On "Knots Landing," where characters come and go, actress Stacy Galina's immediate future seems secure: With the 13th season premiere on Thursday, Galina is elevated to "name above the title" star status.
This is not the 24-year-old's first transition since signing on with "Knots" two seasons ago. She initially portrayed brunette Mary Frances Sumner, William Devane's daughter. When the character was killed off, she returned as red-haired cousin Kate Whittaker.
"I remember going into the production office and finding out that viewers had placed bets on whether I was the same girl or not," she says. "After a while, they caught on."
Galina joined "Knots" after impressing creator David Jacobs with her guest spot on his "Paradise" series; she had previously done other episodic work, commercials and TV's "Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer" and "Exile."
She did not feel nervous about working with the veteran "Knots" cast, she says. "I had no idea what it would be like, because I'd never seen the show. As soon as you hear 'prime-time soap,' you think 'big hair and cakey makeup.' But there was none of that, and everyone was really terrific."
Though relatively new to television, Galina is no stranger to performing. She was a scholarship student at the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre in New York and danced for three years with the Atlanta Ballet. A career-ending toe injury occurred at about the time her interest was turning toward acting, and she moved west in 1986 as the Atlanta representative for the Miss Hollywood pageant.
The actress tries to remain unaffected by her current fame and fortune--with a little help from Mom and Dad. "I called my parents in Atlanta and said, 'I'm going to visit you, and I want to come first class,' " she recounts. "My mother said, 'Fine. But I'm not going to meet you. You're getting into the whole L.A. thing.' "