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SOU Interview: “Four Of ABC’s Brightest Stars”

Part of “Old Info And News”

December 13, 1994

SOU121394.jpgDo you know who these gorgeous women are? They’re four of ABC’s brightest stars, and we dress them in holyday fashions in our next issue.

Soap Opera Update invited One Life To Live’s Kassie Wesley (Blair) and Stephanie Williams (Sheila) to join Loving’s Elizabeth Mitchell (Dinah Lee) and Laura Sick (Ally) to romp through Macy’s department store in knock ’em-dead fashions. The results are a colourful pictorial on what the well-dresed woman should be wearing this holiday season. “I’m usually so simple, so this is something completely different than me,” smiles Mitchell, while co-star Sick admits, “When I do get to dress up for an occasion, I love it.” Wesley reveals, “I look best and feel most comfortable in the less-glitz and the more classic look,” though Willilams states, “Most of the stuff that we wear as actress and celebrities, I don’t have the courage to wear.” There’s so much more in the next issue.

Soap Opera Update

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SOW Interview: “Loving’s Dinah Is Put To The Tess”

Part of “Old Info And News”

December 13, 1994

EMlov3.jpgLoving’s Dinah Lee is put to the tess
Tess is in very big trouble when Dinah Lee learns the real story behind Buck’s airplane accident.

Tess has a lot of explaining to do this week on Loving when Curtis and Dinah Lee realize she’s kept mum about Curtis’ involvement in Buck’s plane crash.

The week begins with tensions running high between Tess and Dinah Lee: D-L calls Tess on the continued efforts to make Buck feel guilty about the plane crash, forcing Tess to justify herself. Later, Tess fumes when Buck opts to stay with Dinah Lee rather than go home with Tess.

According to Elizabeth Mitchell (Dinah Lee), “Dinah Lee had given everybody a clean slate, because she’s sort of relearning everyone. She looked at Tess as being fine. Then, all of a sudden, she overhears this conversation and sees Tess tearing him down and Buck going down, and she gets really angry. She knows that Tess is up to something, but she can’t quite put her finger on what it is.”

Things go from bad to worse for Tess when a newly freed Jeremy tells Tess and Gwyn that Curtis was responsible for Buck’s accident. Of course, this isn’t news to Tess. “At that point, Tess doesn’t say anything,” Catherine Hickland (Tess) explains. “She can’t. She’s completely flipped out because she knows the cat is out of the bag, and it’s all going to come crashing down on her head.”

Tess then goes to see Curtis, hoping to silence him before he can tell Dinah lee that he is the guilty party. “She gets there too late,” Hickland says.

Curtis has already confessed his misdeeds to Dinah Lee. When D-L asks why he didn’t tell anyone before this, Curtis explains that he confessed to Tess weeks ago, and told her to tell everyone. Enter Tess. According to Hickland, “Tess stands up for what she thinks is right, and Dinah Lee stands up for what she thinks. It’s not a pleasant exchange, by any means. Tess has to justify her actions, and that’s not easy. Every time a character does something that’s not right they have to justify it – if not in their own mind, then to all those they’ve deceived.”

According to Mitchell, “I think the hurt goes so deep for Dinah Lee that she’s just thinking about the nearest thing that doesn’t hurt, and that’s Buck. She’s glad that Buck doesn’t have to feel guilty.  It’s righteous anger for Dinah Lee. At this point, she’s not even thinking about having lost the baby.”

Hickland feels this incident will trigger a change in Tess. “I think she’s been far gone for a while, regarding her feelings for Buck. This situation, Buck’s reaction when he finds out Tess knew about the accident, is devastating. I believe Tess will be going back to what she knows best – being bitter.”

Soap Opera Weekly

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SOW Interview: Return to Mayberry – Loving’s Elizabeth Mitchell

Part of “Old Info And News”

November 22, 1994

returntomb.jpgReturn to Mayberry
Loving’s Elizabeth Mitchell

CHARACTER: Dinah Lee Mayberry, Trucker’s fiancée, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a plane crash.

