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Lulu turns Dillon down; Valerie and Dillon form a bond; Franco sees a vulnerable side of Nina; Kiki causes a scene.
Morgan and Michael try to defend their actions; Sabrina tells her secret to Felix; Alexis has questions about Olivia's story.
Jordan asks Anna about Carlos; a shocking discovery is made during the filming of Dillon's movie; Nathan offers an apology to Valerie.
Sam hires Spinelli; Lulu tells exciting news to Dante; Nathan and Maxie are torn between their loyalties and each other.
Paul has questions for Anna about recent events in Port Charles; Elizabeth wants Hayden to reveal what she knows; Hayden receives a job offer.
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News, Cast Updates and Scoop(News section last updated October 11, 2015)
Character Actor Jay Gerber Dies at 86Jay Gerber (Jim Richardson, General Hospital), a character actor whose many appearances onscreen included a memorable episode of All in the Family, has died. He was 86.
Gerber, who also guest-starred on such shows as Eight Is Enough, Barney Miller and L.A. Law, died Oct. 2 at his home in Los Angeles, his nephew, film and TV producer Bill Gerber (Gran Torino), told The Hollywood Reporter.
Gerber’s brother was the late Roy Gerber, an agent and talent manager who served as the inspiration for the character of Oscar Madison in Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple. (After he and his wife split up, Roy moved into the home of Neil’s older brother, comedy writer Danny Simon, who also was newly separated.)
On “Stretch Cunningham, Goodbye,” a 1977 episode of CBS' All in the Family, Archie (Carroll O’Connor) is shocked to learn that his buddy at work, Irishman Stretch Cunningham (James Cromwell), has died — and that he was Jewish. (“A Jewish name ain’t supposed to have no &lsquoham’ in it,” he says.) Jay Gerber portrays Cunningham’s brother and convinces Archie to deliver the eulogy.
A native of the Bronx and a veteran of the Korean War who moved to Los Angeles in 1975, Gerber made his movie debut in Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon, playing an insurance salesman across the street from the bank being held up.
He later could be seen on What’s Happening!!, The Rockford Files, On the Rocks, Eight Is Enough, One Day at a Time, Archie Bunker’s Place, M*A*S*H, Night Court, Doogie Howser, M.D., Knots Landing, Dallas and Gilmore Girls and in the movies Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992) and Three Wishes (1995).
Survivors also include his wife Lesley, son Andrew, daughter-in-law Natalie and grandson Miles. The family requests that donations be made to The Actors Fund.
John Stamos under the influence of date-rape drug at time of DUIFormer “Full House” star John Stamos was under the influence of ?infamous date-rape drug GHB when cops pulled him over in Beverly Hills earlier this year, according to a new published report.
Stamos, 52, now two episodes into ?his latest comeback effort, ?the new Fox sitcom “Grandfathered,” checked himself into rehab shortly after the June 12 arrest.
The gossip website TMZ reported Thursday that he had GHB in his sytem when he drove erratically in Beverly Hills that night.
While GHB is often used to incapacitate victims for sexual assault, the drug is also used by bodybuilders to maintain lean muscle mass. The drug also leads to a longer, deeper sleep that helps muscles recover after workouts.
Reps for Stamos and Beverly Hills police couldn’t be immediately reached for comment Thursday.
Stamos’ case with the LA County District Attorney’s Office is still active and a spokeswoman for prosecutors declined comment.
Watch John Stamos, Julianne Moore and James Corden Star in a Taylor Swift Soap OperaWatch John Stamos, Julianne Moore and James Corden Star in a Taylor Swift Soap Opera: Video.
John Stamos surrenders to being charming in 'Grandfathered'In conversation, John Stamos comes across as entirely at ease in his handsome, age-defying skin.
Who wouldn't be? But he admits that he longed to slip into something less comfortable on TV, a character distant from the good-natured charmers he's known for. He thought he'd found it.
