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Young Docotor Malone

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Here's another gem for soap historians. I find this funny and sad that this was the NBC soap that ran the longest until the Doctors surpassed it 1968. Didn't know this was an Irna creation as well. Also this was Nichols Coster's first daytime stint along with many other stars. Matt P. Smith gives rundown on it in his guide to soap history:

premiered

December 29, 1958

last telecast

March 29, 1963

setting

Denniston, Maryland

created by

Irna Phillips

network

NBC

production company

Procter & Gamble Productions

broadcast history

Mon-Fri

3pm - 3:30pm

(12/29/58-9/28/62)

3:30pm - 4pm

(10/1/62-3/29/63)

When NBC and P&G realized that Today is Ours was a certifiable flop, it commissioned Today’s creators and head writers to bring the long-running and successful radio soap Young Dr. Malone to television. It’s pretty certain that Malone would be a hit because of two things in its favor – it had been airing on radio since 1939 and it had been created by the legendary Irna Phillips (who had also created the successful radio-to-TV soaps The Guiding Light and The Brighter Day). However, by the time Malone was making its transition to television, Phillips had long since ended her association with the series. Since Funt and Lesan wrote Today is Ours which their adaptation of Malone would be replacing, the writers tried to seamlessly shift the focus between the two series by slowly introducing characters from the radio series into Today until Malone characters eventually outnumbered Today characters and the old series was officially replaced.

The primary difference between the radio and TV versions was that, unlike The Guiding Light, the storylines were completely different for the two mediums. Surely it must have given viewers and listeners a case of vertigo! On radio, the Malone family (the focus of both versions) continued to live and work in the small town of Three Oaks while the TV family was moved to the more urban Denison, Maryland. The radio version ended its 21-year run in 1960 making it one of the last surviving soap operas on radio. At least the TV version finally got to stand on its own without comparisons to the radio version.

On TV, the series focused on the medically minded Malone family – Dr. Jerry Malone and his wife Tracey, and their grown children Dr. David Malone (the “young doctor” in the title) and Jill Malone. Also featured prominently were Tracey’s family, the Bannisters. In fact, Tracey’s wicked step-mother Claire Bannister was one of the most notorious bitch-villainesses of her day, often rivaling As the World Turns’s Lisa (inarguably the most popular bitch-villainess) in wickedness. Storylines focused on Jerry’s clashes with David in medical ideology, Claire’s various schemes against Tracey and her sister Faye as well as Claire’s affair and marriage to Lionel Steele (and blindness and paralysis and bout with insanity), Jill’s romance and eventual marriage to (and widowdom from, after a botched surgery at the hands of Lonel’s son Dr. Matt Steele) Larry Renfrew, and a whole variety of soap opera staples (murder, malpractice, yadda yadda). Although never a huge ratings hit, Malone managed to eek out solid enough ratings to tie it for the longest running soap in NBC history by the time it finally left the air. In fact, at the time of Malone’s cancellation, it was the only soap still airing on NBC.

One interesting novelty about the series is the actors who played Jerry & Tracey. Jerry was played for the full run by William Prince (who would later make several runs on a variety of different soaps) while Tracey was originated by Virginia Dwyer (who previously had played Jocelyn Brent on The Road of Life and would later play Matthews family matriarch Mary on Another World). However, Tracey was played the longest by Dwyer’s replacement, Augusta Dabney who just so happened to be the real-life wife of Prince, making this the first time a real-life married couple had head-lined a soap opera playing a married couple. Dabney would go on to a variety of soaps before landing her longest running role for which she is best known today, Isabelle Alden on Loving. Other notable members of the Young Dr. Malone cast include the original Jill Malone, Kathleen Widdoes (who has played Emma Snyder on As the World Turns for the past 20 years); Lesley Woods who played Claire Bannister Steele (and who is probably best known to more recent soap viewers as Grandma Logan on The Bold & the Beautiful); Diana Hyland as Gig Houseman (Hyland would later appear as the original mother on Eight is Enough and in a well-publicized romance with John Travolta before her untimely death from cancer); Dick Van Patten as Jill’s ill-fated husband Larry (who also went on to appear on Eight is Enough as Tom Bradford); Ann Williams as Erica Brandt (Williams would make a soap name for herself with her decade long run as Eunice Wyatt, sister of Joanne, on Search for Tomorrow as well as a memorable turn as June Slater in the original cast of Loving); and future soap vet Nicholas Coster as Dr. Matt Steele (making his soap debut with Malone, Coster would go on to a string of soap appearances, most notably Robert Delaney on Another World and Lionel Lockridge on Santa Barbara.

