Deborah Adair converts from a Dynasty
demon to an angel of affection on Finder of Lost Loves
by Marcia Logan - People
- April 15, 1985
The problem is, Deborah Adair is so good at being bad. Last
season she was completely convincing as Dynasty's superbitch
bed-hopper Tracy Kendall, who all but jumped Blake Carrington
on a business trip to Hong Kong. "It took a great deal of
acting for me to turn her down," says the politic John Forsythe.
Even before that, she was the dark-haired, dark-hearted witch
on The Young and the Restless for three years. But the
sensuous actress is nothing like that in real life, she insists.
Protests the lady (perhaps too much): "I'm one of the most
religious people you will ever meet."
As that comment suggests, she's interested in presenting herself
in a favorable light. Fortunately, she has an outlet for that
preoccupation in her current ABC series, Finder of Lost Loves,
which pairs her with Tony Franciosa. As self-assured Daisy Lloyd,
Adair, 32, finally plays a professional woman with a heart. Nevertheless,
Deborah identifies in part with Daisy's predecessor, Tracy. "I'm
the type of person who wants to go just as far as I possibly
can," she says. As an openly ambitious actress, she says
of her roles, "I don't have any moral aversion to sleeping
with people and that kind of thing."
"I have no social life. My big
social kick is when friends from Dynasty appear on my show,"
Her family demurs. Her father, a Bellevue, Wash. businessman,
refused to watch The Young and the Restless after Deborah
hopped into bed with another character. He likewise insisted
that Deborah's mother, a Spanish teacher, tape Dynasty
so he could watch Tracy's amorous adventures alone. After Deborah's
divorce from an insurance man seven years ago, she says, "I
think my father assumed I would be a virgin again."
Adair does share some of her father's sensibilities, though.
In high school and college she taught Sunday school at a Presbyterian
church. But Adair can come on like the Pollyanna of a Beverly
Hills congregation. "I just don't buy that particular thing
that Jesus is the son of God and rose from the dead so that all
of us will be forgiven," she says. While not a Catholic,
she frequents a Catholic church because it's close to her L.A.
Adair's upbringing was, she says, "middle-class Protestant."
After graduating from the University of Washington in 1974, she
worked on the business side of a Seattle TV station for four
years and dabbled in community theater. Her four-year marriage
to Gary Baker failed in 1978. So did her subsequent job as a
Pan Am stewardess. "I could never learn to say 'chicken,
beef or fish' in Spanish," she says. "So I'd make chicken
and beef noises." In 1980 she landed on The Young and
Oddly enough, Adair considered Dynasty a dead end.
Says Deborah: "The character I played was not sweet enough
to be any threat to Krystle and not bitchy enough to be any threat
to Alexis." But Adair has found her career prayers answered
in odd ways. She was a spokesperson for an L.A. rape crisis center
"because it's my responsibiiity to give something to the
community, and actually it paid off materialistically."
She believes it led to a Love Boat spot as a rape victim
and an abused-wife role on Hotel. Her move to Finder
of Lost Loves was unexpected, though. "I'll never know
if I was taken off Dynasty to be put on this show,"
she says. "I don't know and I don't care." Particularly
since she moved from supporting player to starring role.
"She's very professional for
a young actress," says Finder co-star Tony Franciosa. "I'm
jealous of her."
Still, Adair insists she's more like Finder's Daisy
than Dynasty's Tracy. She is only lately gaining confidence
around men. "I used to feel secondary to them," she
says, and an occasional escort, Dynasty co-star Jack Coleman,
seconds that. "If she has a weakness," says Coleman,
"it would be a lack of total confidence in herself."
Although her current series lets Adair display her spiritual
side, even she admits that Daisy is too good a do-gooder for
her taste. "I'm probably not as nice as Daisy is,"
she says. "But then, you know, we only see her for an hour
a week. I'm sure on her days off she can be as nasty as I can