Wednesday, January 6, 2010

50 Greatest Soap Actresses: #45 Nancy Addison

NAME: Nancy Addison
RANK: 45
SOAP ROLES: Deborah Brewster Alden, THE CITY (1995); Deborah Brewster Alden, LOVING (1993-1995); Marissa Rampal, ALL MY CHILDREN (1989); Jillian Coleridge, RYAN'S HOPE (1975-1989); Kit Vested, THE GUIDING LIGHT (1970-1974)

1995 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Villainess
1979 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
1977 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series

Damon L. Jacobs: What made RYAN'S HOPE so delicious was watching the characters' internal dynamics played out on screen.  Nancy Addison particularly was skilled at portraying Jillian's inner dichotomous struggles between rational versus emotional, anger versus understanding, holding a grudge versus forgiving. Whether she was fighting Frank or Seneca, competing with her sister Faith, or waging battle against her enemy Delia, you could always see the wheels turning in Jillian's head as she went forward with her next move.  Nancy Addison fueled this refreshingly non-apologetic feminist with conviction, determination, compassion, and humor.  Her copious talents were taken from us far too soon.

Roger Newcomb: I talk a lot about heart, and that's what Nancy Addison brought to RYAN'S HOPE. Along with Helen Gallagher, she was the heart and soul of that show. In addition to her decades of acting on soaps, her charity efforts, including working with children with HIV was incredibly inspiring. She left this world much too early but her memory will never be forgotten.

Daniel Hugh Kelly: (worked opposite Addison as Frank Ryan on RH) A stunningly beautiful woman, an incredibly talented actress, and a generous and kind soul. To be near her was to fall in love with her, and so I did often, especially when she smiled. Nancy made you a better actor than you ever thought you could or deserved to be, and through patience, humor and a profound gentleness, instilled in those fortunate enough to have worked with her a quiet confidence that has never left any of us. Many owe her, none more than I, and I remain forever grateful. A true professional, she is deeply missed. Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her.

Claire Labine: (who wrote for Addison on RYAN'S HOPE) She was unbelievably good.


  1. Mom was a teacher in another district and would get home two hours after my arrival so for two hours daily, SOAPS were my babysitters. She often worked summer school so SOAPS again were my caretakers (that was the 70s)Nancy Addison as Jill and Denise Aleksander as Leslie were role models. Successful career women (with a warped personal life). Very rarely are today's ABC soap divas allowed an interesting career. The 2000's are more backwards than the 70s, we never see Blair on OLTL practicing journalism, Dorian doctoring, GH full of misogynism is actually the Soap that features women at work most. Isn't that a sad commentary.

    Whenever I'm up at an the UnGodly hour of 5AM, I still tune in to watch Ryan's Hope for Jillian. Nancy was the epitome of style in the 70s and that's quite an accomplishment considering some of the 70s trends. I miss her voice and those eyes!

  2. Nancy was one of a kind. Her voice, her looks, her style (Jillian always looked good, even with a show which had a wardrobe budget of what seemed to be $20), but also her extremely intelligent acting. Frankly, I think the role would have been very hard to watch if not for Nancy.

    She was also wonderful on Loving, in a more malicious, yet comedic role. And then her work on GL, which sadly is not available, where she played a meek woman who was slowly revealed as a real psycho.

  3. I just adored her. Jillian was so complicated and deep and she was both weak and strong. Nancy Addison perfected this inner conflict and I was hooked. She is missed.