Laura had been one of the central heroines on the show for nearly a decade by that point and she was getting offers elsewhere, so I can see why she felt she was worth the effort and money.
With that said, I do feel like Cassie had run her course as a character.
Actually Maura West was offered Cassie..and she turned it down.
I don't get why LW thought she had pull...she was on the lowest rated soap. And she wasn't the main attraction for the soap.
This is when soaps started decline because performers like LW didn't know deserve any perks.
That girl who played Barbara Ryan's sister Melinda Gray -- was her name Ariane Munker? -- was one of the cutest, feistiest young actresses on soaps at the time, and her storyline seemed packed with potential. It was nuts that she was dumped. She was the only lively participant in that Dee/Beau Spencer/Annie story in the very late 1970s.
Yeah, I doubt Bell was seriously planning to isolate Kay Chancellor in a long-term lesbian love story. I believe his goal was to find an edgy, unexpected method to showcase that Kay Chancellor was a very lonely, very controlling, and very determined woman -- which would result in her getting Derek Thurston drunk and popping a wedding ring on his finger. Without the Joann storyline, that sudden, impulsive gesture might've seen somewhat out of character. But after watching Kay's manipulation of Joann, we could see Kay's manipulation of Derek coming from a mile away -- buying him a salon, marrying him, bribing him into living with her for a year without revealing to Jill that it was platonic, etc.