Before Marlena and John were the supercouple on "Days of Our Lives," it was Marlena and Don. Jed Allan, who played Don for almost 15 years, died last week. Allan's acting resume was gigantic. From prime-time TV to movies to soaps — including "Days of Our Lives," "General Hospital" and "Santa Barbara" — his name and acting skills were everywhere. I had the privilege of doing many public soap shows with him. He was suave, fun and good to the fans and to me. His wife, Toby, truly was the love of his life, as were his three sons. When he talked about his family, he would get a gleam in his eyes. Toby's death shattered him. He picked up the pieces for the rest of his family. The thing that made me his fan for life, though, was something he did on his first soap stint, "The Secret Storm." The producer was known for being an ogre. Allan could take it. But he could not take it when she was awful to a young actress. He went over to the producer, and I heard him whisper in her ear: "If you ever treat her that way again, I will smack you. What you did was like a smack in the face to her. Perhaps you need to know what it feels like." He never would have hit her; he wanted her to know she had to stop it. Years later, he worked for her on another soap. Seeing his name on the call sheet, she told him, "I will play nice," which she did — well, as nice as she could play.
It's time for March Madness — when the top-ranking college basketball teams meet up to find out which team has the best hoopsters. It is also a time that makes CBS soap fans mad. Next Thursday and Friday, March 21 and 22, "Bold and Beautiful" and "Young and Restless" will be pre-empted.
The shiniest husband-and-wife team in Hollywood has had their reputation tarnished. William H. Macy ("Shameless") and Felicity Huffman ("Desperate Housewives") have gotten in trouble for allegedly trying to pay their daughter's way into college. The Department of Justice has charged Huffman with bribing the honcho of a college testing center to give her daughter the questions to the SAT. A certain score is required in order to get into the college of your choice. It also appears that Macy and Huffman's daughter's wrong answers were corrected. Anyone who has taken the SAT knows it is tough — and not something that says whether you're ready for college. It continues to be one of the steps in getting into college. If you Google, you can see some of the questions. My favorite: "Jack has two apples and takes a train that is going 40 mph. He stops to pick up his sister Sally in San Jose. How many pears does Jack have?" Well, they're not that bad, but close enough.
To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.