Happy Halloween, Thinking Fans!


When my husband/site managing editor Moose showed me this special Halloween illustration of moi, done by our cherished resident artist Ira Blutreich, I said, “Moose, it’s politically incorrect for anyone to be called a witch these days unless she is a Wiccan or … or  she is Tabitha Lenox, who actually was a witch on Passions.”

But then I thought of my early days working on soap magazines, when we weren’t allowed to use the word, “bitch” and had to call all such wonderful characters “witches.”  Well, that made me feel better.

So, to celebrate all the wonderful witch/bitches I grew up with — Rachel Davis, Another World; Dorian Lord, One Life To Live; Lucinda Walsh, As the World Turns;  Alexandra Spaulding, Guiding Light; Kay Chancellor/Jill Foster, The Young and the Restless; Tracy Quartermaine, General Hospital;  Stephanie Forrester, The Bold and the Beautiful, and, of course, Erica Kane, All My Children — I proudly don my witch/bitch costume for Halloween, and dance up a storm of Halloween Happiness!

Happy Halloween, my darling Thinking Fans!                                                                       





  1. What about Raven on EON! Surely you would never forget her! 🙂 Happy Halloween Marlena & Moose — and Ira — great illustration! I like to think of the cat in the picture as Leona’s late kitty, Ghost.

    Marlena says: You are right — I did forget Raven, who you know I loved. Viva Sharon Gabet wherever she is! Edge of Night forever!!

  2. And let’s not forget Iris on AW.

    Thanks, esther, for the Ghost shout-out … except she was never that animated

    Marlena says: Leona, I saw Ghost’s picture on Facebook and esther is right. BTW readers, I am on Facebook under my real name. (See “Who is Marlena?” on our front page.)

  3. What a sham! Marlena, you are the furthest thing from a witch/bitch there is! But the costume is fab! I think you can find many uses for it after Halloween wanes. Ask Moose for suggestions!

    Marlena says: Dale darling, don’t give away the big secret (that I am nice!)

  4. Patrick Erwin says:

    Happy Halloween Marlena!

    I second the nomination of Raven Whitney – loved her and Sky on EON.

    I know some of my friends have put their cats on Facebooj – not just pictures of their cat on their own profiles – but whole profiles of them on Catbook! (Yes, there is a Facebook application called Catbook for profiles of one’s cat. And Dogbook, too.)

    Marlena says: Patrick my guy! Happy Halloween! There’s a Dogbook? Is Little David Vickers on it? xxxooooo darling!

  5. Happy Halloween, Marlena & all ya’ll!

    Well done, Ira!

    Marlena says: That’s so sweet, Norn. Coming soon to this column: an AMAZING piece of soap art by one of our own Thinking Fans, Norn Cutson.

  6. Marlena, I LOVED the old soaps and Belle Clemens Britton Kincaid from THE SECRET STORM was delightfully bitchy and amusing. Yeah, back in the 70’s, Belle brought smiles to the lips of this SECRET STORM watcher.

    Belle’s first act of treachery was when she had an affair with Amy’s husband, Professor Paul Britton. Paul actually married Belle. An act he lived to regret.

    Belle wanted to make it big in life, so she became involved with crooked politico, Dan Kincaid, played by the late Bernard Barrow. When Dan was shipped off to prison, Belle began a torrid affair with Dan’s misbegotten son, Robert Landers. Plus, Robert was living with Belle’s adopted daughter, Joanna.

    Belle and Robert had a May/December thing going on and Miss Belle didn’t want to lose that young, hard-bodied thang, so she financed motor parts he needed to participate in an auto race.

    But alas, Belle’s cash needle was hovering on E. How was she going to keep her young lover coming around without steadily handing him fifties and hundreds?

    Well, she learned that her foe, Amy’s, baby girl, Danielle was a product of artificial insemination.
    For noble reasons, Amy allowed her paralyzed husband, Kevin to think he had fathered the child.

    Belle had hit pay dirt. She told Amy that if she didn’t fork over lotsa dollar bills, she’d tell all of Woodbridge (STORM’s setting), her secret. So, Amy paid up.

    That Belle was something with a capital s, but I never hated her. She always amused me and Marla Adams did a commendable job playing her.

    Belle is one of daytime’s gone-but-not-forgotten witches.

