Soap City Chat Event: Linda Dano (Another World) Chat with Linda Dano, December 8, 1997

Linda Dano: Hello to everyone! I love being online with you. Hopefully, we can cram in all of your questions and all of your feelings before my show on QVC.

lynne8: How did you develop your fantastic fashion sense?

Linda Dano: I think probably my fashion sense started very young with my mother, who's very stylish then and now. It was a way of hiding behind something. I thought if I dressed well, people would like me more. I thought I was doing an outside in... And some ways I still feel that way.

Kelly: Congratulations on being on "Another World" for 15 years!

Linda Dano: Thank you! I believe have the honor of celebrating 15 years on "Another World" because of all of you and I'm forever grateful to the viewers more than anyone else. You are the guys who have kept me alive. I have loved "Felicia" and everything from the beginning. She was truly flamboyant from the beginning and she was always a lot of fun to play.

soapqueen: Were you scared about having the cosmetic surgery considering what has happened to some people (Michael Jackson for instance)?

Linda Dano: I was absolutely terrified. Because anything can happen even when you go to the very best. Thank God the people I have loved and lost who can take good care of me — my little angels — and I came back looking not how some people can look after that. I want to thank so many people who sent me good wishes and some who even responded online. Every day that I was in California, Vivien [Stern, Linda's Personal Manager] would read them to me. It really did help. So thank you!

Sam-son: Who are your favorite designers?

Linda Dano: There are many that I love. I have always loved Anne Klein, and because of that I like a lot of Donna Karan. I love Giorgio Armani, and am a big fan of Ellen Tracy. A lot of the Italian designers. For casual, I like Jones of New York.

TracDanofan: Linda, you have a great fashion sense, but you're beautiful on the inside!

Linda Dano: To TracDanofan! Thank you, honey. I feel great and I think you're beautiful inside too!

milwaukee2: How did it feel when you came aback to the set after your face-lift and faced the actors for the first time? What was their reaction?

Linda Dano: Everybody was so thrilled and generous, and hugged and kissed me and told me how much I was missed and how great I looked.

Vivien Stern: One of the stage hands asked her if they recast the role of Felica Gallant.

chrisann31: I just want to say you look great!!!! I also want to know how to you feel about John Aprea being let go??

Linda Dano: A big ooooh. Everyone knows that John Aprea is an old and dear friend of mine. I campaigned so long for them to bring him back... I wanted them to bring him back as Lucas... But the next writer doesn't feel that the character should go on. I'm very sad — my friend is going again. So many people have left "Another World" this year that I don't even know how to comment on it anymore. As hard as it is for those of you watching the show, you can imagine how hard it is for all of us since we lose close friends.

Sdfdesign: What's the hardest thing you ever had to do acting-wise?

Linda Dano: It would have to have been Brent Collins funeral — Wallaford. Steve Schnetzer and myself were asked if we could or would play the passing of Wallingford — and because Brent was so popular — we felt that you guys needed to know that he had died. We played that funeral show — and boy, was that tough.

simon: Why do you think so many actors have been let go?

Linda Dano: In response... That was another dark day when Kale Brown and Anna Holbrook… when they were let go... That was like "whoa, the foundation of the show got rocked." When Alice Barrett was let go, we all cried and cried and cried. Who would have guessed or thought that so many more would follow! It's been very difficult... and I have no answers for you. It might have to do with budget... a different focus for the show. All the characters I've mentioned are older, that may have something to do with it. I have no idea what's going to happen. On a different note, one of the bright spots coming up was a character who appeared for four episodes called "Wally," a kind of an angel who helped "Felicia" when she was so hurt. They are going to bring that character back in January. I'm responding to you saying he was so great, because he was!

Chat Moderator: Linda, what's coming up for you?

Linda Dano: I am going on to be QVC tonight at 9:00 PM (EST) to 11:00 PM. I think it's a great show -- my holiday show. It's all those wonderful things for dressing up for the holidays. I love doing QVC. I love bringing these things to you. It's a great thrill for me to have someone walk up to me in something I've designed and say how much they love it. So watch tonight and perhaps you'll indulge yourselves. So please call QVC at (800) 345-1515. And call me up while I'm on!

