A veteran stage, television and film actress, and sister of playwright Arthur Miller, who wrote "Death of a Salesman," "The Crucible," and screenplay for Clark Gable's and Marilyn Monroe's last film, "The Misfits," and was Monroe's third husband.
With a shock of red hair, flashy jet-setting wardrobe on her bird-like frame, and a devilish personae, Copeland was the third, but best and longest-running actress to portray the pathological villainess, "Andrea Whiting (Reynolds)," on CBS's long-running soap opera, "Search for Tomorrow."
Scheming against the courtship and engagement of her ex-husband "Sam Reynolds" (Robert Mandan) & the show's lead character, "JoAnne Gardner Barron Tate" (Mary Stuart), simultaneously deceiving her son "Dr. Len Whiting" (Dino Narizzano), who kept his mother's maiden name after her divorce from his father because "Andrea" misled him into believing "Sam" responsible for the death in a fire of his twin brother, Copeland's "Andrea" was a one-woman, emotional wrecking crew!
"Andrea" also conspired to break up the courtship and engagement of her son to "JoAnne's" daughter, "Patti Tate" (Leigh Lassen, in the show's best years), a nurse at Henderson Hospital where "Jo" also worked. "Patti" had been rescued in an attempted stabbing when "Sam Reynolds" intervened to save her, taking a poisoned syringe himself and thus endearing him to "Jo" & "Patti," even though they had previously blamed him for the death of "Jo"'s third husband and "Patti"'s stepfather, "Arthur Tate," because of "Reynolds'" involving "Tate" in some stressful business affairs which they believed contributed to "Arthur"'s heart attack. "Reynolds" would forever need special medication to live, after this heroic act!
Eventually gone mad, "Andrea" plotted all kinds of vengeful acts to try to eliminate her ex-husband, "Sam," whom she blamed for trying to take "Len" away from and for abandoning her. She began by poisoning his drink in a shared cocktail hour, which she subsequently ingested and nearly died from herself, then tried running him over with her car.
Copeland played this role with a mischievous gleam in her eyes and a sinister cackle that made her wonderfully evil, internalizing the part so well that she became hated by the viewers who were rooting for "Jo" & "Sam"'s and "Len" & "Patti" 's marriage, which eventually happened--but not before Copeland had a nervous breakdown on the stand, in a courtroom scene that must surely be ranked as one of the most riveting moments in the history of daytime drama!
Eventually all was revealed as she went into total babbling lunacy and hallucination about her adulterous affair on the night "Len's" twin brother died in the fire, that she was to blame for leaving the boys home alone, and admitted to the scheming against the two engaged couples and attempted murder of "Sam Reynolds."
Copeland would surely have won a Daytime Emmy for that role, had that chapter of the television academy been handing out statuettes in the time period she played the part of "Andrea Whiting!"
Joan Copeland's Scores
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|One Life to Live: Season 37||Jul 16, 2004||Gwendolyn Lord (1979) / Selma Hanen (1995)||tbd|
|One Life to Live: Season 36||Jul 15, 2003||Gwendolyn Lord (1979) / Selma Hanen (1995)||tbd|
|One Life to Live: Season 35||Jul 17, 2002||Gwendolyn Lord (1979) / Selma Hanen (1995)||tbd|
|One Life to Live: Season 34||Jul 25, 2001||Gwendolyn Lord (1979) / Selma Hanen (1995)||tbd|
|Law & Order: Season 11||Oct 18, 2000||Judge Rebecca Stein||tbd|
|Law & Order: Season 7||Sep 18, 1996||Judge Rebecca Stein||tbd|
|Law & Order: Season 6||Sep 20, 1995||Judge Rebecca Stein||tbd|
|Law & Order: Season 5||Sep 21, 1994||Judge Rebecca Stein||tbd|
|Law & Order: Season 4||Sep 15, 1993||Judge Rebecca Stein||tbd|
|Law & Order: Season 3||Sep 23, 1992||Judge Rebecca Stein||tbd|
|Law & Order: Season 2||Sep 17, 1991||Judge Rebecca Stein||tbd|
|Law & Order: Season 1||Sep 13, 1990||Judge Rebecca Stein||8.0|