Katherine Kelly Lang
Katherine has been starring as "Brooke Logan Forrester" on CBS's soap opera "The Bold And The Beautiful" since the show's debut in 1987. Brooke has emerged as the show's quintessential heroine, always in turmoil, and until recently, forever chasing after Ridge Forrester. Katherine is one of three children in a show business family. Her parents are Keith Wegeman, an Olympic long-jump skier who went on to play television's Jolly Green Giant, and Judith Lang, a film, television and commercial actress. Her grandfather was Charles Lang, a famed motion picture cinematographer. Katherine graduated from Beverly Hills High School where she concentrated more on becoming a jockey or training for the Olympics than studying to be an actress. She took only a few drama classes in school, but fate guided her into her acting career. It began on the set of Skate Town USA when the producers took one look at Katherine and cast her as the lead's girlfriend. She signed with an agent and soon she was appearing on Happy Days, Masquerade, Magnum P.I. and several Last Precinct shows. Katherine also appeared in the Showtime miniseries Training Camp...First and Ten. Katherine's first taste of daytime came when she was cast as Gretchen on The Young and the Restless. She also appeared in Discovery Bay produced by former daytimer Ellen Wheeler and co-starring Tom Eplin (who now plays Jake on As the World Turns). Not one to leave any genre untried, Katherine also starred in a horror film, The Nightstalker, which received very favorable reviews. Katherine has been featured in the film, Mr. Boogedy, for the Disney Channel, in the feature Til the End of the Night, and in all of the Beach Boys' music videos epitomizing her as the modern California Girl!
Katherine guest starred in several episodes of the syndicated series Lonesome Dove, where she played a tough gunslinger determined to avenge her brother's murder. Katherine also appeared in the original Showtime movie Flashframe, co-starring Ian Ziering. Katherine loves sports and the outdoors. On any given weekend you may find her playing tennis, wind surfing, mountain bike riding or horseback riding. She owns several horses and competes in 25-mile and 50-mile cross-country endurance races. Katherine, at the very special invitation of the Sheik of Qatar, placed third in the International Desert Marathon in 1996. She competes throughout Southern California in races sponsored by the American Federation of Endurance Racing. She also jogs, takes dance classes (ballet and jazz) and studies voice. In her spare time Katherine pursues international modeling and commercial assignments throughout Europe. Katherine received a nomination in 1990 for Outstanding Heroine for the Soap Opera Digest Awards and has received two consecutive M.V.P. Awards, given by Soap Opera Update magazine Katherine was born on July 25, 1961, in Hollywood, California. She has two sons with director Skott Snider, Jeremy (ex BB:s Eric jr ) and Julian. She is married to independent producer Alex D`Anderea and they have a daughter Zoe Katrina. Katherine loves sports and the outdoors. She plays tennis, goes wind surfing, jogs, takes dance classes, mountain bike riding and horseback riding. She owns several horses and competes in 25 mile and 50 mile cross-country endurance races and horse shows.
Katherine Kelly Lang: Going For Brooke
This month not only marks the 16th anniversary of BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL's debut, but also the same-length tenure for four of the soap's original cast members: Susan Flannery (Stephanie), John McCook (Eric), Ronn Moss (Ridge) and Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke). Here, Lang opens up about portraying one of daytime's most endearing -- and complicated -- gems.
Digest: What word would you use to sum up your 16 years on B&B?
Katherine Kelly Lang: The first word that comes to my mind is "fun." To me, there's so much that goes into that word. Not only do I share 16 years with Ronn, Susan and John, but there are also a lot of behind-the-scenes people who have been here just as long. I think that's why there's this positive, close energy on the show. If it weren't fun, I wouldn't be here as long as I have because why do anything if you're not enjoying it?
Digest: Have the years gone by quickly or does it feel like it really has been 16 years?
Lang: For some reason, reaching the 10-year mark seemed hard for me. Once I was past that, the time has gone by quickly. There were times in the earlier years when it seemed harder. But now, I somehow missed the years between 10 and 16.
Digest: Did you think you would be here this long?
