Monday, February 3, 2014

SEARCH FOR TOMORROW Actress Louan Gideon Has Passed Away

Louan Gideon
Louan Gideon passed away on Monday morning after a long battle with cancer. She is best known to soap opera fans as the final actress who played Liza Walton Sentell on NBC's SEARCH FOR TOMORROW. She also starred as Danielle Atron in THE SECRET WORLD OF ALEX MACK, as well as appearances in numerous of TV shows and films including THIRTYSOMETHING, SAVED BY THE BELL: THE NEW CLASS (as Mrs. Belding), and BEVERLY HILLS, 90210.

We felt there was no better tribute to Gideon than speaking to some of her closest friends. We Love Soaps spoke ask Ms. Gideon's SEARCH FOR TOMORROW co-stars--Marcia McCabe (Sunny Adamson) and Nelson Aspen (Albert Prange)--to talk about their longtime friendships.

WE LOVE SOAPS: What was your fondest memory of working with Louan on SEARCH FOR TOMORROW?

MARCIA MCCABE: Memories of GGGGGGGGGGGG. [and I was her MMMMMMMMMMM. Our little nicknames for each other.]

When Louan came on the scene at "SEARCH" to replace Sherry Mathis as "Liza" I knew I was in for a treat!  Although Sherry was lovely and a consummate actress, she was a bit remote and not social at all. Louan was so friendly, upbeat and had that warm southern charm and we became instant pals.

Lou was so healthy and encouraged me to join the gym near the studio, so we could work out together. Prior to her arrival, I was skinny but not in great shape. I credit her with starting me on a path to a healthier lifestyle!

We had fun working out together and often went out on the town together too! Her friend Monty Zulo ran Maxim's and it was a hot spot in NYC that we frequented. Her room mate at the time, Julia Flesher worked for Valentino and years later married David Koch, one of the richest men in NYC!!

We had crazy story lines on the show including the flood of the town of "Henderson" in 1985 and of course the end of the show in 1986 which was so sad. But thankfully, the seeds of friendship planted there, bloomed and lived on.

Louan Gideon and Nelson Aspen
NELSON ASPEN: Louan and I were friends before SFT (we actually met on the set of OLTL!). I was working in the SFT Production Office when they were "secretly" recasting the role of Liza Sentell after Sherry Mathis quit. The audition was a "Liza/Hogan stranded on an island" scene and I privately briefed Louan on the whole backstory of the characters' relationship. That extra bit of insight into "Liza" helped her prepare for the audition and win the role!

Finding out she landed the job was so exciting and then getting to work with her on a daily basis and further cultivate our already treasured friendship is probably my fondest SFT memory...but there were many, many--on set and off.

Just having our morning coffees in the Hair & Makeup Room while they teased and blowed her coif into 1980's "helmet head" was a fond ritual.

WE LOVE SOAPS: You obviously formed a lifelong friendship with Louan, seeing each other as recently as Nelson's 50th birthday party. What made her such a good friend to so many?

Publicist Lee Fryd, Nelson Aspen, Marcia McCabe and
Louan Gideon recreated a 1985 SFT photo at Nelson's
50th birthday party in 2013.
MARCIA MCCABE: Lou's 40th birthday was spent at Donald Trump's apartment. She and Marla [Maples] were close and we had a fabulous girl's party there to celebrate. I recall jumping into the gold fountain in the living room! She loved her girlfriends and I felt so blessed to have her in my life. She was loyal, kind, funny and so passionate about everything and everyone she cared about.

I'm still amazed at how strong she was during her illness and all the treatments, pain and uncertainty she had to deal with. No matter what, her glass was always half full.

I'm so glad that we had that special time together last June, celebrating with Nelson. She had stayed with me for a couple of days before the party,we rode on the jitney out to the Hamptons and lots of time to just be together.

I just can't believe that this amazing woman is no longer a part of our world. I shall miss her terribly and hold close to my heart all the happy memories of my wonderful, brave friend.

When I think of Louan...I think of LOVE!

NELSON ASPEN: Louan was Loyal, with a capital "L." When a showbiz gig ends, most people part ways and, even in a Facebook Age, maintaining close ties is unusual.

After SFT closed up shop in 1986, Louan and I moved to Los Angeles and picked up our friendship out there. She was not only the most VIGILANT of friends, she had a sense of adventure and humor second to none.

"Beauty" AND "the Geek!"

She'd cook up one zany scheme after the next and constantly dragged me along as a cheerleader and/or cohort. We sold vitamins in a Multi Level Marketing program...hawked the health benefits of "Magnet Therapy"...crashed the pool at the Beverly Hills Four Season Hotel. She was even a trained piano tuner at one point, lol! She introduced me to her esthetician (from whom I still get Microdermabrasion when I'm in LA), prayed with me when my parents were going through health crises, commiserated with me over ill-fated love affairs, helped me celebrate milestones and recover from setbacks. In other words, she was always a spite of distance or circumstance.

We were emailing and texting up until just days before her passing and now we will have to communicate via prayer until we're all reunited at that big Bash in the Sky. Her unwavering optimism and capacity for love are the legacy she leaves to me and so many other people whose lives she touched. I love that gal with all my heart and always will.


  1. Rest in peace, Louan. What great remembrances of her.

  2. Sorry to hear of her passing. I haven't seen very much of her work as Liza, but there's one episode after the flood where Liza and her then-husband go back to the home she'd shared with her beloved Travis, and she says, "Travis, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry this happened to us." She really gets the heartbreak across with clearness and purity.

  3. What sad news. I watched SFT religiously in its final years and really enjoyed it. Louan brought such grace to the role of Liza. I was glad to "see" her and Marcia McCabe in Nelson's 50th birthday article and photos last year -- two talented actresses who exuded warmth in each and every appearance on screen. Watching them was always as much of a treat as watching the great Mary Stuart. Condolences to Louan's family, and to Marcia and Nelson on the loss of such a good friend.

  4. This will sound ignorant, but I just saw that she passed away about 15 minutes ago. Although I know her from a completely different type of TV show (Secret World of Alex Mack), I offer my condolences. May Louan Gideon R.I.P.