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ATWT's Colleen Zenk on her amazing run in Oakdale & real life battles!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

ATWT’s Colleen Zenk’s 32 year run as Barbara Ryan ends this Friday.  The actress caught up with TV Guide to share her thoughts on the shows final moments, her real life cancer battle and how it affected her both on and off the television screen, and how through it all she still brought joy to the role that has made her beloved to long time fans of As the World Turns.  Here are a few excerpts!

Zenk on how she is feeling with just a few episodes left to air! “All I can think is why? The cancellation makes no sense. The last few episodes have been wrenching. Oh, my God! Those scenes with John and Lucinda! And Reid’s death! And the ashes! It’s all so emotional and poignant. I just can’t believe we only have a couple of episodes left because I still haven’t dealt with the loss of the show and the loss of Barbara. To continue shooting months and months after we got the cancellation notice created a grand illusion. It was easy to fall into a place of denial and say “We’re fine!” because we were still telling great stories. Someone told me it took Victoria Wyndham five years to accept the loss of Another World. [Laughs] I’m a different kind of human being than that, but the loss is still huge.”

Zenk on dealing with her cancer battle in such a public way:  “I had a lot of resistance at home and elsewhere about taking it public. But I did it anyway. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I had tremendous emotional support from everyone at work. Procter & Gamble didn’t have to keep me employed, and certainly not under contract, after I got sick. They could easily have said, “This is not going to work.” The show worked around all my surgeries and treatments and radiation. And I sounded like hell for a very long time, and I didn’t look so good, either. I’m told no one can hear my speech impediment anymore. I sure can hear it, and it doesn’t sound so good to me. But people have ignored it, and that’s extraordinary. Having that kind of love all around really changes you. Having that unrelenting, unquestioning, no-holds-barred kind of love was what kept me alive.”

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amina
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amina

Gifted with that amazing glow and acting talent, I’ve always considered Colleen a class act. It wasn’t until reading this article, though, that my jaw-dropping admiration for her soared even further into the heavens. I just cannot grasp the reality of fiercely muscling my way through two horrifying bouts of oral cancer and re-emerging as badass and beautiful as she did! We clearly saw Colleen’s remarkable traits resonate through Barbara, whom I cannot believe will disappear from permanent view come Monday. Jeesh, I’m depressed…. As for Colleen though, I know we’ll be seeing her really soon in some amazing role… Read more »

Phyllis
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Phyllis

Colleen is extraordinary and exudes beauty, inside and out.

Nia Liz
Guest
Nia Liz

I want to thank Colleen for being faithful to Barbara throughout the years, even while she was undergoing her real life battles. I pray that Colleen continues to have exceptional health and performs for an array of audiences for many more years.

Marcy
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Marcy

I am writing this message with complete adoration of Colleen Zenk. No human being should have to face this much hardship in one gulp. I cannot fathom enduring a health crisis of that proportion, becoming strong and stable again, then receiving notice that my amazing job is ending, my beloved character that I’ve put my all into (and it showed) will no longer exist and realizing that my marriage has run its course. This quadruple whammy is all too surreal, and unjust until the old adage comes to mind that “what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger” and… Read more »

tricia
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tricia

as far as daytime TV icons go, Colleen ranks at the top of my list. her wide range, longevity, comedic timing and stunning good looks have made the character Barbara a soap legend. reading this posted article reminded me of when i’d read about Colleen’s Big C scare a couple years ago. i was scared to death for her. i am so grateful to the real PTB for allowing her to overcome those complex surgeries without impairment so that she could continue working and educating people on the importance of early detection. i love this great actress and will miss… Read more »

mmc
Guest
mmc

She’s lovely and a brave woman…I loved her happy ending with Henry.I wish her continued success…and as she gets older she gets better, in every way!

Val
Guest
Val

I applaud Colleen for using her celebrity to address the dangers of oral cancer. The message that we’re all susceptible needs to be voiced loudly because so many people are under the perception that since they don’t smoke, they’re not at risk of contracting the throat and tongue cancers…..just as we all thought smokers only developed lung cancer until Dana Reeve, who’d never smoked, died from it. Colleen was one of the super unfortunate ones to develop oral cancer but thankfully, she was fortunate enough to survive it. She’s so brave to put herself out there for the greater good.… Read more »

EJ
Guest
EJ

can’t believe that colleen is no longer married! her ex – like most men in their 50’s – is most likely going through some personal crisis of his own. or he is one of those men who can’t handle situations like illness. colleen will get through this rough period. she’s already conquered C twofold so the worst is definitely over. and with her energy and stunning good looks she’ll find happiness soon and probably without even looking for it. in the olden days she reminded me so much of a young natalie wood but with more splendor. and even today… Read more »

Jamie Lynn
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Jamie Lynn

IN MONTHS PAST, HER STORYLINES AND ACTING RANGE HAVE BEEN EPIC AND WORTHY OF EMMY CONTENTION.

Jamie Lynn
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Jamie Lynn

OUR HEARTS GO OUT TO COLLEEN. WE LOVE HER!!!!

steph
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steph

what colleen is doing to spread the word is so admirable. people at risk need to hear what she has to say. her fans need her too……daytime needs her !! i hope in time colleen’s able to act again on another soap. i think that she would be amazing in a role like gloria bardwell’s on young and the restless…..just my two cents

nadal4life
Guest
nadal4life

Listened to her podcast on Daytime Confidential. It was long but informative and uplifting. The recent low blow of the day (I think the DC interview happened on 9/17)didn’t seemed to dull her spirit. She’s a very positive person and I could tell that she was all smiles during the podcast. I hope the others vets are doing okay.

Estelle
Guest
Estelle

Thanks nadal4life. Listening to Colleen’s podcast on DC now. Very inspiring…..

