Saturday, April 10, 2010

FLASHBACK: Roscoe Born 1990


By Nancy M. Reichardt
United Feature Syndicate
November 12, 1990

When the producers of the daytime soap SANTA BARBARA initially approached actor Roscoe Born about portraying twins, he didn't exactly jump at the idea. Born felt that his Robert Barr character was complex enough.

But his opinion soon changed when the story line of Quinn, Robert's long-lost British brother was described to him in greater detail.

"Playing twins was something I'd never done before," says Born. "I had never even thought about it. I thought it would be fun. And I knew I wouldn't get bored."

So far, Born hasn't been disappointed. He has come to enjoy both personalities immensely and relishes bringing them to life. The hardest part of the job for Born is "staying with the accent when I'm playing Quinn and losing the accent when I'm playing Robert."

Nowadays, the actor jokes that he has a new goal. "I'd love to play quads."

A role with substance is what appeals most to Born. Over the years, he has brought a number of daytime characters to life. RYAN'S HOPE viewers will remember him as charismatic mobster Joe Novak (1981- 83).

"I liked that character a lot, but he was hard to play," says Born. "The whole second year that I was there, Joe was estranged from his wife Siobhan. I think Marg Helgenberger (who played Siobhan on RYAN'S HOPE and stars in the prime-time series CHINA BEACH) is an amazing actress. I was very drawn to her as (Joe), but wasn't able to be with her because of the story. The writers kept us apart all the time. It was painful for me to play that stuff. I internalized a lot of it. I didn't get to resolve things that I wanted to resolve and took it personally to a certain extent."

His next role was on ONE LIFE TO LIVE as shady preacher Mitch Lawrence. "Nothing will take away from the work I did on that show," says Born. "The writing was excellent, and I worked with really good actors. And I thought it was very timely. We did the phony preacher/ born-again thing long before Jimmy and Tammy Bakker were exposed, before the problems with Jimmy Swaggart and all that stuff. Mitch was funny, creepy and threatening all at the same time. I got to exercise my mischievous fantasies,"

As the only member of his family to pursue a career in show business, Born insists that his parents took the news quite well. "It was no problem," he says. "They were very supportive. I told them after I decided I wanted to act and then dropped out of college. One of their friends suggested I go down to the Arena Stage, which is one of the best theaters in the country. I took their advice, got into a workshop there and appeared in a couple of plays. So that's how I started."

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