From General Hospital to American History X - And Beyond

Ever heard of John Martinuzzi? Unless you're a real cleaning soap opera fan from way back within the Nineteen Eighties, you have possibly no longer heard of him. Ever heard of John Morrissey? Unless you are an aficionado of film and recognise who produced which topnotch film of this or that yr, you have in all likelihood now not heard of him, both.

In truth, as a customer of TV and movie enjoyment, you are in all likelihood not any extra familiar, by name, with Mr. Morrissey than you are with Mr. Martinuzzi. Yet in case you're a regular purchaser of TV and film leisure, be confident, you're privy to the products put out beneath these names.

In 1982, John Martinuzzi originated the position of the deliciously-evil Stavros Cassadine on ABC's GENERAL HOSPITAL, and went on in 1984 to play David Preston on CBS' THE GUIDING LIGHT. John Morrissey is the hooked up manufacturer of recognized and celebrated films, namely the seriously-acclaimed AMERICAN HISTORY X, among others, both for the huge screen and tv.

What makes this interesting is that Martinuzzi and Morrissey is the identical man. Actor, manufacturer, author, photographer, clothing clothier-those are his professions in just the first 50 or so years.

It's within the transition from one call to the other, one form of visibility to some other, that the meat of the story is found out. For all realistic purposes to all and sundry who can also have accompanied his display work, John Martinuzzi regarded to disappear from the face of the earth, and at that time, his simply-developing "fan base"-as John Martinuzzi aka Stavros-changed into left wondering if he, like Stavros, had handed away . . . Or at very least, dropped out of the industry to grow to be, say, a vehicle salesman.

What did appear?

John Martinuzzi, the man, is alive and properly, residing in Los Angeles, however the call isn't any extra.

Using Martinuzzi as his final name, the actor came to public mild in 1983 as Stavros Cassadine on GENERAL HOSPITAL, a part which he had no manner of knowing would live on in cleaning soap history. And though Stavros reportedly died in the course of Martinuzzi's tenure, the character become subsequently resurrected, with every other actor within the role. This is while John Martinuzzi slowly commenced to morph into oblivion - or so it appeared to the majority who'd come to experience his compelling portrayal of this type of complex individual. Though Martinuzzi took on every other nationally-recognised position on THE GUIDING LIGHT a few years later, that character never grabbed visitors inside the same manner. Then-he changed into long gone to day by day visibility. No extra John Martinuzzi.

It failed to certainly manifest that rapid, although. Things have been changing in John's life. Lots of things. To start from the beginning-what initially delivered John into the bright lighting fixtures of level, television, and movie, and what came about to bring about his trade in personas?

He changed into born in the Nineteen Fifties. At a factor in which there was no male determine in his lifestyles, his mother worked as assistant to the famous Eartha Kitt, and he or she and John lived together with her. He called Eartha the "head of the family," and stated she changed into "cussed and competitive in her manner, however very clever." It changed into a "precise" ecosystem, since the head in their domestic "turned into a black female." John have become accustomed early on to "women and blacks in positions of electricity."

He, his mother, and Eartha went from theater to theater, and, as he put it, performing "just seemed like . . . What grown usadid." So when he grew up, John followed suit. He went to college, then to drama faculty in London. He did a considerable amount of local theatre before going on to Broadway.

How did he make the transition to cleaning soap operas?

He auditioned. As John Martinuzzi, he auditioned six times for the position of Stavros Cassadine. Though he have been born John James Morrissey III, his parents divorced and his mother in the end remarried. He turned into adopted via his stepfather and lived as John Martinuzzi well into maturity-and notoriety as an American actor, a time which had started out with those auditions.

John said, "By the time it got to the end" of the casting procedure for the a part of Stavros, "I had grow to be what they imagined, and they changed a few dialogue for me and once I would improvise, they would upload some of what I said." Stavros changed into uniquely his, and despite the fact that he held that element for handiest a year or so, he positioned an irresistible stamp at the character . . . So much in order that, over 25 years later, viewers still communicate about "John Martinuzzi" and his portrayal of Stavros Cassadine. And the next thing they need to know is, "Whatever took place to him?"

After his stint on GENERAL HOSPITAL, after which THE GUIDING LIGHT, and other much less-visible roles, John moved from in the front of the cameras to in the back of them as a movie producer. During this time, he made the selection to go back to his roots. Now the call alternate. It came about whilst he fell in love and asked his sweetheart to marry him.

"Will you take my call?" he requested her.

"Not the Italian one," she responded, "however I'll take your real call." He acquiesced, and lower back to his birth name. For about 14 years, John James Morrissey III become a married guy with a own family, operating often as a movie producer. He helped raise his wife's daughter from a preceding marriage whom he calls "a dazzling female," with softness in his voice, and John Martinuzzi slipped into the past.

