Cramer Vs. Strasser

If proof was ever needed that Llanview is a duller place without Dorian, it came in when Digest released its “Get Real” poll results in the 8/28/01 issue. Though absent from ONE LIFE TO LIVE for a year-and-a-half by that point, Robin Strasser’s Dorian was the overwhelming choice by fans to be voted back on the “island.” That is, rehired.
“When I heard it, I was moved to tears,” notes Strasser. “I’m not kidding.” She pauses and speaks directly into the tape recorder’s microphone: “I want to take the opportunity to say, ‘Thank you,’ on the record, to all of the fans who wrote to me, communicated on the Internet or wrote to magazines; it never quieted down.”
Which doesn’t come as much of a surprise. For 30 years, Dorian has been wreaking havoc on Llanview (see sidebar) and generally keeping LIFE interesting. Strasser is too classy to admit that the show needs her character, but she’ll say with a wink, “I’m very interested in seeing Dorian on the show. That’s a personal bias.”
A feeling shared by others, which led the powers-that-be to ask her back early this year after a nearly three-year absence. This time around, she says, the atmosphere in the studio is reminiscent of the “good old days.” “When I started, it was an immensely bonded company that considered itself — without naming it so — a repertory company,” she recalls. “Today, it feels as though a door has been opened for that to happen again.”But in 2000, that proverbial door was shut when, after failing to come to terms on a new contract, Strasser was gone. “I never would have left unless I felt I’d been slammed up against a wall,” she explains. “But I own 50 percent of the responsibility for that. As I closed the door on my dressing room and left the studio, I was like, ‘Boo-hoo, isn’t anyone going to stop me?’ “It wasn’t a very pleasant going-away for an actress who had spent 20 years, on and off, in the same role, but she learned to adjust. A smattering of films aside, the New York native has made soaps her home since 1967, starting with ANOTHER WORLD (ex-Rachel, 1967-71), then ALL MY CHILDREN (ex-Christina, 1976-79), KNOTS LANDING (ex-Dianne, 1990) and, during her OLTL hiatus, PASSIONS (ex-Hecuba, 2000-01). That last one, says Strasser, was an eye-opener. “It was like being invited to the best party in town,” she grins. “Nothing against ONE LIFE TO LIVE, but that’s in the tiniest physical facility. You go to PASSIONS, and — remember that scene in Working Girl where Melanie Griffith gets her own office? That was me.” A big dressing room with a floor-to-ceiling window made OLTL’s small basement rooms pale in comparison. “That much space — you can’t deny that it helps.”