Wednesday, May 02, 2012


When I was soliciting nominations regarding soaps' best scenes for my book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest, one of the scenes that came up repeatedly was All My Children's Brooke learning about the death of her and Tom's daughter, Laura.

Actress Julia Barr won the Daytime Emmy for supporting actress that year, and she talked to us about what it was like to shoot those episodes.

Julia Barr (Brooke): We were told about the upcoming storyline, regarding the death of Brooke and Tom's daughter by a drunk driver, about three weeks before we received the actual script.  It was a storyline that would heavily involve Richard Shoberg, David Canary, and myself.  When we heard what the writers were planning, we were all shocked and very surprised. However, we knew that this storyline would have a powerful impact on Brooke and Tom's relationship (they were estranged at the time), and also on the future relationship of Brooke and Adam.  We all had children under five at the time, and we understood as actors and parents that it would require a lot from both an acting standpoint and an emotional one.  It would also have tremendous social impact because AMC would be involving Mothers Against Drunk Drivers ( as spokespeople.

When I received the actual script for Laura's death, I remember thinking how beautifully sensitive it was.  It made me cry.  It affected all of us.  But we knew that we would be there for each other when the time came to do the scene.

Chris Goutman was the director the day we were to shoot the scene.  He was wonderful and very sensitive to our needs in preparing ourselves. We basically only rehearsed the staging of the scene, which Chris kept very simple and allowed us to do whatever we needed to do, movement-wise, for the emotion of the scene. 

And then it was time to tape...

Read more from Julia, as well as dozens of other soap opera actors, writers, directors, producers and experts in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, available on Amazon and

Write a review of the book, send me the link at, and I will thank you with a free copy of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga.

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