The Wall Street Journal was present last week on the set of One Life to Live where several actors taped their final scenes for network television of the 43-year-old-soap including: Robert S. Woods (Bo), Hillary B. Smith (Nora), Eddie Alderson (Matthew) and Ilene Kristen (Roxy). Today WLS has a feature post titled, “Life After ‘Life’ Is A Mystery” where they discuss the economic downturn that caused the soaps to continually decrease, and the sad state of affairs that after One Life, there is no soap shot in New York City, the place where soaps were a once a thriving mecca! You can also see some heartbreaking photos as some of the cast and crew said their goodbyes.
In the feature, Frank Valentini, One Life’s Executive Producer explained the significance of this loss for him, the cast and crew, the soap genre, and the city of New York by saying measures had been taken to reduce overhead in recent years—including voluntary pay cuts for several principal cast members—but acknowledged it may have come too late as ratings plummeted and production costs soared up to $300,000 per episode.
Valentini went on to say, “I think our leaving definitely shallows out every facet of the entertainment business in New York because we keep so many people working at any given time,That includes not just our primary cast, but also people who come on in short-term roles. Because we generate so many episodes, we make a lot of money for the city, so this affects everyone, including the local vendors where we buy our props and costumes.”
Robert S. Woods and Hillary B. Smith struggled to say their final lines in their scenes choking back the tears. Woods revealed his sadness. “The hardest part is saying goodbye and realizing we may never see each other again. We work so closely here and it’s like a family. I did a lot of other things over the years, like ‘The Waltons’ and ‘Police Story’ and movies of the week, but this show was the job that gave me recognition.”
Ilene Kristen, chocking back the tears told WLS, “Of course I’m sad, but I’m not a depressive person and as an actor you’re always back to square one. The one thing I know is that people stop ironing when they see me, and they don’t run to the refrigerator or put me on fast forward. That I know. I could die as Roxy, and I hope we have the chance to continue it. I didn’t think we’d have to say goodbye so quickly.”