Ilene Kristen is the
latest ABC legend to get the ax
Will the slaughter ever end? During the past year, ABC has cavalierly dismissed some of its greatest stars - Finola Hughes, James DePaiva, Linda Dano, Kin Shriner, and Marcy Walker, just to name a few - in favor of new, young, and often inexperienced actors. And now Ilene Kristen has been added to the list. The actress, who plays trashy opportunist Roxy Balsom on One Life to Live, has been told that her contract will not be renewed when it runs out next month. According to an ABC publicist, "There is no more story for Roxy."
And that has Kristen mystified. "I'm really scratchin' my ass over this one," says the veteran star, who saw her airtime start to decrease last spring after she got an Emmy nomination. "I'm not mad, but it makes no sense. Roxy is so bent, so delightfully inappropriate - the possibilities for her were endless."
It certainly seemed so. Kristen, who earned legend status as the original Delia on ABC's Ryan's Hope, joined OLTL in 2001 and was so quickly embraced by viewers that the writers gave Roxy two adult offspring and a mom (the inimitable Sylvia Miles). Alas, ABC Daytime chief Brian Frons - who was hired after Kristen's arrival - did not share the fans' enthusiasm.
"But there's nothing I'd have done differently," Kristen says. "I'm a pro. I suit up and I show up, ready to act full throttle - and I can do that somewhere else. I'm sad, but I'm being very Zen. Who knows? Maybe this is a gift."