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Shawn Christian's 'World' Turns Around Family

November 20, 1994|NANCY M. REICHARDT

"The most difficult thing about my life now," says Shawn Christian, who loves playing Mike Kasnoff on "As the World Turns," "is that I don't get to spend time with my family."

Christian, a native of Grand Rapids, Mich., where his family still resides, says, "When I do go home, it's like a crash course. I get to spend a little time with each relative but get quality time with only a select few. My little brother Chad is 19, and I've missed the opportunity to watch him grow up."

"The last time I went home there was a family pig roast," he continues. "There was a pig on a spit, a bonfire, an incredible harvest moon and about 40 of us. We slept in a camper in the woods. Some pitched tents. It was wonderful, but I had to leave early so I could tape a show. It was heart-wrenching saying goodby--especially to my grandmother--and only hoping to make it back for the holidays."

Christian admits that he was "a bit of a wild child" and was even suspended from junior high school.

"My life could have taken a huge turn there," says the actor, "but my family showed me they believed in me. I became a camp counselor, got into sports, and even coached."

At his high school graduation, Christian was surprised when he was awarded a Congressional Medal of Merit for community leadership.

"You know at graduation all you want to do is get out of there," he jokes. "They were rambling on about some guy being given this award for his commitment to human growth and community service. I was trying to figure out who it is. I couldn't believe it when my name was called."

Christian feels he has not lost his wild spirit but has learned to handle responsibility. He admits to playing pretty hard in college but he held on to graduate with a high-B average.

On "As the World Turns," Christian has found a kindred spirit in Yvonne Perry, who plays his love interest, Rosanna Cabot.

"We both have similar small-town backgrounds," says Christian. "She's got a good sense of morals and family values, and she is honed in on it like I am. Of all the people I've met in New York City, she is one of those I just love to sit down and talk with."

"Some people are fascinated by the relationship between Yvonne and me," adds the actor, who is engaged, while Perry is married. "They want to know the real deal. We're friends. That's it."

His fiancee, Deborah, is a personal fitness trainer who was recently transferred from Chicago to Washington, D.C. A move to New York is a strong possibility for her.

"She's getting closer," says Christian. "We're not even thinking of a wedding date yet. For now, we're just looking forward to living in the same city."

"As the World Turns" airs weekdays at 1 p.m. on CBS.

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