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HOW TO SURVIVE A MARRIAGE


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Thanks for posting them, Carl - the Bachmans aka Fran Brill and Allan Miller. I just had the through the mail success from Fran Brill today (along with AW's Beverly Penberthy), and I've had Allan Miller's autograph for several years - before I even knew he had been on soaps. The fan letter I wrote to him was in regards to his primetime career. He went on to be an acting coach for many years (I'm not sure if he is still at it or is retired - he's in his mid-80s by now).


The first photo of Fran Brill was when she played Rachel Jackson in 1975's First Ladies Diaries: Rachel Jackson opposite TD's Gerald Gordon as Andrew Jackson.

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Those signed photos you are collecting Amy from all those actors are such a treat.

I wonder if some of those performers would be interested in talking more about their soap roles and giving us some behind the scenes info?

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I was thinking of writing Ms. Brill again and telling her how so many here at SON remember those scenes of Fran Bachman becoming a sudden widow so vividly. I'd also like to ask her how she liked working with Gerald Gordon in FLD (I forgot to ask in my other letter).

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I was thinking of writing Ms. Brill again and telling her how so many here at SON remember those scenes of Fran Bachman becoming a sudden widow so vividly. I'd also like to ask her how she liked working with Gerald Gordon in FLD (I forgot to ask in my other letter).

I have a scrapbook with dozens of articles and interviews on HTSAM, and there's a great interview with Fran Brill, talking about the wonderful story involving Bachman's death. She quite rightly described writer Rick Edlestein (who wrote the series in its brilliant middle period, between hacks Anne Howard Bailey and Margaret DePriest) as a genius. With Edelstein's literate, adult scripts, the show was like a character-driven stage play every day. According to Brill, however, she got trench mouth from sobbing so much during the tragic storyline of losing her husband.

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I'm not surprised to hear that, as Retro TV is currently running the episodes of The Doctors (which of course starred the actor who played Andrew Jackson to Fran's Rachel Jackson, Gerald Gordon) co-written by Rita Lakin and the aforementioned Rick Edelstein. He then moved on to primetime, and one of the shows he worked extensively on, both as a writer AND a director, was Starsky & Hutch!!! Allan Miller guested on four episodes of that show.

If you can post or transcribe any of those articles, I would love to read them. Fran is also the one who integrated the "boys' club" (Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson, Caroll Spinney) of Muppeteers, as she was the first woman on the show to join their ranks. I wonder how she juggled her HTSAM schedule with Sesame Street. Of course, with both shows taping in NYC helped. I'm sure her work with the Muppets helped counter the tears she shed on the soap!!!

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Great article that really reinforces what has been said about HTSAM. Channel seems to focus on the early days but I have read the show became more traditional and 'soapy' later on. She was no fan of Agnes Nixon!

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I remember reading this review decades ago, and still agree with its excellent and insightful points. As originally written by the dreaded Anne Howard bailey, HTSAM might have been "hip," but it was also hackneyed, lacked any depth of character, and managed to be both preachy and BORING. It was not until Bailey was replaced by the wonderful Rick Edelestein, during the time of David Bachman's death, that the quality of the writing soared. Edelstein was a genius, and so good at complex characterizations and rich, interpersonal relationship conflict, in the style of Harding Lemay. Unfortunately, when the ratings did not instantly increase, TPTB replaced Edelstein with (gag me) Margaret DePriest, and the writing fell into the toilet once more.  It may sound bizarre for me to say that I hold a special place in my heart for this almost-forgotten little soap, because watching its brilliant middle section, after Bailey and before DePriest, I know what a great serial it COULD have been.

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