Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Girls I Was (and still am) Ga-Ga Over

ROYA MEGNOT

Growing up there dozens and dozens of women that I would fall in and out of love with, and well, I've decided to blog about them. As I find this blog cathartic in many ways (from Gk. katharsis "purging, cleansing," from kathairein "to purify, purge," from katharsos "pure"), I find it nostalgically delicious (like Lucky Charms!) to revisit these pure, simple childhood crushes like - fading photographs in an old family album, scotch-tape stains and all.

Some you'll know, some probably not - but what binds them together (binds them together? There's a thought) for me is the doe-eyed adoration and dedication I showed to each of them. Natalie Wood will always be my hopeless "love" - but, there were many others. Here we go then, the first in a long list of posts I will call... "Girls I was Ga-Ga Over". I'm not crazy about that, too cutesy for me, but I like the alliteration.

Who to start with? I'll dig deep into the "girls I was ga-ga over" bag and pull out (fellow Michigander) ROYA MEGNOT. Oh My my. I was about 14 or 15 when I first encountered cow-eyed, pouty Roya. I fell instantly and madly in love. Roya Megnot is essentially a hybrid/fusion of Phoebe Cates and Jessica Alba and, in a word, gorgeous! I found Roya on ABC's daytime soap "Loving" where she played, wait for it...Ava Rescott Forbes Alden Masters (I think she even married a few more times). Of course, when I found lovely Roya she was still portraying Ava Rescott - pre-social latter climbing, gold-digging, merciless, cunning, manipulative bitch. Oh, she was still a bitch, just a relatively inexperienced one.

Early on, Ava portrayed the archetypal under privileged girl from the wrong side of the tracks, determined to marry rich, plot, scheme, get knocked-up or fake pregnancies, trap men, bloat her bank account, etc. And later on? Well, she merely got good at it. Essentially, I developed a weakness for the mean (but hot) tramp. Roya excelled at it, I mean she was good. At any rate, some other actress replaced her and the public really embraced the new "Ava" while I thought she was a poor substitute (at best).

There is very little on the net on Roya. I've seen jut about everything on her page at imdb which is deceptive, it's a short list of credits (mainly Loving and other television shows) which does not adequately address the demands that are made on a working actor on a daytime soap, which air daily. Pity that her career ends abruptly in the early to mid 90s - I imagine she married and started a family. I love her in the third season of Tales From The Crypt - where she plays a sympathetic love interest to tortured "artist" Tim Roth in "Easel Kill Ya" episode 8, 1991 - fantastic.

I'd love to see her return to the entertainment industry. I imagine she's as lovely and graceful as ever. In the meantime, there's really nothing to do, Loving is not in syndication - perhaps in Europe, I recall seeing some re-runs last time I was in Spain and France, but they were re-runs of the OTHER AVA. I've got the Third Season of Tales From The Crypt - so I can always throw on "Easel Kill Ya" and re-live old crushes. I'll try and alternate the "Gone to Bed" series of posts with the "Girls I'm Ga-Ga Over" posts. Of course, those two concepts frequently intersect when I go to bed to films with girls I was/am ga-ga over. Cheers.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi man, from Salerno, Italy, I want you to know I totally agree about the great Roya Megnot: same sensations, emotions, delusions. I would like to live her everyday while I saw her only for some years in Loving when I was a little girl. An uncoscious model to me, I guess...so sexy, so live.
Bye bye and thanks for the pictures of her on your blog... you can reach me to: ennylab@hotmail.com

Chick Young said...

Hey there! - you're most certainly welcome. I'm glad that the post of Roya brought back similar memories for you. I wish she would come out of hiding! I get a lot of visits to this page because of Roya! Take care.

Anonymous said...

I was in the theatre program at u of mich with Roya and have to say, as pretty as she was, she was not very nice. Snotty comes to mind. but she was a little cutie and really knew what she wanted. She had a sister even cuter tho. Don't know what happened to her, she was a lot nicer with a better personality.

Franco said...