BORN AND REARED: “I was born in Los Angeles, but raised in Dallas.”

FAMILY ALBUM: “I have two parents and two little sisters, who I’m just nutty about. One of them, Kristie, just made 1450 on her SATs. The other one, Kate, is 13. And I have a cat, Thomas.”

BACKSTORY: “I went to an arts high school, kind of like [the school on] Fame, and we had colleges come and watch us perform. From there I was drafted to go to Stephens College (in Columbia, Mo.) I graduated in three years because I doubled up on classes, and I did summer stock during the summer. Then I went to London and did a little Chekhow, a little Shakespeare, and tried to get my voice in order. After that I came home and did some regional theater, got my union cards, did a gig on Dangerous Curves, and then decided I was ready for New York, I moved here about a year ago.”

THE CORPSE HAD A FAMILIAR FACE: “I did a small show off-off-Broadway – Red Channel, at the Theatre for the New City. I also did an episode of The Cosby Mysteries, I played a corpse, but it’s the main corpse. My mom wrote my sister Kate at camp, ‘I think that Liz playing a corpse is an important step forward in her career’?”

QUIET ON THE SET: “My first day was interesting. It was a small scene with Robert (Tyler, Trucker) in the video store. He had seen my screen test, so I didn’t feel like I hade to prove anything. Anyway, at the end of that scene, he picks me up and carries me out – but as he carried me out we ran into a wall I burst out laughing.”

DINAH LEE’S DISABILITY: “Her injuries are problematic for a long time. The brain embolus has created all kinds of memory problems and speech problems, and basically she’s regressed… she’s very childlike. There’s an innocence there that I think is interesting to play, and now that she is beginning to speak a little better, the part is getting interesting.”

MACROBIOTIC MAMA: “I’m macrobiotic. I get my food delivered once a week. They make everything to my specification and I swear it’s cheaper than regular grocery shopping – and I lost 25 pounds [after I went macrobiotic]. I’ve been a stage actress my whole life [so my weight] never mattered; I never thought about being thin. Being macrobiotic changed that and made me eligible for other roles, and that’s nice. I’m into seaweed these days.”

THE WORK ETHIC: “The idea of working is so lovely to me. It was so exciting to know that I got this part, because acting is so exciting to me. It’s a thrill, otherwise I wouldn’t do it. Not to be hokey, but I think life is definitely worth living, whether you’re working or not. For an actor, the character in the thing… it doesn’t matter what medium you’re in, as long as you have something to do.”

Soap Opera Weekly

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Soap Opera Update Interview

Part of “Old Info And News”

November 15, 1994

LOVING elizabeth mitchell.jpgReplacements

Two new faces, two old roles: Elizabeth Mitchell has become Loving’s new Dinah Lee #2 and Wendee Pratt has given One Life To Live’s Andy a complete transformation. Can replacing an old favourite be hard for a new actress? Read on!

Elizabeth Mitchell portrays Dinah Lee Mayberry Alden on Loving.

For some viewers who weren’t aware that Jessica Collins (Dinah Lee) was leaving the show, it was undoubtedly a shock when they tuned in one day and found a complete “stranger” in her hospital bed! The new Dinah Lee, Elizabeth Mitchell, acknowledges how unnerving this kind of “switcheroo” can be for a fan. “It’s like your sister all of a sudden becomes somebody else!” she says. “All of a sudden she’s got dark hair! I watch One Life To Live. And I remember every time someone new would come on, we’d be like, ‘Oh, look at her! Oh my gosh!’ And what’s so strange is that all the other characters react to her as if nothing changed.”

