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Ilene Kristen Says, 'I'm Not Just Delia'
Soap Opera Update, October 29, 1996
Article Provided by Wanda

Three times in the 13-year run of Ryan's Hope, Ilene Kristen left her role of Delia. And every time, the show tried to replace her.

"I don't know how many Delias I went through," recalls Ron Hale, who played Dr. Roger Coleridge, Delia's third ex-husband and constant sparring partner, opposite three substitute Ilenes (including Robin Mattson, who now plays Janet on All My Children). "They were all super gals, but nobody could fill Ilene's shoes. When she cried, the tears were real."

Kristen knows that hers is a household name - and she still has her own feelings for Delia. "I cherish her a lot," says the actress. "She was one-of-a-kind."

But Kristen isn't one to look backwards - if for no other reason than that she doesn't have time.

"I've been doing theater," she says. "I just go from one project to the next. But unfortunately, " she sighs, "theater doesn't pay the bills." A nice new soap role might bring in a nice big paycheck, but, says Kristen, "at the moment, it doesn't seem like anybody's interested in me."

Hale, for one, doesn't get this. "I've been in this business for 30 years and I'm still amazed by the fact that Ilene is not knocking them dead on another show right now. She doesn't just play Delia."

Certainly not. After Ryan's Hope was canceled in 1989, Kristen scored in two other soap roles: Norma, the wacky waitress on Loving, and Madeline, the mischievous mob moll on Another World. But still, "fifty percent of the time, when people approach me, they want to know, "Where's Delia?" reveals Hale, who's now playing Mike on General Hospital. "They say, I love you on GH, but man, why don't you and Delia get back together?"

His reply, "from their lips to God's ears."

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