I was born Linda Rae Wildermuth in North Long Beach, California on the 12th of May to Evelyn and Ted, my brother Jack and my grandmother Mirtle, who I adored.
I loved school, loved to draw, loved my dolls and of course, my dog, Tuffy. As I got older, I became very active in school. I was Secretary and Vice President of the student body, honor student, President of my Sorority and I even received a scholarship to the University of California at Long Beach. My friend Linda Kobata, was my inspiration. Thank you Linda.
After leaving school I worked as a model for ads and TV commercials and this somehow turned into a professional career. This led to an acting contract with 20th Century Fox Studios with the then unknowns like Tom Selleck, Sam Elliot, James Brolin and many others. I did a lot of little roles in movies and TV and I was terrible in all of them. I worked very hard and with a little luck I managed to survive. Several years later my career was responsible for my meeting my husband Frank.
It was instant chemistry!!!
We lived apart for three years, he in New York and I in LA, finally I moved to New York. I began my new life and career on OLTL, playing Gretel Cummings — frightened to death for the first three months, not of New York, but the daily pressure of acting, learning my lines and having to do it all quickly. I loved New York and still do.
That chemistry I talked about only got stronger. Frank and I became great friends, soul mates and partners. In December of '82 I married my Italian prince charming... the prince never could remember the exact date. What a nitwit!
I loved being married to Frank for over twenty years. He died in September of 2004, three months after being diagnosed with Lung Cancer.
My love affair with antiques began with our first home in Ridgefield, Connecticut. It was a small 1797 farm house which we completely restored. Frank did it! I watched and learned. This is what started our 17th & 18th century antique collection.
We left Ridgefield after 11 years and moved further north in Connecticut. We bought two very early houses, one was built in 1732, the other in 1740. We dismantled, moved and re-erected them on 20 acres. Frank was the general contractor. He did an incredible job! You can actually see the houses in the September 1999 issue of Antiques Magazine.
Frank and I had no children of our own but he had two, David and Elisa. David is married to Laura and they have Jenna (getting ready for college). Elisa was married to the late Dr. William Weber. Their girls are Hannah (in High School) and Abigail (a lovely teen). My biggest thrill is to take them for a weekend. They are a joy and I spoil them.
Frank was a devoted golfer. When he was alive he created a Spanish style hacienda for us in Florida. It was our romantic getaway. After he died, I sold it. I couldn't bear to be there without him.
In addition to my home in New England, I've always had a home in New York City. Frank was a genius at creating extraordinary spaces. As a team, he figured out the space and I decorated. Our Penthouse was a great example of our partnership.
When I'm not working, I'm in my gardens or I'm cooking and of course, eating. Believe it or not, I clean, do the laundry, go to the market and cook dinner almost every night. (Everyone says, I'm a pretty good cook.) I take care of my dogs, Mo (Lhasa Apso) and Mabel (Shitzu). When I'm not doing all of the above, I go antiquing — my other passion.
The only sadness has been in saying good bye. I lost my beloved Frank to Lung Cancer on September 15, 2004. He was my lover, my best friend, my soul mate. Frank was one of the most creative people I've ever known. This very web site was his idea. Whoever knew him, or even those who met him only briefly, were captivated by his humor, his intelligence and his passion for life.
Only 10 days later, my mother, Evelyn Wildermuth, passed away quietly and peacefully. She and my father moved from California to New York to live with us in the early 90's. I know she loved the wonderful times we had together. I celebrate her life and am comforted that she is now with my father for eternity.
I lost my dear grandmother Mirtle, my brother Jack, my father H.O. "Ted" who suffered so with Alzheimer's, and my friend Brent Collins, who played "Wallingford" on Another World. With many happy memories and some tears, life goes on and God is good.
The rest of my family is well. My brother's two boys, Todd and Terry, are wonderful young men. My dogs have always been my "kids." My Lhasa's "Shang" and "Charlie" are the last ones to pass on. I now live with Mr. Moto "Mo" and "Mabel," my first Shitzu. I'm blessed with wonderful people around me my family, Frank's family, my publicist and friend, Vivien Stern and my extended family of friends from Another World, ABC, DSA (David Shapira and Assoc.) Eli Lily, Novartis, P&G, Lifetime and QVC.