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5 hours ago, Chris B said:

@Efulton From the book he made it clear they made several attempts to work things out with her from Paul Rauch talking to her and he even went to lunch with her and she was adamant she wasn’t willing to make any adjustments. Granted we only have his perspective but it seemed like they had a few divas in the cast and seemed to give them chance after chance before doing anything to them. Even the guy he said was his friend was given several reprieves before Rauch fired him. I do think it’s a shame the show lost a matriarch but it does seem like it was her doing. 

 

In general did Lemay feature much of the Matthews family or did he phase them out?

If I recall from his book didn't he say when he met her at her favourite restaraunt  to discuss the issues he internationally sat in the seat Virginia Dwyer usually sat in?  I may remember this wrong but it seems like as jerky thing to do. I do agree she appeared to be a diva but what cast doesn't have a few? 

 

Harding Lemay did keep the Matthews as a core family.  I will give him credit for that.  Even bringing back Liz, Susan and Dan during his tenure. However, he had 2 original members of the family fired (Dwyer and Courtney).  I am not sure why he killed off John Randolph who was played by the longest member of the cast at the time.  I often wondered if Michael Ryan who played John was the friend.

 

Edited by Efulton

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1 hour ago, BuckyB12 said:

The other families you mentioned were all much smaller and intended to be less-permanent. Joey and Rose Perrini were given to Angie for a family when AW expanded to 90 minutes (though they had been Ada's offscreen next-door neighbors for years). I don't think anyone expected Gail Brown's Clarice Hobson to stay around as long as she did (probably not even her), and though Lemay brought in her father Charlie, her brothers Denny and Leigh didn't arrive until the 80s. The Delaneys were a family on Somerset, but only Robert came to AW. His marriage to Lenore didn't last. and he left town after his engagement to Iris ended. I actually don't recall much being made of the fact that Cory Hobson was Robert's son in later years, and I don't think Cory was ever SORASed.

 

Lemay actually expanded the Perrini family before the show's expansion to 90 minutes in March 1979. Rose and Joey arrived in April 1978, nearly a year before the show's expansion. The family that Lemay expanded in March 1979 were the Simpsons -- Eileen's aunt and uncle Rita and Paul Connelly (a love interest for Rose) and Eileen's brother Morgan (played by Gary Tomlin). Lemay was gone by May 1979. The Perrinis and Simpsons, with the exception of Joey, were all phased out during Tom King/Robert Soderberg's stint. And, no, Cory was never SORASed. I had always hoped Cory would show up, especially during Carmen Duncan's time as Iris. I envisioned him stirring up lots of trouble.

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7 minutes ago, robbwolff said:

 

Lemay actually expanded the Perrini family before the show's expansion to 90 minutes in March 1979. Rose and Joey arrived in April 1978, nearly a year before the show's expansion. The family that Lemay expanded in March 1979 were the Simpsons -- Eileen's aunt and uncle Rita and Paul Connelly (a love interest for Rose) and Eileen's brother Morgan (played by Gary Tomlin). Lemay was gone by May 1979. The Perrinis and Simpsons, with the exception of Joey, were all phased out during Tom King/Robert Soderberg's stint. And, no, Cory was never SORASed. I had always hoped Cory would show up, especially during Carmen Duncan's time as Iris. I envisioned him stirring up lots of trouble.

Speaking of Carmen Duncan, she's the only Iris I really knew since I watching the show as a kid during her era. I always found her character fascinating and was disappointed when she was written off. I think if they would have kept her as a bitch on wheels and a thorn in Rachel's side it could have worked long-term in a Vicki/Dorian from OLTL kind of way.

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7 hours ago, Chris B said:

@Efulton From the book he made it clear they made several attempts to work things out with her from Paul Rauch talking to her and he even went to lunch with her and she was adamant she wasn’t willing to make any adjustments. Granted we only have his perspective but it seemed like they had a few divas in the cast and seemed to give them chance after chance before doing anything to them. Even the guy he said was his friend was given several reprieves before Rauch fired him. I do think it’s a shame the show lost a matriarch but it does seem like it was her doing. 

