Michael Tylo - through the eyes of his mother, Margaret Tylo
by Joan K. Robertson
Margaret Tylo is a warm, friendly, open-minded person who can immediately put you at ease in conversation. She and Michael's father, Edward Tylo, (Eddie, as Margaret affectionately calls him) live in Dearborn Heights, Michigan where Michael was born and raised.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Margaret and Edward Tylo on a couple of occasions, along with some of the other family members, and the all mirrored Margaret's friendliness. The Tylos are proud of the accomplishments of all their six children, and they make that pride very obvious.
Margaret was apprehensive when I first approached her about doing this interview, but when I assured her that my aim was to introduce a new view of Michael to his fans, she was eager to cooperate with me. The following interview will allow Michael Tylo's many fans to know him from a unique point of view.
Question J.R.: Give me your impressions of Michael as a small child from the time of birth to age five; perhaps a couple tender stories or experiences with him during the years.
Answer M.T.: Michael was a happy child most of the time and didn't demand my time. When he was born he was long and skinny with reddish hair; I couldn't figure that one out. He enjoyed going on trips with his grandparents and was always ready to go somewhere.
When Michael was between nine and ten months old, Eddie has his nose broke at work, and when he finally arrived home he had this awful looking bandage on his face from eye to eye in an "X" shape. Michael just screamed and cried because he was frightened and couldn't believe this was his Dad.
On Mark's (his younger brother) second birthday, Michael was to go to the hospital to get his tonsils removed after the party. When the celebration was over, he got his jacket and cap on, kissed Aunt Janie and his grandparents, and was ready to go. There was no crying, no problems; just so matter-of-fact and grown-up. "Let's go," he said. He was four and a half at the time.
Question J.R.: What was Michael like during his grammar and high school years? What schools did he attend, what kind of a student was he, and during this time did you notice a tendency in him towards acting?
Answer M.T.: Michael attended Southwestern (now Du Vail) School in Dearborn during kindergarten and first grade, St. Sebastian's School from the second grade through the eight grade, and Salesian High School run by the Oblates of St. Francis De Sales. During grammar school, Michael was just like all other boys his age. He became friends with several boys during these years with whom he still remains friends. He was a little better than average in some subjects, excelling in English and History, and not so great in others...just typical! He was in a high school operetta in the sixth grade, and Monsignor kicked him out because he was misbehaving backstage. It wasn't just him causing trouble, but he was the only one kicked out of the play. I also remember years later when Michael was a senior in high school and performing his last play Carnival in the role of Marko The Magnificient (he was really great), that I sent tickets to the grammar school to remind people there of his budding talent, but I didn't hear anything.
During his grade school years, Michael was an average young man, always very charming to his older relatives. He was "on stage" a lot of the time.
While attending Salesian High School, Father Schubert was one of Michael's teachers, and he remains his mentor to this day. He asked Michael to read for the play, You Can't Take It With You, and he received the role of Kolenkhov, the Russian ballet instructor. He was just wonderful in this part. From then on I had no doubts regarding a career choice for him. He went on to win gold medals at Genesian Festivals and better roles in other plays.
Question J.R.: How did Michael relate to his brothers and sisters in his role in a family of six?
Answer M.T.: Michael didn't like being the first and the oldest. It meant that he was supposed to set the good example, always! That was not too easy. He wasn't always perfect. However, overall, he was better than average.
In relation to his brothers and sisters, I'm afraid his siblings thought he was too bossy, and he thought they should be his slaves (typical). He was eight years old when number three son, Sam, was born, nine when Terri was born, twelve when Alan arrived and almost fifteen when Sara came upon the scene. Michael and Mark (number two son) were pretty close for a while, but when they went their separate ways, they no longer had much in common.
As I look back, I can see that overall Michael was not very much trouble at all. He was mischievous, but never mean. He fought a lot with his younger brother Mark, and I always blamed him because he was older, but I'm sure Mark did more than his share of provoking.
Question J.R.: What colleges did Michael attend? Before deciding upon an acting career, did he have strong interests in other possible professional goals?