Even though NBC finally gave up on Malone in 1963, it hadn’t given up on the concept of a dramatic daytime medical series. The Monday following Young Dr. Malone’s final episode, the network premiered The Doctors (an hour earlier), a medical anthology series that would later evolve into a full-fledge soap opera, its first successful soap opera, and (for several years) its longest-running soap opera.

Edited by soapfan770

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Sandy Becker played Jerry Malone for years on the radio and was very popular. I wonder if they asked him to play the role on TV or if they never considered it.

I'd really like to see the episodes where Today is Ours was replaced by Young Doctor Malone. I've never heard of this happening on any other show. It must have been odd for viewers.

Was it Matt Steele who was the first heel/bad boy on soaps?

I think Schemering also said the show used organ music to very creative effect.

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Young Doctor Malone in Final Month of Existence

by Cynthia Lowry

AP Radio-Television Writer

Young Doctor Malone and all of his friends, relatives and associates have started the last month of the serial’s existence on NBC. Come March 29, after almost 30 years on radio and television, they depart for the Valhalla of canceled programs.

It promises to be a rather busy month as the cast goes about the business of knotting those loose ends. Currently there’s a murder trial in progress –and in soap opera land a murder trial normally stretches out for months. This will be speeded up so that the home audience can know whether Jill Malone Steele and a young intern are found guilty of killing her husband –an unlikely windup. Then there’s going to be a marriage –a doctor and a nurse who have been what is called “romantically inclined” are going to take that leap.

All this is what Doris Quinlan, producer of the series, called a tying off of current storylines.”

The show has been around so long that the character of “young” Dr. Malone –Jerry- has now become older, and there is now a second Dr. Malone, Jerry’s adopted son David.

Neither Jerry Malone nor his wife, Tracy, are involved in anything spectacular at the moment –except their daughter’s murder trial, of course. Dr. David’s wife disappeared a spell back and is believed to have drowned.

The writer, Richard Holland, didn’t make the drowning absolutely positive, because there was some thought that maybe sometime later the missing wife might return to start a new storyline. Now they’ll just leave her among the missing. “We hope that the show will come back some time, so we’re not going to make things too final,” said Mrs. Quinlan. “The Malones have been sort of separated lately. We’re just going to bring them back together.”

Mrs. Quinlan says that the end of the show will mean a “real wrench.”

“After four years working with one group, it gets to be an important part of your life,” she said. “We’ve had a great deal of mail about the program –after all, audiences get to know the characters and some are very involved with the people.”

The venerable serial’s place, another victim of poor ratings, will be taken by a game show “You Don’t Say” on April 1.

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Doesn't that transition seem weird? I wonder why Funt and Lesan did that or were asked again to create a new show after their first one flopped. I think I've heard before Today is Ours was a disaster and a poor show but Smith doesn't mention it in his write-up on the show:

premiered

June 30, 1958

last telecast

December 26, 1958

setting

Bolton

created by

Julian Funt & David Lessan

network

NBC

production company

???

broadcast history

Mon-Fri

3pm - 3:30pm

(6/30/58-12/26/58)

The Monday after the final episode of Kitty Foyle, NBC again attempted to set-up an afternoon soap block, pairing this series with From These Roots (which would premiere immediately after Today is Ours). Unfortunately, just like Kitty Foyle this series would barely last 6 months. Even so, it contains an important first – it was the first soap opera based around a lead heroine who was divorced, in this case Laura Manning, who was the assistant principal of Bolton Central High School (also making this the first series to revolve around a school). Key storylines included Laura’s relationship with her young son Nicky, her romance with architect Glenn Turner, her dealings with her ex-husband Karl, and Karl’s eventual re-marriage to society girl Leslie Williams. Also featured were Laura’s dealings with various students and parents. Ratings for this series weren’t spectacular, so NBC decided to go in a different direction by transferring over yet another successful radio soap to television named Young Dr. Malone in the same timeslot. However, instead of simply replacing one with the other, characters from Malone were introduced on Today during the final weeks of the show which then segued into the new series. The transition was seamless, as it should have been. Today is Ours creators and writers Julian Funt & David Lesan were the writers responsible for the transfer of Malone from radio and served as the TV version’s head writers.