 

In general did Lemay feature much of the Matthews family or did he phase them out?

 

In the press, Dwyer said that her problem with Lemay's writing was that he had (without foundation) turned Mary Matthews into a domineering, cold shrew with little signs of the warmth, kindness, and humor she had always previously exhibited. He railed against Dwyer's changing any dialogue in attempts to keep a consistent through-line for the character, while at the same time, highly praising his pets like Constance Ford for doing the exact same thing; for editing and changing their dialogue to make their characters seem more in character). Lemay clearly disliked the actress personally, and in his book, he describes their meeting for lunch with a few ludicrous descriptions in which he projects negative thought processes onto Dwyer (which clearly, arose from his own overheated imagination unless he was a documented mind reader).

 

In the mid-1970s, Hugh Marlowe, who played Mary's husband Jim, was starting to have trouble with his lines, and would stumble through them,  "go up", and look around desperately for the teleprompter.  Lemay blamed this on Dwyer (!!!), even though Marlowe kept fumbling dialogue with other cast members too. Dwyer said that Lemay did not believe there really were good, maternal women like "the original-concept" Mary Matthews in the world, and he was determined to write the character in the negative light he perceived her. In fact, Lemay admitted that when Dwyer complained, he got miffed and started to give Mary's potential story material to Aunt Liz. Talk about petulant.

 

As a viewer who had watched AW from 1964, I was perturbed by Mary's sudden change in character, but at least I could justify it in my own mind by remembering how dreadful Rachel and Steven had been to her children. I could see Mary becoming cold and bitter towards those two, but I can see why Dwyer might find it uncomfortable to play. Imagine Alice Horton suddenly acting like a vindictive Phoebe Tyler. It was jarring.

 

I don't think it was Dwyer who had the ego problem, certainly not in comparison to Lemay and Rauch, both of whom proved to be endlessly triggered and/or pompous over the years.

 

To me, it was a terrible mistake to kill off Mary Matthews and to fire enormously talented and popular actors like Courtney and Reinholt. Susan Sullivan as Lenore also left the show the same year, and the loss of all these many actors/characters crippled the AW's core.

 

3 hours ago, Efulton said:

Harding Lemay did keep the Matthews as a core family.  I will give him credit for that.  Even bringing back Liz, Susan and Dan during his tenure. However, he had 2 original members of the family fired (Dwyer and Courtney).  I am not sure why he killed off John Randolph who was played by the longest member of the cast at the time.  I often wondered if Michael Ryan who played John was the friend.

 

 

Lemay said that Michael M. Ryan (John Randolph) was boring and he was not interested in writing for him.

 

I agree that Lemay technically continued to use the Matthews family characters, but unfortunately, the "new" actors hired to play Susan and Dan were not particularly attractive or likable, and David Bailey as the new Russ was dry and colorless. I don't believe the majority of the veterans audience ever really warmed up to Susan Harney, who was too young and too cold to play the new Alice. With all these newbie actors playing key roles, the Matthewses suddenly felt like a bunch of unfamiliar pod people. It did not help that Hugh Marlowe often stumbled through his lines. Thank God for ID as Aunt Liz and BP as Pat.

 

I think the friend whom Lemay referred to in his book was Nic Coster, who later acknowledged that he had trouble learning his lines, and that Beverlee McKinsey was not so nice about that.

 

 

Edited by vetsoapfan

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20 minutes ago, vetsoapfan said:

 

In the press, Dwyer said that her problem with Lemay's writing was that he had (without foundation) turned Mary Matthews into a domineering, cold shrew with little signs of the warmth, kindness, and humor she had always previously exhibited. He railed against Dwyer's changing any dialogue in attempts to keep a consistent through-line for the character, while at the same time, highly praising his pets like Constance Ford for doing the exact same thing; for editing and changing their dialogue to make their characters seem more in character). Lemay clearly disliked the actress personally, and in his book, he describes their meeting for lunch with a few ludicrous descriptions in which he projects negative thought processes to Dwyer (which clearly, arose from his own overheated imagination unless he was a documented mind reader).

