The Day 'As The World Turns' Star Came To Orlando
by Greg May
Greg May and Colleen Zenk
My mother, the late Ruth May (1926-2008) never missed an episode of "As The World Turns".
While she was awaiting my debut into the world in 1956, my dad bought her a 20" black-and-white Motorola TV set to keep her entertained while she was on maternity leave from Kroger's in Winchester, Kentucky.
That TV set remained a staple in the May family long after we moved to Orlando in 1960.
"As The World Turns" was the first 30-minute soap opera and premiered on CBS April 2, 1956 - two months before I was born.
In 1980 I was working in television in Orlando. Central Florida was being promoted as the "new Hollywood" and the Florida Film Bureau was busy attracting filmmakers to the area.
One of the stars I was fortunate to meet and interview was the lovely COLLEEN ZENK, "Barbara Ryan" on 'As The World Turns'. The charming and talented actress was in Orlando to promote the movie musical, "Annie" in which she was a featured dancer.
Curious as to how she took to movie-making after so many years working in daytime television, Colleen proudly told me how she let her director - the legendary JOHN HUSTON - know that "we memorize a 60-page script five times a week!"
At the same time I was interviewing Colleen for my TV show, "Central Florida Spotlight", my father, Sam May, was recovering from cancer surgery in Orlando Regional Medical Center. Since he was now retired from Martin Marietta, he also watched "As The World Turns" with my mom. The gracious Colleen turned to the camera and wished Sam a speedy recovery - and he did have one!
In 2007 our soap opera heroine was diagnosed with oral cancer.
But fortunately Colleen is in remission and is working on a campaign to be featured on ABC-TV's "Dancing With The Stars".
To have this beautiful and talented actress display her dancing talents on television will certainly make for an entertaining evening!
Although "As The World Turns" stopped turning in 2010, Colleen Zenk continues to brighten the TV screen whenever and wherever she appears.