JC Interview Exclusive (Celebrity Interview with a Daytime Legend) (December 2009 Edition) Eileen Fulton
As The World Turns, TV's longest running daytime soap has been home to many fantastic actors and actresses over the years but one in particular has stood out amongst the crowd. Her name is Eileen Fulton and she is one talented lady.
Ms. Fulton, as a fan of ATWT and of you, I'm so honored that you agreed to this interview. I know you are a very busy lady so I'll get right to the questions:
Todd: I read that you were born in Asheville, NC. It's a beautiful city especially at this time of year but it's not exactly known as a Showbiz Mecca, how did you end up on television?
Eileen: First of all a lot of people have gone from Asheville! Andie McDowell and lots others. But I know what you mean!
I ended up on television because I expected to be on television. I set out to be an actress when I was young and I made it happen. From the time I took over my daddy's pulpit when I was two, to majoring in voice at Greensboro College, I always new I wanted to perform. My parents were very supportive and arranged for me through a friend, Dr. Berger, to get an interview at The Neighborhood Playhouse to study acting. I was lucky to know what I wanted at a young age and didn't stop til I got there.
My first job wasn't on television, though. It was modeling for a True Story Magazine story.
Todd: As The World Turns was your big break in 1960 and your portrayal of bad-girl "Lisa" helped to pave the way for many of today's less-than-wholesome daytime ladies. How does it feel to have made
such an impression?
Eileen: Thank you for acknowledging that - so many people forget that Lisa paved the way for the other "bad girls". I don't think Lisa was or is really bad. I like to think of her as complex, something the writers got back in the early days of the show and why she was popular. She had experiences and problems that many in the audience knew about or were having but you'd never see on TV! And the characters around her had to re-act to her actions, which others could relate to. Soaps were so popular because people could connect to the characters and even better, the problems and experiences they were going through.
Todd: With you/ Lisa being such a big part of ATWT's ongoing popularity, it seems odd that we rarely get to see you. Are the writers unable to come up with a good story for you?
Eileen: I guess. Ask them!
It could be an age thing, but one of my favorite soaps is the British series East Enders. They have no problem with featuring older actors. And giving them romantic and dramatic storylines.
Todd: Speaking of good stories, is it true that you've written murder mysteries?
Eileen: Yes, I have written 6 - the Take One for Murder mystery series.
Todd: How did that come about?
Eileen: My two autobiographies - the first written in the mid '60s -were big sellers. After the second one in the 80s was published I didn't then have anything more to write about myself, but the publisher wanted more. We came up with the idea for me to try my hand at mysteries, my favorite genre, and it worked!
Now, I have more to write about my life and am thinking of writing Volume Three to my autobiography.
Todd: You are also a cabaret performer? Seriously, is there anything you haven't done?
Eileen: Probably not! I have done Broadway, movies and television and writing and I love my nightclub act!
I would love to draw and to paint. I wish I could do more of that before I punch out.
Todd: What gives you more enjoyment: acting or singing?
Eileen: Both the same. The reason I say that is because acting is just singing on a sustained tone. Both involve creating a character. I love the live audience at my shows though! Can I put in a plug? December 5th a 3pm matinee and on December 12th at 8:30pm at Don't Tell Mama in New York. I have a meet and greet after the show so that I can say hi to everyone.
Todd: With such a large fan base, I imagine that you are inundated with a lot of fan mail and gifts. What's the most memorable item you've received?
Eileen: A woman willed me a music box that had belonged to President Gerald Ford's mother! She had been her nurse. I was so wonderfully shocked! I do get a lot of items and I love them all, because people took the time.
Todd: The Christmas season is coming up quickly and there are so many people out there who are in need. I've read that you are very active in charity work, which charities are you involved with and how can
Eileen: Soldiers Angels is still tops on my list. Especially when the Soldier's are the dogs that are working so bravely with our brave troops! Please go to the Soldiers Angel website and they will assign you a soldier to be an angel to.
Ms Fulton, let me just say once again how thrilled I am that you took the time out of your hectic schedule for me. I hope you have a great Holiday season and may we see you more regularly on
AS THE WORLD TURNS!
Eileen: If Santa will only bring me a storyline!!! I want to thank you. I have had a lot of interviews in my time and I loved your questions. I hope you will interview me again! Have a wonder holiday season and a truly wonderful New Year!!