From These Roots

From These Roots

"From These Roots" is an American soap opera which ran from June 30th, 1958 to December 29th, 1961. It was created and written by Frank Provo [] and John Pickard [] . The show was seen on NBC, and was the first successful soap opera vehicle for Ann Flood who would later become well-known for, and spend the better part of two decades as, Nancy Pollock Karr on "The Edge of Night".


Ms. Flood starred as Elizabeth "Liz" Fraser Allen, a successful writer who had returned to her New England hometown of Strathfield to run her family's newspaper, the "Strathfield Record". Her father, Ben Fraser, Sr. had suffered a heart attack, thus causing Liz, who had been living and working in Washington, DC, to come home, leaving her DC fiance, Bruce Crawford. Another former beau, from her earlier days in Strathfield, Dr. Buck Weaver, eventually married his secretary, Maggie Barker.

Her family included a brother Ben, Jr. who worked a family farm, was married to Italian Rose Corelli; had three children, including a son, named Dan, and didn't have much to do with the newspaper; and a sister Emily, who was married to Jim Benson and, after Jim's death, to Frank Teton.

Liz's first adversary was wealthy Enid Chambers, who was the first wife of the man she would eventually marry, David Allen. Her later adversary was alcoholic actress, Lynn Franklin, who, despite her own marriage to Tom Jennings, was very much in love with David and wanted him for herself.

Famous actors

Several actors featured on "From These Roots" found fame in later shows. These include Henderson Forsythe, who went on to fame as Dr. David Stewart in "As the World Turns"; Charlotte Rae, forever known as Edna Garrett on "Diff'rent Strokes" and "The Facts of Life"; Vera Allen, later known as Grandma Matthews on "Another World"; Billie Lou Watt who played Stu Bergman's second wife, Ellie Harper, on "Search for Tomorrow"; Audra Lindley, best known as the eternally frustrated (with her husband, mainly) landlady, Helen Roper from "Three's Company" and its spin-off "The Ropers"; Millette Alexander who went on to play Sarah Werner on Guiding Light; Robert Mandan who later on played bumbling and semi-pompous charachers on Soap and the television adaptation of the movie, Private Benjamin; Barbara Berjer who continued soap work, most notably on As the World Turns and Guiding Light; Richard Thomas, well-known as John-Boy Walton from "The Waltons"; Craig Huebing, later of "General Hospital"; Joseph Mascolo, known for his roles as Stefano DiMera on "Days of Our Lives" and Massimo Marone on "The Bold and the Beautiful"; John Karlen, later known as Harvey Lacey of "Cagney and Lacey"; and John Colenback who played Henderson Forsythe's son, Dan Stewart, on "As the World Turns".

The show was directed by Joseph Behar,and Don Wallace and Paul Lammers, who were producers as well, along with Eugene Barr. It was also known for a storyline dealing with the show-within-a-show performance of Madame Bovary, which heavily featured the show's villainess, Lynn Franklin.

Unfortunately, it was a dispute between Wallace and Lammers with actress Julie Bovasso which ended up getting the latter fired from the show. Bovasso, who played Rose Corelli, Ben Fraser, Jr.'s wife, had a disagreement with a specific line's meaning, and she walked off the set. A line producer stepped in for her and did her roles that day. Not surprisingly, Bovasso was later fired and actress Tresa Hughes took over as Rose until the show's end in 1961.


Unfortunately, despite the interesting Madame Bovary storyline, and how well written it was, the show was cancelled in 1961 because not many people felt at home with this kind of drama, which was admittedly unusual for soaps of that time. This soap was more literary than most that were on the air at that time.

As such, all the stories were wrapped up and ended happily. Ben, Sr. who had become Strathfield's mayor, had cleaned up the town of organized crime; Kass, the Fraser's lovable maid, had received a great big settlement from her late husband's estate; Lyddy Benson, (Liz's niece, her mother was Emily) had announced she was engaged; and Liz and her husband, David had achieved mutual success as writers.

External links

*imdb title|id=0051272|title=From These Roots

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