Mackie's Burgi Bits Mast

March 3, 1993:

Column: NBC Gossip

Days of Our Lives: Richard Burgi (Philip) is pretty elusive when it comes to his personal life. But he does have a special someone - and they recently traveled together in the United Kingdom. "She's a lovely lady," Burgi enthuses, though he refuses to reveal her name. "We have a lot of fun." Don't expect wedding bells for Burgi and Ms. X, however. The actor (shown here with leading lady Ariana Chase (Kim) and fellow hunk Wayne Northrop (Roman)) says his relationship is far from intense. "I was really serious with someone for like five years," he explains. "This is light and silly. We've both been through a lot of crap." Burgi has known his not-too-terribly-significant other for about six months. "She's not an actress," he hints, adding quickly, "not that I have anything against actresses."

Caption Reads: Unlike his on-screen
romance with Kim, Richard Burgi's
real-life love affair is "light and silly."

Come Out, Come Out

Philip realizes that Nicky is the patient that Kim is protecting from the law. Worried about Kim's future, Philip urges her not to do anything that might jeopardize her upcoming hearing before the judge. Despite her desperate fears that Lacey or Clare will take control for good, Kimberly knows she will go on trial for Randy Huston's murder unless she can get her two demons to emerge in a therapy session with Marlena.

April 13, 1993:

Caption Reads: Is it true that Richard Burgi
(Philip) likes to pull pranks on co-star Ariana
Chase (Kimberly) right before taping? Chase
reveals: "I'll have a dramatic scene and he'll say
dirty things under his breath right before we go
on the air. He's very funny, but he's a naughty
little boy."


Lawrence forces Taylor to give the videotape to the media. Philip takes it to Bo at the police station. An innocent Bo brings it to a stunned Abe, Roman and Rebecca. When the police lab confirms that the tape is genuine, Bo is forced to turn in his badge.

Lawrence disguises his voice and threatens to expose Philip's porno director past if the TV station doesn't run the tape. Worried that his relationship with Kim could be jeopardized, Philip reluctantly hands the tape over to the news department. When Bo picks up Carly at the airport, the incriminating tape plays in the background.

April 27, 1993:

Interview: Every Picture Tells a Story

Caption Reads: Rescuing Endangered Birds and
Soap Heroines - It's All in a Day's Work for Richard
Burgi (article by Lisa Hallett)

In retrospect, it was not one of Richard Burgi's wiser moves. At his One Life to Live audition, the actor showed up in jeans and a T-shirt - with a wounded bird he had saved in Central Park perched on his shoulder. The powers that be were not impressed. They bagged Burgi and the bird. "I probably should have been a little more considerate," he concedes. "I thought everybody would like to see the bird."

Luckily, a second audition was arranged. "After they all thought I was a complete lunatic, I cleaned up my act and wore the appropriate clothes, without the bird s--t," he recalls. Burgi won the part of Randy, but was later let go after five episodes. "That's the nature of this business - you're supposed to come up with something, and I guess I was boring and annoying, so they canned me," he remarks with a laugh.

Like the OLTL role, the bird also checked out early. "We (Burgi and his then-girlfriend) rehabilitated it, and I took it everywhere. I guess I wore the poor little guy out." His feathered friend received a ceremonial burial in the woods of Western New Jersey. "It meant a lot," Burgi shares. "It was like one of God's messengers came down to remind us of the delicacy of life."

Exploring life (human and otherwise) seems to be a priority for Burgi, whose 34 years on this planet have led him on a series of adventures. Admittedly insecure and a bit scatterbrained - traits he sort of likes - Burgi seems very unactorish. Chugging down a few beers, hummus and angel hair pasta at an unpretentious Greek joint, you get the feeling he happens to be an actor, just like he once was a squash pro.

Since the bird debacle, Burgi has changed coasts, soaps, roles and girlfriends, although he still rescues birds, like that pelican tangled in a mass of hooks and debris at Laguna Beach, California. The actors says landing the role of producer Philip Collier, fiance to distressed Kim, "was what was going on that week." Though he's uncertain about Philip's staying power on the hunk-oriented soap, Burgi is not overly concerned. "I try not to think too far in advance. I'm grateful for where I am."

