Many soap fans were shocked to hear that actor Larkin Malloy died last week. The news of his death, at age 62, came a day after the news of Agnes Nixon’s passing.
I saw Malloy in all of his soap roles, including Sky Whitney on Edge of Night and Travis Montgomery on All My Children. Malloy turned in some delightfully chilling, gothic performances as Sky Whitney.
But my clearest memories of his work are of his run as Guiding Light’s Kyle Sampson.
I thought Malloy got to really show a wide range of emotions and sides to the character of Kyle. He could be sweet and romantic, but also chilling.
The character of Kyle Sampson never seemed to have a clear throughline. He was, at one point, revealed as Billy’s half-brother (Miss Sally was eventually revealed as both Billy and Kyle’s mother), but that felt in some ways as if it was made up on the spot.
Kyle didn’t seem to belong with the passionate, heart-on-their-sleeves Lewises. He was cut from the same cloth as the cool, analytical Alan Spaulding.
But nevertheless, Malloy had an impact on GL. His character was one of the few bright spots, despite the less-than-stellar “Sampson Girl” contest that bore Kyle’s name.
Two important things to note:
One, Malloy and Kim Zimmer had amazing chemistry. Those who think that there’s never been anyone for Reva but “Bud?” Sorry to burst your bubble, but Reva and Kyle definitely gave “Jeva” a serious run for its money.
And two: Malloy’s departure from the show seemed to be abrupt and unusual….as was the subsequent utter and complete dropkick into Siberia for the character.
His departure may have simply come to pass because Robert Newman and Chris Bernau both returned to the show – thereby filling GL’s need for a partner for Reva as well as a moody villain.
But it was really odd for fans. He was front burner every day for two years and then poof, he was never seen again.
Hell, even after his departure, Kyle was the cornerstone of a big plot (Reva believed Marah was Kyle’s daughter) that ran for the better part of two years, and still, he was seldom mentioned after that.
The show missed an opportunity to revisit the character, if not the actor, and the connections to Reva, to Marah, and to Ben Reade (Kyle’s biological son).
I wanted to include a clip of Malloy with Kim Zimmer, and I picked this particular clip – partly because of the fabulous (!) GL commercial at the clip’s beginning, and partly because this isn’t a collection of big moments. No one is splashing in any fountains here.
Even in the quiet moments, Malloy and Zimmer had great chemistry.
In recent years, I know Malloy worked at ATWT as an acting coach and as their announcer. It’s very sad to hear of his passing.