a radio news report that Elliott has accused Ben of making up the story about the snake and that only one witness, "who lies gravely ill in the hospital," can corroborate the tale. Knowing she's the only one who can save Ben, Betsy sobs: "I have to remember the snake. I just have to remember...."

While sleeping, Betsy hazily recalls Ben trying to kill the snake. When Betsy awakens, she tells Carrie she must get to the trial to help Ben before it's too late....

In the courtroom, Ben elaborates that he did not hit Betsy with the oar -- he tried to hit the snake into the water, but Betsy panicked and stood up, causing the boat to overturn.

After Bruce and Ben receive word that Betsy wants to testify, they both rush over to the hospital. Though Ben tells Betsy she's too weak to go to court, Betsy insists she can make it with his help.

Accusations

In New York, Ray accuses Hal of being in love with Arlene. Hal admits he loves Arlene, but nothing happened between them in the cabin, although he did make a pass at her. Hal says there's only one man in Arlene's life -- Ray. Unconvinced Hal's telling the truth, Ray charges him with being the father of Arlene's baby -- after all, she was on the Pill before the accident, and now she's suddenly pregnant!

After he returns home, a bitterly angry Ray accuses Arlene of getting pregnant by Hal and continuing her love affair with him. Shocked that Ray believes she's been unfaithful, Arlene explains she went off the Pill two weeks before she got pregnant -- she didn't tell Ray about it because she wanted to surprise him when she became pregnant. Arlene admits it's true Hal is in love with her, and the reason she didn't tell Ray was that she knows how jealous he gets. Ray shouts he'll never accept a baby of Hal's like he accepted April, who's another man's child. As he's packing his things, Ray declares he's on his way out of Arlene's life for good! Hurt, Arlene screams: "Get out! I don't want to live with you anymore either!" Ray check into the Rosehill Inn.

In his closing statement, Bruce says Ben loves Betsy and should be at the hospital with her while she's recuperating. And Bruce points out Elliott's evidence is circumstantial -- the fisherman didn't see Ben actually strike Betsy. "There was no crime. The was an accident," Bruce declares.

Star Witness

Elliott counters in his closing remarks that Betsy ran into the boat to escape Ben's rage and that he purposely knocked her into the water. "No, no, it didn't happen that way!" Betsy screams after bursting into the courtroom. Since Betsy's testimony could save Ben, Bruce motions for the defense to be reopened.

Betsy testifies she went to the lake to straighten out her relationship with Ben and so they could come to terms with her pregnancy (by Elliott). Betsy sobs that if it hadn't been for Mia's cruel phone call, she (Betsy) and Ben would still be together and she'd still be carrying her baby. After Mia's phone call, Betsy explains, she ran into the boat hating Ben because she didn't know the truth yet, that Ben had ended his affair with Mia. "I think I remember... there was a snake," Betsy recounts, her voice faltering. "I was terrified. Ben really wanted to help me...." As Betsy's remembering the snake slithering up around her shoulder, she faints!

While Ray and Arlene are in the midst of a heated argument over her pregnancy, Hal comes to the door. Hal swears the baby Arlene is carrying is Ray's. "Arlene has never loved me or made love to me, " Hal insists. "I'm the loser in this, Ray, not you!" When Ray and Hal get into a fist fight, Arlene pulls the two apart. After Hal has left, Ray sobs he cares about Arlene, he really cares.

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Wendie Malick would have been a great soap bitch.

So the last scene, aside from Larry Aurbach wandering around empty sets, was it Betsy fainting, or the one with Ray?

Interesting that they were having some Asian characters on the show right near the end, were these major characters or just temporary? And bringing in a younger sister for Liane, I guess they really didn't know they were going to be canceled until right near the end.

I guess Elliott acting as prosecutor in a case involving his ex wife and her boyfriend wasn't any conflict of interest...at least not in soap world.

John Aniston was gone from the show by this time right?

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John Aniston was on SFT as Martin by this stage. He left LOL in 78.

The asian characters were part of the Bambi/Paul story and I don't think they were planned as long term.

I think the final scene was Betsy fainting.I remember reading that they were only given a few weeks notice on cancellation and didn't have enough time to rewrite. There was the feint hope that the show might get picked up for syndication (as discussed previously)

From that final cast Margo McKenna (Betsy) was the first to move to another soap as Emily on EON.

Birgitta Tolksdorf was offered a role on Y&R but turned it down.

Ted LePlat went to GL as Andy

Chandler Hill Harben was the first Max on Texas.

