Michael Joel Zaslow was born on 1 November, 1942 and died on 6 December, 1998. Michael was an American actor. Michael is best known for his role as villain Roger Thorpe on CBS’s Guiding Light, a role he played from 1971 to 1980 and from 1989 to 1997.
Michael had earlier played Dick Hart on the CBS soap opera Search for Tomorrow and Dr. Peter Chernak on Love is a Many Splendored Thing. Michael also played David Rinaldi on ABC’s One Life to Live from 1983 to 1986, and in 1998. Michael Zaslow was also a writer for the NBC soap opera Another World.
Michael Zaslow guest starred on a number of other television shows and soap operas, including Barnaby Jones and Law & Order. In the episode “The Man Trap,” the series’ 8September,1966 premiere of Star Trek, he played Crewman Darnell, the 1st starship Enterprise crewmember to be killed off. Michael also appeared as “Jordan” in the episode 1, Mudd.
Michael Zaslow’s Broadway theatre credits included Fiddler on the Roof, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Onward Victoria.
In 1997, he began to experience difficulty speaking. When it became noticeable on screen, he was placed on leave at Guiding Light. (There are conflicting stories as to whether Michael Zaslow was then fired; there was for some time a legal action against Guiding Light and sponsor Procter & Gamble, which eventually was settled.) It was some time before Michael Zaslow was finally diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Michael Zaslow did not return to GL and his role was briefly recast before being written off. (In 2004, Michael Zaslow’s character on GL died off-screen.)
In a show of support, Michael Zaslow was hired at One Life to Live in 1998 to play David Rinaldi again; his condition was written into the storyline. Michael Zaslow made several appearances before he was too ill to continue working; his final appearance on One Life to Live was televised on 1 December, 1998, days before his death.
Michael Zaslow’s widow, psychologist/writer Susan Hufford, and ZazAngels, a foundation that wishes to raise funds in order to find a cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease. Several of his Guiding Light and One Life to Live castmates, along with many Broadway-based theater luminaries, have participated in tributes to Michael Zaslow that were fundraisers for ZazAngels.
In 2004, Michael Zaslow and Susan Hufford’s daughter Helena died. Susan Hufford released a book last year about Michael Zaslow and his fight with ALS, titled Not That Man Anymore. Michael Zaslow had begun writing the book several years earlier.
In 2006, Michael Zaslow’s widow Susan Hufford lost her battle to cancer.
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