Role: Rachel Hutchins, ANOTHER WORLD

AW Debut: July 15, 1972

Birthday: May 22

Children: Darian and Christian


Victoria Wyndham Celebrates Her Silver Anniversary as Bay City's Beloved,

Self-Reliant Heroine

DIGEST ONLINE: When you joined ANOTHER WORLD back in 1972, you and Constance

Ford (Ada) reportedly got off to a bad start?

VICTORIA WYNDHAM: I remember that first day rehearsing with her. I had made it

very clear to the people who'd hired me that I didn't want to hear, "Oh, well,

Robbie [Robin Strasser] would have done it differently." The problem with

taking over from somebody is that you're going to bring in your own bag of

tricks. That's what they were hiring, that's what they wanted. [The producer]

assured me [there would be no comparisons to Robin Strasser's interpretation

of the role]. "Oh, no, no, that's not going to happen," they said, "because

we're hiring you. We've tried other people and it hasn't worked. We've wanted

you for the whole year, even though we weren't able to get you because you

were retired with your babies. [FYI: Wyndham had put her acting career on hold

while her sons were infants.] And now we've got you. We hired you because we

want to change this character [and make her sympathetic]. It's what you do

that we want." So that first day I come in, and I'm doing a scene with Connie,

and we finish the scene, and she looks at the director du jour and she says,

"Well, Robbie never would have played it like that, is that the way you're

gonna play it?" I put my script down and I waited for the director to run

interference, and it was clear to me that he was a little intimidated by her,

so I put my script down and I said, "When you've all sorted this out, I'll be

in my dressing room!" I walked off the set, and that was the end of that --

that was the moment that Connie decided that I was a great replacement for


DIGEST ONLINE: So you didn't let Constance Ford intimidate you?

WYNDHAM: I'd worked with people like this before. I'd been on Broadway, I'd

been off-Broadway. I'd been working with Lily Tomlin and Madeline Kahn and

everybody else, so Connie ford was certainly not going to intimidate me on my

first day. Well, that was all she wanted to do; she was testing my mettle and

she found out [I wouldn't wilt] and from that point on we got along famously

DIGEST ONLINE: It's interesting. You've become so strongly identified with

Rachel, a character that Robin Strasser first portrayed; and Robin has become

so identified with Dorian Lord (on ONE LIFE TO LIVE), a role that SHE didn't

create. Have you two ever discussed that parallel?

WYNDHAM: No I don't see Robin; I don't see anybody really in the business. I

live out in the country and when I am working in New York, we're all the way

out in Brooklyn [at the NBC studio] and she's in Manhattan [at ABC]. By the

time I finish taping, I get back [home] very late at night. I go to bed, learn

my words and go to work the next day, and then at the end of the week I go

home to the country. You know, I spend so many hours here [at the studio] with

this company, more hours than I ever get to spend with my family or my

friends, so I don't do a whole lot of business [things]. [Robin and I] see

each other at functions, and we enjoy seeing each other, but we hardly talk

shop; we usually talk about our sons, do mother stuff. It's strange. We admire

each other's work, but I think Robin is so totally identified with my

character. The first thing you all say to me is, "Well, of course you took

over for Robin Strasser." I took over for Robin Strasser? I've been doing this

part for 25 years, she did it for 5. If that's not parity, what am I nuts? I

don't consider it as taking over a part; I consider it that I created a new


DIGEST ONLINE: When you became Rachel, making her more sympathetic was

immediately part of your vision for the character, wasn't it?

WYNDHAM: That's why they hired me. I just exposed her vulnerabilities, and

Robin didn't see the part that way. She saw it differently and it was totally

valid. From what I understand that she did, I think it was a very valid way to

go. You know, we're different, that's all. I find heavies are interesting

because of what you can bring to them from the other side of the deck. Some

people play heavies and think they're interesting, because they don't ever

want to show any other side of the deck. It's just two different ways of

working, and they're both valid. But what [producer] Paul Rauch and [head

writer] Pete Lemay wanted was to see a little bit more of what made her tick.

That's why they wanted me, that was what the deal was. I was to come on and

give them what I do, not what somebody else did.

