Jump to content
Brent

"Secret Storm" memories.

Recommended Posts

No I didn't know that about Dennis Cooney. I wish I could see some of his soap work.

Yeah, a few pages back, some of the posters talked about the scenes where the brothers fought and their mother, Frances Sternhagen, fell on a pitchfork. I also read something about a story with someone looking in a mirror and seeing something about themselves, do you remember that?

The interview is with the first Ian, it looks like. IMDB says he also played Owen. Were there twins?

January 1972 TV Dawn to Dusk (Ideal Publishing Inc).

11-24-2010105358AM6.jpg

11-24-2010105358AM7.jpg

Edited by CarlD2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the article! I wonder why Rigsby left the show? I don't remember anyone named Owen.

Also thanks for refreshing my memory about the pitchfork incident. It's coming back to me now. The priest's brother was really countrified & always seemed kind of oily & dirty to me, lol.

Sorry I don't remember any stories involving a mirror.

My favorites on this show were Marla Adams (Belle), Jada Rowland (Amy), & Linden Chiles (who played Paul Britton for most of the time I watched, though I think quite a few others played the role previously). I also liked Liam Sullivan (Alan Dunbara) even though his character ended up being crazy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On further thought, I believe Joel Crothers' character Ken was actually Jill Clayborn's first husband (and possibly had a son with her). Also, I think he was involved with Laurie, the girl who later married Father Mark. I can't remember what happened to Ken though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
were interested.

"Her off was too intriguing to walk away from so I met the producer. He wanted to know if I'd be willing to shave off the beard. That was no problem because I had absolutely no intention of keeping it. It was due to go the next time I shaved. But on second thought ,eh told me not to take it off until they got a look at me on camera.

"When they did, I was stuck with it for good. They wanted me for the part of Ian Northcote and they wanted him to have a beard. I really wish I could get rid of it - not the part! - the beard."

How does Gordon feel about changing professions in midstream? "Well, I'm still in show business and I enjoy working in any end of it. However, I'm not wedded to the business and someday I may get out of it completely.

"I'd like to move away from New York City eventually - perhaps settle in a small town. I have a master's degree and could become a teacher. But I have another project in mind that I believe is worth devoting the rest of my life to.

"I've always been interested in geriatrics (the branch of medicine that deals with the problems of old age). I'd like to be influential in establishing a community for old people - both a nursing home and a residential community - in which they could love pleasant and useful lives in their waning years. It would be a place in which they could receive good care at moderate prices because most of the jobs would be performed by the old people themselves.

"There are many skilled workers who still have all their capacities but can't hold down regular jobs - or qualify for them - because of their advanced years. They could be made to feel needed if their energies and abilities were utilized for their own benefit - and for the benefit of others.

"Ralph Nader recently exposed the generally poor treatment the aged are receiving in nursing homes. But I had experience with that situation many years ago. When I was studying speech in college, a group of use used to go to hospitals regularly to observe aphasics (victims of brain damage) - usually old folks who'd suffered strokes and had difficulty talking.

"I remember one particular old woman who was crying - and when I approached her bed, I realized she could only make herself understood in German. My mother was German and I speak a little of the language so I asked what was troubling her. 'My feet hurt,' she cried. 'I can't move them.' I looked at the bed and noticed the sheets were tucked so tightly under the mattress, her feet were practically strapped down. I loosened the sheets and she thanked me.

"But the next time I came back to the hospital, the same thing happened. The same woman was crying: 'My feet hurt.' After I fixed the sheets, I went to the nurse and asked her to tell the orderly not to tuck the sheets in but she just snapped back: 'We have hundreds of patients here, we can't give special attention to every one of them!' They obviously didn't give special attention to any of them because similar incidents occurred every time I visited the hospital.

"Now, if there were a couple of people - they could be old people; age doesn't matter - who could go around a hospital and check on the complaints of the patients, not the medical complaints necessarily, but complaints of discomfort, it would alleviate the pain of those who are ill. After all, the problems of the aged are the problems of the young really."

Gordon speaks primarily of his mother because he never really knew his father, (Canadian-born John Rigsby, an engineer in charge of the turbine division of Westinghouse in Lester, PA.) He died when Gordon was three and the task of raising his two sons fell to their mother, Marie Merlau Rigsby (originally from Frankfurt, Germany), a former Ziegfeld Girl and actress.

Gordon, the younger son, was born on Dec. 17, 1942, in Chester, Pa. ("the hospital was in Chester but we lived in nearby Ridley Park"), but he moved with his family to Queens, N.Y. upon the death of his father. There he attended grammar school and graduated from John Adams High School before enlisting in the Navy in December of '42. He saw active duty in the Pacific during World War II.

His last year in the Service (1946) he went to Officers' Training School, came out a "90-day wonder", and enrolled at Princeton. After the war was over, he was supposed to finish college at the expense of the Navy but deciding he was better equipped for civilian life, he prevailed upon his superiors to release him from his service commitment.

Determined to have a theatrical career like his mother before him, Gordon took a job acting in summer stock. But in the fall of the year ('46), he enrolled at Adelphi College (Garden City, L.I.). Fully aware of the negative aspects of the theater, he made up his mind to have another profession to fall back on - teaching.

While in Adelphi, he met an irresistible Cuban girl named Olga who was studying business administration. She was so irresistible that she never got back home to practice what she'd learned in college. Right after graduation (in August of '49), she and Gordon were wed.

For the next year and a half, Gordon worked as a teacher at Baldwin High School while studying for his master's in English and drama at Columbia. With his M.A. in tow, he joined NBC as a lighting director. He became a cameraman, then graduated to assistant director and finally, to director. With years of experience under his belt, he quit the network in 1960 to freelance.

