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Elizabeth has been starring as "C. Blake Thorpe Marler" on CBS's soap opera "Guiding Light" since August 1992. Elizabeth, who studied acting at the Academy of Stage and Cinema Arts and voice at the University of California in Los Angeles, is no stranger to daytime television. She portrayed Connie O'Neill on One Life to Live, Angela Lawrence on The Young and the Restless, and Camelia McKay on General Hospital. Her numerous guest appearances on primetime/ television include Cheers, Married...With Children, Facts of Life, and Full House. She was in the movies-of-the-week Dallas: The Early Years and Thursday's Child, in which she co-starred with Rob Lowe. She also filmed the movie Rising Storm on location in Africa. She credits her sister, Mary, with her foray into entertainment. While they were growing up, Mary was always singing, blaring music around their home, and participating in community productions. Each time one of the productions needed a child, Mary would volunteer her little sister, Liz, who then grew to love acting, eventually making it her career. Elizabeth, who enjoys hiking, singing, and getting lost in the romance of old Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant movies, holds a brown belt in karate. Born in Santa Monica, California, to her late parents Grace and Richard Keifer, Elizabeth and her four siblings, John, Brian, Mary, and Jim, were raised in Pacific Palisades, California. She is married to construction supervisor Robert Convertino and they have one daughter, Isabella Grace (b. 4/98), and a son, Keifer Jack (b. 1/8/00). Elizabeth was born on November 14, 1961, in Santa Monica, California.
Elizabeth Blake's Brother
GL's Blake has learned that her father, Roger, had another child — Sebastian — and portrayer Elizabeth Keifer (Blake) couldn't be happier with her new sibling.
SOAP OPERA DIGEST: I love it that Sebastian calls Blake "Chrissy".
Elizabeth Keifer: I do, too! It's one of the first things that gets Blake. Blake is the first person to believe that Sebastian is her brother. She knows it. She knows it in his eyes. They have part of the same soul. It's that same button that Roger could push in Chrissy — that willingness to do bad things for that person. It's interesting. Blake and Sebastian are both going after this unattainable father who really wasn't present for them. He wasn't present for Sebastian growing up and he wasn't present in the way that Blake wanted him to be, and both of them have the same buttons that get pushed. It doesn't help that now Ross has Dinah in the picture, which makes a division between those two. It [forces] Blake to gravitate toward Sebastian faster than she would have because she is feeling so put out by fighting with Ross over Dinah, of Ross being protective of Dinah and not taking care of Blake. It's a natural gravitation. It's sort of like what happened with Roger before — that love/hate. "Okay, now I am going to be with you." "Now I'll work against you." Sebastian's wonderful. He's just wonderful. It's like family for her; he accepts the bad parts of her just like Roger did.... He's out to re-create all those things that happened with Roger. You are going to get Roger all over again living through him and it's really an amazing story.
DIGEST:How does Sebastian's return affect Holly and Blake's relationship?
Keifer: It's funny. It's like how they [were]. There they go again where Holly is really cynical about it, doesn't want to trust, and Blake is totally open. She has a brother who she's just going to love because there is no more competition for Daddy because Daddy isn't alive anymore. I think if Daddy were alive it might be a little bit different. Now the fact that Sebastian is her brother is the only thing she can hold onto and she wants to hold onto it.
Elizabeth Keifer's Blake then and today
Elizabeth Keifer became the fourth actress to play Christina "Blake" Thorpe when she joined the cast of GL in 1992. Ten years (and counting) into her run, we sat down with Liz to talk about who Blake was, who she is, and who Liz really hopes she’ll become!
In 1992, Blake was a very petulant, confused, revengeful, nasty little girl. She was also a spoiled little girl. Blake was very confused when I first started playing her, because what started out as an act of complete and utter revenge against her mother (who Blake blamed for destroying the relationship between Blake and Alan-Michael), Blake decided to really show Holly what it felt like to have a relationship destroyed. So, she went after Ross. Blake managed to finagle that whole get-caught-in-the-act thing, just to humiliate Holly. But then Blake started feeling real emotion for Ross. So, when I came and started playing Blake, all that confusion was already in there. The love had already started and, for Blake, it was very surprising and hurtful and guarded. It was kind of fun because I started to expose why those emotional walls were up for Blake.
Blake today has evolved. She's made her choice. She wants to be better and good and she's trying really hard. To Blake, being good means doing the right thing. But she goes about it in an awfully wrong way, still. Blake has such a strong emotional and instinctual side that completely takes over before she is able to censor actions and emotions. I think for her it's still all about wanting to be loved and wanting everybody else to be loved. That deep, deep need is still larger than life. And, after the Tory ordeal, I really believe she has earned her place with Ross. They've both made mistakes, it's almost even. So now, Blake isn’t getting into trouble. Now she's trying to get Harley into trouble. If she can't mess up her own life, she's going to mess up somebody else's. It's a symptom of her personality, it's going to come out. It's tough. I love the Blake that she is now, because I love the healing aspect of this character. This character does go in and moves people and shake up lives, but sometimes they lose the really sharp, grounded savvy-ness that Blake always had when she was just cutting-edge. So, I would like a happy medium of the two, to tell you the truth. But, at the moment, I'm really having so much fun working with Harley that I would really like us to have a detective agency. I love the women together.
