“One Life to Live”- More Memories

I haven’t watched “One Life to Live” on a regular basis since 1996. However, I was still stunned and saddened to hear the news it had been canceled. There had been rumours circulating about “All My Children”, but none about “One Life”. I thought it was safe. I have a 15 year history with the show. I started watching it thanks to a very good friend of mine. During the summer, she would leave and go home to watch “One Life”. I was into reruns of “Gunsmoke”, and not too interested in changing the channel. One day I relented, and winded up getting hooked.  I would introduce both my Mom and sister to it.

As I reminisced with my sister last night, I thought about my favorite characters through the years. There was Karen Wolek, brilliantly portrayed by Judith Light. Married to local doctor, Larry, Karen became a prostitute. Domestic life as a housewife bored her. Karen lacked confidence and self-worth. She was needy and vulnerable, and even the love of a good, stable husband could not heal her deep wounds. She left Llanview in 1983, to the dismay of me, and my uncle, who was a major fan of the show. He kept a small TV in his office, so he could watch “One Life” between classes at the college where he worked. Karen had a sister Jenny, who was the opposite of Karen. She was more emotionally sound. Among the many other characters I remember are Viki Buchanan, Max Holden, Dorian Lord, her daughter Cassie, Viki’s long-lost daughter Megan, her sister Sarah, and Marty Saybrooke. I will never forget the brutal rape Marty endured in the ’90s. That storyline stuck with me for months.

One of my favorites was Asa Buchanan. He kept things interesting. He was one of the most intriguing characters to me, and his antics were always very entertaining. There were his marriages to pretty Samantha, and lovely Delilah, who were both young enough to be his daughter. There was the time he faked his death, and appeared in the middle of his funeral to deliver his own eulogy. There were the crooked business deals, and family quarrels. He came to town with his two sons, Bo and Clint, in 1979. Bo remains on the show, as does the character of Clint. Phil Carey, who portrayed Asa, passed away in 2009, as did Clint Ritchie, the original Clint Buchanan. The character of Asa had already died on the show. I heard about it, and immediately thought his absence left a huge hole.

Then, there is Tina. Tina Lord Roberts, sister of Viki. She was walking drama. Tina was manipulative, and full of tricks and schemes. Yet, she did it all in a way which was humorous. It was hard not to like her, no matter what her latest crazy move had been. Two things she did continue to stand out. There was the time she burst in on Cord’s wedding to Kate with baby Al, claiming Cord was the father. Probably the shocker of all was the time she was in the midst of marrying Max, and during the vows, she blurted out “I take thee Cord”. We laughed and laughed about it at home and at school. It was unbelievable! Of course, poor Max called off the wedding. Tina and Cord did remarry, but they would divorce once and for all. Tina was back in town in 2008. Cord made an appearance, too. I tuned in to sneak a peek. It was nice to see them again. The two had a civil, pleasant rapport with one another.

One of the most groundbreaking storylines involved a light-skinned African-American woman “passing” for white. The character of Carla Gray was played by Ellen Holly. This storyline was before my time, but I have read about it. She was engaged to a white doctor, but due to the negative backlash from viewers, this love story had to come to an abrupt end, with Carla publicly admitting her black heritage. She would later marry policeman Ed Hall. The two would divorce, and remarry years later. Carla returned to Llanview in the ’80s, which gave me the chance to become familiar with her character.

Unlike “All My Children”, “One Life to Live” will last through the rest of the year, ending in January. I wonder if Snoop Dogg will make another appearance? He has popped up in Llanview at least twice, and recorded his own hip-hop version of the theme song. I loved it.

I will be there for the last episode, with all of my fond memories on hand.


~ by kmnnz on April 16, 2011.

2 Responses to ““One Life to Live”- More Memories”

  1. .
    Ellen Holly is also one of my favorite actresses as well.

    She wrote a book called ‘One Life’ about her life
    experiences and being cast as ‘Carla’ on ‘OLTL’.

    Listed below is a link to more information on her book.

    • Wow, I didn’t know she wrote a book! Thank you so much! I’ve always found her to be so very pretty, and downright fascinating.

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