I saw Roya on a Macgyver episode and became convinced, perhaps incorrectly, that I had seen her somewhere before, probably because she looks so much like Jessica Alba, and so I made my way to this blog in search of her, so to speak.

Drop dead gorgeous are the words that come to mind when I saw her, although she is a bit petite.

Anyhoo, the U of M comments are why I'm putting in my two cents. I graduating from U of M in 2004 after 4.5 long years there. "Snotty" is a good way to describe about 90% of the undergraduate student body. So maybe Roya wasn't a snot, maybe she was just trying to fit in. Go Buckeyes!!

Chick Young said...

Hwy Franco,

Thanks for the words. I went to EMU, just seconds from Ann Arbor in Ypsilanti. And yes, there were certain "attitudes" associated with the student body, but U of M has such a diverse student body that it hardly mattered. I always had fun in Ann Arbor and still do. If Roya had ANY idea how many visitors I get based on this entry - couple of hundred at least. She should return to acting; she would make a lot of people happy.

Eric Dale Eubanks said...

Was the Asst. Stage Manager for Pam Gems' revisionist version of CAMILLE in the late 80s/early 90s; Roya Megnot and Peter Davies were the leads.

I have to say that they were both wonderful to work with, blessedly free of "soap ego", etc. Very professional about the work, and very nice folks.

Eric Dale Eubanks

Anonymous said...

I went to high school with Roya (Meghnot, the real spelling). She was, as a previous anonymous commenter mentioned, not particularly nice. All of the Meghnot girls were drop dead gorgeous. I assume the nicer one you refer to was younger sister Jilla. Perhaps by late 80's/early 90's, Roya had matured. I think she got married somewhere in that timeframe.

Chick Young said...

Thanks for the comments Eric and Anon. I believe the trend I am seeing is that Roya was not especially "nice" during her high-school and college years (according to the comments). Like I wrote above, life has a way of humbling you sometime after those early years and it would appear that she matured both professionally and personally sometime afterwords. A pretty common trajectory. Eric above has very nice things to say about her. When it comes down to it, she's just a person like anyone else - but boy, what a cutie! C'mon Roya, call your agent!!

Anonymous said...

I went to high school with Roya too. Her younger sister was Jilla, but she also had an older sister and I can't remember her name. The older sister was really beautiful. It's not that she wasn't friendly, it was the fact that she was so over and beyond everyone else. As I recall she had her yearbook photo taken by a modeling photographer (this was before the days of glamour shots) and she had a lot of her clothes custom made.

If you google stalk Roya, it looks like she is living in Beverly Hills and married to Joel M. Geiderman, MD. She no longer uses her maiden name, so if you google Roya Geiderman you'll find lots of hits. Primarily hits related to her numerous donations to Republican causes/candidates. LOL!

Her dad is an OBGYN and still practices in Ann Arbor. Check his website and you'll see a photo of Roya. Check out: http://www.a2womenscare.com/

If it's a recent photo she looks amazing because she has to be about 46 or 47 now.

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I can add from my experiences here. I went to school with three of the Meghnot girls. They all went to Greenhills, a private school in Ann Arbor, for the seventh through ninth grades. I believe that they went on to Huron High, but it could have been Pioneer. Neda was class of '79, Roya "80, and Jilla '82. I would not describe any of them as "snotty" (was "snooty" the intention?), but quite the opposite. They were just kind of shy so maybe it came off that way. I'm sure they could have changed later but that's how I remember them. I have all the yearbook photos if you are interested and I agree with you that Roya should return to acting.

Chick Young said...

MANY thanks for the recent posts. I tell ya, this page continues to bring in a lot of visitors. Roya has pretty clearly developed a base of fans - google brings many of them here. I thank you BOTH for your information and personal remembrances. So, the question is... Roya, why don't you give your agent a call?? Many of us think you've still got a lot left to share...

Anonymous said...