DIGEST ONLINE: After all these years, do fans ever get the two of you


WYNDHAM: Do you know my favorite story about Robin? She made quite an

impression on everyone. I was coming down from Boston after seeing my son,

when he was at college at BU, and I'm on the Boston Turnpike. I'm going

through the tollgate and I'm futzing with my handbag, and the girl at the toll

booth starts getting all apoplectic and nervous and smiling and getting all

short of breath. She's very excited because she recognized me. So I hand her

the money and she goes, "Wait, wait, oh you're on my favorite soap." Well, I

don't supply my name, I'm waiting for her to get it, and as I'm driving away,

she goes, "I just love you Robin Strasser -- for years!" I drive away and I

think -- at that point I'd been on the show for 20 years -- and it still isn't

my part yet! It was a very funny thing. I laughed I think all the way down to

Connecticut. Because Robin and I don't even look alike. This woman obviously

was a current viewer; she knew who I was. She wasn't mistaking me for Robin,

she just couldn't get the right name. More power to Robin-- what an indelible

impression she made.

DIGEST ONLINE: During your 25 years on the show, which storylines stand out as

your favorites?

WYNDHAM: You know the Mac/Rachel storyline which went on for 7 years was just

great -- those first 7 years were just wonderful -- and all the permutations

that the relationship went through. I would have to say the Carl/Rachel

relationship has been my second favorite, although that's been truncated and

been through a bit of fits and starts due to the turnover of production teams.

But it's not the storylines I remember so much as the working relationships.

I'm an actor -- so what I remember is who did I like working with. I enjoyed

working with everybody, but I've had the body of work with my acting parents

and they've been Douglass Watson and Charles Keating and Connie Ford.

DIGEST ONLINE: Obviously, in 25 years, some storylines were better than

others. Wasn't there one Carl/Rachel caper involving some kind of mysterious

Egyptian statue that was killing people?

WYNDHAM: The nutty dust storyline. There was some pot that everybody kept

keeling over from. It was so silly, and we were supposed to take it so

seriously. It was weeks and weeks of just hysterics while we would rehearse

these scenes. We'd try desperately while we were actually taping them to not

just crack up. That was my least favorite storyline, because that was a real

workout. It was just absolutely idiotic -- I think that's gotta be an all-time

low; and I think I got very disappointed at the gargoyle Justine, at having to

take her to that extreme. That was disappointing, because I thought she

started out to be a very interesting character, and I thought she had more

mileage than that. We went through 3 administrations during that short bit of

time, so Justine just got lost in the shuffle.

DIGEST ONLINE: How did you feel about the pregnancy storyline with the twins?

WYNDHAM: That was a situation, not a storyline. It's very interesting. Michael

Malone came in [as head writer]and had to take a situation that was already

set up -- Rachel was pregnant -- and he deepened it. That's being a good

writer. He took what isn't a storyline and made it seem like a storyline

because he deepened it and gave it some peril and some ups and downs, but it's

still not a storyline.

DIGEST ONLINE: What do you think the future holds for Rachel, now that she's

had the babies?

WYNDHAM: I'm still waiting to see what Mr. Malone comes up with next for

Rachel and Carl. He apparently has some great ideas, but I don't know what

they are, so I can't even talk about them yet. I'm waiting with baited breath

to hear what they are, though. [Pre-Malone] we had lots of plot that was born

out of plot, not character, and he is a writer who writes character, and plot

spins from character. That's going to be a hard thing to fix, and it won't

happen overnight. It will be easier for him to effect that with new characters

he's introduced. But with those of us who've been on [for years], with plots

fastened to us or situations fastened on us, it's harder for him to see where

the characters are [underneath all that baggage]. We really haven't been

written as characters, we've been written as symbols, you all have noted it.