 

In the mid-1970s, Hugh Marlowe, who played Mary's husband Jim, was clearly having trouble with his lines, and would stumble through them,  "go up", and look around desperately for the teleprompter.  Lemay blamed this on Dwyer (!!!), even though Marlowe kept fumbling dialogue with other cast members too. Dwyer said that Lemay did not believe there really were good, maternal women like "the original concept" Mary Matthews in the world, and he was determined to write the character in the negative light he perceived her. In fact, Lemay admitted he started to 

 

As a viewer who had watched AW from 1964, I was perturbed by Mary's sudden change in character, but at least I could justify it in my own mind by remembering how dreadful Rachel and Steven had been to her children. I could see Mary becoming cold and bitter towards those two, but I can see why Dwyer might find it uncomfortable to play. Imagine Alice Horton suddenly acting like Phoebe Tyler. It was jarring.

 

I don't think it was Dwyer who had the ego problem, certainly not in comparison to Lemay and Rauch, both of whom proved to be endlessly triggered and/or pompous over the years.

 

I believe it was a terrible mistake to kill off Mary Matthews and to fire enormously talented and popular actors like Courtney and Reinholt. Susan Sullivan as Lenore also left the show the same year, and the loss of all these many actors/characters crippled the AW's core.

 

Lemay said that Michael M. Ryan (John Randolph) was boring and Lemay was not interested in writing for him.

 

I agree that Lemay continued to use the Matthews family characters, but unfortunately, the "new" actors hired to play Susan and Dan were not particularly attractive or likable, and David Bailey as the new Russ was dry and colorless. I don't believe the majority of the veterans audience ever really warmed up to Susan Harney, who was too young and too cold to play the new Alice. With all these newbie actors playing key roles, the Matthewses suddenly felt like a bunch of unfamiliar pond people. It did not help that Hugh Marlowe often stumbled through his lines. Thank God for ID as Aunt Liz and BP as Pat.

 

I think the friend whom Lemay referred to in his book was Nic Coster, who later acknowledged that he had trouble learning his lines, and that Beverlee McKinsey was not so nice about that.

 

 

Thank you @vetsoapfan.  

 

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@vetsoapfan  I think in his own way, Lemay had to admit he was wrong about firing Jacqueline Courtney... but couldn't outright say he was wrong except to say that she wasn't a strong actress.. but was a charismatic actress.. and that Susan Harney was a strong actress, but lacked charisma.  I do know that my mom (and my grandfather especially) were die hard AW fans.. and Alice/Steve/Rachel.. later Rachel/Iris/Mac were memorable stories.  

 

I often think it was odd the timing in which they fired Courtney because she lasted a few months longer than the other two actors fired.. and in fact, was given some interesting/meaty material to act... being a mother to a suddenly orphaned child and becoming a widow all around the same time.  I bet had Courtney stayed around, Alice would have had the same focus and attention at Mac/Rachel/Iris had.. in fact.. i could have envisioned a Ray/Olive/Alice situation to rival that of Mac/Rachel/Iris.

 

And her brief return in 1984-85 showed how strong and likable she was as an actress plus her brief visits in 1989.  Speaking of which, still think it was a mistake to fire BP as Pat in early 1982 when she still had a lot of potential as a character.. even her brief return in 1989 showed that the character had some fire in her still.  Shame really.

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it was madness dumping Beverly Penberthy. She was still avery attractive woman and in all her years on the show Pat had only been married once.

It would have made more sense to use Pat as a bridge to establishing a new family, much like Jill marrying into the Abbotts on Y&R.

Pat's new husband could have had a couple of kids and Pat had Mike and Marianne who had been aged dramatically in the 70's and could have been reintroduced still in their 20's to be viable.