"I was auditioning for an Amazon pilot called 'Cocked,' as this drugged-out guy who inherits a gun company. It was very dark, and I just kept auditioning, and I really wanted it, and I didn't get it," he recalled.
His agent had a rebound suggestion. If his goal was to be on TV and entertain viewers, Stamos was advised to do what he does best.
He found the role and the vehicle in Fox's new comedy "Grandfathered" (8 p.m. EDT Tuesday), cut with couture precision to fit him. Stamos plays a restaurateur and — kinda — content single guy who finds his self-absorbed life upended by the 20-something son he didn't know he had. Oh, and there's also a grandbaby.
Stamos, 52, has effectively played against type before, most notably in Broadway revivals "Cabaret" and Gore Vidal's "The Best Man." But he says he's happily accepted his "Grandfathered" fate as swinging Jimmy Martino, suddenly grounded by his past.
"I'm satisfied with being a guy who's likable and funny and self-deprecating," Stamos said. "I don't need to stretch so far, especially in television where you could play a character, hopefully, for years. You want to play something that you enjoy doing for 10, 12, 14 hours a day."
And if the playboy-out-of-water evokes "Full House," the 1980s-plus comedy in which he played a breezily irresponsible guy called on to help raise a family (and which is being revisited with a Netflix sequel), Stamos is unfazed.
"I'm not afraid to lean into what people want to see me do. And I'm not afraid to throw a baby in there if I have to. Or throw in some old friend that I used to be on another TV show with, if that's what people want to see," he said, the latter a reference to "Full House" alum Bob Saget, a guest star on "Grandfathered."
It's a mechanical approach that's more typical than not in TV, but with good result here. The well-cast series includes an appealing Josh Peck ("Drake & Josh") as Gerald, the son in need of a dad; the always welcome Paget Brewster ("Community," ''Criminal Minds") as Sara, Gerald's mom and the woman who's sure Jimmy isn't family-man material; and Christina Milian as Vanessa, Gerald's baby mama who sees him only as a pal and co-parent.
The pilot comedy has the pace, smarts and just enough heart to make it appealing without descending into either cuteness overkill or crassness. That's thanks to Stamos, a hands-on executive producer as well as star, and the writer-producers he's collaborating with.
Daniel Chun, the series' creator, has an impressive resume that includes "The Simpsons," ''The Office" and "Happy Endings." Fellow executive producer Dan Fogelman's credits include the movie "Cars" and TV series "Galavant."
"Grandfathered" is paired with Fox's "The Grinder," which also stars a great-looking, 50-something guy, Rob Lowe. The audience showed interest, with each series drawing a respectable 5 million viewers in last week's debuts against blockbuster competitors "NCIS" and "The Voice."
Besides "Grandfathered," Stamos is resurrecting the character of Jesse Katsopolis for "Fuller House," which he pushed as a producer to get made. It's slated for release next year.
While his work ethic is undeniable, Stamos credits his enduring looks and energy to his "stress-free" approach to life (with a nod to good genes).
"Sometimes it gets me in trouble and sometimes it's not the best thing, but I have a very youthful attitude toward everything," he said. "It's part of not wanting to be an adult. I keep going into adulthood kicking and screaming, I think."
Does the bachelor (since his marriage to Rebecca Romijn ended in 2005) face pressure to embrace other aspects of grown-up life? Maybe even have real kids, not just proxy TV ones?
"I end up making my sister a promise every year, and it's been going on for four or five years, that if I don't end up having a baby in a year that I'll look into adopting one," said Stamos, a longtime advocate for Project Cuddle, a child protection charity.
That vow satisfies your sibling?
"Seems to," he said. Charmingly, of course.
