My first soap-uh, daytime drama, folks. I worked there almost every week for about eleven years. At the beginning, I was in the emergency room. Very efficient although I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing. Just look smart and work fast. Then a funny thing happened. Patients, in the script, I swear the other guy did it, began to like, die, pass on, kaput. Get it? Of course the doctor did the dirty deed. Now really, was that a reason for Judy Wilson, the wonderful casting director, to take me out of my whites and say I should be a socialite? In the country club? Beautifully dressed, no needles and charts. Instead, I wore the best in wardrobe’s size four inventory, complete with jewelry and accessories. What a comedown. I nearly cried with joy.
About the cast long ago.Early in the morning the stars– Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser and the rest of the young beauties arrived, so pleasant, faces sans make-up looking just like us. Always a greeting as they sailed through and on to their dressing rooms. And then came Phil Carey. Asa Buchanan had nothing to say to the background people so far beneath his station. Once a scene was shot in Central Park. Rain began to fall. I slipped into my raincoat and one of the gentlemen stars, a young handsome man who always sat with me at the commissary and talked about his life, grabbed my hand and helped me up into the bus filled with the stars. Phil Carey said loud and clear, “She’s only an extra. She doesn’t belong here.”
You could hear the gasp but no one crossed Phil Carey except for my guy. “She’s a person, as good as any of us.”
A month later, my buddy left the cast to star in a musical on Broadway. I continued to work, under fives and background for a long time and stayed clear of Phil Carey. Show business was not always “the sweet time.”