Q: How do you feel about the direction the new writer is taking the show?

Linda Dano: The new head writer is not so new. Richard Culligan is the writer who created Wallingford character, so I have special feeling in my heart for him. I have no idea direction the show will head, but I hope that there might be return of the comedy.

kelley: What is the name of your fashion company?

Linda Dano: I have a company that is strictly is consulting. I work with another company called "Honey Fashions" for my line of accessories on QVC. Strictly Personal is the company for my consulting.

milwaukee2: Did you always know that you were so beautiful? And is it hard to live up to that image?

Linda Dano: Well, thank you for saying such a nice thing. I'm afraid that to my own demise, I don't think that about myself. I never really have... I find it a struggle... I look around me and see such beautiful girls. My focus has not ever been that. My facelift was about helping myself at work so as not to make themselves crazy about lighting and such. But I'm more interested in the feelings that I can project than I am in facial beauty.

Sdfdesign: Is there one actor in movies that you would like to be your leading man... just once?

Linda Dano: Oh, God, yes! I would kill to work with Anthony Hopkins. I would leave Frank for Sean Connery. And if they were still alive there would be four men that I would have loved to have worked with — John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant and Clark Gable. "Another World" has been wonderful for me. Before I came there, I had done a lot of others things in movies, nighttime episodic, comedy, drama. What I've learned from doing "Another World" is to be fearless. I'm in a place where I feel loved and cared for and so I feel safe. So you get real gutsy when you're with your home family. For that, there are moments and scenes that I don't think I could have ever been better than in. Probably a whole lot worse.

krisann: I just wanted to say I saw you once when you came to Michigan in 1991. You were fabulous! Do you remember the trip?

Linda Dano: I sure do remember going to Michigan in '91. It took 3 plane rides to get there. Were you there? Did we meet?

milwaukee2: Who are the soap actors or actresses whose worked you have admired?

Linda Dano: There are only actors.... not soap actors. Once when Jose Ferrer came onto "Another World," I said to him (and I learned from that), "Why are you doing a soap?" And Jose said to me "I can be as good or as bad in daytime as anywhere else, but I judge anyone's work by this — when I walk by a television set and someone has got something really going from their gut — from their soul — it makes me stop and watch." And there are many, many actors in daytime who do that for me.

krisann: Linda, I did meet you in Michigan then!

Linda Dano: Krisann, how wonderful and here we are meeting again. Thank you for coming tonight!

lynne8: Of all the storylines Felicia has ever had, is there one that was hard for you to play, and why?

Linda Dano: It wasn't hard to play the alcoholic storyline as much as it was exhausting and debilitating. I really tried to dig in deep, and there were days when it really wore me out emotionally. But it was great fun to take that ride.

Sdfdesign: Which actor/actress is the funniest off camera?

Linda Dano: Robin Christopher, who used to play Lorna, was a scream. We did more laughing... Charles Keating is a real jokester. John Aprea is very funny.... Stephen is real funny. Even some of the behind the scenes people are funny. Through the years, many funny people — Richard Beacon, Jackee... George Pentacost (Tony the Tuna).

lynne8: Do you choose your own on screen clothes for AW?

Linda Dano: No. Actually, I don't. I have say in if I like it or don't — like we all do. If a costume designer gets something for you and you hate it, he doesn't make you wear it. We have a wonderful costume designer, Sean Dudley, who seems to know who each of us is.

kelley: Do you see yourself continuing in the role of Felicia for a long time to come, or are you interested in branching out into films, theater or primetime TV?

Linda Dano: I don't know. I have another year left on my contract. Depends on if it's Tuesday and raining, whether I'll say if I stay or go. But it could happen that I get to the end of next year and they say goodbye to me. I never imagined being on a show for 15 years, but I can't imagine going anywhere else right now.

sdfdesign: What does your husband think of your facelift?

Linda Dano: I must tell you a funny story about Frank and my surgery. When I first walked in… I went to California for the surgery — Vivien went with me, Frank stayed here. When I came back, Frank saw me and was actually afraid of me. He was afraid of breaking something, or damaging something. I never would have thought he would have had that reaction. You're all very sweet for wanting me not to leave the show. I thank you for that... You're part of the reason I guess I don't.

soapqueen: Have you done any photo shoots since the surgery, and would they be available to fans?

