// photo by Russell Baer
JACKSONVILLE NATIVE PATRIKA DARBO has been working steadily in the film and TV biz for more than 30 years. With roles in Days of Our Lives, Step By Step, Babe and Corrina, Corrina, Darbo has one of those faces (and voices) many people recognize, but may not be able to name. We caught up with her to talk about her profession and her recent Emmy award for her web series Acting Dead.
• What made you want to pursue a career in acting?
Well, my mother said that I came out of the womb as Sarah Bernhardt. I was a heavy kid and I wasn't a jock so I got bullied. But I found a way to cope by making them laugh first.
• Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
My step-dad was Donald Davison. He started with the Braves in Boston and then played in Atlanta. He was 4’ 2” but the biggest little man in baseball. I saw him as a giant. He would say to me: ‘Don’t let anyone else live your dreams, go for it.’
• What advice could you offer to someone trying to get her foot in the door?
I just think that when someone tries to close the door, put your foot there and tell them you’ll move on and prove them wrong. And then you close the door. Don’t let them close it.
• Of all the roles you’ve played, which one would you say best fits your true personality and why?
When I did Step by Step, that was kind of like me. I get out there and do stuff and I don’t let anything stop me and that’s how Penny was. I am also similar to the bank character in In the Line of Fire. I’m a little nosey and that sometimes gets me in trouble. As an actor I find a little bit of me in everything that I do.
• What was your reaction when you found out you won the 2016 Emmy for Outstanding Actress In A Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for your role in Acting Dead?
My husband and I were driving to a family reunion and the phone rang with the news of the nomination. I had to pull over to the side so we didn’t crash. Winning it was hard to put into words. It comes from your peers. I adore my fans, but to have your peers acknowledge your work—it’s an honor.
• How often to you return to Jacksonville? What’s your favorite memory/thing about the River City?
I haven’t been back in a long time. I was born at St. Vincent’s Hospital on the St. Johns River. Some of my fondest memories involve going to the beach and stopping by A&W for a root beer.
Husband: Rolf Darbo
Pet: Reesee, an eight-year-old terrier mutt rescue