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Trends : LOVE STORIES: : THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY : 'Sugar, Sugar'

February 13, 1987|DAVID JOHNSTON

From true love to stabbed-in-the-back love, from quick love to love that just won't die, View writers have chronicled looks at love in the '80s for Valentine's Day eve. Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent, and the guilty, but all are true . . . even if love sometimes isn't.

Michael Barker and Melinda Peterson were studying acting when Peterson was called on to eat a chocolate eclair. "When I saw the way she was eating that eclair I knew I had to get to know this girl," Barker recalled.

"I had noticed him, across the room, and thought he was very good looking," recalled Peterson, who has been a guest star this season on "Cagney and Lacey" and currently appears in "The Young and the Restless" soap opera. "I also discovered he was also nice--very nice." But no date. Peterson, determined to keep his attention, bought an armload of plays, "including 'Sexual Perversity in Chicago' (and) suggested to Michael that we work on it."

"It was all serious business, very proper," recalled Barker, who co-starred in a "Falcon Crest" episode last year and recently won a Drama-logue award for directing "The American Century," a satire at Theatre West in Studio City. Finally they had one date. Then Peterson went shopping again. She bought scores of greeting cards, mostly the kind with attention-grabbing covers and nothing inside. "I mailed him a card with a message every day for a year," she said.

"That's an exaggeration," Barker said.

But the strategy worked. Now the couple live on Mount Washington, where they maintain an elaborately terraced hillside garden. And this Valentine's Day they will spend their seventh wedding anniversary working; Peterson stars in "The Goodnight Kiss" at Theatre West, which Barker directs.

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