by Nancy M. Reichardt
August 31, 1984
At the tender age of 3, Ellen Wheeler (Marley Love on ANOTHER WORLD) got her first taste of performing professionally when she appeared as Trouble in "Madame Butterfly." The production was presented in a theater owned by her parents, who are both actors.
"My father started his career as a hoofer during the Hollywood musical era and all of us learned to dance because of his career beginnings," remembers Miss Wheeler. "My younger brother and I used to do George Burns-Gracie Allen comedy routines when we weren't pretending to be Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers." Today, Miss Wheeler still keeps in shape with dancing and aerobics classes.
"In high school I was very involved in the drama department and won all kinds of awards," says Miss Wheeler, who appeared in many theatrical productions throughout her childhood.
"After graduation, my parents said, 'So, are you going to go to Hollywood now?' But I was only 17 and too scared to do it. At the age of 19, however, I packed up and went to Tinsel Town; just like a thousand other kids," recalls Miss Wheeler, who was one of the lucky ones, since she landed an agent, some commercials and guest-starring roles on television.
Miss Wheeler, who is also a singer, was working on an album, "for a real small label," she says, before she moved to New York and "AW."
A practicing Mormon, Miss Wheeler admits that "there are certain things I won't do on-screen, such as a nude scene. Also, since I dont smoke or drink, I won't do either on-screen if I can't fake it," she says. "I do, however, realize that as actors we have to portray what goes on in real life and I also feel that acting should mirror what's going on in society so that people can see what is good and what isn't."