Michael Tylo's Secret Fantasies

January 1983
By Anne Marie McKenna
Soap Opera's Greatest

Even in the Twentieth Century, Michael dreams of fighting duels and saving maidens' honor!

Every day brings a new and exciting adventure for Michael Tylo, who plays Quint McCord on Guiding Light. As the mysterious and devilishly handsome Quint, Michael is able to act out many fantasies that viewers often dream about. On one occasion Michael grabbed a sword and fought the duel scene from Captain Blood. Or he found himself as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights comforting a tearful Catherine. Through Guiding Light we learn of Nola and Quint's many fantasies, but what secret dreams does Michael have?

"I've always wanted to do a swashbuckling film, sort of the old Errol Flynn type movies,” admits Michael. "I read a lot of romantic adventure novels such as Dumas' The Three Musketeers and Sabatini's Scaramouche. The original starred Stewart Granger and, to date, it has the longest fencing sequences in a film. Fencing is one my loves and I love fights.”

Michael has studied fencing for the past twelve years and recently choreographed the scenes used in Guiding Light. "I've done fight choreography for plays for many years, but this is the first for television,” explains Michael. "In a play it's got to be big and flashy so the people in the last row can see it. On television it has to be fast and small. It's more exciting on TV because it's quicker and we get to do tricks with the camera. We did the old Tyrone Power trick where he slices the candle and it looks like he missed it. Then he nonchalantly walks over and picks up the top of the candle.”

Michael might enjoy fencing, but strangely enough, when asked to pick his screen idols he chose Peter O'Toole, Marlon Brando and Al Pacino—not exactly swashbucklers (although O'Toole has been known to swash occasionally!). "I've loved Peter O'Toole ever since I saw him in Lawrence of Arabia. Peter also has wonderful eye contact. They tell everything,” says Michael. "Al Pacino has that eye quality, too, but with Pacino I most admire the fact that he branches out and does other things. I don't think his version of Richard III was the best thing to hit the stage, but at least he made the attempt. I admire any actor who tries to stretch himself.”

Now we know who his male idols are—but what about women? If he wasn't married and could choose anyone, who would he choose to "get close to”?

"I've always been a great admirer of Catherine Deneuve. She's class personified and a wonderful actress. Sophia Loren and Genevieve Bujold are also favorites, but for different reasons. Sophia's classy and very earthy. Genevieve has that kind of innocent-not so innocent quality. Overall the woman would have to be a great deal like my wife Deborah. She'd have to be intelligent and enjoy the things that I do. She'd have to understand the theater and be her own individual. It's not a question of giving people space. There's a dependency, but it's based on the fact that we want to do it, not that we need it. Deborah and I have been married for almost four years and I've enjoyed almost every day. The ones I don't enjoy are the ones when we're separated.” Sounds like a man in love!

Taking that last question a little further, who would Michael choose for a torrid love scene? "My wife," he answers emphatically and without a moment's hesitation. When coaxed, he added, "I enjoyed my kissing scene with Nola (Lisa Brown) and my scene with Helena (Rose Alaio). I wouldn't mind Catherine Deneuve, Genevieve Bujold or Sophia Loren." Well, he's certainly loyal!

Outside the acting field, Michael admits he admires William Buckley Jr. "I watch his program and enjoy hearing him talk. I don't always agree with him, but I like him. The world is in such a state of confusion that it's hard to pick idols. A hero is somebody that stands for something and is true to his convictions. They're symbolic of what's good—like Rod Gilbert (of New York Rangers fame) who is a great athlete and also has a wonderful foundation. He raises money to send under-privileged kids to hockey camp."

Probably, though, if we asked any of Michael's idols, they'd gladly return the compliment. He sounds like a pretty upstanding fellow himself—and one that seems to be having the time of his life. After all, Michael can honestly say, "I'm getting to do all the things I want and get paid for it."

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