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One Man's Opinion:
I Remember Mummy
Daytimers Magazine, February 1982
by David Johnson
Article Provided By Wanda

Aw, c'mon, they wouldn't! I laughed to myself, having tuned in to watch an episode of Ryan's Hope. But there was attractive attorney Jillian Coleridge (Nancy Addison) meeting with supersuave Spencer Smith (Lester Rawlins, who was so good as Orin Hillyer on The Edge of Night some years ago - nice to have him back on daytime) in a magnificent setting filled with Egyptian artifacts. Spencer told Jill a long, involved story about the tangled lives of two sisters of royal blood who reigned in
ancient Egypt.

The sisters were rivals in a love triangle, and you could see the analogy between Jill and her sister, pretty pediatrician Faith Coleridge (Karen Morris Gowdy). Was Ryan's Hope beginning a storyline involved reincarnation, a tale of love, hate, and death re-enacted in modern Manhattan?

Seems that the object of the Egyptian sisters' mutual affection died and Big Sis decided to join him in the Other World by committing suicide, which was a definite 'no-no' in the land of the Pharaohs. Big Sis' remains were mummified and placed in a secret sarcophagus befitting a transgressor.

An archaeological expedition, led by Spencer's father, discovered Big Sis' coffin, which had remained undisturbed for all those centuries. Naturally, there's a curse on anyone who desecrates the sarcophagus, and sure enough, Spencer's father's secretary died, then, his father succumbed. Spencer's intuition tells him that his life may be in mortal danger too.

I forget why the mummy's coffin was discovered in Greece, but anyway, Spencer engaged Jill's services to investigate the mysteries surrounding the accursed sarcophagus.

Visions of "The Mummy" from those double horror show Saturday matinees of my childhood came hurtling back to mind.  Late in the afternoon the doors to the Bijou (a.k.a The Dump) burst open, and a horde of kids would exit the theater, each doing their own imitation of The Mummy - one arm immobilized at chest level, the other reaching out for an intended victim's throat, while one leg propelled the body forward, the other leg dragged limply behind.

"Kharis, the Mummy", was introduced to movie audiences in Universal's big-budget screamer, The Mummy (1932) starring Boris Karloff in the title role. The hero's lady love, Princess Ananka, was reincarnated in the person of a modern-day maiden (Zita Johann), and it was Kharis' job to get that girl back to her tomb.

Universal resurrected the guardian monster in 1940 for The Mummy's Hand starring Tim Tyler, thus, launching a series of low-budget shockers in which Lon Chaney Jr. took over as the title character. Karloff had been visible throughout most of the original film, although, the makeup man did give him a withered, prune-like look. But Chaney was entirely under mummified wraps, and it was questioned whether that was really him beneath all the gauze or some poor stand-in.

In The Mummy's Ghost (1944), Princess Ananka's soul entered the fetching form of an unsuspecting young librarian (Ramsey Ames) employed at a New England college. With Kharis' arrival on campus, a streak of white appeared at the temple of the librarian's brunette hair. By the finale, as Kharis carried the librarian into the murky waters of a quarry, she looked awful - at least four thousands years old.

The same year, Virginia Christine donned a dark wig and played Princess Ananka, who by now was lost in the Louisiana bayous in The Mummy's Curse. She would go on to later fame as Mrs. Olsen in those Folger's Coffee commercials.

At the end of the 50's, Hammer Films, the British specialists in glorified gore, remade The Mummy with Christopher Lee and produced a series of Mummy movies over the next decade.

Would Ryan's Hope dare do something as outlandish as adding a white streak to Jill's lustrous hair? Or, have Faith pursued through the moonlight by a mummy with outstretched hand? Wouldn't that be a bit too much?  But think about it. Would that be too much for a soap that presented a blond-and-a-gorilla storyline reminiscent of King Kong featuring dippy Delia Coleridge (Randall Edwards)?  Not to mention sequences from other wild plots that reminded one of Jaws and The Godfather.

I like the ad copy for Hammer's The Mummy's Shroud proclaimed 'beware the beat of the cloth-wrapped feet.' Ah, I can hear it now, the ominous sound of a leg dragging along the ground as it comes closer and closer and closer and, then, a most unwelcome customer crashes through the front door of Ryan's Bar.

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