It also sounds like NBC had major problems adapting radio serials to television. Where as GL's was seamless as the show simply became televised for radio listeners switching to TV, NBC soaps started were often completely different or start back at the beginning.

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Thank you both for finding these articles. I'm glad the AP covered the end, and treated it with some respect, which a 30 year old show deserves.

I didn't realize Doris Quinlan started so early in soaps.

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youngdrmalone.gifThis TV adaptation of the long-running radio serial of the same name (heard on NBC at first and then CBS from 1939-60) transferred only the principal characters' names

and the credits of Irna Phillips as creator and Julian Funt as writer. Set at Valley Hospital in Denison, Maryland, its title character was Dr. David Malone, son of Dr. Jerry Malone (whom one observer described as "the most generous, gifted doctor to ever put on rubber gloves") and Jerry's wife Tracey.

David struggled to follow his respected father's footsteps with a successful career and marriage, but it was not easy. During the show's run he found himself either in love with

or loved by Dorothy Ferris, Eve Dunbar, and Gig Houseman, finally marrying the latter. His parents disapproved of Gig, though, and if that was not enough heartache, he was put on trial for murder after the suspicious death of Lillian Houseman, Gig's mom. David was, however, exonerated and managed to continue his career.

The show's real star in terms of activity was Clare Bannister Steele, who rivaled Lisa on As the World Turns for overall chicanery on a soap opera at the time. She became Tracey's stepmother-in-law when she wed Emory Bannister, and devoted considerable effort to driving a wedge between Jerry and Tracey. She also belittled Tracey's sister, and Emory's other daughter, Faye. By 1960 Clare was cheating on Emory with Lionel Steele. Clare and Lionel intimidated Emory to the point at which he threatened Clare, and the devilish duo used his action to put him through a messy court trial. After Emory died in January 1961, Clare and Lionel began an off-and-on relationship which lasted through the end of the show's run and included marriage, jealousy, deception, and other soap opera staples. It was hardly a surprise that Lionel's daughter Lisha, witnessing her parents' behavior, felt she was living in a world of scheming adults.

But there was more to Clare's story than a search for love. In 1961 she lost sight first in one eye (due to thrombosis) and then in the other (due to hysteria), but her vision returned.

Judged insane later that year, she returned to Denison in 1962 and stayed with Dee Dee, the only woman patient enough to keep a relationship going with Dr. Ted Powell (he tried in 1960 to break up David's romance with Dorothy, among other noble deeds). But she never really mellowed and continued to cause trouble for her former daughters-in-law. Meanwhile, Dr. Jerry Malone ran into a few roadblocks of his own. He faced a malpractice suit in October I960 for his care of Pete, a chronically ill child. Helping his defense was Dr. Eileen Seaton, who nursed an unrequited love for the doctor who had helped her survive a run-in the previous year with the evil Peter Brooks. Interestingly, actor Robert Lansing played Brooks opposite his then-wife Emily McLaughlin, who played Dr. Seaton. And playing Jerry and Tracey Malone were real-life couple William Prince and Augusta Dabney.Other doctors were Stefan Koda, who wed Faye in February 1962 after a challenging courtship, and Matt

Steele, who found himself a suspect in yet another extended trial in 1962-63, this time for the death ofwheelchair-bound Larry Renfrew following surgery that was supposed to make him able to walk again. Renfrew was wed to David Malone s sister Jill, who had failed in a relationship earlier with Jody Baker, and both she and Dr. Steele had to rely

on lawyer Harold Cranston's defense work to pull them out (Cranston had defended several other characters in

earlier episodes).

 

 

Young Dr. Malone wound up its 4 and a half year run with good news. Jerry, ill during Jill s trial, recuperated from a hospital stay and saw his daughter freed, while son David agreed to

run a pediatric clinic with Erica Brandt. NBC replaced the series with the long-running game show You Don't Say.

