This week marks
Marcy Walker's final appearance on Santa Barbara - as personality No. 4. Playing multiple
personalities has been no small feat, even for an Emmy-winning actress.
For the past six months, viewers have seen
the once staid and steady Eden Capwell Castillo split - literally. Overnight, SB's most
dependable, predictable heroine developed a disposition that threw viewers, as well as a
few co-stars, for a loop.
"Frank Runyeon (Michael) once came up
to me and said, 'Seeing Eden like this is like seeing Mr. Rogers do drugs,'" laughs
Suddenly, cast mates with whom the actress
had worked closely during her six years on the show reacted to her as if she were a
complete stranger. "A (Martinez, Cruz), Judith (McConnell, Sophia), and Jed (Allan,
C.C.) all looked at me like I was somebody else in our scenes together," says Walker.
"That was really freaky. As an actress, it's very difficult, because they're looking
back at you like they don't even know you."
Yet, Walker understand their reactions to
the blatantly brusque Lisa. "If somebody was having such horrific mood swings right
in front of your eyes, you'd watch them differently," she says. "It's completely
justified that these other characters are going to wonder, 'What in the hell is wrong with
Walker's "altered" alter ego,
Lisa, came into being as a result of Eden's unresolved past relationship with her mother.
The trouble began when Sophia disappeared, and everyone believed she was dead.
"That's the period when Lisa decided
to emerge," explains Walker. "Eden had all this anger toward her mother about
cheating on her father, when she was a kid. That's when the personality split sort of
happened; then it submerged itself and went into remission for a long period of time.
"Emotionally, I completely
comprehended why [Eden] decided not to deal with her anger and why she even had the anger
to begin with," she continues. "Eden had always been the catalyst in the Capwell
family in terms of trying to keep people loving each other and happy. She's always been
supportive of the family unit, regardless of the problems and the pitfalls they've gone
"When the storyline came up, it was
so wierd. Eden's been so sweet and nice and settled. She had problems but has always
overcome them. Now to have seen her being all freaked out...," Walker says, her voice
Watching Eden "lose it" was hard
on Walker. "It was sad knowing there had been so much unrequited love for her family
and for herself in her life... that all of her support and love for her family was
conditional... that everything I'd done for the past six years as Eden had really, truly
been conditional love."
To ensure she didn't step over the line as
an actor, Walker researched multiple-personalities disorder thoroughly. "The writers
compiled a lot of medical history on schizophrenia and split personalities," says
Walker, who studied every bit of it. "I've also re-read The Three Faces of Eve and
"I tried not to watch other people's
performances," she notes. "I just tried to read up on cases so I could get some
ideas. Obviously we've taken some dramatic license."
Walker's research into this subject made
her aware of occassional flaws in her own on-air story. "Lisa was stronger than Eden.
She's the strongest personality of any that Eden had. So Lisa plays Eden in front of her
mother, father and Cruz a lot, although not very well at times," explains Walker.
"In true cases, the strongest personality rarely emerges to play host in front of the
family. It just wouldn't happen. Lisa would never emerge in front of her family, because
she'd feel she couldn't pull it off."
Walker also made note of the actual
documented transition from personality to personality. "In real life cases, it
happens for minutes," she explains. "[Patients] go through sort of a trembling
phase of becoming somebody else. There's a very unconscious lapse of being that they go
through. We don't have the time to do that here."
Instead, Walker devised her own subtle
ways of letting the audience know that Eden was transforming into Lisa and visa versa.
"Obviously, the [on-screen] transition had to be quick, because we didn't have lots
of time," she says. "I started off with headaches. Then there was something I
did with my neck. When I came out of it [as Lisa], the position I put my eyelids in was
somewhat different and so was the way I held my head to elongate my neck. Lisa also liked
to play with her face and her hair.
"I didn't really like Lisa at
all," Walker admits. "She was this shade of Eden... a part of Eden... sort of
half-Eden and half-demon. The demon half was all anger and hatred. I don't think I missed
that [when I was] playing Eden. That's not what Eden was all about."
Walker was concerned about how the split
personality would affect the integrity of the Eden/Cruz pairing and the character of Cruz.
"The thing I wanted to be most careful about was that Cruz not be made to look like
an idiot," she explains. "He knew Eden better than anyone. That she would go
through these things in front of him, turn on him as Eden, say the things that she did to
him as Lisa, and that he not be aware that something was seriously wrong, I thought that
would be demoralizing to the character. I wanted to make sure that the personality changes
"Then, there was also the anger
thing... Lisa being blatantly angry at Cruz at certain points," she continues.
"That was difficult, because I'd like to think that all that stuff done in the past
between Cruz and Eden has been real, legit and right on the money."
However, as viewers know, both Eden and
Lisa are gone, a decision triggered by the producers' choice not to re-cast Walker when
she leaves. Instead Eden, who was last seen going off a cliff, has taken on the
personality of Suzanne Collier, an artist who was a friend of Eden's in England many years
ago. For Walker, it meant the chance of portray yet another side of Eden and to be a
brunette. "The wig has been such a pain in the butt," she says. "First of
all, my hair has to be stuffed under this cap before I can ever put the thing on. When I
do, it's been like wearing this big German shepherd on my head."
As fate would have it, the emergence of
Suzanne was most untimely. No sooner had the plot twist been scripted, than Walker landed
a starring role on the upcoming CBS series Palace Guard. Her inevitable departure from SB
left the show's writers in a quandary - how to neatly wrap up the actress' last weeks.
Walker readily admits that portraying Suzanne "was not my favorite way to leave the
show, but I realize that it had to be this way because of storyline. I think when fans
learned that I was leaving the show, they wanted to see as much Cruz and Eden as they
could. I would have liked to play out their romance and their relationship - I think it
would have been a nice gift to the audience. But unfortunately, that just couldn't
The character of Suzanne then turns into a
fourth personality, that of Eden's late brother, Channing. It is as Channing that Eden
leaves SB. (His/her departure does leave the door wide open for a Walker return.) There
had been some talk about recasting, a sensitive subject.
"They've got to keep the show on an
even keel," Walker says. "They thought that Eden's leaving would have a
detrimental effect on the other characters. But I think [the writers] got a taste of the
audience's dissatisfaction and decided not to recast and leave the door open. If the show
(Palace Guard) doesn't work, I can always come back; I'm not averse to that. [Ed. note:
The real Suzanne comes to SB in a few weeks when Terri Garber arrives on the show.]
While she looks forward to tackling her
first nighttime series, Walker admits she's not really excited about it yet. "Right
now I'm in a quagmire of emotions. It's been difficult to know that my last day here is
coming. I'll get excited about the other project as it gets closer, but it's hard knowing
I'll have to say goodbye."
Finally, a farewell postscript to her
fans: "Thanks for giving me such a gift and for all your friendships - hopefully they
can continue." * - Janet Di Lauro
Save the last kiss for them
Santa Barbara and Cruz and Eden have been
practically synonymous since the show premiered in 1984. They have more than earned their
super couple status. Their pairing was an unusual as Eden was the upper-class blonde and
Cruz the tough Latino from the wrong side of the tracks. But they kept with super couple
tradition by experiencing plenty of problems before and after marriage, including car
crashes, falls from cliffs, marriages to others, trips into a shark tank, return of past
loves, paralysis, false arrests and convictions, amnesia, miscarriages, infertility, rape
and, most recently, multiple-personality disorder.
Cruz and Eden's love story was one of the
greatest in daytime history, but all good things must come to an end. * - Hope S.
Soap Opera Weekly
July 30, 1991