SoapLand - The Battle Of The Actor's Performances - The Result

Discussion in 'SoapLand - The Battles' started by Richard Channing, May 7, 2019.

  1. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    This time we are gonna take a look the actor's performances in the soaps. On the one hand I was thinking perhaps we could nominate scenes where we really felt the actors gave a stellar performance, and then I also thought about just making it about our favourite actors (meaning the ones we rated as the best actors), as perhaps scenes might be too broad a topic, with too many to choose from. Anyway, let's go with a combination of the two.

    Nominate the actors who you thought gave them most compelling performances in their show, and for those who want to, also nominate a scene that makes a case for your ranking. The actor with the most votes will win, but also if enough people nominate scenes, and there are some that are on a few people's lists, I'll also do a top 5 of scenes, as the winning scenes might not necessarily be with the winning actor.

    Hopefully that's not too confusing, and if people would rather do these topics separately we could do that too.


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    Last edited: May 7, 2019
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  2. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I fear if I go first, I'll do it wrong and send the whole topic careening off a cliff like Sid Fairgate in that old car.

    So we're basically nominating our favorite actors/actresses?
     
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  3. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Well to be more precise it's more about the actors you thought were the most talented or turned in the most impressive performance, be that in one particular scene, or their entire series, rather than your favourites. And then if you want, give an example of one of the scenes where you thought they really excelled.

    Basically, pick 5 actors you wanna give an Emmy for best actor to, and why.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
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  4. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    1. Claudia Lonow (Diana Fairgate in KNOTS LANDING)
    upload_2019-5-9_0-51-40.png
    There was not much glamour and glory to be had in playing Sid and Karen's recalcitrant daughter, and I applaud her for playing one of the most challenging roles.
    The writers certainly didn't take the easy road with "Diana", she was often unlikeable and irritating like - believe it or not - many teenagers really are.
    As a performance example I would use her last storyline: the widow of Tony Fenice. The viewer understood that everything about that situation was wrong, but she managed to convince me that she believed that she was right. Karen and Diana made up, but the Tony issue remained unsolved, there was no cookie-cutter change of heart just to wrap things up nicely.

    2. Gordon Thomson (Adam Carrington in DYNASTY)
    upload_2019-5-9_1-53-51.png
    The writing on DYNASTY could be somewhat uneven, therefore it's hard to rate the actors based on the entire show.
    Gordon Thomson gets my vote for perfect casting because he totally looks the part of the sophisticated Carrington heir.
    This scene shows how totally mesmerizing this suave soap character can be:


    3. Stephanie Beacham (Sable Colby in THE COLBYS)
    upload_2019-5-9_1-54-18.png
    Whether Sable's actions and emotions are justified or not, Stephanie Beacham delivers with tremendous verve. The bitchiness on The Colbys was rather tame compared to the parent show, but the spin-off oozed with anger and frustration, also (or maybe mostly) because of Ms Beacham's performance.
    As a result, it became soapland's most enjoyable sister feud.


    4. Emma Bell (Emma Ryland in DALLAS)
    upload_2019-5-9_2-18-14.png
    She gets my vote for favourite soap discovery. She has that certain, indefinable "it" factor, she smoothly adjusted to every story and her part in it (likeable, despicable, addicted, kidnapped) and she never failed to entertain me. If these non-Ewings were a mistake then by all means keep making these mistakes!


    5. John Forsythe (Blake Carrington in DYNASTY)
    upload_2019-5-9_2-36-8.png
    At #5, because his tour de force mostly applies to season 1.
    Eventhough he wasn't written as The Enemy, like most soap villains are, Blake Carrington could be extremely manipulative and intimidating.
    Instead of the famous library scene I wanted to post the scene where he confronts Steven with his "betrayal": working for Matthew Blaisdel.
    I couldn't find it, so here's a clip from season 9 that also shows Dynasty at its best.
     
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  5. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I won't say too much about each of the actors as each one had so many great scenes to chose from, and I think the ones I'm posting as examples of their work speak for themselves. As it turns out the scenes I've chosen are characters either crying or enraged, as for me these are the hardest to pull off convincingly and with conviction. And only the most talented actors can do these well and move you or send a shiver up your spine.



