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RutherfordBHayes



My remarks at Linda Cook's Memorial Service, 263 W. 86th St., New York, NY

I am a Presidential Historian. Looking at Linda's birth and death dates on the cover of today's program, I see that Linda was born on June 8, 1948, the anniversary of President Andrew Jackson's death in 1845, and Linda left us on April 12, the day in 1945 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt died. In fact, both FDR and Linda were the same age - 63. I sure hope that Linda is having a good time conversing with these presidents.

I also find it very appropriate that today, April 28, is the chosen day for Linda's Memorial service, because, as our history books will tell you, today is President James Monroe's birthday (in 1758). His administration from 1817 - 1825 is known as 'The Era of Good Feelings.' It is obvious, by listening to Linda's two sisters and brother that whoever encountered Linda was always left with good feelings. She exuded it, in abundance.

My second passion in life is 'The Edge of Night,' which premiered on the CBS television network on April 2, 1956, three weeks before I was born, was moved to the ABC television network on December 1, 1975. Linda remained with the show until 1977, when her character was written out.

Sadly, the show ended it's 28 1/2 year run on December 28, 1984. But, her character of Laurie Ann was such a pivotal role in the history of the show, that she was the only actress to reprise her role during the show's final week. I was one of only two fans invited to the show's final taping.

I find it only fitting and proper to attend Linda, our beloved Laurie Ann Karr's, memorial service because nearly 40 years ago, I attended her TV step-grandfather Walter Greaza (who played Winston Grimsley)'s funeral, as well. I have come full circle. Through her character, I had the older sister I never had.

Recently, I have had the pleasure and honor to share my memories of 'The Edge of Night,' in a new book 'Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Era,' published by the University of Mississippi Press. Hardcover edition: Dec. 2010. Paperback edition: March 2012.

As the years passed, I rejoiced to see Linda continue in her successful daytime television career with her memorable stint as 'Egypt Jones' on ABC's 'Loving,' among other roles.

My sympathies go out to Linda's husband, siblings and to her extended circle of family and friends, at this sad time. Linda will always have a special place in my heart.
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The Edge of Night Discussion · Soap Opera History & Discussion