TV by Day, May 1976:
Friendship Helped Me Survive the
Darkest Year of My Life

Written by Sue Facter

The Jameson Parker, Dale Robinson, Somerset, you see today is a man who knows the many sorrows which life can  hold. But after darkness comes the dawn and for Jameson the future promises to be sunny indeed.

At first a littly [sic] shy, but soon to warm up to our meeting, we found Jameson to  be a very warm, loving, bright, sensitive, absolutely charming person with  a terrific sense of humor. At 28, he is quite a guy. His constant  companion, Bonnie Parker, agrees.

Although Bonnie  has the same name as Jameson, it doesn't mean that they are married. Her  real last name is Dotley. "My answering service kept getting it confused with Gottlieb and nobody would get the right messages." Rather than change the service, she changed her name.

When Bonnie, who is a stewardess, is not flying around the world, she's at home taking  very good care of Jameson. He was a little sad that he had only a few more days to spend with Bonnie before she took off for Russia. "Well, she'll  only be away for five days; it won't be too bad."

Exhausted from a day's worth of taping, Jameson munched on some goodies that Bonnie had  baked during the day which included a gingerbread-walnut cake and some  wonderful bread. A gorgeous dog bounded into the room and into Jameson's lap. Jameson affectionately hugged his collie and started to unwind. "I'm almost ready to start the interview," he said. But first he insisted, that we test the cake-absolutely delicious!

JP and BonnieBonnie and Jameson have been together for  two years. They met at the party or a mutual friend and spoke briefly. She called him two weeks later to invite him to a party that she was giving.  Oddly enough, he didn't remember who Bonnie was. "And besides, I had a karate class that night and I really didn't want to go. But when she gave  me her address and said it was apartment 6J, 'J' as in joy, I knew I had to go to that party!" According to Bonnie, they stayed up till five in the  morning, chatting away, and have been inseparable ever since.

In fact, Jameson and Bonnie were even inseparable during the interview. As they sat  together on the couch, one could sense the love that they shared as they  looked at each other. Sound like a soap opera? It was a joy to share this warmth.

Jameson  related, "It seems that I wanted to be an actor all my life - my mother swears to it! My parents didn't believe in radio or television and it  wasn't until my sister - she's four years older - and I were in our teens  that we got one. I had a friend who lived across the street who I would visit and then come home and act things out."

Born in  Baltimore, Maryland, Jameson spent the first ten years of his life in the Washington, D.C., area. His father was employed with the State Department, and later joined the Foreign Service. The family moved abroad and lived in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, where Jameson studied in American schools. "I liked Germany best; we lived there for five years.

By the time  Jameson was ready for college, he was back in the States. "The only schools that had accepted me were the University of Pennsylvania and Beloit. Since Penn had no drama department, and Beloit had a fine one, there it is. I wound up studying in the Midwest."

Then, life turned a little grim for Jameson. A series of unfortunate events led our young man to New York City, where he now lives. "I came to New York partly because I had to - it had to be done." He paused, and looked at Bonnie thoughtfully. "I got married when I was young, while still in college, and my marriage was in the process of dissolving. At the same time my Mother was in the hospital for six months after an accident in which my Father  was killed. All this unhappiness, I just had to leave."

In New York  Jameson stayed with his friend, Bill Glenn, whose marriage had also broken  up. They were able to help each other out emotionally, since they were going through the same thing. "His friendship helped me through a very tough year," Jameson remarked.

"My first job  in the city was catching shoplifters in a book shop in Greenwich Village. In the history of man there has never been anyone less suited for catching  shoplifters than myself, but I turned out to be quite good." After four months, he had caught thirteen shoplifters-and had had enough of  it!"

Then I worked  in a warehouse helping a friend unload an estate with all sorts of  magnificent furniture. I had other odd jobs, like working as an apprentice for a publishing company and as a waiter in an Upper East Side  restaurant.

Slowly but surely, a TV commercial came into the picture for Dentene Dynamints. In  fact its still running both here - and in Africa! Some theater work took  Jameson and Bonnie to Florida to do Equus. "It started out as a two-week engagement, but lasted for five months!

"I came back to  New York all sunburned and landed the role of Dale Robinson shortly thereafter. I knew I did a good job on the audition, but was both  surprised and delighted when Lyle Hill called me to tell me the good news."

As everyone  knows, Dale is the live-in suitor of Ellen Grant, played by Georgann  Johnson. The characters will probably be married by the time we go to press. Rumor has it that Proctor and Gamble doesn't like to have their  leading lady "living in sin!"

Georgann Johnson - bless her heart. She's a sweetie pie. And what a delight to work with. Not only is she a very good actress and very helpful as an actor;  but also she was very helpful to me when I first showed up. She took me  around, showed me where the make-up room was and so on.

"I was also up for the part that Chris Reeve plays on Love Of Life. The part of  Ben Harper was narrowed down to Chris or myself. As a consolation prize  they gave me a part as an extra, an intern, for a few days.

Jameson studies  with Warren Robertson. In fact, his Somerset buddies Tina Sloan (Kate) and Veleka Gray (Vicky) are in his class. Veleka comments, "He's a honey of a guy - so beautiful in every way.

"Veleka and I  have something in common," said Jameson. "We tend to be a little on the shy side." Unlike the character he portrays, a man who is very sure of himself, Jameson uses his shyness in a sexy way. Once a hint of a smile - and what a beautiful smile - comes on his face, you can tell that he is warming up to you.

"I want to work  as much as possible. I really want to do films. In fact, I want to do it  all. I'm very ambitious, like most Scorpios. I love doing the soap. I love  working on stage. I like the idea of working in as many different mediums  as possible. - I also like the idea of being as successful as possible."

Jameson Parker has triumphed over bad times and now he cautiously foresees only good  things ahead. Success is something he richly deserves and we can only wish him more of it.


© TV by Day, May 1976.