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The way the article is written, I assumed that Oliver Crawford was an actor, not a character.

Yes, I misread it; however, the question still remains. The article states that actor Oliver Crawford would play one of character Betsy Crawford's brothers. Unless I am experiencing a senior moment, I do not recall Betsy having an on screen brother other than Tom Crawford who appeared in 1976, not 1974. Was the proposed character that had been cast with "Oliver" supposed to be the same brother who later materialized under the Schneiders as Tom, or did L&M create a brother and decide not write him into the narrative for some reason? It could have happened. I recall that when The Young and the Restless was debuting, early press releases included the Henderson family, who did not arrive on screen for nearly two years. And when they did, the son James Henderson had been renamed Mark, and the second son Russ, a potential love interest for Peggy Brooks, was not used at all.

Also, the article could have a typographical error. There is an actor named Oliver Crawford, but he was born in 1911. I doubt he would have been cast as Betsy's brother. Perhaps the character's name was indeed Oliver Crawford, and author switched the actor's name with the character's name.

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Here's a small world anecdote. My wife is watching a rerun of an old Matlock tv episode. Andy Griffith is defending a man by the name of Arthur Phillips, played by Drew Snyder. Drew Snyder played Dr. Dan Phillips on 'Love of Life' from 1970-74. Isn't this a remarkable coincidence?

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From TV Radio Mirror 962

To millions of women, Vanessa Sterling is as real as their next door neighbor. They see her each day on "Love of Life" and they know her as a rather remarkable woman in her mid-thirties, a woman struggling with the day-to-day problems of a second marriage. In this article,we, too, shall treat her as a real per-son and deal with her problems as real ones, especially those arising from a second marriage and the rearing of stepchildren. Certainly, a great many women on the other side of the TV screen are faced with the same problems as Vanessa and often need help in resolving them. In our discussion, my words will appear in regular type,like this,and Dr. Wolk's words will be in italics, like the following:

Psychologically speaking, the intimacy of television and the regular habit of looking in on the same program every day combine to make Vanessa, her family, her friends, and all the local landmarks of the mythical town of Rosehill loom even larger than life.
Since Vanessa's problems are universal, they become immediately recognizable to the housewife, for they have something "in common." So by applying psychological principles to Vanessa's trials and tribulations, we might obtain some insight into our
own lives.

It's a second marriage for both Vanessa and her husband, Bruce Sterling. She lost her first husbandi n an airplane crash; he lost his first wife in a suicidal auto crash.
Introduced by mutual friends over two years ago, they quickly fell in love and married. Along with Bruce,Vanessa inherited his two children:Barbara, now twenty, and Alan, now seventeen. Vanessa herself is childless.They all live in Rosehill, where Bruce is headmaster of a private prep school for boys, Winfield Academy.
At one time a television actress. Vanessa now works part-time selling real estate
A second marriage carries with it some special problems of its own.Invariably, the new mate is compared to the previous mate. The woman,especially, may wonder if her second husband truly loves her as much as her first did — and also if he loves her as much as he loved his first wife. Furthermore, both husband and wife have become more set in their ways, so adjustment often becomes
more difficult.

Stepchildren create further problems. Although Barbara and Alan are not babies anymore, and are on their way to independence and maturity, Vanessa does have to make herself acceptable to them as their new mother. She's likely to be compared to their real mother and perhaps even resented as an interloper.

Still, marriage to a widower may require less of an adjustment than marriage to a divorced man. In divorce, the first spouse is still on the scene, visits the children and may be-come an active, ever-present rival to the new spouse.
Another problem every second wife faces is acceptance by old friends who knew her predecessor. But Vanessa and Bruce don't seem to have this problem ; they seem to be socially secure in Rosehill.

Vanessa's marriage to Bruce is not "perfect." Most of their conflicts seem to come from sources outside themselves. Nevertheless,they do have their differences, and don't always see eye to eye on everything.Vanessa, for example, believes in
complete honesty at all costs. She is not as willing to make compromises for the sake of practicality as is Bruce— although he wouldn't do so at the sake of his honor or integrity.

There was a time when they were separated briefly. During that period, Vanessa declined to feel sorry for herself and went to work, establishing a real-estate business in Rosehill. After their reconciliation, their relationship became stronger than ever, but Vanessa still gives a few hours of her time each day to selling real estate.

No marriage is perfect — even a first one. And any marriage is doomed from the start when the couple feels it falls short of perfection and doesn't live up to their dreams. Unwilling or unable to make compromises, such a marriage soon disintegrates.Vanessa and Bruce are no different from other couples in not seeing eye to eye on everything. This is normal and healthy . . . provided that the couple can sit down together and talk things out reasonably when they have a major difference of opinion.If they have a great deal in common— similar tastes, interests and backgrounds, for example — they'll quickly overcome such differences and their marriage will become closer and more stimulating.

