Catching Up With... Arleen Sorkin (ex-Calliope, DAYS, 1984-1990; 1992; 2006)

Arleen Sorkin, best known to soap audiences as DAYS’s wacky Calliope, has launched a new Web site that she is very excited about. “It’s called,” she says. “It’s for collectors. People like their things and they want to keep them. So, this way, they get to display them. Plus, when someone dies, you have to throw things away or put them in a box and basically, it’s a way of getting things out of a box.”The site features collections from celebrities including Penny Marshall (“She collects little figurines of animals that have wounds. She collects tons of sports memorabilia. Her collections are perfect. When I first met her, she had the most amazing salt and pepper collection.”) and Teri Garr, as well as regular folks who are enthusiasts. “I have a man on the Web site who collects pens and he has thousands of them,” she says. “So, there’s a lot of people on the site. I have tons of DAYS memorabilia. My father used to frame everything, so I’m sure I have framed Soap Opera Digest covers.”

You don’t have to buy anything to be on the site. “It’s not so much about selling, but if someone wants to buy something, you can make an offer or trade it for something you have. If somebody wants to sell it or trade it, that’s their decision,” she explains.

Sorkin got the idea after her father, Irving, passed away. “My father died recently and he had tons of treatments of interesting stories that he thought should be made into movies,” she says. “In fact, one of them got made into a movie that won the Emmy. My father was a retired dentist and he made me crazy that the story SOMETHING THE LORD MADE had to be made into a movie, so I told my first agent at HBO about it and it got made. But my father had a million ideas! My husband said my father has more projects than South Philly. So, I had all these things and I didn’t know what to do with it all, so I put it on the site. Now it will not be forgotten.”

Sorkin knows first-hand how seriously people take their collections. Since 1992, she’s been the voice of Harley Quinn in the animated BATMAN series, and has run into some die-hard fans. “One time I was signing autographs at a Comic-Con convention and they wanted me to sign the base of the Harley Quinn doll, which was breakable,” she recalls. “And I turned it over to sign the bottom and I knocked the ear off and the person reacted like I had knocked my own ear off. They were so horrified! I said, ‘I’ll get you another one,’ and they said, ‘No, that was the best one.’ And I’m thinking, ‘They’re all the same!’ Nothing I could say or do would console this man and I realized that people really love their stuff and I have to honor it.”

Aside from the site and the animated series, Sorkin is keeping busy. “I have a lot of stuff going on,” she shares. “I’m working with Meg Ryan [ex-Betsy, ATWT], who used to be a soap actress. I’m producing a movie based on a musical by Mark Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who did the musical Hairspray. I’m writing a show for Donald Trump. When I met him, he said, ‘Who are you?’ And I said, ‘I am the most successful failure in Hollywood.’ My agent was horrified that I would say that to this man. He didn’t blink. He said, ‘Well now you’ll be successful ’cause you’re with me.’ I’m writing a soap for him about the Trump Towers. So, I have my fingers in everything. My husband has a new show for ABC called MODERN FAMILY. He’s Chris Lloyd the writer [of FRASIER fame], not Chris Lloyd the actor. And I’m not married to Aaron Sorkin. My whole life is telling people what I’m not!”

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