A Q&A with OLTL's Peter Bartlett

After 12 years as Asa’s butler, ONE LIFE TO LIVE’s Nigel finally got a love of his own (short, but sweet) and is now getting out from under his boss’ wing. Find out what his portrayer, the hilarious Peter Bartlett, thinks about sexy Roxy and a couple of his infamous co-stars.Soap Opera Weekly: When did you join ONE LIFE TO LIVE?

Peter Bartlett: May of ’91. I thought it was going to be three days work. I just thought how nice, three days work. And 12 years later…Weekly: But it hasn’t been exactly steady.

Bartlett: There are great [stretches] where they forget about Nigel. But they always seem to remember and bring him back. It’s also been great because I’ve been able to do other things, which I still want to do.Weekly: Was his voice your idea or the-powers-that-be?

Bartlett: They certainly wanted an English butler. I suppose I brought my own ways to that part of it. But actually Linda Gottlieb really wanted to make him a character and they wanted to write relief stuff for him, which they’ve done. But also he’s been able to be other things as well. You know from time to time he’s quite sagacious: dispensing wisdom to various people. I had this fatherly thing for some bizarre reason with Todd. I had two or three scenes with him where I was sharing my experience and telling him, “Yes, life can be difficult but it will change.” We always got on, Roger (Howarth, ex-Todd) and I. We always had a nice time.Weekly: How did you feel when you first learned Nigel was going to romance Roxy?
Bartlett: I thought, “Oh, my goodness. I’m almost 61. It’s been so long.” I said that to Ilene (Kristen, Roxy). She said “I’ll teach you, dear. This is going to be a whole new life for you.” So we had a good time.Weekly: I understand you’re from Chicago.

Bartlett: Yes, I lived there until I went to the Cleveland Playhouse. Three years at the Playhouse, then a year in London and then I came to New York. I haven’t been back since 1970. I see Chicago in films, and it looks as beautiful as ever. It was always such a wonderfully informal city, and yet so, so beautiful looking. I started out at Loyola University and I did a lot of plays. I don’t think I studied at all. My father, Charles Bartlett, was a sports writer and columnist for the Chicago Tribune. He was the golf editor and the hockey editor. At one point I dropped out of high school — ah, troubled youth — and I worked at the Tribune as a copy boy for a year.

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