When Marcy Walker
and A Martinez reunited on stage at the seventh annual Soap Opera Update Awards this
September, it seemed as if nothing had changed since they'd last played supercouple Eden
and Cruz. But just the fact that the very private actress was there in the first place
demonstrated that things have changed. "I hadn't been to a function in so long that
people had stopped inviting me," says the soap veteran, now back as Liza on All My
Children after an 11-year absence. "Now I'm feeling like I can go back out
And why shouldn't she feel that way?
everything seems to be going rihgt for the actress. First, she recently starred in the
well-recieved ABC movie, Sudden Terror, a part she landed without even having to audition.
"I had auditioned for these producers for another project. And then they came to me
all these years later," says Walker, "It was very flattering."
The other piece of good news: She's having
a ball playing Liza, a character she originated 14 years ago who currently is facing the
difficult quandary of having too many men in her life--Adam and Tad (and now Jake, too!).
"Working with David Canary and Michael E. Knight is a dream come true...I feel very
lucky." Walker wasn't feeling lucky a few years ago. After leaving Santa Barbara the
year before it was canceled in 1993, the actress did an unfulfilling ght now he's just
having fun banging on his drum set." SOU Dec. 10, 1996two-year stint as Tangie on
Guiding Light where she felt more like a trophy than an actor. Certain performers, seh
says, "can bring a show validity or interest in the press, but it doesn't serve the
actor. They end up taking the job under the guise of being used as part of the repertoire
and then they're not used. That show didn't need me. I knew I was being asked to join AMC
because of what I do, and not because of who I am." Not many wuld argue that Walker's
reputation precedes her. But there's one person who could care less that she was a part of
one of the greatest soap couples of all time--her son. "Sometimes I do wonder if he
knows what I do," says Walker of her seven year old son, Taylor. "Maybe when
he's older he can actually benefit from it."
by Janet Giovanelli
Marcy Walker on Liza Colby
Liza Colby has spent most of her adult
life looking for someone to love her for who she really is - even if she doesn't know who
that is, says AMC's Marcy Walker of her alter ego. "She's your career-oriented,
type-A woman, constantly going for the gold, not caring if you burn out to get it,"
Marcy declares. "But in the rat race she's created for herself, she's basically put
herself aside. Liza longs to be loved - I think that's her constant drive," Marcy
adds. "She thinks about Noah and Julia and Hayley and Mateo and how incredible it
must be to be loved like that." Liza, who left Pine Valley in disgrace years ago, has
made a triumphant return. "What she'd become while she was gone was very much about
advancing herself. That was a way for her to become important and respected. She was also
interested in squashing Tad like a bug," the actress adds. "She wanted to show
him, 'You hurt me when I was 18, but you can't hurt me now, because I'm your boss. I'm
smarter than you.'
But when she got back to Pine Valley, she
saw that Tad had become all the things she never thought he'd be - successful, a loving
husband and a good father." Marcy thinks Liza has always loved Tad - as much as she
knows how to love - but never respected him until now. Returning to Pine Valley has also
meant facing her greatest fear. "Liza's terrified that she's going to end up just
like her mother Marian - an older woman desperately looking for somebody to tell her she's
pretty and that he loves her," Marcy explains. "Although she loves her mother,
she doesn't like or respect her." Liza's recent cancer scare "didn't transform
her, but did make her reevaluate her priorities" Marcy adds. "She realized that
Tad was her supportive friend. He was a lot of things her mother could never be - things
her father always was."
The Beginning of an Actress
"I was 17 years old when I started
the business. I had just graduated high school, which I think is really important to do...
"I got out of high school and I
didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I knew that I'd always loved acting, and I
thought that I might want to become a teacher and teach drama. I had been so inspired by
the teachers I had in high school. I went to five different high schools, so it wasn't any
one person-- it was a collective experience. I was lucky. I came from a very lower middle
class family. We didn't have the money to send me to college. I was living in southern
Illinois at the time with my parents. I had just graduated high school and I had taken a
job working at a mall in St. Louis. I thought, "Well, maybe I can get a work-study
program at the local college, a community college, because I didn't have the money to go
to college. But maybe I could work on campus and then I could go to school part-time and
work part-time." And I put in a call to the theater dean because I figured,
"Well, I'll have a meeting with him, and I'll see if he has any advice for me because
this is what I really love, being in the theater, but I don't know what my next step is.
"In terms of my faith, the faith that
I grew up with, I really feel that a higher power has guided me because it is luck and it
is faith that got me at the right place at the right time. I was going to go to this
meeting with the theater dean. I didn't have a car. My aunt was going to drive me. Her car
broke down. I had to reschedule the meeting for the next week. so I went in that next
week-- I borrowed a friend's car and I drove there-- and when I walked in the door I
introduced myself, and he got a phone call. And that phone call was from an old student of
his. He hadn't even really met me yet or talked to me or got into my discussion of what I
thought life should be about or whatever. This person on the phone was an assistant to a
casting director in New York. They were coming to southern Illinois to shoot a Hallmark
Hall of Fame movie and they were going to do some local casting of extras. he asked, do
they have some people who are involved in the college who would do these kinds of parts,
and they would be here for two days in a couple of weeks, and by the way, do you know
anybody who could play a 17-year-old Southern belle? And the dean said, "Well, I have
somebody sitting in my office right now and she looks like she can play the part. I don't
know if she can act and blah blah blah, and do you mind-- I'll give him your phone
number." He gave him my phone number. They called me and I went in, I auditioned and
I got the part.
