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Inspired by Franceska James "revealing" (confirming?) that AMC's Ruth Warrick was relying on teleprompters, here is a new topic: which actors/actresses are known to have relied or rely on teleprompters to deliver their lines? Which ones do we suspect do so? Anyone ever caught a eyeline in the wrong direction? And do we have a problem with it?

Only confirmed case I know of is David Canary but that's pretty sad because it was due to the beginning of his dementia.
I once remember reading somewhere the cast of Y&R did it more than the others (back then at least) but I don't have any factual information.
But the floor is open to those who know better

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Jeanne Cooper.

 

Peter Bergman has stated in various interviews that he never uses them.

 

Various soaps have banned them at one point or another but as budgets (and taping times) were cut I think all shows employed them.

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I didn’t notice it all that much, but I wasn’t really looking for it.

 

I love that scene in Tootsie though when Dorothy grabs the actor and forces him to look at her instead of the teleprompter

 

I just read an interview with Mary O’Brien (ex-Heather, GH) where the interviewer talked about using them.  He is referring to Brooke Bundy in his question.

 

GB: Brooke also said everyone relied on the teleprompter for phone scenes.

MO: Yes, the guy holding the teleprompter was usually crouched below (the camera). And it's funny because when I started the show, I couldn't read it! I realized I needed glasses for the phone scenes. I wound up getting contact lenses. But other than the phone scenes, I decided early on I'd better not get into the habit of relying on the teleprompter.

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The worst I've ever seen in the history of soap operas was James Lipton as Dick Grant on The Guiding Light. He wins the Emmy for Best Use of the Teleprompter. 

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I believe the first use of a teleprompter was way back in 1950 when First Hundred Years debuted on CBS. As it was the first time live 15 min daily serial was attempted and it was felt actors couldn't cope without it.

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The youtube clip of BTS at Y&R with Jeanne and Jess shows the cue card guys scurrying around below camera level to position themselves to be seen.

 

At some point in the 70's reruns of The Doctors 'prompting services' are credited.

 

I always wonder if Constance Ford on Aw used cue cards as she was always looking elsewhere rather than others in the scene. That could have been her acting style or a way to reference the prompts if necessary.

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44 minutes ago, Paul Raven said:

I always wonder if Constance Ford on Aw used cue cards as she was always looking elsewhere rather than others in the scene. That could have been her acting style or a way to reference the prompts if necessary.


Yes. I have to amend my initial post as I had forgotten about it but Constance Ford  is absolutely someone who was visibly and conspicuously reading cue cards.

Check this scene: 


The acting is good but boy is she obviously constantly looking to the side at cue cards.

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2 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

The youtube clip of BTS at Y&R with Jeanne and Jess shows the cue card guys scurrying around below camera level to position themselves to be seen.

 

 

This is the clip. It is a treat to watch all these years later. Both Jeanne and Jess are using the cue cards in this particular clip, but Jeanne used them all the time. It's also great to see the sets of the Newman Ranch and the Chancellor Mansion - interesting that they both appeared to be built 'square' - as in all right angles, which is more akin to shooting on location in an actual home, rather than the visual trickery of sets where the walls are all askew. 

 

 

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Upthread we discussed this issue in the SOD 1991 posts.  In an article from that period it was noted that DAYS, Santa Barbara, and Y&R all continued to allow the use of cue cards, or teleprompters, on set.  However, Peter Bergman was quoted as being derisive of the practice.  In 2018, Cady McClain was interviewed about her time on Y&R on the TV Guidance Counselor podcast and noted that cue cards were disallowed one year prior to her hiring (btw she went on to say that Y&R was the least professional set and she hated her time there).

 

I recall that when Robert Laguardia wrote Soap World (which I still consider the definitive study of the history of soaps), he mentioned that it was a skill for early TV actors who transitioned from radio to learn how to emote to the camera while reading from a card, because radio soaps were all read from scripts. I would argue that style of acting seemed old fashioned by 1991, but it should not be attributed to laziness or age.  An actor has pages of dialogue to learn everyday, and at that time, changes were made to scripts up to the time of taping.  Also, despite being entertaining, bloopers are expensive in a one take genre, and cue cards could be seen as more efficient. 

 

However, I would dare to suppose that in these budgetary times most soaps could not afford a skilled, union-based, teleprompter operator or a cue card writer.  Most local news operations depend on laptops rather than teleprompters which may have gone the way of live organists when it comes to soap production.

Edited by j swift
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On 2/20/2021 at 10:28 PM, FrenchBug82 said:


Yes. I have to amend my initial post as I had forgotten about it but Constance Ford  is absolutely someone who was visibly and conspicuously reading cue cards.

Check this scene: 


The acting is good but boy is she obviously constantly looking to the side at cue cards.

Yes, she is constantly looking off set to read cue cards. In that Carol Roux interview, she said Audra Lindley was using the teleprompter during scenes. A lot of actors in later years seemed to start phoning it in. 

 

David Hasselhoff admitted to using cue cards during his Y&R stint. 

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48 minutes ago, j swift said:

However, Peter Bergman was quoted as being derisive of the practice.  In 2018, Cady McClain was interviewed about her time on Y&R on the TV Guidance Counselor podcast and noted that cue cards were disallowed one year prior to her hiring (btw she went on to say that Y&R was the least professional set and she hated her time there).

Is there anyone who has worked at Y&R from another show and had good things to say about that set? Yeesh. 

I wonder if the mention that Braeden used cue cards earlier in this thread and Bergman being derisive of it had a part in their feud or was part of their passive-aggressive feud.

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No wonder Y&R seemed so polished. They used cue cards. Mark Darwin said none of the P&G soaps used cue cards. You had to know your lines. 

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On 2/22/2021 at 6:35 PM, j swift said:

In 2018, Cady McClain was interviewed about her time on Y&R on the TV Guidance Counselor podcast and noted that cue cards were disallowed one year prior to her hiring (btw she went on to say that Y&R was the least professional set and she hated her time there).

 

Wow, so YR was still using cue cards around 2012-2013? That's still fairly recent. I know daytime work is tough, but these actors making above average wages should be required to memorize their lines.

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On 2/22/2021 at 7:25 PM, FrenchBug82 said:

Is there anyone who has worked at Y&R from another show and had good things to say about that set? Yeesh. 

I wonder if the mention that Braeden used cue cards earlier in this thread and Bergman being derisive of it had a part in their feud or was part of their passive-aggressive feud.

 

I think Y&R experienced such little turnover for so many years that it was a closed shop and after Bill Bell died, anyone new was going to be treated like an outsider because those who were from the Bell era probably saw every new cast member as an unwelcome interloper. 

 

1 hour ago, Cruising Soaps said:

Well as a Y&R fan I could not stand the horrible acting of Cady-  I hated her on ATWT too.  I don't get the appeal. 

 

She was awful on Y&R (but has been wonderful on DAYS)...

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