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Interview: Victoria Rowell talks 'Diagnosis Murder,' soap opera revivals, and Dick Van Dyke

Image: Rowell PR Photos

Editor's note: Victoria Rowell has been in the entertainment industry for over thirty years. Some of her most rememorable roles are Drucilla Winters on The Young and the Restless and Amanda Bently on Diagnosis Murder. Victoria appeared on both programs simultaneously from 1993-2000. She is an 11-time NAACP Image Award winner for her work on Diagnosis Murder. Jamey Giddens, her writing and producing partner, sat down with Rowell to discuss her work, how she has inspired others, and her plans for the future.  

GIDDENS: You starred in Diagnosis Murder from 1993-2001, while also appearing on The Young and the Restless. Was it difficult juggling primetime and daytime acting jobs?

"I enjoyed the pace. I came to The Young and the Restless with primetime experience, so I was already used to how things worked in nighttime television by the time I booked Diagnosis Murder." 

GIDDENS: Your Diagnosis Murder character, Dr. Amanda Bentley was a pathologist/medical examiner.  Do you think she paved the way for medical professionals who help solve crimes on shows like Rosewood and CSI?

"What I loved about Amanda was she was a well-rounded character. She had her work as a pathologist, but also had an outside life, and yes, I do think she helped pave the way for today's strong female crime-fighters with medical backgrounds." 

GIDDENS: What was it like working with a TV legend like Dick Van Dyke, who played Dr. Mark Sloan?

"It was a great experience. He set the tone on the set, which was relaxed and collaborative. I enjoyed working with Dick immensely."

GIDDENS: A lot of classic TV series are being rebooted. Would you ever consider reprising Amanda for a Diagnosis Murder reunion?

"I would. In fact, I did an appearance a few years ago with Dick and his son Barry, who played Lieutenant Sloan, and there was a lot of interest among the fans in seeing us get together again."

GIDDENS: In the meantime, you've been busy adapting your popular novels, Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva and The Young and the Ruthless, for television. What can you tell us about that project?

"The adaptation is called The Rich & The Ruthless. It's a TV movie that is meant to serve as a pilot for limited-run TV series.  It takes place behind the scenes of a daytime soap opera and explores the scandalous lives of both the family that owns the soap and the cast. I play Kitty Barringer, wife of soap creator Augustus Barringer, who is played by Being Mary Jane star Richard Brooks. There's been a lot of buzz surrounding this project, so stay tuned!"

Watch Diagnosis Murder today on the DECADES Daily Binge beginning at 2PM | 1C. 

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