ATWT's Golden Girls

Soap Opera Weekly: What has this experience been like so far?
Marie Masters: The set is amazing, it’s so detailed. We’re all loving that set.
Elizabeth Hubbard My assistant showed me some e-mails from fans who thought it was ridiculous, we wouldn’t be on a bus, but thank God it’s a good-looking bus.

Weekly: When was the last time you all had scenes together?
Colleen Zenk Pinter: They’ve never had us all together at once.
Masters: This is the first time that I remember.
Eileen Fulton: Unless it was some funeral!
Kathleen Widdoes It’s been lovely to work with the ladies, all in one swoop. It’s such a lovely group of people here, period. It’s a pleasure as an actress. It’s very nostalgic because you remember all your life with them.
Hubbard: This is fun. Lots of laughter. Barbara is insane, Lucinda is not. Lucinda is one of the few sane characters left on this show. Lucinda started as a sick puppy in many ways, but because of this happening and that happening, she is ending up to be quite sane. She doesn’t do these nutty things like the others do.

Weekly: It’s too bad Don Hastings (Bob) couldn’t have been your bus driver today.
Kathryn Hays I like how they have him at the end of the episode. (Hastings thanks the fans for 50 years in a voice-over.)
Helen Wagner Don went on the air the same day we did on THE EDGE OF NIGHT, so I feel as if he’s been on just as long as I have. (Hastings played Jack Lane on EDGE from 1956-’60.) Eileen came on before Don. THE EDGE OF NIGHT decided to get rid of him, I guess. That was on a Friday, and he joined us on the following Tuesday. So he hadn’t missed a beat.
Fulton: Helen, remember Ronnie Welch was the Bob that I married? And he was replaced with Don because Don was older.
Wagner: At that time Bob was a medical student and Ronnie was too young to play that.
Fulton: I looked out the window and said, “Well, here comes Bob now.” And you said, “Oh, yes, it is Bob.” And then Grandpa said, “Is that Bob?” We all announced it was Bob, so by the time he came in, everyone knew Don was now Bob.

Weekly: What about some of the tougher days on the set, like when head writer Doug Marland passed away? Did you lean on each other during the tough times?
Wagner: I think the most telling thing that happened to us was when we lost Don MacLaughlin (the late actor who played patriarch Chris Hughes). We had lost a real mind.
Pinter: Doug Marland’s death was huge. I had given birth to my daughter Georgia the day before, and Doug was a neighbor of ours in the country. He went into the hospital, but one of the things that was relayed to us is that he wanted Mark (Pinter, her husband who also played Brian McColl) and me to know that he knew Georgia had been born.
Masters: That was his big thing; this was his extended family.
Hays: Talk about family, he really liked actors.

Weekly: Fifty years of ATWT is pretty amazing.
Hubbard: I think of it more in terms of Martha (Byrne, Lily) growing up, from being a little girl to being a matron, because that is more obvious. But we’ve all gone through our various things, and it’s very special. It’s a repertory company. You sort of know where you are. It’s a living thing, which is why I think the audience likes it.

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