No doubt when you think of actress Deidre Hall, you can’t help but remember her days of donning spandex and saving the world as the lead role in Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, the Saturday morning kid’s show produced by Sid and Marty Krofft (The Brady Bunch Variety Hour) that aired some 43 years ago. Of course, if that’s not the show that comes to mind (and we didn’t really think it would be), then maybe it’s Days of Our Lives, the daytime soap opera that she also began starring in back in 1976 as Dr. Marlena Evans.
“First of all, the honor of being invited back year after year,” says Deidre, in an exclusive interview, when asked about what draws her back to the series after so many years. “I joke with cast mates because when we come into the security area, we have a key card and I pull up to the gate, pull out the key card and hold my breath for a moment. ‘Oh, there. It opened. Okay, I guess I get to come in today!’”
In truth, she explains, one of the draws of the show has been the opportunity to do a wide variety of storylines, ranging from the deeply moving and tender to outrageous possessions (“Which will be on my tombstone, I’m convinced”) to love stories, humanitarian stories and multi-generational stories. She’s also gotten some variety by working on primetime shows, including being a series regular on Our House and guest starring in a multi-episode story arc on Wiseguy. In the end, though, she’s realized that daytime is a better fit for her.
Says Deidre, “With Our House, I had not done that sort of nighttime series for a long time, and I had forgotten the length of time you sit and wait. I just thought, ‘I don’t think I can do this.’ I am used to a job where I go in with 40 pages of dialogue, I look back at it the night before, I lock it down in the makeup chair and I go onstage. They now will often say, because of timing, ‘Can we tape the rehearsal?’ So we might get one rehearsal or none. If it’s a two-page scene, can we just go right to tape? ‘Sure, fine.’ So when we talk about flying by the seat of your pants and having your heart in your throat, and just all of your creative juices right at your fingertip, that’s what daytime is for me. My former leading man used to say, ‘When I see NBC in the rearview mirror, I know that show is in the can.’ If the plane goes down — whatever happens — that show is going to the audience. I don’t have to wait to see how nighttime works. I know that daytime is a poor stepchild to the amazing nighttime shows, but given everything, I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love this medium.”
For more on our interview with Deidre, please scroll down!