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I read an interview where Wyndham says she had reservations about taking that Rachel part because she had just finished playing Charlotte on GL, a very Rachelesque character, but Lemay and Rauch convinced her to take it.

Wyndham was the only Rachel that I have ever known. I watched a Strasser episode at the Paley Center many moons ago, something about Liz seeing Rachel and Steve having lunch at a private club. It was definitely Stasser's part, there was no doubt about that, and you're right, she was anything but one dimensional. However, Wyndham did a pretty good job before the character transformation in the few scenes that I've seen her in. Somewhere on Youtube there is a scene of Wyndham fighting with Irene Dailey's Liz about Alice's House and she throws in a line about Alice never giving Steven any children. It was brutal and so very good.

If you can, would you elaborate more on this. Did VW not plan to stay with the show long? Thanks!!

This from an interview a few years back. The interviewer was David Shankbone:

Where do you think soaps are going to go now?

VW: I have no idea. I haven’t even addressed it. I’m so uninterested.

Would you go back to one?

VW: Oh, it would have to be an extraordinary offer and an extraordinary situation. In other words, probably not. I wasn’t interested in soaps. I was doing it because it was a good job.

But twenty-five years on a soap. It’s so funny to hear you say you weren’t interested. I understand you had your children. It was a good gig, steady income. It kept you on the east coast.

VW: Kept me on the east coast. Kept me coming home at night. I was there at dinnertime every night while my kids were home. When they went off to college, then I had an apartment in the city and I didn’t have to do that kind of commuting. But when they were little and under my auspices, I was there all the time. So it was a great gig. Was it something I intended to do for the rest of my life? Not at all. But when I realized what the alternative was and I had two children to raise, it was a pretty good gig. Also, when you do work for one entity, you know you become competitive about it. They become your family.

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I have to laugh at the next bit. Wyndham often made fun of George, Jacquie and Dwyer's banging on about the show's history and respecting it, which was a major reason those three actors were upset at how Lemay kept writing the characters as though they were different people. Fast forward 20 years later, and the SAME thing was happening to Wyndham. When the interviewer refers to THEY, he means the later producers and head writers. Read on:

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And you also knew history.

VW: Yes, but that was less important for them than the fact that I was a good storyteller.

I read that they didn’t care about the history and the traditions in Another World?

VW: They did not. They also knew that I knew the company, knew the actors we had. I knew what they could act with and what they couldn’t act with. So I could come up with story that would make them look good.

“She’ll never be able to play that off. He’ll be able to…..” That kind of stuff?

VW: It wasn’t that dishy. It was more like, “Look this gal can’t do this stuff you’ve been giving her. But if you give her a storyline like this, where she gets to just be beautiful, she can do that and it will be fabulous.” There were a number of times where I could help them. Other times when some of the male stars who were awfully good … and this is going way back in the seventies and eighties … and we were worried about losing them to Hollywood. And we did. Like Ray Liotta and Jerry Fitzpatrick. They would come to me and say, ‘Can we give them a good story? What would keep them?’ I’d come up with a storyline that they’d pay me for; they’d give it to their writers and my name was never on it because I didn’t want that responsibility. I didn’t want to be put in that situation with my cast. I didn’t want to be lobbied. And that worked. They knew my storylines worked. When they didn’t work it was usually because they’d taken away the very elements that made them work in order to homogenize them. That was an ongoing battle. Towards the end, when we were fighting for the life of the show and trying to keep it on, because I felt a great deal of responsibility to try and help it stay on the air. Those were jobs for almost three hundred people. That was like another family for me. Stage hands and property people.

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You can see that Wyndham's ambition shine through by virtue of how she was allowed to give them story ideas AND get paid for it - mostly unheard of. So here we have the three long term actors being slapped down for doing it, but Wyndham gets PAID for it? Interesting...gossip claimed that she and Rauch were having a long fling even before he hired her. She came on with one hell of a lot of power.

Edited by toml1962
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That's interesting stuff. I've heard her say this before (about story ideas) but hadn't ever known it was to that extent.

I guess that's also why they went along with the whole Shakepeare's Sister routine with Rachel/Carl, which didn't do much for me.

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I've read that interview before and Wyndham comes off badly ,in my opinion.

I really find it hard to believe that headwriters and production people would be asking her to write storylines.If she gave one example,then I might reconsider my stance. It's the same interview where she claims that the show only stayed on because Brandon Tartikoff recognized her as the face of the show,and that she had ideas for product placement years before it eventuated.

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Strasser's Rachel was a selfish little girl, much in the vein of early Erica on AMC (which is no surprise, of course). I loved her in the role, just as I loved her as Dorian. But her Christina Karras on AMC was terrible, no matter how long it lasted. Anyone who saw her as Rachel or Dorian would be astonished that Strasser could play a character that was so flat-out boring. Most of the fault for that has to be laid at the feet of the writers, but Strasser did nothing to give the role any spark. That's not to say that she couldn't have played Rachel's transformation -- but really, the point is moot since it was she that wanted to leave AW, not the show's decision to get rid of her.

