Soap Opera Digest: You made your GH debut as Robert on December 2, 1980. What was life like for you before GH came along?
Tristan Rogers: I was a builder’s laborer. I had just gotten to the country [from his native Australia] and that’s what I did for a while, and then I worked in a gym as an instructor for a while. The first job my [theatrical agent] sent me out on was GENERAL HOSPITAL, for a two-day role.
Digest: What do you remember about the audition?
Rogers: It was very unspectacular. I got in there, the one other person who was in there, I happened to know from Australia. It came my time to do the reading, which wasn’t for Gloria [Monty, then-executive producer], it was for the casting director. They said, “Can you come back tomorrow?” That was a hopeful sign! So, I came back the next day and did a reading with Gloria and we chatted a bit and again they said, “Can you come back tomorrow?” I said, “Sure.”
What else was I doing? Came back the next day and there were a whole lot more people there, and one of them was the VP of [ABC] Daytime who was visiting from New York, Jackie Smith. After, they said, Can“ you come back tomorrow?” This went on for the whole week! Friday came along and it was one of those really rare occasions in an actor’s life where you know you’ve got the job, but they’re not going to tell you. And sure enough, on the following Monday, my [then-]wife got a call and they said, “Yes, he’s got the job, can he presen t himself at the studio today for a wardrobe fitting?” And away we went. I don’t think the reading was anything fantastic, bu t Gloria used to look for people who go t along with her personality-wise, and unless you’re a complete butthole, I can get along with you! We hit it off, and [one day on set] I was asked to come into her office and she said, “There’s been a discussion, and we’d like to keep you.” I was dumbfounded.
Digest: And GH just so happened to be the hottest show on television at the time.
Rogers: I didn’t know at the time the importance of GENERAL HOSPITAL; it was just one more job for me. But it was really exciting, to be fresh off the boat and walk into this role. Of course, after that, everywhere I went, people would go, “You’re on GENERAL HOSPITAL? That’s the hottes t thing in the country! You’re working with Luke and Laura? Oh, my God!” I had never told anyone that I was [in the U.S.] as an actor, so it was a shock to everybody when I [told my bosses], “I got this role on this show called GENERAL HOSPITAL and I can’t work for you guys anymore.” Their jaws just dropped! It was a big deal, and it just kept on going. It was the gift that kept on giving, so to speak. I got caught up in the GENERAL HOSPITAL tidal wave and just got swept away by it.
Digest: What was that sudden catapult into fame like for you personally?
Rogers: It was a tough adjustment. It was something you would never get in Australia to that degree, because the audience is so much smaller. To be part of something that was a massive phenomenon in the country is very hard to put into words. You literally had very little privacy; everywhere you went, people pointed at you like you were some kind of a whack job! It took a bit of adjusting. It cost me my marriage. The marriage kind of got swept to the side; we led two different lives, so we finished it.
Digest: In your first year on the show, Robert was entangled with Luke and Laura and the Ice Princess adventure on Cassadine Island. What stands out to you about that time?
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GH PREVIEW: SEAN DONELY DIES
In the lead-up to the show’s big tribute to the beloved Sean Donely, a Port Charles resident from 198495, his loved ones get the sad news that their friend has died.
young and restless
AROUND TOWN Lily plans a fun treasure hunt for Billy that takes him from the Grand Phoenix to Crimson Lights.... Before his and Summer’s engagement party, Kyle tries to hide his regret at agreeing not to interfere in Harrison’s life.... At the coffeehouse, Billy asks Rey about Adam’s case. The cop advises Billy to focus on Lily and leave Adam to Rey.... Jack presents Kyle with John Abbott’s pocket watch, but because he’s hiding that he has a son, Kyle feels unworthy of the heirloom.... At the Grand Phoenix, Billy suggests to Lily that they move in together.... At the engagement party, Jack makes a toast to the happy couple. Kyle is stunned when an unexpected guest arrives.
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT With Liz and Scott in tow, Cameron is taken to the PCPD for processing. He insists he is innocent and only grabbed the gun because Britt was being kidnapped. Jordan reviews G.H. security footage, which confirms Cam’s account. She drops the charges. Relieved, Liz talks with Scott about whether to tell Cam that Peter, not Jason, killed Franco. Cam overhears and is rocked. He heads to Josslyn’s and apologizes to her for wrongly accusing Jason. She accepts, but is jarred when he describes holding a gun on Jason. Cam can tell that there is still a distance between them and laments to Liz that he’s lost his best friend. Joss voices a similar sentiment to her dad.
GH Pays Tribute To The Late John Reilly And His Legendary Port Charles Alter Ego, Sean Donely.
thumbs up! thumbs down!
Best Of Show Or Worse For Wear? Digest Decides.
SOUND OFF What's on your mind?
FOUR SURE I have been watching GH since I was in the womb and have continued watching into my adulthood. This is the first time I am reaching out because I am just so disappointed in the decimation of some beloved couples. Although I understood the Chase/Sasha/Michael/ Willow switch, I was ecstatic when the truth was finally revealed. But in just a few short weeks, the attempt at rekindling the former romances was dismantled. I absolutely love the dynamic between Chase and Willow. He has such a pure love for her; it’s beyond endearing. Sasha clearly loves Michael, as well, so I was shocked to hear them say it wasn’t working. Willow and Michael are just not a good fit for each other. Nothing against the actors — they are phenomenal. And now to ruin the relationship between Jordan and Curtis? I adore them together. I am truly hoping the writers will see that breaking up actors with insane chemistry is just plain wrong. Thank you for continuing to be the only magazine I read!
days of our lives
RUSE CLUES Brady visits Kristen in prison to get her to sign a birthday card for Rachel. A flustered Susan signs the card with her name, and the jig is up. Brady begs Susan to keep up the ruse just a little while longer until he can find a way to sneak Kristen back into prison.
bold and beautiful
THE TROUBLE WITH ERIC Brooke and Ridge are there for Eric as he speaks about his troubles with Quinn. Eric expresses remorse that he has shut Quinn off from the emotional and physical intimacy they used to have. Brooke stresses to Eric that he deserves true happiness. Eric admits that he is not yet willing to give up on Quinn despite everything that has happened, and wants to give Quinn another chance to earn his trust. Ridge encourages Eric to try to rebuild his marriage.
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B&B: HOPE AND LIAM MAKE LOVE
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We spend a lot of time talking about veteran-owned spirits in this column. But a truly relaxing, rewarding end-of-the-day drinking experience involves more than just good booze. Fortunately, this issue’s Veteran Vices column has you covered. Glenn Yench, former electronics technician, weapons rate, comes to this column all the way from Down Under.
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AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER SAYS BING COULD REPLACE GOOGLE
Australia’s prime minister said that Microsoft is confident it can fill the void if Google carries out its threat to remove its search engine from Australia.
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