Veleka Gray went to ATWT as Lyla

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I think the final scene was Betsy fainting.I remember reading that they were only given a few weeks notice on cancellation and didn't have enough time to rewrite. There was the feint hope that the show might get picked up for syndication (as discussed previously)

Yes, Betsy was on the witness stand and started having flashbacks to the accident. She remembered seeing the snake in the water and Ben trying to strike it with an oar. When she tried to tell the courtroom, she fainted. Fade to black. The show went to a commercial break, and when it came back, Larry walked through the empty sets as the credits rolled.

People fail to realize just how quickly the axe fell at Love of Life. The studio received news of the cancellation on Friday, January 4, 1980. The last episode was taped on Thursday, January 24, just two weeks and six days later (or 14 work days). Ann Marcus told me that there was not enough time to revise scripts in that short turn around; they needed at least 6 to 8 weeks notice. They briefly considered having Audrey Peters and Ron Tomme step out of character and wrap up the plot, but in the end, it was decided to leave the stories open so that the audience would feel that story and characters continued to live on. Also, Dana Delaney's character of Amy would have been revealed to NOT be Bruce's daughter, though the writers were planning to bring back Bruce's adult children Alan and Barbara.

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I've heard that Van was supposedly unable to have children. I'm not sure if this is fact or simple fan conjecture that seems to be accepted as part of the canon. Either way, I do think Van was pregnant during the 1950s when Paul Raven's daughter Carol arrived, but I believe she lost the child. Or maybe this storyline never happened.

I think Van and Bruce didn't have any children because of the age of Bruce's own children. Because Barbara was a young woman, I believe this placed Van in age where it wasn't proper on a soap for a woman to be having a child since Van would soon be a grandmother to Barbara's future children.

I'm not clear on the Van/Ben relationship in the 1970s. I think Van cared for Ben the way she did most of her surrogate children. Van seemed to be involved in the Betsy/Eliot/Ben stories so I suspect she still cared for him in a maternal manner.

I believe Malick's Ms. Jones appeared in December 1978/Janaury 1979. She was a nurse who was looking after Carrie. Carrie had suffered a heart attack in October so I assume she was helping her recover from that.

Wes Osbourne, Mia's younger brother, was intended to be paired with Kelly Wilson, Liane's sister. Both Kelly and Cheryl Kingsley (played by Judy Landers) were introduced in Janaury 1980.

John Aniston's Eduardo Aleata married Sherry Rooney's Dory Patton and both departed in November 1978 when Abbi/Holloway took over.

Irene Yah-Ling Sun played Kim Soo Ling, a nurse who had been involved with Tony Alfonso. Kim and Tony had a son, Tran, who Kim had given up for adoption. Kim and Tony tracked there son down and learned he was living with the Changs. Tony and Kim let Tran stay with the Changs since Mrs. Chang was dying. Kim departed Rosehill in the show's final week, but, for a time, it looked like she might stay. Andrew Marriott did find her work at Rosehill Hospital so maybe at one time they thought about keeping her around longer.

It's interesting to hear that it would be revealed Bruce wasn't Amy's father. Several articles regarding "Love of Life" talked about how Van and Bruce never learned Amy was Bruce's daughter, if she was his daughter.

The cancellation notice is in the papers for January 1980, but I thought that the press was simply late on publishing this information. Two weeks is really a short amount of time and I'm not surprised that nothing was revealled. It is neat to hear that Alan and Barbara were coming back to Rosehill. Marcus had such a full canvas at the time I wonder who she was planning to let go.

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Love of Lifethe 70's

1970 - In May,John Randolph(Byron Sanders) who had married Tess, was murdered, and both Tess and Bill were put on trial. Richard Rollins (Lawrence Weber)the lover of Clair Bridgeman, was revealed to be the murderer.

*Just noting that Sanders and Weber are two actors who probably hold the record for most soap roles.

Sally Stark replaced Leonie Norton as Kate Swanson, a nightclub singer at Rick Latimer's Club Victoria. Both Rick(Jerry Lacy) and Dr Dan Phillips (Drew Snyder) fell in love with her. She wed Dan but believed herself pregnant by Rick, who had raped her one night at the club. The child was really Dan's, but a falsified blood test convinced him otherwise, and he divorced Sally. The couple eventually remarried, and were happy until Dan and little Rebecca were killed in an auto accident.

1971 - Robert Burr joined the show as 'Matt Corby' who was really Paul Raven. Paul had developed amnesia following the plane crash in which he was presumed dead and had reappeared in Rosehill with a new identity. Van was now torn between two husbands and finally divorced Bruce to marry Paul. But when Stacy Corby,Paul's daughter by a new wife turned up and Van found out that Matt's wife Eleanor had been murdered,Van called off the wedding. In 1972, Paul was tried and convicted of murdering Eleanor and died later in a prison riot. Stacy became Van's ward. Since Van discovered Bruce had cheated on her,she didn't marry him either.

