You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Ghosted’ Actress Ally Walker on Her First Big Break on NBC Soap ‘Santa Barbara’

Ally Walker is marking the end of her third decade as a working actor with a new role on Fox supernatural comedy “Ghosted.” Though her career hasn’t been limited to the small screen (she also appeared in films like 1992’s “Universal Soldier” with Jean-Claude Van Damme and 1995’s “While You Were Sleeping” with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman), television is where she got her big break (on NBC soap “Santa Barbara”). She’s cut her teeth on TV, honing her craft in recurring roles on 1993 crime drama “Moon Over Miami,” a mid-1990s starring turn in “The Profiler” and a stint on “Sons of Anarchy” from 2008 to 2010.

Walker was first mentioned in Variety on March 2, 1988, when she joined “Santa Barbara” as secret agent Andrea Bedford.

When did you first get the acting bug?

My mother likes to say I was always performing, and I would write stories too, so I think the bug was always in me. But that wasn’t my first career ambition. I worked at a genetic engineering firm where I was sequestered in a laboratory prepping cultures and spinning cells.

How did the audition for “Santa Barbara” come about?

I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. I was in Los Angeles, and a producer saw me goofing off with some friends and he asked if I wanted to audition. I thought he was a nut, but my friends said he was the real deal. So I did it, and I got the job, and it was so exciting to do something that I didn’t know I could do.

What was the biggest lesson you learned from the show?

More than anything, it was discipline. You had to learn 10 to 20 pages a night, you had to hit your mark and you had to know what you were doing. It taught me a lot. I didn’t get to go to a school for acting to learn about lighting or cameras or how to move, so “Santa Barbara” was a training ground for me.

How was “Santa Barbara” different from what you thought of soaps at the time?

Everything exceeded my expectations. I really loved working with Marcy Walker, A. Martinez and Robin Wright on that set. They were really giving and kind, and there was a lot of collaboration between artists. The stories weren’t very melodramatic by soap opera standards. I mean, I’ve never been a spy or murdered on a beach, but it was still more real than what some other soaps were doing at the time!

What storyline was the most challenging from your time on the show?

Where Marcy Walker, who played Eden, was raped. I had a girlfriend in high school who had been raped, and I remember it was very hard to watch some of the stuff they did. It really affected me. I was on set, and I found myself just very disturbed and mesmerized by Marcy’s performance. I really have to give a shout-out to her. It was just very powerful.

There wasn’t a lot of crossover for actors between film and television at the time. Was that a concern for you?

I was very open when I started, because I had to get things going and I had to learn and I had to feed myself. Everything was a good opportunity to me. I was only on the soap for seven or eight months, and I was bummed when they killed me off, but at the same time, it did allow me to read for some
films too. But for the most part for me, I just got better female parts on TV so I kept going back.

More TV

  • Jussie Smollett Empire

    Chicago Police Want to Talk to Jussie Smollett as New Evidence Emerges

    Chicago police are seeking to re-interview “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, after new evidence emerged in his alleged assault. Smollett has claimed that two men attacked him at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. The Chicago Police Department has consistently said [...]

  • Five Takes on Canal Plus, Federation’s

    Just Days Left to Catch Canal Plus’ ‘The Bureau’ on MyFFF

    The most lauded of titles on this year’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, UniFrance’s online showcase featured by over 50 OTT services around the world, may not be a film but a drama series. With four seasons aired, and a milestone in world sales on a French TV show, slow-boiling espionage series ‘Le Bureau des légendes’ (“The Bureau”) is [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content