Fans of the gone, but not forgotten As the World Turns would agree that a celebration of CBS Daytime being #1 for 30 years wouldn’t be complete without representation from Oakdale.
Fortunately, the folks at The Talk agreed and invited four actresses from the beloved soap to appear on a recent episode that honored the ratings milestone.
SoapHub was on the scene for the taping and stuck around afterwards to chat with the quartet of ATWT stars, all of whom either won or were nominated for Daytime Emmys: Colleen Zenk (Barbara), Ellen Dolan (Margo), Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda) and Martha Byrne (Lily/Rose).
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Read on to hear what the fab four had to say about the show’s finale, Holden’s brain, and whether or not the “World” will spin once more!
SoapHub: Are you all in touch with each other?
Ellen Dolan: Yes. Last night at a bar. A lot of wine and a lot of laughs.
Colleen Zenk: We keep in touch through Facebook.
Martha Byrne: I see Liz.
Elizabeth Hubbard: We see each other and talk a lot about life.
SoapHub: If we could go left to right, what did each of you think of ATWT’s finale and how your character concluded?
Zenk: I couldn’t have been happier with what they did for Barbara. They ended my 32 years on the show with this beautiful romance, which was quirky, fabulous, wonderful and completely unexpected. The last year and a half I had with Trent Dawson (Henry) was phenomenal. I see him and his wife and their new baby.
Dolan: Tom and Margo switched houses! They gave us a littler house! I wouldn’t have wanted Tom and Margo to stay apart, but I wish they had killed Margo and given her heart to Tom, but the story got directed someplace else.
Hubbard: I was sent to Amsterdam with John (Dixon). That’s all I remember. I always used to say Lucinda came on to make John smile…and he came back at the end to make her smile. I had actually met (Larry Bryggman, John) before ATWT at a smoking commercial. I told them I don’t smoke. They said, “Oh, that’s okay. The guy is going to smoke.” When we did another take they said, “Well, you smoke this time.” I said, sure. After about two seconds they said, “We’ll forget that one!” I had such respect for Larry. I didn’t get a chance to talk about all those things we used to have.
Byrne: (Beat.) I wasn’t there.
SoapHub: That’s why I saved you for last! Did you watch the episode? And if so what did you think of Lily’s ending?
Byrne: I did [watch]. I was glad that they didn’t put Holden and Lily back together. They were thinking of doing that. And I think one of the producers there jumped on the grenade and said, “Do not make Holden and Lily get married again.” Someone listened to that which I thought was wise. You can’t just tie [everything] up in a bow. They had Jack and Carly get married again, which was nice. I don’t think the fans would have wanted [a Holden/Lily reunion].
Hubbard: So many memories come back oddly to one’s mind. I remember going into the producer [back in the ’90s] and saying, “I’m about to do a scene where a doctor tells me they’ve taken half of Holden’s brain out.” Are you sure that you want to do this? I can say something else. Once it’s out as a fact, it’s out there. From then on, Holden only had half a brain.
SoapHub: Speaking of Holden, Martha, some were hoping that Jon Hensley might have been at the Talk reunion [today]. That would have been nice.
Byrne: I know. But, I think, in a way, our characters never quite found an ending. And now he’s not here today [at The Talk]. It’s kind of odd. I don’t know why he’s not here, if he was asked or not. But it’s as if Holden and Lily never had their happy ending either. It might have been too cute if they’d had it here.
SoapHub: Elizabeth, a new audience is finding you online now that reruns of The Doctors [on which you played Dr. Althea Davis] are airing on Retro TV.
Hubbard: Yes. I get little notes and things through Martha. It looks okay. It’s only four people working hard.
Byrne: I’ve watched episodes. At one point, you were replaced.
Hubbard: Yes. I left [The Doctors] and Virginia Vestoff took over the role.
Byrne: I was watching and thought that’s not Althea! I didn’t know anything about the show or the story but your performance still [holds up].
Hubbard: They asked me back. There was a party and Grant Tinker, [then] the head of NBC, was there. They said to him, this is Elizabeth. She’s coming back. [Someone said] she’s the one that so and so fired. To my face. In front of the head of NBC, who was trying to be nice. I’ve got to write a book on all the rude things that people have said to me! The one-liners that you cannot believe.
SoapHub: What’s the legacy of ATWT?
Dolan: It’s been such a great part of my life. I’m the same age as ATWT. It has been kind of…[tearing up] here I come….
Zenk: I know. She’s going to cry now. It’s her turn.
Dolan: It’s not even like losing a family member, it’s like losing a family. Losing the character you’ve played. That’s a death in itself.
Zenk: So very difficult.
Dolan: [Laughs] And all those paychecks!
Hubbard: For 14 cents, sometimes. I framed a check I got one time that was for one cent. I miss Lucinda, but I’m glad she is wherever she is. I miss Dr. Althea, too. I wrote something to give to [ATWT head writer Douglas Marland, who also wrote The Doctors] to explain what happened to Dr. Althea. When I see the fans today and in Holland [where ATWT is wildly popular], I’m happy that they got things from us. From all us.
SoapHub: Are any of you in touch with any Procter & Gamble executives? Could there someday be a revival?
Hubbard: No. Martha might.
Byrne: I don’t think anyone knows how hard I work to get things done. I’m tireless about it, whether it’s my own projects or something else. There’s more than one way to get things done in this business, especially as a producer. If it doesn’t work this way, you find another. I do spend the majority of my career doing that. Believe me, I’ve had many conversations and many outreaches on different levels to try to see where this home could be.
Hubbard: I remember I had offered to shave my head in the cancer story. Jen Landon [ex-Gwen] wanted to shave hers [around the same time]. I pitched a story with one character [Lucinda] making the best of it and there’s a girl doing it from style. Angelica [McDaniel, Executive Vice President, CBS, Daytime] said that would have been a great idea. If only we had had her [in charge].
Zenk: If only we had had her.
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