DEBBI MORGAN’S ‘LOVING’ REUNION
“Some actors who work together have this ‘thing,’ ” says Debbi Morgan, who plays Dr. Angie Hubbard on “Loving.” She is speaking specifically about herself and co-star Darnell Williams.
Morgan and Williams shared great popularity and exciting story lines when they co-starred on “All My Children.” Williams played bad boy-turned-cop Jesse Hubbard, the sweet doctor’s beloved husband who died in the line of duty.
“I don’t really know how to articulate it,” says the actress. “It’s magnetic--and just there. It’s as hard to explain as it would be to explain why you fall in love with someone.”
Williams plays Jacob Johnson, and “Loving” insists the character only looks like Jesse, but bears no relationship to him. Even with the actor playing a different character, it never dawned on Morgan that the magic they had shared could fizzle--as it had for the once successful Deidre Hall and Wayne Northrup (Marlena and Roman Brady on “Days of Our Lives”) combo.
“Now, I’ve got something else to think about,” she says with a hearty laugh. “But, I am truly sure of our chemistry. I think Darnell and I will always have that. Actually, I think we’ll be better than ever. I’m far more concerned over whether this will help boost our ratings.”
From their first scene together on the soap, it was apparent that Morgan, indeed, is right. The magic is still there. Dr. Hubbard and Johnson first met when he became her patient.
“What I think was really nice was the part where I take the stethoscope and go to examine his heart,” says Morgan. “Because the last scene I had with Jesse was when he died, and I climbed up on his hospital bed, and put my head on his chest--and his heart wasn’t beating.”
Morgan and Williams tried to keep in touch over the years, but frequently lived on opposite coasts. When Morgan joined “Loving,” both were in New York City, so it was easy to resume the friendship.
Despite their on-screen chemistry, Morgan explains they were never an “item.” She says, “No, we were always just good buddies. I don’t think we were ever unattached at the same time. I’m glad--especially since we are working together again.
“As a matter of fact,” says Morgan, whose marriage to actor Charles Dutton (“Roc”) has since broken up, “I was to test for the part of Roc’s wife. I hadn’t even told my husband. On the day I was going in, and although my agent had assured me I had a good shot at the part, I canceled the audition. I was married to the man, and it worried me that if we had a big fight, I’d still be working with him every day.” Morgan did make two guest appearances on the show.
The actress admits that the split with Dutton, with whom she had spent a number of years, is “like suddenly having your right arm cut off.”
Unfortunately, Morgan’s private life has become fodder for the tabloids.
“What angers me most is that they lie,” she says. “Then I have friends and family calling me about things that are pure fiction.
“Loving” airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on ABC.