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The Return Of Edward II

Soap Opera Digest: How the heck did this all happen?

John Ingle: It began a couple of months ago. The execs from GH called my agent and said, "Just a casual question. Do you think John might be ever interested in coming back?" And that's the way it started. They talked several times. My agent asked me if I would and I said, "Yes, if conditions were met, I would." It wasn't that I was unhappy where I was. I wasn't being utilized as much as I had hoped. And I knew that Edward used to matter. DAYS was willing to let me go from the third year of my three-year contract. Once that was obtained, GH went ahead and made an offer, and I signed a four-year deal.Digest: Edward was a big part of your life. What do you plan to bring back to your characterization?

Ingle: I'm two years older, but the same kind of curmudgeon quality, I'm sure, will resurface. It's exciting. It may give the Quartermaine family, as a unit, that family feeling. Digest: What do you have to say about the work of your successor/predecessor, Jed Allan [Edward III]?

Ingle: He did what he was hired to do, replace the actor playing Edward. I've always said, though, when an actor loses a job, it saddens me. Digest: What will you miss about DAYS?

Ingle: The people. But [toward the end] the character really lacked much relevance. Although I certainly don't want any suggestion that I was unhappy at DAYS, because I wasn't. I was treated wonderfully there. Digest: We're sure you'll miss that wacky romantic triangle with Maggie [Suzanne Rogers] and Bonnie [Judi Evans].

Ingle: Yes. Those silly several months were delightful, though I am not particularly comfortable wearing rhinestones and cowboy boots and making that kind of fool out of myself [laughs]. At least it gave the audience something to laugh at. I loved that part of it. I loved the triangle when Maggie came back. And then once the playwright decided to have Mickey and Maggie remarry, we almost were never together. We almost never had any dialogue. It saddened me because one of the reasons to bring her back was to rekindle that kind of middle-aged romance, but I guess there wasn't room on the canvas. The cast is huge and it's very difficult to give equal coverage to all the characters the audience has interest in. We joke about the fact that we got remarried and then we haven't spoken since [laughs], as characters, of course ... Billy [Warlock, Frankie] jokingly said to me, "John, you don't have too many good years left. They better use you!" And I jokingly replied, "Yes, you're right."Digest: Did the GH writers tell you what to expect for Edward?

Ingle: Not a thing. But [Head Writer] Bob Guza got on the phone the other day said, "John, I have wonderful plans for you. You're going to be delighted." That's all I know. Obviously, I was flattered because nobody talks with the head writer!Digest: When you left GH, there were rumors about Edward's demise.

Ingle: They were ready to kill him off. And I was, of course, stunned, and I said, "How can you write out Edward? You brought Tracy back to do battle with him. You have that Dillon, the grandson who's a troublemaker. You brought Justus back as an illegitimate grandson," and to remove the other half of that battle seemed weird. The fans, I think, kind of went berserk and a week later they said, "Will you stay on?" They offered me recurring and at the same moment, that's when DAYS needed to replace John Clarke [ex-Mickey]. And then my agent was juggling my staying on recurring or my going to DAYS on a three-year contract with a guarantee. I had to take it. Digest: What else have you been up to?

Ingle: I've continued my voice-over work in the Universal cartoon series THE LAND BEFORE TIME. I do the narration and play the angry triceratops, the three-horned father who is amazingly like Edward, except he is a dinosaur and has scales and three horns, which may be Edward, I don't know [laughs]. The most exciting thing I've done was two episodes of BIG LOVE. That's a wonderful role. I'm in two upcoming successive episodes.Digest: Who are you playing?

Ingle: I play a man even older than I, if that's possible. He's unable to walk and drives around in one of those little three-wheel scooter things with a basket in the front and an American flag hanging over it, with hearing aids and big glasses. He needs oxygen, so he has an oxygen tank on his scooter. It's a wonderful role, and hopefully I've planted the seeds for the next season. I'm also a recurring judge on STRONG MEDICINE. When they need a judge, they usually call me. Digest: That's a pretty busy schedule.

Ingle: I don't do this for the money, but that's fine, too [laughs]. It's just that my brain needs stimulating and if I'm an actor, I need to perform. I will turn 78 this year and I'm not averse to saying I'm 78. I feel fine, thank God.Digest: It sounds like life is good.

Ingle: It is. And I must say, this is a lovely surprise gift that came this year, getting to come back to GH. The thing that thrills me most is that I can contradict that old saying that you can't go home again. This [move] is saying you can, indeed, go home again.

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