The Return of Michael Tylo

December 30, 1986
by Joanna Coons
Soap Opera Digest

After Two Years Of Pursuing Nighttime Work, The Actor Is Back On Daytime - With Renewed Respect For The Medium

You remember him as softspoken Quint McCord Chamberlain. He was the dashing half of the dynamic Nola/Quint duo who stirred up a storm of romantic intrigue during the heyday of GUIDING LIGHT. Talk about matinee idols, Michael Tylo was, unquestionably, daytime's answer to all the great ones. And what made it even more exciting was the fact that he got to re-enact all their juiciest roles, compliment's of Nola's fantasies. Lisa Brown (ex-Nola), now firmly ensconced in her AS THE WORLD TURNS role as Iva Snyder, remembers her collaboration with Tylo fondly. "We did a different play every week with those fantasies. Michael was so good and it was just so easy to work with him. I don't know if you can describe what chemistry is or what happens when two people have it...it's just a connection. We enjoyed each other's company and loved what we were doing."

After nearly a two-year absence from daytrime, Michael Tylo is back. His deep blue eyes are still sexy, if not a bit rakish; his smile just as enigmatic, with a dash of decadent savoir faire; but his new character on ALL MY CHILDREN, Matt Connolly, is no soft soap hero. He is arrogant and brutally honest, with a definate flair for sarcasm. "He hits on every woman an it doesn't matter," Tylo laughs. "He's misguided, but not evil, and a real male chauvinist pig!"

With this role, Tylo has changed his look. Gone is the clean shaven image he wore so well as Quint Chamberlain. For Matt Connolly, the metamorphosis is appropriate and, one senses, more in keepin with the real Michael Tylo, who would probably still be hanging out on the West Coast it ABC hadn't offered him the role. "My wife and I had moved to California and the only reason I came back was the opportunity to work with Susan Lucci (Erica), Jean LeClerc (Jeremy), Kate Collins (Natalie), Julia Barr (Brooke) and that whole group of wonderful people," he admits. ALL MY CHILDREN, the actor feels, is a very classy operation. He particularly enjoys working with Susan Lucci. Matt's tongue-in-cheek sarcasm drives Erica wild.

Still many viewers were up in arms when Tylo and his co-star, Lisa Brown, left GL. At the time, it was decided to terminate Quint and Nola's story lines when the actors' contracts were up. Looking back, Tylo isn't bitter about the big brass's decision. "It was time to leave," he notes in retrospect. "There wasn't much they could do." When he first got the role on GL, the actor didn't expect it to last even six months - let alone become so popular. "Quinton was a gothic character and very well-written," Tylo allows. Additionally, the character came along when the romance genre in paperback novels was hitting its peak. "The story was also very gothic," Michael recalls. "It was all very exciting because within the soap you had this gothic story and the combination of Quint and Nola was super."

Even more important, the audience related to the on screen relationship with an interest and excitement reserved for only a handful of daytime couples. Tylo feels the main reason for that was that Quinton was a real traditional man with a definite code of honor that he upheld. "I think the audience really got into that," Michael remarks thoughtfully. "He had this long talk with Nola once and said, 'No, we're not going to fool around before we get married.' He was fine with that. She was fine with it. The audience loved it."

After GUIDING LIGHT, the actor moved to Los Angeles to advance his career. "There just wasn't a lot that I was interested in hanging around New York for, and I didn't want to do another soap," he admits. When AMC came along, Tylo had reservations. One of the obvious reasons was that he would have to become bicoastal. "My wife has a wonderful job in California, so it's just one of those deals where we have to work it out and eventually decide." When he gets a three-day weekend, Tylo heads for the airport with little more than a toothbrush. "My wife is totally supportive," he says happily. "When I told her I didn't know if I could handle the back and forth, she said that if I were doing a film and had to go to Europe for nine months, she wouldn't be able to go there either. At least this way, we get to see each other two or three times a month."

Tylo is quick to point out that the positive aspects of his job far outweigh the negative ones. "I'm an actor and I want to work," he states emphatically. Having worked in nighttime while he was in California, Michael has gained a renewed respect for daytime performers and is proud to count himself within their ranks. "There are a lot of people in daytime who, in my opinion, surpass the people in nighttime. They are, for the most part, theatrically trained actors and actresses. They know their business and are very professional. They also know they're under the gun and I think it's very exciting that we do in one day what it takes people in prime time six days to do."

And then there is that plum of a role. "Matt is very physical, no-nonsense and will not lie about anything." When asked whether he thinks Matt will find his way to Erica Kane's bed, Michael Tylo's eyes sparkle and he flashes one of those Connolly-esque roguish smiles. "Oh, l'm sure something will happen between them. My goodness, I'm staying in her apartment, aren't I!?"

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