Cancer threatens 'Melrose Place'


Attention, Melrose Place writers: We can believe Sydney joining a cult. We can believe that Jo, our choice for mother of the year, could lose her baby twice and then give him up for adoption. But the show’s latest plot twist — ad executive Amanda Woodward (Heather Locklear) being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease — is a tad too thirtysomething even for us. Why has Melrose suddenly gone real?

”Illnesses are a staple of the show’s genre,” says executive producer Darren Star. ”And when real life creeps in, it creates its own set of problems and gives the character something more interesting to play.” Star says he has even hired a medical consultant to guide the writers through the different phases of the disease. ”It will be interesting to see what happens to Amanda when she has to deal with losing her power,” he adds. ”It’s possible that she could die-that would be awful, wouldn’t it?” Awful, yes. But with the newly married Locklear oft rumored to be pregnant and known for being the highest- paid cast member, not necessarily unlikely. Locklear could not be reached for comment.

True to Melrose standards, Amanda may get sick, but don’t expect her to pack away those ultraminiskirts or lose her blond tresses to chemotherapy. Says Star: ”She’ll be the best-looking cancer patient you’ve ever seen.”

Melrose Place
  • TV Show
  • Fox