Lang: The first contract I signed was for four years. It was a brand-new soap, and they wanted everybody they hired to be here for a while. That length of time seemed kind of nerve-wracking to me at first, but I liked the idea of doing a brand-new show and creating a character from scratch. Of course, being a half-hour show in L.A. was also very appealing. I remember after the first two years, I thought, "When is this going to be over?" yet, when four years came around, I re-signed because at that point, I had already started my family. B&B was so wonderful about me being pregnant and bringing the baby to the set. Then, I had my second child, so it was a way to have my family and be able to work. After that, I just kept re-signing and re-signing.
Digest: What did you think of Brooke when you started playing her?
Lang: I thought she was very innocent because she was so young. She was also curious about life and love, and I really liked that. That was fun to play.
Digest: Brooke has never, ever been off the front-burner. What does that feel like?
Lang: I didn't realize that. This week, I'm taping six shows, and that's kind of the norm for me. But if I'm only working three days in a week, that, to me, is off the front-burner, and I don't feel like I'm in the main storyline.
Digest: Have you ever gotten burned out?
Lang: Oh, sure. If I ever feel that way, I ask for time off. Sometimes, [the execs] can tell I need a break because I'll really be "voicing" my opinion all over the place.
Digest: Was there ever a time you didn't like Brooke?
Lang: I think it went too far with the whole Brooke/Deacon/Bridget thing. It was interesting, for a moment, but then I thought Brooke wasn't being too bright. I know she doesn't do things maliciously, but this was something so against her own daughter. Then, Brooke kept having sex with Deacon because she couldn't "help herself." I freaked out a little about that because I love Brooke dearly, and I'm very protective of her. But I just played this as something that she had to learn from, feel bad about, come back from, try to fix it, be a better person and, hopefully, get a second chance. And she has really suffered for it, but, still, people don't want to forgive her.
Digest: What was your favorite storyline?
Lang: That's hard to say. The Ridge and Brooke thing has been great, even though it's been ongoing for such a long time. And through the years, I've loved Brooke and Stephanie's rivalry, although they're not [as] intense as they used to be. But it's hard to pick one favorite storyline as my absolute favorite. Four thousand episodes later, I have a hard time remembering.
Digest: Was there ever a storyline that you refused to play?
Lang: Never; that's not my job. My job is to take the material they give me and make it work.
Digest: Are there any former co-stars who you miss?
Lang: I miss Brooke's family; they've all gone off somewhere. I would love to have Brooke's sisters come around again, then I could see Carrie [Mitchum, ex-Donna], and Nancy [Sloane, ex-Katie]. Of course, I really miss Joanna [Johnson, ex-Caroline] because she was such a great actress, and we became good friends.
Digest: What was your initial reaction to Hunter Tylo (ex-Taylor) being let go?
Lang: It was shocking for all of us. It was so out of the blue; it was strange. Hunter was not really talkative with us during those last scenes, but I think she was just trying to get ready to go. It must have been hard.
Digest: Did you see Ridge and Brooke's chemistry right away or did it take fan mail to convince you?
Lang: The producers almost immediately said, "You guys have the best chemistry." I kept hearing that around the set, but I wasn't feeling right away what they thought. I just believed we were two people who had really good energy between us without having to force anything.
Digest: How would you describe your relationship with Ronn after all these years?
Lang: He is such a great friend and a very special person. He's always there, offering help or a shoulder to lean on. He wants the best for everybody. There's a lot of trust between us. He would never do anything to hurt me and vice versa.
Digest: How did it feel to have someone of Susan's caliber publicly acknowledge you at the Daytime Emmys in 2000?
Lang: Knowing Susan and how she doesn't say things like that lightly, it was very flattering, but hard to believe. At first, I was actually a little embarrassed by it. Of course, I thanked her, but I was baffled by it. You're only as good as the partner in your scene, and I was blessed to have Susan to learn from.
Digest: What can you say about John?
