Along with the delightful Marsha Mason and the unstoppable Gil Garcetti, tomorrow, August 1, 3 pm ET, I’ll be interviewing the darling Linda Evans on The Halli Casser-Jayne Show. This week’s topic: Second Acts. All three of my guests reached the pinnacle of success in their respective fields. All three of my guests, for different reasons, went onto Second Acts. I’ll be exploring with each what prompted their life change. Below, with Miss Evans’ permission, is an excerpt from her insightful book, Recipes for Life. The book is a great read and I personally recommend it, if for nothing else than the fabulous recipes Linda includes in her book, cooking being her great passion.
A Time for Change
FOR SEVERAL REASONS, I began questioning everything in my life around the end of the 1980s. Dynasty had given me tremendous gifts on every level, and I was grateful for each and every one of them. I had everything you can have thatpeople think will make you happy. But I wasn’t. Something was still missing. There were answers to things I wanted to know, but I couldn’t find them. It was amazing: I had fame, fortune, and the love of people all around the world, and yet, I was unfulfilled.
I remember at the height of the success of Dynasty reflecting on my life as I sat in the back of a limo holding my fifth People’s Choice award. I was accomplishing my goal, which was to have a career and to be self-sufficient. I thought, “Take a moment to bask in the sweetness of it.” That moment was followed by a louder voice in my head. “Is this all there is?”
One of the wonderful things about getting your dream is you can finally let go of it for something new.
By the ninth year of Dynasty, in spite of all its blessings, I longed to be a regular person again. I wanted to take out the trash, go to the supermarket, and walk along the beach without being recognized. I didn’t want to have to live up to people’s expectations of me. I wasn’t one of the ten most beautiful women in the world, like Harper’s Bazaar said year after year. I was just fortunate enough to have a team of talented people assisting me with that image every day.
I made the decision to leave the show. Esther and Richard Shapiro, the creators of Dynasty, and Aaron Spelling gave me their blessings. I was an emotional mess my last day of filming. My makeup man had to use all of his Kleenex and get more. I couldn’t stop crying. I would miss my Dynasty family, but it was time to go.
Hard changes were everywhere. Everyone I knew agreed that Richard was the greatest guy I’d ever known. So why didn’t I want to settle down with him and live happily ever after? Even I thought I was crazy to be thinking about giving him up. I kept trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Then one day I realized I loved Richard with all my heart, but, cliché as it might sound, I wasn’t in love. It was hard to explain why being in love, not just loving, was so important to me. It was an outrageous dilemma. But once I understood it, I couldn’t stay with him.
So one day, Nena and the cats and I moved back home to my old house in Beverly Hills. For a very long time I wondered if I’d made the biggest mistake of my life. But then one day, I opened the door to find true love staring me in the face and God, was I happy to be free to embrace it.
Excerpt from Recipes for Life © 2011 by Linda Evans Published by Vanguard Press A Member of the Perseus Books Group, Reprinted with permission of the author.
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