 

Cast:

Dr. Jerry Malone.... William Prince

Tracey Bannister Malone(1958-59).... Virginia Dwyer

Tracey Bannister Malone (1959-63).... Augusta Dabney

Dr. David Malone.... John Council

Jill Malone Renfrew (1958-59).... Kathleen Widdoes

Jill Malone Renfrew (1959-62).... Freda Holloway

Jill Malone Renfrew (1962-63).... Sarah Hardy

Clare Bannister Steele.... Lesley Woods

Emory Bannister (1959—61).... Judson Loire

Lionel Steele (1959-63).... Martin Blame

Lisha Steele (1959-60).... Zina Bethune

Lisha Steele (1960).... Michele Tuttle

Lisha Steele (1960-61).... Susan Hallaran

Lisha Steele (1962).... Patty McCormack

Faye Bannister Koda (1959-61).... Lenka Peterson

Faye Bannister Koda (1961—63).... Chase Crosley

Dr. Stefan Koda (1959-63).... Michael Ingram

Dr. Ted Powell (1959-63).... Peter Brandon

Peter Brooks (1959).... Robert Lansing

Phyllis Brooks (1959).... Barbara O'Neill

Jody Baker (1959-60).... Stephen Bolster

Dorothy Ferris (1960).... Liz Gardner

Dorothy Ferris (1960).... Florence Mitchell

Eve Dunbar (1960—63).... Loretta Leversee

Deirdre "Dee Dee" Bannister (1960-63)..... Elizabeth St. Glair

Pete Ferris (1960).... Luke Halpin

Gig Houseman Malone (1961—62).... Diana Hyland

Mrs. Lillian Houseman (1961).... Elizabeth Watts

Larry Renfrew (1961-62).... Dick Van Patten

Harold Cranston (1961-63).... William PostJr.

Dr. Matt Steele (1961).... Eddie Jones

Dr. Matt Steele (1961).... Franklyn Spodak

Dr. Matt Steele (1962-63) .... Nicolas Coster

Miss Fisher (1962) ..... Betty Sinclair

Erica Brandt (1962-63).... Ann Williams

Lt. Flagler (1962-63)..... William Smithers

Natalie (1962-63) ..... Joan Wetmore

 

 

Edited by Paul Raven

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Thanks for finding all this. Lots of details. I wish we could see Claire. It's strange none of this show seems to exist.

Edited by CarlD2

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setting the scene will be in regular type, like this, and Dr. Wolk's professional analysis will be in italics, like the following:

The unwanted child is frequently doomed to an unhappy life. His parents may take out their disappointment and annoyance on each other, straining the marriage to the breaking point. If the marriage eventually collapses, they're likely to blame the child - who is the innocent victim, not the cause of their trouble. This holds true, no matter what their reasons for not wanting the child.

The couple who can't afford a child may resent having to deprive themselves for his sake. The emotionally immature couple may resent having to cater to a child's needs and whims. Such a wife, for example, might turn against him because he's getting the attention from her husband she wants for herself.

The unplanned child, or so-called "accident", can survive the fate of becoming unwanted if the parents are a truly loving couple. The one kind of "accident" that rarely survives such a fate is the illegitimate child, whose birth causes his mother to be shunned by society.

But the child who bears the heaviest burden of all is the one who's born imperfect physically disabled or mentally retarded. Such a youngster becomes a source of embarrassment to immature parents, a drain on their emotions and perhaps on their pocketbook, too. If he is rejected, he becomes doubly handicapped. Such a child tests his parents' love and courage - and can actually bring new strength to their marriage, if they open their hearts to him.

If ever a baby was wanted by his mother, that baby was Jonathan, born to Tracey in her middle forties. She wanted this baby for Jerry - to revive his hopes (badly shattered by several professional setbacks)...to rekindle his love (all but buried under personal problems)...and to make up for disappointments their two older children had caused them.

As Tracey herself expressed it, "Both our children had made bad marriages. I suppose that's what started me wanting a new one - one that we'd never make mistakes with."

But Jonathan came along at an inappropriate time for Jerry. Busy fightning for his professional life, preoccupied with a dozen other difficulties, he all but ignored Jonathan's birth - regarding him as an added complication.

Trouble piles on trouble. Tracey and the baby contract meningitis and Jerry discovers that Jonathan was born deaf. The effect on Tracey is electric and she tells friends, "By becoming a mother again, I failed Jerry as a wife."

Tracey obviously wanted the baby for purely neurotic reasons: To re-awaken her husband's love and prove she doesn't always make "mistakes." When Jonathan was born deaf, she felt she had failed again - failed Jerry as a wife, failed Jonathan as a mother. Burdened with "guilt," such a woman is likely to feel that she must be punished and may unconsciously behave in such a way that she wrecks her marriage: "That's my punishment for being a failure!"