Scherrie
Guest
Scherrie

michael, thank you for posting this interview. colleen is a champion. what i loved the most about atwt was that it preserved the good ole’ days by keeping those historic characters like barbara, bob, kim, nancy, lisa, and lily around. keeping the vets brought forth the familar and served as a reminder of how incredible the show had been 20 and 30 years ago. racking my brains for weeks now, i still feel that there’s NO good reason whatsoever why oakdale should stop turning. with guiding light, i could easily see the end in sight since the storylines were so… Read more »

Trudy
Guest
Trudy

Since Colleen looks too young to play the role of cougar, I’ll call her a puma. I loved the puma storyline with Barb and Henry. LOVED IT. I wish Chris G. would’ve cast someone from the outside to start up a genuine romance with Lisa. By the end of the show, she was the only adult whose life remained sort of cliche and mundane……

RogerR
Guest
RogerR

A PUMA STORYLINE? THAT’S QUITE HILARIOUS! I AGREE THAT LISA DESERVED A BETTER FAREWELL THAN SHE WHAT SHE WAS GIVEN. BUT I AM HAPPY, BEYOND HAPPY THAT BARB FOUND HAPPINESS. I’D LOVE TO SEE BOTH COLLEEN AND TRENT DO COMEDY IN THE FUTURE.

Karen
Guest
Karen

Colleen Zenk was a GODDESS on this soap. She’s gotta get grabbed by another one!!!

Reagan
Guest
Reagan

catching up on atwt…..i’m watching barbara and henry compete in a dance contest. those two are sizzling together. i love love love them! their scenes remind of what soaps used to be like.

AaronZ
Guest
AaronZ

i grew up watching Colleen her outer beauty is matched by her inner strength. i wish her a continuing success in whatever new projects she decides to do. i cannot believe ATWT is off the air and for the garbage that CBS has put on in it’s place it is a disgrace these are the dog days of broadcasting on daytime television. i truly wish ATWT’s had been picked up by HBO or SHOWTIME cable network instead of them just reruning rotation of movies in the morning hours. i think ATWT or GL unbound without public broadcasting restrictions and with… Read more »

As The World Turns

As the World Turns Alum Marnie Schulenburg Passes Away at 37

Heartbreaking news to report.  As the World Turns alum, Marnie Schulenburg, has died at the young age of 37-years-old.

Schulenburg had been battling stage 4 metastatic breast cancer since 2020.

Soap fans remember her portrayals as Alison Stewart on As the World Turns from 2007-2010 and  as Jo Sullivan on Prospect Park’s reboot of One Life to Live in 2013.

According to Soap Opera Digest, Marnie passed away a few days shy of her 38th birthday.

The Flux Theatre Ensemble, in which Marnie participated and performed in shared their sorrow on Facebook noting: “We’re mourning the loss of Marnie Schulenburg, a beloved member of Flux’s family and an extraordinary actor who performed in and helped develop so many Flux shows, including MARIAN, HEARTS LIKE FISTS, PRETTY THEFT, and ANGEL EATERS. We love you so much, and we will miss you always.”

Marnie is survived by husband Zack Robidas and daughter, Coda, who is just two-years-old.

We will continue to update this story as remembrances are posted in Marnie’s honor.

Share you condolences to Marnie’s family and your thoughts in the comment section below.

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As The World Turns

ATWT Alum Alexandra Chando Cast in NBC Pilot Based on Dutch Show ‘Adam & Eva’

In casting news, Alexandra Chando (Ex-Maddie, As the World Turns) had been tapped to play one of the leading roles in the upcoming untiled NBC pilot based on the Dutch series, Adam & Eva.

Chando will be joined by Younger star, Ben Rappaport as the epicenter of the proposed series.

The log lines share that the project is both funny and heartfelt and will chronicle the epic love and lives of two complete strangers, Adam (Rappaport) and Eva (Chando), whose multiple run-ins begin to defy coincidence, leading both to believe in fate.

According to Deadline, Alexandra’s role of Eva is said to be an aspiring artist and force of nature whose relationship and views on fate are put to the test when she meets Adam.

Alexandra commented on social media:Immensely excited and grateful to be apart of this incredible show.”

As the World Turns fans will remember Chando received a Daytime Emmy nomination for her performances back in 2007 and she was previously seen in The Lying Game and Sneaky Pete.

So, intrigued on the proposed series featuring Chando? Comment below.

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As The World Turns

Julianne Moore Pays Tribute to ATWT’s Kathryn Hays: “I Am in Indebted to Her and So Saddened by Her Loss”

The soap world has been in mourning since last Friday with the news of the passing of As the World Turns icon, Kathryn Hays (Kim Hughes).  The beloved actress passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 87.

Now, Hays former on-screen stepdaughter and niece, Oscar winner, Julianne Moore (Ex-Frannie/Sabrina Hughes) took to Instagram over the weekend to share her heartfelt remembrance and grief of working with Hays early in her acting career on ATWT.

Photo: JPI

Moore shared: “The beautiful and gracious Kathryn Hays has passed away. I worked with Kathryn on As the World Turns at the beginning of my career and she treated me with such kindness and generosity, and demonstrated in her every action how to be professional on a set. I am indebted to her and so saddened by her loss. My thoughts are with her family – she spoke to me so often of her daughter. I hope they know what a profound influence Kathryn had on me, and so many others. RIP Kathryn ❤️❤️❤️ ”

Julianne had played twins Frannie and Sabrina from 1985-1988 and then returned to the CBS soap opera one final time in 2010 before ATWT made its final farewell.

What do you think of the kind words Moore shared on her thoughts on the passing of Kathryn Hays? Do you remember Julianne in scenes with Kathryn on ATWT, if so, what were some of your favorites? Comment below.

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