Anthony CallBy Kathryn Walsh Posted: Apr 9, 2003
Now that Robin Strasser's Dorian has returned to One Life to Live, is there a chance we'll see her ex-husband, Herb Callison, anytime soon? Probably not - at least, not with Anthony Call in the role. Call, who played Herb from 1978-'93, is focusing on his writing and voice-over work.
"I have become wonderfully employed by the Discovery Channel," he says. "I'm doing The FBI Files, (TLC's) Hauntings Across America and movies of the week. I have a lot of fun doing that. The less hard you work, the more money you make," Call says with a laugh.
Call's first big storyline on OLTL was Viki's trial for the murder of Marco Dane (later revealed to be his twin, Mario Corelli). The courtroom scene in which Herb forced Karen Wolek (Judith Light) to reveal she was a prostitute is considered one of the most memorable moments in soap history - and won Light a Daytime Emmy.
"The trial was about two weeks long, and I was like the crucifier of blood in that," he shares. "[The writers] made me talk and talk until I said, 'I can't do this anymore.' I did one scene that had, like, 110 speeches in it. I know that because I used to break them down so I could learn them. The best thing Judy ever did on that show besides that - which nobody ever saw because it was just on the set - was she and Robin [would pretend to be] two old Jewish women kibitzing. You can't imagine how funny those girls were together."
Herb later became governor, married Dorian and adopted her daughter, Cassie. "The most fun I had on the show was after Robin came on and we were like Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth. It was so much fun. And I know that people loved to see us fighting all the time."
Herb left Llanview for a job in the Chicago district attorney's office. "I was told about a month later that the show got a letter from the real Chicago district attorney's office saying they would love to have him but they can't afford it."
The door was left open for Call to return, but he wasn't interested. "I wanted to move on and do other things," he says. "I did come back once. Robin came back to the show and personally called me and asked me to do a couple of Christmas shows with her, so I did them. I looked into theater prospects and then decided that I was just going
to lay it down and write."
He currently has several projects in the works - a novel about Benedict Arnold, a miniseries, a play and a screenplay - but laughingly admits, "I make absolutely no money doing my writing."
Even though Call's wife, Margo Husin, is OLTL's post-production coordinator, he doesn't have much contact with the show - except for the phone calls that come in 24/7. "She has been there for 150 years," he laughs, "and is the glue that holds the whole place together. The phone rings all day with people saying anything from, 'I can't get this machine to work,' to 'I'm sick and I'm throwing up and I can't come to work today.'"
Llanview has also crept into his subconscious. "Last night I had the strangest dream about going back to One Life to Live," he shares. "The whole studio had been changed, and there was this great big Burger King cafeteria. I don't know what that means. And then Robin Strasser comes in, and she just had her hair done and was made up, and I pick her up and her dress comes off and her hair and makeup fall off and they can't shoot the scene. I didn't know my part, I didn't know where the script was, I was completely unprepared. It was the actor's nightmare."
Good thing he's got all the writing and voice-over work to fall back on! This article originally appeared in the April 22, 2003 issue of Weekly.