"Holding Out for a Hero"

by Ellen Baskin
From Soap Opera Update; July 8, 1997 p. 28-9

Mark Valley has gone from saving the world to saving Jack's hide! His Days of our Lives character, currently cooling his heels in prison, has been thinking only of the future. But at any given moment, actor Mark Valley isn't likely to be looking too much further ahead than the here-and-now.

That isn't too surprising, considering his nomadic background. Valley, who joined Days in October 1994, admits this is the first time in a long time that "I've lived in one place for nearly three years."

A 1980's-era graduate of the Military Academy at West Point, Valley spent five years in the Army, where he never stayed rooted for very long.

"I was in Kentucky, then Virginia, then over to West Germany and Berlin, then to Saudi Arabia and then back to Berlin again," he says. "It was a challenge to keep moving from one place to another. Once you were assigned somewhere else -- boom! You had to start everything from the beginning."

Valley remained in Berlin after leaving the military and planned to enroll in film school. After signing up in an acting class for preparation, he soon found himself in front of the camera instead of behind it. He returned to the States in 1991 and has been working as an actor ever since.

"I'm really an actor by default," he admits, explaining that other than such standard childhood versions as "fireman, quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys and President, I never had an idea of what I was going to be." Luckily, acting satisfies the excitement-seeker in him.
"I know if I went to law school, I'd probably work as a lawyer for about three years, get tired of it and want to do something else," he says. "But as an actor, I can play at being a lawyer or a doctor or anything, and then move on."

Now that he is well-settled into his work on Days, though, he's finding himself faced with a new challenge: staying still. "When you have a job and you have responsibilities, you can't just pick up and leave. So I have to find new and exciting things where I am."

A long-term relationship keeps life both exciting and stable. Valley lives with actress Katherine Kendall, who was featured in the independent film "Swingers." The two have known each another for nearly five years and have been an item for just about half that time.

It also helps that he has a few side projects in the works, including a role in TNT's GEORGE WALLACE, a miniseries based on the life of the 1960's-era anti-civil rights Alabama governor. He also recently completed a small role in a made-for-HBO movie called SILICON WARS, which will air later this year.

"Knowing I have a limited amount of time to do everything I want," he says, "I feel that acting is the best way to experience all these different things."

Source: Thanks to "Salem"


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