Soap Dish Centerfold

Up Close & Personal with Mary Beth Evans

Soap Dish, February 1996

Every so often an actor comes along who leaves the audience wondering if there is anything she can’t do.  Mary Beth Evans (Katherine) is just one such actor, who is equally adept at comedy and drama.  Apparently her talent surfaced at an early age, too.  As a precious fourth grader, Mary Beth was voted best actress by her classmates.  Today, the actress is equally comfortable playing the sweet, demure ingénue as she did on DOOL, or the naughty vixen she currently plays on GH.

 “It was tough playing Katherine at first because I felt so loyal to Kayla.  But Kayla was limiting because she had to be good all the time.  After awhile I began to relax and have fun with Katherine.  I’ve gotten to say things I’d never be able to say myself!”

 The difficulty in playing a character like Katherine is that she needs a certain depth, or no one will care about her.  That’s when Mary Beth decided she “wanted to show Katherine’s vulnerable side by adding more realism.”  The idea worked, and now viewers both hate and empathize with the character. “She feels she’s being treated unfairly, so she fights back,” revels Evans.

 That’s a far cry from the lovely Kayla Brady, who came to our attention in 1986, when Mary Beth was cast as DOOL’s newest heroine who fell in love with the mysterious “Patch” (Stephen Nichols). In 1992, the actress left Salem and took up residence in Port Charles as the fiery Katherine.

Born and raised in southern California, Mary Beth, a self‑described “beach girl,” began taking acting classes at the age of 14, and later joined the prestigious South Coast Repertory Conservatory.

 Married in 1985 to Dr. Michael Schwartz, the actress keeps busy  with a number of varied interests when she’s not working.  She enjoys interior decorating, crafts and loves gardening.  However, there are also three other projects which keep her hopping: Danny, Katie and Matthew, the couple’s three children.

 One thing’s for sure, whether she’s spinning plots on the set, or spending the day at home, life is never dull for Mary Beth Evans.

Don Wagner

Soap Dish, February 1996, pages 46-47. Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC.