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.

Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.

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