Laura Johnson left Los Angeles for New York City in 1984 to meet with Meredith Brown of 'Soap Opera Digest'. They met at the Russian Tea Room. Laura stayed at the Pierre Hotel. Meredith pointed out, "The Russian Tea Room - New York's answer to The Beverly Hills Hotel's Polo Lounge - is a constant stream of stars and stargazers all making deals. There is nothing that remotely resembles a gift shop here, let alone a paperweight." Borscht and blinis were ordered. "I've never eaten Russian food before," Laura confessed at the time. "Will this increase the size of my chest?" 

Terry: What make you think I'll sell my vineyards to anyone - let alone you? 

Angela: Because you are a very smart little girl. And you know and I know that your only interest in wine is a full glass at dinner. 

Terry: And I know that you know that Chase is going to need those vineyards. You wouldn't try to beat him to the punch now would you Angela? 

Angela: Well our little Terry is growing up. 

Deep in the Calitornia wine country of Tuscany Valley (real life Napa Valley), Laura Johnson made her first appearance on 'Falcon Crest' in episode 8 of season 3 (back in 1983). Laura recounted, "My first day was disastrous. The director would say, 'I want you to drive up and get out of the car and walk over here.' And I would say, 'Do I say hello in my car?' He explained that there was no microphone in the car so that wouldn't be too effective. I was such a moron!" 

Of her character, "Terry is chameleon-like and will go through certain transitions. I've tried to approach her from the point of view that people are not born nasty. When I auditioned for the network I read a scene that has not aired, but I describe my (Terry's) childhood and the fact that my father neglected me in his attempts to raise Maggie (who was adopted) so well. My mother was an alcoholic, so there was the whole sense of a child not raised properly and being wounded and rejected by men. Later I turned it into her reason for becoming a prostitute - to get the love of men." 

In the 1985-86 season of 'Falcon Crest' Terry went into business with Richard Channing as co-owners of the Tuscany Downs race track and turf club, in a 50/50 partnership. Terry's vineyards were valued at $40 million. She could pay $30 million first with $10 million deferred. Richard suggested it wouldn't have to be cash and could be equity. 

Terry: That's a lot of money! 

Richard: For some. But you - it's an easy reach. 

Terry: Not that easy but gettable. 

Richard: I'm offering you a terrific chance. 

Terry: All I want is the chance to see how the mighty will fall. 

"When you've been unemployed off and on for 5 years as an actress and suddenly you're on a hot series, it certainly changes your life," Laura Johnson conceded. Robert Newman played Josh Lewis on 'Guiding Light'. He made the comment, "Soap operas are just too cushy. Actors bitch about how tough it is to do a soap, but it's not tough. Soon it becomes second nature. I got to the point with Josh where I felt I could sleepwalk through the role." 

John Kelly Genovese opined, "Big scenes are great, and necessary. But it takes the little scenes to make a show human. Soap opera being a day-to-day, on-going medium, is better served by the 'little' scenes – whether they be confrontation, humor, or simply silent reaction – which are presented within the context of an everyday, constantly building storyline. 

"Much of acting – particularly soap acting – is the reacting. 'Big' scenes are calculated, anticipated events which serve as payoff to eager audiences who have sat out a major storyline for months, sometimes years. Such scenes are so long awaited and built up to in scripts that no matter how proportionate or disproportionate the acting and directing, they almost always achieve the desired effect."

Richard Channing: Creditors can't take what I don't have.

Jordan Roberts: That's certainly won't stop them from trying.

Richard Channing: Maybe I'll file bankruptcy?

Jordan Roberts: Still won't help you dodge your tax liability.

Richard Channing: Well there's always suicide! 

Jordan Roberts: Very tacky! And besides, in your current financial state, you can't even afford a good funeral.

In 1983, British actor, Simon MacCorkindale played a professor of animal behavioral sciences who could transform himself into a black panther, a hawk, a cat and a shark. "'Manimal' did open some doors. It established again my credibility as an actor in the way I approach my work. The town knows I am very disciplined." In 1984, Simon played Angela's lawyer, Greg Reardon, who Angela would pay $35,000 a month for his exclusive services. After one year, Angela told him she would help him pursue a career in politics. In one scene, Angela told Greg, "And if you don't want to help me you could always shovel manure at that so-called ranch of yours." Greg replied, "Mrs Channing, it's maybe a lot cleaner work."

Simon MacCorkindale told Pat Hilton over lunch at Sunset Boulevard's Mirabelle Restaurant in 1984, "I think careers have to be built." Working in Equity Waiver productions, Simon recalled, "I did virtually anything I was asked to do. It was like going back to the beginning of one's career." As a result, "The town knows me as somebody who was prepared to go back to the bottom, that I'm not just here (in Hollywood) to take the pickings."

Richard Channing: I don't like partners Al. Never did!  And I especially don't like partner name Terry Ranson. And God help me it's not going to be easy getting rid of her now. My race track is going to see to that. It's going to make her even richer than she is. She got money in her blood - just like everyone else in this valley.

Al: There's nothing wrong with a little money Mr Channing.

Richard Channing: It's like opium Al. It numbs the soul. How much of that little skimming operation siphoning off the track this week?

Al: Three quarter of a million.

Richard Channing: And what was your take?

Al: 2% - same as always.

Richard Channing: That's $15,000. That's not bad for a week work. Now since Terry has provided me with the money I'm going to put a stop to this skimming.

Al: The counting room at the race track is a gold mine for both of us.

Richard Channing: I said no more Al. You see what I mean? It's becomes a habit. It gets in the blood and pretty soon it doesn't matter how much you make, it's not enough.

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