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Randall Edwards Talks About
'Going Ape' On Ryan's Hope
Soap Opera Magazine, July 1980
by Marilyn T. Ross
Article Provided By Wanda

The Beauty and the Beast theme has been a favorite in literature for many centuries; and now it's finally come to soap opera.

"King Kong is not dead!" said Randall Edwards (who as Delia on Ryan's Hope is the 'Beauty' of the latest version). "Only he's changed his name to Prince Albert and he's running around the Central Park Zoo."

It seems that in the serial, the trouble-prone Delia made friends with a gorilla in the New York Zoo. He may have been known to the world as Congo but  he was Prince Albert to her.  She was the Queen Bee to him and could do no wrong.  He trusted her implicitly. But in true Delia fashion, she betrayed him.

When Albert broke loose from his cage, she tricked him back into it. He couldn't forgive her, and one dark night, he escaped again, tracked her to her new restaurant (Delia's Crystal Palace) and abducted her. He carried her up Central Park's Delacorte Theater Tower and threw her from the parapet.

"We shot on location", Randall told me in a recent conversation, "and when the people on the crew saw what was happening, they asked me 'you got another job lined up yet?....because you're not going to survive the fall, are you?'"

But Delia did survive the fall and after just a few days' hospitalization, she was back at the same old stand, getting into new mischief.

It's a good thing Albert didn't decide to drop her from the Empire State Building or one of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers. Yet, according to Randall, the shooting in Central Park was traumatic enough - even though the shooting was only done with cameras.

"We spent two nights there, from about four in the afternoon to five in the morning. It was January and we were freezing. When it came time to do a scene, the director would ask, 'where have all the actors gone?' We were around the little firepots, trying to keep warm. I had to wear a light dress. So did the stunt woman who took the fall for me".

"I probably wouldn't have survived if I'd taken the fall myself. It was pretty scary even with a stunt woman. It was about 3 o'clock in the morning when we finally got to the stunt fall. Victoria, the lady who was hired to do it it, was carried out on the edge of the turreted tower by the gorilla and thrown off. She was to fall into an airbag. The airbag was maybe 12 feet or 16 square feet and the drop about 50 feet."

"Vikki had never fell that far before and when she hit the airbag, she bounced back about 15 feet in the air. Then she came down again and there was utter silence. (I thought she must have broken every bone in her body - for me!) Then, after a very long 10 seconds or so, she bounced off the bag and yelled, 'it worked! it worked!' We all breathed a sign of relief."

"All during the gorilla story line, the studio got lots of calls from people wanting to know if Albert was a real gorilla. Now it can be told, he wasn't. He was played by Donald Van Horn, a mime who's appearing in Mummenshanz on Broadway. I think he deserves a credit. His name was never on the cast list."

Shortly after Randall completed her location shooting in the dead of winter, she took off for 'sunny California' where rainstorms were causing catastrophic floods.

"I wasn't in the bad areas," she said, "but there were puddles all along Sunset Boulevard, cars stuck in the mud, and tons of debris."

She didn't, however, go to California for the sunny climate. She went to visit her 'one and only,' actor George Loros, whom she met about three years ago when both were appearing in an L.A. production of  Three Penny Opera, and whom she maintains she will wed 'when we both live in the same town.'

Currently, George's business connections keep him on the West Coast (he recently filmed a TV pilot for a projected series, Freebie and the Bean) and Randall's role on Ryan's Hope keeps her on the East Coast.

Though an Easterner by birth (born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in Cape Cod), Randall has had problems adjusting to the hectic pace of life in the Big Apple. But she now admits, "I can begin to understand the excitement and cultural advantages of
New York City, some of which I've been pursuing lately. I've been going to shows, concerts, the ballet and I joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art."

She loves to museum hop, which seems only natural since her mother is a professional painter and silk screen artist. "She got established under the name of Beverly Edwards so she still uses it, although she and my father were divorced about 15 years ago and are both remarried."

Randall's father, Lt. Col. Richard C. Edwards (retired from the Air Force) is currently working for a solar energy company near Washington, D.C. Her younger brother, Mark,  is a recent graduate of Clark University and her sister, Ashely, attends a Cape Cod high school.

After Randall graduated from Lawrence High in Fairmouth, Mass., she was accepted at the California Institute of Arts. She did a lot of plays and musicals there before earning her B.F.A. and turning to professional theater.

She toured with a repertory company in Colorado, did some shows in Cape Cod, then returned to California where she landed roles on Mary Tyler Moore's TV show and in the film Just Not The Same Without You (still to be released).

She auditioned for Ryan's Hope in L.A. and was transported to New York to become the permanent replacement for Ilene Kristen as Delia.

Though Randall found the people connected with the show warm and welcoming, away from the show, she had her problems. She sublet an apartment but after about a month and a half, the original resident returned and she had to look elsewhere. She found another sublet but her second day there she was locked out by the landlord who maintained the original occupant had no right to rent the apartment.

The police intervened and Randall got a weekend's reprieve but on Monday, she had to get out. She went to the recital agency and signed a lease for the first apartment he showed her - a small two-roomer, four flights up in a West side brownstone.

I walked those four steep flights the day I did this interview with Randall and couldn't help but wonder about how she managed it more than once a day.

"It isn't easy," she conceded, "and I can hardly face it after a hard day's work but it helps keep my weight down"

You'd never guess that Randall, a shapely 110 pounds, at 5'4", has a weight problem. But she confesses she loves to eat and sometimes attempts to crash diet. "I experiment with different diets, but the thing that works best for me is keeping so busy I
don't have time to think about eating. If I'm working a lot, I just have enough time to learn my lines before falling asleep. I
munch a lot when I watch TV."

We munched a lot on the cheese and fruit spread Randall had set out and we yakked a lot about things other than work.
Naturally we got back to the subject of her long distance romance.

"George and I see each other about every two months or so," she told me. "I miss him a lot but the relationship is getting stronger all the time. It's the most wonderful thing in my life now. But he's very supportive of my work and he thinks my being on the serial is a wonderful opportunity.  He helps me to cope with the separations."

"I try to learn something every day I'm here. I try to improve myself all the time. And the people connected with the show have been so helpful. It's a wonderful company and they're all so nice to me."

Delia may make people (and gorillas) 'go ape' - but it would be difficult not to be nice to Randall.

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