NAME: Mary Stuart
SOAP ROLES: Meta Bauer, GUIDING LIGHT (1996-2002); Claire Webber, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1998); Joanne Gardner, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (1951-1986); THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS (1950-1951)
1986 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor/Actress to the Form of Continuing Drama who is currently on a Daytime Serial
1985 Daytime Emmy Special Recognition Award for her longevity and contribution to SEARCH FOR TOMORROW
1977 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
1976 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
1974 Daytime Emmy nomination for Best Actress in Daytime Drama - For a Series
1962 Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead) for SEARCH FOR TOMORROW
COMMENTS FROM THE PANEL:
Nelson Aspen: Where do I begin? I grew up admiring Mary on a daily basis, thanks to my grandmother's devotion to SFT. When I came to work with her in the '80s my admiration only multiplied exponentialy. She was a pioneer of the genre and watching her work, from script through rehearsal to on-air, was the greatest education anyone in this industry could have. She could do it all, and usually did! Any critic who contended, "Oh, she's just playing herself," never knew the real Mary! She was not only my mentor, but my acting coach...and taught me myriad "tricks" to performing on camera, but more importantly the art of CONVERSATION on camera. She never relied on gimmicks to make her interesting...she just WAS, no matter what the scene. She could make you laugh, cry, care. Even though she did a short stint on OLTL as a judge, I was as thrilled as she was when she recreated the role of "Meta" on GL. (I am proud to say I wrote a 'bible" of the character's history for her...) Mary proved her formidable acting prowess when she moved into the Bauer household as a fiesty but loving matriarch...making the audience believe she'd been there all along! Her scenes with Susan Pratt's "Claire" are still among my favorite of her career. Even as she was suffering with cancer at the end, she kept "Meta" alive for GL fans with the same beautiful, natural style she debuted on the first episode of SFT in 1951. Her autobiography (if you can find it), BOTH OF ME, is must-read material for any fan of daytime history.
Connie Passalacqua Hayman (Marlena De Lacroix): Charita Bauer and Mary Stuart. Mom and home for decades. The shoulder you still want to rest your head on. How we miss them.
Alan Carter: She created the role of the smart, confident soap heroine who couldn't pick the right man to save her apron. Rather than the audience thinking she was a complete dolt, Stuart infused the character with charm and grace.
Mimi Torchin: I miss Mary. She was always a lady, always a graceful presence. And she was a superb actress.
Roger Newcomb: SEARCH FOR TOMORROW was the first soap opera I ever remember watching. My mother kept our television on CBS all day and SEARCH for on during lunchtime. Mary Stuart was a calming and mothering presence at that point and my mother loved Jo and Stu as if they had been around forever.
COMMENTS FROM CO-STARS/CO-WORKERS/INDUSTRY:
Louan Gideon: (worked with Stuart on SFT) Mary was such the Grande Dame already when I joined SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, and I felt that she went out of her way to make me, a total newcomer, feel at ease on the set, in the makeup chair, while waiting and drinking coffee in the green room, etc.
I went to a party at her apartment once and was struck by the sheer size of it. I was sharing a one bedroom at the time, and Mary's home seemed palatial. It was also decorated in such elegant taste. (Or perhaps it was just MY taste, which I think is elegant!)I remember attending that wonderful party more than any others that I attended while living in NYC - the people, the piano, the great views - it was SO NEW YORK!!
I remember hearing Mary and Larry ("Stu") laughing and laughing over all sorts of things. My they adored each other and had such a great time. It gave the set a "family-type" feel to hear the two of them chuckling and chatting. And they'd ad lib a lot, too! Got away with murder, script-wise....but I think they always improved it and evidently, so did the directors, because they usually left in anything off-script that they did. Mary and Larry certainly knew the show biz ropes of New York City.
Rebecca Budig: (worked with Stuart on GL) She had heart. She was so generous.