Ray Wise replaced Don Warfield as Jamie Rollins and Cathy Bacon had been playing Sally Bridgeman since 1969. Jamie and Sally both became involved in the campus drug scene. After Sally became pregnant with his child, Jamie married her reluctantly-since he thought the marriage would interfere with his studies. After a troubled marriage, Sally ran off with baby Debbie in 1973 and later wrote to say the child had been drowned in a pond.

1972 - in a solemn ceremony, Van and Bruce finally remarried.Pictured in addition to the bride and groom are Jack Stamberger (Henry)Jon Moore (Charles) Ray Wise (Jamie) Joanna Roos (Sarah) Cindy Grover (Stacey) and Josef Summer as the minister. Joanna now played Van's mother who had moved to Rosehill from Barrowsville.

After the tragic death of her husband Dan and daughter Rebeccah, Kate Swanson Phillips wed Dr Ted Chandler (Keith Charles), who headed the Clinic for Sexual Dysfunction and was trying to help Charles overcome his impotency with Diana. Despite his villiany in trying to break up Kate and Dan, Rick became a loyal friend of Kate's. Kate and Ted left the story in late 1974.

1973 - New producer Jean Arley and new writers Claire Labine and Paul Avila Meyer teamed up to revamp Love of Life. They were bringing exciting young actors to the show as well as restoring important elements from the early story. Cal Aleata (Deborah Courtney), Meg's daughter, arrived in Rosehill to seek the love of her aunt Van,because she was neglected by her mother. Then Meg herself (now Tudi Wiggins) who had left seventeen years earlier with her son Benno(Christopher Reeve) returned to town. Because of his poor home life when he was a boy,he had become a devil-may-care scoundrel, interested only in obtaining Meg's wealth. Meg agreed to give him half a million dollars, provided he marry Betsy Crawford(Elizabeth Kemp), a trusting young friend of Cal's.

Even after seventeen years, Meg was still getting mixed up with exciting crooks. She married Rosehill's corrupt mayor, Jeff Hart (Charles Baxter), who was only interested in the additional power her money could give him.

1974 - One of Love of Life's staunchest fans Sammy Davis Jnr visited the set and sang on the show.

To get his mother's money, Ben married Betsy,but, unbeknownst to anyone, he was already the husband of Arlene Lovett (Birgitta Tolksdorf) Arlene's mother Carrie (Peg Murray) was a friend of Betsy's but dared not tell Betsy for her daughter's sake.

David Hart (Brian Farrell) fell in love with cal, then killed his father when he caught Jeff trying to rape Cal. This act caused David to have a breakdown and ended his romance with Cal,who later fell for rick.

1975 - Cal's stepfather Edouard Aleata (John Aniston) came to comfort Cal when he learned she was in trouble. After Felicia Fleming (Paela Lincoln) wed Charles Lamont (who divorced Diana so she could marry Jamie) and Charles became confined to a wheelchair, Felicia and Edouard fell in love.

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Yes,it is. The book only goes up to the mid 70's.

I will add some summaries for other shows soon.

Any in particular you would like to see?

Edited by Paul Raven

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Here's an article that covers some of Margaret DePries's tenure:

"Love of Life, Off or On?"

February 13, 1976

James Freeman

The Virgin Islands Daily News

Very recently a ladies church group here in St. Thomas decided on a resolution which could result in a serious upheaval in the lives of thousands of Virgin Islanders. This is nothing trivial mind you, like a new airport or an end to the Teachers' strike. These ladies actually want to take "Love of Live" off our television screen. Can you imagine what a void this will leaves in our lives? Undoubtedly every civic group from the legislature to the east end bi-centennial committee will rush to our defense. However, while the various anti-censorship groups are being formed why not take a lance at what these ladies feel is dangerous to the thinking of our young people as they peer over shoulders of their parents every evening from six until six thirty.

We will arbitrarily begin with one person and watch the jigsaw puzzle grow. Ben Harper is a young, reckless and handsome lad. He is also a bigamist. He is secretly married to and sporadically living with No. 1 Wife, Arlene, who is a pianist in a cocktail lounge of which Ben is the manager. Ben, a likely candidate for Gamblers Anonymous, became a bigamist because his millionaire mother, Meg, promised him a half a million dollars if he would settle down and marry a nice girl. Arlene hardly qualified for this position, especially in the opinion of Meg who has control of the loot. So Ben, with the reluctant but greedy consent of Arlene, decides on "nice girl" Betsy, who gloriously because Mrs. Ben Harper No. 2. As was sure to happen, Betsy carelessly becomes pregnant to the dismay of Ben and Arlene who plan to split ten seconds after they get their hands on the check. Up till the present Betsy has resisted all persuasion on the part of Ben to seek an abortion. Meg, who from long experience suspects her son of anything possibly, is welshing on the promise, putting Ben in serious trouble with a group of gamblers to whom he has lost a considerable amount of money.