    1. Ken Kercheval. It's really hard to rate one fine actor against another one, and really all five actors on my list are fantastic, but as a little nod to Ken he takes my number one spot. And he is most deserving of it as the following clips proves. The resentment, self loathing and self pity are palpable as Cliff feels sorry for himself and lashes out at Afton.



    2. Barbara Bel Geddes. Her experience as an actress really shines through in this scene and her rawness and vulnerability here is so powerful.



    3. Julie Harris. What I just said about BBG's performance I can say exactly the same for Julie Harris here. She is great in all the scenes on this but particularly when she finally breaks down at 6.48.

     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
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  6. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    4. Linda Gray. There was a wealth of Sue Ellen scenes to choose from, but I picked this one as it really moved me to tears when I first saw it. Linda was always a wonderful actress and she has just gotten better with time, and here she is clearly drawing on her grief at Larry's passing which makes this performance particularly powerful.



    5. Stephanie Beacham. Stephanie really sunk her teeth into the role of Sable, and her portrayal of her as this passionate, emotional, feisty, yet fragile woman was always a joy to watch.

     
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  7. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    I can't choose between Larry and Linda for first place as to me their performances as JR and Sue Ellen Ewing are in a league of their own, and outstanding. From the very early days when it was noticed they were in fact the more predominant couple on the show, to the very end. They just blow me away with their chemistry, real and honest understanding of their characters and their ability to have so many different layers to each character - so not one dimensional! Having been lucky enough to have met and spoken with them on a personal level many times, they are so different from JR and Sue Ellen that it just shows what wonderful actors they are. Love and adore them to the moon and back. :love5:

    1. Linda Gray and Larry Hagman in virtually every Dallas scene.

    [​IMG]

    I have to of course give special Kudos to Linda for this one:



    Although I could happily die watching her doing anything at all. She is the reason that I went to drama school and has taught me so many things about embracing a role.

    2. Barbara Bel Geddes - impossible to choose just one, but adored her as Miss Ellie and find her transfixing in the role

    [​IMG]

    3. Ken Kercheval - impossibly underrated as the adorable and sometimes bumbling Cliff Barnes. So many different levels to him,

    [​IMG]

    4. Jim Davis - he played Jock so well, he actually frightened me at times. And now it seems I'm apparently seeing visions of him now too (see my Lounge Thread)

    [​IMG]

    5. Not sure I get a fifth as Linda and Larry are joint 1st for me - but let's go with the bonus of Fern Fitzgerald. I say this only because I have met her and she is so far removed from that Tramp Marilee Stone it's scary what a good performance she gave. She's amazing as Marilee and made me cringe so much you know she is doing a good job!

    upload_2019-5-10_12-44-24.jpeg
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
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  8. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Thanks for your list Sarah. Although I appreciate your reasoning, having two people in your number one spot screws up the scoring, so you'll need to pick one. Sorry, but that's the format for these battles.
     
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  9. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    1 - Linda Gray: it was tough to choose between my top two but Linda wins for how varied a performance she gave as Sue Ellen. She was really put through the wringer of emotions playing everything from the neglected wife to the alcoholic to the high powered businesswoman. She was great across every story but her alcohol withdrawal scenes are a standout for me.



    2 - Stephanie Beacham: in the glossy but often shallow Dynasty universe, Stephanie really raised the acting standard. We saw her as the woman trying desperately to salvage her marriage and the meddling mother on The Colbys while she was allowed to have a bit more fun during her stint on Dynasty. Even in a scene as simple as this one, she just oozes class.



    3 - William Devane: I love most of the Knots Landing cast. Their performances were just so much more natural than some of the high drama of the other soaps. But there was just something different about William Devane. Possibly because he apparently rewrote his lines or ad-libbed at times, but he just felt next level.

