Sharon Gabet Plays deaf-mute In New Role
By Connie Passalacqua
April 24, 1985
When EDGE OF NIGHT was canceled last December, one of daytime's most scintillating couples, Sky and Raven Whitney, was cast into soap oblivion. But actors Larkin Malloy and Sharon Gabet, who portrayed them, became "hot properties." Malloy was snapped up immediately by GUIDING LIGHT, where he now portrays snidely Kyle Sampson, a role much like the villainous Sky. Barely two months later, Miss Gabet surfaced on ANOTHER WORLD in a role drastically different from fiery Raven.
Her Brittany Reynolds Peterson, ex-wife of "AW" protagonist Catlin Ewing (Thomas Ian Griffith), is a former cowgirl and a deaf-mute.
"I played Raven for seven years and I got tired," says Miss Gabet. "I was offered several roles by other shows that were just like Raven. But 'AW' offered me a nice contract and a character developed just for me. And this one is terrific!" The role was created by Gillian Spencer, an "AW" writer who also plays Daisy Cortlandt on ALL MY CHILDREN. It required Miss Gabet to make a lot of special preparations.
Miss Gabet had been taking horseback riding lessons in New York's Central Park. But her additional training was much more intense. "For three weeks before I came on, I studied sign language four hours a day, with Marybeth Miller, a teacher from the New York Society for the Deaf. She's deaf, and an actress, too, a real live wire.
"Learning to sign is like learning a whole new language," Miss Gabet continues. "Marybeth also had ear molds made for me (which usually are used in making hearing aids) so I could see what being deaf was like. It was frightening and enhanced all my other senses. It also made me think about what was important in life. If you can't communicate, what can you do? If theres anything I'd like to show in this role it's how hard it is to be deaf in a hearing world."
Miss Gabet would also like "AW" to be the first daytime soap to use closed captioning for the hearing impaired. "Several ABC nighttime soaps hvae it and deaf people love them," she says. "There are 18 million deaf people in our country. What a potential audience that is."