How Evans built her ‘dynasty’

By A Contributor

Carol Wright

Whether it is at the airport or a fandango celebrity party, on the boulevard or beach, fans still call her “Krystle” or “Audra.”

Linda Evans graciously accepts this admiration from her fans. After more than 50 years in the acting field, Evans speaks as highly of them as they do of her.

Evans learned a long time ago when she was very young that there isn’t anything as humble and gratifying as respect and showing it without pomp, conceit and affectation.

She learned this lesson from an expert, Lucille Ball, who stayed late to sign autographs for every fan eagerly waiting in long lines. Evans was one of those fans who stood at the end of the line and started to worry as time passed, afraid that the redheaded actress and comedian would abruptly depart and flash a quick, goodbye wave to the crowd, as if churishly saying, “Sorry. I have to leave now.”

Evans was glad that Ball, just one of her many heroines, had the patience to greet all the fans from the first to the very last.

How fantastic it must feel to be loved so much by a great number of people. It is this spirit of love that Evans writes so passionately about in “Recipes For Life: My Memories.”

The recipes she offers her readers have all the necessary ingredients of becoming self-aware, confident, kind and loyal. Anyone who reads Evans’ book will likely be rewarded with remarkable stories and plenty of exciting, truthful and fun dialogue.

Her book is tasteful in more ways than one: she writes tactfully of friends, family, husbands and/or lovers, actors and directors who inspired her and gave her the courage to continue to perform when she felt that she could not.

A whole slew of interesting recipes are also included in her memoirs. She loves to cook and cook for friends. She shares recipes that have the personal ingredients of the people she cooks for. Evans believes that people and food have much in common, and anybody can learn a lot about someone by what he or she likes to eat.

Comfortable is the word that most describes Evans’ writing style. The reader even feels comfortable in her presence no matter where her memoirs take them: it could be a visit to an enormous estate in Spain, an outrageous party, outing or television/movie episode with, at the time, David and Dani Janssen; John Derek; Ursula Andress; Bo Derek; The Duke and wife, Pilar; Steve McQueen; Richard Burton (and breakfast with vodka); Dennis Weaver; Sonny (the half of Sonny and Cher); Barbara Stanwyck (her mentor and “second mother”); Yanni (who was 12 years younger than Evans); John Forsythe, good friend and actor who portrayed “Krystle’s” (Evans’) husband on “Dynasty,” and who was literally struck on the head in an airport by a woman who screamed: “Stop being so mean to Krystle!”; Joan Collins; plus hundreds of other family friends, celebrities and royalty.

  With a touch of humor, Evans writes of having tea with the Queen. When Evans entered the room (and was surprised to see the many other invited guests), Queen Elizabeth instructed her band of musicians to strike up the theme song of “Dynasty.” Evans also was thrilled to assist and support Prince Charles on a charity mission. (She noted how splendidly he played polo.)

  While it is often the case with actors being shy or extremely nervous when acting, Evans, it turns out, was so shy that she really did not see herself becoming a professional actress.

She hated to be in front of an audience. Later, following an audition, a director flatly informed Evans: “That was the worst reading I have ever heard.”

But, this director and many who came after always found a part for her, another role, a unique role, that she could only play quite convincingly, as with “Krystle” in “Dynasty,” or with her spectacular, debut performance as “Audra,” in “The Big Valley.”

Evans stresses in her book that there is more to behold in a person than beauty alone.

At age 68, Evans is a dazzling beauty who, like each person, has learned to cope with success, disaster and fate.

Whether enjoying the company of famous (and not-so-famous) chefs, celebrities or close friends, she has learned to accept herself and be comfortable in her own skin. This is the recipe she wishes for everyone.

Carol Wright is a freelance writer and resides in Winfield.

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