Michael Learned—From a real family with the OSS and CIA to reel families on GH and Y&R

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As the oldest of six girls, Michael Learned, was eleven when her family moved from D.C. to Austria, where her father worked for the OSS (later known as the CIA), to live in a tiny village called St. Gilgen. “We basically lived on the first set of ‘SOUND OF MUSIC.’  Life in the village even included puppet shows and singing harmony with friends while making daisy chains,” remarks Ms. Learned.  The Foundation for her acting career would begin at boarding school at The Arts Educational School in Hertfordshire, England (The same school that Julie Andrews attended), and eventually brought her to Broadway, then ultimately to become one of the most respected actresses on television.

Michael Learned first stepped onto the daytime screen as Shirley Smith on “General Hospital” in 2010, and later temporarily filled in for friend and colleague Jeanne Cooper as Katherine Chancellor on “The Young and the Restless.”

“My hat is off to all the amazing daytime actors who memorize pages and pages of dialogue over night then deliver stellar performances every single day!  No fuss, no muss. . . do the job . . .  and do it WELL!.” comments Ms. Learned.

When asked about the experience of playing Shirley Smith on “General Hospital” – “Although I was playing a character who was terminal, I had a lot of fun with her,” says Ms. Learned.  “She was the kind of a woman who embraced life even as she was losing it.  She was upbeat with a wicked sense of humor, and I looked forward every day to spending time with her.”

With regard to “The Young and the Restless,” Ms. Learned said that “Stepping in as Katherine Chancellor was like jumping out of an airplane and trying to land on a Q-tip.  No one could even TRY to fill the three-inch heels belonging to Jeanne Cooper.  The lovely cast put aside their concerns and gentled me around the set, listened to my lines, gave me background information, and welcomed me into the family.  I’m deeply grateful for their generosity and kindness.  Jeanne Cooper was the heart of that show and she was a hell of a gal!”


                      General Hospital                                      The Young & the Restless