Michael Tylo: A Dedicated Actor (2022)
By: Ashley Lee
Michael Tylo passed away on Tuesday, September 28, 2021. He leaves behind a legacy of acting and teaching.
Before his untimely death, I had the chance of interviewing him on the phone where he took time to talk about his career.
From acting in plays to major soap operas such as the Young and the Restless and General Hospital, Michael Tylo explored acting with passion and determination as he shared his techniques and career in what would be his last interview with me.
“When I was young, I was an altar boy in my church,” Tylo stated. “I loved the presentation of the ceremonies; I got into reading, and I would always put something into it. Someone said that maybe I should get into acting.”
While in high school, he played football but got injured. As a result, he did theatre “for giggles” and studied acting in two different colleges. He earned his MFA at Wayne State University.
After graduation, he left for New York and started performing.
“I got discovered and an audition to perform off Broadway (The Winslow Boy); we traveled all over the country,” Tylo continues. “I finished; I got a job for a soap opera. It was Guiding Light. ”
When I asked him how long he needed to train to become an actor, he said that the training never ends. Tylo worked with Uta Hagen, Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner, and Ivana Chubbuck (author of The Power of the Actor).
“I think that actors are constantly studying acting; if you like what they are doing, I would have to make it mine,“ he believed. “It’s exciting and fun. You have to practice your art.”
Tylo acted in various soap operas portraying characters such as Quinton McCord (Guiding Light), Matt Connolly (All My Children), and twins Blade and Rick (The Young and the Restless).
“Those soaps were good training,” he remembered. “You get a script on Monday, rewritten on Monday night, and I have to memorize forty pages in one night.”
When asked about his favorite show that he did, it was with the New Adventures of Zorro.
“I would be the villain and tax the people,” Tylo remarked. “Zorro would defeat me and give back the money; I loved doing that because there was a lot of English actors."
According to him, one performer worked in Downton Abbey and another for The Last Mohegan.
Throughout his career, Tylo worked with Deborah Moore, Daniel Craig, James Earl Jones (his favorite actor on Gabriel's Fire), among others.
When it came to fame, Tylo felt that a performer becomes successful with the help of their loved ones.
“You got to have support from friends,” he declared. “I married my wife Rachelle. When she went to school, she got a degree in dance and acting; we support each other.”
He also believed that his family is the main priority. He was married three times and had five children along with a step-child.
“I’ve got two beautiful kids (Koko (8) and Gianna (5)), and they watch what I did," he said about his youngest daughters. “They laugh; it was fun. If you don’t have support; you don’t give support, you’ll have a dull life.”
Although his last acting credit was in 2014, he continued to teach his students acting, its history, and directing for the Department of Film at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). He continued to teach until his death last year.
Michael Tylo left a big impression on his family, colleagues, and students. Not only was he talented in his art, he remained humble, down-to-earth, and even offered to be a mentor to those who wanted go into acting.
Link to photo: