View Full Version : Darlene Conley passes away

Miss Golden
20-01-07, 02:57

January 15, 2007, LOS ANGELES, CA … Internationally renowned daytime drama
actress Darlene Conley, who played the vividly colored, comedic and tough
dame with a heart of gold, Sally Spectra on The Bold and the Beautiful,
died on January 14, 2007 from cancer.

“Darlene understood better than anyone that each moment of airtime was
precious”, said Bradley P. Bell, Executive Producer and Head Writer of The
Bold and the Beautiful. “She constantly entertained us with every move,
every breath, every inflection of her voice. Whether she was the villain,
the damsel, the sexpot, or the comedienne, Darlene was brilliant. An
extraordinary actress of film, radio, stage and television, my family had
the privilege and honor of Darlene gracing our shows for three decades.
She was truly one-of-a-kind. We will miss her beyond measure.”

Born in Chicago, Illinois on July 18, 1934, of Irish-German heritage, she
was discovered at age 15 by legendary Broadway impresario Jed Harris who
cast her as the Irish maid in a touring production of the 19th century
melodrama The Heiress, which starred Basil Rathbone. After graduating
high school, she toured the country with classical theater companies
before appearing in Shakespearean roles on Broadway with the Helen Hayes
Repertory Theater. She later appeared in a Broadway revival of the Night
of the Iguana, with Richard Chamberlain, and in David Merrick’s musical
The Baker’s Wife. Her Los Angeles theater credits included Cyrano de
Bergerac and Night of the Iguana (both with Chamberlain), The Time of the
Cuckoo with Jean Stapleton and Ring Around the Moon with Michael York.

Alfred *beep* cast Conley in her first feature film, The Birds, and she
worked with John Cassavetes in Faces and Minnie & Moscowitz. Conley also
appeared in The Valley of the Dolls, Play it as it Lays and Lady Sings the
Blues, as well as Tough Guys, with Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas.

Conley has appeared in a host of made for television films, mini-series
and vintage prime-time dramatic series including Robert Kennedy & His
Times, The Fighter, The Choice, Return Engagement and The President’s
Plane is Missing as well as The Cosby Show, Murder, She Wrote, Cagney &
Lacey, Little House on the Prairie, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Highway
to Heaven.

Daytime television became home to Conley, who once said “It (daytime) is
really the best medium today for women of a certain age to do something
really flashy; it’s where what we do well as actresses matters.” Conley
portrayed Edith Baker on Days of Our Lives, Louie on Capitol and Trixie
Monahan on General Hospital before being given the role of the nefarious
Rose de Ville, by the late William J. Bell, on The Young and Restless.
When Bell co-created The Bold and the Beautiful with his wife Lee
Phillip-Bell, he envisioned a special role for Conley, the role of Sally
Spectra. Conley showcased her dramatic range and abilities with the
character, and over the years has portrayed an exotic repertoire of
offbeat flamboyant characters within the role. As Sally, Conley was a
master of disguises including Mae West, a German spy, an Italian gigolo, a
nun, and even a rendition of another B&B character, Massimo Marone.

For her portrayal of Sally Spectra on The Bold and the Beautiful, Conley
was nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards and six Soap Opera Digest
Additionally, Conley has the distinction of being the only daytime star to
be chosen by the world famous Madame Tussaud’s to have her character,
Sally Spectra, displayed in their gallery of wax figures, in both
Amsterdam and Las Vegas.

Conley is survived by her son, Raymond Woodson, ex-husband Bill Woodson,
sisters Carol Fontana and Sharon Wilson, a host of nieces and nephews, her
long time friend and caretaker, Eva Hansen and her manager of 24 years,
Sandra Siegal. Service arrangements are pending