LB: Actors Have Feelings Too

by Larry Brody

Actually, actors have Very Deep Feelings, so much deeper than those of writers that we can’t possibly fathom what’s going on. Yes, years of experience being overwhelmed by the stars and not-stars I’ve worked with have taught me this. Which is why the following makes me so sad:

Rachel Ward Reveals She Left Acting After Bad Reviews for ‘Thornbirds’
by Marisa Guthrie (The Hollywood Reporter)

Rachel Ward — who starred in the wildly popular 1983 miniseries The Thornbirds with Richard Chamberlain — appeared at the semi-annual Television Critics Association press tour Sunday and admitted that it was the critics that drove her out of acting.

Although The Thornbirds was wildly popular, Ward received excoriating reviews for her performance.

“When I got slaughtered, I really took it to heart,” she said. “I never really got my confidence back after that.”
Ward appeared at TCA to support the PBS special Pioneers of Television along with Chamberlain, Louis Gossett Jr. (Roots), Michele Lee (Knots Landing), Cloris Leachman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Raising Hope) and Ward’s husband, Bryan Brown (who met her on Thornbirds).

Ward, who still does occasional acting, moved to Brown’s native Australia, where she has directed television series.

“As an actress, obviously you need a bit of talent,” she continued. “I think you need enormous guts to have a got at it.”

“Or tits,” chimed in Lee.

“I think you need self-confidence, which I didn’t have,” Ward said. “I feel honored to have been part of [The Thornbirds], but I didn’t want to repeat the experience.”

Come to think of it, I do know writers who’ve reacted to comments about their work by leaving the profession too. But for them it wasn’t comments by critics, it was comments at all those %#@! meetings.

About LB

Larry Brody has been profiled in such national magazines and websites as Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Starlog, People, Electronic Media, IndieSlate, TechTV, io9, and of course TV Guide. A legendary figure in the television writing and production world, with a career going back to the late ’60s, Brody has written and produced literally thousands of hours of network and syndicated television. Brody has also been active in the TV animation world, writing, creating, consulting, and/or supervising the cult favorite STAR TREK animated TV series, the SILVER SURFER, SPAWN, SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN, and SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED animated series, and was showrunner of the French animated series, DIABOLIK, as well as part of the team that developed and wrote the live-action/cgi animation sci-fi series Ace Lightning for the BBC. Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys.

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