I went to Huron High School - class of 79. I knew Neda and Roya (but not Jilla) at the time. Yes, the three sisters were all gorgeous. One thing people don't know is that Neda and Roya (not sure about Jilla) had nose jobs to conceal their more middle eastern looking noses. In high school they both lied about it. Their family was very well off (for Ann Arbor) and the girls did seem spoiled. However, Neda was very nice and a bit shy. Roya was extremely arrogant. She was in the drama club with my sister at Huron and was very cruel to her - including trying to steal her boyfriend. When my sister moved to NYC and Roya was doing Loving, she called the studio to try to reconnect (don't know why). Anyway, Roya wouldn't take the call or return the message. A hair stylist who worked on the show did talk to my sister and told her that he wasn't surprised and said Roya was a bitch on the set. BTW, I found this blog as I was looking up people from high school , boredom, I guess!

Anonymous said...

To the other anon poster:
The picture on Dr. Meghnot's website is a picture of Neda, not Roya, and as a TEENAGER. No middle-aged woman would look like that in a photo unless there was significant airbrushing.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the previous poster that Neda was quite shy. I knew her in college She seemed quite self possed when we were freshmen sorority pledges together.

Her parents pushed her into an early marriage while a sophmore in college (it didn't last). Her parents goal seemed to be to marry the girls off to the highest bidder asap.

Kim DiJulio said...

I have been looking for a long time for info on Roya. Thank you and pics too! I had soooo much fun watching her on Loving, her constantly animated emotions bubbling out from the moment she was on. And she and Mantooth were perfect together. She just made my day-everyday! Her faces were just classic, classic to Roya. She was different than all the others, every little pout, smile, eye movement, everything spelled trouble and loads of fun. Gee, I hope she reads how much we all miss and love her. Keep up the good work. Kim DiJulio of www.vitalwonders.com

Anonymous said...

Roya passed away Saturday night May 9 after a long battle with brain cancer. She was a lovely, giving individual, and she leaves a husband and 4 young children. May her family find comfort.

Chick Young said...

I'm so very sorry to hear this tragic news. I truly loved Roya Megnot (in that safe, adoring way that fans "love" a particular celebrity). This post has generated a lot of comments and traffic, clearly this is a testament to her talent and enduring spirit. Roya Megnot's longevity was very potent - she remained very much in my mind's eye. I imagine this is self-evident as nearly twenty years after she left "Loving" I felt obligated to write about her and the hard "crush" that I had and CONTINUE to have.

Although I am sure that it will provide little comfort to her family and loved ones, this post on this blog is just a tiny signifier of her larger impact on many lives. Should any friends/family find this post - please accept my deepest sympathies for your loss. She will always be remembered by her fans for her talent and vigorous passion for life. Rest in Peace.

Anonymous said...

Geiderman, Roya Lesa
View/Sign Guest Book
GEIDERMAN, Roya Lesa May 29, 1962-May 10, 2009 Beloved wife of Joel; mother of Camille, Ariana, Abraham, and Natalie; loving daughter of Parviz and Lillian Meghnot and Helen Geiderman; and loving sister of Jilla and Neda; passed away in her home in Beverly Hills on May 10, 2009 after a valiant battle. Roya (stage name Roya Megnot) was an accomplished actress who appeared regularly as Ava on the ABC soap opera Loving; on stage in multiple productions; on various nighttime television series; and in several small films. She had a beautiful singing voice; spoke French fluently, and played several musical instruments. Roya's best role was as wife and mother. She had a brilliant sense of taste and style and was known by all for her beauty, charm, wit, and warmth. She was also known for her design skills and her fabulous cooking. To her husband, children, and friends her loving knew no bounds. She was committed, caring, compassionate, and generous. Most of all, she had an appetite for life and all good things. She taught all around her how to enjoy each day and live life to the fullest.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, May 13 at 11 a.m. at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90045. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations to be made to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Funds received will benefit The Johnnie L. Cochran Brain Tumor Center and The Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from 5/12/2009 - 5/13/2009

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm not going to give my name out of respect for her family, but I knew Roya Geiderman (married name) and I've only known her as an adult. Obviously, this is a hard time, but I want to make sure that all the posters prior to her death know this. She was a great person, extremely nice and not snooty/snotty at all.

She was very young, late 40s I believe, and she has 4 children, including one very young daughter (around 7 yrs old).