"Here I am, 17 years old, living in
southern Illinois. I don't have the money to go to college. I'm in the right place at the
right time and I get this opportunity. Out of all the people they interviewed in L.A. and
New York, I was given this opportunity. I can't say I did a great audition but in terms of
who I was, in terms of being vulnerable and really green and totally lost in the world--
that's what they wanted and that's what they got. It was an opportunity for me at that
time to go and do something I'd always wanted to do. Then I was given during that
experience of doing this movie a great amount of advice from the casting director and the
director. It launched me into knowing that I could do what I'd always loved doing."
Moving to New York and living in a girls'
residence, Marcy found herself an agent. She starred in over 40 national television
commercials, and nine months later landed the role of Liza Colby on All My Children.
"I was just shy of 18 years old and I
give my parents credit. They had no clue what I was getting myself into, but they trusted
that I had good guidance."
Liza was"the one on the outside who
created all the manipulations. And I remember [Kim Delaney and Larry Lau (Jenny and
Greg)]doing photo session after photo session, interview after interview. They were just
splashed everywhere and they used to really dig it-- and I remember feeling very envious
because I wasn't a heroine, I wasn't someone everybody loved. Everybody hated me. They
weren't asking for pictorals of fun little days in the park with me! And being young as I
was, it hurt that no one liked me.... It really hurt that I did't feel adknowledged. Then
I remember that third year when I got nominated for an Emmy, and none of them did... Ah,
redemption is mine!... It was a big deal. Even I knew that. All those feelings of not
belonging, all that envy didn't matter after I was nominated because what really mattered
was what my peers had said about my work-- that it was excellent. Getting nominated told
me that all the things I thought the business was about wasn't really what it was about.
It was about the work. And I've always carried that with me."
When Marcy joined the cast of Santa
Barbara, leaving All My Children in 1984, it was her turn to be the leading lady. As Eden
Capwell, she was half of the ever popular and romantic couple Eden and Cruz.
"I know that we were the No. 1 focus
all those years. People really loved that couple, we had volumes of good stories, we were
the first two anyone wanted to photograph. I know all that to be true. But if you sifted
it all down, the most precious part wasn't the recognition, the magazine covers, the Emmy,
it was what I got to do every day with A [Martinez]. I could be in the No. 1 spot at AMC
and it wouldn't be as magical and precious or as satisfying... I had that, and I had it
where I was supposed to have it."
After a successful stint on Santa Barbara,
Marcy decided to make a career choice and leave the show to venture into her unknown--
prime time. Although the series she left Santa Barbara for wasn't a hit, Marcy continued
to work on an innumerable amount of pilots and made-for-TV movies. CBS stored faith in her
by giving her a development deal, yet the roles offered didn't appeal to her.
"...At the time of my development
deal, I remember looking at the list of CBS projects that were available to me and there
was only one-- Nick's Game, with Richard Grieco-- that had a strong woman. And I remember
the people at CBS saying to me, "If you don't take this one, there's nothing
else." And I remember thinking, "I really hate being in this position: Do the
part of the chick lawyer who chases after the cool guy-- or be paid off and do nothing at
all." Well, I don't want to be paid off, I want to do the work. And I had it much
easier than actresses without development deals-- it put me in the game without having to
do a Riverdance to be seen. But there's nothing about a development deal that says the
material is actually going to be any good.
"The whole nighttime thing reminded
me that I do not enjoy auditioning. I enjoy acting. I've never been a fan of dressing up
in a big black suit in 98-degree L.A. weather, going into a room and trying to strut my
stuff for a director or producer by reading a scene with somebody's assistant who could
care less about how they read the material. The whole experience rubbed me the wrong way.
It's all about the process, not the work-- it's about what you look like, it's about going
to the right cocktail parties. I don't enjoy it.
An Unstable Return
and Full Recovery
Looking to move back into daytime, Marcy
was given the role of Tangie Hill on CBS's Guiding Light. Unfortunatley for her, this was
not a triumphant return to the business she began in.
"GL was an odd situation in that I
was playing a character that neither I nor they had a clue about. No one could explain
her... there I am trying to figure out how Tangie fits in. And she never fit in. It feels
like a missing page in a photo album. I know that time passed, but there's nothing to
really show for it. When people ask, "What shows have you done?," I feel like
not wanting to include GL as part of my acting repertoire because I really didn't do
anything there. I got to meet some great people...but I never really felt like I belonged.
I never really felt I fit in... I decided on something early on: I thought, "Now, I
could get very angry about this and point the finger, or I can try to figure out why I'm
really here." I mean, there had to be something bigger than my just being brought in
to be a disaster. There had to be a bigger gift than this... I became a much better
listener when I was there, which was something you hope for as an actor. And being there
on such a back burner required me to invest more, pay more attention, find something that
was worthy in every single day. I would listen to other people's [directorial] notes and
see how they would apply them... I feel embarassed or humble by how I approached it, but
it was good that I was able to do that. Because otherwise it could have been just
During her time as Tangie, Marcy recieved
the opportunity to be in an independent film called "Talking About Sex" with Kim
Wayans and Jack Nichalson.
In 1995, she reprised the role that gave
her a name in daytime. All My Children brought back the infamous Liza Colby, Marcy feels
she has come home again.
"One of the most overused phrases in
daytime is, 'We're like family,' but it's so true, because families bicker and fight, and
have jealousy and envy, and support and love, and embrace and comfort, and you learn your
lessons from your family. It's the greatest roots you can have."
Life at home
Marcy currently resides in a suburb of
North Carolina with her son, Taylor and husband Doug.