Friday, February 5, 2010

FLASHBACK: Robin Strasser Joins AMC 1976

TV's 'Most Hated Woman' Returns

By Jon-Michael Reed
Los Angeles Times
September 29, 1976

The "most hated woman" in daytime television has returned to the soaps in a new role. Robin Strasser, who created a furor as scheming Rachel Davis on ANOTHER WORLD, has debuted as pediatrician Dr. Christina Karras on ALL MY CHILDREN.

Miss Strasser was the original Rachel and portrayed the spoiled, ambitious home wrecker for nearly five years before calling it quits three-and-a-half years ago. Since then, the native New York actress moved to California and "went into coproduction with my husband (actor Laurence Luckinbill) and produced Benjamin Joseph, a new brother for 7-year-old Laurence Nicholas," she says.

During her West Coast sojourn, Miss Strasser appeared in several late night ABC-TV mystery movies as well as a few Los Angeles theater productions. Besides raising her family and traveling to Europe, Hong Kong and Hawaii, she became a budding but unproduced scriptwriter, an avocation she intends to pursue more actively.

"During the last few years," says Miss Strasser, "I've turned down five other soap opera deals. Writer Agnes Nixon's projection of this new character on ALL MY CHILDREN is the only one that truly excited me. It's one of the best working relationships I can imagine having at this time, since Mrs. Nixon also created the role of Rachel."

Miss Strasser left her previous serial assignment amid reports in which she supposedly condemned soap operas as hogwash.

"Not true," says Miss Strasser. "I never knocked the daytime TV drama format. What I did object to were the banal stereotypes, especially the portrayal of career women as terrible bitches who simply need the love of a man to straighten them out. But the soaps have matured a great deal since I left ANOTHER WORLD. They are now dealing with vital issues. That maturity is another reason I felt it was time to return. Soap operas have a tremendous influencing power, indirectly reaching a vast audience's awareness."

Despite her aversion to stereotypes, Miss Strasser admits she "liked the lady Rachel, loved putting a touch of humor in her wickedness, adored wearing tacky clothes, the green eye makeup in the daytime and her teased hair." In person Miss Strasser is a "wash and blow-dry lady who prefers to wear no makeup." As for her new character, the actress says, "I would hope she's something of an incomplete person. I love playing that kind of character."

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