Earl Hindman Doesn't Care
About Money, Just Fame
Daytime TV Magazine, May 1977
by Gloria Paternostro
Article Provided By Wanda
“I enjoy Ryan's Hope because I play the good guy - the ultra good guy, you know - the stupid guy!”
So says Earl Hindman of his Bob Reid role, and if it sounds strange, you have to know that Earl is nearly always cast as a villain, or worse, a bully. He has the voice for it-incredibly deep - and with his height and build, can come across very menacingly.
But when you meet him, nothing could be further from the truth, for Earl detests violence.
“I hate bullies, though I play them a lot. I encountered them when I was a kid growing up on the border.....gangs and stuff like that. I was very precocious when I was a child. I wanted chemistry books, outer space studies and all those things. And the other kids would fight. I was a loner. I wasn’t into gang philosophy - I didn’t get into that until one year in eighth grade when I sort of drifted into one. I hate injustice.”
Earl was born in Bisbee, Arizona and spent his high school and part of his college years in Tucson, where his folks still live. His father was a pipeliner for the El Paso Natural Gas Co. so the family was always moving and Earl never stayed in one school more than a month or six weeks.
He still managed to win two scholarships in photography and in football, taking the photography and switching to drama. Photography remains a passion of his, along with stamp collecting, two hobbies he finds satisfying and relaxing.
On May 21st, 1976, Earl married longtime love, Molly McGreevy and brought her and two of her three children back east from Kansas City where they were living. Barbara (11) and Jessica (13) are adjusting to the move quite well, while Pamela, the oldest, is in Kansas City with her father. Because of the girls, Earl and Molly decided against the city and chose a Connecticut suburb instead, which is proving harder than they anticipated.
“I don’t care what you say, it’s one stop light after another - that’s all it is - one big stop light!
We’re living in a house right on the top of a mountain with woods around us. We have neighbors but they’re kind of removed. Molly’s a mover, you know, a lot happening....and the things about Connecticut I think for her, and a little bit for me, is the fact that the social life up there is a bummer! There’s no party life up there! Of course, we’ve only been there a few months, so I really can’t make a total value judgment.”
“Molly needs to get out. She’s very outgoing, warm person and she is talented, she has a lot of chutzpah, she loves people, she’s a social animal. She loves the house - it’s what we wanted and everything - but she needs more than sitting on a mountain. She’s so good about it, she never complains.”
Molly has always been active acting and producing and running a couple of dinner theaters with two other people, and now she’d like to get back into commercials and acting.”
More than anything in the world, she’d love to be in a soap opera!” laughs Earl. “She would give her right arm to be in a soap! To live and die and grow old there - that’s where her head’s at.”
Earl is a Libra (October 20) and feels he’s very true to the Libra personality.
“Fine details is a forte of mine, consciousness of fine detail. I have a strong sense of justice, a taste for beauty and I’m very organized - all Libra traits. But one of my big philosophies - and I truly believe it - it’s never done me wrong - is, you can put off most anything until tomorrow. I’m a great putter-offer. And I can always feel when it can’t be put off, and then I take care of it. But I’m personally sloppy. I have a room over the garage where I throw everything.”
Most daytime stars are anxious to work a fairly heavy schedule, but Earl laughs when it is suggested that his character hasn’t been doing much lately.
“I only do about two shows a week, so I have time for other things. I did summer stock last summer, a season of Shakespeare. They let me out to do a movie, so it doesn’t bother me. I don’t mind. Mr. Underachiever here, he doesn’t mind!”
But don’t interpret his reaction as a lack of ambition, because it’s there, seething under the surface.
“The only thing I’m worried abut is being financially secure and becoming a star. Well, I’m financially secure now, but the star thing is still getting away from me. I don’t care about the money - the money will come. If you’re a star, you’ll start getting money. That is a drive - I would like to be a star. It means recognition. It means I’m going to die and someday possibly after I die, someone will remember me for five or ten years.”
Why is it so important to him?
“I don’t know. I would much rather he famous than anything. But if it doesn’t come, I’m not going to get bent out of shape about it. It hasn’t come, it may never come...”
But while waiting for stardom, Earl is very aware of what he has and how far he has come.
“I am basically happy. I have a normal amount of apprehension and worries and a normal amount of downers. I can be moody, but I count my blessings.
“The lowest period of my life was when I was living in the East Village in 1964 and nothing was happening for me. I was working in Brooklyn, selling diapers to pregnant ladies over the phone for 30 bucks a week, going down to the liquor store delivering liquor so that I could get enough money to go out and have a couple of beers in the West Village, walking all the way back to the East village, sleeping on the floor with just a mattress--it was really the pits for about eight months.
“So now I think, ‘Look what you’ve got!” I’ve got a wonderful woman as a wife, I’ve got a lovely home, I’ve got me a dark room up there, I’ve got my stamp collection, I’ve got my ’70 Plymouth Duster. I’ve got a career going. I’ve got everything. So yes, I’m happy!”
With all his experience on stage and in movies, you wouldn’t expect Earl to be fazed by daytime television, but he laughingly admits he was at first.
“It was very nerve-wracking. I’m really cool when it comes to the stage - it’s like I’m at home - I never get nervous. Why should I be nervous? But soap opera.....”he becomes rigid and gives a horrified catatonic stare to give some indication of his feelings.
“I guess it’s the immediacy. When I first started working there, I’d come up with lines like ‘you’ve got a good Fenelli, memory!’ It took me about three months learning for the specific soap. Now I feel like I belong.”
Throughout our conversation Earl is constantly smoking and admits he’s tried quitting, without success.
“I was doing a production of Wait Until Dark - when you’re in a play, that’s the worst time to think you’re going to stop, so now after about two hours, I’m starting to go ‘aaaah’ and there are little things breaking out on my hand, you know! I was a nervous wreck. It was kind of like taking uppers or diet pills or something. I couldn’t hack it. I’ve got to cut it out. It’s going to kill me if I don't.”
Earl has maintained a strong interest in sports, preferring college to pro football, loving baseball (he’s a Yankee freak), golf and tennis.
He would like children of his own some day, but knows that now is not the time, his primary consideration being his wife and stepchildren at present.
All in all, Earl is pretty contented with his lot, although occasionally he gets upset with the business he’s in.
“Sometimes the utter stupidity of it drives me up the wall, the casting mistakes...I see some of the things I’ve missed out on which I should have had - and the things I’ve gotten that I shouldn’t have! Sometimes the craziness of it all upsets me.”
But a long time ago someone gave Earl some advice that stands him in good stead when the anger rises: “This guy told me, ‘get mad, get madder than hell, but don’t get bitter.’ What happens to some people is they get bitter. I don’t need that.”
Back to Ryan's Bar Online