GOTHAM producer/star Martha Byrne (ex-Lily, AS THE WORLD TURNS) worked closely with three of the talented ladies who appeared on the 50 Greatest Soap Actresses list. We asked her to comment on each of them.
Elizabeth Hubbard: There are so many stories about working with Elizabeth that are worth mentioning, I could write a book about her influence and talent. When you do a scene with Liz, you never do the same scene twice. Liz is the ultimate acting partner who always makes you listen. I've seen actors run with her during a scene and others run away. The actors that embraced her gift of play became better actors for doing so. In my many years of playing her daughter, Liz never once "phoned it in." Every script had character thoughts and rewrites scribbled on it at 7am during our first rehearsal. When fans talk to me about Liz and tell me their fondest memories, the moments they speak of were always the ones that came from Liz herself. Everyone loves Lucinda because of the woman behind the creation. Liz is probably the most fascinating person I know. I've begged her to write a book about her many adventures outside of acting, all of which are fascinating. There are so many layers to Liz the public is unaware of and I have been fortunate to have her in my life. I love her, truly, for so many reasons. My life has been enriched in so many ways for knowing her.
Maura West: I think one aspect about being a professional actress in our generation is the multi-tasking that goes along with working in the craft. I admire Maura for so many reasons, as an actress and as a mother. Our work ethic is very similar. Work hard, give your best performance and go home to your family. Working with Maura is effortless. Her sense of humor and willingness to do anything has given the audience a character that you route for under any circumstance, that in itself is a talent, one that only a very few own. Maura is a star. Period. I loved working with her and I feel lucky to have her as a friend.
Lisa Brown: The first word that comes to mind when I think of Lisa as the actress, is fearless. Her energy and creativity was contagious. It's hard to even be specific about what it is about her that makes her so special, because working with her is so effortless. The one thing that stands out to me now, looking back at the opportunity I was given to work with her, is that I was always treated like a peer. Elizabeth and Lisa carried me through personally with their support and professionally with their talent. Lisa was, and is, a powerhouse of an actress. Working with her now as a director and writer, it's interesting to hear her verbalize her understanding of the process. Back in the 80s the entire cast and crew was influenced by her process through her acting, which was subtle and powerful. We've been through a lot together and I've always believed in her because I had a front row seat to her love of the work.