Lang: He's such a goofball, but definitely a sweetie. It's been so wonderful to watch his kids grow up. I love his wife, Laurette, to death and they have great kids. I wish we would have done more as families together. We [the original four cast members] have been such a support system for each other. It's been a great experience to be here and know them.
Take Two: Katherine Kelly Lang
Although The Bold and the Beautiful's Brooke Logan loves her children deeply, she's hardly a candidate for mother-of-the-year. Interestingly, Katherine Kelly Lang is finding that playing mom to Bridget, Rick and Hope is helping prepare her for the challenges of raising her real-life kids: sons Jeremy (ex-Eric Forrester, Jr., B&B), 12 and Julian, 10; 6-year-old daughter Zoe and stepdaughter Danyelle, who is 12.
WEEKLY: Do you bring any of your relationship with your real children to the way Brooke tries to relate to hers?
KATHERINE KELLY LANG: No, because of the age difference. But I look at them, my TV kids, and I think, "My gosh, is this how you relate to them when they're older? Is this how it's going to be?"
WEEKLY: A little tryout.
KKL: Yeah. (laughs) It's kind of warming me up for the future.
WEEKLY: As a person and as a mom, what are the good and the bad traits you've passed on to your own kids?
KKL (laughs): Well, you never want to admit the bad. (laughs) I think I blocked all the bad out of my mind. But the good traits, well, hopefully. I instill good morals in their everyday life. They seem to understand what is good and what is right and wrong. I don't really like saying "right and wrong" because I don't know if I believe in that, but good and bad I think is more important. How you should treat people, how you should treat yourself, what it means to be responsible, independent, things like that. And that is something you have to work with the kids on every single day, especially my 12-year-old. He's at an age where you really need to remind him which way, because then they get kind of strung out with their peers, or they get confused. And then, "Oh, I forgot my backpack," or "I forgot my project for this class," and "Mom, will you bring it to me?" "No, you are almost 13 years old. You need to be responsible and you need to be doing these things for yourself now." So instead of just doing everything for them, which you tend to do at a younger age, you have to start letting them go and learn and be responsible for themselves.
WEEKLY: Do you see them following in your acting footsteps?
KKL: Well, my daughter, she's like, "I want to do theater,' and she's only 5. "Theater, mom, I want to do theater." (laughs) And she sings amazing. I don't even know the songs that she sings to herself half the time, and I don't know how she understands the words in the lyrics. I'm like, "What are you singing now?" "You know, that girl with pink hair." You know, Pink. (laughs) And she knows Pink's song forward and backwards and sings it great.
Jeremy has already done school plays and has gone to the Lee Strasberg Institute for acting and done a summer session there and ended up doing two parts in the same play back to back. And he does his little home video movies and makes up his own commercials. He's very talented and very excited about doing the directing/acting thing. My stepdaughter is doing musicals and stuff at school. Julian -- no. He doesn't want to do anything -- but he will be an actor in Jeremy's movies (laughs). So Jeremy gets the camera and goes, "Come on, Julian. You gotta do this for me." Julian is like his guinea pig.
WEEKLY: What kind of movies does he do?
KKL: He does action, thriller -- he gets the ketchup out and the guy falls and the ketchup bursts and it looks like he broke his shoulder (laughs). And then they continue on for a little adventure. He also does commercials, and shorts for different products, and they're always funny. He's very funny. A comedian.
WEEKLY: If any of the kids decide to make show business their career, would that make you happy or worried?
KKL: I know how frustrating and difficult it can be, and I've been lucky. I was doing the runaround and TV shows here and there and a movie here and there until I got this show. But this show is really something that has enabled me to have a base and a foundation and learn even more, and to set up a life for myself. It's hard for people out there -- they can even be talented but they'll never go anywhere, they'll never get anything. It's a lot about timing, a lot about luck, it's a lot about being in the right place at the right time. And when you do have that opportunity, it's the way you run with it.So as far as my kids, I find it exciting because that's what I do, and I like seeing my kids grow up being interested in and doing what I'm doing. But I also worry about it because it's not easy.
Katherine Kelly Lang is Brooke Logan by day, cowgirl by night!
