Soap Opera Digest: Congratulations on your anniversary! Thirty years is quite a milestone.
Kate Linder: I know, I can’t believe it.
Digest: Has it gone by quickly?
Linder: Yes, so quickly. All of a sudden it’s here.
Digest: Whose idea was it to have the wedding on Valentine’s Day?
Linder: My husband’s. At first, I was like, “I don’t like that because then you won’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’ll just be our anniversary.” But he’s been very good about celebrating Valentine’s Day and the anniversary.Digest: Do you get two gifts?
Linder: I get at least two cards [laughs].Digest: So, how are you guys going to celebrate your 30th?
Linder: You know, we’re not sure. We were thinking of having a party, but I don’t think we are now. We might go on a cruise.Digest: Was the wedding Valentine-themed?
Linder: No, but I mean, it was a wedding, so the idea of love was still there.Digest: That’s true. What’s the secret to your success as a married couple?
Linder: I definitely think communication. If I go on a trip, I always leave a note for him on his pillow, like, “Sleep tight, see you tomorrow.” He knows it’s gonna be there. And trying to never go to bed angry. That’s a hard one, but I will force him to talk to me. You’re not always gonna agree on things, but you have to keep working it out. It gets easier, too, through the years, and you just grow. I’m far more in love with him than the day we got married. You share your life together and you become partners. He’s my best friend.Digest: That’s so sweet. Is that why Esther ended up being a Valentine — because you love the holiday so much?
Linder: It’s interesting, because in the beginning she didn’t have a name. One day, Jeanne [Cooper, Katherine] began calling me Esther out of the blue and I responded. Then other people started calling me that and the writers picked up on it. That’s how Esther was born. But we decided to have a national contest for the last name. Bill Bell [the late head writer/creator] went through them and said, “Out of these, which would you like?” One was Valentine and one was Diamond. I picked Valentine because I liked the way it went with Esther and I thought it might be good luck. It definitely was!Digest: Well, Esther is also lucky because it’s my grandmother’s name.
Linder: Really? Mine, too! That’s why it was so funny that Jeanne just came up with the name. I don’t know where she got it. I think it fits the character, though.Digest: Esther could use a romance of her own.
Linder: Definitely. It’s been a while since she’s had one, but she always messes up.Digest: What kind of man would you want to see her with?
Linder: Esther is very loyal and a very giving person. She gets run over and people take advantage of her. It would be nice for her to be with someone who didn’t do that, but storyline-wise, it might be better the other way [laughs]. It would be nice to see her happy for a little while.Digest: It would be interesting if her daughter, Kate, and Jill’s son, Billy, both returned and had a romance, given Esther and Jill’s history.
Linder: That would be fabulous. I’d love to see it!Digest: It seems like you’ve really enjoyed your time on the show.
Linder: Oh, I have. I was supposed to only be on for a day and it’s been almost 24 years. I’m very grateful.