EXCLUSIVE: Gloria Loring Talks New Memoir, Sons Brennan and Robin Thicke, "Friends and Lovers" and Possible DAYS Return
In the entertainment world no performer is more heralded than the elusive triple threat. Former Days of Our Lives actress, singer/songwriter and author Gloria Loring definitely fits the bill. I recently caught up with Loring to discuss her new memoir, Coincidence is God's Way of Remaining Anonymous.
In the moving tome, Loring reveals how a mysterious card left in her dressing room at DAYS prophesied her meeting the man who would help her raise over $1 million for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She also shares how a promise to her diabetic son Brennan Thicke started her on the path of using her platform to help the families of other kids diagnosed with the disease.
The "Friends and Lovers" songbird also reveals what it was like to work with the late Carl Anderson on the hit 80's song, which served as the love theme for characters Shane Donovan and Kimberly Brady on DAYS. Did she and Anderson know then the kind of magic they were capturing in their epic duet?
Speaking of duets, Loring and ex-husband Alan Thicke penned two of the most popular sitcom theme songs of all time for Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life. Why does Loring believe today's sitcoms are foregoing theme music?
We also dish about her other son, R&B god Robin Thicke. What does his mama think of his meteoric rise to the top of the Billboard charts? After you find out by reading below, you'll want to check out Turn The Page, the companion CD to Loring's incredible book.
Daytime Confidential: You previously co-wrote three diabetes-themed books, Kids, Food and Diabetes, Parenting a Child with Diabetes, and Living with Type 2 Diabetes: Moving Past the Fear, based on your experiences raising son Brennan, who has Type 1 Diabetes. What made you decide to go the self-help route with your latest book, Coincidence is God's Way of Remaining Anonymous?
Gloria Loring: My book is a memoir with a message, tracing my life's learning through coincidence and offering support for what I have learned from areas of science and spiritual understanding. I wrote it because the urge to share what happened to me would not go away.
DC: You took Brennan's diagnosis, something that could have been a reason to ask "Why me?", and allowed it to inspire you to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. How in the face of dealing with this heartbreaking diagnosis for your little boy, were you even able to see clearly enough to try and help others?
GL: Other parents helped me when Brennan was diagnosed. It was only natural for me to extend that generosity to others. Plus, once I was cast on DAYS, I got so many letters from families dealing with diabetes that writing a book was the only way to answer them all!
DC: How did the Days of Our Lives cookbooks for charity came to fruition?
GL: The story of The Days Of Our Lives Celebrity Cookbook, and how it raised $1 million is told in Chapter One. It was the beginning of my awareness of the coinciding of meaningful events. I promised my four-year-old son I would work to end his diabetes. Someone, for some reason, left a card title “Expect a Miracle” in my Days of our Lives dressing room 24 hours before I met the man who helped me raise $1 million for diabetes research with the Days of Our Lives Celebrity Cookbook. I still have the "Expect a Miracle" card. It is framed on my office wall.
DC: I love the stories in your book about the fun, gossipy moments on the DAYS set. Any chance you might dish which actress threw that trash can at you?
GL: Nope! [Laughs]
DC: It's easy to understand why an actress might be jealous of you. Liz Chandler was one of the few characters introduced during the 1980-81 season to take off with the audience. Having been a musical performer since childhood, what is the major difference between popular music fans and soap fans?
GL: Not too much difference, except that soap fans seem to feel they know you really well, as if you are a member of their family. I find it very endearing.
DC: You worked with several dashing leading men on DAYS from Thaao Penghlis (Tony) to Joe Gallison (Neil), and a pre-The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful Don Diamont, who starred as the sexy Carlo. Who was your favorite to share scenes with?
GL: They were all fabulous to work with, yet because of the length and intensity of the work we did together, I would say Joe Gallison. I learned so much from acting with him.
DC: You dated Don in real life for several years, and revealed he served as a father figure for Brennan and your younger son Robin for a time. Today, Don has a large family of his own. Do you think his time with your boys prepared him for fatherhood?
GL: I don't think so. He wanted most of all to give to his own children and family what his father had given to him. His father was his hero.
DC: You know we have to talk about Robin and his insanely-successful career in R&B. I can still remember finding out he was your son with Alan Thicke. I was like, "Oh, of course he can sing. His mama did 'Friends and Lovers'!" Do you beam with pride when you see one of his hits climbing the Billboard charts?
GL: Yes, I do. He's immensely talented and takes great care to be responsible for the development of his gifts. He's also a devoted father and husband.
DC: You and Alan composed two of the most popular sitcom themes of all time for Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life respectively. Some of those 80's sitcom themes were as popular as the shows themselves. Why do you think more of today's laffers don't use theme songs?
GL: I don't know, but possibly they're trying to get to the laughs as quickly as possible. Remote controls are trigger happy.