By changing his name, John didn't recognise he was successfully reducing away one portion of his public character. It did not even move his thoughts. Amazingly, he become definitely unaware he even had a following. When the difficulty of the Stavros re-solid was introduced up, John become amazed.

"I don't think the role changed into recast. Relatives were selected. I do not suppose Stavros himself changed into recast." He hesitated. "Maybe I don't even understand."

He did not recognize. He became told Stavros changed into added lower back in 2001 with Robert Kelker-Kelly within the component, and he requested pointedly, "Was Genie at the show?"

"Genie" stated Genie Francis, the actress who originated the role of Laura Spencer, and went directly to turn out to be half of Luke and Laura, one of the most well-known soap couples of all times.

When informed that Genie was at the display on the time, John's reaction turned into brief. "Genie might've hostile me coming directly to do it."

This brings us to the real records among now not handiest the characters-Laura and Stavros-but additionally between the actors-Genie and John.

"I actually have now not observed GENERAL HOSPITAL," John defined. "I did now not observe GENERAL HOSPITAL when I was on it."

After best a mild hesitation, it changed into obtrusive he had made a decision, a choice to inform his story. "I fell in love with Genie Francis and we lived together for numerous years." This defined the realism behind their electric onscreen chemistry. "We did a few performs after our work [together] . . . Had a terrific time. She changed into worried about becoming a higher actress . . . So we went to New York-she desired to study with my performing teacher. We went to New York; I changed into cast in some plays, she become reading . . . ."

He stopped for a moment to gather his thoughts, as if seeking to determine how excellent to narrate the next part of their shared drama.

"I was an alcoholic, I am an alcoholic, and I did not definitely know it but she did. She have been exposed to alcoholism along with her father, and she or he had had her personal manner with pills and alcohol even though she changed into quite young. She understood loads more approximately alcoholism and A.A. Than I did, so I assume that I turned into not a feasible accomplice for her, really."

Anyone who is followed GENERAL HOSPITAL's history has heard the rumors that Genie and her leading man at that point became an offscreen item. What occurred to that romance, however, has been almost as a lot of a mystery as the whereabouts of that main man when you consider that he left daytime TV. Here he become now, in my opinion explaining all that had long gone on behind the scenes.

"It become not possible to carry on and so after a few years, we broke up. She left, and it turned into very scary to me." His voice tinged with remorse. ". . . She became indignant with me because I turned into disillusioned together with her." They did things in opposition to each different, as so frequently occurs when love gets harm. John sounded amazed on the depth of his recollections a lot of these years later. "I don't even slightly don't forget the things I did that disappointed her but, seemingly," he laughed uncomfortably, "she's still dissatisfied, I determined years later. She's one of the few women I've had a severe courting with that I didn't stay superb pals with . . . And for anything motive, I actually have no longer remained friends with Genie."

So the stormy reality of the Laura and Stavros/Genie and John story is sooner or later discovered. He lived together with his regrets and went on after Genie, even though still now not firming down his lifestyle.

"I did two years on THE GUIDING LIGHT, as John Martinuzzi." The call change hadn't but taken place-the disappearance turned into nonetheless some years into the destiny. "That was exciting," he endured, "but I assume my alcoholism started out to flare greater for the duration of that time . . . Cleaning soap opera appearing just wasn't what I become interested by. It became a bit too restricting."

John sighed closely. It sounded as though he hadn't visited this period in his existence in quite some time. "I turned into very younger and extremely terrified of taking a step away and looking to get somewhere extra by myself, cross in whatever path I truly wanted to head as an artist, on any level. . . . I did some performs even as at the display. And right after my agreement ended, I came to L. A. In 1987. I had acted on a group of episodic tv but observed I become at the height of my alcoholism and nonetheless in denial, nevertheless now not recognizing it, but it become interfering in my existence."

What occurred? Love occurred. "I met this lady, and I liked her plenty . . . And I met some other those who had been movie manufacturers, and movie production started out to interest me. . . . Acting is ego-orientated. Even [for] actors who aren't specially egotistical."

The marvel here changed into that John failed to appear to be an selfish man. When the world has but one or maybe two personas on which to base an affect, and whilst the ones personas are self-serving and now not-so-first-rate, it's an unlucky mistake to count on the man or woman in the back of the characterizations to be comparable.

The guy himself changed into quite the opposite. "It's constantly, 'til you are a star, having to worry about how you appearance and having to run around chasing paintings. Self-focused. And the elements of oneself that are not always the most interesting. So I became unwell of it. I became interested in producing films. I hadn't mainly stopped acting, I hadn't consciously stopped appearing, however I got an increasing number of involved in producing."

