Cheers to Marla Pennington Rowan (Billy’s ex-turned-stalker Leslie Walker) for an entertaining trip down memory lane yesterday.
Though it’s always interesting to discuss Soap with those who lived it, it’s also extremely educational to learn just how different the movie and TV business was in the ’70s and ’80s.
While the actress cultivated a successful television career, working on everything from General Hospital to Happy Days (not to mention a memorable role on the robot-child sitcom Small Wonder as mom Joan Lawson), she also appeared in dozens and dozens of commercials. At that time, this was enough to keep one’s career healthy and one’s bills paid. If you wanted to work, there was always a job to be had once you had your foot in the door, she remembers. (A good thing, too, as she made a conscious decision to walk away from the family business to pursue acting.)
It will also come as no surprise that the person who brought us the lovelorn Leslie, who could switch from a starry-eyed romantic to a homicidal ex was, like most of her fellow Soap performers, a theater-trained actor.