Michael Storm as Dr. Larry Wolek
|One Life to Live character|
|First appearance||July 15, 1968|
|Last appearance||May 28, 2004|
|Created by||Agnes Nixon|
|Introduced by||Doris Quinlan|
|All My Children|
Created as one of the original male protagonists for the series, Larry is introduced on the premiere episode as the youngest sibling of the Wolek family. The character debuted July 15, 1968, and continually appeared through May 28, 2004.
Actor Michael Storm is most notable in the role and played Larry for 35 years, from January 4, 1969 through to the character's final appearance in 2004. Storm is the second-longest serving cast member of the ABC Daytime-produced OLTL after actress Erika Slezak (Victoria Lord), and briefly crossed over as Dr. Wolek in the premiere episodes of All My Children in 1970.
The role of Larry was originally played by Paul Tulley, who appears from the debut of the series in July 1968 through episodes in August of that year. Actor Jim Storm soon assumed the role in August, playing Larry through December 1968, when Storm accepted the role of Gerard Stiles on fellow ABC soap Dark Shadows. Storm recommended his brother Michael Storm for the role, which the latter Storm accepted and appeared as the character from January 1969 onward through his last appearance in May 2004.
The younger brother of Anna (Doris Belack) and Vince Wolek (Antony Ponzini), Dr. Larry Wolek (Paul Tulley) is introduced as the boyfriend of rich socialite Meredith Lord (Trish Van Devere), a match which Meredith's father, media magnate Victor Lord (Ernest Graves), does not approve. In July 1968, Victor pushes Meredith into an engagement with the more socially-acceptable Dr. Ted Hale (Terry Logan). Meredith's engagement to Ted ends when he stumbles down a Llanview Hospital staircase to his death while arguing with Larry. Nurse Karen Martin (Niki Flacks) tells police she overheard Larry and Ted arguing over Meredith and Larry threatening Ted, and Larry is arrested for murder.
Larry (Jim Storm) stand trial for the death and is nearly convicted until a revelation in court that Larry threatened Ted to keep secret Meredith suffered from a terminal blood disease and, ultimately, that Ted had fallen by accident. In December, Larry is released from incarceration and hopes to spend with Meredith, but she learns the truth and leaves Llanview for San Francisco to die with her maternal family. Meredith leaves Larry a Dear John letter disuading him for loving her and advising he move on. A devastated Larry finds solace with Karen.
Karen soon saves Larry from a fire that left him badly burned and bandaged for weeks. In January 1969, Larry (Michael Storm onward) recovers and gives in to Karen's romantic advances. Meredith (Lynn Benesch onward) soon returns from California with her condition miraculously improved, and Larry hopes for a reconciliation. Meredith admits to Larry her love for him, but Karen then reveals to Larry her pregnancy with their child. A heartbroken Larry marries Karen to prevent her from having an illegal abortion, but she miscarries in 1970 from the stress of knowing Larry loved Meredith. Karen and Larry soon separate, but Meredith had already engaged to Tom Edwards (Joseph Gallison). Meredith promises to stay Tom, but Tom rebuffs knowing Meredith desire more to be with Larry.
Meredith and Larry marry June 25, 1970, and soon decide to start a family. Larry soon treats Cathy Craig for drug abuse, and Meredith becomes pregnant with twins. In November 1971, Larry's mentor Dr. Jim Craig (Pat Nolen) delivers the children, but only one, named Daniel Wolek, survives childbirth. Meredith begins suffering from postpartum depression, and Larry soon calls in a favor to friend Dr. Joyce Brothers (playing herself) to treat his ailing wife. Tragedy strikes the happily-married couple in 1973 when thieves break into Meredith's father's home at Llanfair, and Meredith fatally falls as she attempts to escape. Before dying, Meredith asks sister Victoria "Viki" Lord Riley (Erika Slezak) to tell Larry that he brought happiness to her life. The widower is left raise their infant son Daniel alone.
By the mid-1970s, Larry's distant cousins Jenny (Katherine Glass) and Karen Wolek (Kathryn Breech) arrive in Llanview, and he falls in love with Karen. After a whirlwind romance, Larry and Karen marry March 31, 1977. Karen (Judith Light onward) soon becomes dissatisfied with her life as an upper middle class housewife, and surreptitiously supplements her husband's allowance by joining in upscale prostitution ring run by her con man ex-boyfriend Marco Dane (Gerald Anthony). Happily married to the love of his life, Larry first learns of Karen's prostitution when she is coerced into admitting it on the stand when Viki is put on trial for Marco's apparent murder in 1979. Larry and Karen divorce after the public revelation in August, but the two eventually become close friends. Storm regarded his storyline with Light's Karen as his favorite during his tenure with the series. Karen departs Llanview for witness protection in Canada in 1983 with agent Steve Piermont (Robert Desiderio), tearfully bidding farewell to Larry.
Laurel and Dan
With Karen gone, Larry soon begins medically treating and romancing Laurel Chapin (Janice Lynde) in 1983 after accidentally hitting her with his car. Concurrently, SORASed 18-year-old Dan (Steven Culp) returns to Llanview from abroad and begins work as a cub reporter for his aunt Viki at her Banner newspaper, but soon romances Viki's former stepmother and Larry's former hospital colleague Dr. Dorian Lord Callison (Robin Strasser), much the chagrin of the two former. Dan eventually ends his trysts at his father's and aunt's insistence, and Larry and Laurel marry January 15, 1985 at Llanfair. Laurel dies in a car accident in March 1986, leaving Larry widowed for the second time.
Dan (Joshua Cox) returns in August 1986, now a doctor in-residence under his Llanview Hospital chief-of-staff father. Dan soon becoming involved with hospital volunteer and Mitch Laurence cult member Allison Perkins (Barbara Garrick). Larry fails to dissuade Dan from pursuing Allison, but only after Allison is revealed to be culpable in the kidnapping of Dan's newborn cousin Jessica Buchanan does Dan listen to his father's advice and leaves town.
Larry gradually becomes a supporting role into the 1990s after Dan departs following another stint in 1991. For the rest of the decade and into the 2000s, Larry becomes featured mainly featured in his position as hospital chief-of-staff and close confidante to sister-in-law Viki and her extended family. Larry last appears on the series on the May 28, 2004 episode, where he informs Viki's immediate family of his successful heart transplant surgery on her.
The storyline of the recasting of the role of Larry to actor Michael Storm in January 1969 was met with fanfare and acclaim, particularly at the explanation of the change in Larry's face being attributed to plastic surgery as he had been severely burned in a fire; this recasting method of popular lead characters would go on to be reused on various other soap operas including Dynasty, and notably again on OLTL with the original recastings of Max Holden and Todd Manning.
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