    Marlena says: I never saw Secret Storm (save for its iconic opening) but I do remember Marla Adams as Myrna Clegg from Capitol and Dina Mergeron on Young and Restless—and she was also in that immortal teen movie, Splendor in the Grass (1961)! By your yummy description I would have loved to see her on SS. Everyone has a soap opera bitch (I mean witch!) from their earlier years they just can’t forget. Thanks for telling me yours, Tess, and proving you go back as many years as I do as a soap opera watcher. Happy Halloween.

  7. Matthew Cormier says:

    My favorite witch from soaps is one you didn’t mention but who is definetly a bit evil and that is Helena Cassidine from “General Hospital”. That woman would even scare Tabitha Lennox and Tracy Quatermaine…

  8. Happy Halloween Marlena!

    Count me in for Raven from EON too. And what about Denise Cavanaugh???? Holland Taylor was a divine bitch! Speaking of Myrna Clegg…. Carolyn Jones was awesome in the early days of Capitol.

    Love the picture! Say hi to Moose!


    Marlena says: David, so great to hear from you! Oh, Denise Cavanaugh was beyond the beyond fabulouso! Aren’t we lucky we got to experience Holland Taylor on EON years before she was in movies and guest-starred or starred in just about every series on primetime TV? And when I looked her up on the imbd.com, it said that Marla Adams played Myrna after the great Carolyn Jones passed away and eventually Marj Dusay took over the role.

    Say hi to Lillian, a great lady!

  9. Well here’s another David chiming in to remind you of the delicious Holland Taylor’s Denise Cavanaugh and of course, the delectable Raven Alexander…Whitney.
    Henry Slesar’s witch godesses were a treat to watch because you always knew they were up to something-and so did many of the other characters, but the suspense was always in figuring how and when she’d strike next. At no point did you dislike her. Sometimes I think we cheered her on. Sometimes.

    All of the incredible women in your list Marlena were skillfully drawn characters not the cartoonish black and white creations of the last ten years.
    For example, the character of Sammy Brady is for many younger viewers the epitome of what a soap witch should be but her motivations began because some soap hack needed a bad girl and there she was. These recent witch creations lack depth of motivation for their actions because they either begin life on that soap as a-“oh she’s a bad girl” incarnation or out of the blue, become the bad girl with no real reason.

    The lack of a clearly defined witch character of the last ten years I think is one of the reasons millions have stopped watching. Without motivation other than the need to drive the plot, viewers have lost interest in a show when all they see is those cardboard cartoon characters masquerading as real people. People want fantasy but they don’t want something that insults their intelligence. The key to the good “bad girl” has always been her intelligence.

    Marlena says: David, bravo, bravisimo! What you are saying about the key to a bad girl needing to be intelligent is so right on the money. And I’ve never really thought about it before! It explains why I get so irritated every time the current One Life to Life writes a really stupid or illogical situation for Dorian, because Dorian has always been a very intelligent woman (a situation Robin Strasser can transform and make entertaining only because she may be the world’s best soap actress. IMO.) Isn’t it interesting how just about the only soap bitch character today who is consistently allowed to keep her intelligence these days is General Hospital’s Tracy Quartermaine? Thank goodness Jane Elliot breathes fire!

    Along with all of you, I truly miss the bitches of soap opera past. As you say David, the loss of them is just another reason soaps are…..

  10. HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I love the picture!

    My fave “witches” on daytime were probably the first two I saw…remember I’m young-ish…I loved Mallet’s sister Julie Cameletti on Guiding Light when she turned mean-ish, it was the first experience I had with daytime (I was barely out of my single digits) and I just couldn’t get enough of her! LOL! I also was a big fan of the witchy side of Drew Jacobs from the same show (although she was good at heart…as most witches tend to be!), Raven from Edge was another early soap viewing wtich I loved (thank you USA Network!), currently i can’t get enough of Chloe from Y&R, my current fave witch! 🙂

  11. Does Sheila from YOUNG AND RESTLESS fall under the category of a bad girl? Or would psycho more aptly describe her? In the beginning, I loved Sheila and her schemes to hold onto Scott Granger.

    Sheila was monstrous. Who could forget her viciously telling Lauren, “I don’t care about your dead baby.”

    YIKES! It saddens me to see what has become of YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. But that’s another subject.

    Marlena says: Long ago and far away Marlena was once a guest on a talk show, on which the actress who played Sheila, Kimberlin Brown, also was a guest . Now, I am a sane adult who knows the difference between reality and fiction, but every time I looked at Brown that day, I felt nothing but COLD FEAR and utter paranoia. Now that’s one intense portrayal of a villainess for the ages!

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