Classic Soap Love Triangle Re-Forms to Spill the Tea on Their Mega-Popular Storyline — *and* Its Downfall: ‘Boy, Am I Trying to Be Polite Here’
The tension, it seems, was even thicker backstage at Ryan’s Hope than it was on screen.
In the early 1980s, ABC struck pay dirt with the pairing of Luke Spencer and Laura Baldwin on General Hospital. After that, the network wanted a couple of young lovers on all of its daytime shows. Michael Pavel and Kimberly Harris “were the Luke and Laura for Ryan’s Hope,” summed up Michael Corbett on a recent edition of The Locher Room vlog that reunited him with leading ladies Kelli Maroney (Kimberly) and Louise Shaffer (her mom and his sugar mama, Rae Woodard).
But wow, was the deck ever stacked against the torrid triangle that pitted daughter against mother. The actors who played “the Ryans were not necessarily thrilled that there was a big new storyline coming in,” recalled Corbett, adding with a laugh that Helen Gallagher (aka Ryan matriarch Maeve) used to ask to please have scenes rewritten because she believed that her character would never speak to his character. Randall Edwards’ Delia wound up getting those lines, albeit Delia-ized presumably.
“It was,” he adds, “an interesting time.”
And one marked by change at the much-missed sudser. After its creators sold it to ABC, “there was a lot of tension over the direction of the show,” Shaffer said. “ABC did want young love storylines, and they also wanted some glitzy people that they could dress up in pretty clothes.” Rae sure fit that bill.
“What happened,” the Emmy winner continued, “was Kelli and Michael were incredibly charismatic… The audience responded, and then I think there was always a great deal of tension… ”
Erm, yes, she had mentioned that. “Boy, am I trying to be polite here!” she laughed.
In the end, Corbett was killed off, and ultimately, Shaffer and Maroney were written off the canvas as well. Click above to watch their interview in full — technical difficulties and all. And while you’re here, check out our gallery of other soaps that we still miss.
Video: YouTube/The Locher Room