FLASHBACK: Ron Hale 1979

TV Marital Split Almost Like Real Divorce

Tune in Tomorrow
January 25, 1979

NEW YORK - It's 11 a.m. during a typical workday on the set of the ABC soap opera RYAN'S HOPE.

The actors and production staff have been in the studio since before 8 a.m. The actors have already had a pre-rehearsal in a bare room where they ran through the day's episode dialogue with the director, who has "blocked" them in movement directions. The technicians, meanwhile, were busy setting up the day's settings in the studio.

Now the show is having a technical run-through to make sure the lights and camera angles are reciting their dialogue, fumbling occasionally and asking for cues. Some of the performers are paraphrasing the scripted dialogue and cracking jokes between camera setups.

Between scenes Ron Hale (Roger Coleridge) comments that he's nervous because the producers haven't yet found an actress to replace Ilene Kristen, Ron's screen wife who played Delia and who decided a few weeks ago not to renew her contract.

"I feel as though I'm going through a divorce," says Ron. "After years of working daily with an actress, one develops an acting patter that will necessarily be altered with a new actress. Because of the daily pressures, Ilene and I worked through on the show, we developed a bond and it's going to be tough as 'h' to acclimate to a new partner."

One of today's scenes involves the transfer of Nancy Addison (Jill Beaulac) from an ambulance after a shattering accident that cost her the life of her son. Nancy doesn't have dialogue. An unconscious Jill isn't required to do anything but keep her eyes from fluttering. Addison is resting on her stomach when director Jerry Evans cajoles, "It's your scene, Nancy. Turn over and let's see your better side."

Addison later reveals that she's using this relatively light-active onscreen period to devote her energies to the 75th anniversary of the American Humane Society. She's corralling other serial performers to be special guests for a benefit at Studio 54 in Manhattan in late March.

Within two hours a complete taped episode will be "in the can." Tomorrow's cast will assemble for a reading of the next episode of RYAN'S HOPE, and audiences will tune in tomorrow.

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