Ed Hall (One Life to Live)
Al Freeman, Jr. as Ed Hall
|One Life to Live character|
|Portrayed by||Al Freeman, Jr.1|
|First appearance||January 1972|
|Last appearance||April 7, 2000|
|Created by||Agnes Nixon|
Casting and reception
The role was originated and played by actor Al Freeman, Jr. from January 1972 until 1987, with a brief interruption in 1975. In the process, he earned a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1979, becoming the first actor from the show as well as the first African American to earn the award. Freeman later earned nominations in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in 1986 and 1987. The actor briefly reprised the role in 1988 and 2000.
Freeman first appears in the role of Lieutenant Hall in January 1972 when Hall begins to lead an investigation into the murder of Marcy Wade (Francesca James), a secretary for the Lord family newspaper, The Banner. For the previous year, Marcy masqueraded around Llanview as "Niki Smith", the alter-ego and symptom of publishing heiress Viki Lord Riley's (Erika Slezak) dissociative identity disorder, hoping to create a rift in the budding relationship between Viki and new executive editor Steve Burke (Bernard Grant). Later in a hostage situation involving Steve, Marcy held Vinny Wolek (Antony Ponzini) hostage, where Steve struggled with Marcy for the gun and accidentally, but fatally, wounded her. Though Steve vowed he did not murder her, Lt. Hall developed a theory that Steve and Marcy carrying on an illicit affair without Viki's knowledge, and when Marcy was to tell Viki that Steve killed her. Steve was indicted and charged with first-degree murder. Steve's conviction was only halted for the Only Marcy’s purse, containing an incriminating note saying that Niki Smith planned to kill Vince Wolek, could save him. Steve is later exonerated when a presumed dead Joe Riley (Lee Patterson) reappears possessing Marcy Wade's purse. In his downtime after the investigation, Ed Hall began courting Carla Gray (Ellen Holly).
In 1973, siblings-in-law Meredith Lord Wolek (Lynn Benesch) and Vinny, and baby Daniel Wolek were taken hostage by thieves in the Llanfair carriage house. During hostage negotiations with Ed, the burglars demanded the Llanview Police Department arrange for a plane to transport them to South America, where they would later release the hostages. One of the criminals shoots the other, and when Meredith attempted to escape and was fatally injured after falling on her head against the edge of a table. The other robber is killed by the Llanview Police while attempting to escape, and Vince and Daniel escape alive. Lieutenant Hall makes a great impression on Carla, causing her to end her budding romance with politico Bert Skelly. Meanwhile, Ed took to mentoring downtrodden youth Joshua "Josh" West (Laurence Fishburne). Ed would later propose marriage, and although Carla was enamored with Ed's integrity and his devotion toward the mentorship of Josh, Carla fell deeper in love with Ed, but grew troubled with the prospect of being in a relationship with the life-threatening work of law enforcement. Unable to ignore her feelings, she accepts his proposal in March 1973. Ed and Carla adopt Josh together in April 1974.
When the wedding date approached, family members of Ed and Carla began receiving anonymous threats. Carla felt her life threatened when her car brakes were cut, and their now-adoptive son Josh was informed he would be retaliated against for the death of the victim of a Llanview murder investigation. Vince later uncovers the person making the veiled threats was none other than a recently released mental institution patient named Lester Brock. Before word could get out, Lester called Carla, telling her to Ed wanted to meet her at the jewelry store that afternoon. Unbeknownst to Carla, she went to the jewelry store, where she was almost shot at save for the quick action of Joe Riley (Lee Patterson). After the ruckus, Ed, Vince, and other Llanview officers arrive at the scene, putting Lester under arrest. Following the trying travail, Ed and Carla continued with their plans to marry. On October 5, 1974, Ed and Carla marry with Josh as Ed's best man and real-life jazz singer Hazel Scott as Carla's aunt and maid of honor in the first on-screen wedding of Black characters on soap operas.
Ed is shot during a police altercation in 1979 by the estranged redneck husband of Becky Lee Abbott (Mary Gordon Murray), Luke Johnson. Luke was quickly apprehended and Ed rushed to Llanview Hospital, where the Lieutenant was operated on by newly arrived surgeon Dr. Jack Scott (Arthur Burghardt). Following hours of being in critical condition, Dr. Scott removed the gun's bullet from a wound near Ed's heart. An overly grateful Carla fell in love with Dr. Jack as Ed's focused less attention on her at the height of the Marco Dane (Gerald Anthony) murder trial involving Karen Wolek (Judith Light). Ed was promoted to police captain, but not long afterwards Carla requested a divorce in 1979 to marry the surgeon who saved Ed's life, to which he conceded. Later, social climber and Llanview District Attorney Herb Callison decided to run as the fictional governor of Pennsylvania with Captain Hall as his running mate in 1980. In exchange for the manipulation of the election, undiscovered to Ed, Herb and fiancée Dr. Dorian Cramer Lord each obtained illegal campaign contributions from Asa Buchanan (Philip Carey). In January 1981, Ed uncovers the illegality in the election of Herb, the day he is to serve as a groomsman for Herb at his wedding. Herb and Ed are sworn-in as Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, respectively, in February 1981. Soon afterwards, news of the political impropriety of Governor and First Lady Callison is revealed in the news, to the shame of Ed who resigns in the midst of the scandal. Herb soon follows, and with Ed's career ruined, he proceeded to pick up the pieces of his shattered life.
Assuming work as a private investigator, Ed took acquired a steady clientele of work. When the assumed father of the ward of Viki Lord, Tina Clayton (Andrea Evans) escaped from jail, he arrived in Llanview in search of Tina. Now a con artist, Ted sought a way to gain the fortune of Lord family by gettimg back into the good graces of Tina, who grew weary of her estranged father's attempts at bonding. Unsuccessful at getting Tina to regard him, Ted donned a wig and followed Tina to an art gallery. Attempting to seriously harm Tina, Ed shoots and kills the disguised Ted after is was uncover that he killed now-Llanview Police Lieutenant Vince Wolek. Ed is rehired by the Llanview Police Department later that year. In 1982, the rapist of Karen Wolek, deranged Dr. Ivan Kipling, implanted brain chips into the heads of Karen's ex-husband Dr. Larry Wolek (Michael Storm) and later Ed, hoping to manipulate the two men and kidnap to South America. Dr. Kipling's caper was foiled when the chips were removed from Ed and Larry's heads and Karen rescued.
Freeman was fired from the series in 1987 by OLTL executive producer Paul Rauch, following in a series of administrative moves by Rauch which ultimately removed regular African American cast members. Leading black cast members would be absent from the series until new executive producer Linda Gottlieb and headwriter Michael Malone introduced Hank Gannon, played by actor Nathan Purdee, in 1992. Freeman briefly reprised in the role in 1988 and 2000.
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- Chance, Norman (2010). Who Was Who on TV: Volume II. Bloomington, Indiana: Xlibris. p. 511. ISBN 1456821628. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
- Lynda Hirsch (8 April 2000). "Three Siblings Score on Soaps Day and Night". Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
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- Howell, Ronald O. (1979). "Ellen Holly: One Life to Live Star Will Have Eight Million Guests at Her TV Wedding". Ebony (Johnson Publishing Company) 34 (12): 168. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- 1. ^ Actor Arthur Pendleton briefly assumed the role when Freeman co-starred in the short-lived ABC sitcom Hot l Baltimore.