Tuesday, December 9, 2008

FLASHBACK: Ellen Wheeler Returns to ANOTHER WORLD 1998

Wheeler returns to the `AW' role she created

by Nancy M. Reichardt
November 8, 1998
Austin American-Statesman (TX)

NEW YORK -- "It's hard to go back to anything," says Ellen Wheeler of her return to one-half of the dual role she created -- Marley Hudson on ANOTHER WORLD. "Going home can be scary. You want it to be the same -- but different.

"Think of a high-school reunion or visiting your parents," she continues. "But with my return here all that was good stayed the same, and what needed to change has. The show has changed in the same ways as I have, I guess. I am just really comfortable here."

Jensen Buchanan, who has continued playing Marley's twin, Vicky McKinnon, bears absolutely no physical resemblance to Wheeler. Although Marley having been caught in a fire was the explanation given for their facial differences, there is no explanation for their different body types or even their difference in heights.

Wheeler says, "I was really worried about that. I do not get on the Internet, but so far, the fan reaction I have had is that no one seems to care. It is funny, the one thing that seems to bother people is that my hair is longer. And really that is so minor compared to the other difference. All I can figure out is that the audience is used to recasts so they accept everything except the long hair. Go figure."

Wheeler has kept up with the show in the 11 years that she has been gone. She calls Marley/Vicky "the girls" and says, "When I let go of them, it was very hard for me, but luckily they were turned over to people more capable than myself. I watched them grow and progress.

"Anne Heche and Jensen Buchanan are such fantastic women who played them in ways I could not have done," she adds. "But I laid the groundwork for what they did. So I have continued to love these characters -- just like a mom. They became wonderful, rich characters with so much added to the roles."

From the moment Wheeler returned to the role -- when Anna Stuart, who plays her mother, Donna Love, petted her hand in her hospital room -- she felt like she had been there every second of the years she was gone.

Wheeler's co-star, Tom Eplin (Jake McKinnon), is her ex-husband in real life. But Wheeler sees no problem there at all.

"This is a non-issue," she says. "There are few people I would rather work with. He is such a smart actor, and I always learn so much from him."

She scoffs at the notion that he is difficult to work with. "He is definitely not difficult. I do not know why anyone would say that. He is just full of energy. You have to keep up with him, that's all."

The actress is now happily married with two children. She has been based in Los Angeles, and she admits that she had recently been pining for New York City. She has welcomed this opportunity to move her family there. They are all thriving, she says, adding that she is delighted by this opportunity to raise them -- for however long she remains -- in New York, the city she loves.

Ellen Wheeler says going back to the role of Marley Hudson on ANOTHER WORLD is kind of like a high school reunion.


  1. After what she's done to GL..Wheeler should be erased from daytime.emilv

  2. I'm delighted with these flashbacks.

    I really loved her Vicky/Marley when they first debuted. That was when I was watching AW...long before Heche and Jensen.

    What prompts this. Is it her birthday? Did she die? Is she being fired from GL?

    She is the most well intentioned EP on daytime...but she is routinely pilloried for trying to give GL a future.

    I find this sad.