The new faces of Santa Barbara

 CinÚ TÚlÚ Revue, 1989

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Santa Barbara offers the characteristic, enough rare to be mentioned, to be a show relatively neglected in its original country and which has a considerable success abroad, and in particular in Europe, where the producers wanted to honour the fidelity of their many admirers while shooting some episodes in Paris. Still more extraordinary : the success of Santa Barbara in Europe knows a boomerang effect and starts today to wake up the curiosity of the Americans. To what is thus due the more and more confirmed success of Santa Barbara ? To the youth and the mobility of its interpreters ? To the freshness of its intrigue ? Or to these strange relations which bring closer the characters one moment before moving them away ? Or it is the fertile imagination of its writers ? We present you in exclusivity their new ideas and their audacities through the characters and their interpreters. Next 25 December, on Christmas Day, TF1 will celebrate the thousandths episode of the show (in fact the 500th one).

Peter Love : Cruz's hidden brother !

He is this hidden brother of Cruz's (A Martinez) evoked by Henry Darrow in a recent issue of CinÚ TÚlÚ Revue. It would have perhaps been better than he remains it, because he is as vicious as his elder is irreproachable and without spot. Interpret of Police Academy 2 : Their First Assignment and present in a multitude of TV shows (Ryan' s Hope, Hotel and The Love Boat), Peter Love however insists on the priority of music in his life. He would perfectly play a score of instruments, among which the guitar, the piano, the trombone and the flute, and his dearer wish would be to make a film he would be at the same time the interpreter, the director and the music composer. The choice of Peter Love as brother of A Martinez left more than one skeptic. Why not a Hispanic guy like Martinez ? "It is all the more amusing", comments on the interested party, "that my father is half Scottish and half German, and that my mother is 100% Spanish !" Of Carrington Garland, the new Kelly of the show, he says : " We are the best friends of the world and we are moreover very attracted the one by the other." And then ? "Then ? Nothing. I gave her to my best friend."

Signy Coleman  : The oldest job of the world

She entered Santa Barbara under the name of Celeste DiNapoli. But her clients, because she exerts the oldest job of the world, know her under the one, more naughty, of Crystal Rose. Born in North California, at one hour and a half of road from San Francisco, she owes her curious first name to her mother, who also chose the one of her sister, Bethany, whereas she was crossing by car a locality bearing this name. "Signy" takes as a starting point an old Scandinavian legend, found by Mummy Coleman when she was pregnant of her daughter. She had never been able to resign herself to the fact of being called only Mary. In spite of nine years of ballet dancing, Signy chose, a little accidentally, the job of mannequin she will exert six months in Paris and six months in San Francisco, before making figuration in two clips of the music band Huey Lewis and the News. The traditional appearances, then, in TV shows such as Dallas, Knight Rider and Mike Hammer, and the consecration with Santa Barbara. Signy Coleman met her fiancÚ, Mark Durbin, in the dramatic art school they attended together. It appears that the scenes with them together sinned by excess of realism.

Joe Marinelli  : A fetishistic transvestite !

While entering the team of Santa Barbara, Joe Marinelli inaugurated a new type of character by playing the first "full time" transvestite of the history of the American TV shows. His character is curiously a real gangster, who discovered a fetishism for the ladies' garment when he had, for the first time, to disguise himself in order to escape to the police. There are pleasures it is, apparently, better not to taste. A character who in any case likes to scramble the tracks since, as of his arrival in Santa Barbara, he takes his place in Gina's bed. By an amusing destiny, Joe Marinelli made his beginnings on television in City of Angels, before continuing with a series of rather hard stories such as L.A. Law, Hill Street Blues and Cagney and Lacey. Actually, the only heels that he never wore were those of the characters of the shakespearien repertory. Born in Connecticut, Joe Marinelli studied one year in London, at the famous Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Man of theatre and impassioned arts person, he spends his leisures to practise cycling in mountain and to write poems.

Julie Condra  : Tender and shy...

