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Michael Zaslow's final scenes, April 1997

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  • jward1108
    I Let My Evil Twin Post For Me
    • Oct 2005
    • 9490

    Michael Zaslow's final scenes, April 1997

    I missed his final scenes when they first aired. I finally found some episodes from 1997. The last scene that I found with Michael Zaslow playing the dastardly, misunderstood Roger Thorpe, was Guiding Light April 23rd, 1997​. His speech is definitely affected by his disease, ALS. I so wish the producers had allowed the character to have ALS and kept him as long as they could on the show. In the May 1 episode, his replacement had taken over. Watching it now, Dennis Parlato wasn't bad as Roger, he played it very close to the way Michael played it. However, at the time, when I found someone playing Roger who wasn't Michael, I hated it and sort of blamed the actor for taking Michael Zaslow's place. I didn't know that he was ill, just that he had been replaced. I'm still sad about his untimely death from ALS.
    Last edited by jward1108; February 9, 2023, 02:57 PM.
  • jward1108
    I Let My Evil Twin Post For Me
    • Oct 2005
    • 9490

    #2
    Roger Thorpe was such a great character who was brought to life by Michael Zaslow, who managed to make Roger seem misunderstood rather than evil (at least most of the time!). Of course there were moments when he was an absolutely terrible person. Like when he was poisoning Dinah, or when he stalked and attempted to kidnap Chrissy and then kidnapped Rita Stapleton, who was VERY pregnant instead, or . . . . so many other times. However, I always cared about him, the way Maurine Bauer did, the way Holly often did, and, of course, the way Blake did.

    Comment


    • jward1108
      jward1108 commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh, I left out when he raped Holly, and then later kidnapped her on that tropical island with Ed and Mike Bauer chasing them down.
  • supersage
    Contract Poster
    • Oct 2007
    • 3053

    #3
    I wish they had allowed Zaslow to act out the disease. I can’t say how displeased I was with the show back then. The replacement just wasn’t Roger. While I’m wishing, I wish Hart had been brought back as the “new” Roger. Oh welll….

    Comment


    • JaySherman
      JaySherman commented
      Editing a comment
      It was nice of OLTL to bring him back and write his illness into the show. While his character David Renaldi had limited scenes, he was still capable of being part of the story.

      Granted David Rinaldi and Roger Thorpe were two different characters but with enough creativity the writers could have made it work.

    • Jerze
      Jerze commented
      Editing a comment
      JaySherman - GL could have most certainly made it work. I imagined a scene where Roger was at the airport in a wheelchair leaving town for treatment and new bad boy Ben Warren (Hunt Block) strolls past him in the airport. A sort of passing of the torch.
  • jward1108
    I Let My Evil Twin Post For Me
    • Oct 2005
    • 9490

    #4
    Originally posted by supersage View Post
    I wish they had allowed Zaslow to act out the disease. I can’t say how displeased I was with the show back then. The replacement just wasn’t Roger. While I’m wishing, I wish Hart had been brought back as the “new” Roger. Oh welll….
    I hated it when they had Dinah kill Hart. Hart should have been the next generation of dastardly anti-heros. And his kids could have followed in Roger's footsteps as well once they were SORASed properly. Lost opportunities, for sure.

    Comment

    • GuidingLite
      Aspiring soap scribe
      • Sep 2004
      • 10629

      #5
      I would rather have seen Hart's son, R.J., turn out to be 'the new Roger'....had Guiding Light lasted longer (R.J. was just born in 1998 so only 10/11 when the show ended. It might have been interesting to have him return to town as a young man and terrorize Dinah for killing his biological father....

      I really didn't care for Denis Parlato as Roger. The show did some great re-casts over the years, like Ron Raines as Alan Spaulding, and Liz Keifer as Blake Marler....GIna Tognoni as Dinah was amazing....but 'Roger' was a mis-step. He didn't bring the same 'intensity' to Roger that MZ did....and that was sorely missed by me at least.

