Steve Bond can't wait to leave Santa Barbara

 Soap Opera Digest, 1990

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After a frustrating year on Santa Barbara, Steve Bond is relinquishing his role of Mack Blake with absolutely no regrets. "I'm very happy about leaving," he told us shortly before taping his last show (which airs the week of October 19). "Basically, they (the producers) never gave me a fair shot from the word go. All the things I was promised never came through."

His Santa Barbara stint is a total contrast to his last soap experience. When Bond played Jimmy Lee Holt on General Hospital, he became e major heartthrob. But on Santa Barbara, he feels, the writers never tried to develop an exciting storyline for him. "Remember," he says, "NBC came to me, not vice versa, and they really enticed me to join this show. But once I signed on, I never felt centered; I never felt a part of things."

Bond blames the show's low ratings on poor writing and lack of continuity. "They're unable to tell a story for any length of time," he says. "On General Hospital, a single storyline - the Grant / Celia / Jimmy Lee triangle - lasted for two solid years." He also points out that, even after a year on Santa Barbara, "fans still recognize me mainly from General Hospital. Maybe one out of twenty people I meet knows me as Mack Blake, not Jimmy Lee Holt."

While finishing up on Santa Barbara, he's not wasting time lining up other work. On October 15, he starts filming The Son of Darkness, the sequel to his previous vampire flick, To Die For. And his home life is in high gear. The actor and his wife, Cindy Cox, are expecting their second visit from the stork next March 7, just a few weeks before daughter Ashlee turns five.