Question: I'm sure you heard about Jane Wyman's death. Like you, I loved Falcon Crest and I loved (and hated) Angela Channing even more.
Answer: It's a total bummer. As cheesy as it sounds, I feel like I lost a piece of my childhood with her passing. Friday nights wouldn't have been nearly as fun without Jane/Angela. The second I learned of her death I e-mailed Jeff Freilich, who as executive producer of Falcon Crest from 1986-88 worked with Wyman during the show's creative peak, and asked him if there were any memories he'd like to share. Here's what he wrote back: "Jane Wyman was a little girl hiding inside a matriarch's body fun-seeking and adventurous. I never met anybody more excited to be on a film set nor worked with an actor who commanded such respect without bluster or selfish demands. She was among the last of a dying breed of true Hollywood stars. To her, acting was a pleasure... a calling. Being a mother, on the other hand, was more work. During my second season, Jane voiced her concern to me about her son, Michael. She was worried that his interest in racing (boats, if I recall) might put him in danger and [she asked if there] was a small, reoccurring role I could create for him to keep him safe and closer to home. I asked about his acting ability. 'Let's put it this way,' she replied. 'He won't embarrass you.' Jane was impossible to turn down because she asked for so little. And her strong argument, as a caring mother, made her even more convincing. Michael and his team of Secret Service agents (as the son of a sitting president) were welcomed on the set. Jane was at peace for the remainder of the season. And, once again, she was right: Michael didn't embarrass us. In fact, he was quite good. Jane's talent, her charity and her company will be missed."