Ten Minutes with Linda Dano
Linda Dano is a talk-show host, designer, author, and women’s health advocate, but in many minds she is still the Emmy-winning actress who portrayed Felicia Gallant on “Another World.” She now appears on television with her home furnishings collection for QVC. She loves to entertain, cooks up a storm of fabulous food, is a gardening maniac, but is happiest cuddling with her three dogs.
Did you always want to be an actress?
Even though I grew up and went to school in California, I never thought about acting. I was much more interested in painting backdrops and working behind the scenes. At one point I thought I might work for Disney in animation.
But instead you became a model.
It was my high-school friend Janette’s fault. She was desperate to become a model and asked me to accompany her to the Nina Blanchard Modeling Agency. They weren’t interested in Janette, but as we were leaving, Ms. Blanchard asked me to stay.
How did you get into acting?
I modeled for Max Factor and my agent put me up for a television series at Twentieth Century and they wanted me to do a test. I had no idea what that meant but I went and they liked it.
How did you meet your husband Frank?
He was the creative director for a big ad agency in New York, and he hired me for a commercial. It was an instant love affair. I was still living in California, but I moved to New York.
When did the soap-opera career begin?
Three months after I arrived I went to work on “One Life to Live.” I hated the part, and I wasn’t very good. The director told me I’d never be a famous daytime star. Then I was on “As the World Turns” and after a year I was fired. So I started my own fashion business Strictly Personal.
Did you miss acting?
I was working very hard with my new business and QVC contacted me to rep a line of makeup. That led to a line of fashion accessories for them. So, I didn’t have time to think about acting. Then I was asked to audition for “Another World.”
And so you became Felicia Gallant.
She was a big flamboyant character, but I felt I wasn’t getting her. Frank told me to just be myself because I was Felicia. So I did and I began to enjoy the role and went on to win an Emmy. Then they canceled the show.
You live in an eighteenth-century house—how did you find it?
Frank had a love affair with that period of history, so I started to learn about it. We bought the land first, then found the two buildings and moved them. One is from Braintree, Massachusetts, and the other from Connecticut. They date back to 1738 and 1740.
After Frank died, did you ever think about leaving the area?
It was hard at first. I didn’t garden or do any of the things Frank enjoyed. Gradually, though, I realized that I loved it here, and it was important to continue what Frank and I had started. My mother died nine days after Frank, and her ashes are here, along with Frank’s and my father’s. So there is no way I’m leaving.