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Ex-Cult leader remembers his Porn-Financier Wife Posted by Diana Welch March 7th, 2011

You’re not going to believe it: Lee Godart, the man behind one of the most memorable roles on the Edge of Night, wrote us the other day, out of the blue. He played Elliot Dorn to our mother’s Margo Huntington, forming the most scandalous pair in all of Monticello. Lee sent us some old photos of him and our mother… and confessed his unabashed love for her! Click through to read his entire email, and to see never-before-seen photos of him and our mom on set.

Dear Amanda, Liz, Diana and Dan,

My name is Lee Godart and I played opposite your Mother on the Edge of Night. I stumbled onto your site while looking at some videos, and it stirred a flood of memories and feelings. Your Mother was a wonderful actress who raised the level of everyone she worked with – I know she raised mine, and I consider myself a better actor for having worked with her; not only was her technique impeccable, it was also effortless, and to round it off, she had what is known in the business as a “nature,” a largesse of emotion and personality that turned her into a gale force, a beautiful gale force, magnificent to watch, and thrilling to act with — and gorgeous! She spoiled me.

But what made Ann really special was a generosity of spirit that enveloped you and made life seem brighter.  EON was my first show in the US, first taste of the city, those early morning calls! Once I overslept, arrived at the studio at eleven, to find  Ann with laryngitis.  Somehow, we managed to get through the scene.  It’s hilarious to watch now, but I never wanted to disappoint her again.

You know, sometimes the years give a different flavour to people and events, but I know that I was happy then. I loved Ann unashamedly, and although it was nothing more than a friendship,  on my side at least it was deep, and her death was a disruptive phase in my life. It pains me enormously not to be able to talk to her now, to be in her presence, and to know that I will never be again, and to wonder if I could have been a stronger person.

You may not remember, but I met each of you, I was out at your house a few times, and even have a slide picture I had taken, that I will transfer and send to you. I’m so very happy that you have all made it through what must have been unthinkable pain, and that your lives seem good now. Somehow, writing to her children feels like touching her again, and I am grateful for the opportunity to say these things to you that I cannot say to her.  There are so many memories, but I had to send this to you tonight.

Love, and many blessings,

Lee

6 Comments

  1. Greg Vamvakerides says:

    What a nice letter…I was watching the show at that time and always enjoyed Ann’s performances, as well as her scenes with Lee Godart. Oh how I wish the show were being repeated on Soapnet!! or SOMEWHERE!!!

  2. I have been singing the praises of your mother and your book to thte ‘Bring The Ege of Night’ and ‘Bring Back SFT’ Facebook sites. I still re-live the wonderful day your Mom treatd me to when I was a guest at the SFT studio on April 30, 1974. I was 18. It wa also the day that Nixon released the Watergate tapes…we heard the news on the car radio driving home.
    Since I last spoke to you, I have been a contributor to the newly published book ‘Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a new media Era,’ Dec. 2010, Univ of Mississippi Press. My chapter deals with my memories growing up with Edge.

  3. Phideaux Xavier says:

    Hello to the “kids”. I found out about your book while doing some research on your mother. I work in soap opera tv production, and I have since I graduated from college in the late 80s. We are approx the same age. Currently, I work on General Hospital, but for many years I worked in NYC on Guiding Light. When I was in High School I stumbled upon Edge of Night and watched it for a summer. I remember characters talking about “Margo” but she was dead by this time. I also remember the Lily Slater story on Loving, but I never watched that show. Recently, however, I have become somewhat nostalgic for the old days of a thriving soap opera industry. A friend of mine was telling me about some youtube channels where folks have organized huge swathes of episodes of various shows. He pointed me to an Edge Of Night channel that starts with 1979, when Margo was still alive and married to Elliot. I decided to watch the first episode as a lark and I saw so many familiar faces, some of whom are quite famous now. Because there are many times when I have work to do at home and I like to have tv on in background, I decided to watch a bit of Edge and got hooked. Right now, in the plotline, Margo has schemed so that Draper Scott has lost his great NY job opportunity so she can keep her daughter April in Monticello… I know there are fireworks around the bend. As I was watching your Mom’s performances, I started to wonder about her as an actress. She was relatively new on Edge and so not a core character, but she had such a grace and elegance and I wondered if perhaps she had been some long running character on Love Of Life or some other defunct soap. That’s when I did the research and found out about your book (and that it was Search where she had a fairly good run). At any rate, long comment, I’m sorry, but your book is amazing and I wanted to tell you that your mother is alive on youtube and people are reliving these moments. You are a brave lot and thanks for the fantastic book about survival and personal growth and choice. I feel like a part of your extended family, and that’s a tribute to your excellent writing…

    Thanks,
    phideaux xavier
    los angeles

    • Diana says:

      Thank you, Phideaux! It really is so amazing how many people still remember our mother – we absolutley love the fact that she lives on through her work.
      thanks again,
      Diana

  4. Laurie Pike Besteman says:

    I downloaded your book to my Nook to read while I was traveling, knowing nothing about it, and suddenly realized that your mother Ann Williams and the Ann Williams in my Washington-Lee H.S. class of 1953 could well be one and the same. When I saw her picture, and read that she would have been 77 this month, I knew I was right. I recall she went to Carnegie Tech, and we all were happy about her success as an actress. I moved to Seattle and lost track of her, so reading your book has brought back a deeper connection with a high school friendship. We have our 60th reunion next year, and I’m so sorry she won’t be there.

    • admin says:

      Oh wow Laurie! This gives me goosebumps. I wish she could have gone to the reunion as well! I am sorry I did not see this comment until now… there were many messages that I missed somehow. BUt I am really glad that you have such nice memories of my mom. She was a wonderful woman and we all miss her dearly. All best, liz

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