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Thank you all for this great insight! It seems clear Another World has a storied history and we’re lucky to have a window into it unlike most soaps. I plan on reading Bill Bell and Agnes Nixon’s memoirs but I know they won’t be as frank. 

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12 hours ago, Soaplovers said:

I think in his own way, Lemay had to admit he was wrong about firing Jacqueline Courtney... but couldn't outright say he was wrong

Listening to Lemay's We Love Soaps Interview, he still seemed sassy and dogmatic in his opinions even 40 years after his memoir.  His derision of Doug Marland's rules and his clapback about the context of actors not wanting to play gay characters in the 1970's were remarkable.  In fact, it sounds like Marland rarely felt that he was wrong about anything.

 

To reiterate my earlier point, he doesn't get enough credit for his honesty about working with actors, networks, and advertisers.   I would argue that most of the fan supposition about how backstage politics affects the soaps, as well as a general awareness of how soaps change due to the headwriter comes from his memoir.  Thus, he not only elevated the dialogue within soaps, but he also made soaps fans into a more sophisticated audience.  

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14 hours ago, Efulton said:

Thank you @vetsoapfan.  

 

 

My pleasure. 

 

14 hours ago, Soaplovers said:

@vetsoapfan  I think in his own way, Lemay had to admit he was wrong about firing Jacqueline Courtney... but couldn't outright say he was wrong except to say that she wasn't a strong actress.. but was a charismatic actress.. and that Susan Harney was a strong actress, but lacked charisma.  I do know that my mom (and my grandfather especially) were die hard AW fans.. and Alice/Steve/Rachel.. later Rachel/Iris/Mac were memorable stories.  

 

I often think it was odd the timing in which they fired Courtney because she lasted a few months longer than the other two actors fired.. and in fact, was given some interesting/meaty material to act... being a mother to a suddenly orphaned child and becoming a widow all around the same time.  I bet had Courtney stayed around, Alice would have had the same focus and attention at Mac/Rachel/Iris had.. in fact.. i could have envisioned a Ray/Olive/Alice situation to rival that of Mac/Rachel/Iris.

 

And her brief return in 1984-85 showed how strong and likable she was as an actress plus her brief visits in 1989.  Speaking of which, still think it was a mistake to fire BP as Pat in early 1982 when she still had a lot of potential as a character.. even her brief return in 1989 showed that the character had some fire in her still.  Shame really.

 

I doubt Lemay's ego and pride, along with his apparent personal dislike of the actress,  would allow him to admit he had made a huge mistake in firing Courtney. Considering some of the gratuitously nasty and childish swipes he took at her, I was surprised to see him admit she had star appeal which contributed to OLTL's rise in the ratings.

 

Personally, I felt she was both a strong actress AND charismatic, while Susan Harney was a capable actress who lacked much charisma. Without a doubt, the audience loved Courtney dearly, and it's always foolish to fire long-running series leads who are so beloved, just because the writers have personal issues with them. There was a revolving door of recast Alices, and while a few of them were better than the others, some of the actresses cast were simply dreadful, and even Lemay admitted that after Courtney was fired, the character never recaptured her former popularity.

 

The loss of Dwyer, Reinholt, Courtney and Susan Sullivan left the show in a vulnerable, weakened state, and as its competition grew significantly stronger over the next few years. AW's ratings took a sharp nosedive, and the soap never really recovered.

 

14 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

it was madness dumping Beverly Penberthy. She was still a very attractive woman and in all her years on the show Pat had only been married once.

It would have made more sense to use Pat as a bridge to establishing a new family, much like Jill marrying into the Abbotts on Y&R.

Pat's new husband could have had a couple of kids and Pat had Mike and Marianne who had been aged dramatically in the 70's and could have been reintroduced still in their 20's to be viable.