Reconciliation may be easier in a second marriage, for both partners are usually more mature and more inclined to want to make the marriage work. It's the second time around for them and, unless they're highly unstable emotionally, they want it to be the last time around.

Vanessa showed her mettle in going to work during her separation.Such a woman would not want her marriage to sink into nothingness. Sometimes an episode like this serves to wake up both partners and bring them a new awareness, a new close-
ess, a new respect for one another and their marriage relationship.

The Sterlings' major problem is Bruce's daughter, Barbara. Try as they might, they cannot remain aloof from her marital difficulties.For Barbara had married a wealthy young man named Rick Latimer — a spoiled, egocentric, yet well-meaning fellow who simply was unable to find himself. Barbara failed to understand him and turned away from him —and the more she turned away, the more he drank and the wilder he behaved. Finally, she filed for a legal separation, despite the pleas of Vanessa and her dad to give Rick another chance. Even her brother Alan more or less condemned her antagonism toward Rick.Another man showed an interest in Barbara, but she became so confused that she refused to see either
him or her estranged husband. Vanessa accused her of knowing nothing about love and warned her that she would destroy both young men by her attitude. In this matter, Bruce disagreed with Vanessa's severe point-of-view about his daughter.
But no one was able to prevent Barbara from finally divorcing Rick.They only succeeded in getting her to agree to a Mexican divorce to avoid talk and to prevent Rick from further hurting himself by filing a vindictive suit for divorce in Rosehill.

A stepmother has all she can do just to win the affection of children that are not her own. When such youngsters are beset by emotional problems, as Barbara is, her problem becomes doubly difficult.The father also has a difficult job on his hands, for he has to play fair with both his new wife and hischildren . . . and his deepest obligation is to his children. When conflicts
arise between wife and children, he has to decide who's right without offending any of them.

Vanessa's disagreement with Bruce concerning daughter Barbara doesn't seem to have been too volatile. But Vanessa's involvement in Barbara's predicament may be looked upon by her stepdaughter as "interfering." After all, she is an adult, and if her marriage turned out unsatisfactorily, she must be left to find her own solution — unless she asks for advice.

Her younger brother, Alan, also has no business interfering in his sister's private life. Certainly he and all members other family should give her emotional support in such a time of crisis, but that is all.As to prevailing upon Barbara and Rick to seek a Mexican divorce, we wonder if perhaps this wasn't motivated by the fear that some of the scandal would rub off on the rest of the family and a desire to protect their own reputations.

Deeply affecting the lives of Vanessa and her family is her stepchildren's grandmother, Mrs. Vivian Carlson — the mother of Bruce's first wife. She is a meddlesome, opinionated snob who causes constant friction among the Sterlings.

She exercises a good deal of influence on Barbara. It was she who encouraged her to seek a divorce and who accompanied her to Mexico. On their return, Barbara stayed with her and her husband, rather than with herT own family.The modern grandparent plays an important role in today's society. Mrs.Carlson, of course, is an extreme example of the worst kind of grandparentm who, to satisfy her own selfish needs, wreaks havoc with the rest of the family. That she is allowed to exercise such control is, to a great extent, Bruce's fault. It seems reasonable to assume that he is too weak to put a stop to her meddling.This is unfortunate for Vanessa, who now must battle the ghost of Bruce's first wife in the person of Mrs. Carlson.
Obviously, she has been unable to persuade Bruce to take a firmer stand against this woman.Barbara appears to be a weak, neu-
rotic young woman who lacks confidence in her father. In order to win over such a person, Vanessa may be forced to offer more love, warmth and understanding than she can muster. For the odds are stacked against her, and she can expect little help from her husband.

Conflict piles upon conflict, reaching a climax when Barbara discovers that she is pregnant — after the divorce. She wants to get rid of the baby, but Vanessa talks her out of it. Barbara agrees because she believes this to be her obligation as a mother and, despite
the fact that she is no longer married, the baby was conceived legitimately.Suddenly, Barbara grows closer to her stepmother and even moves back into her father's home. During her pregnancy, she works as a roving secretary at Winfield Academy and, although upset and depressed about her condition, she grimly determines to have the child. The intense emotional experience Barbara is going through seems to have helped her to transfer her dependency from her grandmother to her stepmother. This incident may help to draw Vanessa and Barbara closer to each other. It all depends on the firmness of their relationship during Barbara's pregnancy.

Once Barbara gives birth, however, many new problems may arise. If Barbara accepts Vanessa as her mother, rather than just as her stepmother, this will make Vanessa a true grandmother to the baby. Also, it will help her to cope with Mrs. Carlson, who is
sure to ingratiate herself into the situation.

