Over the past few weekends we've been reminiscing about the greatest bitches from our favorite primetime soaps. We've fondly recalled Dynasty's larger-than-life Alexis Colby (Joan Collins) and Knots Landing's feline seductress Abby Fairgate (Donna Mills), but no discussion about primetime soap divas from the 80's could be complete without the most cunning, lethal, downright venomous one of them all–Falcon Crest's Angela Gioberti Channing ( the late Jane Wyman).
For nine pot boiling seasons veteran film actress Wyman (the ex-wife of then-President Ronald Reagan) ruled over the fictional Tuscany Valley wine vineyards as the indominable Angela, a woman wouldn't think twice about stabbing her own children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews in the back if it meant maintaining control of her grandfather's legacy, Falcon Crest. Some say it was The Angel Formerly Known as Lucifer in the Garden that fateful day with Eve and Adam, I say it was Angela.
For years Angela conspired to run her nephew Chase (Robert Foxworth) and his principled, journalist wife Maggie (Susan Sullivan) out of the Valley, so that she could leave Falcon Crest lock, stock and wine decanter to her beloved grandson and partner-in-crime Lance Cumson (Lorenzo Lamas). If fans were hoping for some touchy-feely mother/son reunion when Angela learned her other nemesis Richard Channing (David Selby) was actually her long lost offspring, they were in for less than a good year. If anything, Angela and Richard's bitter rivalry intensified, that is until they found common ground in their battle against the ruthless mafia syndicate The Thirteen.
Speaking of rivalries, Angela found her most formidable foe in the erotically-charged Melissa Agretti (Ana Alicia). Melissa held a grudge against the Giobertis, especially Angela, whom she felt robbed her of her birthright, which was of course, Falcon Crest. Melissa nursed her pain by marrying both Angela's great nephew Cole (William R. Moses) and Lance, pitting the cousins against one another and drawing for herself the continuing wrath of the vicious Angela.
While people tend to give the distinction to Alexis, Angela Channing was truly the female version of JR Ewing. A toast to Angela Channing and Falcon Crest. Long may you live on You Tube!