Soap Vet Linda Dano Leaves a Bout with Depression Behind and Takes on GL
She’s back! And there’s no stopping her now. Soap opera Diva, and Emmy Award winner Linda Dano is on a roll, and she wants everyone to know that she’s up to the challenge of taking control of her life after a year’s absence from the limelight.
Dano appears on Guiding Light beginning April 15 for a six-week run playing Lena Kendall, a failed actress that turned murderess. She will be leaving her fashionable wardrobe and stunning earrings behind for prison garb putting aside the “glamour girl” image.
“I know. Now I know how Martha Stewart felt,” Dano joked. “My God! I’m a murderer, and to work with no earrings. I’ve never done that! What must I have been thinking?”
Shown at left with scene partner Beth Ehlers (Harley) in her new role on GL as prison inmate Lena Kendall, Dano is best known for her role as Felicia Gallant on Another World, and recently as Rae Cummings on One Life To Live. She also hosted “Attitudes” on Lifetime, and Lifetime “Now.” She is president of Strictly Personal, a fashion consulting business that created a line of fashion accessories for QVC.
But the past year, she has been keeping it low key after loosing her beloved husband, Frank Attardi to lung cancer after 26 years of marriage, and nine days later dealing with the death of her mother, Evelyn.
“I must tell you...it’s been rough. Not only the loss, but I was also Frank‘s caretaker,” Dano said. “I don’t think we ever prepare ourselves for this in life for this (death), but yet it happens. I was an emotional wreck.”
Recently Dano was diagnosed by a doctor as being clinically depressed, an illness that she decided to take public and make people aware that depression exists in our society, and is very real.
Dano is heading a national campaign called Support Partners, which helps people suffering from depression, or those that want to help and become a partner to the suffering.
Support Partners program offers guidebooks (see info below) on managing your depression, being a support partner, and a shared guidebook that should be shared between a person with depression and his/her partner.
The program pairs people living with depression with partners. The program aims to foster open communication and create systems of support that eliminate isolation and encourage recovery.
Support Partners is co-sponsored by the National Women’s Health Resource Center (NWHRC) along with the Eli Lilly Company.
“After what I have been through, the first step is to acknowledge the problem. Oh yes, on the outside I was Linda Dano, but on the inside I was hurting miserably,” Dano revealed “When you don’t care to get up in the morning, or to take the dog for a walk, you know there is a problem.”
Dano found the greatest support from friends, saying it is so important to have someone there at anytime when you need them, even if they’re there to cook you something.
“Find a confidant. A person with energy, and one that can commit,” Dano said. “For each individual, you need to find a friend, a family member, or someone from the clergy. Find a person that you know that you can count on.”
Depression is a serious illness and nearly 19 million Americans suffer from it. It can only be diagnosed by a doctor, but can come in many forms. This is just not about feeling sad. That’s one symptom, but according to Dano there are many others -- like even chronic back pain or stomach problems.
“I must admit. I was shocked when I found out about my depression,” Dano said. “And I admit, I’m still on the recovery journey. But to anyone out there suffering, or wants to help someone suffering, please look into Support Partners. It can change your life, and want to make you get back in the swing of things gaining a different perspective.”
Dano said that for her, getting back to work will be a big help, and that’s one of the reasons she has decided to do Guiding Light.
“When Ellen Wheeler, (executive producer) called and told me about Lena, it was encouraging,” Dano said. “I thought...what the heck. Why not? I need to do this for myself. Going back to work may be just what I need.”
Dano is also taking on the challenge of appearing in the title role in “Mame” at the famed Bucks County Playhouse in June, and said that she can hardly wait, but wonders if she knows what she’s in for.
“You know. I must be insane, fearless, or plain nuts! I’ve never done a play much less a musical,” Dano said. “You know I’m so into this, I’m even taking singing lessons. It will be a hit or a flop, but it has my energy up.”
Dano will be appearing with good friend and former Another World alum, Anna Stuart (Donna), who will be playing Vera. “I will hang on to her for moral support,” Dano said.
If that’s not enough on her plate, Dano will be starring and producing a pilot for a reality fashion makeover show for SoapNet.
Dano revealed that to this day she still misses Another World, saying, “It was magical,” but now it’s time to explore her career in different directions. The stint on Guiding Light will be short, and that’s what she wants.
“I’m taking it one day at a time. I don’t want more. I want to see where everything goes. I never rule out anything in this business, so you never know, but for now this is it,” Dano said. “I’m coming out of a very difficult period of adjustment in my life, and I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead.”
INFO ON SUPPORT PARTNERS:
PHONE: (toll free) 888-818-7988
Copies of the guidebooks available at: www.DepressionHurts.com
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