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Wednesday, July 28, 2010


In 1983, Jackee Harry was scheduled to say two lines on Another World as prostitute Lily Mason, aunt of Thomasina, the young woman Quinn (played by Petronia Paley) wanted to adopt. (That makes Lily the great-aunt of Another World Today's current character, GQ Todd.)

Those two lines turned into a three year contract, and America's introduction to the unique, comedic/dramatic talent that would eventually take prime-time by storm on 227, Sister, Sister and more.

Another World Today spoke with Jackee Harry to reminisce about her time in Bay City, and to catch up with what she is doing now.

AWT: Do you remember your initial audition for Lily?

JH: I didn’t have an audition. I actually got picked while I was doing a play by Toni Morrison, where I was playing one of the ladies of the night. My name was Rochelle LaForte and the woman, the casting lady, Liz, she was there one night and she saw me and she called my agent and said, ‘I have a part for Jackée can she do it?’ It’s a day-player, just one day only. They called me from there and that’s how I got Lily.

AWT: Who did they tell you she was?

JH: They just said that she was a prostitute. Nothing else. I got there and I was given two lines: ‘Who is it? Oh, it’s you. What do you want?’ And that was it. Then they asked me to come back another day and another day and another day, and that’s how it got started. It wasn’t me doing anything to get it. It was luck, actually.

AWT: How did you find out about Lily becoming more of a long-term character?

JH: They kept calling me in one day, then two days, then three and then they offered me a contract after three weeks.

AWT: How did the role of Lily expand from that of her beginnings of a prostitute? How did Lily evolve through the years you played her?

JH: I started getting fan letters, and they really liked the character, and as everybody knows, once the fans start liking you, you can no longer be a bad person, you gotta be a good person! So, they switched me and I became legit. I stopped being a prostitute. I opened a club where Joe Morton (Leo) sang, and Morgan Freeman (Roy) and all the other great, African-American players began to frequent, and my storyline began to hook in with theirs. My niece was on there and I had taken care of her. She was my sister’s daughter who died, they had taken her away from me but we got back together and everything was fine from there.

AWT: How did you contribute to her evolution?

JH: I didn’t really know anything about soaps to be honest with you. They had to help me quite a bit. And what happened was that they liked me so much that they just developed the storylines for me so I didn’t really have to work that hard!

AWT: What are you memories of working with AW's amazing early 80s African-American cast?

JH: They were very experienced. They were very giving. They never let me down. They always made sure that I was taken care of and had everything I needed in terms of my storyline. I was very green at this time and they took me under their wing. So I didn’t have a really bad time with anything actually. I was just a kid growing up who didn’t know what she was getting into, and then I only saw later who these guys were. They were very friendly and very gracious. Joe Morton, at the time, was the biggest star in terms of Broadway and theatre. Morgan was on The Electric Company and that was just his first TV gig, a lot of people don’t know that. He was not who is he today! Though he was a great actor. Everything else came into play for him after he left Another World.

AWT: What are your other favorite memories/scenes/co-stars?

JH: Linda Dano (Felicia) was my closest friend on there. She made them put me in her dressing room, and we shared a dressing room when she didn’t have to. She said, ‘No, I want to share a dressing room with her. I like her.’ We had a great time. She was just so loving. That’s really my best time.

And there was also Thomas Ian Griffith (Catlin). We’re still friends. He and I and his wife, Mary Page Keller (Sally), who was also on the show. We were all just great friends. I see them all the time. I don’t want to tell you where we hang out... but we hang out all the time.

Come back next week for Part #2 of our interview with Jackee Harry, where she talks Sandra Clark, and sends a special message to the fans of AW.

And to keep up with Jackee on a daily basis, make sure you visit her Official Website at and her Official Facebook Page at


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