    4 - Julie Harris: another Knots gem. Alongside the comparatively youthful cast, Julie slotted in alongside them seamlessly becoming a friend, confidant & combatant for all ages that surrounded her. This does not always work (see Joan Collins in Pacific Palisades and Heather Locklear in Melrose 2.0). Julie was a joy to watch whether it was putting Gary in his place, bawling Abby out of it in a police station or consoling Val after one of her many woes. Standouts include the aforementioned Abby cop shop confrontation and her shouting Joshua off the roof.

    5 - Jane Wyman: for owning her show. She was the centrepiece and while she had other great performers orbiting her like David Selby & Susan Sullivan, she still commanded the audience attention and set the bar for older actresses leading a cast on TV, something which was relatively new at the time.
     
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  10. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    My Top 5:

    (I have decided to post videos related to the non-soap career of all actors, o rare interviews, for a change)

    1- Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie, the one and only, on "Dallas")
    My Emmy goes to her for..."The Reckoning" (Season 5)


    2- Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes on "Dallas")
    My Emmy goes to him for..."Full Circle" (Season 3)​


    3- Victoria Principal (Pamela Ewing on "Dallas")
    My Emmy goes to her for..."Swan Song" (Season 7)


    To Be Continued​
     
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  11. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    4- Jane Wyman (Angela Channing on "Falcon Crest")
    My Emmy goes to her for "The Avenger" (Season 3)


    5- Michele Lee (Karen Fairgate Mackenzie on "Knots Landing"
    My Emmy goes to her for "Critical Condition" (Season 3)


    Ugh, this poll was difficult!!

    Honorable mentions:
    - Pamela Bellwood (Claudia on "Dynasty")
    - Pamela Sue Martin (Fallon on "Dynasty")
    - Julie Harris (Lilimae on KL)
    - William Devane (Greg on KL)
    - David Selby (Richard on "Falcon Crest")
    - Susan Sullivan (Maggie on FC)
    - Ana-Alicia (Melissa on FC)
    - Miss Piggy (Herself on "All my piglets")
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
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  12. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Hero

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    1. Jane Wyman - FALCON CREST - Maybe this choice won't be a surprise many but she displayed such great versatility in the role that she had to be my number one. From the dead pan way it which she delivered her one liners, to the cold emotionless way that she meted out some of her most cruel words, to the tenderness she showed towards those she cared for, her performance was an acting masterclass. This is one of my favourite scenes of her's because she didn't have much dialogue but it was her reactions to Melissa giving up her son that were so compelling.


    2. Cesar Romero - FALCON CREST - Normally, I like to spread the love around a bit more and wouldn't usually select my first and second choice from the same show, however, I wouldn't be giving an honest opinion if I placed him any lower. One of the finest actors in any of the soaps. Often when high profile actors took roles in the prime time soaps they often just did a competent job and accepted the pay cheque. That wasn't the case with Mr Romero, he brought his A game to every one of scene. He had such a great screen presence that he never was second best when playing against the more established stars of the show.

    3. John Pleshette - KNOTS LANDING - He was able to make Richard Avery into both being a likeable and a hated character at the same time. A character that could victimise others and be the victim himself. The breakdown that Richard had could have been an over the top pantomime but he turned it into a believable drama in which he switched from being angry to being chilling and menacing in seconds. When Richard left the cul-de-sac it was one of the most moving scenes in the entire series.

    4. Victoria Principal - DALLAS - Just a great actress who could wring every gram of emotion out of a scene such as in this one when Kane tells her JR was responsible for sending her to the Caribbean to look for Mark Graison.


    5. Howard Duff - FLAMINGO ROAD - He made Titus Semple such a captivating character that your eyes were always drawn to him when he was on the screen. He could show anger, displeasure, annoyance or joy just by a slight change of facial expression.
     
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  13. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    I can't put into words what each of my top five brought to me as I watched their shows, apart from saying they all blew me away in one way or another and that it wasn't down to any particular scene, but rather everything they brought to the character that made me believe in them.


    1. Joan Van Ark - KNOTS
    2. Julie Harris - KNOTS
    3. Linda Gray - DALLAS
    4. Jane Wyman - FALCON
    5. Ken Kercheval - DALLAS
     
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  14. Victoriafan3

    Victoriafan3 Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    A very toughie but a goodie ;-) so imo based on best performance...

