Lynda Hirsch on Soaps: Q & A
Feb 25,2009 00:00 by Lynda_Hirsch

Q: When I learned about the deaths of Clint Ritchie (Clint) and Phil Carey (Asa) from "One Life to Live (OLTL)," I decided to get out one of my OLTL books. While thumbing through it I saw one of my favorite actors. I wondered whatever happened to him. It was the actor who played the dual role of Mario/Marco Dane. I haven't seen him of late. Could you fill me in? — Lorina, Stroudsburg, Penn.

A: Sadly, Gerald Anthony, who played the look-alike twins, was reported to have committed suicide five years ago (though later information blames a heart attack for his death). Anthony had pretty much given up on acting at the time. He was a real original — Mario and Marco were some of the first look-alike cousins/evil twins, which has now become a soap opera cliche. The actor met the love of his life, Brynn Thayer, on the show. They didn't become friendly until they both appeared on the game show "Password." At the time, Anthony said it was those at-home practice sessions that made them fall in love. When Thayer and Anthony divorced, Thayer told me, "The divorce is very sad. What is even sadder is that everyone will blame Gerry. The divorce was totally my fault."

In his initial days on OLTL, Anthony used to boast that he could stay up all night in Central Park, walk to the studio, do his 12-hour day, head back to Central Park and not miss a beat or a line. On the set, he was infamous for never saying the written dialog. Those who worked with him, like Judith Light (Karen), said that "a scene with Jerry was the most intense and the most fun you could have."

I always had to thank Gerry for introducing me to escargot. We were sitting in a restaurant and he ordered snails. All I could think was, "Snails? Yuck." Gerry would not take "I'm not eating those" for an answer. Like a kid, he said, "Come on! Try one, try one." It was like being in a commercial with Marky Maypo. Just like the commercial character, he said, "Try it! You'll like it!" He took a fork and thrust it at my mouth, forcing me to partake of his favorite dish. Quelle surprise! I loved it! Now whenever I eat escargot I think of Gerry.

Copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate, Inc.