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Stephanie Beacham is Connie

Discussion in 'The Colbys' started by Carrie Fairchild, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    No, not that Connie. I'm talking about Stephanie's pre-The Colbys role on the UK TV serial set in the ultra glamorous world of the East Midlands textile industry. It's been suggested that her vampy role on this show, provided ample training for what was to come in her role of Sable. I have yet to delve into it but after years of grainy copies on YouTube, I see it's been uploaded in good quality for the first time.

    At a glance, it seems a bit slow paced in comparison to the US soaps or even alongside it's closest UK counterpart Howard's Way, which would set sail on BBC a couple of weeks after Connie concluded on ITV. But the writing is apparently quite good and of course, the centrepiece is Stephanie, so it's probably a look.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBWM9yT53T3b36geO7Enpxb3nmgQYJfwX

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    "My spoon is going in the gravy. My snout is going in the trough. I am having some of that."
     
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  3. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Superstar

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    It's not even like Howards Way from what I have seen. I would describe the writing as poetic and stylized. Don't imagine it to be anything like the glossy American soaps. I don't think Connie is anything at all like Sable, the whole approach is different. However Beacham does look great in it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
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  4. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You had me at
    I mean, how can you lose? Makes the Italian Riviera look positively dull.
     
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  5. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    I really must watch it properly so. Just from what I'd read about it, there'd always been some mention of Stephanie getting The Colbys role on the strength of Connie. Which is of course unlikely, given the fact that Connie didn't start airing until May 1985 when I'm presuming they'd already cast for The Colbys.
     
  6. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    The characters aren't glamorous, but they're greedy, which is much more interesting.
     
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  7. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    SB was announced in the role of Sabella in August that year. She'd been on holiday (abroad, I think) when called home for an emergency, and during that time received a call to audition, which I think she'd kinda dismissed. Anyway, later, on holiday in England, by the sea, she was sent the script to audition. She lost the script to the wind & the sea even before reading it. But she had a glimpse into the future, a vision of palm trees and pink building, and knew she was being sent to America. Went to the audition where by chance she found a discarded copy of the script while waiting, glanced through it and winged the audition on the fly.
     
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  8. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Was that literally or literary?
     
  9. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Literally.
     
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  10. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    There's talk she did a second audition, not sure when/where or in what form, but apparently within a week or so of the (first?) audition she was flying to meet with Aaron Spelling. She'd assumed it was just to talk, and she'd be back home soon, but the day after meeting with Mr Spelling, she was in wardrobe.
     
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  11. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    Interestingly, Stephanie wasn't the only actress to come straight off a Central Television production into the audition process for The Colbys. Sue Lloyd, who'd only recently been dropped from the Central produced soap Crossroads in 1985, was also "up for the part" as she put it in an interview. Although I don't think she got quite as far into the process as Stephanie and Kate.
     
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  12. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Superstar

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    Kate O'Mara's audition story is great also. She was broke, had no work lined up and so spent her last bit of cash on a nice navy suit from BHS or somewhere. A fitted short pencil skirt and jacket, she set her hair in hot rollers and did the makeup piling on the lip gloss. Wafted into the room all legs, fabulous hair and lip gloss and knocked them dead with her camped up performance. She auditioned for The Colby's too I believe but didn't get it but the producers loved her so much they hired her as Alexis' sister on Dynasty.

    When reading her book I was fascinated by that audition for The Colbys. It was held in a swanky London hotel she said, and every British actress between the ages of 25 and 45 were there. Or something to that effect. She said the room smelt like an abattoir, fear and nervousness. The auditions were video taped too to be brought back to Aaron Spelling and the rest of the producers. Can you imagine that audition line?!
     
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  13. Matthew Blaisdel

    Matthew Blaisdel Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    When i read that title i first thought the CW got her as Constance for the new Dynasty, now i'm kind of relieved that it isn't the case. :lol:
     
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  14. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    How I'd love to see those tapes, and all those different "Sables".

    Does anyone know about possible candidates for other roles (Jason, Miles etc)?
     
  15. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Superstar

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    I'd say that some of them probably didn't even audition. The Shapiros probably had a list of dream cast. Heston was probably like number 4 on the list after Cary Grant and whoever else turned them down again. The same with Miles, they probably saw Caufield in something and went to him.

    I'd say a lot of girls auditioned for Monica and Bliss though.
     
  16. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    She talks a bit about it here. She apparently got the role on The Colbys but was under contract for a play in London.



    I've seen loads of actresses names being mentioned in connection with the Sable and Frankie roles but I think a lot of them were just press speculation at the time. Angie Dickinson is a name that pops up a lot.

    I know she's not a character from the original cast but Karen Cellini auditioned for the role of Channing Carter before being offered the role of Amanda #2 instead.
     
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  17. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Superstar

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    I wonder was Kate originally to be cast as Frankie? That would have been absolutely amazing. I cant see Stephanie Beacham being their second choice for Sable. But to think that Kate and Stephanie could have been sparring partners on The Colbys. What a Frankie she would have made.
     
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  18. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    In retrospect, it's hard to believe Joan wasn't first choice to play Alexis, either.

    Dickinson, Diana Rigg, Faye Dunaway were all offered the part of Sable -- all could play bitches, and all were better known than Beacham. Thank goodness Stephanie got it.

    Kate O'Mara as Frankie would have been a blast (I always put Sable and Caress together in the DYNASTY Season 10 that never was), and while she was great on the parent series, we all know DYNASTY didn't use their actors as well as THE COLBYS did.

    Something good to say about the Pollocks, however: reportedly, they found Beacham and O'Mara (both of who were basically unknown to Americans or Hollywood).
     
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  19. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    From my rather dim recollection, (someone pls tell me if I got it wrong), the US producers initially took a bit of time letting her know if she was wanted after her audition. She'd the impression they were no longer interested in her, and so she signed on to do the UK play, which was to tour nationally. While touring with the play, the US producers let her know they wanted her too -- KO'M didn't mention for which series at that point. She turned them down, feeling it was unprofessional to break her contract with the UK production. Then, when the play run got extended for a London-based run she agreed to continue in her role London. But before it actually opened in London, she was told she was wanted by the US producers. Again, she refused. Her agent nagged her to go to the US. Then came that turning point phone call and with her agent nagging her, she agreed to go to the US. But it was a situation of "come now, we can't wait". It was her understudy who stepped into her shoes for London at the last minute, and I got the impression that years later KO'M was still sore that she wasn't allowed the time to finish up with the play in London.

    Though she says in the taped interview she got to be in Dynasty for 2 years, in the book, I got the impression she became unhappy during her time in the US. Time weighed heavily on her hands, with large time lapses in between being needed to film her Dynasty scenes. There was little other work opportunities for her. Her unhappiness was deepened by a blast-from-the-past 'big reveal' by UK media of something her family -- her parents and son especially -- hadn't been aware of, & she wanted desperately to be there to explain to them in person. So she made the decision to return to the UK. That meant not picking up the option she had to do a few more Dynasty episodes. (Episodes which she probably would have made had the Dynasty showrunners come to a quicker decision on what to do with her & when to film.) Back in UK, her father suffered a horrid stroke, which she blamed on the media for stoking all the negative publicity.
     
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  20. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    In terms of performances, I agree. Because both cut their teeth in theatre. But watching Nesta and Connie (step-siblings), how they look, I can see why TC might have wanted (full) sisters who didn't look alike in the glamour department, and couldn't (to paraphrase Bea) "whatever they were up to, both be at it like knives".
     
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