Monday, May 18, 2009


From 1994 to 1995 (not 1991 to 1993 as indicated in the article below), stage and screen veteran Claire Bloom played Orlena Grimaldi, Damian's beloved "mama" on As The World Turns.

Orlena disliked Lily. A lot. (Lily doesn't get to defend herself by pointing out that her other mother-in-law, Emma, adores her. Emma is also Lily's grandmother. I know. Don't think about it too hard.)

When Lily made plans to leave Damian and take the newborn Luke with her, Damian spirited Lily off to his family's home in Malta, where Orlena was only too happy to help her son keep his wife in a drugged and helpless state. When Lily attempted to run off with Luke, she and Orlena struggled and her mother-in-law ended up falling off a cliff. (It happens.) After Orlena accused Lily of shoving her on purpose, Lily lost custody of Luke to Damian.

Unsatisfied, Orlena continued drugging Lily, but Damian accidentaly ingested the narcotic, began hallucinating, tumbled over a railing and ended up in a coma. When Damian recovered, a by now utterly unginged Orlena locked him and Lily in a basement so that she could keep Luke for herself.

Ultimately, it was revelead that Orlena was not Damian's biological mother. It turned out that Orlena's mute servant was actually Damian's father's first wife.

Orlena, who'd been Damian's nanny, had drugged the woman into a psychotic state in order to have Damian for herself. (Why Orlena didn't just kill her, instead of keeping her around and lurking for thirty years, nobody knows. Obviously poison was her modus operandi of choice. She even used it to knock off Damian's cousin, Eduardo, because he knew her secret, when she turned up the drugs in his IV.)

But if you think Orlena led an exciting life in Oakdale (and Malta), check out this profile of Claire Bloom at Wales Online!

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