When asked if he'd do not forget acting once more, he spoke back, "I like appearing. It's in reality amusing. It's the quality of existence that . . ." he laughed, the sound happy, younger, impish, " that I've lived. You display up on the set, anyone treats you really properly and also you get a number of privileges. Nice ego-boosting matters manifest, then you definitely go out and play and . . ." again he laughed, "that is all that is predicted out of you. It's emotionally-hard but I like that. But I'm not so keen to pursue that because I do not need to worry approximately running round looking for paintings. It's a ache in the ass." More light-hearted laughter. "So," in very last solution to the unique query, "if humans ask me to behave, I do."

It become right here in his tale, at a time in which he turned into in love and shifting faraway from performing and into producing-a real lifestyles change-wherein he proposed, and his woman stated, "Yes." She wanted to grow to be Mrs. Morrissey, even though, now not Mrs. Martinuzzi. John reverted to the call given him at start, and this lifestyle worked properly for a time, long sufficient for him to get used to being a husband and a father. While he was married, he produced the well-established AMERICAN HISTORY X with Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, and Stacy Keach.

"I've produced 14 or 15 films and some television stuff, and I actually have an ongoing profession as a manufacturer and a number of credibility and a terrific role within the industry, so I suppose I'm in accurate form, and I could make desirable cash doing it."

Unfortunately, even though his professional world become going nicely, his non-public existence went via some other important change. By 2001, with a solid career as a film manufacturer, he and his spouse had split. John changed into once more on his own . . . And this regarded to inspire a choice for something new in his professional life, as well.

"I turned into feeling I'd grown restricted through what I was doing as a producer," he explained. "Producing is so depependent on such a huge series and kind of humans it is able to be monumentally irritating. I can really make a terrific residing and get lots of films made, however I'm now not interested by making films that do not compel me, like American History X did. I've made a few films simply to make a dwelling, and I do not in particular want to do that."

He needed to enlarge again. He had the method, and he " . . . Started writing extra, I'm a photographer, and I shoot for a ramification of guides. A few years ago I decided I become inquisitive about girls's garb so I began to design. My line is beginning to take off. . . . I simply made a first-rate sale to Sears in Mexico. Sears in Mexico is partnered with Sachs, and they've sold my line, known as John Morrissey, in addition to some of other boutiques in Mexico City. I've began to promote in Miami. I'm setting all my attention on this Mexican process due to the fact my clothes cross on sale there in September."

What led John to take his apparel project south of the United States border?

"At the time I split with my spouse, I determined to learn how to speak Spanish. I've had an growing hobby in Central and South America, and feature travelled to Mexico, Spain, Venezuela, Argentina, and Uruguay." Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, and Chile are on his list of destiny travel spots.

John's journey-emotional in addition to literal-painted the image of an entrepreneur, a person with varied but linked interests, and a dedication to no longer restriction himself to most effective one however, instead, excel at all of them.

When it become cautioned that he turned into an entrepreneur, he thought for a second before responding. "Producing is entrepreneurial. I assume what I am is an artist, and I discover distinctive media or venues wherein to explicit or exercise or expand my artwork. For me, all of it comes from the same area. . . . Designing garments and writing and taking photos and producing films and performing, and all of it's miles form of the equal component. I realize it is not, it calls for exceptional talent units, but the impulse comes from precisely the identical region. I think about myself as an artist. Some of the stuff I do requires entrepreneurial capabilities, of which mine are very restricted." He laughed, as if he couldn't quite see himself in that position.

Yet, in listening to his story, there regarded to be little about this man that could be described as "constrained." He gave off an air of one who was confident, but now not oversure. Capable however not arrogant. Someone who knew his manner around romance however who without a doubt prefers being in love with one special female.

Which brought about a revealing remark from John. In speaking again about his first real national position, that of Stavros on GENERAL HOSPITAL, he said, "It turned into quite exciting to me because it type of modified my view of myself. I idea of myself as a man or woman, kind of a weird-looking guy, and I were given solid as a totally horny man. It had a extremely good impact on my self-picture."

Sometimes that's what it takes. Perception coupled with attractiveness and movement. John went for the role, it changed into given to him, he learned to play it, and he excelled.

That should, in truth, be John Morrissey's modus operandi in recent times. Not only has his name modified. In his very own phrases, "On September 17, 1993, I stopped consuming and doing tablets and I've been clean and sober ever given that. In 1996 I give up smoking." Each time he's long past around every other curve in life, he has found a new role. Up for every new mission, he's discovered a way to play each one. Seems that for each corner John will turn, he'll maintain to thankfully surprise himself.

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