On-Air On-Soaps reached out today to Colleen Zenk, (Ex- Barbara, ATWT) to get her thoughts and sentiments on the sad news that hit the Internet last evening on the passing of her longtime co-star and scene partner, Anthony Herrera (Ex- James, ATWT). For decades on-screen the duo tormented each other, well especially, James! But off-screen the two performers were very closer, and both shared the fact that they had battled back from cancer. As many now know, Herrera died on June 21st in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Here below is the statement from Colleen. We wanted to share this with you, the longtime fans of As the World Turns, and the soap opera community!
Zenk: “I knew and worked with and fought with and admired and adored Anthony Herrera more than half of my life. From Jan 1980, before I turned 27, to this last fall at a Cancer Awareness event and then a screening of his film at the Player’s Club, Anthony was a pivotal and important part of my professional and personal life. From our on-location work in the Dominican Republic, (where we were invited to the home of the Army General), to the bullring in Spain (we were having a bump in the road in our relationship then, and I think he wanted the bull to gore me.), Anthony and I always found time to dance…a metaphor for our relationship. I remember brunches at the Plaza Hotel and waltzing to the orchestra, dinners in caves and dancing the meringue… and so much more. And that was real-life. And then there are all the Barbara and James dances and battles, too.
Anthony always called me his “fictional wife”. And I was that, but more too. I wasn’t a girlfriend, or a date, or just an acting partner. He and I traveled through life’s journeys’ together, including our cancers. We were joined at-the-hip in some ways. And like all couples, at times, we drove each other absolutely crazy over the years. But, the years flew by, and I grew to tolerate and love his quirks. He always bellowed “WIFE” to me and I loved it. No matter where we were. I think there were people who might have thought we were a couple. We weren’t. But, we were just like an old married couple. Last summer, when I was performing in a show in NYC after ATWT shut down and my real-life marriage was over, the stage manager knocked on my dressing room door to say that my “husband” was there to see me. And then I heard “WIFE”! It was Anthony. Cheering me on as he had done since he first saw me on stage in 1981 in Bring Back Birdie on Broadway. My biggest cheerleader… And supporter. And he made me feel like a woman…
Two years ago, after my last round of cancer, he left the most beautiful message of hope and love on my cell phone. I have saved it this whole time just to hear his voice when I need a lift. I needed that today when I realized the rumors of his death were true. I am so glad I saved that voicemail. A little piece of the wonderful, Anthony Herrera, that is all mine… God, I will miss you… And I have been so blessed to have been your fictional “WIFE”. I have 30 years of stories. We were quite a couple. And he doted on me…and gave me hell…and I gave it back. And I listened to the same stories hundreds of times. Just like a “WIFE” should.