Blake’s a mother now. Children definitely change you, because it's no longer all about you. And as much as Blake was all about Blake, it just can't be. I wouldn't mind if they aged the children, because I would love to have interaction with them. I would love to have something happen with my kids, I really would. That would be very revealing for Blake. I'd like to research that. I think Blake is definitely going to try her best to have a nurturing relationship with all three of her kids. But she also has no role model. Blake tends to fly off and have these careers because she doesn't realize that a mother is supposed to do things like stay home. Blake just gets on that plane for that meeting with a director for that film. So once again, she may mess that parenting thing up. I'm sure she's going to get some of her own medicine back, too. I think Blake is going to be great to her sons. Blake is a dame. She's best buds with Frank, so she probably will be a little more balanced and well rounded with the sons. And there’s a lot of story there, I think. Remember, these are Roger Thorpe’s grandsons! But with her daughter... When it's your own daughter, bad behavior is harder to tolerate. I always thought Marina would be a great character for Blake to be an Auntie Mame for, because it would be like, "I've made those mistakes. I'll cover for you." But for your own daughter, it's a different story. Children are a big challenge -- no matter who fathered them.
Elizabeth Keifer Comments on AMC Rumors
Amid rumors that she will soon be leaving Guiding Light, a show she's called home for over a decade, Elizabeth Keifer's (Blake Marler) has issued a statement to Soap Opera Central that discusses what's true and what's speculation.
Earlier this month, Soap Opera Central/GL Online reported on the uncertainty regarding Keifer's future with Guiding Light. Keifer's co-star, Jerry verDorn (Ross Marler) confirmed late last month through his official fan club that Keifer had been taken off contract. Essentially, that means that Keifer has been let go, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the actress will no longer be seen on-screen. However, show insiders immediately began circulating buzz that Keifer was still a member of the Guiding Light cast - and that she could re-sign with later this summer.
Adding confusion to the mix is a rumor making the rounds that ABC's All My Children is interested in adding the veteran performer to its roster. All My Children is said to be introducing a new character to its canvas later this year and there is a strong desire to bring Keifer aboard in that role.
Is there any truth to the talk that Keifer could jump ship and head to another network?
"There is no official anything happening with AMC," Keifer tells Soap Opera Central. " I have a long relationship with Megan McTavish, [All My Children's] head writer and she is aware of my status at Guiding Light. There is some interest but I have not spoken to anyone. I don't want to upset anyone over at GL nor do I want to speculate prematurely..."
A spokesperson for ABC declined to comment on All My Children's purported interested in Keifer, stating that it is not network policy to comment on rumors. A spokesperson for Guiding Light was unable to provide a statement before post time.
Beautiful House for Elizabeth Keifer's family
This summer is proving to be more hectic than relaxing for Elizabeth Keifer (Blake). "We're building a house," she shares, "so we're busy picking out tiles and packing and all that good stuff." Leaving behind their suburban New Jersey home, Keifer's clan will soon set up came in New York state. "Part of our deal when we sold the house was that we could stay until the new one was built. So after we closed, we rented back from the new owners!" she laughs. Despite the chaos of a move, the actress' family did manage to squeeze in some playtime. "We have a lake house outside of Syracuse," Keifer says. "So we ere up there for Memorial Day weekend, and we're spending the week of Fourth Of July there. It's always relaxing being up there."
Elizabeth Keifer as Mother Of Mayhem
As a mother of two young children, Elizabeth Keifer (Blake) has found that time alone is nonexistent. "With one child, ou can say to your husband, 'You take him this afternoon because there's this movie I'm going to go see,'" she laughs. "But with two, your downtime is when you just have one of them with you! It goes from being a small window to zip! I kind of go to work to rest!" Even finding time for a simple shower can be a project. "I don't think I ever take a shower without one of them in the bathroom," she says of daughter Isabella, 3, and son Keifer, 2. "I put a whole bunch of toys on the floor and they'll sit there. But then they'll open the curtain and close the curtain. Open the curtain and close the curtain. I don't take showers by myself anymore... and it's not a romantic thing!"
Color Them Happy, says Elizabeth Keifer
Any woman can tell you that getting a manicure can be one of life's greatest pleasures. But with her children, Isabella, 3, and Keifer, 2, in tow, Elizabeth Keifer (Blake) was sure a recent visit to the nail salon would turn into a three-ring circus. "I had a day of and wanted to get my nails done," she explains. "I had just taken my kids to this music class in town and decided to stop and get a manicure. So I bribed them! I said, 'I'll let you get your nails done if you sit here with Mommy.'" The actress reports that not only did her kids act like perfect angels, but her son was the first in line! "Keifer picked out the blue nail polish," she laughs. "Then when he was done, he started gathering up all the colors and lining up the bottles. It was hysterical. And my daughter sat there like a princess in the pedicure chair with the little dryers blowing on her. So all of Isabella's pictures of her hands now have red nails, and Keifer runs around asking for new nail polish all the time. My husband really appreciates that!"
