A flashy, aggressive villainess and eternally hopeless meddler on a number of soaps, Louise Sorel has given her opulent, show-stopping characters major doses of humor and grit that have allowed her to become one of daytime’s more popular figures for over two decades. She joined Days of Our Lives (1965) as the manipulative Vivian Alamain in March 1992. By the time she left in 2000, she had won five Soap Opera Digest Awards. She began her road to infamy earlier as Augusta Lockridge on Santa Barbara (1984) and as Judith Sanders on One Life to Live (1968). Born in 1940 in Los Angeles, Louise’s roots are in theater. A student at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, she made her Broadway debut as a teenager in 1961 with “Take Her, She’s Mine” starring Art Carney. Her talent and interest obviously was sparked by her actress/concert pianist mother Jeanne Sorel, and father Albert J. Cohen, who produced films in the 1940s and 1950s. Louise went on to co-star on Broadway with Rita Moreno in “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window” in 1964 and appeared with George C. Scott and Colleen Dewhurst as Princess Alais in the 1967 Bucks County Playhouse production of “The Lion in Winter.” Married at the time to comic actor Herb Edelman (The Golden Girls (1985)), she began setting her sights on film and TV drama, appearing on various shows including The Rat Patrol (1966), The Virginian (1962), Run for Your Life (1965), The Big Valley (1965), and Medical Center (1969) as well as the short-lived nighttime soap opera The Survivors (1969) starring Lana Turner and George Hamilton.
In a change of pace, Louise played comedy as Don Rickles’ wife on his ill-received series The Don Rickles Show (1972). Divorced from Edelman, she nevertheless co-starred with him again in another failed sitcom Ladies’ Man (1980). She met second husband actor Ken Howard in 1972 while appearing with him in Philadelphia in a stage production of “Volpone.” They divorced a couple of years later. Despite several supporting roles in such films as Plaza Suite (1971), Every Little Crook and Nanny (1972), Airplane II: The Sequel (1982), Where the Boys Are (1984), and Crimes of Passion (1984), Louise’s career moved along somewhat uneventfully until her conniving ways on daytime reinvigorated her. Her latest bit of devilish fun has been on the quirky soap Passions (1999).
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