Answer M.T.: To begin with, Michael attended The Oblates of St. Francis De Sales in Battle Creek, Michigan. There he had thoughts of studying to be a priest. Later he attended the University of Detroit, Allentown College in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, and finally Wayne State University in Detroit where he received his B.F.A. and M.F.A. He did consider several career choices, such as when he worked in a hospital as a respiratory assistant and orderly took classes relating to the field, before he finally completed his college education. I don't think anything ever seriously got in the way of theatre.
Question J.R.: Today Michael is very popular among his female fans; was this the case with girls during his school years?
Answer M.T.: Michael attended an all boys high school and their emphasis was mainly on the students getting a good education. I know that he had dates for all the big dances and parties at school, and I assume he was relatively popular. I know that this must sound vague, but Michael was very busy with studies, Genesian Festivals, plays, and etc. and there wasn't a lot of free time for serious dating to my knowledge.
Question J.R.: How did you feel when you found out that Michael had earned the role of Quinton McCord on Guiding Light over two years ago?
Answer M.T.: I was thrilled when I Michael became a cast member of Guiding Light. It saddened me that two of my sisters and my mother, who now are deceased, could not have lived to see Michael in his role as Quinton, since they felt so strongly that he should be in the soaps. They traveled far and wide to see him in repertory plays, Ring Round The Moon and Charley's Aunt at the Meadowbrook Theatre, a regional theatre near Detroit. My mother always sat in the first row at the high school plays, just to see her grandson, and she let everyone know he was HER GRANDSON!
Question J.R.: What are your impressions of his role then as Quinton McCord in comparison to the role he now plays as Quinton Chamberlain?
Answer M.T.: Of course, I enjoyed Quinton McCord much better. He had something to say and something to do, and he was great in any situation. As Quinton Chamberlain, he has become a milquetoast type character and very one dimensional. Perhaps I'm being too harsh, but I feel that the show has lost something valuable in the drastic change of his role.
Question J.R.: In the beginning, did you ever think that Michael's role would grow as much as it did, and that he would become an afternoon serial romantic idol?
Answer M.T.: Yes, I did! I felt once the writers were aware of his potential and ability, they would write good scripts for him, and he would grow in popularity. I didn't think he would be an afternoon serial romantic idol with the following he has, but I'm thrilled and happy about it all.
Question J.R.: How do you like the couple Michael and Lisa Brown created as Quinton and Nola?
Answer M.T.: Most of the time I like them very much as a couple. They play off one another very well. Lately neither one of them has been doing very much. I believe that the writers could have done so much more with the expectant parents' role such as Lamaze, the baby's room, etc. They each can bounce comedic lines, but they are both serious too. In the past, their roles were much more important, but in my opinion, as a married couple they are being wasted.
Question J.R.: How does the rest of the family relate to Michael's success as a star in afternoon television?
Answer M.T.: The rest of the family is very proud of him and what he is doing. However, in relation to the family he is their brother and Eddie's son. They would never allow him to get a "big head".
Question J.R.: Do your friends relate to you any differently no that your son is almost a daily attraction on television?
Answer M.T.: No, my friends think it is wonderful that Michael is on television. Most of my old girlfriends were fellow students in high school, and they have known Michael from the beginning and think of him as their own pride and joy. Whenever he is in town, and they see him and talk to him, he is still the same Michael just as before. As far as how they relate to me, everything is as it has always been.
Question J.R.: Since you have had the opportunity to be a part of gatherings in honor of Michael, what are some of your impressions of Michael's fans?
Answer M.T.: I have wonderful impressions of Michael's fans. They love him, they believe in his talent, and I feel all of that coming from them. Most of his fans seem to know he cares, and they care in return. When he sends out, they receive and send back to him. To see him important enough for them to want autographs and pictures is sometimes very overwhelming for me.
Question J.R.: If you had one wish to extend to Michael for the future, what would that wish be?
Answer M.T.: I would wish for Michael and his wife Deborah to be healthy and happy with each other and their work.