Elizabeth Keifer's The Other Half
Bobby Convertino used to build houses; now he keeeps one -- with GL's Elizabeth Keifer.
There's a melodious ring to the name "Bobby Convertino," and that sense of rythm helped to christen his daughter. "That's why we came up with Isabella Grace," says Mr. C., referring to his and wife Elizabeth Keifer's (Blake, Guiding Light) 17-month-old daughter. "We thought that was fairly musical. I have wonderful, lyrical names [in my family]. My grandfather was Robert Patrick O'Donovan."\
Half Italian and half Irish, Bobby Convertino grew up in Endicott, N.Y., where his father was a middle-management career man with IBM. At New York's Plattsburgh State University, he double-majored in art and psychology while also working full time as a bartender, a job that indirectly led to his career in contracting. He tended bar "from 7 or 8 in the evening until closing, around 3 in the morning," re relates, "and I met these two guys who were [electrical contratctors]. They were there practically every night, and I thought: Wow. Ive got to have a job like this. I asked them for a job when semester break caem, they hired me, and I also worked for them at Christmastime and in the summers. Little did I know how draining construction work is."
Or how dangerous. Two serious, voltage-related mishaps within the space of three years would ultimately encourage Convertino to look into other aspects of the industry. "I inadvertently got hold of a live wire that shouldn't have been," he says, recalling the first incident. "I took a fairly severe shock and a pretty good fall, from about 14 feet. I woke up in the ICU with paddles over me, and to this conversation about no heartbeat."
The second time, he was on a ladder, fixing a light that didn't work, when someone accidentally turned on the juice. "It startled me," he recalls, "an I just stepped backward off the ladder. your first reaction is to step away. I got up and went to the hospital. I had actually broken three vertebrae. I was bedridden for a few days and couldn't walk, but within a month I was better. I'm paying the price for it now, though. I have a bad back from it."
Convertino began working in other areas of construction, and in 1979, formed his own company with a college friend. "We were very lucky," he says. "We did quitte wedll. You deal with all levels in the construction industry, from the design of a building, to passing inspection, to its eventual occupants. The general contr4actor pulls everything together. We're like a director and a producer. In the mediacl center I did, there were myriad inspecotrs -- inspectors for gases and vacuum devices, even inspectors for health and education, because some [tenants] had day-care facilities. It was unbelievable. It's all fairly well goverend. You can't just go in there and slap something up." Successful as it was, the company was dissolved in 1996. "What happened," he says, "is that I got married."
About 10 years into his 17-year work partnership, Convertino took a trip to California to visit his brother Michael, who composes original music for feature fillms. Michael's assistant, Elizabeth Keifer, was assigned to show Bobby around. "Her job was to entertain me," he recalls, "because he was too busy. I don't remember which show she had just left, but she was [between acting jobs[, and we hit it off right away. We started dating long distance; there were lots of phone calls and a fair amount of flying until she decided it wasn't working and dumped me."
Three years would pass before they met again. By this time, Keifer was on GL. Convertino was in New York visiting a friend, and the two met for coffee. "It was horrible," he winces. "Oh, it was awful. We fought! I hadn't seen [the breakup coming], and I was still angry. Of course, you know men are slower on the uptake."
Another year went by. Now it was four years since their breakup, and he was in town yet again. "It was November," he remembers. "We went out, saw each other every weekend after that for five months, and decided this time it was for real. That May we got engaged, and the following September we got married."
Their problems weren't over yer, however. Convertino was still committed to a project in Syracuse, N.Y., and his bride was committed at GL. "We commuted for almost two years," he says. "They we got pregnant." He finished his project and sold his half of the business just in time to assume his present title -- Mr.Mom.
"Liz was working four and five days a week right after the baby was born," Convertino says, "so I was taking care of the baby. Two days a week I took her full time, and I took all the nighttime stuff. I'm in awe of how much work it is. Most men don't know, because they haven't done it. It's a 24-hour-a-day job. That was probably the biggest shock for me. I'd wake up in the morning and say, 'She's still here? When does this stop?' But Isabella was an angel baby, other than her sleep habits, which we created because she got used to being picked up every time she cried. It's amazing how tired you can get. We were comfortalby with her because we were a little older. I was almost 40. Emotionally, that hellps, but physically it's draining. Sleep deprivation is incredibly powerful.
"The most challenging thing is entertaining her, because you have to go to a different level," he adds. "Sometimes the simplest things work the best, like a cardboard box is good for 20 minutes. Every day it's something new. You watch her grow up in front of your eyes, become more and more of a little person. It's just remarkable."
In a few months the Convertinos will have another "angel baby" to wear them out; they think it may be a little boy. After that, who knows? "I could probably go back into construction management for a while," he says. "But once my kids are out of the nest I won't have to work. That's going to be a few years down the road, and by that time, I'll be too old."