Maeve McGuire made her daytime debut in 1968, playing spirited Nicole Travis on The Edge of Night. She left the show in 1977 and, four years later, popped up on Another World as the glamorous and sophisticated Countess Elena dePoulignac. In 1986, she took on a very different role, originating salt-of-the-Earth matriarch Kate McCleary on Search for Tomorrow. She appeared on Guiding Light, and briefly filled in for Eileen Fulton on As The World Turns. ABC viewers saw her not only on Edge, but on One Life to Live and All My Children, as well. As you may imagine, Ms. McGuire has a great many stories to tell. Too many to fit into one interview. So for now, please check out Part #1 below, and know that there's much, much more to come!
PGP: What do you remember of you initial audition for Nicole on The Edge of Night? How was the character initially described to you? How did she evolve during your tenure on the show?
MM: I remember very little of my audition for Edge. Several days before the audition I had a final call-back, an on camera scene, to play a lead on a new soap. I did not get the part and the show lasted only a year. What a piece of luck for me! (Ed. note: That show may have been Hidden Faces, a soap by EON creator Irving Vendig, which debuted December of 1968 and was gone by June of the next year.) I believe I read at Benton & Bowles, the advertising agency for Procter & Gamble. The three people at my audition were the producer, the headwriter and one of the directors. I don’t remember who read with me or what they told me about the character. I do believe I was told that Nicole was moving to Monticello after a divorce and that she would be big trouble for Mike and Nancy Karr. Well, that kind of sounded like fun and I was thrilled when my phone was ringing as I came into my apartment later that afternoon to hear from my agent that I had the part.
Needless to say, I was very unpopular with the fans. My contract was only for a year but fortunately for me the-powers-that-be and our headwriter saw ideas for a projected storyline. The next development was a kind of antagonism between Nicole and Adam Drake, which softened as he defended her in her murder trial for allegedly killing a woman who had been stalking her for over a year. (Ed. note: Stephanie Martin, who plotted to kill Nicole while murmuring the dagger soliloquy from Macbeth.) That year had been great fun as I was hit by a car, shot at through my living room window, received a poison spider in a box of chocolates, had poison put in my bourbon -- I guess Nicole had a drink occasionally, and in those days we smoked, too! – and was nearly suffocated with a pillow when I was in the hospital overnight from the poison.
After that trial, Nicole went to work for Adam and they became a ‘team.’ Murder solving and sleuthing as well as their romance, which progressed for several years. But when Nicole realized that Adam was not going to marry her, she went to work for another attorney – who turned out to be a murderer – and at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve (1972), Adam ran up some thirty flights of stairs – there had been two power outages, of course – and proposed. We finally got married, although I think Adam spent our wedding night in jail as he had been accused of some nefarious deed. Was it murder? I don’t remember. (Ed. note: Jake Berman, the lawyer who was obsessed with Nicole, killed himself and framed Adam for the crime.)
Of course, we finally had a honeymoon on a sailboat in the Caribbean, which was blown up because Adam was running for Senate and someone wanted him out of the picture.
At this point, I, Maeve, had decided to move to California, where I had a terrific year and a half. Several months after I got there, I auditioned and got the role in the series Beacon Hill, which shot in New York. When I settled back into the city, I was approached by the Edge’s producer to come back to the show, which had moved to ABC. Nicole was ‘found’ in Paris and eventually got back to Monticello only to find that Adam had become involved with someone else (Ed. note: Brandy Henderson, played by Dixie Carter). This was an interesting and very complicated storyline, but the character acquired another dimension which was fun to play.
Nicole was always fun to play, especially when she became pregnant and Adam was murdered. The character was always evolving as she was confronted with no end of problems and challenges.
And speaking of challenges: We were live for the first six years I did the show. Now that was exciting! We didn’t go to tape until the move to ABC!
More from Maeve McGuire coming soon! So keep checking back to the PGP Classic Soaps Blog!