Wednesday, January 13, 2010

50 Greatest Soap Actresses: #31 Lisa Brown

NAME: Lisa Brown
RANK: 31
SOAP ROLES: Nola Reardon Chamberlain, GUIDING LIGHT (1980-1985, 1995-1998, 2009); Iva Snyder, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1985-1994, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003); Carolyn, LOVING (1995)

1988 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
1987 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
1981 Afternoon TV Award win for Best Actress

Lynn Liccardo: Lisa Brown's Nola was probably my mother's all-time favorite character. A few years back, I was looking through Doug Marland's papers at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and read his original longterm. Turns out that he had intended for Brown's Nola and John Wesley Shipp's Kelly to end up together. I'd love to know if it was Doug who changed his mind, of if he was overruled by TPTB in favor of Kristen Vigard's angelic Morgan . I'd also love to know what my late mother would have thought; she loved Nola as the bad girl.

Roger Newcomb: I used to get home from school around 2:20 p.m. (pre-VCR days) and watch the rest of GUIDING LIGHT. The day that Kelly found out the truth about Nola I will never forget. Lisa Brown was superb. Nola's desires, her fantasy life and her relationship with Quint made her one of the most memorable characters in soap opera history. The fact that Brown was able to create a second memorable character in Iva Snyder on AS THE WORLD turns speaks volumes for her as an actress. Iva running into the barn with a pitchfork screaming at Josh and Lily, "She's your baby!" was one of the best scenes in the show's history. It's hard to believe she didn't win an Emmy during the 1980s, a decade she dominated.

Martha Byrne: (worked with Brown on ATWT and now on GOTHAM) 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.


  1. Lisa Brown is one of a kind. I grew up watching her as Iva Snyder, and in a role which likely would have been a constant downer if looked at on the page, Lisa brought such heart and strength to Iva's pain. I especially loved her faceoff scenes with Lucinda. And her early, heartbreaking reunion with Emma.

    Even now, she is still up to her best, if someone bothers to put her on a soap. Her thankless cameo on GL's finale week was wonderful, especially when she blew a kiss to Company. That was a more fitting goodbye than most of the finale scenes.

  2. PJ, I agree about the Company scene, that's why I posted it. I'm not sure if that was written or Lisa's special touch but it meant a lot to me as lifelong fan of the show.

  3. Guiding Light was the first soap I got hooked on--way back in 81 or so. I was just a kid but Lisa Brown's Nola fascinated me so much. Then when she was Iva during Douglas Marland's brilliant tenure, she proved again what a marvelous actress she is. I agree with the comment about Iva, Josh, Lily and the pitchfork. One of daytime's best scenes.

  4. I grew up watching Lisa's brilliance on GL and ATWT. Hers were some of my all time favorite soap stories and characters. Always entertaining to watch, with a mastery of both drama and comedy, Lisa brought a wonderful humanity, empathy and believability to her alter egos.

    It was wonderful seeing her recently on a too brief appearance in the last week of GL's life. Let's hope ATWT does the same only with much more air time. I miss seeing her on my tv screen.

  5. Lisa Brown as Nola back in the early 80s was absolutely tremendous. Honest, vulnerable, real. I'll never love a character as much as I loved Nola nor a couple as much as I loved Nola/Quint. It was a once in a lifetime experience. Iva was an interesting character, but Nola is the role that made her. I'n glad Lisa was remembered for this mention.

    For the quintessential and complete treatment, archive and coverage of Nola/Quint, check out I'm sure the photo on this page was taken from there . .and you'll see their stuff all over the web when anything comes up about Nola/Quint.