Wyndham's Rachel was a force of nature. She was truly scary in those early years. She did not often show the vulnerability that Strasser did, at least not until Rachel met Mac, but she was every bit as memorable. I don't know what Strasser would have done with Rachel's maturation, but I know that Wyndham's Rachel is the only reason I kept watching AW through so very many lean years ... just as Strasser's Dorian kept me watching OLTL. Both women made some unfortunate choices in the later years, as Carl alluded to, but they'd built up such goodwill over the years that I still loved them.

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While I have no solid frame of personal reference between the 2 Rachel's beyond what I've read and the scant bit of early Wyndham that I've seen, I think the most striking difference is that Strasser's Rachel could be rather passive-agressive. She was the type of character who would guilt you into doing something for her (poor Rachel. she's had it so rough.) or would wrap her malicious digs in the trappings of a compliment (It's so sad how Alice can't have a child of her own. Being barren is so tragic. My heart goes out to her. I feel so fortunate to have Jamie.). Wyndham's Rachel was just down right mean with none of those trappings. Strasser's Rachel would smile to get close enough to you and then stab you in the back. Wyndham's Rachel would knock someone out of the way to get to you and then full on gut you like a fish.

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Strasser's Rachel was a selfish little girl, much in the vein of early Erica on AMC (which is no surprise, of course). I loved her in the role, just as I loved her as Dorian. But her Christina Karras on AMC was terrible, no matter how long it lasted. Anyone who saw her as Rachel or Dorian would be astonished that Strasser could play a character that was so flat-out boring. Most of the fault for that has to be laid at the feet of the writers, but Strasser did nothing to give the role any spark. That's not to say that she couldn't have played Rachel's transformation -- but really, the point is moot since it was she that wanted to leave AW, not the show's decision to get rid of her.

Could not disagree more about her time on AMC. I remember those years very well and felt her characterization was so very different than that of Rachel or Dorian. She underplayed very nicely compared to the theatrical silliness of actors like Warrick or Lucci (who in my opinion was downright terrible during her first ten years on the show). AMC was always badly directed, and although once her major storyline was wrapped up the character had little to do, during the full story, I found Strasser's psychological angst very well done and astonishingly real.

I would have to agree that in later years, her performances on OLTL would at times have been better suited to the sort of characatures we got on AMC.

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While I have no solid frame of personal reference between the 2 Rachel's beyond what I've read and the scant bit of early Wyndham that I've seen, I think the most striking difference is that Strasser's Rachel could be rather passive-agressive. She was the type of character who would guilt you into doing something for her (poor Rachel. she's had it so rough.) or would wrap her malicious digs in the trappings of a compliment (It's so sad how Alice can't have a child of her own. Being barren is so tragic. My heart goes out to her. I feel so fortunate to have Jamie.). Wyndham's Rachel was just down right mean with none of those trappings. Strasser's Rachel would smile to get close enough to you and then stab you in the back. Wyndham's Rachel would knock someone out of the way to get to you and then full on gut you like a fish.

Right on target. Wyndham had none of the nuances during the early years. Possibly it was lack of skill - I've only seen a few of her performances on GL where her character was very similar. It does make sense that she was able to influence Rauch and company to change the character because the role became rather one-dimensional during her early years, and I do not blame her for wanting something else to do. But clearly they wanted to make her THE star.

Unlike TELPIN, I could not follow AW based on her work alone. At times she would give a mesmerizing performance - other times (no offense meant to her fans) she phoned it in IMO. I cannot say I felt Strasser phoned in her work, but there were quite a few times, especially in these more recent years, were she presented comedy rather than drama. I personally disliked that approach greatly.

I will have to dig to see if I can find it, but there is an interview from around 1978 where, although she names no names, she clearly was commenting about "certain actors" who take the history of the show too seriously in lieu of good story telling. Very much the opposite of her later position.

At any rate, I have to admit I prefer Strasser over Wundham as an actor. Having seen her work in other things, comedy to drama, it is easy to see she is quite versatile.

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When it's all said and done, I think the show and the fans were incredibly lucky to have two actresses make such a lasting impression and leave their unique mark on one of daytime's greatest characters. Strasser and Wyndham each brought something to this character, I don't think you can go wrong with either performance.

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With respect, you are incorrect. Reinholt's last episode was the very same one in which Mary died. See:

MARCH 28, 1975 (EP. #2708)

Rachel wished Steve a good journey when he phoned to arrange to say goodbye to Jamie. Steve told Alice the project was his opportunity to leave his mark on the world when she was sad about leaving their house, even if it was only temporary. Steve and Alice phoned Mary and Jim with their news. Jamie told Steve the house wouldn't be the same without him. Steve said goodbye to Jamie, then Alice made ready to take Steve to the airport. Jim woke up from a nap to find Mary had passed away in a chair on the terrace.