      I loved that Ed and Holly reconnected at 'the end', but sincerely wish that after Ed had left so Holly could pack there had been another knock at the door and she had just said, 'Ed, you said I had an hour....' and opened the door, and the audience sees just the person's back - and it's a tall man standing there, and Holly gasped in shock and said, 'Oh my God! You can't be alive!' - leaving a cliffhanger as to whether or not it was Roger.....back from the dead once more....

      Comment


      • GuidingLite
        GuidingLite commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you - while I was glad to see most every character get a 'happily ever after' ending - I do wish a couple of things had been done differently.

        -A cliffhanger of is Roger really alive

        -Ross returns for Blake - was in witness protection

        -Reva and Josh leave together but Jeffrey walks in the door at Cross Creek looking for Reva

        -Cyrus would not have been Jenna's son....maybe Rita Bauer's with Ed or Alan, or Holly's son with Ed...but not Jenna's son

      • Jerze
        Jerze commented
        Editing a comment
        Recasting Roger Thorpe was a mistake, some characters are best left as is with a few exceptions. I agree that Ron Raines made the role his own. I also thought that Marj Ducsay (sp) was also an excellent recast.

      • GuidingLite
        GuidingLite commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree - there are some roles that should never, ever be or have been recast....

        Roger Thorpe on GL
        James Stenbeck on ATWT
        Stephanie Forrester on B&B
        Tom/Alice Horton on Days
        Luke Spencer/Laura Spencer on GH

        Ron Raines was a rare exception who succeeded and exceeded the expectations of the audience....and Marj Dusay I loved as Myrna Clegg, Alexandra Spaulding, Blair Warner's mother on Facts of Life, and any other role I ever saw her in......she was a one of a kind actress who stepped into any role and commanded your attention until you loved her.
    • jward1108
      I Let My Evil Twin Post For Me
      • Oct 2005
      • 9490

      #6
      Originally posted by GuidingLite View Post
      -A cliffhanger of is Roger really alive

      -Ross returns for Blake - was in witness protection

      -Reva and Josh leave together but Jeffrey walks in the door at Cross Creek looking for Reva

      -Cyrus would not have been Jenna's son....maybe Rita Bauer's with Ed or Alan, or Holly's son with Ed...but not Jenna's son​
      I love all of these ideas! I especially wish Cyrus would have been Rita and Ed's love child!

      Comment


      • GuidingLite
        GuidingLite commented
        Editing a comment
        Had Rita left town pregnant, it could have been either Alan's or Ed's.....and had Holly concealed a pregnancy when she left town in the 70s, to not come between Ed and Rita (it would have been a retcon to history to say they had a one night stand back then)....Holly could have given the child up for adoption...and then remarried (before Blake came back to Springfield) and never mentioned the child to Ed....until he showed up in Springfield. Of all four ideas, I so wish Ross had been alive after all - I hated Blake/Frank at the end......an awful pairing just to give both a happy ending....
    • Jerze
      Executive Poster
      • Jun 2006
      • 3652

      #7
      I too wish that they had worked with him and that his final time on soaps had been with GL. I believe that he did go to another soap if memory serves me.

      I loved his work so much and still miss him and The Guiding Light. Michael Zaslow as Roger Thorpe was one of a kind.
      Last edited by Jerze; February 26, 2023, 07:38 PM.

      Comment

      • jward1108
        I Let My Evil Twin Post For Me
        • Oct 2005
        • 9490

        #8
        Originally posted by Jerze View Post
        I too wish that they had worked with him and that his final time on soaps had been with GL. I believe that he did go to another soap if memory serves me.

        I loved his work so much and still miss him and The Guiding Light. Michael Zaslow as Roger Thorpe was one of a kind.
        OLTL brought back the David Rinaldi character that he had played during one of his breaks from GL, and they let the character suffer from ALS, allowing Michael Zaslow to continue performing, which was what he loved to do, and did so well.

        I didn't watch OLTL back then, only watched the last few years after ATWT went off the air. I have seen a few of his scenes on that YT. I'd like to see some of his earlier work and then the final days as David.

        Comment


        • Jerze
          Jerze commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, I'll try to find the OLTL episodes. It's good to know that the OLTL executives had insight as well as compassion to allow the man the dignity of work and a realistic view of a terrible disease.

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