Rachel's the matriarch, she isn't a character, that's a label, a walking label

who holds up scenery. You know I've threatened a number of times that I'm just

going to come on carrying scenery on my back! Because that's about all I'm

doing half the time these days. So it's going to be a little harder for him to

get through that, but is he capable of it? Very much so. We saw that with him

coming in and saying, "Well she's pregnant, that's not a story, that's just a

situation, so I'm going to deepen it and give her this problem and that

problem and then I'll see what her character is." That's very writerly. I'm

very cautiously optimistic about this. Michael is certainly capable of

wonderful writing. I hope he is capable of taking some of the existing

characters and doing as interesting writing as I know he'll do with the

characters he originates. It's such a task, such a chore, what's he's trying

to do. But he's a strong man, and hopefully his strength will not desert him


DIGEST ONLINE: Do you ever wake up on snowy winter mornings, and think, "I

wish I didn't have to go to work today! Maybe I should just quit"?

WYNDHAM: Tons of times -- and also on those many, many days when you're stuck

at work for 12 hours and you only have 3 scenes, but one's in the morning the

one's in the afternoon and one's at the end of the evening, and you think, "If

I have to look at the wall across the street one more minute, I'm gonna die!"

It takes a great deal of stick-to- ive- ness and discipline to try and stay

here. But you know I had one very important mantra: I have to bring home the

bacon. I've got to get 2 children through private schools and college and

graduate school, and now I'm helping one son who is pursuing his theater

career and is over in England at the Globe theater making carfare. Christian

could not afford to do that gig if he had to support himself totally. I'm

working so he doesn't have to do a soap, so that he can have a real career as

a classic actor. There's no money in that, but eventually, hopefully, he 'll

be able to do other stuff that can pay his bills, but right at the moment he's

just starting out, and he needs all the support he can get. So does my

filmmaker son Darian, who's an independent filmmaker, again a really hard row

to hoe. So that's my discipline; that's what keeps me here, and then I do all

that other stuff -- my outside projects -- to try and keep myself interested

in staying.

DIGEST ONLINE: What about future plans?

WYNDHAM: Well, when I want to do something I do it. Doing "Couplets" was very

gratifying. I'm just a regular working stiff like everyone else. I need my day

job in order to afford to be able to experiment as an artist [doing theater,

sculpture, writing a ballet libretto, etc.]. Will there come a moment when I

say, "You know what? I've done this long enough?" Will that moment come sooner

than later? Probably. It all depends. My children are grown now; there's a

stop time for everything. I feel very much now that if I stay here it's going

to have to be because it's interesting to me personally, so we'll wait and

see. As long as they see there's a meaningful place for Rachel on the canvas,

I think it'll all be terrific, but if I feel that they're just going to use me

to hold up the scenery, then no.



And Bay City's Beloved


In 1972, Richard Nixon was president and Archie Bunker was king when ANOTHER

WORLD hired young actress Victoria Wyndham to reform Rachel. Up to that point,

Rachel was a pretty-of-the-mill troublemaker. She pulled bubble-gum heroine

Alice's pigtails every chance she got, and slept with Alice's

imitation-Marlon-Brando b.f. Steve Frame. (Heck, she even had his love child!)

Wyndham says she never would have joined AW if they'd just wanted her to cheat

between the sheets, but Head Writer Harding Lemay saw misunderstood Rachel as

ripe for redemption. He wrote scripts that played up the sympathy card; and

Wyndham turned in performances that put audiences in her corner. Backstage,

things were dicier. It took a little longer for some castmates to adjust to

Wyndham's softer, more subtle approach to things. But gradually her sheer

talent, professionalism and good character (on screen and off) won them over.

Today, a quarter of a century later, ALL IN THE FAMILY seems awfully dated,

but Rachel and her family are more vibrant than ever. These 50 fabulous facts

salute the Age of Victoria, a truly remarkable period in soap history.

1) Victoria Wyndham is the daughter of actors Ralph and Florence Camargo; both

her parents were on the radio version of GUIDING LIGHT.

2) A generation later, Victoria made her soap debut as Charlotte Waring on the

TV version of GUIDING LIGHT.

3) And in the same talk-about-things-coming-full circle vein, Paul Rauch --

the former ANOTHER WORLD producer who hired her as Rachel -- is now GUIDING

LIGHT's brand-new chief exec.