Barbara's child is doomed to become the pawn of all this emotional give-and-take — just as is the newborn child in any broken family. The emotional problems of the parents and grandparents are sure to be visited upon the unfortunate child — unless they come to grips with their problems and clarify their relationships in a healthy, unneurotic way. Now that Barbara has decided to have her baby, she must resolve to protect the child from the disturbing emotions in her environment. Vanessa — or any stepmother — must be guided by the behavior of her step-daughter. She must take care not to interfere in matters concerning Barbara and her baby — yet be there when she is wanted and needed. Bruce — as Barbara's father — can be decidedly helpful by rising to the occasion and standing by both his wife and daughter. In any second marriage, the true parent must be strong in times of emotional crisis
in order to re-unite the family.

In Rosehill, where everybody knows everybody else, togetherness is a way of life. Privacy isn't easy to come by. Vanessa, as a respected member of the community, is caught up in one emotional tangle after another. So in addition to seeking answers to her own difficulties as a second wife, she hovers over her neighbors like a mother-hen,concerning herself with their problems as well.

Even in our largest cities, most people live in a "small town." A recent study on the subject emphasized the
fact that most people really know only those neighbors who live on their street; so, in effect, their street becomes a small town itself.

Rosehill is like that street. Vanessa is somewhat of a busybody. She messes around in what doesn't concern her.But in real life, the average woman has enough problems of her own to handle without going out of her way to become involved with her neighbors' difficulties. Vanessa can do this because she has "dramatic license" to do so; it makes her more interesting.A real-life woman in her position would be so taken up with the task of making her second marriage work that she'd have little time or patience
to concern herself with anything else. Any second marriage most certainly poses some very special problems of its own, and it's a full-time job for every second wife to find acceptance in a home that is not really her own. Whatever happens in Rosehill is a
matter of great concern to millions of faithful television fans. TV's Vanessa is their Vanessa.

Even if yours isn't a second marriage, you can't fail to be affected by her various emotional conflicts. And if yours is a second marriage, chances are that you most certainly see yourself as Vanessa in your own life.

But have a care. Remember to separate the real from the fanciful. Vanessa is not truly of flesh and blood;you are! Make sure you don't wrongly confuse yourself and your problems with the image on your TV screen.

This month we dealt with Vanessa Sterling and the problems arising out of a second marriage. Next month we'll tackle another popular daytime drama psychologically and try to make its stories and characters meaningful in your own life. — The End

"Love of Life" is seen over CBS-TV,
M-F, from 12 noon to 12:30 p.m. edt.

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From 1978's Soap Opera Book--the section on "real life issues"

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This year on Love of Life, Ben Harper was convicted of bigamy and sent to prison. At first his imprisonment was marked by boredom and depression; later he learned of the violence that is equally characteristic of prison life. He was subjected to physical attacks, and even to attempted rape.

The show tried to realistically depict the cruelty and degradation experienced by men behind bars. (In addition, this story marked the first time that male rape was ever discussed on a daytime serial.)

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That's really interesting, Eric.
I always thought Love of Life sounded like an interesting show. Too bad it was canceled before I was born. Did it get really bad towards the end (in terms of writing)? I know some soaps were pretty good when they got the ax, but fell victim to timeslot changes.

Edited by Pine Charles

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Some of us discussed this in the videobash thread where the last episode was uploaded, and some here. I thought the episodes were not too good and were dated (even by 1980) and melodramatic, and it sounds like it wasn't going to get better if the show had stayed on. But there were some bright spots too.

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Wow, what a find! Thanks for posting. I don't think I've ever seen such an in-depth look at this show at this time - details about what worked as well as some insight into what didn't work as well. And I love how Reed said a paternity story would have been "hackneyed even in the 1950s." Where are the soap "journalists" who are willing to say that nearly 40 years later?

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I've seen articles from years later and then writeups in some soap books of the time, but nothing that mentioned the good and the bad.

Soap magazines in this era, the ones that were trying to stand out from Daytime TV or Afternoon TV, were willing to be vocal and critical (Afternoon TV became more critical later in the 70s). They had respect for the genre and wanted it to grow and change.

Now the soap "press" is just trying to stay alive, and then, websites, that should be more of a voice, mostly see soaps as a joke, a guffawfest. The more hilarious the better. It's "soapy goodness." If they did a hilarious comedy version of the story where Ben was almost raped in prison, they'd get raves.

From everything I've read it sounds like Claire Labine and Paul Mayer worked so hard to turn the show around. It just wouldn't be allowed today. I wish that material was available. Since most of it isn't, at least we have these articles as a time capsule.

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I wish that material was available.

As do I.

Thanks, Carl, for sharing this article. As Delia said, this was a real find -- and you're both right: no way would the soap press be as objectively critical about a show today. No. Way.

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Thanks for posting this. I chuckled at the fact that, even in the 1970s, the idea of long time characters becoming "benevolent goodies" was around.

The sequence with Ben and Betsy at the boat house sounds entertaining.

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