«I owe everything to Cruz»

 By Isabelle Caron, Télé 7 Jours, 1992

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When Cruz, or rather A Martinez, shot his ultimate episode of Santa Barbara, before becoming a lawyer in L.A. Law, she was there, discrete, timid, not daring to approach. Kristen Meadows had indeed already left the show for several months, but she wanted to greet the one who she considers - without ambiguity - as her best friend : "I owe him my role in Santa Barbara. When the writers imagined that Cruz was to have a girl friend, Victoria Lane, and that the producer called me, I initially refused. I had too much known the marathons-shootings in One Life to Live, the soap where I played  a so long time Mimi King. And then, I rather loved my character in The Wizard, the show with David Rappoport, although here too the working conditions were very testing."

After having met A Martinez, Kristen said yes. "I am a woman of feeling, of sensation. He inspired confidence to me, and I knew that he was a formidable actor, one of my favorite." In 1987, Kristen Meadows thus enters in the big family of Santa Barbara : " I arrived suddenly, while finishing an episode of The Wizard. I arrived on the stage with a text of sixty-eight pages, to learn in two hours. My first scene, it was of course with A Martinez. When I looked at him, I had the impression to know him since forever."

Kristen knew in Santa Barbara the most difficult moment of her life of actress : "Cruz loved from now on Eden, but however I found myself with him on a deserted island after a shipwreck. He was wounded and I gave him morphine to alleviate his pains. Cruz then started to be delirious and to take to me for Eden. I did not resist his advances. It is a scenario I had not approved. I went to see the producers to ask them why Victoria - my character - thus benefitted from Cruz. They then announced to me that I was going to be pregnant from Cruz. I cried about it. Cruz was marvellous, braced up my moral so that I continue."

Kristen knew that, from now on, she was going to be "black sheep" of the show : "The televiewers idolized Cruz and Eden and suddenly I was carrying his child in me. I lived a very difficult period. I received letters of hate cursing Victoria." Nicolas Coster was also one of the supports of Kristen : "He advised me to say that I was ready to everything by love, but those words - accepted by the writers -, I had difficulties to pronounce them. They were numerous to have comforted me but I came back by crying." The destiny of Victoria, the friend of Cruz, didn't arranged itself : almost raped during her pregnancy, she took cocaine after the birth of her son, Chip. "I lost five kilos so much I was stressed. In a daytime soap, you live unceasingly with your character. It forms part of you and I loved Victoria very much. I never forgave the writers to have transformed her into such a parasite !"

Here is a story that one would believe came from the imagination of the writers of Santa Barbara and which happened to Kristen Meadows : "I was to marry me with the English designer Paul Stanley. My wedding dress was ready. My parents had just arrived from San Francisco, where they live, two of my three sisters and my brother too. Suddenly, the day before the ceremony, Paul phoned me to tell me that he did not want to marry any more ! He cancelled everything without a word of excuse. I would have cracked if I did not had the support of my family and my friends of Santa Barbara : Nancy Grahn and Marcy Walker."

Kristen needed the birth of her son, Sam, in January 1990, to refind equilibrium. Single mother, she remains very close to Sam's father, Dr. David Kipper, who her chiropractor, Bruce Oppenheim, the ex-husband of Cybill Shepherd (Moonlighting), made her meet : "He is a model father who adores his son. They both disappear  to the zoo whole days !" Before to know the adventure of a cancelled wedding, Kristen had briefly been the wife of director Bill Sheridan : "He was living in New York, me in Los Angeles, and we never saw each other". At 33, Kristen swears she will never do it again. "I am not suspicious against men but I learnt to judge them better." The one she put in head of her personnal chart, is - guest who ? A Martinez : "His wife is not jealous ! She knows I consider him as a brother."