Monday, January 11, 2010

FLASHBACK: Sarah Felder 1979

Felder find road rocky in RYAN'S HOPE

By Steve H. Scheuer
King Features Syndicate
October 12, 1979

SARAH AS SIOBHAN. Life isn't always easy for the youngest daughter in the successful, strict, Irish Catholic family on RYAN'S HOPE. But Sarah Felder, who portrays Siobhan on the soap, finds the struggle exciting.

Sarah, like Siobhan Ryan, is a bit of a rebel. As fans recall, Siobhan was introduced as an English teacher who went on strike, was thrown in jail and finally hitchhiked across the country on crutches with a giant dog. Sarah explains that she then arrived at Ryan's Bar wearing wht she referred to as a little tea party dress.

"The producers wouldn't let me wear jeans for the first year," recalls Sarah. The issue became so important to Sarah's interpretation of Siobhan that she even considered leaving the soap.

"They want me to look pretty and cute all the time, and that's just not Siobhan," said the outspoken Ms. Felder, a graduate of Jilliard School of Drama.

Sarah views her roles as one with definitely social values and gets the fan mail to prove it. Many viewers identify with Siobhan's struggle to be understood by the Ryan clan, which doesn't approve of the things she does.

"To know that the spirit has integrity, that's the core of the Ryan family," said Sarah.

Even off camera, Ms. Felder doesn't get completely away from being wrapped up in her character. Breaking into a smile, Sarah recalls the time she rode a train and noticed three faces popping up in front of her. They obviously recognized her as Siobhan and there was a sense of unstated communication.

"These were kids who didn't look as they they had a whole lot going for them," said Sarah. "But knowing that I was playing a character that they could identify with in some way appeared to register with them."

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