4) The actress has been nominated for an Emmy three times.

5) In 1978, Soap Opera Digest named Victoria Wyndam "Favorite Actress of the

Year." She received her Soapy award on the NBC magazine show AMERICA ALIVE.

6) The actress once told Soap Opera Digest, "I think every woman is a sex

symbol -- to someone."

7) In that same interview, she also confided, "The truth is, if I had to

choose, I'd rather be loved than be rich or famous."

8) During her first day on the AW set, Wyndham and Constance Ford, who played

Rachel's TV mom Ada, did not get along. Later, Ford's resistance mellowed into

enormous professional respect.

9) Victoria Wyndham got her Broadway start in the musical, "Fiddler on the


10) Her first airdate as rebel-without-a-pause Rachel Davis Matthews Clark was

(in all probability) July 15,1972. "Apparently, that is when I started on the

show," says Vicky. "I don't remember any of those things. It's all in the

great detritus of my memory at this point. It's mush."

11) The actress, a longtime divorcee, has two grown sons: Darian (a filmmaker)

and Christian (an actor).

12) Christian acts under the professional name of Christian Camargo (his

mother's family name), and co-starred on Broadway in last season's Tony

nominated play, "Skylight."

13) Ms. Wyndham's arrival on AW was extremely "sticky" business. "This could

be wrong," she says, "but I believe my first scene was in a lounge chair

putting on sun tan lotion, and it was just a visual [there was no dialogue].

My first real scene was with Connie Ford [Ada]."

14) As a family Easter project, Vicky and her sons once created a 7 foot high

rabbit sculpture in their living room. They named him "Harvey" (after the

Jimmy Stewart movie rabbit) and dressed him to the nines. His tony wardrobe

included a tuxedo and red velvet smoking jacket.

15) Vicky has two favorite acting partners: Charles Keating (Carl) and the

late Douglass Watson (Mac).

16) In 1996, she told Soap Opera Digest that the day Watson died "was the

worst of my life. If it weren't for the people here understanding, I would

have walked out and kept walking."

17) Aside from Watson, who does she miss the most professionally? Answer: Hugh

Marlowe (Jim Matthews), Paul Stevens (Brian Bancroft) and Constance Ford (Ada

McGowan). She says reflectively, "This place is full of ghosts for me. It

makes it very difficult to stay sometimes. So, you find what you do as the

years go by is pull away more, because it's too painful when people leave."

18) On Matt Crane's exit as Rachel's son, Matt: "When Matt left a few months

ago, I thought, 'Oh, my God, I don't think I can take this.' He was like one

of my sons; he was even born on the same day as my first-born."

19) Vicky's dressing room is more functional than frilly. The only special

request she made to TPTB was to "put in bookshelves, because you know I'm a

reader. So I've got bookshelves and a desk, but it's just a dressing room,

nothing very grand. I don't see it as a home away from home; I see it as a

workplace, so it's like a dressing room office."

20) Her dressing room wall is filled with pictures of her children and horses,

her beloved co-stars Doug Watson and Charles Keating, posters from her

theatrical production "Couplets" and pictures of her boyfriend and his


21) Wyndham says she loved working with Lewis Arlt; unfortunately, the

Ken/Rachel storyline didn't go anywhere. When she heard that Arlt's character

was being written off, she told the press: "I'm very disappointed and


22) Her final take on Justine: "I got very disappointed at the gargoyle

Justine, at having to take her to that extreme. That was disappointing,

because I thought that Justine started out to be a very interesting character,

and I thought she had more mileage than that."

23) She doesn't view the chaos of the Justine storyline as a single head

writer's or producer's fault: "We went through three administrations during

that short bit of time, so [the character of Justine] just got lost in the


24) But there was one terrific fringe benefit of playing Justine: "I loved

working with Mark Pinter [Grant]."

25) Deja-vu all over again: In the 1960s, Wyndham did "Fiddler on the Roof" at

Broadway's Majestic Theater, which shares the same stage sentence with the

Royale Theater, where her son Christian made his Broadway debut in "Skylight."

