REMEMBERING LYNNE ROGERS
June 15, 1926 - September 8, 2019

"To me, fair friend, you never can be old... So sweet your hue, which methinks still doth stand, hath motion and mine eye may be deceived, for fear of which...thou age unbred, ere you were born was beauty's summer dead."
--Shakespeare, Sonnet 104

Our friendship was as lyrical as the 'perfect blendship' of backgrounds, experiences, a marriage of minds, a shared authorship of five books, adventures, social engagements, a genuine admiration for each other's talents and an appreciation of all the arts.

Before I met Lynne she was as she wrote in her bio, "a familiar face to millions of TV viewers during her many years as a leading lady of CBS' Guiding Light and an ailing heroine on NBC's The Doctors." I knew her before I met her because I had been an avid watcher of GL and The Doctors in my early life. The camera loved her face. A petite figure with a beautiful face, eyes that were constantly expressing a range of emotions, grace in her every step and a resonant speaking voice which could be heard in numerous radio dramas. Her resume was filled with voice overs and appearances on other TV shows, films, Broadway, regional theatres and summer stock. . She had also authored The Love of Their Lives, a behind- the-scenes story of soap opera through interviews with leading players.

We met when she auditioned for commercials at the ad agency where I was a casting assistant. We scheduled lunch dates or I would be invited to one of her soirees. She loved to entertain, cook and bake. She collected Mistinguett posters by Gesmar; Her bookshelves contained hundreds of books which she had read on the theatre and the arts.

In 1985 we spent three months writing an outline for the first edition of How To Be A Working Actor. Lynne took it to her literary agent and the agent sent it to our first publisher] a contract was signed, and nine months later the first book debuted in 1986. The fifth and final edition appeared in 2008. We always shared the chapters in the book and her "Understanding the Unions' section was outstanding. For American Heritage Magazine she wrote the 'turbulent history of the founding of Actors' Equity.'

She wrote the introduction to every edition of the book and here is a brief excerpt of her inspirational words.

"You are about to enter a strange and wondrous land. You are approaching that singular community of theatre-film-TV that lies somewhere between the Twilight Zone and the Land of Oz and is known as the 'Business', a world of lights and of frenzy, crowded with inhabitants who love what they do with a fervent passion that sustains them, often for years, and enables them to exist under primitive conditions, working frequently for no compensation other than the thrill of participating in each endeavor and the shimmering prospect of future greatness. There is always room, at least on the outskirts, for a newcomer, the primary requisite is dedication. It is the devoted ones who eventually make their way toward the centers of recognition, money and power."

A native New Yorker, she graduated, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Queens College. She wrote and produced her own radio show while an undergraduate there. Between semesters at the Yale Drama School, she auditioned for and won the lead on a radio soap opera which began her life as a working actor.

She found time to serve on the national and local boards of AFTRA and on the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, earning their medal for Distinguished Service and was a lifetime member of the Episcopal Actors Guild. She was the Co-President of the League of Professional Theatre Women (2007-2009).

Move over Shirley Temple: Lynne's mom entered her in a lookalike contest complete with her hair in ringlets. There was a striking resemblance to 'Bright Eyes' which this picture reveals when we invited the fabulous talent agent Peg Hadley to join us at a promotional event and book signing for the fourth edition in 2000.

More highlights about her life and career will be featured in a memorial tribute next year.

--Mari Lyn Henry

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE BOOK THROUGH AMAZON.COM
 
Hosted by Heidi Russell, Founder, Salon Radio©, and interviewed by actress Maureen Van Trease (9-29- 2016), Mari Lyn Henry's in-depth conversation covers the journey that led to the first and subsequent editions of How To Be A Working Actor celebrating its 30th anniversary in print.
(28 min.; audio will open in a new window--please be patient while it loads)
to Mari Lyn Henry's interview with host-comedian Nancy Lombardo on her Talk Radio blog. Fall, 2016.
(21 min.; audio will open in a new window--please be patient while it loads)