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MichaelGL

The Doctors

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Thanks for posting. I guess that episode was during the writers strike.

MJ fussing over Jerry...nothing came of that relationship.

 

Back to the 60's. July 1964

 Fans Kept Her From Being Killed By Script Writers

When a character on a serial drama becomes too lovable to write out of the script, what can you do? That's the dilemma which veteran actress Ruth McDevitt presented to the producer of NBC-TV's The Doctors (Monday through Friday, 2:30 p.m. on channels 4 and 5). First of all, you call the lady's agent and find out if she is signed for a Broadway play in the fall. When she is (as Miss McDevitt is signed to star in "The Absence of a Cello"), you agree to write around her for many a long week provided she will return from time to time. Ruth McDevitt signed to play Mrs. McMurtrie, an elderly Irish housekeeper for Chaplain Sam Shafer. The lovable lady of the script was supposed to expire of a kidney ailment but the warmth of the on-the-air relationship with the chaplain drew so much appreciative fan mail, that neither the producer (Jerry Layton) nor the writer could bear to eliminate dear Mrs. McMurtrie. She survived her kidney operation and after a few weeks returned to her duties as the chaplain's housekeeper. The chaplain is portrayed by Fred J. Scollay, whom the actress holds in high regard. "Fred is a very good actor," she says. "But then in daytime television you've GOT to be fast, accurate and good. They don't have time to fool around with people who have to try things a dozen ways before they're right. Some of the best acting on television is done in the daytime. "I think many actors make a bad mistake if they look down their noses at daytime drama. It's a great mistake." Although Mrs. McMurtrie is a woman of impeccable behavior, Miss McDevitt often plays ladies who are somewhat less inhibited. "In my new play," she points out, "I will be seen as an elderly lady named Emma Littlewood who drinks, swears and gambles... but she IS a lady, despite that." Miss McDevitt wagged her head and said firmly, "Don't underestimate Mrs. McMurtrie. She may not drink, smoke and gamble, but I think she is more than a meddlesome old woman in a daytime serial. She's a simple honest woman of keen insight who feels too much responsibility toward human nature. The only reason she seems meddlesome, I guess,' is that she tries to get everything fixed up for everybody before her life span runs out. I like Mrs. McMurtrie." Other people like Mrs. McMurtrie, too, as the fan mail arriving at Studio 3B in New York's RCA Building amply indicates. "So glad to see you," writes a fan who has enjoyed Miss Mc-Devitt's work on Alfred Hitchcock's nighttime TV show. "I've always enjoyed your work," wrote another woman who recalled Miss McDevitt as Mrs. Gamadge the national commit-teewoman, in the Broadway production of "The Best Man."

 

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@Paul Raven I didn't realize that was Jerry. I thought that was some random guy. And MJ's date was filler to pad out the episode. Nola's story seems like a hot mess. But Kim Zimmer still gave it her all. Plus Kim looked great with krimp hair. Even through this episode was ghost written during a writers strike. Who ever wrote Althea's scenes knew who Nick was. It was a nice touch to see Nick's photo. In one of Althea's moving boxes. I do love when history is used. Little details like that mean a whole lot. 

Edited by victoria foxton

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Ugh...was this recast of MJ accepted?  I certainly wouldn't have accepted her...she seems ditzy and needy...

 

Wow...Kim Zimmer before she started chewing scenery.  She's pretty good as Nola.

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2 hours ago, Soaplovers said:

Ugh...was this recast of MJ accepted?  I certainly wouldn't have accepted her...she seems ditzy and needy...

 

Wow...Kim Zimmer before she started chewing scenery.  She's pretty good as Nola.

 

That's Kathy Glass playing MJ.  She really wasn't accepted as MJ, but she did stay in the role for quite a long time.  And she was a very good actress.  She basically played MJ like an entirely different character -- not confident witty MJ as played by Lauren White.  After Glass had been there a while, her MJ was sort of accepted, but more as a new character -- if that makes sense.   

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3 hours ago, Neil Johnson said:

 

That's Kathy Glass playing MJ.  She really wasn't accepted as MJ, but she did stay in the role for quite a long time.  And she was a very good actress.  She basically played MJ like an entirely different character -- not confident witty MJ as played by Lauren White.  After Glass had been there a while, her MJ was sort of accepted, but more as a new character -- if that makes sense.   

I have to disagree. I think she was widely accepted as MJ. It was quite a casting coup. I know I adored her in the role — both during the show’s original run and in the reruns. And she played the character as it was written. This was a period when there was constant turnover of head writers — I think there were four sets of head writers in just the first year of Kathy’s run. They were the ones that transformed the character so radically. The changes started when Mel and Ethel Brez were writing the show and MJ was widowed. The changes were even evident when Carla Dragoni briefly played MJ. 

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From SOD 

Alan Locher, who hosts The Locher Room on YouTube, has partnered with Retro TV to bring you a virtual reunion with former cast members from THE DOCTORS. David Elliott (ex-Billy), Jonathan Frakes (ex-Tom), Nancy Stafford (ex-Adrienne), Anna Stuart (ex-Toni), Frank Telfer (ex-Luke/Lew) and Marie Thomas-Foster (ex-Lauri) will be participating in the chat on Friday September 25 at 2 p.m. ET, 

 

https://www.soapoperadigest.com/content/the-doctors-virtual-reunion-scheduled/

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