Playing a perpetually put upon soap heroine (or even anti-heroine) can be a trying experience for any actress. But we can only imagine that it would be doubly so for one whose own parent was crafting the daily story.
All of these actresses portray a character on one of the four remaining soaps – Days of our Lives, General Hospital, and The Young and the Restless. But only one of them can claim that they had a parent who scripted them a disfiguring accident and a poignant exit.
Who can that actress be? Is it Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie Williams, DAYS), Maura West (Ava Jerome, GH), or Lauralee Bell (Christine Williams, YR)?
Yes, West’s character did indeed receive a (temporary) facial scar. However, Ava’s burns were caused by an old fashioned temper tantrum and the misuse of a kerosene lamp, not by a relative in charge of the writing department. And thank goodness — Ava is still alive and well and wreaking havoc in Port Charles.
During her early tenure at YR, Bell’s character was controlled by the whim of her father, series creator William J Bell. Among Christine’s many standout (and harrowing) tales was her date rape at the hands of Derek Stuart, her interest in Scott Grainger – a man who turned out to be her half-brother, and the sexual harassment she railed against.
But even though the diabolical David Kimble once threatened to carve up Christine’s face if she didn’t leave him to his business, Bell never did act out a storyline in which her face was scarred by fire.
Susan Seaforth Hayes
In a 2019 interview with Soap Opera Digest, Hayes reflected on the disfigurement storyline which had been penned 40 years previous.
“[Elizabeth Harrower, her mother, a former actress and the head writer of DAYS] based it on the story of someone in our own lives. I was surprised that she brought that up, but she was trying to drive Doug and Julie apart at that moment.
“They were happily married and she didn’t go for that…Originally we thought it was going to be three weeks and it went on for six months or something like that.”
And when Seaforth Hayes made her second exit from the soap (in 1993), it was Harrower who scripted the farewell which saw Julie reunite, and leave town with, a visiting Doug (Bill Hayes) – who had purchased her a music box that played their special song, “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.” So if you guessed that Seaforth Hayes might be our actress in question, then you were most certainly correct!