|Meredith Lord Wolek|
Lynn Benesch as Meredith Lord Wolek (1969)
|One Life to Live|
|Created by||Agnes Nixon|
|Introduced by||Doris Quinlan|
|First appearance||July 15, 1968|
|Date of birth||December 1, 1950|
|Date of death||August 8, 1973 (aged 22)|
Llanfair, 1177 Regency Drive |
Meredith "Merrie" Lord Wolek is an original character on the American soap opera, One Life to Live. The role was originated by Trish Van Devere from the debut episode through December 1968. Merrie was most notably portrayed by Lynn Benesch, who assumed the role from January 1969 until the character's on-screen death in August 8, 1973, briefly reappearing in 1987.
The presumed daughter of newspaper tycoon Victor Lord and his wife Eugenia, Merrie is introduced in 1968 as the sister of heroine Victoria. An assertive free spirit, Merrie defies her father by dating upwardly-mobile Dr. Larry Wolek, a suitor which was not to Victor's liking. In the opening months of the serial, Victor pushed Meredith into an engagement with the more socially-acceptable Dr. Ted Hale. Meredith disavows her father's choice of wealthy Dr. Hale, the latter who accidentally falls down a flight of stairs while at Llanview Hospital in the company of Larry. Fellow Llanview Hospital nurse Karen Martin overheard Larry and Ted arguing over Meredith on the other side of the closed stairwell door, and Larry threatening Ted. Nurse Martin implicates Larry, leading to Larry's arrest for Dr. Hale's apparent murder.
Larry stood trial and was nearly convicted, but was revealed to have threatened Ted to keep Meredith's terminal blood disease secret. Larry was released from police custody and hoped to spend with Meredith whatever time she had left. Learning of her condition and wanting to spare Larry the pain of watching her die, Meredith ran away to San Francisco and left him a "Dear John" letter saying she didn't love him any longer. Depressed, Merrie's ex-boyfriend Dr. Wolek confides in his former accuser, Karen Martin.
In 1969, Karen saved Larry (Michael Storm) from a fire that left him badly burned and bandaged for weeks; when he recovered, he gave in to her romantic advances and consummated their relationship. Meredith returned from California after a month, with her condition miraculously improved. Dr. Wolek, upon seeing Merrie again, hoped for a reconciliation. The two eventually admit to their mutual love for one another, much to Victor's chagrin. Days later, however, Karen revealed to Larry that she was pregnant with his love child. A heartbroken Larry married Karen to prevent her from having an illegal abortion. A heartbroken Merrie meets an amnesiac whom she calls Tom Edwards, and Victor invites Meredith to take him in at Llanfair. Falling for Tom, who's identity is uncovered to be Bruce McKenzie, the two are engaged with Victor's approval.
Karen Martin miscarried Larry's child in 1970, leading she and the doctor to separated. Larry soon resumes his courtship of Meredith, who by then was engaged to be married to Bruce. Bruce, whom Merrie continues to call "Tom", relents to Meredith's desire to be with Dr. Wolek, ending their brief engagement. Merrie and Larry soon wed in a June wedding on the terrace of Llanfair, with Viki as the maid of honor to Merrie and a begrudging Victor overseeing the ceremony.
Settling into marriage, the husband and wife determine they wanted to conceive a child, much to the chagrin of Larry, who weary that Meredith's illness would return from remission. Merrie soon convinces Larry, and in 1971 after months of bed rest, Meredith gives birth two children, a son named Daniel and a stillborn daughter. Falling into post-partum depression at the loss of her daughter, the housewife became deeply depressed, and Dr. Wolek calls in a favor to Dr. Joyce Brothers to help with his wife's grief.
In 1973, thieves broke into Llanfair seeking the valuable art collection of Victor, taking Merrie and her brother-in-law Vinny hostage. After days of broken-down crisis negotiations, Vinny and Meredith attempt to escape from the garage where they were held, and a clumsy Meredith falls and hits her head when one of the gunmen shoved her. Merrie suffers massive brain trauma, and before succumbing to her injuries tells Viki (Slezak) to tell Larry how happy he had made her. Meredith briefly returns in a scene when Viki has a near-death experience and appears in Heaven in 1987.
- ^ "Clip-Out Directory: One Life to Live, ABC-TV". Daytime TV (Popular Library). 1971. Archived from the original on October 26, 2009. http://web.archive.org/web/20091026231501/http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Academy/6053/ar7111b.html. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
- ^ One Life to Live recap (1968). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on November 21, 2011.
- ^ One Life to Live recap (1969). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on November 21, 2011.
- ^ One Life to Live recap (1970). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on November 21, 2011.
- ^ One Life to Live recap (1971). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on November 21, 2011.
- ^ One Life to Live recap (1972). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on November 21, 2011.
- ^ One Life to Live recap (1973). ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved on November 21, 2011.