Meg, of course, has her own problems. Divorced four or five times, (It is difficult to keep track of these little details) Meg has set her sights on a new man, Rick. Rick himself divorced at least once and father of a young boy who flits in and out of the story, is Meg's business partner. The only complication in this romance is that poor (?) Meg has to compete for Rick, in and out of bed, with her daughter Cal. For the convenience of Rick both mother and daughter are setting up private and secluded residences. Up to this point, Cal has been living with Meg's married sister, Van, (back to her later) because she despises her mother. This hatred of Cal or Meg stems not so much from the competition for the same man, of which Cal is only vaguely aware, but from Meg's cruel treatment of David, Cal's former lover. (Are you still with me? It begins to get complicated).

David, another fine lad, happens to be an active psychopath. At this point in time (familiar phrase) he is in a clinic for the mentally unbalanced. Previously David was insane (sic) in love with Cal and Cal with him. To prove this love David killed his father, the then mayor of this lovely community, because the father made improper advances to Cal. Later he set fire to Rick and Meg's country club because he thought that Rick had come between him and Cal. This burning experience brought Ben's no.1 wife Arlene deeper into the picture (The author of this story must have gone to spider school).

When David set fire to the country club it happened that Arlene was inside. Despondent at how the Ben-Betsy-Arlene triangle was developing and that she was not getting equal time. Arlene decided to drown her troubles in champagne and passed out. No one seemed to notice when they locked up for the night. Well David rescues Arlene which heroics win for him her future loyalty. However, as the investigation of the fire progresses, Arlene became the prime suspect. Up to this point, Arlene had kept David's secret and has convinced him to do the same. David, of course falls madly in love with Arlene and to keep him quiet she accepts an engagement ring. As the police net grows tighter and prison becomes more than a likely possibility, Arlene is forced to throw the suspicion where it belongs, on David, who after all is not responsible for what he does and has the money to back up his insanity.

Enter Jamie! Jamie is David's lawyer and he has not exactly been out of the picture while all this has been happening. Jamie is living with Di who is bearing his child while he awaits a divorce so that they can get married. Di is divorced from Charles who has married another emotionally upset woman, Felicia, an artist. To keep Felicia interesting to the viewing audience, the author has thrown in a rapist who at least once a week is seen stalking Felicia scaring her out of her scrambled wits, not to mention her easel and brushes. This little bit of drama is slowly complicating the life of Eddie. (Who he?) Eddie is one of Meg's former husbands and father of Cal. Charles is beginning to wonder why Eddie keeps appearing on the scene every time Felicia calls for help against the rapist. It doesn't help any that Eddie has taken a deep interest in Felicia's paintings. Eddie has a way of sewing doubt in the mind of husbands. Earlier Bruce, husband of Van (Remember her? Meg's sister who is housing Cal because Cal hated her mother?) has been seen frowning thoughtfully as he watched his wife and Eddie together at the frequent parties where all these lovely people come together to drink.

Now, back to Jamie. As David's lawyer, he does not buy Arlene's story that his client is guilty of setting the fire (Who do you mean, what fire?) His suspicion leads him to dig into Arlene's background and lo and behold who appears but Ben. Jamie is slowly arriving at the truth of the secret marriage and if this little bit of information leaks out Ben can kiss goodbye to the half million. Ben, therefore, decides on a slight touch of blackmail. Jamie is lured to Arlene's apartment, drugged, undressed and put to bed. Arlene then climbs aboard and all the right pictures are taken by Ben. It is then suggested to Jamie that these pictures will hardly help the very emotional Di who is already having enough trouble with her pregnancy. Jamie is highly indignant, refuses to be blackmailed, but does keep quiet.

We will stop now and bring you up to date. (I know you have been dying for this). Di has a look at one of the pictures of Jamie and Arlene, faints, is rushed to the hospital where she has a miscarriage. Ben is lying in the woods, recipient of the usual reaction of the Mob when they don’t' get paid. Meg, who can certainly chew gum and walk at the same time, is plotting the final conquest of Rick and at the same time is negotiating with the Slater the chief honcho of the gamblers for Ben’s return. Arlene and Betsy are seen alternately weeping and tearing out their blond hairs.

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