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Good Fortune Follows Teresa Blake

October 16, 1994|NANCY M. REICHARDT

Good things just happen to Teresa Blake. On her first trip to New York, she landed the role of Gloria Marsh Chandler on "All My Children" (1992). Then, after almost a year on the show, her high school sweetheart saw her on the soaper and, after the two reconnected, they got married.

"We had gone our separate ways so many years before that it took him a year to write to me," she explains. "I called him right away. Then we talked on the phone for about a year before we saw each other again. When we finally got together, we were engaged three months later."

Blake's husband is Mike McGuire, the drummer for the country-Western group Shenandoah.

"I knew the group," says Blake, who is a country-Western music fan, "but I didn't know he was in it. At first I gave him a hard time pretending I didn't recognize the names of various groups, but I really am a fan. I am so proud of him. He also writes music and sings harmony too."

Both Blake and her husband are natives of Alabama. Off camera there is a Southern lilt to Blake's words. As for her husband, she says, "Bless his heart, he still sounds like a native Alabamian."

Says Blake: "I do miss the people back home--and the laid-back attitudes. I miss sitting down in a restaurant and hearing, 'Hey, sugar, what you want?' "

Blake disdains ill manners. "If someone does not acknowledge having a door held open, I don't hesitate to speak out."

One of the most striking things about Blake is her wild mane of long blond hair.

"Growing up it was the biggest pain," she says. "My grandmother would accuse me of not combing it or ask me, 'Do you lose things in it and find them days later?' Then I'd spend hours and hours trying to straighten it. Finally, since most of my friends liked it wild, I kept it that way. Now 'All My Children' keeps trying to tame it. I don't mind it, but I really love Kelly Ripa's (Hayley Vaughan) hair."

When Blake speaks of "All My Children," she says "I'm well-treated, and there is not one person I don't like."

But she does find fault with what has happened to Gloria.

"I wish Gloria would find her backbone again," says Blake. "I'd like her to pull herself up by the bootstraps and get really mean.

"When I was first hired, although it was a three-year contract, I was such a bad girl that I felt I'd have fun for from three to six months and be let go. Then I was allowed to be vulnerable. I was happy at first, but now I want some spunk."

Although Gloria wants to get as far away as possible from her husband, Adam Chandler, played by David Canary, Blake feels quite the contrary.

"What a wonderful man," she says of Canary. "He's taught me so much. If you get a chance to get close to him, you realize you've been given a gift."

Describing her other more recent co-star, Grant Aleksander, who plays Alec McIntyre, Blake says: "He's like my big brother."

Blake has everything she wants in real life, but she expects her next good fortune to come in duplicate.

"We're not planning a family right away, but when we do--well, twins run in both of our families every third generation," says the actress. "And this is the third generation for both of us. My great-grandmother had three sets of twins!"

"All My Children" airs weekdays at noon on ABC.

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