Monday, January 25, 2010

FLASHBACK: Linda Dano 1995


By Nancy M. Reichardt
Los Angeles Times
September 24, 1995

"I never even considered that my mother would not live with me one day," says Linda Dano, who plays the flamboyant Felicia Gallant on ANOTHER WORLD.

"It was always a 'given' between my husband Frank {Attardi} and me. His sisters cared for his mother, and, since this was important to me, he saw it as his turn."

The couple moved to bigger quarters to make things more accommodating for her parents. "We had another house in Connecticut that we sold only because we knew my folks were getting older and the house wasn't big enough for all of us," says Dano, who spends her work days in New York City. "And when we moved my parents East from California, we went from an apartment to a townhouse."

Sadly, the move came when Dano's father developed symptoms that were later diagnosed as Alzheimer's disease. The actress frets that removing her father from familiar surroundings may have hastened his decline, but has no doubt that the move truly saved her mother Evelyn's life.

"She was going down for the count," says Dano. "The emotional and physical stress was impossible for her to cope with for herself. This disease is like a runaway train."

The actress was eventually forced to put her father in a home. She notes, "My mother goes to visit him three or four times a week, even though this man, whom she has loved and been married to for 55 years, only has fleeting moments when he recognizes her."

Dano calls her mother a "great comrade" and says her husband and mother are such pals that Frank even takes the 84-year-old golfing. The actress planned to bring her mother along for a reunion with an old friend--Tom Selleck. They had become friends when Dano was just starting out and under contract to Twentieth Century Fox.

"We started a week apart," she says. "Neither of us had ever acted before, and we were terrified. We clung together and forged a friendship that lasts to this day. Back when we spent many a Christmas and New Year's Eve together, and every Tuesday night we watched MARCUS WELBY together."

To Dano's mom, Selleck is just Linda's old friend Tom. What she'd really like to see is her daughter playing the love interest of Hector Elizondo, who plays the chief of staff on CHICAGO HOPE.

"She's so adorable," Dano says while giggling about her mother's desire. "I agree with her. I love that show and NYPD Blue. I'd adore having the opportunity to work with Hector Elizondo, but mom actually has a thing for him. She thinks he's sexy."

Still sounding more like teen-agers than adults, the two share a passion for shopping.

"The most fun," Dano notes, "is stopping to shop for clothes on the way up to Connecticut if Frank is not with us. We buy and buy and sneak the clothes into the house."

At home they each have their own living space and separate televisions. After dinner each night, Dano insists on doing the dishes alone. It is her only time to just be by herself.

ANOTHER WORLD airs weekdays at 1 p.m. on NBC.

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