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I started out as a professional dancer. That kind of discipline helps you in every area of life. Usually if people get a little tired, their attitude is, I’m done. But if you grew up dancing, you know that being tired, being in a little pain, that’s just the process. So you just keep going, you go through it. I play tennis five times a week, for two hours at a time. I am lucky enough to have a clay court, which is so much easier on your joints than cement. I also have a small gym in my home, so I work out with light weights, use my Peloton, do a lot of stretching on my ballet barre. And let me tell you, it’s not always fun. Like almost everyone my age, I have arthritis, and it hurts sometimes. But this is where discipline comes in. I’m not Superwoman, but I do always see the bigger picture.
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When searching for joy, don’t be afraid to take a detour
I was single, I was 54, and I wanted to be a mother very badly. It was not a tough decision at all to adopt. For the first couple of years, I could take Chloe [now 28, a model and an executive at Soho House] with me. I truly believe she was meant to come to me, she was meant to be my child. I wanted her to have a normal life. So I stopped working for many years while she was in school, and it was for me exactly the right thing to do. I didn’t want to be apart from her.
Every ‘no’ brings you one step closer to a ‘yes’
As an actress, of course, I’ve been rejected a lot. But my theory has always been that if you do 20 auditions and you get one job, you’re doing well.
Keep in touch
I’ve kept up with a lot of people, including ones I used to work with. Joan Van Ark and Michele Lee are still dear friends 40 years after we starred in Knots Landing. Sometimes we even do “An Evening With the Ladies of Knots Landing” together for the fans. Some show up wearing that dramatic eye makeup like my character, Abby!
Know your character
I have to say, back in the Knots Landing days, a lot of women were really standoffish to me in real life. I couldn’t figure out why for a long time. Then I realized it was my character. They thought I was going to take their husband!