Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Say Goodnight Philly...

"You come in here and think you own this place."

These were the first words I heard out of Phil Carey's mouth.

"You mean I don't?" I shot back.

It was the start of something beautiful.

No doubt about it. I have dad issues. I spent many years trying to get my dad to tell me that he loved me. I didn't know what I didn't know. It's not that he didn't want to say the words. He couldn't say the words. As an adult, I have come to understand how transparent and fragile human beings are when it comes to emotions.

When Philly gave me instant disapproval, I was an old hand at it. I knew just how to handle him, and it threw him but good. From that moment on, we were as tight as a father and daughter. Thick as thieves. He loved it when I would walk in a room and shout "lock up your sons!"

I teased him all the time. It only failed me a few times, mostly towards the end of his run as the magnificent Asa Buchanan and he wasn't feeling well.

He was a cantankerous man. But underneath it all was a softie. All you had to do was bring up his wife Colleen, or his kids, and his whole face would change. Mush.

Bob Woods tortured Phil every week with some kind of practical joke. He once got up in the grid which has to be a good 50 feet high and off limits to actors, just to hang a rubber bat on a fishing wire and lower it into Philly's scene right in the middle of it. Phil thought he was hallucinating. There he was in the middle of being Asa Buchanan, in all his glory, and this rubber bat was tickling his head, wings a-flap.

Woods would take a picture of Phil's face, and super-impose it in some embarrassing situation, and then tack it all over the studio and dressing room area. He taped it to every single camera in the studio. It was Philly's nightmare and he couldn't make it go away. Woods did that to him everyday for a solid year.

When he and Clint Ritchie and Woods would get together, it was pure magic. Talk about twinkle! The whole room would light up. The three of them would turn into teenaged boys when they were together. Once, they were horsing around pretty good, and one of the ladies on the show turned and hissed, "how do you people get dates??!" Clint said, "we pay for them!" Philly, Clint and Woods just roared. They were a fearsome three-some.

As gruff as Phil pretended to be, it was all a ruse. He hid his cigarettes from his wife. She was the boss lady and we all knew it. She loved that man. She is the best wife a man could ever hope for, and he knew it. He adored her. I used to call her a Saint. I still think that.

Poor Woods had to make two sad calls to me this week.

I was so sad to learn of his passing. But how perfect that he and Clint went on ahead at the same time.

Philly was a good catholic. He loved the Lord, and I know that he and Bucky went home to be with the Father. That gives me much peace.

In show business, whenever we finish an acting job in the theatre, we say, "I had a good run." That means we did a good job, had fun, made the most of the task at hand, and excelled.

He had a good run.

Who am I kidding? He owned the joint.

Philly, you will ALWAYS be the Big Daddy...

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Anonymous Ellen S said...

What a great character Asa was and what a bonus to have Phil Carey play him. He was made for the role of Asa Buchanan and it seems as if Asa was written for him. Rest in peace Phil. You will be missed.

February 10, 2009 at 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Malti Sharma said...

Wonderful blog, Cat. You really bring Phil to life with your words. I'm so glad I had a chance to meet him in 2002 at Super Soap Weekend in California.

February 10, 2009 at 8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awww....what a sweet and loving post. It truly was written in a daughterly way :) I have so many friends with daddy issues and they just can't seem to get past them and find their way, you my dear seem to have a handle on that and I applaud you. As hokey as many thought the 40th anniversary show was I thought Asa and Viki were excellent, you could really feel the love in those scenes.

Now, as sad as these passings are it's pretty sad that Mr. Woods is calling you, he should be telling you at the studio. Get back to the show already! Please.

February 10, 2009 at 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Dana said...

thank you for the insight.

February 10, 2009 at 10:19 PM  
Anonymous Rhonda said...

What a beautiful Blog. Phil was an amazing person. I had the pleasure of meeting him about 15 yrs ago and i was so afraid to speak to him. I thought for sure it was Asa i was meeting. He looked at me and said " Dont worry sweetie, its ok, I dont bite"...:) He was a true gem!

Goodnite Phil, rest in peace.


February 11, 2009 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger victoria said...

What a nice story..... Viki

February 11, 2009 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger victoria said...

What a beautiful story....

February 11, 2009 at 12:03 PM  
OpenID DaveCable1 said...

Cat, I loved your tribute to Phil. The one and only time I was on-set, it was the day Phil returned from knee surgery. I was afraid to say hello. He was at a table on the Palace outdoor set, discussing his upcoming wedding with Renee. Woodsy rolled up on a flatbed cart. Phil turned and yelled, "You're not in this scene!" That cracked me up. (You might have still been there standing with me when it happened.) If that's a sample of a day on the OLTL set, I'm sure you have a ton of great memories.

February 11, 2009 at 1:02 PM  
Anonymous MissBeth said...

Catherine, what a lovely tribute to to Phil....he seemed so larger then life on screen, and I can only imagine what he was like in person, maybe he was a bit like John Wayne, another larger then life actor I did meet.

Asa will be SO missed, I was enjoying his messages from the great beyond and now we wont have any more of them :(

My condolences to you and the cast as you mourn the passing of Phil and Clint.

February 11, 2009 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger Rona's Home Page said...

I remember watching him play Asa when I was a teenager. (many years ago)
You said such beautiful things about him. I'm sure he's smiling right now.

February 16, 2009 at 4:59 PM  

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