But the one who's truly punished is the baby. Already handicapped, he's almost sure to be either overprotected or bluntly rejected. And, in this case, his father is not helping matters any. One wonders why Jerry agreed to have a child, this late in their married life. Perhaps he agreed simply to please his wife - which is not reason enough for a man to seek fatherhood.

Deafness becomes a major handicap only when the parents become obsessed with such imperfection, overdo their attempts to find a miraculous "cure," and thus make the child extremely aware that he is "imperfect."

What Jerry did not tell Tracey was that Jonathan also turned out to be hopelessly retarded mentally. He tries everything medically possible to correct or arrest the condition, but to no avail. Meanwhile, he keeps Tracey and the baby separated, hoping against hope that some remedy may yet be found before Tracey discovers the truth.

But, while they are apart, Jonathan dies at the age of six months. When Tracey is told, she bitterly accuses Jerry of putting his child away because he was deaf - and letting him die because he resented his son: "That's what I'll never forgive!"

Still, Jerry refuses to explain his real reasons to Tracey, although he tells friends Jonathan would have died "a much more lingering and devastating death" had he not succumbed so suddenly. He won't tell Tracey the truth because "this way, I bear all the guilt as far as Tracey is concerned." He feels as far as Tracey is concerned." He feels she'll never believe she wasn't responsible for Jonathan's death and chooses to let her blame him for the tragedy.

But Tracey withdraws into herself and the marriage begins to crack.

When a man practices this sort of deception on his wife, it usually indicates a lack of confidence in the marital relationship. Jerry's readiness to assume the guilty over loss of the baby leads one to suspect that he really does feel guilty. When he tries so hard to spare his wife, he is protecting her as if she were a child.

No wonder the marriage began to crack! Tracey has someone to blame for all that has hapenned - her husband - and she turns her own feelings of guilt into hostility against him. Although a good marriage is built on mutual trust and honesty, this marriage seems to be held together by dishonesty, concelment and distortion. If something isn't done quickly, it will fall apart.

The responsibility for Jonathan's untimely death doesn't rest on either Jerry or Tracey - they certainly gave him the best of medical care and attention. When parents blame themselves for what has happened, it's generally because they feel guilty about other things and focus on the death of their child as an excuse. They might, for example, feel guilty because in their hearts they rejected the child.

In the event of such a tragedy, when parents cannot control their emotions after a reasonable period of time, they may need to seek professional guidance to regain their peace of mind.

Another "unwanted" child has been fighting an uphill battle against herself in "Young Doctor Malone." She is Tracey's teenage niece, Lisha, who was born illegitimately. Her G.I. father had been killed before he could marry her mother, Tracey's sister Faye. And Faye has allowed Lisha to be raised abroad by close friends.

Not until she reached thirteen was Lisha told the identity of her real mother, who had since married. Lisha first rejected Faye and the stepfather, then learned to love them - but was constantly torn between her affection for them and her loyalty to the couple who had brought her up. As she grows older, she begins to mature, learn the meaning of forgiveness and understanding, and now thinks twice before hurting either set of "parents." But Lisha still has a long way to go before really adjusting to her situation.

The illegitimate child is usually described as the perfect example of as unwanted child. Sometimes, however, it is only society that doesn't want the child, and not the parent. Some illegitimate children, like Lisha, are only cheated of their right to legitimacy by fate.

Faye made a mistake in not divulging the circumstances of her child's birth years before she reached the age of thirteen. Lisha would probably have been able to understand by the time she was about ten. At that age, the impact of such information would not have been so profound.

She subsequently rejected her mother because she felt rejected herself. She was fortunate to have found a home with devoted foster parents, but her attachment to them accounts for her confusion of loyalty. With help now from her real mother, she should be able to overcome her confusion and perhaps become pleased to have two sets of loving "parents."

As Margaret Sanger has remarked, "There are no illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents." Sometimes a child may be better off for having been created out of love, out-of-wedlock, than to have been born without love, unwanted, within marriage. Unfortunately, most illegitimate children are born out of passion, not love. These are the real losers.

Whatever the circumstances, children must be made to feel wanted - to be loved and respected, appreciated for their achievements, accepted in spite of their shortcomings and failures. Parents shouldn't have to grow up with their children. They should be grown up by the time they have children.

