Back from the Dead

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Soap tricks in real life


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Dear Suds Buds,

Dying on soaps is a double-edged sword.  How many times are favorite characters killed off, only to return years – sometimes as soon as months – later as their evil twin or even as themselves?  Death on soaps is kind of meaningless as a result, isn’t it?

One of my most favorite returns involved a character on All My Children named Mike Roy. Mike was a love of Erica’s (Susan Lucci) who had been killed and cremated years before.  Suddenly, one day he returns with a tale of how his death was faked and that the person cremated was not him at all, only some poor schlub made out to be him so he could escape with his life.  Some kind of spy or counter intelligence back story unfolded, and Erica, who was then again about to marry Jackson (Walt Willey), fell back head over heels for Mike Roy, or so Jack thought, and he dumped Erica.  It was a storyline rife with interesting plot points and tons of ways to go. So -- if a soap could bring a character back from being cremated, a soap could bring a character back from any ill fate – and does more times than not.

But that’s only ON the soaps. 

Several days ago, Passions lost one of its actors to a fatal drowning accident.  He only started on the soap a few months before -- last September -- to finally give a face to the ever manipulative Alistair Crane.  His name was David Bailey and as a fervent swimmer, dying in a drowning accident seems not only ironic, but extremely tragic.  And just as the character of Alistair Crane and his storyline is really heating up. 

Tuning in to Passions for the next few weeks you will still see Bailey in the role. It makes me very sad to see him – knowing that his life was cut short so suddenly.  He’d lived a rather long life – he was 71, but still.  My heart goes out to his family and to his co-workers at Passions. How difficult it must be for all of them to continue performing day in and day out, knowing that one of their own is now gone. 

What’s even more tragic is that this is the second time Passions has lost a character in a front burner storyline. The very affable and loveable Josh Ryan Evans, who played  Tabitha’s sidekick, Timmy – the doll come to life – also died of a heart ailment.  He was only 20 years old.  The loss of Evans and the character of Timmy left such a hole in the hearts of everyone at Passions, the character was not recast.

But as the character of Alistair Crane is becoming more and more integral in many ways, we will see a new face in the role beginning January 25, 2005.  The new Alistair is soap veteran, John Reilly.  He begins taping this week.

If only the real life of soaps were like soapdom itself.  We’d bring back David Bailey and Josh Ryan Evans from the dead and that would be that.  If only we really did live in soapdom.

What do you guys think?  Tell me your thoughts on anything soap related on the Criticize the Critic boards.

Til the top of next week,

Linda Marshall-Smith
CEO, Soapdom, Inc.

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