Stu Bergman

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Stu Bergman
Search for Tomorrow character
Portrayed by Larry Haines
First appearance 1951
Last appearance 1986
Created by Roy Winsor
Occupation hotel owner
Residence Henderson, USA

Stu Bergman is a fictional character in the now-cancelled American soap opera Search for Tomorrow. He was played for almost all of the show's 35 years by the late Larry Haines.

Jo's best friend[edit]

Stu lived in the fictional community of Henderson with his wife, Marge (Melba Rae), and his children Janet and later, their son, Tommy (played famously by John James and Robert LuPone).

They were next-door neighbors and best friends of the recently widowed Joanne Gardner. The Bergmans always were able to bring a smile to Jo's face, whenever she needed their advice, or good cheer.

Just as Jo and Marge were best friends, their daughters, Janet and Patti, also became best friends. Stu and Marge were together for almost twenty years when in 1971, she died. (Since actress Melba Rae, who played Marge had just died too, the character was not recast).

Because the house had too many memories of Marge, Stu and Tommy moved in with Janet and her new husband, Wade Collins (John Cunningham). Jo and Stu remained best friends and cronies afterwards.

Stu eventually got over his grief for Marge and married a woman named Ellie Harper (Billie Lou Watt). She proved to be a great wife to Stu for a long time, but she eventually ran off with the temperamental chef at the Hartford House, the inn that he and Jo ran together. He had enjoyed a relationship with one Dr. Barbara Moreno (Olympia Dukakis) for a time, since he was friends with her son, Joshua & daughter, Angela. Much later, he had a romance with a songstress named Wilma Holliday (Anita Gillette) but that ended when she went back to her husband David Glenn (Jack Betts).

Stu and Jo were related as her father, Frank Gardner, had married his widowed mother. They were step-siblings, but they truly cared for one another. He was also the grandfather of Gary Walton (Rick Lohman); Liza Walton Sentell; and Danny Walton (Cain DeVore); their father was the late Dr. Dan Walton, Janet's third husband. During the Travis and Liza storyline, Stu was tied into it, as Liza was his granddaughter; and Martin Tourneur, Travis's uncle was married to Jo.

In 1985, several things happened to Stu: he, Jo and Sarah, Jo's granddaughter opened up a bed and breakfast building called The Caldwell House. His grandson Danny Walton (John Loprieno) came back to Henderson from California. Stu was a victim of the Henderson Serial Killer: Alberto Rivera (Lloyd Battista); he fell down the stairs, but he survived the latest attack from the killer. He was very lucky to have survived because the killer had already killed Sarah Whitting, Jo's granddaughter and was going to kill Stephanie Wyatt in February 1986.

In January 1986, Stu decided to go on vacation to Florida, where his relatives were at the time. But a few weeks later (that February) he came back when the town was washed away in a flood that nearly destroyed Henderson. The flood had washed away many buildings & many survived the flood but many others were missing or were dead. The Caldwell House suffered damage but was still intact; Stu then was concerned when he realized that Liza, Lloyd, The Kendalls and Danny were all missing. He eventually was reunited with all of them and was devastated to learn that Liza was about to separate with Lloyd, who has gone back to his ex-wife, Estelle. He also learned that Robert Olsen the person who was an employee who managed an apartment building that has been remodeled and renovated prior to the flood, gave an offer to Jo that she couldn't refuse, to manage the apartment building that was dubbed by the remaining town residents calling it, "The Liberty House". Then, he and Jo decided not to have the Caldwell House anymore - instead they created another new bed-and-breakfast (replacing Caldwell House) with "Liberty House". He also moved into the Liberty House with the residents of Henderson, his family & friends who had no place to go home to after the flood.

In the last episode, after Stu and Jo had been at her daughter Patti's wedding to Hogan McCleary, Jo was looking up at the sky, and Stu, who had been through it all with Jo, asked what she was searching for. She replied, "Tomorrow, and I can't wait!" Then the two long-time best friends hugged.

During his time on Search for Tomorrow, Larry Haines, who played Stu, teamed up again with Rick Lohman, who played his grandson, Gary Walton, to play in-laws on the short lived sitcom, Phyl and Mikhy.

Larry played the father in-law, Max Wilson, a University track coach, and Rick played Mikhail "Mikhy" Orloff, a track star from Russia who was married his daughter, Phyllis (Murphy Cross). The language barrier was bad for Mikhy, who, unfortunately for him, his Russian accent made the word "Dad" sound like "dead", to Max's dismay.