Sharon Gabet was faced with a tough decision after Edge of Night went off the air at the end of 1984. Should she stay with the Procter & Gamble family and take the role of Brittany on P&G soap Another World? Or stay at ABC and join the cast of One Life to Live?
Sharon Gabet — OLTL Memory Lane
It turns out she could do both. First, she joined AW where she stayed for two years. Next, she became a cast member of OLTL. In a new Q&A with Soap Hub, Gabet, who recently released her updated memoir, From the Raven to the Dove, recalls her time in Llanview. She shares how she came to join the show, who she laments she never shared screen-time with and why Raven will always be her favorite role.
Soap Hub: How did you come to join the cast of OLTL?
Sharon Gabet: One of the many things I loved about having played Raven was that I didn’t have to go out and audition [because I was known for that role]. Looking back, it was a mistake to have taken Another World over One Life to Live. But I felt loyal to [Procter & Gamble]. After I’d left that show, I’d given birth to my son, Max. Later, I picked up the phone and called One Life.
Paul Rauch was the executive producer at the time.
Yes. I said, “Hi, this is Sharon Gabet. Can I talk to Paul Rauch?” They put me right through to him. I said I’m looking for a job. He said, “Come on over.” I went in and we talked. He said, “Sure, I’ll give you a job.” He was a difficult character, but I can’t really trash him. He gave me a job when I needed one without a qualm. I had a lot of fun on that show.
You were perfectly cast as Melinda; was Robin Strasser on at the time as her sister Dorian?
No, and that was the problem. If Strasser had been there, it would have worked out so much better. Melinda had so much to her character. She needed Dorian there. I would have liked it very much if she had returned and we had worked together.
What do you recall about your time in Llanview?
They passed me around during my second year, giving me trial scenes with Michael Storm [Larry] and other actors on the show. I think Melinda was just a little too hot for Larry. I could have stayed there. I should have been thinking more long-term. In 1997, One Life called me and asked me to come back.
What went into your decision to say no?
I had moved to California at this point and had had a turbulent few years with some family deaths and my daughter [Johanna] had been diagnosed with autism. In 1996, I got a divorce. I had planned a trip to Egypt. About a month before the trip, One Life called and said they needed me to be there in two weeks. I had three kids between the ages of 3 and 7. They had just made a cross-country move and we were getting settled. I asked the show if they could give me a few months. They said, “No, we have to write her in right now.” I wasn’t in a position [to accept]. It’s too bad it didn’t work out. You have to look back and realize “Wrong time, wrong place.”
It sounds like EDGE was your best experience for many reasons.
Yes. You have to know how spoiled we’d been at EDGE. My seven years on EDGE made me think this is how all shows are done, but the truth is nobody did it like EDGE. After Larkin [Malloy, ex-Skye] and I reconnected on social media, we spent months talking about what we had to deal with after EDGE. We watched old EDGE episodes [with fans] and we had fun. [Laughs] I forgot how good I was! I’m not kidding you! I was so busy with life, therapy, and marriage. It’s like I had packed it all up and put it in a box. It was wrong to do that.
What do you remember about EDGE the most?
It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life — creative, family, love, joy, and laughter. I sat with Lois Kibbee (ex-Geraldine) and Larkin and we laughed our butts off almost every day! It was really great to connect with Larkin. That brought tremendous joy to my life and helped smooth over some rough spots. We have a small “EDGE-y” fan base still, but they are loyal and fierce! I’m so glad that Larkin and I had a couple of years [after we reconnected]. I do wish I could have seen him one more time.
You’re not far from Los Angeles and there are four soap operas done there. Would you be up for a return to daytime if the right role came long?
One thing my age and experience has taught me to say is “never say never!” It could be fun!
To order Gabet’s updated memoir, From the Raven to the Dove, click here.