is an American
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
Fulton is known for her role as Lisa Grimaldi
Lisa Grimaldi is a fictional character on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns. The daughter of Henry and Alma Miller, Lisa grew up in Rockford, Illinois, USA before moving to Oakdale...
on the CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...
A soap opera, sometimes called "soap" for short, is an ongoing, episodic work of dramatic fiction presented in serial format on radio or as television programming. The name soap opera stems from the original dramatic serials broadcast on radio that had soap manufacturers, such as Procter & Gamble,...
As the World Turns
As the World Turns is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS from April 2, 1956 to September 17, 2010. Irna Phillips created As the World Turns as a sister show to her other soap opera Guiding Light...
, a role that she played almost continuously for 50 years (with two notable interruptions) from May 18, 1960 until the show's cancellation on September 17, 2010.
As the World Turns
The character of Lisa Grimaldi had a storied history, having been married eight times, divorced three times and widowed four times (with her most recent marriage annulled ) making her full name Lisa Miller Hughes Eldridge Shea Colman McColl Mitchell Grimaldi Chedwyn
Fulton's portrayal of Lisa created the strongest prototype of its time for the daytime vixen. The character and actress were, in Fulton's first decades on As the World Turns
, very popular (to the point where, in the late 1960s, Fulton had to hire a publicist
A publicist is a person whose job is to generate and manage publicity for a public figure, especially a celebrity, a business, or for a work such as a book, film or album...
, the first soap actress to do so). The character became hated after a simple sequence where Lisa hires a maid to clean the house and went gallivanting about town. When mother-in-law Nancy complimented Lisa on what a nice home she made for her son Bob, the audience became furious, stopping Fulton on the street and slapping her. CBS had to hire a bodyguard to escort her to and from the studio. Despite her popularity, Fulton's run has not been without controversy. During the late 1960s, after her onscreen son was aged from age 12 to 19, Fulton insisted it be written into her contract that her character could not become a grandmother. She feared that the perception of her as a grandmother, instead of a glamorous and vital woman, would cause the writers to kill off her character. (This had been done when Barbara Berjer, who was playing one of Lisa's Rivals, Claire Shea, became a grandmother.) Fans, believing that the "granny clause" as it became known, was still in effect (which it was not), sent Fulton so much threatening "hate mail" when Lisa's onscreen daughter-in-law, Margo, had a miscarriage in 1986, that she had to hire a bodyguard.
She left the show three times. The first time for several months in 1963, when she was replaced in the role of Lisa by actress Pamela King. She left again in 1965 to bring her Lisa character to her own prime time
Prime time or primetime is the block of broadcast programming during the middle of the evening for television programing.The term prime time is often defined in terms of a fixed time period—for example, from 19:00 to 22:00 or 20:00 to 23:00 Prime time or primetime is the block of broadcast...
In media, a spin-off is a radio program, television program, video game, or any narrative work, derived from one or more already existing works, that focuses, in particular, in more detail on one aspect of that original work...
, Our Private World
Our Private World is an American serial. It was the first prime-time spin-off from a daytime soap . Created by Irna Phillips and William J. Bell, it premiered on May 5, 1965 and aired Wednesdays and Fridays over the summer; the multiple-episode-per-week format was inspired by ABC's hit show Peyton...
. Our Private World
lasted less than a season, and Fulton took several months off before returning to [As the World Turns]
in early 1967. She left again in 1983 after a contract dispute with executive producer
An executive producer is a producer who is not involved in any technical aspects of the film making or music process, but who is still responsible for the overall production...
Mary-Ellis Bunim was an American television producer and co-creator of MTV's The Real World and Road Rules.-Biography:A native of Massachusetts, Bunim began her career in daytime dramas...
, returning the next year. During Fulton's 1983-1984 absence, the role of Lisa was played by Betsy von Furstenberg
Betsy von Furstenberg is a German-born American radio, television, film, and Broadway actress.-Birth and childhood:...
Fulton was prominently featured in April 2006 during the show's 50th anniversary episode, and from January 2008 to August 2008, was seen in at least two episodes per week. Her appearances dropped off after that time, though she was again featured in a two-part tribute episode in May 2010, and remained on the show through its cancellation, appearing in the final episode in September 2010.
While playing Lisa, Fulton performed in the Off-Broadway
Off-Broadway theater is a term for a professional venue in New York City with a seating capacity between 100 and 499, and for a specific production of a play, musical or revue that appears in such a venue, and which adheres to related trade union and other contracts...
production of The Fantasticks
The Fantasticks is a 1960 musical with music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics by Tom Jones. It was produced by Lore Noto. It tells an allegorical story, loosely based on the play "The Romancers" by Edmond Rostand, concerning two neighboring fathers who trick their children, Luisa and Matt, into...
and the Broadway
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...
production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a play by Edward Albee that opened on Broadway at the Billy Rose Theater on October 13, 1962. The original cast featured Uta Hagen as Martha, Arthur Hill as George, Melinda Dillon as Honey and George Grizzard as Nick. It was directed by Alan Schneider...
as "Honey" in 1963. Fulton would tape her scenes for the live airing of As the World Turns
, then be on a Broadway stage for the matinee performance in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
, and by evening she would be back onstage in the Off-Broadway musical, The Fantasticks
Her other theatre credits include the Off-Broadway production of Abe Lincoln in Illinois
Abe Lincoln in Illinois is a play written by the American playwright Robert E. Sherwood in 1938. The play, in three acts, covers the life of President Abraham Lincoln from his childhood through his final speech in Illinois before he left for Washington. The play also covers his romance with Mary...
with Hal Holbrook
Harold Rowe "Hal" Holbrook, Jr. is an American actor. His television roles include Abraham Lincoln in the 1976 TV series Lincoln, Hays Stowe on The Bold Ones: The Senator and Capt. Lloyd Bucher on Pueblo. He is also known for his role in the 2007 film Into the Wild, for which he was nominated for...
in 1963, Many Loves
, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll
, and Nite Club Confidential
She also appeared in regional theatre productions including Plaza Suite
Plaza Suite is a comedy play by Neil Simon.-Plot:The play is composed of three acts, each involving different characters but all set in Suite 719 of New York City's Plaza Hotel...
, It Had To be You
, The Owl and the Pussycat
, Goodbye Charlie
and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a play by Tennessee Williams. One of Williams's best-known works and his personal favorite, the play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955...
Fulton has written two memoirs, "How My World Turns" and "As My World Still Turns". She also wrote a mystery novel, called "Soap Opera", loosely based on her experiences on As the World Turns
as well as six murder mystery novels "Take One for Murder" about a soap opera star "Nina" and her detective boyfriend "Dino." Fulton is also a singer, and has performed a number of cabaret and nightclub acts, in addition to her acting.
Fulton is a 1955 graduate of Greensboro College
Greensboro College is a four-year, independent, coeducational liberal-arts college, also offering four master's degrees, located in Greensboro, North Carolina, and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It was founded in 1838...
and was granted an honorary doctorate
An honorary degree or a degree honoris causa is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, study, and the passing of examinations...
in 2005, on the 50th anniversary of her college graduation. She was the commencement speaker at Greensboro College's graduation ceremony in 2005.
In September 1998 she was inducted into the Soap Opera Hall of Fame. Fulton has also appeared in five independent films which earned her the Achievement in Television and Film Award at the Independent Filmmakers Award ceremony. In 2003, she was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the TV Academy during the 31st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.
Fulton was married to landscape architect Rick McMorrow for three months in 1989.