RIP Roya

Dana Barfield said...

I also went to school with Roya. We were in a number of classes together including math and english, meaning I saw her everyday for entire semesters. She was kind, sweet and possessed a terrific sense of humor. She was more mature in most ways than many of us, yet I never observed her lord this over anyone. You cuold tell she possessed a clear picture of what she wanted to do in life and she did it.

I will remember her for her high heals, her sweet smile, and for her poise.

Anonymous said...

I knew Roya, and her children. She was an amazing mother, amazing wife to her husband, and a fantastic person. I never even knew she was an actress till now, and she was so humble to never mention it the past few years I had known her.

I am sure Roya would have been quite excited to have read about all her fans, who are still remembering her and acting days. There was a lot to remember about such a beautiful person....

ewaffle said...

May perpetual light shine upon her.

Those who know someone famous enough to get an imdb page often want to let the world know the real person behind the facade.

Those of us who know her as an actress aren't interested in if she was mean or nice, drowned kittens or worked in an animal shelter, found Jesus or lost Jesus. We are much more interested in the image on the screen--particularly in a case like Roya Megnot, who was gorgeous.

She was an actress--how well she could portray a role and how she could inhabit a character, for those who didn't go to school with her, is much more intriguing than if she was the most/least popular freshman in high school or college.

Chick Young said...

Amen Ed. Her personal life was just that - personal. She had a public sphere persona and that's how many of us remember her. In my case - that's a good thing.

Rebecca said...

I just found out today about Roya's death. For many years, we were the best of friends. I just wanted to let you all know about the real Roya. Yes, she had faults, like the rest of us, but she also had incredible compassion, love, intelligence, joy, beauty, passion, and heart. When I first met her at UofM, I (an older, more "MATURE" drama student!) thought she was a silly bit of fluff. When I ran into her again in graduate school in Seattle, we immediately fell in (platonic) love with each other. That began a fantastic friendship that lasted through two decades and three cities. We finally grew apart as our lives diverged, but she always remained in my heart and mind. I was happy to see her married and with four gorgeous children, and looked forward to the day when we would reconnect and reminisce over our young adulthood misadventures. I am heartsick that we never will have that chance. Bless all of you who keep her in your thoughts. Although she found great contentment in being "just" a housewife, she was always so much more than that, and she always looked back fondly on her acting years.

Linda Crispell said...

I went to Huron with Roya and I found her to be talented, incredibily smart and a very lovely person. I am so sorry to learn of her passing, what a terrible loss for her family and many friends.
Linda Summerfield Crispell

Tom said...

Roya was a terrific, warm, loving, fun, smart, talented woman, whom I was very fortunate to know while in college together in '83/'84. I am incredibly saddened to just hear this news, and extend all of her family and friends deepest sympathy.

Anonymous said...

Bonjour! Alfred Stowe . payday loans

Anonymous said...

toronto bad credit loans This website is a great I enjoyed reading it very much
AAA Toronto Payday Loans 1172 Bay St #101, Toronto, ON M5S 2B4 (416) 477-2817

Sildenafil said...

Hi, listen, there's a banner saying I won a prize for being the one million visitor of your blog, where can I reclaim the money?

Anonymous said...

Roya Meghnot was one of the most beautiful women to have graced this earth. I went to high school with her, one year her senior. Her beauty was natural and inescapable. She never flaunted it although for anyone at arms length is was impossible to ignore. She was a very gregarious soul looking for her calling. I was delighted to see her success in New York and saddened that her talent wasn't taken more seriously to take her to new levels. Her older sisters were also beautiful. Her older sister's name was Neda and she was in my class. She did get married young to a fellow UofM classmate. I didn't know that that didn't work out until reading this post. I am deeply saddened to find that she has passed on way before her time. May GOD bless her family and I hope to see her again in the after world. She brightened any room that she was in.

CajunCasey said...

I am watching the final episode of MacGyver now and was saddened to hear of her death at a young age in 2009. However, I am glad to see the positive and warm comments from her fans, friends, and family.