Going Green! Tom Lisanti On His New Book, Ryan’s Hope: An Oral History of Daytime’s Groundbreaking Soap

New Interview on Out NW, read more here.

With this being St Patrick’s Day, I wanted to remind people that there once was a soap that would be celebrating the holiday in the most festive way possible. Even when the show, Ryan’s Hope (1975-1989), after 13 years, went off the air. Who could forget the show’s matriarch, Maeve Ryan (Played by Broadway legend, Helen Gallagher) singing the song, “Danny Boy” as the last frame faded to black.

When Tom Lisanti’s book, Ryan’s Hope: An Oral History of Daytime’s Groundbreaking Soap, came out last fall, I requested a copy, as someone with Irish roots, I started watching the show with my mom in 1976, and became an avid fan in 1980. I chatted with Lisanti’s through email this past week.

T’Pring Returns to Star Trek

Watched the first episode of Star Trek: Strange New Words (which I loved) and was most surprised to see Mr. Spock’s intended T’Pring. I thought I would pay homage to 60s starlet Arlene Martel who originated the role on the original Star Trek in “Amok Time.” Below is an excerpt from my interview with her from my McFarland & Co. book, Drive-in Dream Girls: “Every time Celia Lovsky pronounced one of the Vulcan words Bill Shatner would whisper something funny about it and get me to laugh, which was terrible to do… Of course Ms. Lovsky wasn’t aware of this. But she had difficulty pronouncing the Vulcan words. Bill was like a naughty schoolboy and suddenly I became five years old. At one point, the director[Joseph Pevney] Threatened to throw us both off the set. I have very good concentration, but Bill just broke me up.” As for Leonard Nimoy, Arlene remarked, “Leonard was rather removed. Maybe he was maintaining his character–I don’t know. Or maybe he genuinely didn’t like me.”

Carol Lynley

In 1984, Carol Lynley had one of her best TV roles on Tales of the Unexpected as an insecure older woman desperate to hold on to her young lover (MacKenzie Allen, ex-Jim Speed, Ryan’s Hope). They even off her husband so they can live off his money but her vanity does her in when the husband’s secret mistress (Randall Edwards, ex-Delia, Ryan’s Hope) plots with her boy toy against her.

In my recent interview with Randall Edwards for a book on Ryan’s Hope, she remarked, “I was in awe of Carol Lynley and thought she was amazing. I could not believe I was doing a TV show with her. We did not have a lot of social interaction but she was very professional and was like what people have said about me—internally doing their work and staying in this little bubble. She was absolutely lovely.” Read more about the episode in my BearManor Media book Carol Lynley: Her Film & TV Career in Thrillers, Fantasy & Suspense.

The patsy.
The boy toy
The vengeful mistress