MobileTop1

50 Greatest Soap Couples: #50 Mark & Laura From LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING

COUPLE: Mark Elliott & Laura Donnelly
SHOW: LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING
RANK: 50
PLAYED BY:
Mark: Sam Wade, David Birney, Michael Hawkins, Vince Cannon and Tom Fuccello
Laura: Donna Mills, Barbara Stanger and Veleka Gray
YEARS: 1967-1973

STORY:
Mark (most memorably played by Birney) was in a love triangle with free-spirited Iris Donnelly (Leslie Charleson, Bibi Besh) and her fragile younger sister, Laura (originally and best played by Mills), whose hidden love for Mark prevented her from taking her final vows to become a nun.

IMPACT:
The twists and turns of Mark and Laura's relationship helped keep fans tuned in to the CBS soap. It also launched the careers of David Birney and Donna Mills. Once they left the roles (and Leslie Charleson as Iris), Mark and Laura were not quite the same, and neither was the show. Recasting critical characters was one of the issues that prevented LIAMST from staying on the air longer (the show ran from September 18, 1967 to March 23, 1973) despite decent ratings.

CLASSIC CLIPS:
- CBS Daytime Ad 1968
- LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING Episode From 1969

Share your thoughts on Mark and Laura in our Comments section below or on our message board.

RELATED:
- 50 Greatest Soap Opera Actors: The Complete List
- 50 Greatest Soap Opera Actresses: The Complete List
- THE COMPLETE LIST: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for including LIAMST. I have loved Donna Mills ever since.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have died and went to heaven in grade school but summertime parked in front of TV to watch CBS's daytime lineup...thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. harlee, I have so many memories of being outside in the summer, playing with our neighborhood kids. But I remember SO much from soaps too as if I never went outside at all. I guess I was a good multi-tasking kid LOL

    ReplyDelete
  4. Watching the CBS soaps once was a many splendored thing. Not anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  5. In Part 3 of his video interview for the Archive of American Television (ATAS), former CBS president, Fred Silverman, discusses the genesis of LIAMST and the programming strategy of the all-soaps lineup during that time.

    If you've never watched it previously, it's got some interesting tidbits within.

    http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/shows/love-is-a-many-splendored-thing

    ReplyDelete
  6. LiaMST was before my time, but it's always been of interest to me, mainly because of Leslie Charleson and Donna Mills. I think a big part of it was the idea of Mills as a sweet, innocent character when I was so used to seeing her as the scheming Abby on "Knots Landing." From what I've seen and heard, Mills is a lovely lady, inside and out.

    I also find interesting how often these major roles were recast in a relatively short span of time. I guess this was more of the norm for soaps back in the day. Even if you hadn't addressed the recasts' impact on the show, it would be easy to presume that it wasn't so positive.

    ReplyDelete


468x60 Wireless Block Series