Soap Throwback: How ‘Another World’ Destroyed its Legacy with Frankie Frame’s Murder
Another World was a top-rated soap. Set in the fictional Bay City, the soap opera focused on exotic melodrama and even touched on issues that were considered taboo (such as abortion). But, one event changed its trajectory forever. Let’s take a look at the murder of Frankie Frame, and how it destroyed AW’s legacy.
‘Another World’ decided to kill off Frankie Frame after a focus group suggested they do so
Frankie Frame’s murder wasn’t the only mistake that Another World had made. In the 1990s, the show was declining in the ratings due to the increasingly hokey storylines. When Rachel Cory (played by Victoria Wyndham) was kidnapped and replaced by an “evil countess” doppelganger, the show was compared to Mystery Science Theater 3000.
But the brutal murder of Frankie Frame was in another category altogether. Her murder at the hands of Fax Newman sparked an outraged letter-writing campaign (this was the 1990s, after all). And to this day, YouTube comments make it clear that Another World “jumped the shark” with the murder.
“That was hideous! Having Frankie slaughtered. She fought to the end,” wrote one commenter. “One of many Jill Pharen Phelps disasters of this and other shows,” wrote another.
Alice Barrett said it was a ‘gross miscalculation’
In an interview given to a fan blog (via Soaps @ SheKnows) back in 2009, Alice Barrett said that Another World made a “gross miscalculation” with the murder of her beloved character.
“I really fought against giving Frankie a ‘beautiful’ death,” she said. “It was a bit of a miscalculation on the part of the show to kill her off and in such a brutal way. I think that they forgot who their audience was — they’re mothers.”
Barrett repeated this sentiment in a recent Another World reunion on YouTube, which you can see below.
Where is Alice Barrett today?
Another World fans can take comfort in knowing that Alice Barrett is still steadily acting today. She’s come a long way from being “Frankie Frame.” And while other soap operas have killed off their characters, no other character has been killed off in the brutal way Another World killed off Frankie Frame.
In 2011, she starred in an episode of Law & Order: SVU called “Smoked.” Pedro Pascal, who has since gone on to star in Game of Thrones and The Mandalorian, also guest-starred on the episode. Unfortunately, Barrett was killed off in the first 30 seconds of the episode.
Most recently, Barrett has been burning up the small-screen on Starz’s hit wrestling drama, Heelz. Barrett plays Carol Spade, the matriarch of the fictional Spade wrestling family. According to IMDb, she stars opposite Vikings star Alexander Ludwig and Arrow star Stephen Amell.