    1. Susan Howard, Dallas - in the dream season especially but all the way through the show consistently good. She is such a natural actress, so grounded, totally believable. That absolutely gut wrenching scene from the 85-86 Oil Baron’s Ball as she screamed her baby is alive. How that did not garner her an Emmy nod? 30+ years later it still staggers me. I know a few people on here disagree with me, but Ray and Donna’s entire dream season story, would be one of my favourite stories in the entire series run and it was played to perfection

    2. Victoria Principal in the 84-85 season especially. She really ‘landed’ in her role from where Rebecca died and Pam left Bobby but it was the wild goose chase season she owned it! Her stand out stand ups to Gerald Kane and JR, her search for Mark, her forlorn expressions of the agony over being seperate from Bobby, her face when JR announce Jenna and Bobby’s engagement and her heart rending performance in swan song. Tugs my heart strings every time I watch that season. Love her! The first part of the dream she was super too. ‘See you in the office partner’

    3. Linda Gray. Again consistently good and even performances. Her eulogy to JR in the last season, wow. Just hung off every word. Like it was Linda speaking to Larry. But again the dream season when she was in the cell and drunk tank. OMG. That quite disturbed me when I was young and originally watched that. She was utterly amazing and again, how was she not nominated for an Emmy for this?!

    4. Patrick Duffy. He did sad so well. With Luke in ‘the lost child’ episode and, again, I found him much more interesting and had more depth in the seasons he and Pam seperated. They obviously loved each other and the hurt and loss he expressed in his eyes. His death bed speech, which should have remained that way, was deeply moving. Not a dry eye in the house

    5. Stephanie Beacham. She was fab as Sable. Dynasty didn’t ever touch me the way Dallas did, it went for camp not depth, which was still fun. So none of their actors really move me. But Stephanie had something very special. She is a class act

    Honourable mentions go to

    Rebecca Gilling, especially in the mini series of Return to Eden. She had to play two characters while being one character who went through such a rapid gamut of experiences, change and drama. She was incredible in that role. I was mesmerised by her the entire show

    Steve Kanaly. Again especially in the dream season which he was just robbed of, Ray grew so much. Steve was fantastic this season. Really showed us what he could do. He and Susan became such an enjoyable reason to watch this show this season. Excellent in his part

    Timothy Patrick Murphy. He should’ve stayed longer. He had so much potential. Super young actor. Miss him

    BBG - I was too young to watch the first four years or so of Dallas so I missed a lot of her most famous work in the show. But when she returned in the dream season, I realised just how much space she held for the show. It was like phew, you’re back, you are claiming your role and being Dallas’ backbone again.

    I remember Larry Hagman saying it is a lot harder to play a good character than to play an evil one. And I get that. Nevertheless he was riveting in his part. Charismatic
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
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  15. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    1. Constance McCashin, Knots Landing. No shocker here (at least from me), but she really did hit all the right notes with Laura. I never "caught her acting" in a scene, and even when she was assigned "supporting" duty she made the best of that, making the Greg/Laura pairing unique in soaps.

    2. Susan Sullivan, Falcon Crest. Being the town goody-goody is rarely a role actors enjoy playing, but Sullivan took what could have been a one-note character and gave Maggie an edge, a backbone--and didn't allow her to lapse into self-pity too often, even as they tossed every "Perils of Pauline" scenario at her.

    3. Julie Harris, Knots Landing. I think Harris managed to make a lot of out of what is essentially a talk-to character. When given the chance to step forward and drive story, I couldn't take my eyes off her. Still waters ran deep, for sure.

    4. Stephanie Beacham, The Colbys/Dynasty. Like Harris, she commanded your attention, even in the less "showy" scenes. She was also really good at letting the viewer know what Sable felt, even when the words coming out of Sable's mouth did not match her feelings.

    5. Jane Wyman, Falcon Crest. She was the queen of that show, and with good reason. Nobody told Wyman that she could have phoned it in and still collected her check. I got the feeling that she brought others' performances "up" simply by showing how seriously she took the work, even when it was admittedly ridiculous.