 

After Lemay and Rauch were both gone, P&G would have been smart to do their best to rehire Penberthy and Courtney, and even get the enormously popular Sam Groom back as Russ. The story about Steven Frame returning from the dead might have worked if it had been well written (Corrine Jacker was dreadful), and if Courtney had been playing Alice at the time. If George Reinholt had calmed down by that point, and could be relied upon to behave in a professional manner, I would have preferred to see him bring the character back, of course. I fantasized about AW bringing Mike Bauer over from TGL, to reignite his relationship with Pat Randolph, after Don Stewart left TGL. And I wanted Douglas Marland to assume the reigns of headwriter on AW after he left TGL. With the likes of Courtney (and maybe Reinholt), Wyndham and Watson, Penberthy and Don Stewart, Irene Dailey and Constance Ford, AW would have been filled with popular actors and characters, and with Marland at the helm, we would have had a writer who knew the show and loved using history. Our AW might have been able to rebound and flourish.

 

Alas, it was never to be.

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1 hour ago, vetsoapfan said:

 

My pleasure. 

 

 

I doubt Lemay's ego and pride, along with his apparent personal dislike of the actress,  would allow him to admit he had made a huge mistake in firing Courtney. Considering some of the gratuitously nasty and childish swipes he took at her, I was surprised to see him admit she had star appeal which contributed to OLTL's rise in the ratings.

 

Personally, I felt she was both a strong actress AND charismatic, while Susan Harney was a capable actress who lacked much charisma. Without a doubt, the audience loved Courtney dearly, and it's always foolish to fire long-running series leads who are so beloved, just because the writers have personal issues with them. There was a revolving door of recast Alices, and while a few of them were better than the others, some of the actresses cast were simply dreadful, and even Lemay admitted that after Courtney was fired, the character never recaptured her former popularity.

 

The loss of Dwyer, Reinholt, Courtney and Susan Sullivan left the show in a vulnerable, weakened state, and as its competition grew significantly stronger over the next few years. AW's ratings took a sharp nosedive, and the soap never really recovered.

 

 

After Lemay and Rauch were both gone, P&G would have been smart to do their best to rehire Penberthy and Courtney, and even get the enormously popular Sam Groom back as Russ. The story about Steven Frame returning from the dead might have worked if it had been well written (Corrine Jacker was dreadful), and if Courtney had been playing Alice at the time. If George Reinholt had calmed down by that point, and could be relied upon to behave in a professional manner, I would have preferred to see him bring the character back, of course. I fantasized about AW bringing Mike Bauer over from TGL, to reignite his relationship with Pat Randolph, after Don Stewart left TGL. And I wanted Douglas Marland to assume the reigns of headwriter on AW after he left TGL. With the likes of Courtney (and maybe Reinholt), Wyndham and Watson, Penberthy and Don Stewart, Irene Dailey and Constance Ford, AW would have been filled with popular actors and characters, and with Marland at the helm, we would have had a writer who knew the show and loved using history. Our AW might have been able to rebound and flourish.

 

Alas, it was never to be.

 

I think the show would have been fine if Courtney hadn't been fired.. She had started as a teenager and had grown into an adult that had been handed some hard knocks, and by 1975.. she would have dealt with the loss of both her mother and husband within a short amount of time.. and her trying to make a way for herself and her newly adopted daughter Sally would have been a wonderful story to have seen unfold.  Alice wouldn't have a breakdown, but keep things going for the sake of Sally.. and I think the audience would have enjoyed the journey the character went on trying to forge a new start and identity outside of Steve.. and outside of her former tense relationship with Rachel.

 

It's a shame because I think Alice and Rachel could have both existed in their own stories.. and interacted at functions where both were cordial/friendly with a hint of tension existing still between them.  The show kind of played on that from 1984/5 where they had their own stories/lives.. and would cross paths and be friendly.. yet there was always a tension that existed between them.

