Eric Braeden still king of daytime drama
“The Young and the Restless” star Eric Braeden has been playing character Victor Newman for 38 years and says it’s been an amazing run. But he doesn’t believe daytime drama actors always receive the recognition of their nighttime TV counterparts.
“We shoot 100 to 120 pages a day,” said Braeden, from Los Angeles. “Imagine what that means in terms of memorization. Actors in a weekly nighttime series would crap their pants if they had to do that! The most I ever learned was 62 pages of dialogue in a single day. But the simple fact is you do it, or you’re out.” Born in Germany four years before the end of World War II, Braeden says fate handed him some luck. “I grew up near Kiel which was 96 percent destroyed by over 500,000 bombs that hit the city. Part of our house was blown away so I could have very easily not survived.”
He moved to the U.S. as a teenager on an athletic scholarship to the University of Montana having won the German Youth Championship in javelin, discus, and shot put.
“Had I stayed in Germany, it’s possible I could have been an Olympian,” he said. A career as an actor, however, never really lingered long in his mind. “At school, I was always asked to read out loud in class – poetry and the classics – and I was good at it.”
After filming a documentary at college about traveling the Salmon River in Idaho, the acting bug finally bit and Braeden found work in film and television throughout the 60s and 70s, often cast as a villainous German most notably in the TV series “Combat!” and “The Rat Patrol.”