Family Matters

March 30, 1993
by Lisa Hallet
Soap Opera Digest

Michael Tylo Had No Intention Of Marrying Again - And Then He Met Hunter.

Michael Tylo claims he was on "I hate women kick" when he met his future wife, Hunter Tylo (Taylor, BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL), while they were playing Matt and Robin on ALL MY CHILDREN. Free after seven years of marriage, he was sharing his New York digs - dubbed Tylo's Towers for Divorced Men - with three other guys. His free time consisted of eating pizza, watching JEOPARDY and hanging out at a local sports bar.

In a wry commanding voice that sounds like Jack Nicholson and James Earl Jones are battling it out in his larynx, Tylo recalls his early relationship with Hunter. "We didn't like each other. My first impression was that she was a beautiful fast-lane girl who was wet behind the ears. There was a problem with a scene, and I ran into her after I talked to the producer and said, 'Don't worry about it, little girl. I took care of it, because my character would never get involved with an airhead.' I think she called me an ass. A mutual friend told her, 'Michael's just going through a bad time.'"

Obviously, 40-something Michael and Hunter (14 years his junior) reconsidered, because their marriage is, as he puts it, "stronger than the day we said 'I do.'" Having endured several transcontinental moves and an acting job that took Michael on location to Spain shooting the syndicated series ZORRO, the Tylos are content working on nearby CBS soundstages and meeting for lunch.

Though Tylo has enjoyed success on daytime (as Quint on GUIDING LIGHT and Charlie on GENERAL HOSPITAL) and on prime time, the actor says he always wanted to be one of THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. Now he is, playing enigmatic fashion photographer Blade (no last name), whose zoom lens has focused on a few of Genoa City's most attractive ladies.

Tylo has had a lot of experience in steamy love scenes from Genoa City to Springfield. "Most of those are harder to do than anything else," he claims. "You've got to be aware of not getting into the leading lady's light, who's kissing downstage. Did I bring my spray because I smoke? Did she bring spray because she ate onions on a hamburger? Those are the realities. I always make a point to talk to the girls. When I started off with Lisa Brown (when she was Nola on GL), I said, 'I don't swap spit; I hope you don't mind.' I've said that to Susan Lucci (Erica, AMC), to Hunter when I worked with her, to Jess (Walton, Jill on Y&R) and to Brenda Epperson (Ashley, Y&R). It's a respect kind of thing - two professionals working at their jobs."

And doing his job as Blade is right up Tylo's alley. "I think Blade is ballsy like Matt, but he has that certain je ne sais quoi that is a bit different. He's not academic like Quinton, and he's not a slob like Matt. He's got a smoother edge to him."

Tylo himself has smoothed out since hooking up with Hunter. They started out just talking. "I didn't know at the time, but she had a son from her first marriage," he recalls. "I wondered, 'How could she be a fast-laner if she's got a kid?' Then I watched her with her son and how hard she worked. It kind of changed things.

"One night a group of us went out and after everyone left, we talked till 3:40. 5 a.m. We realized we weren't bad people, so it was okay to like each other. It slowly emerged into something. We were out at an Irish bar dancing. We couldn't stop staring at each other. We looked at each other and said, 'What the hell is going on here?' After that, it got serious."

Taking a friend's advice, they downplayed their romance at AMC. "We did go to the producer after we decided to get married," he says, "and the first thing they did was let her go." According to Tylo, Hunter was told AMC would retain her but not under contract. "She told them to go to hell and I said, 'That's fine with me.'"

Tylo believes that in the minds of many production people, actors wed to actors equals trouble, like fights at work and at home. "You do have arguments, but most of the time, they're about the same stuff you argue about if you're not in the business: money, credit cards, politics, religion. It's kind of a condescending view that most people have toward actors; we don't have a mind of our own."

It's hard to believe anyone would accuse Tylo of not charting his own course. A self-confessed teenage "hood," he joined a seminary right after high school with an eye toward the priesthood, but then attended college. Seeing no reason to rush, Tylo opted for the ten-year plan. He switched schools, changed majors and worked odd jobs before graduating from Wayne State University with a liberal arts degree in acting and political science.

This is a man who does things at his own pace. Take his approach to fatherhood: "We got married in July, went to see the doctor, Hunter went off the pill in August and boom! That was it," Michael recalls. "Before my first anniversary I had two kids (Hunter's son, Christopher, 12, whom Tylo adopted and Mickey, 4). "But it is something I always wanted."

The Tylos reside in San Fernando Valley, where the boys go to Catholic school and Tylo sees that they attend mass on Sunday. Picnics, the beach and catching the Detroit Tigers whenever the team's in town are typical outings. On Fridays, the clan likes to dine in fun restaurants like Chuck E. Cheese and see a movie. But Hunter and Michael take time for themselves at least once a week. "Something dress-up, romantic, just the two of us," he explains. "This is our time to be alone. Plus we always have our special runaway places that we go to for a weekend. It's like working at your craft. If you don't work at your marriage, it's going to fall. Hunter is terrific. She's an excellent mother, a great wife and a good friend."

Husband and wife dream of continuing their travels. "We want to do a trip down the Nile and visit the rain forest in South America, to explore and have a good time," Tylo says. But don't expect him to ever retire from acting to pursue his globetrotting dreams. "It's like anything else. When you stop doing what you enjoy, then you start to die. My father sold his business, and he still works, because he knows if he stopped, it would kill him. I'm sure I'll be acting until they pull me off the stage and pack me six feet under."

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