SOAP ROLES: Alan Spaulding, GUIDING LIGHT (1977-1984, 1986-1988); Philip Todd, DARK SHADOWS (1969-1970)
COMMENTS FROM THE PANEL:
Connie Passalacqua Hayman (Marlena De Lacroix): As the original Alan Spaulding on GUIDING LIGHT, this actor was mesmerizing: powerful, mostly malevolent and sexy in an authoritarian way. Remember his seduction of Ed's wife Rita under the falls in Jamaica? Just amazing in conflict scenes with a young Grant Aleksander and (the now mostly forgotten) Don Stewart who played Mike Bauer.
Nelson Aspen: Chris created the most complex, dynamic villain of his day, with a complete style of his own that was never replicated by either of his recasts. It was never hard to understand why the women fell for Alan Spaulding. Rather than play the archetype, he offered up charm and seduction with every scene. Frankly, I dont feel that any patriarchal bad guy has ever come close. Terry Lester could have if he'd had the opportunity.
Roger Newcomb: His Alan Spaulding was devious but charming and you couldn't turn away from him. Bernau brought layers to the character that many actors could not come close to. Whether he was manipulating those around him, seducing Rita or marrying Hope, he was one of the main reasons I fell in love with GUIDING LIGHT as a kid. His death in 1989 at the age of 49 was such a tragic loss.
COMMENTS FROM CO-STARS/CO-WORKERS/INDUSTRY:
Michael O'Leary: (worked with Bernau on GUIDING LIGHT) Chris was one of the most intimidating actors I've ever met, intimidating in the sense that he kind of reminded me of the Clint Eastwood in daytime. He could do more with a look than anyone I know.