Actress Darlene Conley dies, aged 72
16 January 2007
Actress Darlene Conley dies, aged 72
Actress Darlene Conley, best known for her role in daytime soap 'The Bold and The Beautiful', has died at the age of 72.
The actress, who earned two Daytime Emmy nominations for her role as fashion mogul Sally Spectra, died of stomach cancer after being diagnosed with the illness three months ago.
According to publicist Eva Demirjian, Conley died at her home in Los Angeles, surrounded by family and friends.
Executive producer of 'The Bold and The Beautiful', Bradley P Bell, said: "She constantly entertained us with every move, every breath, every inflection of her voice."
"Whether she was the villain, the damsel, the sexpot or the comedienne, Darlene was brilliant," Bell said.
According to a publicist for the show, producers have not yet decided how to write her character out of the series.
During her acting career, which began on stage, Conley also starred in films 'The Birds' and 'Valley of the Dolls' and television shows 'Murder She Wrote', 'Days of Our Lives', 'The Young and Restless' and 'Cagney & Lacey'.
Conley, who divorced twice, is survived by her son, Raymond Woodson, and sisters Carol Fontana and Sharon Wilson.
B & B is new home to Ashley Abbott
'The Bold and the Beautiful': Ashley Abbott is back - and she's in Los Angeles
Fans were more than upset upon hearing the news late last year that Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbott) was let go from The Young and the Restless. Then the rumour mill went into overdrive: Which show will Eileen go to? Will she return to her Days of Our Lives
character, Kristen Blake? With the recent scaling back of actors on Days, that choice didn't seem likely to me.
All along, the obvious answer was right under my nose, but I didn't even think about it: The Bold and the Beautiful. And why not? They are both Bell Productions (both Y&R and B&B were created and executive produced by the late William J. Bell). Plus, other characters have made crossover appearances between the shows in the past. Why not make the long-term crossover?
"Brad (Bradley Bell, B&B head writer and executive producer) called me out of the blue," Eileen tells me. "I was really thrilled that he called. After Y&R, I didn't really put any feelers out (for new acting work). I spent that time getting through the holidays - I have a 3-1/2-year-old, plus I have 11- and 13-year-old stepsons. I figured I would contemplate my next move in January. I thought, 'The first week in January, Ive really gotta think about this'."
This whole situation was new for Eileen. "I've never been out of work before when it wasn't my own choice."
But it was also a chance to spread her wings, along with Ashley's. "What's so cool is I've done so many things in daytime television, but this is a whole different thing. The second time around (playing Ashley on Y&R), Ashley never really got to live to her full potential. But now she's in a whole new arena, without all the baggage she had on the other show." Maybe the third time will be the charm.
"Being with B&B, everything feels familiar, but it's different. I also have to make sure that I turn right (toward the B&B set) when I get off the elevator instead of left (toward Y&R)."
Last we heard, Ashley had accepted a position with House of Kim in Hong Kong. Why is she back in the states? Eileen explains: "What's good is that on Y&R, we had been mentioning Eric Forrester with the Extreme Catwalk reality show, so it ties in nicely. Eric calls Ashley to ask her to develop a fragrance line to complement Forrester Originals clothing."
Whether Ashley will be bringing her daughter Abby with her is still up in the air. "On one hand, Ashley needs to be free and independent, but as a mother myself, it's hard to reconcile leaving Abby behind. We'll see. Maybe they'll age Abby 14 years, and she and I can be in a love triangle," Eileen jokes.
Since B&B already has that storyline covered with Brooke and Bridget's past of fighting over Nick, how about Ashley gets Nick (Jack Wagner) all to herself? That would make for an interesting dynamic, since Nick is an enemy of the Forresters.
"I love Jack," Eileen says. "I've worked with him before. So, I'm game!"
With Ms. Davidson's first B&B airdate fast approaching (March 9), her new job hasn't quite sunk in yet. "It's going to be very different and odd, but also exciting and cool. The tone of the show reminds me of Y&R in the '80s. When Brad was explaining to me what he had in store for Ashley, I hadn't heard that kind of passion from a head writer in ages. I was hooked!
"I'm excited to get a chance to play this dynamic character again in a way she deserves to be played. Brad's father (William Bell) created this character, and he really loved her, so I know he's got some exciting things planned for her."
And much like Eileen, I also can't wait to see Ashley out of Genoa City and in L.A. And believe me, I'll definitely tune in to see!