All My Children's Tara Martin Brent is back - and Karen Lynn Gorney is delighted to play the character she created 25 years ago.
"I'm so grateful for the chance to bring Tara up to date,"says Karen, who left AMC in 1976. "Back then, she was a tremendous people-pleaser, out of touch with her feelings. Now, her third marriage is starting to fall apart and she's beginning to think, 'Maybe something is wrong with me.' She's questioning her existence."
Returning to AMC - she starts a six-week stint on Nov. 2- also gives Karen the chance to work with old friends. "I love Susan Lucci, she's one of my heroes."she declares. "And I'm very close to Ray MacDonnell, who's been my father on the show since 1970. He's one of the best actors I know - he studied in England and was a Fulbright scholar. He's the only person Tara has ever been able to talk to."
Karen, who wowed 'em as Stephanie in the 1977 hit movie "Saturday Night Fever", keeps very busy. She plays Iris Corman on Law and Order, and recently appeared off-Broadway in Grandma Sylvia's Funeral. Her film credits inlcude The Dean's List and The Hard Way. She's also a member of The Frog and Peach Theatre Company in New York City, where she plays Constance in Shakespeare's King John.
"Constance, like Tara, is a controlling mother - only she wants her son to be king," Karen explains. "She seduced every man to further her ends, including the Cardinal. Of course, Tara would never do anything like that,"she laughs.
Karen is also a newlywed. Last July, she married pianist Mark Toback. They live in New York with their three cats.
"Mark and I have been buddies since 1987, and this was his apartment," she says. El Gato, a pure-white, 16 year-old Turkish Angora, rules the roost. "He was a present from Nick Benedict, who used to play Phil on AMC, and named for Gato Barbieri, a famous saxophone player," Karen says. Kittens Buddha and (Space) Cadet round out the menagerie. Karen loves receiving mail and has been corresponding with fans for 25 years, says her manager, Sue Schacter. "Because of Karen's gracious manner, I guarantee she'll answer every letter,"declares Sue.