The knight in shining armour

 By Kim Bertolett, Daytime TV, 1990

 Home   Cette page en Franšais  

You've read it all before, all the press about what a great guy A Martinez (Cruz, Santa Barbara) is, but can anyone really be that wonderful... You bet ! Upon meeting A you find a sensitive, thoughtful man who really hasn't been altered by the daytime superstar status he has achieved.

He's quick to sing the accolades of both his on-screen love, Marcy Walker (Eden), and his off-screen wife Leslie. A's dressing room is filled with pictures of Leslie, their two children (Cody and Devon) and his favorite sports figure, Magic Johnson, of the Los Angeles Lakers.

This past year when A walked off with a long overdue Best Actor Emmy, you could feel the excitement running through the entire crowd when his name was called. That, in and of itself, says a lot about this special man. He's one-half of one of the most popular super couple ever. Says Marcy, who has worked opposite A for the past six years, "A's acting is like a hug, how could you not want one ? I don't think it (their coupling) would've been this good if it were with someone else. He's there, giving you everything he's got and he's just absorbing everything that you're giving him and then giving it right back. It's an infinite circle of this love and giving."

When you say Santa Barbara to anyone, regardless of whether or not they are soap devotees, chances are pretty good that they'll mention Cruz and Eden. While this is music to the ears of the powers-that-be, it sometimes can be a cause of tension for the actors.

"The stress attached to becoming successful with someone else is difficult to work out. There's no place you can go to study it beforehand. It just happens and you have to deal with it. I think getting past the early adjustments was the key," explains A. Not only did they hurdle those early obstacles, they emerged as the couple of the 80s and are continuing into the 90s, which is no easy feat. "Once you get into a space where you are taking deep and genuine pleasure from your work on almost a daily basis, it becomes self-generating and inevitable that people will enjoy it. We grew together and I found that things I had only dreamt of doing as an actor before I worked with Marcy were actually coming true," admits A.

Working opposite the same person for such a length of time could be either a nightmare or a welcome comfort, for these two it's definitely the latter. "I never in my career was able to experience delight in front of a camera until I was standing in front of Marcy. I could pretend, but I never really had it until I was lost in her magic", A says with a smile. How could you not love being around this man ? It's impossible to sit and converse with A and walk away with a warm feeling as he discusses his wife, kids and co-star.

The past two years found A front and center on many critically acclaimed projects, including Pow Wow Highway and an episode of L.A. Law, where he was on the opposite side of the law playing a convicted murderer. He rendered a tear-jerking performance as he was about to die in the gas chamber. That scene alone left no doubt in anyone's mind that talented man has what it takes.

A is also an accomplished musician, he made his singing debut in the famous Hollywood Bowl at age twelve, winning a talent competition in front of 15 000 people. At present, he's putting together an album of "Los Angeles Rock" type music and even had one of his songs performed on The Tonight Show.

A is a self-proclaimed family man and admits, "Having children has been the most wonderful experience of our lives." Perhaps Cruz Castillo is so endearing to fans because of the man who breathe life into him. A prime example arises while discussing "Hollywood guys". Laughs A, "The problem with other Hollywood guys is that they didn't get my wife. I'm the one who got her and I better never forget how lucky I am !" Case closed.