Mark Derwin played the original A.C. Mallet who had an important GL friendship with Frank Cooper and had a landmark romance with Harley Cooper during Derwin’s tenure. In fact, Beth Ehlers who played Harley, and he had a romance in real life and left the show together to take Hollywood by storm. They even appeared together in one of Reba McEntire’s hit music videos before breaking up. This ultimately resulted in a breakup of the Harlet marriage off screen as Beth’s Harley returned to Springfield and Mark’s Mallet didn’t.
(Mark appears throughout the video, Beth appears twice once in the restaurant and the best shot of both of them in the plane right at the end.)
Derwin was interviewed for the Dec. 21, 2009 CBS Soaps in Depth about his current primetime show The Secret Life of the American Teenager, but he also commented on his days in Springfield. Some quotes below:
“Playing Mallet on GL was so much fun… [Harley and Mallet] argued a lot, but then our make-up time was fun. It’s hard to tell who’s gonna be popular, but I think if you keep it as real as possible, you have a good chance of being noticed….We just had good rhythms. They were two hardheaded characters who fought their feelings for each other, and it was noticeable on camera. Plus, we had this style of talking over each other, which made it real.”
Describing a particularly hard pressed week on his current primetime show as his co-star and 1980s icon Molly Ringwald prepared to go on maternity leave, Derwin thought it was going to be a heavy workload and then he realized, “What am I thinking? This less than an average day on a soap.”
Derwin also reported his reaction to the cancellation news. “When I heard [GL] had been canceled, I called up Frank Dicopoulos (Frank Cooper). He’s still a good friend of mine.”
Read the rest of the interview in CBS Soaps in Depth article “Not Your Average Dad.”
UPDATE: I came across this link to another interview and since there has been quite a few hits on this post, I decided to add it here. I will warn you that the language is very adult. It does include one story of his life with Beth Ehlers, but doesn’t name her.