Still “Bold and Beautiful” After All These Years

Not many people can say they were present at the creation — but I was. Early in 1987, I was interviewing the late William J. Bell (co-creator and headwriter of “The Young and the Restless”) in his office at Studio City, Calif., when the phone rang. It was the powers-that-be at CBS calling with big news: They had just canceled the Washington, D.C.-based soap “Capitol” and were in the market for a replacement. Well, needless to say, Mr. Bell (as I always respectfully called him) was jubilant. A time slot had opened for his new show, which he accurately named “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

When it premiered on March 23, 1987, it was so much larger than life — weren’t we all in the late ’80s, mes chers? “B&B” became the fashion soap. All these years later, the show still lives up to its name. It’s one of only four soaps to survive from that golden era. It has mellowed a bit as its core cast has matured. But it’s still full of life, and it’s every bit as entertaining as it was when it premiered.

What fun it is on these bleak, snowy winter days to check into the warm Los Angeles-based fashion world and enjoy 30 minutes of quintessential soap opera.

Brooke Logan (played by the great Katherine Kelly Lang) is still daytime’s premiere strumpet and homewrecker, even though she‘s a grandmother by now! Her enemy Sheila Carter (played by Kimberlin Brown), our own Cruella de Vil, spiked reformed alcoholic Brooke’s champagne on New Year’s Eve when Brooke’s husband, Ridge (played by Thorsten Kaye), was conveniently away. With the bubbly still bubbling, Brooke’s love of many years ago arrived at her door. He was, of course, the always delicious Deacon Sharpe (played by Sean Kanan). The two spent the night together, although apparently nothing happened. But, thanks to the champagne, Brooke doesn’t remember a thing.

Oh, what a hoot! And there’s more. It seems there was a witness to this almost seduction. In a play on that old song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” Douglas Forrester (played by Henry Joseph Samiri) spied his grandma kissing Deacon in a Santa hat. When he told his parents what he had seen, Grandma was in big trouble! Seriously, Marlena is very much looking forward to seeing how this story plays out over the next few weeks.

The show’s other interwoven stories are consistently good. There’s a wonderful classic love triangle developing between Paris Buckingham (played by Diamond White), Zende Forrester Dominguez (played by Delon de Metz) and Carter Walton (played by Lawrence Saint-Victor.) White, one of daytime’s best newcomers, is just fascinating. They’ve given her the best wardrobe on daytime, but that’s just window dressing. As Marlena always says, the best actors on daytime are the ones who can show their characters thinking. And White does! (She also is a fantastic singer, as demonstrated when she sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a Los Angeles Dodgers game last summer.) And, as a talk-to for Paris, “B&B” has been quite savvy in bringing on Cassandra Creech (formerly of ”As The World Turns”) as Dr. Grace Buckingham.

And speaking of thinking, the creative team has undertaken something a bit tricky: “B&B” has recast a core character. Recently, psychiatrist Taylor Hayes returned to town after an absence of many years. When we last saw her, she was played by Hunter Tylo, who originated the role. Now she’s played by Krista Allen, the ex-Billie Reed of “Days of Our Lives.”

This is one of the greatest challenges any soap actor can face. And Allen knocks it out of the park. Amazing! She immediately zeroed in on Taylor’s core — her palpable compassion not just for her patients but for everyone in her family. Bravo, Allen! Note to the producers: She doesn’t need the wig that is apparently supposed to make her resemble Tylo. She has made the character her own all by herself.

Why, after all these years, does “B&B” still work so well? Executive producer and headwriter Bradley Bell deserves much of the credit. Under his leadership, our last half-hour soap flies by quickly, and the show is always something to look forward to.

Marlena’s very first column on “B&B” was titled “B&B: A Camp Classic.” So many years later, “B&B” has mellowed a bit. (Haven’t we all?) But just a bit. It’s still one great soap!


  1. Welcome back Connie, We have all missed you, and your wonderful writing.


  3. This was a beautiful love letter to the show — and thank goodness they finally recast Taylor, who is so needed on the canvas. Of course, fans would want Tylo but if she didn’t want to return, I’m glad they found Krista Allen so the character could be there for her children. Her absence hasn’t made sense and now there’s tons of soap goodness possible. Let the faux fur fly!

  4. So glad to have you back, Professor. “Critical Condition” in SOW was the first thing I read in every issue. I even wrote a couple of fan letters that got printed in the magazine back in the ‘90s.

    I have to ask what you think of DAYS OF OUR LIVES lately. I am not sure there has ever been a show that worked as hard to get attention as what they have been doing this year! A Peacock spin-off with veteran characters; the re-possession story, this time starting with a Doug dementia fake-out; the emergence of a front burner African American storyline that has encompassed nearly the entire canvas at one time or another; a Christmas movie; coming out stories for men AND women; and more.

    In all of this, Ron Carlivati and the writing team have managed to feature actors and characters who have appeared on the show for 40 or 50 years and somehow keep them relevant as they drive story.

    However.. not everyone is thrilled with all of this, and I wondered what you thought.

    You’ll always be the greatest columnist of all time.

    • Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a Connie Passalacqua Hayman says:

      Marlena is blushing at such a wonderful compliment! How I adore my fans! More on “Days” in a future column!

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