10 most wanted : Roscoe Born

 By Gabrielle Winkel, Soap Opera Weekly, 2000

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For almost 20 years, Roscoe Born has played intense, sexy and very complicated characters. Some, like All My Children's Jim, started off charming then became creepy; others, like The City's Nick Rivers, appeared tough, then showed a gentler, more vulnerable side. On Santa Barbara, Born's Robert seemed to be the only man to successfully break up Eden and Cruz. "I've been doing voice-over work and Books on Tape. I just finished narrating a special for The History Channel, Raising the Monitor, which will air December 11. In July, I appeared in Lee Blessing's Thief River at the Eugene O'Neill Center. I also got re-involved in Books Pals, reading to kindergarten children at P.S. 178 in New York as part of the literacy program founded by Guiding Light's Mary Sturat (Meta). I also have a children's book in the works, illustrated by my sister Karen and accompanied by a song I wrote for my daughter." Wouldn't Born be excellent as a longtime foe of Passions' Julian for the affections of Ivy ? Or perhaps he could be Martin Fitzgerald, himself. On General Hospital, not that the show needs any more mobsters, but perhaps he could play Sonny's uncle and woo the now-available Laura.

Would you consider making a return to daytime ?

Not only would I consider a return to daytime. I've made it my main focus. With the birth of my daughter (Alberta; her mother is actress Roberta Bizeau, who played Flame Beaufort on Santa Barbara) three years ago, my priorities have changed completely from the days when I'd sign the shortest-term contracts possible. Nothing in my life now comes before supporting my daughter and being able to visit her as often as possible (Alberta and his ew-wife Roberta recently relocated to northern California). A long-term contract on an L.A. show would be the best scenario, but I'd be happy to log the extra miles and hours if a New York job came about.

What is your favorite memory from working in daytime ?

Although I've got more good memories than I can remember - not to get too Yogi Berra about it - finding out on my birthday in 1981 that I'd landed the role of Joe Novak on Ryan's Hope is still the most important moment of my daytime career.

What is your funniest anecdote ?

For the last several shows in my first stint on One Life to Live, Mitch was trying to escape Llanview disguised as a biker. Before going in front of the cameras the first morning, wearing a heavily padded T-shirt and vest and sporting a long, scraggly male-pattern-baldness wig, I went upstairs to the head writer's office, lurking in her doorway until she looked up from her work. She made what can fairly be described as a lunge for her telephone, whereupon I thought it best for everyone's security to identify myself as her very own creation.

What do you miss most ?

The camaraderie between the cast and the crew. Every show seemed to have its own kind of small-town flavor with each department - wardrobe, props, lighting - like a different neighborhood you could hang out in.

What do you miss least ?

Seeing my face in the makeup room mirror first thing in the morning.

Have you been watching daytime since you left ?

Since I'm not home much during the day, I rely on my sisters to keep me up to date. And I'm always glad when I look up at the screen in the gym or someplace and see Bob Woods, Marcy Walker, Julia Barr, A Martinez or any number of the other actors I enjoyed working with and still admire.

How has daytime changed over the course of your career ?

The biggest change I've noticed has been in the rhythm and tempo of the average workday. In the '80s and early '90s, there was a lot more rehearsal time and the breathing space to take in what all the different creative forces brought to the mix. Still, I think some of what gets lost in texture often gets made up for in spontaneity.

How have you changed as a person ?

I think I've become more accepting of my limitations, which has taught me to be more accepting of others', as well. And as an actor I've been learning to make the work be less about me and more about the material.

Who was your favorite character ?

Mitch was the most fun, in any medium. Even though he was clobbered to death with a candlestick by Dorian and reduced to a pool of not-so-heavenly slime by Viki, I still harbor a fantasy of his being brought back to Llanview in some other life-form.