Which means, in order for the viewers to feel comfortable with the change, there’s a lot of “water under the bridge” that Mitchell has to absorb. Which can be a challenge in itself. “It’s hard because (Dinah Lee and Trucker) have had such a relationship… and then all of a sudden here I am,” explains Mitchell, “I walk onto the set and we’ve been friends forever, and now we’re terribly in love and I just lost the baby…”

But Mitchell gives her co-star Robert Tyler (Trucker) a lot of credit for making this potentially awkward situation extremely easy on her. She relates, “When I first came on, he said ‘I’m sorry that you have to just throw yourself into this.’ He couldn’t have been sweeter and more sensitive about it.” Since they get along so well in real life, Mitchell explains that she was able to go into her scenes, “as if that feeling of closeness (between Dinah Lee and Trucker) was already there. Robert made the transition a lot easier.”

Although Mitchell admits that stepping into someone else’s shoes can be intimidating (especially when the someone is as popular as her predecessor), she is ready to make the role her own… and asks that you give her a chance. “I went to a wedding yesterday and I talked to a lot of people who had watched the show forever,” the Texans native says, “I got all kinds of different reactions… but what I heard a lot was, ‘Well you’re different, but we enjoy watching you too.”

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David Lee Smith About Elizabeth

Part of “Old Info And News”

David Lee Smith talks about Elizabeth during an interview.

November 15, 1994

EMlov1.jpgScene Stealers
OLTL‘s David Lee Smith has made a smooth transition to soaps, the city, and new-found celebrity

Before David Lee Smith moved to New York City from Dallas a little more than two years ago, he learned all he needed to know about Manhattan from a Lou Reed album titled, appropriately enough, New York. “He sings, ‘I’ll take Manhattan in a garbage bag with Latin written on the side that says, “It’s hard to give a s— these days.”‘ When I came here I kind of looked around and said, ‘He’s right; Lou didn’t lie,'” says Smith, who admits to having a love/hate relationship with the city. “There are a lot of great things about New York, and there are a lot of awful things.” Among the great things are Smith’s steady relationship with actress Elizabeth Mitchell (Dinah Lee, Loving), and his role as wisecrackin’ physical therapist Brent Sutton on One Life To Live.

Read more…

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SOW | Great Review About Elizabeth’s Performance On Loving

Part of “Old Info And News”

November 8, 1994

EMLov2.jpgLoving: As I wrote here only two weeks ago, Loving is better right now that it’s ever been – more creative and, to say the least, more adventure-some. What I admire about the show are the choices being made by its production team.

It took all of two episodes for Elizabeth Mitchell to impress as the new Dinah Lee. Her lovely natural aura is quite special.

Soap Opera Weekly

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Soap Opera Digest Interview | Meet Loving’s new Dinah Lee

Part of “Old Info And News”

September 13, 1994

EMcasting.jpgMeet Loving‘s new Dinah Lee

After a whirlwind casting search, Loving execs have chosen Elizabeth Mitchell to replace Jessica Collins as Dinah Lee Mayberry Alden. Mitchell started taping on August 12;  she’ll start airing September 9.

Although the Texan raised actress is new today-time, she wasn’t nervous during her audition. “I tested with Robert Tyler [Trucker] and he couldn’t have made things easier. We were kind of on the same wavelength,” Mitchell recalls. Also at the screen test was Jessica Collins. Was that awkward? “Oh, not at all,” Mitchell laughs, “I can’t tell you how sweet she was.”

It’s been a good month for Mitchell, who learned that she had the job shortly after her boyfriend, David Lee Smith was cast as Luna’s physical therapist, Brent Sutton, on One Life To Live. “We found out within a week of each other,” she laughs. “We’re the ABC kids.”

Mitchell has been learning as much as she can about Dinah Lee and so far, she likes what she sees, “I think because Jessica Collins was so popular, the writers wrote an incredible character for her. I have so much material at my disposal, which is wonderful. So although I’m nervous, it’s kind of exciting.”

“There’s a lot of optimism around here,” nods Randolph Mantooth (Alex). “The Aldens are back and we’ve got a great actress playing Dinah Lee. Mark my words – this girl is good.”

Soap Opera Digest

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