This was around the time you left another role you originated, Gloria Fisher-Abbott, on The Young and the Restless. Ironically, Ted Shackelford was later cast as Gloria’s husband.
I loved Gloria, but I just felt like they were going in another direction with the character. I wanted her to be Anna Nicole Smith, Goldie Hawn and Drea de Matteo all rolled into one. But (the producers) were taking her to Joan Collins-shoulder-pads-via-bitch. I’m spoiled because of Knots Landing, where I had the blessing and joy of collaboration. We all got to contribute and collaborate (on the script). In daytime, there’s no such thing. (Y&R’s producers) are wonderful, but it’s more or less their way or the highway. I felt like a visitor (on Y&R). It’s a nice place to visit but I didn’t want to live there. I loved my sons on the show (actors Christian LeBlanc and Greg Rikaart). The original idea for me was to go in and do a story arc—a short burst of character—and then I’m outta there. I’d love to go in as a different character and screw up Ted and Gloria (now played by actress Judith Chapman). (Laughs.)
To hear more about Van Ark's legendary run as Knots Landing's Val and her appearance on Nip/Tuck, click here.