This interview originally appeared in the July 29, 1997 issue of Soap Opera Digest.
Let’s review. Lynn Herring currently appears on two daytime soaps (PORT CHARLES and GENERAL HOSPITAL), has two sons, (Hank, 6, and Grady, 4), divides her time between two homes (one in L.A.’s Topanga Canyon, the other, a ranch in central California), and loves her husband — PC’s own Wayne Northrop (Rex), too. How does she keep it from being too much?
“It’s a hectic life these days,” laughs Herring. “I’m just trying to cram as much in as possible. I’ve always been blessed with a lot of energy, so that’s a very lucky thing, because I do need it. I love being a mom, and being a wife, so if you add that to work, then it’s all okay because you like what you do. Yes, you do get cranky occasionally, but most of the time, if you’re happy, you have more energy.”
And sometimes, you get a little flustered … Lucy-style. “Hank attending kindergarten was a big deal,” Herring recalls. “There were [my] tears, everything. There’s a little guard gate at the school. I was driving our big pickup, and I ran into the gate and dented the truck, I was so nervous. And then, coming into work, I drove into the parking lot, and I rammed the [pike] that goes up and down at the entrance. I turned too sharply, because I was thinking about Hank at school, and I hit it and broke it off.”
Whether Herring is talking about work or family, a listener is struck by her genuine warmth and effervescence, and that laugh. Even the Internet rumors that the actress is pregnant are met with a laugh. “No, no, no,” Herring corrects. “That was just some floozy doing that, not Lynn. We’re pretty happy with our two kids, and our life is so busy. Wayne and I have always talked about another baby, but right now it wouldn’t be fair to the boys, or to the new baby.” Never? “Down the road, maybe,” she concedes. “And, if we’re a little bit older, we wouldn’t mind adopting. But right now, this family is pretty complete.”
Small wonder there’s not a baby on the horizon right now: A typical day for Herring begins at 5:30 a.m. “I feed the chickens, check on my dogs and cats, then I sit down with my coffee and go over the script for the day,” she explains. “Then I drive into town from the canyon. At work, we’ll do a few scenes. Sometimes there’s a photo shoot, so we’ll go through the wardrobe and pick something out, then slap on that makeup and do more hairstyles. I have to laugh because here I am doing this glam stuff, and the night before, I had just been at the ranch and was up to my knees in mud, fishing with my kids and watching the cows graze!”
The ranch is Herring’s haven, a working cattle ranch in the Sierra foothills of central California. “We go every day we have free,” she says. “It’s four or five hours outside Los Angeles, so it’s a little tricky. Wayne goes whenever he gets the chance because he’s the business manager, the rancher — everything. It’s the best life I could picture for the kids: so many wonderful things up there, really nice people. It’s a lot less complicated than L.A.”
Several of Herring’s co-stars share her appreciation for the “good life” out at the ranch. “The Wagners, Kristina and Jack [Felicia and ex-Frisco, GH/Peter, MP], have been out. Kristina’s really the same way I am about loving the outdoors and hiking and fishing. Petey, her son, actually saw a cattail for the first time and said, ‘Mom, look! They grow corndogs here!’ We all just about died.” But even a woman as persuasive as Herring can only do so much. “I haven’t gotten Kin [Shriner, Scotty] out there yet. He’s such a city boy. He says, ‘What do you do out there?’ He doesn’t quite get it.
But home and family are everything to Herring, which is why PORT CHARLES’s half-hour format is such a blessing. “It’s much more desirable for family life,” says the actress. “Scheduling has not been great sometimes, because one of us always wants to be with the kids during the day. But this half-hour format is fantastic, because I can be finished by noon and still pick them up from school.”
The other draw was the prospect of working (again) with husband Wayne. During her brief hiatus from GH back in 1992, they appeared together on DAYS OF OUR LIVES — he as stalwart good guy Roman Brady, and she as scheming attorney Lisanne Gardner. “This is much more fun than DAYS, when we had one real scene together,” she recalls. “We weren’t really a part of each other’s professional life at all. Now, we’re coming at five or six years later with a whole different attitude. It’s a new show for both of us, and he is totally playing the coolest character. He’s the bad guy. He’s got the best lines and the best clothes, and he’s taken it on with such passion that I enjoy just being around him.
JUST THE FACTS
Birthdate: September 22
Love At First Sight? “I met Wayne in acting class. A lot of the other guys, well most of them, I’d gone out with, or at least had coffee with, but he never even talked to me. So I started doing everything right next to him until finally he noticed me. It took a while, though.
Wedding Anniversary: May 9, 1981
You’re So Vain (Not!): “I get really bored with myself, if you must know. I’m so over me.”