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THIRD TIME’S A CHARM FOR SHARON CASE

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If there is anything to that old motto “the third time around is the charm,” actress Sharon Case is destined for great things on “The Young and the Restless.”

“Not only is this my third soap, says Case, but I’m also the third actress to play the role of Sharon Collins. (The character was originally played by Monica Potter and Heidi Mark.) So, if three times is the charm, this should be it.”

Case, whose previous soap credits include the roles of Dawn Winthrop on “General Hospital” and Debbie Simon on “As the World Turns,” arrived at “The Young and the Restless” last August. She set out to breathe new life into Sharon, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and make the character her own. According to Case, it has been a relatively easy feat.

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“I really connect to Sharon, says the actress. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because we have the same name.”

Playing a character several years her junior has not frazzled Case.

“It would be hard if I had to write (the dialogue) or if I had to sit and think, ‘What do people say in high school?’ ” explains Case. “But once it’s in the script and I read it, it’s like, ‘Yeah! I can relate to that.’ I remember all the times I had Sharon’s points of view and said things that she has said.”

“It’s a lot of fun playing someone younger,” she continues. “I’m glad I can still do it, because once you can’t--that’s it! You move into a different age range and can never go back.”

Case has not had to bridge that gap, yet. The only older role for the actress was playing college graduate Anne Welles on the short-lived syndicated series, “Valley of the Dolls.” She landed that job after being written off the New York City based “As the World Turns” and after she returned to Los Angeles, where she had been raised.

“It just became more and more of a reality that I wasn’t going to be able to find more work in New York, says Case. Unless I wanted to start doing theater, I had to come to Los Angeles. So I came out here and got ‘Valley of the Dolls.’ It was sort of a test mini-series that only aired in limited cities. New World Pictures was going to decide whether or not to pick it up. I imagined I’d work on the show for a few weeks and then go back to New York.”

In the interim, Case was discovered by the “The Young and the Restless” brass. “So I stayed,” she says smiling. “I never went back to New York.”

The actress had left all of her belongings back in the city.

“I had an apartment full of furniture there, says Case. Most of my clothes I had to ship it all out by truck. I only recently got everything.”

She has settled in L.A. for now.

“I’m in my own apartment, she continues. I’ve got my things around me. L.A. feels like home again.”

And so does working at the “Y&R;” studio.

“I feel so comfortable there,” says Case. “I’ve gotten to know everyone. I really feel like part of the family.”

“The Young and the Restless” airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on CBS.


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