FLASHBACK: Mother Daughter Relationships - An "Imitation of Life" on Daytime TV (Part 2)

On Love of Life, Meg Hart (Tudi Wiggins) had an affair with
business associate Rick Latimer (Jerry Lacy).  When Rick fell
in love with Meg's daughter (then, Deborah Courtney), it was the
start of a long-running storyline that nearly ended in tragedy.
Mother Daughter Relationships: An "Imitation of Life" on Daytime TV

The Soap Box
Vol. IV No. 1 January 1979

(continued from Part 1)

Certainly, Jill and Erica contradict the proverb from Ezekiel XVI:44, "As the mother, so is the daughter." One might have expected daughters like these from a mother like Meg Hart on Love of Life.

Meg had an affair with a business associate, Rick Latimer. When Rick fell in love with her daughter, Cal, it was the start of a long-running storyline that nearly ended in tragedy. Meg tried to undercut Cal and Rick's relationship, playing both sides against the middle. When that failed, she plotted a phony suicide attempt for their wedding day; her plan nearly backfired. Although Meg didn't die, she did succeed in forcing a postponement of her daughter's wedding. After the marriage took place, she continued to come on to Rick, and had nearly succeeded in separating them permanently before they reconciled and moved to Quebec.

In a disturbed dream about her crumbling marriage,
Addie Williams (Patricia Barry) finds herself in a
tug-of-war with her own daughter (Susan Seaforth Hayes)
for the possession of Addie's husband (Bill Hayes)
on Days of our Lives.
A similar situation, albeit one with an usual twist, occurred on Days of our Lives: Before her death, Addie Olson married con-man Doug Williams, who was also interested in her daughter, Julie Olson Banning Anderson. After years of personal turmoil, Julie married Doug—putting her in the unusual situation of being married to her ex-stepfather and raising her own half-sister, Hope, Addie and Doug's daughter.

On Another World, mothers and daughters in conflict are at the core of several important storylines.

A few years ago, Marianne Randolph became pregnant by a boyfriend who deserted her; her mother, Pat, felt she was reliving her own teenage nightmare: The same thing had happened to her years before. After the bargain—Pat hoped she could protect her daughter from making the same mistakes she had where men and love were concerned.

In a clumsy attempt to save Marianne from marrying Greg Barnard, a dishonest cad who was using the girl to get close to her mother (the woman he really loved), Pat led Greg on, hoping Marianne would see the kind of man he was. When Pat's plan began to get out of hand, she told Greg what she'd been doing all along. He vowed revenge. He told Marianne he'd played along with her mother so he could keep the job she had gotten him, but that he had finally decided to "dump" her. Marianne fell for his line and agreed to marry him. Pat went to Greg's apartment to beg him to leave Marianne. Greg forced himself on Pat, who stabbed him to death in self-defense.

Marianne told everyone she intended to get even with her mother, who she believed competed with her for Greg's love, killing him when he rejected her. Pat was quite shaken by the whole incident, but she held herself together fairly well until Marianne told her she would testify for the prosecution to make sure Pat was punished. That sent Pat into a deep depression. She could cope with anything but the rejection of her daughter.

For as long as Another World viewers have known her, Iris Carrington Bancroft has been a snob, intolerant of people whose backgrounds and "breeding" failed to measure up to her lofty standards. Iris' father is wealthy publisher, Mackenzie Cory. Her mother, Emily, died when she was very young. Iris had gone the route of exclusive boarding schools, fashionable summer camps, and trips abroad. She married a highly respected newspaper columnist; later she married an architect; and finally she wed a well-to-do lawyer.

Several months ago, Mac accidentally told Iris that she had been adopted, that her natural parentage was unknown. For a woman like Iris, there could have been no more cruel a punishment. Without her "superior heredity" as a crutch, she literally fell apart. Her husband, Brian, felt that if her natural mother could be found, it would help Iris to erase her sense of shame and resume an active life. At first, Iris was terrified—even repulsed— by the thought of coming face-to-face with "some horrible creature." But when a mutual friend located a woman who was searching for the daughter she had given up many years before, Iris was persuaded to meet her.

Both women were tentative with each other, but Iris was soon taken with the woman known only as "Cornelia." In fact, when she inadvertently discovered that "Cornelia" was actually a very wealthy society matron, she was thrilled, and bragged to friends about the marvelous mother she had found after all these years. As it turned out, Cornelia Exeter got proof that Iris wasn't her daughter after all. For Iris, this was a terrible setback. She vowed not to meet any more "mothers" because she couldn't stand another disappointment.

When Brian located fashion designer Sylvie Kosloff—the woman who actually is her mother—Iris refused to meet her. With the help of Brian and her son, Dennis, Iris finally met and accepted Sylvie and set about establishing the kind of mother-daughter relationship most suited to her own selfish needs. Playing on Sylvie's guilty feelings and the woman's sincere desire to be close to her daughter, Iris has used her to do her dirty work: to break up Dennis' budding romance with the Countess Elena de Poulignac. Sylvie is obviously torn between doing what she knows is right—staying out of other people's business—and making up to her long-lost daughter.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Stay tuned for Part 3 of Mother Daughter Relationships: An "Imitation of Life" on Daytime TV.

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