Eileen Fulton wraps up 50 years of playing Lisa on As the World Turns this coming Friday, when the show goes to the big soap heaven in the sky. TV Guide caught up with the unstoppable Fulton, for her parting words as she wraps up, along with other cast mates, a huge part of her entertainment career. Here are some interesting excerpts on what the legendary Fulton had to say about the final tape date and the ending!
Fulton on how it was to tape the final episode and wrap up the final days of taping: “Terrible! I have never been so relieved to leave a place in my life as I was on that last day! I took my picture of my dog, Geraldine Page, and my radio and my damn bedroom slippers and walked out of my dressing room, got in the car and said “Thank God!” It was very hard for everyone. People got extraordinarily depressed. They were tearing down the sets as we were trying to do our final scenes. We had to ask them to stop hammering so we could act. Then there was the fire.”
Fulton on burning Benjamin Hendrickson’s hairpieces on the last day of taping: “On the last day they took all of the hairpieces worn by Benjamin Hendrickson [the late actor who played Hal Munson] and burned them one by one in the yard at the studio. Benji hated those hairpieces but the show insisted he wear them — let me tell you, he was furious! — so we told stories about him and wished him well and knew that he would be delighted to see those damn things go up in flames. So that was fun, but it was a hot, humid day and we were choking to death on the smoke. It was an odd way to end things. [Sighs] I love the show the way things used to be. I love all of the people I used to work with — the cast, hair, makeup, wardrobe, the darling kids in the office. [Laughs] And yes, the producers, too…even though I left ATWT three times forever.”
Fulton on if she feels the audience will be satisfied with the final episode: “It’s marvelous! Very touching without being drippy. [Executive producer] Chris Goutman did a good thing — I just love him! — and I was very proud of everybody. It’s a beautifully written script and a great tribute to Helen Wagner. There are some wonderful old scenes with her character, Nancy, that the fans are gonna love. [Wagner, who uttered the very first words on ATWT, died last May]. I wish Helen had known how much I appreciated and admired her.”