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50 Greatest Soap Actresses: #5 Robin Strasser

NAME: Robin Strasser
RANK: 5
SOAP ROLES: Dorian Lord, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1979-1987, 1993-2000, 2003-present); PASSIONS (Hecuba, 2000-01; 2002), Dianne Kirkwood, KNOTS LANDING (1990); Christina Karras Martin (1976-1979); Rachel Davis, SOMERSET (1970); Rachel Davis, ANOTHER WORLD (1967-1971, 1972)

AWARDS:
2005 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Favorite Couple
2001 Soap Opera Digest Award win Outstanding Female Scene Stealer
1996 Soap Opera Digest Award win for Outstanding Lead Actress
1995 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress
1994 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress
1988 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role: Daytime
1986 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role on a Daytime Serial
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 nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
1983 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
1982 Daytime Emmy nomination win Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
1981 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series

COMMENTS FROM THE PANEL:
Damon L. Jacobs:   It is much a testament to Strasser's hard work and commitment that her indelible fingerprints remain on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, and in our own lives.  She has generously and abundantly dug from her own psyche in order to bring forth life her vivid, complicated, and resilient portrayal of Dorian.  In my mind, there is no greater feat of a true artist than to use her talent to transform, inspire, and change the world around her. Robin Strasser has been doing this on daytime television for over 40 years now.  And believe me, she isn't anywhere close to being done!

Connie Passalacqua Hayman (Marlena De Lacroix): Strasser, (the original Rachel on ANOTHER WORLD and the definitive Dorian on ONE LIFE TO LIVE) is a contradictory and unique mix of villain and vulnerability that has made her the most watchable actress on soaps for the last 40 years. She has been totally alive, and fascinating in every single scene!

Alan Carter: Forget the role on ALL MY CHILDREN, Im sure even she has. But Strasser made to indelible marks on two different shows for playing two vastly different shrews.

Roger Newcomb: Robin Strasser gives it her all in every scene she's in. It is obvious when watching her. Combining that commitment with her incredible natural acting gift is pure heaven for soap fans.

COMMENTS FROM CO-STARS/CO-WORKERS/INDUSTRY:
Kassie De Paiva: (works with Strasser on OLTL) I adore Robin Strasser. I think the feeling is completely mutual. We’re always fighting for the cause, that is, the cause to keep daytime on the air. She works twice as hard as anybody on that show making sure she presents, and represents, Dorian Lord. Whether it’s telling the prop guys they’ve done it all wrong, or going to wardrobe, she is in control of Dorian. I’ve learned a great deal from working with her. But our personal friendship has always been strong. Even when we were just starting out, it was good then.

Tia Dionne Hodge: (works with Strasser on OLTL) She’s amazing! The woman has energy. I remember the first day I was there as a nurse, when we were running lines, I just thought, “Wow, I’m with Robin Strasser, I actually get to be in the same scene with this woman.” We were just running lines and I remember she commented on the way I said a line. She said, “That was really good.” From then on, I was a fan. Not that I wasn’t a fan before. But she wasn’t trying to direct me in anyway, she was just being kind and I really appreciated that. It helped my confidence. It was my very first time being on a soap. They move so fast! Friends of mine say it’s like being in boot camp. It’s amazing how much she can just keep it going and steady. I realized I had to step up my game to keep up with these people, especially Robin.

Kale Browne: (worked with Strasser on OLTL) Wonderful to work with, a total pro, and very funny. She'll take anything you throw at her and run with it. Also incapable of a false move in front of a camera.

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE:
- WE LOVE SOAPS TV: The Cramer Women
- Robin Strasser Reflects On Constance Ford, Part One

4 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I always had a horrible sense of Robin Strasser being in the shadow of Susan Lucci.

    Let's face it, she'd already created 'Erica Kane' as the original 'Rachel' in Bay City - and everyone acts like Lucci's Erica is some kind of unique, remarkable creation in daytime history. Trust me, anybody could play that role if they understood that she is a Venus archetype. That Strasser is a better actress than Lucci just pisses all over the chips!

    What am I getting at? That it's relief to see Robin Strasser finally ahead of Lucci in a list of real ACTRESSES (mostly) and not simply personalities (although I have a few issues with some of your choices).

    The iconic One Life episodes that occured slap bang in the middle of the cutting edge 1990s are some of Robin's most magnificent work for me. Of course, I'm referring to Dorian revealing to Viki about the man who was Victor Lord ("Viki, PLEASE! We both know that he was an AMORAL TYRANT!"). Slezak's unravels, but Strasser evokes... and she is captivating. Red in dress, red in fury, red for survival.

    That's Dorian.

    THAT is the kind of work which warrants 19 Emmy nominations and 19 WINS.

    I hope I haven't pissed off the Lucci fans ;-)

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  3. I also loved Strasser in the early to mid-80s in the years surrounding her Daytime Emmy nominations and her win. She was a force to be reckoned with like none other, was written to show a myraid of complex emotions and could turn on a dime from achingly vulnerable to frighteningly fierce. She still has that kind of vitality all these many years later, which is truly a testament to her love and passion for the art of acting. Strasser is compelling and always entertaining as she brings life to the script and stamps her indelible fingerprint on characters. She is a gift, a dynamo and a true talent. She has devoted years to this genre and remains the reason I watch soaps. Thank you for recognizing her contribution.

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  4. Robin really has it going on in all the scenes she plays in. Bravo, Robin! :)

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