Douglas Marland: A Personal Remembrance

Douglas Marland:  May 5, 1935 – March 6, 1993

Douglas Marland

By Marlena De Lacroix

In 1981 I was the editor of a soap magazine which had a great reputation and no budget.  Every year we gave out awards, but we had to do it in small ceremonies on the set.  My head was whirling from the first one on the set of All My Children.  An actor I had admired who played a nasty character took his statuette, turned to me and said, ” I can’t accept this.  It’s made of plastic.”

We went over to Guiding Light to give Douglas Marland his award for Best Writing. There were perhaps three people on the set.  Tanned, dressed beautifully in a custom-made light blue double breasted blue suit, Doug accepted his statuette with a long, heartfelt speech and tears of gratitude in his eyes.  That is how I met Doug. I was fortunate enough to know him as a journalistic source and friend for the next 13 years.

Doug was a very real, very charming person, full of the gusto of a life he thoroughly enjoyed living, long before he ever became [Read more...]

All My Children’s Angie and Jesse: Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing!

By Marlena De LacroixDebbi Morgan

All My Children‘s newly revived characters Angie and Jesse are causing me pain.  At the end of every scene they are in, I start to hurt, because I have to watch so many scenes of the rest of the storylines on AMC until I see them in their next scene.  These characters (and actors Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams) are so good and so real and so what soap opera used to be all about — love, romance, authentic human beings experiencing authentic human emotions — that they blot out the rest the show.

Did you see Jesse and Angie’s  actual reunion clinch during the reunion episode?  Specially shot outdoors trackside near a train station, with some very interesting camera angles by guest director Andrew Lee, the sequence was really terrific! 

Jesse A moment full of joy, full of the release of years of buried pain, full of love.  Marlena was blubbering so much, I finally stopped shouting, “It’s modeled after Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton’s famous trackside reunion embrace in the film Reds!”  (It takes a lot of shut Marlena up in the middle of making a movie reference during a soap.)

Since there is little magic these days happening on daytime soaps, you can bet the PTB upstairs are analyzing what has made the Angie and Jesse character return so special.  Is it the actors? Certainly, that’s the huge part of it.  Morgan and Williams, Emmy winners both, have always been extraordinary actors and AMC should thank its very lucky stars that they were available.  Both are seasoned by years of movies, TV movies, series and theater, and their ripe maturity as human beings is [Read more...]

10 Sweet and Soapy Valentine’s Day Questions

By Marlena De LacroixSarah Brown

1.  Is it my imagination or did bravura actress Sarah Brown return to General Hospital (as Claudia Zacchara) with a little something extra under the signature slutty red wrap dress?  And isn’t fierce mob princess Claudia very similar to Maerose Prizzi (Oscar winner Anjelica Huston) the fierce mob princess who wants to take control of her mob family in the 1985 hit movie Prizzi’s Honor?  Is there a mob movie that Bob Guza has  failed to rip off?

2.  Indeed, is there any Hollywood movie that Guza hasn’t ripped off? Last night I watched 1983′s War Games, about a nerdy but lovable teenage computer hacker [Read more...]

Back to the Future: Soaps Try to Revive 80s Glory

By Patrick Erwin

The death of the soap opera may have been widely exaggerated — they’re still alive and kicking.  But it’s no secret that the patient is ailing.  Ratings for many of the shows are anemic, and they’ve continued to shrink.

[Read more...]