One of the most important super couples of the 80s, Jesse and Angie are returning to the public collective. As young girl, my hopes were encouraged by tuning in to watch the blossoming romance of Greg and Jennie and their best friends Angie and Jesse.
Born on the wrong side of the tracks, Jesse Hubbard quickly falls in love with his fellow teen Angie Baxter, a well born society girl. Naturally her father doesn’t approve and when Jesse is accused of raping Liza, he flees to New York City with his best friend Jenny. Once Liza recants her story and tells the truth, he returns back to Pine Valley and quickly takes up again with Angie.Things aren’t all sunny for our two love birds though, this is a soap opera after all. They eventually get married and Angie becomes pregnant with their first child, Franklin, Frankie for short. Through various misunderstandings the two of them divorce (before the baby is born), kidnap their baby from his adoptive home, get remarried, Jesse cheats on Angie because of his brother, and then the two reconcile. They have gotten remarried and suffered a few setbacks along the way, including blindness and a stillborn child.
Meanwhile in real life, on January 2011, Debbi Morgan said that she would take a leave of absence from the show. She said it was for personal reasons and on January 14, 2011 she released to the public that she has been diagnosed with Lyme Disease. She returned during the second week of February and her first episode aired on March 8, 2011.
Debbi is back in full affect and sat down to talk with Elev8 exclusively about the last few years and her character’s history.
ELEV8: What was the best time period for your characters?
When Jesse & Angie remarried and they had all their children with them.
ELEV8:What storyline would you have wished would continue?
When they brought in the woman Jesse had a child with during the time he was gone for 25 years. I thought that would’ve been a great triangle, and that it was cut way too short.
ELEV8:What do you think people should know about your characters that we may have missed?
That’s a hard one. Don’t really have an answer for that..
ELEV8:What have you learned over the years in your craft?
Don’t try to fake tears. If the tears don’t come, it’s okay because sometimes things hurt so bad we’re just numb & tears just don’t come…it’s much better than “pretending” to cry!
ELEV8:Your relationship has set the foundation for other soap opera couples such as The Young and the Restless’ Drucilla and Neil. When did you realize that your characters were changing the landscape of soaps?
When so many African Americans felt like they finally had someone they could identify with, and when we finally had a black couple that transcended color and everyone seemed to be invested in Angie & Jesse. It meant that people would be interested if the characters were interesting, no matter the color or ethnicity…
Jesse & Angie ‘The Phenomenon’
Click to the next page to view the conclusion to our exclusive interview.