Parents owe it to their children, and themselves, to give their youngsters a solid sense of belonging. If Children get this, they'll feel wanted.

Without this sense of belongings, the squabbles that invade even the best of marriages will rub off on the children. When a wife and husband become angry with each other, they may take it out on the kids - who may grow up to feel responsible for their parents' unhappiness, and wish they'd never been born.

Both the wanted and the unwanted child are drawn larger than life on TV, their troubles over-dramatized and the solutions over-simplified. Still, such portrayals serve to call attention to the problem and perhaps make viewers more aware of similar problems in their own lives.

That has been our aim in this series, to make the characters and stories of your favorite daytime dramas meaningful to you so that you might learn from them for your own good - and the good of your family - THE END

"Young Doctor Malone" is seen over NBC-TV, from 3:30 to 4 P.M. EST.

Edited by CarlD2

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This was pretty close to the end of the show. I wonder if they were going to have Tracey become overly attached to Lisha.

I didn't even know McCormack was on this show, although IMDB did say it, so I guess I never bothered to look. It seemed like the soap magazines only mentioned her being on Best of Everything before her temp ATWT run.

I wonder if this was the first soap to deal with a story about a child born with deformities? It sounds like they took the easy way out (although running the story for six months is longer than I would have expected - how long did Anne's baby live on AMC?), in terms of storytelling, but then, every soap has done that, even GL with Meg (she was rarely seen and then moved away to Europe).

Edited by CarlD2

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For a time, she felt herself hopelessly typed. Yet these are the very qualities which now make Augusta Dabney so believable, so right, as Tracey, wife and helpmate to Dr. Jerry Malone, on the NBC-TV dramatic serial, Young Doctor Malone. A woman full of dreams for her family, tempered with down-to-earth wisdom and a down-to-earth sense of humor. All the things the "typical American wife" recognizes as her most precious assets.

At home, as Mrs. Kevin McCarthy, Augusta Dabney is the wife of an actor well known to TV, movies and stage. Kevin is a black-haired six-footer, with dark-lashed Irish blue eyes. "The one in the family who really looks like an actor," she says.

The three children - "they all resemble their father" - are James Kevin, thirteen, known as "Flip"; Lillah, nine; and Mary, six-and-a-half going on seven. In addition, there is the five-year-old black poodle who answers to the name of "Daisy" and goes wherever the family goes. And "Midnight," the kitten, who is everybody's pet. And an all-around mother's helper and housekeeper, Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Sanders, of whom Augusta says, "A marvelous woman who has eight children of her own."

The McCarthys live in a tall but not too large house, on the side of a hill skirting the Hudson River. In a section near New York City which abounds with such hills, and on a dead-end road where the kids can run up and down without dodging traffic. "In a community where most mothers stay home, and fathers work regular hours and are at home weekends. Kevin may be doing a movie or a TV play on the West Coast - he was out there for a recent Twilight Zone play. I am busy at the NBC studio several days a week.

"Our youngest, Mary, got the idea that all mothers follow that pattern. Talking about one of her friends, she asked, 'Why doesn't her mother work, too?' It has sometimes been hard to explain to our children why actors' lives are different. To explain that i work because I have been an actress so long, it is part of me. And because I like it."

Ever since the kids appeared on a Young Doctor Malone show during the Yuletide holidays last year - for a Christmas party scene in the hospital, along with children of other members of the cast and crew - they understand better this work their parents do. The experience left Lillah excited, but Flip, the realist, was unimpressed. Waiting round on the set while all the preparations progressed - the lights, the cameras, the many details involved in putting a show on the air - he got restless.

"Gee, Mom, is this what you do all day?" he demanded. "This is boring!"

Kevin is serious about acting, gay by nature, expansive and indulgent with the children. Lillah has his seriousness, Mary his humor, Flip some of his love of music. Kevin sings, has studied voice. Flip plays the trumpet. Lillah plays piano.

In warm weather, they all swim to a little old pool near their house, back in the woods. Augusta is community-minded, is working for a new pool and recreation area, because that's important for all the children in the neighborhood.

"The school fight is over - we worked for that and won," she reports. "I believe in getting involved in a few things that seem terribly important to you." Last year, she ran for the office of committee woman on a local colatition ticket, lost out to a long-time male resident of the community but enjoyed the experience, believes firmly that "things get done by those who will organize them and work for them."