Gone were his dreams of becoming a great actor. He had found work he liked equally well - directing - and he was very successful at it.

At this point in his life, Gordon has the best of two professions and is bucking a third - administrator of a community for the aged.

He might even help to build that community - and we mean that literally. He likes to work with his hands and has constructed bookcases and cabinets, knocked out walls and built new ones, wallpapered, painted, tiled, etc. in the 6-room mid-Manhattan apartment he shares with his wife and two daughters, Jennifer, 15, and Victoria, 18, (currently a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania.

Olga is handy around the house too, especially in the kitchen. She is the Food Editor of Seventeen magazine and often does her testing at home. The other Rigsbys are admittedly "happy little guinea pigs" for Olga's culinary experiments.

Asked to describe himself, Gordon said: "I used to think I was very placid but I'm not anymore. I get all tied up in things. And I like to keep busy. When I'm not busy, I feel guilty."

Seems to us that a man with that kind of drive can easily handle three careers - possible simultaneously.

by Marilyn T. Ross

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carl:

Brent finally got around to seeing this thread which is most interesting. Thanks for posting.

A few observations.

Once spoke to Gordon Rigsby by phone (February 1971) to ask about the sets on "Secret Storm" I was at that time considering going into art direction, (I didn't but still follow it). He was very nice and told me that the "brick wall" outside Valerie Ames' front door was only 5 feet.

Saw both of the action sequences Producer Weiss rightfully boasted of.

The first, the wheelchair fall on "Where the Heart Is" took one's breath away--it was so stunningly effective. It occurred in December, 1970. I think it was close to Christmas since I was off from school (an 8th grader at the time)--normally couldn't see "WTHI" except in summer. The character involved was a girl with doll like features and very long, (almost waist length) platinum blonde hair. Man did she, (or stunt double actually) go down those stairs! This sequence was a well done as any in a feature film. It occurred in December, 1970.

The "Secret Storm" auto accident occurred in February 1971 and featured Amy and another character named "Mickey" and another man whose name escapes me. It took place on a deserted stretch of interstate highway due to icy roads. Mr. Weiss neglects to mention that the scene incorporated actual film footage shot of the Mustang (or another smallish sportscar) driving on the snowy highway and then careening off the road. This footage was interpolated into the car interior "mock up" on the sound stage (with the process screen "movement" going on behind the onstage car interior). Very slickly done and memorable! Boy did the organ have a field day "stinging" that sequence at the end of the show, (it was the climax of course).

All Best,

Brent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for sharing more of your memories with us. Your posts are one of the reasons I started trying to find more on this show. The descriptions of the stunts sound great. I wish we could see them. It shows that you don't need a big budget to make an impact.

That's great you got to talk to Rigsby. Do you remember the other actor who played Northcate?

I have some other stuff and when I'm able to scan more I'll post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading through this thread did jar my memory regarding someone seeing something in a mirror. It was the handyman,Eric, who had terrorized Laurie Reddin, when she & Mark bought an old house where Eric had killed the previous owner, Georgina (and I believe her children, too). I think Laurie started thinking she was the reincarnation of Georgina. Eric thought he saw Georgina's image in the mirror lunging at him in Laurie's bedroom and he jumped into the mirror and was killed by the broken glass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for sharing more of your memories with us. Your posts are one of the reasons I started trying to find more on this show. The descriptions of the stunts sound great. I wish we could see them. It shows that you don't need a big budget to make an impact.

That's great you got to talk to Rigsby. Do you remember the other actor who played Northcate?

I have some other stuff and when I'm able to scan more I'll post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If memory serves the other Northcote actor was none other than Alexander Scourby who was the real life husband of Lori March. Of course, it was Rigsby who did the evil Owen/Ian bit--a feat accomplished with split screen. Whichever one was evil, (Owen or Ian--can't recall now) murdered Troy Donahue in the shower--this was about May of 70.

Diane Ladd was Kitty Styles at least by Sept. of 70. Recall her specifically in the part during that month. She played, as I recall, a woman from the wrong side of the tracks--a waitress I think. Don't recall Diana Millay in the role, (though I love Millay on "DS"--was a "DS" addict at the time.) Would be great to see "Storm" articles from the 60's.

All Best,

Brent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. The evil twin stuff sounds ahead of its time for soaps.

I mostly have 70s stuff but will post what I can. Thanks again for sharing your memories. When you saw Diane Ladd at the time did you think she might become a star?

There are also some mentions around this time, 71-72, of Marjorie Gateson thanking fans for sending her cards and letters and such after her stroke and talking about how she hoped to be able to work again at some point. I guess she never did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. So how was that story? It sounds very scary.

I don't remember much more about it except I believe it took place around the same time Mark started having second thoughts about leaving the priesthood. I believe Laurie had previously had some psychological issues. She was always portrayed as very sensitive, I believe she was an artist or a pianist.

I haven't really thought much about this show since it went off the air. I've enjoyed reminiscing about it though! I haven't known anyone else (in my real world) who remembers watching it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I could see it. Your comments and those of others help me see it, in a way.

I was going to ask if you had seen any of the episodes from the 50's that are up at archive.org. There are also a few clips on Youtube, I linked to one a few pages back.

I was also going to ask if you remembered Joan Crawford's appearance on the show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I could see it. Your comments and those of others help me see it, in a way.

I was going to ask if you had seen any of the episodes from the 50's that are up at archive.org. There are also a few clips on Youtube, I linked to one a few pages back.

I was also going to ask if you remembered Joan Crawford's appearance on the show.

I didn't see Joan Crawford's appearance on the show but I read about it in Mommie Dearest! I don't remember seeing her daughter on the show either.

Thanks for the links! I'll check them out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...