Linda Dano: Yes, it's so funny you say that because I just did that for hundreds of them. I did a two day photo shoot... for magazines. If you want a photo, write to me. I should have the new ones in about 2-3 weeks from now. I have to say they look really great. It's so amazing to have your face redone so that you look like you did 20 years ago!

Vivien Stern: There's a beautiful portrait of Linda in the "Ladies Home Journal" in the March issue, available on stands on February 15.

DoerRobert: Do you have any advice for someone who doesn't keep up with the fashion trends?

Linda Dano: DoerRobert, I think probably it would be to stop beating yourself up so much. Simply your life and appreciate yourself more. You don't need to keep buying another print shirt to look pretty.

lynne8: What made you decide to get a facelift? I read that you went to Los Angeles for your surgery, how did you choose a doctor there?

Linda Dano: I've known several people who went to Dr. Normal Leaf, offices in Beverly Hills. I had a consultation with him and liked him enormously... his whole manner. He's a kind, soulful manner. I had seen his work on real live people, I knew he had a great pair of hands. I would have chosen to stay in New York rather than fly to California, and a lot less money (food, car, phone calls, etc.)... Boy, I'll tell you, thank God, I went to him. I interviewed other doctors in New York, but it was Frank who said go to Dr. Leaf because I had the strongest feelings about him. So now I tell friends, to just fold in and go to California.

milwaukee2: Who are some of the clients you have or have had as far as being there fashion consultant?

Linda Dano: Through the years, I have dressed Billie Jean King. I did Glenn Close for her tour of "World According to Garp." I'm close to Susan Lucci, Robin Strasser, Bobbie Woods. I've sold clothes to the designers of almost every soap opera in NY. I dressed Phylicia Rashad when she pregnant on "Cosby." So a lot of people.

Soapqueen: I've always wanted to know — what is the difference between cocktail and evening attire?

Linda Dano: Nothing. There's just two different ways of expressing "dressing up." It doesn't mean you have to become someone else. If you're a tailored person, don't dress up in puffy sleeves or lacey collars. That's my biggest complaint, so many people try to do "Gone with the Wind" when they dress up. They look goofy and they're not comfortable. So the whole thing has been a complete bust.

krista21: I think that scene you did with Gary after the miscarriage was one of the best scenes you guys have had!

Linda Dano: Oh, thank you! I love Tim Gibbs. I love working with him and as a friend. We spent a good hour rehearsing that in my dressing room. He's such a giving actor that he loves to try new things. Wasn't he wonderful in them? I was so proud of him.

milwaukee2: Did you always have a fashion sense? And if you acquired it, how did that happen?

Linda Dano: I've also had a certain sense, I've just fine-tuned it through the years. I've gained weight, I've lost weight, but I'm exactly like the rest of you... I have dimpled thighs, hanging arms, and I hate spending a lot of money on clothes. The difference is, now, I am better at my excesses.

sdfdesign: Who did you look up to while growing up?

Linda Dano: My mother and my grandmother. They were great, just great. And as an actress, I loved — believe it or not — Maureen O'Hara because she was so feisty and ballsy. And Susan Hayward for the same reason.

kelley: What was your mother's reaction to your facelift?

Linda Dano: My mother loved my facelift. She was so afraid something terrible would happen to me — that I'd never come home again. Her first reaction was one of relief, the second "wow."

krista21: Linda, I would just like to say you look wonderful with this new face, and did you have a stunt person when you fell though the skylight?

Linda Dano: Oh, yes! She was wonderful, the stuntwoman. I did the first bit of it by turning and falling... and I don't think I did that really well. Then the stuntwoman really sold it. She fell through the sharp glass — it can cut you even though it's breakaway. Then she landed on the table, "boom."

milwaukee2: Did you ever see the takeoff that Nora Dunn did of you on "Attitudes," and what did you think of it?