She met Kevin when both were in the play, "Abe Lincoln in Illinois," starring Raymond Massey. In Washington, prior to the Broadway opening, the young people in the cast just naturally gravitated toward one another, went out in groups between rehearsals and performances. She and Kevin were thrown together, fell in love, and got married in September, 1941. On her parents' anniversary, in the same church where they were married - Grace Church in New York.

"They came East for the wedding," Augusta recalls, "from Berkeley, California. They hadn't approved of my marrying an actor - I'm sure they were still thinking of starving in a garret and all the rest of it - but the circumstances made it a sentimental, and happier, occasion for them."

Augusta's family tradition approved doctors and lawyers. Her father was a doctor. Women were wives and mothers, not actresses. But, inadvertently, they had started this younger of their two daughters on an acting career. At twelve, she was enrolled in Mrs. Howell's Shakespeare classes, where the readings and dramatic productions were presented against the backdrop of the high-vaulted, balconied living room of that talented lady's San Francisco home.

There was romance, adventure, drama, comedy - the essence of theater itself - spread out to feast upon. It nourished her through high school and the University of California, where she majored in English and Speech and got deeply involved in little-theater production. "By the time you are a freshman in college and you're willing to miss a sorority rush because on that day there are tryouts for plays, this must mean you have found what you want," she says. "So, when it came time to have that 'one more year at school somewhere,' after college, my father let me go to New York and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

"When the year was up, I got a job with the Barter Theater, at Abingdon, Virginia, for the summer. There was no salary, just my upkeep. But, to me, it was a way to live without needing more money from home, and a chance to go on acting. Looking back now, I realize how ruthless young people can be. How thoughtless. I simply announced that I had a job and wasn't coming back."

Two weeks after the Barter summer season ended, she was in "Abe Lincoln in Illinois." They were casting extras and she was picked out of a line of hopeful young girls. The show played a year on Broadway When it went on the road, she had the part of Ann Rutledge herself.

World War II broke out a few months after she and Kevin were married, and he went into the Army. When he was cast in the Army Air Force play, "Winged Victory," she didn't travel with him, as some other wives were able to do at least part of the time. She was in New York, in a Lonsdale play. In fact, she became involved in a whole string of plays - about ten of them.

She played the title role in "Dear Ruth" in 1945. She was in daytime radio serials - The Second Mrs. Burton, The Brighter Day. In nighttime TV dramas from the time television got started - Studio One, Kraft TV Theater, Television Playhouse, Robert Montgomery Presents, The U.S. Steel Hour. Her first movie was with John Beal.

In the summer of 1957, she had a part in the touring company of "Janus," in which Kevin co-starred. Last fall, she played the mother in "The Diary of Anne Frank," in Florida, a successful and thrilling experience. She has done an episode for the Brenner series for TV and one for John Newland's Alcoa Presents.

When the call came to talk about becoming Tracey in Young Doctor Malone, Augusta had planned to bring her little girls into the city and take them to the park. So they were with her when she went to the office of producer Carol Irwin. "I was asked if I would be interested in doing a TV serial. If I would like to do this particular part. Maybe that 'typical american wife' stamp I once thought was a drawback had something to do with it. What I could bring to the character was, in some ways, a part of my own personality."

She loved the role from the first. It could be played with a light touch at times - "not all agony and ears, and our director, James Young, have a lovely sense of humor." She and William Prince, who plays Jerry Malone, believe that marriage and child-reading have many lighter moments, along with the problems, and they try to play their scenes this way.

There was a time when she and Kevin went out to restaurants and theaters, and he was the one most recognized. But recently, at a Broadway play, Augusta was amazed at the number of women in the audience who knew her a s Tracey Malone and came up to talk to her. "It was fun to be recognized by a night theater audience. I'm more used to that in supermarkets.

"I was hurrying through my marketing one morning, my hair not fixed," she recalls. "In fact, I was rather casually put together, hoping to go unnoticed. A woman who heard me speak to my little girl asked, 'Aren't you Dr. Malone's wife?' She looked at me again. 'It's the voice, more than the way you look,' she said. I laughed. I'm sure Tracey Malone would never have gone outside her own front door looking as Augusta Dabney McCarthy did that day!"

Tracey Malone, of course, might have done that very thing. The "typical American wife" - whose job for her family comes first - cannot always take the time to put her best looks forward. She's too busy putting first things first. Just like Augusta herself.

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