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4 hours ago, Soaplovers said:

 

I think the show would have been fine if Courtney hadn't been fired.. She had started as a teenager and had grown into an adult that had been handed some hard knocks, and by 1975.. she would have dealt with the loss of both her mother and husband within a short amount of time.. and her trying to make a way for herself and her newly adopted daughter Sally would have been a wonderful story to have seen unfold.  Alice wouldn't have a breakdown, but keep things going for the sake of Sally.. and I think the audience would have enjoyed the journey the character went on trying to forge a new start and identity outside of Steve.. and outside of her former tense relationship with Rachel.

 

It's a shame because I think Alice and Rachel could have both existed in their own stories.. and interacted at functions where both were cordial/friendly with a hint of tension existing still between them.  The show kind of played on that from 1984/5 where they had their own stories/lives.. and would cross paths and be friendly.. yet there was always a tension that existed between them.

 

I agree, since she was a central linchpin and the last remaining original cast member, Courtney's continued presence could have helped keep AW stable. But with so many other core characters written out or recast, it made JC's firing even more damaging and egregious.

 

In published interviews, Courtney acknowledged that at the time of her dismissal, she had felt it would be now appropriate for Alice to grow up and become stronger in order to raise Sally on her own. Rauch brought her into his office and told her about the upcoming storyline that Lemay had created for the character, which would have seen Alice being a helpless, manipulated weakling. When Courtney balked, Rauch did not say anything right away. Courtney left town for a month's vacation and when she returned, she was told the show had already dumped her and Alice was being recast. Rauch had announced to the daytime magazines that Courtney and AW had parted company through "mutual agreement"...although Courtney knew nothing about it. Shades of how Rauch treated and spit on (figuratively) Lillian Hayman on OLTL.

 

When Susan Harney was playing Alice, I remember Lemay writing scenes in which Rachel and Alice were suddenly friendly, with no explanation of how they had gotten to that point. Rachel even invited Alice to have lunch with her at Ada's house (soup was on the menu) and Alice agreed. I thought, WTF is this? Another time, Willis Frame was at work, but he had to take a break from office duties because, "I told Alice I would make a phone call for her." Again, WTF? Alice was now such a cripple that she couldn't use the phone? It was hard to watch, and Courtney had been right to disagree with how Lemay planned write for Alice after Mary and Steven died. 

Edited by vetsoapfan

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@vetsoapfan I knew something was up with how Courtney was dismissed a few months after Swyer/Reinholt had been dismisssed....and that explanation answers it.

 

I could see why she had an issue with what Lemay was planning to do.  The Alice of 1969 who dumped Steve after finding out he was the father of Rachel's unborn baby, and worked her through nursing school and had a life/career of her own.. wouldn't be so fragile.  I agreed with her instincts (the same as mine) that Alice wouldn't fall apart because she had Sally and had to be a strong influence for her.  Did Alice act all weak and fragile when Harney took over?  I seem to recall her Alice was colder and not as warm/sarcastic as Courtney's Alice.

 

I guess we can all say that we are blessed to have her year return in the mid 80s to show that she was a good actress and was playing a stronger/confident Alice again.  I even thought she had good acting instincts with how under-stated she was during the Rachel Amnesia story where she was trying to remain professional.

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7 hours ago, Soaplovers said:

I guess we can all say that we are blessed to have her year return in the mid 80s to show that she was a good actress and was playing a stronger/confident Alice again.  I even thought she had good acting instincts with how under-stated she was during the Rachel Amnesia story where she was trying to remain professional.

 

The Rachel amnesia story was right before Courtney left in 1985.  The show really missed a big opportunity at this point.  Rachel moved back into the Cory mansion, but she wanted a separate bedroom, eventually even moving out of the mansion for awhile.  The writers should have had Mac start seeing Alice again since Rachel wanted nothing to do with him while she had amnesia.  Mac and Alice were once engaged, and Alice would have had the upper hand for once over Rachel.  There were kinds of storyline possibilities using the history of the show, yet the writers wrote Alice off the show.

 

 

The scene starting at 19:00 was a goldmine of storyline possibilities 

 

 

Edited by watson71

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