NPR’s Lara Pellegrinelli has posted a piece from her interview with As the World Turns all-time leading diva, (and we mean that lovingly, and in a good way) Eileen Fulton, on playing Lisa for all she is worth for 50 years, and the sad ending of the series, yesterday.
For years one of the long-running rememberances from ATWT was Eileen insisting their was a no Granny clause put into her contract, thus Lisa could not never be a grandma! Here is what she had to say to NPR’s Pellegrinelli about the infamous n0-one-makes-me-a -grandma-ever situation.
Fulton recounted: “In the 1970s they grew up my son really quick. He was going to be married to Carol. I was in a hot story line with Dr. Shea. And I realized that if my son got married, I would be a grandmother. I remembered seeing Barbara Berjer, who played Claire Cassen. They grew up her daughter and granddaughter and a lot of people. Here she is looking so beautiful and suddenly they realized, my God, she’s going to be a great grandmother on our show. We have to kill her. So they hit her with a truck. I thought: Wait a minute. That is not going to happen to me.
As luck would have it, I have an angel who said, “Don’t sign your contract just yet.” And I called up [creator and writer] Irna Phillips and said, “So if Tom and Carol have a baby, that makes me a grandmother. “ She said, “Yes, dear. That’s the way soaps are. It’s like life.” And I said, “Well, I have a contract here and I haven’t signed it. And I’m not going to sign it until you put in a grandma clause saying that Tom and Carol will not—.” So as time went on, poor Carol was sterile and we called her sterile Carol. Then Tom married Natalie and she couldn’t have any babies either because she had some kind of disease. So she died.
Later on, in the 80s, Lisa was certainly old enough to be a grandmother, though she’s having all of these wild affairs. When Tom and Margo were going to have a baby, Greg Marks who was playing Tom wanted to leave and go back to California. So they had them lose the baby in a gunfight. It was awful. And people still remembered I had a grandma clause. I got hate mail from everywhere saying you son of a — and bleep, bleep, we’re going to kill you. Not just one letter—letters from everywhere.”