July 11, 2009 - 10 years of Santa Barbara : le site Francais
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2009 - 25 years of Santa Barbara

Terri Garber : «We had a blast doing it.»

 By Nicolas, exclusively for Santa Barbara : le site Francais, August 2009

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On August 23 2009, Terri Garber agreed to take on her time to answer exclusively to some of the questions of Santa Barbara : le site Francais. The actress talks about her debuts, the Santa Barbara years as Suzanne Collier, and at last about her life since her departure of the show.

The beginnings before Santa Barbara

At first, I'd like you to tell us a little about you : How old are you today ? Where do you live ? How old is your daughter today ?

I'm 48 years old and currently living in New York City. My daughter is 23 and also lives here. She attended New York University and graduated a year ago. She is also an actress.

To know you better, what did you bring of yourself in the character of Suzanne ?

I think I brought my creativity to Suzanne. Although she was a painter and I can't draw a stick figure I think the mind of someone creative is the same.

Before Santa Barbara, you were already well known for your parts in North & South and Dynasty. How did you start your acting career ? And can you tell us a little about these two other TV shows ?

I started my acting career at a very young age. I knew what I wanted to be by the time I was 11. The first gig I did after college and high school productions was a bit part on One Life to Live and it just grew from there. North & South was the most fun I've had on a set. We just laughed and laughed. It was an exciting time for me... I was 25. Dynasty was a little different... I had more experience under my belt. I wasn't used to jealousies or pettiness and that seemed to be running rampant on the Dynasty set. That being said, I was very lucky to have the part written for me and to have such a high profile job.


The time of Santa Barbara

How did you start in Santa Barbara ? Did you ever watch the show before ?

I had never watched Santa Barbara on a continuing basis. I did see a few and loved how much humor they brought to the show. That was what intrigued me.

How did Suzanne was presented to you at first ?

I had to test for the part with A Martinez and we had a blast doing it. The chemistry was there and everyone could see it so I was hired. I was thrilled.

I remember the scene when Suzanne cut her long hair in face of her mirror one evening - and read that it wasn't your real hair during this first months on the show. Is it true ? If yes, for what reason did you have to wear fake long hair at your arrival ?

No that wasn't my real hair when I started on Santa Barbara. They thought my short hair wasn't feminine enough but finally gave in and let me stop using the wig. I loved doing that cutting off the hair scene.

Did you imagine at first that Suzanne may have difficulties to be accepted by the Eden and Cruz's fans just because she was taking Eden's place in Cruz's heart ? According to you, what may have helped her to win this place in a better way ?

There wasn't anything I could do to get the audience to accept her. They wanted Eden and that was that. But while I was there I had a good time doing it. Even some of the silly stuff was great .

Suzanne knew a passionate love-story with Cruz, she was a good friend of Katrina's and Warren's, she also took part of the Ballymoor mansion storyline... What was your favorite storyline as Suzanne and what other storylines would you have liked for her ?

The storyline I really enjoyed was cut short. It was the one with Katrina and Michael Brainard... whose character name I can't remember.

What were your favorite male and female acting partners as Suzanne Collier ?

I enjoyed working with these actors (Maria Ellingsen and Michael Brainard) and I also loved working with A Martinez.


These 17 last years after Santa Barbara and now

Can you come back on the following years of your career since your departure from Santa Barbara ?

I have done tons of work since Santa Barbara including General Hospital, several guest spots and a wonderful part on As the World Turns.

Do you have projects for this year ?

As for the future, I never know what's going to come my way.  That's the life of an actor.  So I just go on living and auditioning and hope that it won't be too long before I'm in front of a camera again.


Once again all my thanks to Terri Garber for her kindness.