Though he kiddingly claims to miss "the awful stench of New York - and the energy," Burgi has found steady employment in California: a recurring role on JAKE AND THE FAT MAN, pilots, and guest spots on EMPTY NEST, MATLOCK and NURSES. But Burgi's reason for relocating was mostly personal. "I went through this really awful time with this relationship and sort of lost myself and who I was," he admits. "I needed to kind of heal some wounds, and I needed a change."

Caption Reads: Burgi had a long-term romance
with Anne Heche (ex-Vicky/Marley, AW).

Like he did with just about everything in his life, Burgi drifted into acting. He grew up in Suburban Montclair, New Jersey, with his parents and three siblings. It was "a crazy household," he recalls. "My dad and mom would play music, and my older brother and I played in bands, so there was always some activity going on. I was really brought up well. I think my dad's credo was, 'Keep your eyes and ears open, a smile on your face and your big mouth shut.'"

After high school, he enrolled at Penn State, but only lasted three weeks. Lost interest, Burgi explains. So he headed for Laguna to surf, wait tables and hang out with his buddies for six months, until he returned home because his father was stricken with cancer. "We didn't have enough money to pay for a round-the-clock nurse, so we all took turns," Burgi explains. "I had been up all night with him, and then he died the next day."

Burgi's next career move was inspired by a photo layout he saw in a magazine (he thinks it might have been Penthouse) that was shot at the Manhattan Squash Club. Before long, Burgi got a job there as a squash pro, played in some tournaments, and eventually alternated between squash and construction work.

By then, acting was a definite goal, so he studied at night. Parts materialized on soaps and in commercials, and that brings us to where Burgi is today, a full-time actor. When he's not at Days, Burgi can be found at the beach with his dog, Gus; painting; playing softball with a stuntman's team, or hanging out with his girlfriend (literally the girl next door, who shall remain nameless).

Marriage is an "I don't know." Future acting goals are iffy. "I just try to respond to whatever's coming up in a positive way. If this is what I do, this is what I do. It's not what I am; it's just what I do." Taking a sip from his beer, Burgi pauses. "Maybe it is what I am. I don't know. I was very close to walking away from it all. I was in this area by Crater Lake in Oregon - it's sort of this surreal moonscape environment. I looked into my lady friend's eyes and said 'You want to go? Just walk, survive, live off the land, maybe work at a 7-11?'" Burgi chuckles. "I was riding around looking at these ranger stations and thought maybe I should get a job as a park ranger. My buddy who I worked with in New York restoring churches told me about this job he was doing in new Brunswick on a lighthouse...." In Richard Burgi's case, never say never.

Sidebar Statistics:
Birthdate: July 30, 1958
Soap Roles: Chad (AW); Glenn (ATWT)
He Was Once Stuck In A Hospital Elevator With: Katharine Hepburn. "She started off the conversation telling me about something she had done in a movie, and I think I said something stupid like, 'Are you an actress or something?' It went right by her."
Musical Tastes: Classical, R&B, traditional Irish and Scottish music. "I'm trying to dig back to my Celtic roots."

Sidebar Article: Day's Kim has hooked up with a wide variety of men. Let's see how Philip measures up to his predecessors.
Shane Donovan: Who wouldn't fall for a suave British secret agent? Though Kim got The Spy Who Loved Me, she also got a double dose of Live and Let Die, since Shane's ex-wife Emma and spy partner Gillian both tried to kill her.
Victor Kiriakis: It's a big mistake to ask for favors from Big Vic, a.k.a. The Godfather of Salem. Kim learned that the hard way.
Cal Winters: Hold the popcorn. Kim skipped renting Fatal Attraction, since she had her own personal psycho killer, Cal, tormenting her.
Lawrence Alamain: Kim found out too late that she was Sleeping With the Enemy, since Lawrence was using her to beat a rape rap.
Philip Collier: Yes, there are only A Few Good Men, and Philip seems to be one of them. But the final scenes of this romance have yet to be written. We figure it's only a matter of time before Philip's loony ex-flame surfaces.

Column: NBC Gossip

When they're in front of the cameras, Richard Burgi (Philip) and Ariana Chase (Kimberly) don't have much time for laughs. So Burgi tries to make up for the lack of laughter when he and Chase are behind the scenes. "She's a lovely lady," says Burgi of his co-star. "I just try to joke around with her. There's a sense of seriousness that goes with our storyline. I try to go from the point of view of levity. Hopefully through that, you find the highs and lows of the work."