26) Wyndham and co-star Charles Keating are close friends off-camera. In fact,

Keating helped Wyndham's son Christian prepare for his acting audition at


27) After 25 years as Rachel, the actress stiffens a bit when an interviewer

still refers to her as "Robin Strasser's replacement."

28) In reality, Wyndham never really "took over" the role, because Rauch and

then head writer Harding Lemay hired her specifically to remold Rachel from a

back-street barracuda into a woman of independent means.

29) Wyndham joined the soap at the height of the Steve/Alice/Rachel storyline.

30) Her first AW leading man was George Reinholt. Later, future AMC

Emmy-winner David Canary played Frame during the character's short-lived

return from the dead.

31) Rachel was the daughter of struggling, single mom Ada Davis. Rachel's

no-good dad, Gerald Davis, had abandoned the family years ago. Rachel grew up

lusting after three things: money, status and power.

32) Rachel's encounter with middle-aged tycoon Mackenzie Cory changed her life

forever. Their sturm und drang love story -- including three wedding

ceremonies -- became one of the great supercouple pairings in daytime.

33) Rachel has five children: Jamie, Matthew, Amanda, and the twins Cory and

Elizabeth. She also has a stepdaughter Paulina to whom she is very close.

34) Rachel has been married to five different men: Russ Matthews, Ted Clark,

Steven Frame, Mac Cory and Carl Hutchins.

35) She has two half-sisters: Nancy (the daughter of Ada and Gil McGowan) and

the long-forgotten Pammy (daughter of Gerald Davis).

36) The veteran star has an interesting take on reading fan mail when you're

in the middle of a storyline that isn't working. "If you read your mail, you

do it at great peril," she told Soap Opera Digest in 10/96. "Because your mail

is telling you how stupid your character looks. And you feel like a jerk."

37) Reporters have occasionally commented on Wyndham's resemblance to Loretta


38) The actress treasures her privacy, and guards it zealously. During her

entire 25 year stint on ANOTHER WORLD, she has lived primarily outside

Manhattan in Connecticut or New York's northern suburbs.

39) She was born in Chicago and raised in Westport, Connecticut.

40) She has nothing but admiration for ANOTHER WORLD's new head writer,

Michael Malone, who's a writer after her own heart: He believes that character

drives story, not vice versa.

41) An accomplished equestrian, Victoria Wyndham has raised and shown horses

since childhood. Last fall, she rode in the National Horse Show at New York's

Madison Square Garden.

42) The multi-talented star has also written a libretto for a full-length

ballet, "Winter Dreams," and directed music videos for a rock band.

43) In addition, she gained recognition as a sculptor. Her sculpture is on

view in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute.

44) Rachel's on screen pursuit of a career in sculpting mirrored Wyndham's own

development as an artist in that medium.

45) During her early days in show business, Vicky did improvisational work

with Lily Tomlin at the Upstairs at the Downstairs.

46) Sandra Ferguson (who played Amanda during the late 1980s) calls Vicky

Wyndham "my favorite TV mom. We would have days when we would just get really

silly and nearly get into trouble [on the set] because we could hardly get

through the scene. It was like when you're a kid in school. We would have to

take a five-minute break to regroup. I really loved working with Vicky."

47) Wyndham and Keating's theatrical tour of their dramatic concert show

"Couplets" was so successful, the duo are now brainstorming a sequel.

48) On rare occasions, when she runs into Robin Strasser at social functions,

they don't discuss their roles. "We talk about our sons," Vicky confides.

49) Vicky admits that in general she doesn't pursue work friendships outside

the studio: "As time goes on, you find that you pull away," she acknowledges.

"You make less and less of an investment in the company beyond being pleasant

to work with and enjoying their friendship when you're here. You make sure

that your real relationships are outside of work, because this business is a

difficult business for continuity. It's difficult to lose people constantly

who die, or who don't deserve to be let go."

50) After all these years -- and all those scripts -- she remains meticulously

professional in her work habits. During a recent phone interview with Digest

Online, she interrupted the conversation several times to make sure she wasn't

being paged on the set. The First Lady of Bay City wouldn't dream of showing

up late for rehearsal!