The phrase "soap opera" is equated with incredible and unbelievable stories and with sexy, steamy romances. People come back from the dead (my daughter did this twice, once as a totally different actress), and characters amble out of exploding buildings scot-free with their hair totally in place and their clothes perfectly pressed. On soap operas one can have a hysterectomy and a year later give birth to twins. Of course one can conveniently get amnesia or clone oneself, and what would a day be like without a little kidnapping or murder.
But for the 26 years I had the great joy of playing nurse Lillian Raines on Guiding Light, I had none of these things happen to me. Rather I was given the opportunity to step into people's homes and show them a woman not so different from them and the way they lived, a woman who was facing many of their own struggles. Lillian wasn't rich, though her daughter kept marrying rich men -- and an occasional prince. She was a working woman, a mother and a devoted grandmother. She lived alone for many years on the show. She was a woman viewers could identify with.
Read the rest of this op-ed on AOL News.
By the way, Gina Misiroglu of Red Room put me in touch with the AOL people, which is one of the great ways she's bringing traffic to Red Room and getting attention for Red Room's authors.