Daytime's (Mayoral) Race To The Altar


By Dustin Fitzharris

What is another issue you were hoping President Obama would come through on?
Well, I'm a product of the '60s. Amongst the promises besides his commitment to gay rights was the idea that we were going to go get the boys and girls, men and women fighting for us home. I'm deeply concerned that what's being discussed is how many more we are sending. Vietnam -- they said we want to bring them home with dignity and honor. How about bring them home alive? -- there's a concept. Or, if they are wounded, give them everything they need to heal. If someone has died, see that their family and their children are taken care of in the sense of no foreclosures. I don't think there should be foreclosures on military families -- period. It should be impossible in any financial agenda that a family that has a husband or a wife, son or daughter fighting for us, die for us, that they can't get a 24-month grace period to dig themselves out of some hole that was crafted by questionable banking and lending practices.

Are you worried about history repeating itself?
We can't leave until we finish it? Vietnam, Vietnam, Vietnam, Vietnam, Vietnam. My generation somehow found a way through and Johnson and Kennedy did not get us into the debt the younger generation is confronted with. They have bills to pay, baby.

Over the years you have been candid about the plastic surgery you have had. What is the greatest compliment you can receive?
'You're still very passionate and energized.' I smile and say, 'thank you' when people try to put one over on me by saying, [puts on a thick New York accent] 'Oh, you haven't changed in all these years!' That's not true. And I don't think looking young is the compliment you want to be pushing on people.

What's one of the hardest things about playing Dorian after 30 years?
If you're going to tape your performance at 9:30 in the morning, you better be ready -- especially if you're working with Miss Slezak [Viki]. She knows your lines at 9:30 in the morning, and she's only read the script twice! Ugh!

On-screen you and Erika are bitter rivals. Are you close off-screen?
We don't go to the mall together! Which, truly, is a loss, as far as I'm concerned.

Guiding Light was just cancelled after 72 years. Are you worried about the future of soap operas?
I'm concerned about the future of scripted storytelling -- long form storytelling that's produced by professional producers, performed by professional actors and designed by designers. There's always another reality show. I still can't follow that story about the boy and the balloon and John and Kate -- this is frightening. I'm not going to put down all reality shows, but when there is so many that there isn't enough creative air left for structured, scripted storytelling, then I do get worried.

You have two grown sons. How would you react if you found out if one or even both were gay?
If one of my sons came to me and said, 'Mom, I'm in love and his name is Michael '' As long as the guy was willing to get along with his mother-in-law and let me play with the children if they chose to adopt --

Any gay man would love to have you as a mother-in-law!
And now you know why I don't want the chicks my sons brought home! It's like, 'What part of this don't you get, girlie?'

Finally, what are you the most proud of?

To learn more about Robin Strasser, visit her website, One Life to Live airs weekdays on ABC. The mass gay wedding storyline will continue to heat up all week with a major event on Friday, October 30 and as well as the week of November 2. Check local listings for channels and times.

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