Linda Dano: Yes, I did. Don't we love her for that. It was her idea on "Attitudes." It made Regis Philbin crazy that they spoofed "Attitudes" before they spoofed him.

Vivien Stern: Just to let people know about another appearance Linda is making... It's "Holiday Cooking with Celebrity Moms" hosted by Linda Dano. Only in the NY area. Check Linda's home page for details — all the old "Attitudes" people will be there.

krista21: Are you getting a new love interest on the show?

Linda Dano: God, I have no idea... Are you interested? If any of you are interested, send me a picture. I don't know — they haven't told me and I haven't asked.

lynne8: How did you get your start in soaps?

Linda Dano: I left California where I was working in nighttime. I came to NY to marry my husband, Frank, and the only consistent show in NY was soaps. I got a job on One Life to Live as "Gretel Cummings."

lynne8: If you could play any other character on AW, who would it be?

Linda Dano: I would absolutely love to play Grant Harrison because he's out of his mind. And I like Cindy a lot. Obviously, I always go to comedy.

nisat: Do you ever make personal appearances in Canada?

Linda Dano: I'm trying to get to Canada!

chrisann31: If you had to be killed off of the show, in what way would you like to see it done?

Linda Dano: In the absolutely most dramatic death ever! Throw me off a building.... something really dramatic. Hold onto me for days, and make it really last. And white horses at my funeral... and lots of sobbing.

chrisann31: Any plans for you coming to Wisconsin any time soon??

Linda Dano: Not planning to go to Wisconsin that I know of. But I'm planning another book tour, so you never know.

lynne8: Can your book "Looking Great" be found in regular bookstores?

Linda Dano: Absolutely. On QVC tonight, as a matter of fact!

kelley: What was it like winning the Emmy, and do you plan on entering yourself this year? What do you think your chances are?

Linda Dano: The most thrilling night of my life, obviously... career-wise. To have your peers honor you and then to stand up and give you a standing ovation, was wonderful. I've been asked to submit based on this disfigurement storyline. Whether I submit or not, I don't know... as for my chances, who knows?

milwaukee2: Do you have pets?

Linda Dano: My puppies are great. Filthy, but great. I have Llaso Apsos - Charlie, Chan, Atardi and Mr. Moto.

sdfdesign: What's your favorite movie of all time?

Linda Dano: Probably... there's several. "The Quiet Man," "It's a Wonderful Life," "How Green Was My Valley," "An Affair to Remember." A million of them. And I love the shoot'em up movies. And a modern movie that I saw — "Braveheart." I absolutely loved it! Bravo, Mel Gibson.

sdfdesign: What advice would you give to someone interested in acting?

Linda Dano: Only pursue acting if there's absolutely nothing else you want to do. If you have a burning need to work as an actor, then do it. Never listen to the "nos" and negative responses. Keep trudging along. And get an education — the smarter you are, the better an actor you are.

kelley: I think you're great! Would you ever want to do a sitcom?

Linda Dano: I'd love to do a sitcom. I did a sitcom, "The Montesusco," with John Aprea — he played my brother. We had more fun. I would love to another one, but I don't know with whom... If I was dreaming, it would be Robin Williams.

lynne8: I've visited your Web site... How much are you involved with it?

Linda Dano: A lot! Kudos to Barbara Schroeder, who does my home page for me. She has hands on with us. She's probably here with us now. We absolutely love her... I think I have the best home page of anybody and it's because of Barbara. You get immediate response and the essence of what is Linda. Everything is up-to-date on the site.

milwaukee2: Of all the storylines you have ever done, is there which you are most proud of?

Linda Dano: The one I'm most proud of is the one with David Forsyth. Because I did some of the most private, internal, quiet work I've ever done. There was great moments in days and scenes like it was really happening to me. That experience was of because Jill Farren Phelphs. She guided the two of us through a beautiful storyline. I think I'm the most proud of that work. Let me also add my congratulations as the new Executive Producer on One Life to Live. My new friends over there, you're about to have the time of your life. Thank you to everyone for visiting with me tonight! I'm rushing off now to do my make-up. Watch tonight to see my new face. And if you get the chance, shop and call me. And have a very Merry, Merry Christmas!

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