Bald and Beautiful
FELICITY Huffman baulked at shaving her head when her character, Lynette, was enduring chemotherapy on Desperate Housewives.
The Bold and the Beautiful’s Lesli Kay, however, bravely took the plunge with a razor when she learned her character, Felicia Forrester, would have colon cancer.
Mother-of-two Kay had little hesitation in making the storyline as realistic as possible.
The one request she made in agreeing to the transformation was that producers would sign her to the show until her hair grew back.
‘‘Because they were going to keep me and give me a contract it was not hard (to say ‘yes’),’’ the 43-year-old says from the Bold set in Hollywood.
‘‘If I was going to be sent packing with a shaved head out into the world to get a job, then ‘no’. I at least needed the guarantee that I would be around until my hair grew back. I needed to have some job security.’’
Since joining the long-running soap in 2005, Kay has been exploring a character that was once played by someone else.
Felicia is the black sheep of the iconic design family, the Forresters. She’s the daughter of Stephanie (Susan Flannery) and Eric (John McCook), sister to Thorne (Winsor Harmon) and half-sibling to Ridge (Ronn Moss), Rick (Kyle Lowder) and Bridget (Ashley Jones).
Unlike most of the characters on The Bold and the Beautiful, Felicia hasn’t been central to storylines. Through the years she has come and gone and was previously portrayed by Colleen Dion-Scotti.
Now settled into her role as Felicia, soapie world veteran Kay hadn’t seen any of Dion-Scotti’s scenes before taking over.
‘‘I never saw Colleen play her and all I knew is the history that was given to me,’’ Kay says.
‘‘When I came on Felicia had left being this leather pantswearing designer, the black sheep of the family. That is really all I knew. More of that was going to come out on screen with the relationships between Susan, John and Ronn. The biggest change I’ve seen with Felicia is she has had this up and down, sideways relationship with her mother.
‘‘It wasn’t until she (Felicia) got this life-threatening disease, where her mum saved her life, that she feels forever indebted to her. So now her relationship strain is with her dad.’’
The Emmy Award-winning star, whose youngest son Alec has appeared as Felicia’s baby on the show, has a resume´ that includes the best of soap.
She’s had roles in shows including General Hospital, As The World Turns and Bold’s sister soap The Young And The Restless.
As with any television program, there are long, unpredictable days on set, but the thrill of having a job far outweighs any negatives.
‘‘I am happy to have a job and have a pay cheque every week when I have a lot of actor friends that don’t know when their next one is coming,’’ she says.
‘‘Also, working with Susan has been the highlight of my daytime career. I will say that because we have a similar work ethic where she pushes me and she will surprise me. You never know what you are going to get.’’
Lesli Kay shaved her head because her character was having chemotherapy.