Jamie: "[THROWS HIMSELF IN HIS ARMS] I'll miss you, Dad."

Steve: "And I'll miss you."

Jamie: "[HE LOOKS AT STEVE] Bye, Dad..."

Steve: "Bye, son... [JAMIE TURNS QUICKLY AND GOES OUT]

Jim: "[HE KISSES HER] Thank you, darling..."

Mary: "For what?"

Jim: "For sharing my life... I've been wondering what I would have done without you."

Mary: "We don't have to wonder things like that, do we? Now, you get your rest-"

Jim: "I'll just give Pat a ring. You want to talk to her?"

Mary: "Yes, I'll be right in. [JIM GOES INSIDE. MARY RISES AND LIZ GOES TO HER]"

Liz: "Oh, Mary."

Mary: "What is it?"

Liz: "Do you realize what a lucky woman you are?"

Mary: (Exit Line) "Yes, I do... And I'm grateful to Jim for making my life so much easier than most people's. Now, do you want to say hello to Pat?"

Liz: "No, you and Jim talk to her. I'll go find some more shells for that necklace for Marianne. Give them all my love, will you. [sHE HURRIES OUT, AND MARY STARES AFTER HER THOUGHTFULLY, THEN GOES INTO THE HOUSE]"

Alice: "Darling, can we just walk around the house once before we leave?"

Steve: (Exit Line) "Sure... I'm going to miss this as much as Jamie will. [HE TAKES HER HAND AND THEY GO OUT]"

'ST. CROIX TERRACE. THE SUNSET IS REFLECTED ON THE TERRACE. JIM ENTERS, STRETCHING.'

Jim: "Mary, I didn't mean to sleep so long... I thought you were going to wake me. [HE LOOKS AT HER. SHE'S IN THE CHAIR, WITH HER BACK TO HIM, HER HEAD TURNED TO ONE SIDE.] Mary? We should get ready for dinner. [HE GOES TOWARD HER AND THEN STOPS, STARING AT HER. HE SEES HER MAGAZINE FALLEN TO THE FLOOR AND THE TEA GLASS SHATTERED BY IT.] Oh, no! Mary! Mary! [HE GOES TO HER, AND THEN TURNS TO LIZ, WHO'S COME TO THE DOOR]

Liz: "What is it, Jim?"

Jim: "Call a doctor, Liz... Something's wrong with Mary! [HE LEANS OVER MARY, AND LIZ BACKS AWAY SLOWLY, THEN TURNS AND HURRIES INTO THE HOUSE]"

In the episode dealing with Mary Matthews' death, everyone found out about her passing after Steven had left Bay City. He was already out of the country, which is why Alice had to make a long-distance phone call to him from her sister's house. She postponed her own plans to join him in Australia because of her mom's death.

Edited by vetsoapfan
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When it's all said and done, I think the show and the fans were incredibly lucky to have two actresses make such a lasting impression and leave their unique mark on one of daytime's greatest characters. Strasser and Wyndham each brought something to this character, I don't think you can go wrong with either performance.

I agree. Would love to have seen Wyndham do more elsewhere. When she appeared on L&O, her performance was amazing and I was surprised it did not lead to more. Might be an age thing. Have never understood why male actors can get roles more or less at any age, yet female actors often struggle for work as they grow older. Now that the soaps are so few in number, I supposed we will never see either lady in a role on daytime again.

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Now that the soaps are so few in number, I supposed we will never see either lady in a role on daytime again.

We may never see either lady in any role again. i think of how many fantastic performers were a part of our daily lives and then just disappeared ... Wyndham and Strasser are two of a handful that I miss the most.

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I only saw VW's Rachel and it was more than sufficient for me! I have absolutely no doubt that Robin was fantastic because that is what she brings to everything but I loved the Rachel I saw in VW and didn't need anything else. I absolutely adored Victoria. And when she and Linda Dano were in scenes together/shared a story, I was in heaven! Hated Mitch's guts, but if having him meant I got Rachel and Felicia facing off, so beit!

ANDREA

Edited by ChitHappens
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I only saw VW's Rachel and it was more than sufficient for me! I have absolutely no doubt that Robin was fantastic because that is what she brings to everything but I loved the Rachel I saw in VW and didn't need anything else. I absolutely adored Victoria. And when she and Linda Dano were in scenes together/shared a story, I was in heaven! Hated Mitch's guts, but if having him meant I got Rachel and Felicia facing off, so beit!

ANDREA

OMG. She and Linda Dano had such great chemistry together. Not unlike Strasser and Slezak. Sometimes actors just seem to click.

Edited by toml1962
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March 1973 Daytime TV

Micki Grant (Peggy Nolan) left at the end of September to concentrate on her play Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope. The show hopes she will return soon. Stephen McHattie (Dr. Paul Graham) began the middle of November.

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July 1973 Daytime TV

Rosetta LeNoire left as Gloria Metcalf. Jane Alice Brandon replaced Carol Williard as Harriet Sullivan. Carol left because she had stage commitments.

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