She is Emily DiNapoli, the very tender and shy young sister of Celeste's, known as Crystal Rose (Signy Coleman), and of Lisa, played by Tawny Kitaen, who could be seen in the movies Gwendoline, and Bachelor Party. Born in San Antonio, Texas, she had dreamed too much of James Dean in Giant and of John Wayne as Davy Crockett not to want to cross the screen and to join them in Hollywood. Bestriding her horse, she thus left for the City of Angels, where she accumulated, in a few years, an impressive series of TV movies unfortunately not well known in Europe : Papa Was a Preacher, The Fulfillment of Mary Gray and Married With Children. Only Who's the Boss ? with Tony Danza and Starman with Robert Hays, could make her known to the European televiewers. When the shooting of Santa Barbara grants her some leisures, she likes to practise ballet dancing, a discipline she studied for several years, and to ride horses with her boyfriend, the actor Brandon Douglas, interpreter of the character of Ben Agretti in the soap Falcon Crest.

Meg Bennett  : She writes C.C. Capwell's memories...

One can be pretty and to have brain. Meg Bennett, who plays Megan Richardson in Santa Barbara, is the perfect example of this harmonious association. Megan Richardson is a writer, arrived in Santa Barbara to write the memories of C.C. Capwell (Jed Allan), with who she formerly had a love-affair. This character, Meg Bennett will not have difficulties to play it. She is herself a scenario writer of soaps and TV shows like The Bold and the Beautiful and Generations, and obtained an Emmy award for The Young and the Restless. Meg Bennett is also the only woman to play in a soap of which she is co-scenario writer. The Young and the Restless in fact. Born professionally, like many actors, in the sphere of theatre, and in Broadway in particular, Meg Bennett was in the original cast of the musicals Grease and Godspell, but also lent her contest to many TV shows, such as The Paper Chase, adapted from James Bridges's film.

Leigh McCloskey  : A double role : a rapist... and a district attorney !

The producers of Santa Barbara do not fear to play the pioneers where other shows did not put their foot yet. After Joe Marinelli and his character of transvestite, here, still more extremely, Leigh McCloskey, interpreter of a double role but in a few months later. At his first appearance in Santa Barbara, he played the not very sympathetic role of a gynaecologist who rapes and kills his patients. "It was not an excellent idea to make of a gynaecologist a rapist", recognizes Leigh McCloskey today. "Imagine the reaction of the televiewers !" To amend themselves, the producers made disappear his character, before making return his interpreter, a few months later, under the aspect of a repectable magistrate, in who, funny detail, some characters find some resemblances with the ladies killer killed by Cruz. They will not be the only ones to find in Leigh McCloskey a little familiar air because, removed of his glasses and his too wise haircut, the beautiful Leigh will recall the televiewers that he was, from 1979 to 1982, Mitch Cooper, the husband of Lucy, played by Charlene Tilton (in Dallas). Born in Los Angeles, on June 21 1955, Leigh McCloskey is for ten years the husband of the scenario writer Carla Reinke, mother of his two daughters.

Christopher Norris  : The district attorney's wife !

Curious first name for a woman, and yet, in Santa Barbara, the character of Christopher Norris is not counterpart of Joe Marinelli's, the fetishist of the ladies' garment. She is the wife of the district attorney Ethan Asher, played by Leigh McCloskey. Born in New York, in October 7 1953, Christopher Norris is not a beginner. On cinema, she was in the adventure of Summer of '42 and Airport 1975 and, during six years, from 1979 to 1985, she played the nurse Gloria Brancusi in show unknown in Europe, Trapper John, M.D.. Her character knew such a success that she created a line of uniforms for nurses, whose benefits were completely versed to a trade association. Christopher Norris is the daughter of the orchestra master Arthur Norris and the actress and singer Grace Olsen. Child in an advertisement for a toilet soap mark, she made her beginnings at eight years old in the musical The Sound of Music, before playing after that all the female characters in their different ages. Episodically, Christopher Norris returns to her first loves, theatre. But it is generally in TV shows like Hotel, The Love Boat and Happy Days she can be seen.