He doesn't see himself as a victim, of course. He welcomes the opportunity to be on a daytime soap opera to plug a nighttime show. But can you imagine the following happening to an actor in either films or theatre?
On CBS Tuesday, May 24 (9:11 p.m.), Ben will co-star with Lauren Hutton in "The Cradle Will Fall," a film in which he plays a medical examiner named Dr. Richard Carroll. He is romantically involved with a young assistant district attorney (Hutton), who, during a brief hospital stay, stumbles on a bizarre murder. This romance within a mystery, which features James Farentino as the mad Dr. Edgar Highley, whom Hutton sees stuffing a body into the trunk of a car, actually has its beginnings on CBS' "Guiding Light" May 20 with Ben playing the same character in three episodes. Jerry ver Dorn, who plays the district attorney in the film, is also on the soap opera.
CBS and Procter & Gamble, which owns the film, are casting a wide net to catch a large audience. As for Ben, he said: "There's a sizable audience watching the soap operas like 'Guiding Light.' The three scenes I do on the daytime show lead up to the film the night of the 24th."
Murphy, despite being used as a promotion tool, welcomed the chance to work at a soap opera's pace. "I wouldn't want it as a regular diet," he said, "but it was a good experience. I viewed it as an exercise. It was the first time I worked with three cameras. Everything is go...go...go. In one morning I'd shoot three scenes. If that were a film, I'd do one scene a day and the rest of the time I'd sit around."
The Arkansas-born actor explained that the CBS film is based on a novel by Mary Higgins Clark that originally had to do with embryonic transplants. It's been changed for TV, he said, "It now involves a doctor performing life rejuvenation experiments on women and murdering them in the process."
In addition to starring in the CBS film, Murphy will appear as the dapper, derby-hatted Patrick Sean Flaherty in the new fall ABC series, "Lottery," an hour anthology series similar to "The Millionaire." Co-starring with Marshall Colt, as Eric Rush from the Internal Revenue Service, it will be part of the ABC fall Friday night lineup (9 to 10). Their assignment is to locate sweepstakes winners and while Flaherty doles out the big bucks for the Intersweep Bank, Rush collects the IRS' cut. Glen Larson is the executive producer of this wish-fulfillment series.
Photo Caption: Ben Murphy (r.) and Marshall Colt with prize winner in the new fall drama "Lottery"
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