Following a tough day on the job and the daily grind of raising four kids, most working moms choose to call it quits when the sun goes down. THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL’s Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke), on the other hand, hits the open trail.
In the process of training and conditioning for a series of upcoming long-distance horse races, the actress has been saddling up her trusty steed, Ronin, several evenings each week to ride up to three-and-a-half hours at a time.
In The Heat Of The Night
Far away from the city lights, under the glow of a gleaming moon, Lang leads her horse up bramble-laced hills and through ravines along twisted, dusty trails. She claims the dark of night is the best time to ride to escape L.A.’s scorching summer sun.
"It’s really not that bad," she says of her late-night adventures. "With a full moon, I can see where I’m going because it’s fairly bright out."
Before Giddying Up
During a recent chat with Soaps In Depth just days before her first race of the fall, Lang was preoccupied with her horse’s health, waiting for her vet to give the "all-clear" sign. "The other horses at the ranch have been sick with an upper respiratory infection and it’s contagious," she explains. "So I’m concerned about that spreading and if my horse might have caught anything."
Having participated in these grueling long-distance races since her youth, Lang is a seasoned pro and is on friendly terms with many of the other competitors in the field. Still, since most of the journey is just her and her horse, alone in the wilderness, the actress must equip herself for any contingency that may arise.
Ready For Anything
Armed with Gatorade, water, power bars, lip balm and lots of Advil, Lang also has her mount’s needs to consider. "For the horse, I bring a thermometer and electrolytes, along with an Easyboot [the equine equivalent of a spare tire] in case he loses a shoe on the trail," she adds. "I keep everything attached to my saddle."
Once the race begins, it can take up to eight hours to finish the 50-mile course. "Sometimes you have to get off and walk the horse or take a break," she says. "You have to follow the ribbons along the trail, and there’s chalk on the ground to help you stay on course."
The Long And Winding Road
While Lang is confident she can do her part by keeping her horse on track, she just hopes Ronin (a name that means "Warrior") can go the distance. "He’s not as in shape as I would like because I was away in Spain for two weeks," she says. "I’ve been trying to ride him a lot in the past week and a half to get some miles on him. We’re not going to race to win — we’re going to race to get through it!"
B&B Stars speaks about Katherine Kelly Lang
Ronn Moss (Ridge)
"To really know Katherine, you must not look at Brooke. One is the antithesis of the other. Brooke´s beauty needs skilled makeup artists-every hair must be cajoled and starched into submission. Katherine´s beauty is simple-it needs no help. It starts deep on the inside, somewhere near her wonderful lightheartedness, and works it´s way past skin-level to leave it´s impression in each of our smiles."
Charles Grant (Grant)
" Katherine is one of those girls who is like the perfect girl that´s a friend. She´s the perfect balance between a real women- `cause she´s so beautiful and everything- and a tomboy. She´s like Hunter- she can run around and punch me. We do all that stuff on the set. We kid around and play practical jokes. We do goofy things and laugh. She´s just great to work with."
Ronn Moss (Ridge)
"Let´s say I have two motorcycles. One is finely tuned, quit and smooth- that´s Taylor. The other is a Harley. It´s also well-made, but it fells more like a horse than a motorcycle-that´s Brooke."
John McCook (Eric)
"Katherine is the quintessential soap opera heroine-without being pitiful or manipulating, the way some characters on other shows are. I don´t know that Brooke would have lasted as long as she has if she had done those things in a different way. (hiding Ridge´s letter to Caroline, paying off Amber etc.) Katherine approaches her work in a way that makes her unlike a typical soap Opera heroine"
Jacob Young (Rick)
"It´s hard to believe someone as young and beautiful could play my mom"
Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke)
"I don´t want Brooke to appear as if she´s nagging Rick. I don´t want him to rebel. I take the approach that Rick and Brooke are at the same side, despite his feelings fot Amber. I´ve tried to play Brooke as sympathetic as possible when she´s been explaining to Rick what he needs to do."The mother of two young sons in real life jokes "I think this will be good practice for my own two boys someday"