Linda Dano (born May 12, 1943) is an American actress, author and businesswoman. She is well-known for her roles in daytime drama, in particular Gretel Rae Cummings on One Life to Live and Felicia Gallant on Another World. Dano also co-hosted the talk show Attitudes on Lifetime and has had a long-running clothing and home furnishings line with QVC, first partnering with the home shopping channel in 1993.
Linda Rae Wildermuth
May 12, 1943
Long Beach, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, author, businesswoman|
|Spouse(s)||Frank Attardi (1982–2004; his death)|
|Parent(s)||Evelyn and Ted Wildermuth|
Dano was born Linda Rae Wildermuth in Long Beach, California, to Evelyn (Delgado) and Ted Wildermuth. Dano was married to advertising executive Frank Attardi for over 20 years until his death in 2004. She has two stepchildren, three step grandchildren, a niece and a nephew.
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In the mid to late 1970s Dano appeared in such television police and detective dramas as Ironside, Police Woman, Harry O, Petrocelli, The Rockford Files (in 3 different roles), Starsky & Hutch, Charlie's Angels and CHiPS, as well as in Emergency!, Barney Miller and The Six Million Dollar Man (in 2 different roles). Dano was cast in the short-lived 1975 NBC comedy series The Montefuscos, which was cancelled after three episodes were broadcast and ultimately ran for seven. She had small roles in the movies The Last Survivors (1975), The Nurse Killer (1975), The Night That Panicked America (1975), and The Shadow of Chikara (1977).
After years of being on contract to 20th Century Fox alongside such actors as Tom Selleck, Dano joined the ABC soap opera One Life to Live in the role of Gretel Cummings from 1978 to 1980. From 1981 to 1982 she played Cynthia Haines on As the World Turns.
Dano next portrayed romance novelist Felicia Gallant on Another World from 1982 until the show's cancellation on June 25, 1999, her performance winning her the Daytime Emmy Award for Lead Actress in 1993. She was also nominated for Leading Actress Emmys in 1994 and 1996, and for Supporting Actress in 1992.
On June 28, 1999, Dano returned to One Life to Live as Gretel, now calling herself "Rae" Cummings. The character also appeared on the three other ABC soap operas at the time — All My Children, General Hospital, and Port Charles — in a crossover storyline which was the first time a daytime character had ever appeared on four series. In 2003 Dano was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Supporting Actress for the role, and left One Life to Live on March 13, 2004. In 2005, Dano appeared briefly as Lena Kendall on CBS's Guiding Light. Dano was impersonated on NBC's Saturday Night Live in the late 1980s by Nora Dunn.
Lifetime Television dedicated an episode of its Intimate Portrait celebrity biography series to Dano in 2000. From 1987 until 1992, she co-hosted the Lifetime talk show Attitudes and has both been a guest and guest-host on The View. Dano hosted an Another World reunion special on SOAPnet in 2003 for which she was later nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Special.
Dano has written a style and fashion column for Soap Opera Digest on and off for years, and has had her own merchandise lines on QVC. In 1999 she won the Accessories Council of Excellence (ACE) Award for outstanding contributions to consumer awareness.
During and since her run in daytime, Dano has guest-starred on television series like Homicide: Life on the Street (1997), Desperate Housewives (2005), and What I Like About You (2006), as well as the 2007 film Reservation Road. In 2005 Dano appeared as the title character in Mame at the Bucks County, Playhouse.
During her run on Another World, Dano co-wrote at least one romance novel published under the name of her character Felicia Gallant.
- Gallant, Felicia, with Rebecca Flanders (1984). Dreamweaver. Harlequin. ISBN 0-373-97012-9. OCLC 11693590.
- Dano, Linda, with Anne Kyle (1997). Looking Great: Fashion Authority and Television Star Linda Dano Shares Her Style and Beauty Secrets to Help You Look Your Best. G.P. Putnam's Sons. ISBN 0-399-52387-1. OCLC 35688092.
- Dano, Linda, with Anne Kyle (1998). Living Great: Style Expert and Television Star Linda Dano Shows You How to Bring Style Home With Her Easy, Affordable Decorating Ideas and Techniques. Putnam. ISBN 0-399-14392-0. OCLC 37782918.
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For several years Dano has worked with organizations to tackle medical conditions such as depression and Alzheimer's disease. Her father's life was taken by the effects of Alzheimer's and she would battle depression later after the double loss of her husband as well as her mother, Evelyn, a week-and-a-half afterward, with mother showing signs of dementia before her death. Dano is active in such groups as HeartShare, the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the National Alzheimer's Association and Support Partners, among others. Dano is also a patron of the Catholic Guardian Society of New York.
- Kroll, Dan J. (December 29, 2003). "OLTL News: Dano's Run as ABC's Rae About to End". SoapCentral.com. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
- "Who's Who in Llanview: Rae Cummings". SoapCentral.com. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
- Angulo, Sandra P. (June 25, 1999). "Soap Dish". Entertainment Weekly. EW.com. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
- "Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1993". SoapOperaDigest.com. Archived from the original on July 26, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2009.
- "Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1994". SoapOperaDigest.com. Archived from the original on July 26, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2009.
- "Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1996". SoapOperaDigest.com. Archived from the original on June 3, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2009.
- "Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1992". SoapOperaDigest.com. Archived from the original on May 27, 2006. Retrieved February 18, 2009.
- Kroll, Dan J. (April 1, 2002). "Angela Shapiro to Leave ABC Daytime Post". SoapCentral.com. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
- Kroll, Dan J. (November 12, 2003). "AMC News: ABC Plans AMC, OLTL Crossovers". SoapCentral.com. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
- "Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 2003". SoapOperaDigest.com. Archived from the original on May 27, 2006. Retrieved February 18, 2009.
- "TV Stars Flock to Bucks County Playhouse for Musical Season | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
- Library and Archives Canada identifies Linda Dano as the real name of author Gallant. LAC: Felicia Gallant. Coded version. Virtual International Authority File (viaf.org). Retrieved 2015-06-04.
- "'Blue Bloods' star wins HeartShare award". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. October 6, 2017.
- Official website
- Linda Dano on IMDb
- Exclusive Interview with Linda Dano
- Linda Dano at Library of Congress Authorities, with 2 catalog records (under her own name)