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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS //
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March 6 – 12, 1994
Interview by Carolyn Hinsey & Alison Sloane
SOAP SUDS/Dark Victor (y)

On “The Young and the Restless,” the character of Victor Newman just completed a daytime first: He secretly exhumed a dead body to conduct a DNA test. But Eric Braeden, who has played wily Victor since 1980, says whatever “Y&R” co-creator William J. (Bill) Bell writes for the cranky tycoon is fine with him. “This storyline is like all of Bill’s storylines that I have been involved in – brilliant,” praises Braeden. “I don’t know how he comes up with it.” The story of Victor’s daughter, Victoria, who inadvertently married his, Cole, comes to a head this month when the blood-test results come in. Are the newlyweds really siblings? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, the German born Braeden is keeping busy offscreen with boxing, tennis, coaching his son’s soccer team and hoping to one day get enough time off to return to the Broadway stage. “I have such fond memories of New York,” he recalls wistfully. “I did a play there in 1965 called the ‘The Great Indoors’ with Geraldine Page and Clarence Williams 3d. I remember I was scared s----less opening night. Having played as much sports as I have, I know what it means to hear the starter’s gun. But there is nothing like the fear of opening night. I opened the curtain a little bit and I saw Otto Preminger, Anne Bancroft, Mel Brooks … I thought, What the hell am I doing here? I kept running up and down the stairs backstage. I drank two brandies. Nothing helped. I contemplated running out the stage door into the dark streets of New York.” Braeden, of course, pulled himself together and knocked ’em dead. “Afterwards,” he continues, “there was this extraordinary ritual at Sardi’s. We walked in and everyone applauded. Two ladies called me over to talk to me, and it was Viveca Lindfors and Lillian Gish!” If Braeden knew then what he knows now, he’d have a different appreciation of Broadway: “It was a fascinating experience, but I came to New York at the wrong time. I was very young, and much more interested back then in how my soccer team was doing.”
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