Many of your favorite soaps stars have shared the screen or stage with some noted celebrities, and a select few have even been in the company of bonafide icons.
Which Soap Star Was It?
All of these actors are either an alum of a long-ago classic – like All My Children or Ryan’s Hope – or they currently star in, or are alums of, one of the four remaining daytime dramas – The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of our Lives, General Hospital, and The Young and the Restless. However, only one of them spent 15 months serving as an understudy in a play featuring Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn.
But who can that actor be? Was it Julia Barr (ex-Brooke English, AMC), John McCook (Eric Forrester, BB), Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis, GH), Kate Mulgrew (ex-Mary Ryan Fenelli, RH), or Judith Chapman (Gloria Fisher Abbott Bardwell, YR)?
McCook never shared a stage with the luminous Hepburn. However, the BB star did share scenes with Charlton Heston – one of Hepburn’s contemporaries – and Jayne Meadows, one of Hepburn’s former co-stars.
Nancy Lee Grahn
Grahn is an ardent fan of the late, great movie star. In point of fact, her daughter, Katharine Grace, was named in honor of her acting idol.
Back in 2003, Mulgrew embodied the personage of both a 31-year-old and a 76-year-old Hepburn, eight times a day, in a one-woman show entitled Tea at Five. However, she never worked in the same production as her subject matter.
Like Mulgrew, Chapman spent many hours getting into the skin of a famed screen siren. But rather than Hepburn, whom Miss Chapman never had the pleasure of meeting, she played Vivien Leigh. Coincidentally, Leigh and Hepburn were very close friends – so close in fact, that Hepburn was one of only four witnesses who attended Leigh’s marriage to Sir Laurence Olivier.
Barr spent 15 months traveling the country and serving as an understudy for the play West Side Waltz which starred Hepburn and Dorothy Loudon. Of the experience, Barr remembered that “I never got to work on stage with her. One day, I was asked to do a scene with her. My husband took a seat in the back row.
“‘Who is that?’ Hepburn said in her quaky voice. They told her it was my husband. She said, ‘He can stay.’ After we did the scene, Hepburn seemed pleased. She took my hand and said, ‘I know it is hard to wait.'”
So, if you guessed that the soap star in question was Julia Barr, then you were absolutely correct!