Abby Dalton behind-the-scenes.....

Discussion in 'Falcon Crest' started by TJames03, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    So much has been said about this, but what was the real story? Reports of AD being an alcoholic, difficult, etc.

    Julia was killed off in the spring house fire, then there was a change in producers, and she survived, Julia was to drown in wine in the earthquake, then there was a change in producers, and she survived. Julia came and went more than any other character in FC's entire history. What's up?
     
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  2. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I dunno
    She wasn't an alcoholic, just - by rumours - "difficult".

    Take that for what you will. Apparently she was not co-operative enough to make anyone behind the scenes to really like her.
     
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  3. Jock Og

    Jock Og Soap Chat Active Member

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    I never heard of Abby being an alcoholic. More awkward than anything else and when she stuck her heels in, it was like look out Abby’s about again.


    Abby Dalton is being interviewed about her time on Falcon Crest, (‘behind the scenes’, from season 1 – 6, 1981 – ’86):

    “I found my return story to be far fetched, after the earth quake. It was supposed to be some sort of psychological blindness. The scenes in jail were the most demand, satisfying stuff for me to do. Playing an insane person is wonderful because you don't have to qualify any of the writers' writing. You get to chew the scenery. I enjoyed doing the nun with the gun. That's what Jane used to call me. I used to zip over on lunch hour to our country club in the habit, sweeping past the members. I remember one man who glanced up at me and I winked at him. I thought he was going to have a cardiac arrest on the spot."
     
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  4. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I don't get it. "Difficult?" In what way?
     
  5. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    FC creator and co-executive producer Earl Hamner Jr painted a picture of a pain in the ass; self-absorbed and always demanding changes to the script while wanting to expand her role, often at the last minute and without reading the whole script and knowing what was going on with the other characters. When she couldn’t get her way on the show, she used higher-ups to bring pressure. He spoke about this in a filmed interview long before the 2010 reunion. I’m guessing his was the official voice of the collective; it wasn’t something just between her and him.

    Reading between the lines, I think officials wanted her out of their hair but didn’t want to sacrifice her character. So anything to curtail that sucky diva-ish behaviour.

    (Background: co-executive producer Michael Filerman was taken off active duties on the series before Ana-Alicia was hired in Season 1 as a Melissa replacement. By contract MF was given credit up to series end in that position; so EH was the sole active co-executive producer/showrunner for almost 5 years, if I’m not mistaken.)

    But AD was a fighter. From my dim memory, she found a platform in one of the soap magazines where she put an ad, appealing to readers to write or call in to the show, demanding the brass bring Julia back on screen with her in the role. It worked. She returned for end Season 5; and coincidentally or not, Earl Hamner stepped down as co-executive producer.

    Jeff Freilich was asked to take over as co-executive producer/showrunner at the last minute. (I think there was also another co-executive producer alongside JF at some point.)

    For Season 6, JF developed plans for a story revolving predominantly around old Hollywood names, which meant existing core characters other than Jane Wyman had to give up screen time. Plus JF needed all the budget he could get for the main story. (As well, the series never took a break at end S6 because JF & Co were working to get S7 filmed and almost ready before the threatened producers’ strike.) I’m guessing AD was an inherited problem & a complication for him from the beginning. Since she’d just been brought back due to ‘viewer’ demand, he was stuck with her. I suspect that he did the next best thing – put her in cold-storage as soon as possible. Her “far-fetched” return story did lead to her quick return to the convent.

    At some point back then, AD must have realised she really wasn’t wanted. She was never seen on the series again, not even when Michael Filerman returned to take over from JF as showrunner.
     
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  6. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    Robert McCullough talks about it in his podcast "Where Hollywood Hides". I can't recall the exact details but he did speak about Abby phoning him at odd hours (either in the middle of the night or really early in the morning) to discuss her scripts at length. The general consensus seemed to be that she was a bit of a high maintenance pain in the ass.
     
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  7. Gioberti84

    Gioberti84 Soap Chat Active Member

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    Julia was one of the greatest FC characters, when she was Over The Top though I believe she was still an asset, after season 3.
     
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  8. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Member

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    I liked Julia’s return during the Jean-Louis plotline - the surprise alone was worth bringing her back. But there was no reason for her to be around during seasons 5 and 6. I also understand that Jeff Frielich felt he was stuck with her. Abby herself complained in the press that the change in producers caused her to lose her job. But the only reason she got it back was because Bob McCullough left at the end of season 3. Had he stayed, Julia would never have returned from the dead. I remember him stating in an interview that “We can live quite happily without her” in reference to all of her complaints.
     
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  9. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    How very Julia from her. Anyway, it´s funny that on "Knots", when Michele and Joan did the same thing, their demands were met and dialogues changed, and when Abby (Dalton) did it, she was called names. If only for that, I would love to see "The Making of Another Guilty Pleasure: Falcon Crest"...

    [​IMG]

    Meet Abby Dalton in Ryan Murphy´s new production:
    "Feud": "When Grapes Went Sour"​
     
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  10. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    The show needed McCullough and Dalton.
     
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  11. Chloe-Fusco

    Chloe-Fusco Soap Chat Active Member

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    Before being written off the show Abby appeared at Kim Novak's welcoming party and none of the cast or crew expected her to be there.
     
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  12. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I don't recollect ever reading or hearing anything sour about Abby Dalton's behind-the-scenes behavior. Perhaps she wasn't the nicest person or the easiest one to get along with, but I gotta admit that I love these stories like this! :D:D
     
  13. Matthew Blaisdel

    Matthew Blaisdel Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I assume Wyman and Foxworth weren't any easier to deal with.
     
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  14. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Jane Wyman was the show's anchor, and I'm sure she had just as great presence off-screen as on. Robert Foxworth, as I would guess, probably was as equally hot-headed off-camera, too. Perhaps he could get hot-tempered when it was realized that his services could be done without.
     
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  15. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    To be clear, to my knowledge, Jeff Frielich didn't say that he felt stuck with Abby Dalton. I was reading the situation, and thought that was what he must have been feeling. If I've put words in his mouth, I apologize.
     
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