    Honorable Mentions go to William Devane, John Pleshette, Margaret Ladd, and Felicity Waterman.:eek: No, not really--just making sure you're still reading. ;)
     
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  16. Jock Og

    Jock Og Soap Chat Fan

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    1) Ken Kercheval - DALLAS.
    2) Barbara Bel Geddes - DALLAS.
    3) Jane Wyman - FALCON CREST.
    4) Stephanie Beacham - THE COLBYS AND DYNASTY.
    5) David Selby - FALCON CREST.
     
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  17. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Active Member

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    1. Ted Shackleford- In a show full of great actors, he is often is overlooked, but I always thought he turned in some excellent work. He wasn't the male hero of the show(Mack) or the cool villain (Greg). He had the unenviable task of being the weak one. However, TS turned a potentially weak man into a man who struggled with weaknesses. Many of the plots would not have worked as well without TS, imho. Some standout scenes: Drunk Gary screaming "We're ruining lives!!!!" It was cringeworthy but it worked because drunks usually behave in a cringeworthy manner, not always dramatic and soapy; Gary sees Cathy for the first time; Gary tells Abby about waking up on the beach next to Ciji"s body, the episode "Bottom of the Barrel."
    2. Joan Van Ark- She conveys so much with facial expressions and she made Val more than the over the top soap heroine. When she is told her twins died in childbirth, I don't think anyone could have given a better performance. The whole kidnapped twins arc could have been eye rolling if it wasn't for her acting.
    Standout scenes: Joshua is lecturing her, playing with her mind, the look on her face is awesome; letting Shelia Fischer hold the twins one last time, any scene with JR. I could go on because JVA hitvso many homeruns.
    3.Donna Mills-Abby could have been a typical blonde femme fatale, but DM took her above that. Seasons 4-6 were so good for her. Standout scenes: being interviewed by Janet Baines, taking Val to see her babies in season 6, meeting Val in that diner when Val was Verna.
    4. Michelle Phillips- Anne could have been a joke character, but MP played her so that she could be great fun and the audience could take the character seriously. Nudynasty could have looked at her performance as a model for Alexis if they wanted Alexis to be comic relief. Standout scenes: She realizes she's not pregnant, she learns Greg is dying and quips about the importance of getting money. It didn't come off as snark. This was who Anne was, she tells Mack he's not Paige's father(she could go from fun-loving to nasty beautifully).
    5.Steve Kanaly- He made Ray's insecurities very real, and his devotion to Jock, as well. Standout scenes: Ray is in jail and hands over his voting shares to JR, finding out his and Donna's baby had Down Syndrome, his entire relationship with Mickey, especially when he reads him the riot act for being disrespectful to Aunt Lil.
    All the actors the other posters put forth were excellent, I just wanted to make sure other actors received some recognition:)
     
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  18. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent choices everyone. :10:

    I will be back later with my list as I am having a bit of a hard time to chose.

    Also since there are so many talented actors/actresses on the shows and many of them deserve recognition I was wondering if it is possible to make this a top ten insted of top five?

    I know I probably should have suggested this before people started voting. :D
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  19. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I had considered this too Karin but didn't do it in the end. And it's a bit late now as many have voted already. But certainly feel free to list your top 10, but only the top 5 will be counted.
     
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  20. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay let's see then. It's not easy to just pick five out of all of these talented people. :think:

    But my votes will go to:

    1. Barbara Bel Geddes (Dallas)
    2. Julie Harris (Knots Landing)
    3. Joan Van Ark (Knots Landing)
    4. Linda Gray (Dallas)
    5. Joan Collins (Dynasty)

    Honorable Mentions go to: Ken Kercheval, Larry Hagman, Susan Howard, Jane Wyman, Ted Shackleford, Victoria Principal, Steve Kanaly, Stephanie Beacham, Donna Mills, Charlene Tilton, Patrick Duffy, Priscilla Presley, Alec Baldwin and Howard Keel.
     
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