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Hillary B. Smith


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I recently seen a few scenes of Hillary as Margo Hughes and find that I like here more than Ellen Dolan. Hillary seemed to bring something to the role that was needed for Margo and would have been great in the role till the end but I did like her as Nora on OLTL too. I only remember Ellen Dolan in the role but I find i like Hillary in the role more.

Wondering what others think of Hillary in the role over Ellen?

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Ellen Dolan was my first Margo and a competent actress, but she played up the darker, "tough cop yet fragile" elements of the character. I was surprised to go back and see HBS' and Margaret Colin's wittier and somewhat softer versions of Margo, and I'd have been interested in seeing how they'd handle the character in a post-Marland world.

My mom LOVED HBS as Margo and wanted her back.

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These days, when it comes to deciding which actress was/is my favorite Margo, I tend to vacillate between HBS and Colin. I realize Colin has her detractors on account of her tendency to be "loud" in scenes, and I won't dispute that. If you look at her performances apart from AS THE WORLD TURNS, she does have that unpredictable, go-for-broke quality that could be either thrilling to watch or a certified hot mess...which is why I love her as an actress, for the most part. At the same time, though, I might argue the same about Smith. Although she comes across as more controlled and less neurotic than Colin, she tends to be unpredictable in her performances as well. Just when you expect her to play a particular moment very tenderly, she can surprise you and be devastatingly comical, and vice-versa.

In the end, I think ATWT was blessed with amazing good fortune for finding two successive actress who could play a difficult character such as Margo -- feisty and witty one minute, heart-rending the next, but never, ever boring.

Seriously, I know many here will cringe at the thought, but I would love to see HBS and Colin perform together in something -- a play, a movie, another series, anything -- just because their styles are so similar to suggest they'd be great playing sisters or best friends, with Nancy Lee Grahn and Maureen Garrett "bringing up the rear."

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I'm with you Khan about MC and HBS.

Now granted, I grew up watching HBS and she was my favorite until recently when I started watching clips of Margaret Colin (whom I loved from other shows) and she won me over. Her face alone was so expressive, you got a lot of meaning from a few expressions during a scene. As an adult now, I can appreciate that range. Hillary Bailey Smith was terrific at portraying the pathos of relationship turmoil that Margo and Tom went through over the years.

Matchups and by that, I mean couplings were important. Margaret Colin obviously had great chemistry with Justin Deas but I think Hillary Bailey Smith's best partnership was with Greg Marx. I look back at those clips on You Tube and they were burning up the screen at times even when they were separated and on the verge of divorce you can sometimes see the ache between them even though they appeared flummoxed as to how to reconnect from across that divide. I thought HBS and Scott Holmes were competent, even good but they didn't have that smoldering heat that HBS had with Marx.

I never quite fully warmed to Ellen Dolan, I am afraid. It may be that perhaps the demands of school increased and I wasn't paying as much attention to ATWT during that period when she first came on the show, although I do remember bits and pieces of Casey Peretti's death storyline.

Of course, writing, I think has also to be factored into perceptions but all things considered, HBS and MC are my definitive Margos. Like Khan, I go back and forth between who is my favorite.

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When I firststarted watching ATWT,Margaret Colin was Margo, and when she left I swore I would stop watching the show, because I thought she was that good. Luckily, I changed my mind and started watching HBS, who I HATED at first. I'm glad I did, because Hillary ended up being my favorite Margo. She had wonderful chemistry with Gregg Marx and Ben Hendrickson, although not so much with Scott Holmes. Ellen was okay, but I never really warmed up to her. As for Glynis, well, what can you say?

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Seriously, I know many here will cringe at the thought, but I would love to see HBS and Colin perform together in something -- a play, a movie, another series, anything -- just because their styles are so similar to suggest they'd be great playing sisters or best friends, with Nancy Lee Grahn and Maureen Garrett "bringing up the rear."

I always wanted to see HBS and NLG go toe-to-toe (they sort of remind me of each other), and you just know RC is dying to bring Nora to GH in some capacity. But that would be a great foursome.

It's very interesting that, after Justin Deas/Gregg Marx and Colin/HBS, they hired such charisma-deprived actors in the roles of Tom/Margo. I was used to Holmes/Dolan because they were all I knew, and they could both rise to the occasion. But you wouldn't have known those two characters were such fan favorites in the 1980s if you only knew Holmes/Dolan, who just defined "meh."

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What made Margo the character she was - and what ATWT forgot after about 1995 - was the quiet moments under all the bluster.

I think Margaret Colin was very OTT, but there are some moments where you see the softness. One of the Stenbeck DVD episodes has her split with Tom, and he's dating her aunt, and Margo is trying to talk to him about a case, and she really just wants to talk with him, be with him. She's almost in awe of him. She barely speaks above a whisper, as he shuts her down, and finally John interrupts them and she starts a yelling match with John.

HBS had most of her moments along these lines with Hal, but also some with Gregg Marx. Their work when they lost their second child and were trying to pretend they were fine, then went back home after Thanksgiving and saw the empty nursery. The story was a little too depressing, and Marx was so damn good that it was easy to overlook HBS, but her work was phenomenal.

You can see a little of that again toward the end of her run as Margo, when she and Hal are alone in a hotel while he's visiting his ailing father, and they face up to the uncomfortable truth that they are still in love with each other even though they know their true destinies are with other people (Tom, Barbara).

I loved Dolan's first years as Margo, and nothing takes that back for me, but I think as the overall picture I see her as HBS.

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It's very interesting that, after Justin Deas/Gregg Marx and Colin/HBS, they hired such charisma-deprived actors in the roles of Tom/Margo. I was used to Holmes/Dolan because they were all I knew, and they could both rise to the occasion. But you wouldn't have known those two characters were such fan favorites in the 1980s if you only knew Holmes/Dolan, who just defined "meh."

I think that was true by the mid-90s, but Marland's writing for them still had a lot of humor and everyday details, and their commentary on the weirdness around them. I thought it worked. They were my favorite couple on ATWT at that time. I don't think they lost what made them special until Tom and Margo started yelling all the time and Margo was buried under so many poorly told mental illness stories.

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I like Ellen Dolan a lot. Unfortunately, Hogan really never gave her much of anything to do except be a tough cop. Save for some story crumbs (the liver transplant thing, Doc Reese), I don't recall Tom and Margo having a story all their own in the 2000s. Ellen was on a lot, if I recall, but Scott was barely eking out a 2-3 appearances per month. I remember reading that either Hogan or some previous HW wanted to kill off Tom, and either CBS or P&G said no.

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Early in Hogan Sheffer's run as HW, rumors suggested that Tom and Margo were about to tangle once more with Mr. Big, last played by Brent Collins. Now, I don't know whether I would have trusted Hogan with that kind of story, but I think it might have been a blast to see those characters involved again in high adventure, if only for the inevitable, we're-too-old-for-this-[[email protected]#$%^&*] moments. It would have been a neat way to honor history while putting fun and humor back into their lives after an extended period of sadness and turmoil.

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