Article: Soap's Most Preposterous Plots

Kim's Brain - The Last Frontier (Days of Our Lives)

Achy, Breaky Head: Maybe the poor girl wasn't getting enough iron in her diet, or maybe her pantyhose were cutting off the blood supply to her brain, but suddenly Kimberly Brady went over the edge. A simple hit-and-run car accident made her flip out. After a few days in a coma, vehicular victim Kim came back to life - a little sore, a little foggy, and sporting the headache that devoured Cleveland. Hey, your head would hurt, too, if your cerebellum was getting slam danced by a pair of maniacal alternative personalities. (Party on, Lacey! Party on, Clare!)

Caption Reads: Salem's Sybil, Kimberly
Brady, went through some pretty scary changes.
First she turned into lowlife Lacey (Patsy Pease, above);
then Pease turned into actress Ariana Chase, shown here
with Richard Burgi (Philip).

Girls Just Wanna have Fun: When fiance Philip Collier wasn't looking, Kim would dress up as trash queen Lacey, head for Casey's Roadhouse and hit on guys. How convenient. No one she knew ever caught her. One night, she murdered barfly Randy Huston. When her big brother, police chief Roman, started investigation, control-freak Clare took over Kim's conscious mind and shot him. Now Kim's in therapy, and hopefully on the mend.

May 25, 1993:

Interview: The Chase Begins

Some actors are welcomed to their shows with open arms; in the case of Ariana Chase, she was welcomed to the role of Kimberly Brady on Days of Our Lives with open mouth, courtesy of cast member Richard Burgi (Philip): "We were doing a gallery shoot for NBC and Richard was acting really playful. Well, he grabbed my neck and bit me! I haven't had a hickey on my neck for years!" she laughs....

Column: Thumbs Up! And Down!
THUMBS DOWN! Days of Our Lives, Don't Talk to Me!

...Salem's THE JENNIFER DEVERAUX SHOW is a far-fetched reaction. It was asking a lot to buy Jennifer as a serious journalist, but it's even tougher to believe she's a talk show host.... Although prestigious producer Philip Collier had enough pull to get Molly an important Hollywood screen test, he's strangely unable to corral decent guests....

June 22, 1983:

Late-Breaking News:
Kimberly and Philip face their final "Days"

In a storyline-dictated decision, Days of Our Lives has dismissed Richard Burgi (Philip) and Ariana Chase (Kimberly).

Philip leaves Salem on June 8 to shoot a movie, and Kimberly departs later this month on a trip to England with Marlena (Deidre Hall). While Marlena will return, Kimberly will not. Chase's exit comes barely six months after Days snapped her up to replace an ailing Patsy Pease.

If the show wants Kim and Philip back in the future, Chase may not be available. "I'm getting close to hearing from some films and movies of the weeks," she explains. "I may not have the opportunity to come back - not that I wouldn't want to. I never really got my teeth into this character, so she's left me very hungry. This is not a meal I feel satisfied having had."

Chase says she had a "great time" on Days. Still, she's a bit skeptical about her dismissal. "My feeling is that if Patsy were here, she would have been put on the back burner - she wouldn't have been let go. Since I had taken over the role, there wasn't much for them to lose by letting me go."

Co-Executive Producer Tom Langan maintains that the show had a hard time cutting Chase and Burgi loose. "They're both terrific, and it absolutely kills me," says Langan. "Richard has such great timing, whether dramatic or comedic. He has a great male presence. He's like a younger Quinn Redeker [Rex, Y&R] in terms of his spunk. Ariana is a smoldering beauty with great talent."

Langan insists that both characters could return someday, especially Kimberly. "After all," he says cryptically, "she's a Brady." And the role would "definitely be played by Ariana."

According to Langan, Burgi and Chase both knew about their potential departures for quite some time: "In this business," he says, "when you see a storyline meandering, you know what will happen. A few months ago, I told them there wasn't much on the table, and I wanted them to be able to look for something else."

Column: Comings and Goings

Days of Our Lives: Richard Burgi (Philip Collier). With Ariana Chase's departure, the producers felt that the time had also come for Burgi, so Philip picks up and heads for L.A. to direct a film. His last air date is June 8.


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