Monday, February 18, 2008

LADIES FIRST

In honor of Presidents' Day, we take a look at the intersection of First Ladies and As The World Turns...

Mamie Eisenhower's favorite show of all time was ATWT. Her husband, the Ike that everyone liked, noted that As the World Turns "initiated the Television Era in the White House."

When Annie Stewart Ward gave birth to quadruplets in 1982, her character received a congratulatory call from then President Reagan. Annie and her husband Jeff named the youngest of their quads Nancy, after family friend Nancy Hughes (Helen Wagner; above), and First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Margaret Colin (ex-Margo) made her Broadway debut as the title Kennedy in the comedy, Jackie, and as the First Lady to President Michael Keaton in the movie, First Daughter.

Claire Bloom (ex-Orlena) appeared as Edith Wilson in Backstairs at the White House, while Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda) won an Emmy for playing the same Mrs. Woodrow on First Ladies' Diaries. (Step aside, Hillary, many historians believe that Edith Wilson was actually our first female president, when she stepped in for her stroke-stricken husband. Talk about a juicy soap opera!)

Mary McDonnell, who made her television debut in 1980 on ATWT as Claudia Colfax, little Paul's adoptive mother (yes, obsessive mama Barbara once gave her firstborn up for adoption, details here), played the doomed First Lady in the sci-fi blockbuster Independence Day. Where her husband's press secretary was portrayed by the previously mentioned Margaret Colin.

It's such a small, soapy, Presidential, turning world...

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