This afternoon across television screens in America, fans will be saying goodbye to One Life to Live after its 43-year-run.
To honor the show with a look at what made the show so special and with comments from members of the cast including Erika Slezak, Robert S. Woods and Hillary B. Smith, Ilene Kristen, John-Paul Lavoisier and Farah Fath and Kristen Alderson and Kassie DePaiva, On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman filed this special feature, OLTL Takes Its Final Bow – The Curtain Comes Down on Llanview and Daytime Will Never Be The Same for FrontiersLa.com!
Here are some excerpts below from the story introduction and a few quotes from the cast.
“As this sad kick-in-the-teeth twice story goes, ABC canned OLTL from their lineup, then Prospect Park (the entertainment media company) acquired the licensing rights to the show to move it to its new Online Network, only to pull out just five days after the series wrapped its final episode. The news rocked the soap world, and its devoted and loyal fans, that One Life, for all intent and purposes, will go to soap opera heaven with its epitaph reading: “You canceled the wrong show!”
From romance, intrigue and courtroom drama unmatched anywhere in soaps; look no further than Judith Light’s Daytime Emmy-winning, unforgettable performance in 1979 as Karen Wolek (when she took the witness stand and admitted she was a prostitute in front of her husband and family) to exonerate her best friend, Viki. Stories on mental illness, social issues of the day, action/adventure soap style and some highly creative fantasy episodes and more, OLTL packed all of it into its 43 years. They accomplished this with a quirky and loveable appeal that made the audience at home on occasion have a good laugh—and ultimately what a good soap does best—made us reach for a box of tissues and have a good cry.”
Erika Slezak (Viki) on dealing with the loss of the series for herself, the cast, and the fans: “When we were canceled, I was walking to work one day and I got so sad, because I won’t be seeing my buddies or my friends anymore,” Erika poignantly said. “There is a life that lives in this building, obviously. Many of us have been here together for many years, and even people that have been here for two weeks become part of the family so quickly. I was sitting next to Agnes Nixon when we did our final cast photo and I started to cry. I told her, ‘You changed my life, and I have not been able to properly thank you.’ What she did for me and what she has done for the audience is quite remarkable. Thank God we did not do the photo shoot the last day of the show. I think we all would have been in tears. I don’t think any one of us could have gotten through it. It’s kind of amazing that we were all together one last time for the photo. I am trying very hard not to think about Friday.”
Robert S. Woods (Bo) on the power of the fans, who patiently waiting for ten years for he, and on-screen partner, Hillary B. Smith (Nora) to be reunited on-screen: “I was so struck by that, because I kept thinking and telling them, ‘No. It’s over. Don’t you get that? Their lives have taken completely different directions. Doesn’t anybody get it but me?’ But as it turns out, I was the only guy who didn’t get it until we were reteamed, and then I went, ‘Wow, this is like stealing money and so easy!’ This last couple of years has been really fun. We came back together and it blew me away and I could not believe it. The fans are what kept us going. I know they are not happy about losing this soap. It is going to be a very devastating loss for them. ”
What do you think will be One Life to Live’s legacy, and what it will be most remembered for? Let us know!