BRADFORD ANDERSON ON GH RETURNBradford Anderson is excited to be making his second return trip to GH this year as Spinelli — so much so that he didn't even need to know what was bringing the character back to town before accepting the show's invitation. "There really was no story pitched; it was just, ‘Wanna come back?' " he reports. "I said this when I finished up my arc earlier this year, and it's true: I love being there and any time they need me, if I'm available, I'll be there." For more with the actor, including why he hopes Spinelli will factor into the "'Jake' is Jason" reveal, check out the new issue of Soap Opera Digest, on sale tomorrow.
DAYTIMERS JOIN YOUTHFUL DAZEBryan R. Dattilo (Lucas, DAYS), Sean Kanan (Deacon, B&B), Cady McClain (ex-Kelly, Y&R et al), Melissa Archer (ex-Serena DAYS et al) and Andrew Trischitta (ex-Jack, OLTL) have all been tapped to appear in the upcoming season of the web soap YOUTHFUL DAZE. While details of their roles have not been released, the actors have tweeted the names of their characters. Dattilo will be playing Eric, Kanan will be playing cult leader Richie Kingsly, McClain will be playing Aunt Kathy, Archer will be playing Monica Reynolds and Trischitta will be playing Travis. The new season of YOUTHFUL DAZE will be available on their website, http://www.youthfuldaze.com/ beginning February 20, 2016.
Andrea Bogart Joins ‘Snowfall’Andrea Bogart (Ray Donovan) has joined the cast of FX drama pilot Snowfall. Co-created and co-written by the Boyz N The Hood director John Singleton and Eric Amadio and directed by Singleton, Snowfall is set against the infancy of the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles in the 1980s. Bogart, repped by Sovereign Talent Group and Artists International Management, will play Mrs. Volpe.
John Stamos Reveals How His Grandfathered Character Is Like George ClooneyWhile most of us might be reminded of Full House's Uncle Jesse when we watch promos for John Stamos' new show Grandfathered, it turns out that Stamos had a different heartthrob in mind when he formed his character.
"The show is about a George Clooney kind of guy," Stamos tells PEOPLE the show's rakish protagonist Jimmy. "He's a bachelor who thinks he's got it all, but there is something missing. He finds out he has a son and it takes him aback, but that's not all. It turns out that he's got a daughter, and that makes him a grandfather."
But even if you're having a hard time seeing your '90s TV crush playing a grandfather, Stamos is having a blast in his new role: "I think it's funny and ironic, and that's what makes it different."
Stamos is also having a great time working with his new on-screen son, Josh Peck – and it turns out that the Full House alum has even picked up a trick or two from Peck, 28.
"I learn a ton from Josh. He's a really good man," Stamos says. "He's a gentleman and knows himself. He's got a cool sense of humor, which is different from mine. Even the first day of shooting, I was, like, how would you say this? Give me a joke here. He's a smart, sharp guy."
Despite how much fun he's been having on the set of Grandfathered, Stamos has still been making plenty of time for the Danny Tanner and his lovable brood.
"I did the bulk of the work on Fuller House, prepping it started before our prep [for Grandfathered]," Stamos says of the "multitasking" his new schedule requires. "I did the first couple episodes, which was great, and then I went straight into this. It's good. The studios are right down the street from each other so I go back and forth."
Does that mean we'll be able to see Jimmy and Jesse's worlds collide at some point? We can only hope.
Grandfathered premiered Tuesday at 8 p.m. on FOX.
John Stamos' Big Grandfathered Secret: He’s a Baby Whisperer—Just Ask Mary-Kate and Ashley OlsenYou might've thought you loved John Stamos already. That charm, that glorious head of hair, that face. Oh, that beautiful face. But you will love him EVEN MORE when you find out the secret skill he's been hiding from the world until now: He's incredible with children.
That's right, the gorgeous, ageless, childless actor is a self-proclaimed "baby whisperer." Hey, he worked with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen on Full House for the better part of a decade, so he had to have picked up some child-rearing skills.
"I'm good with babies. I'm the baby whisperer," the improbably 52-year-old star of the new Fox sitcom Grandfathered tells E! News at the Paley Center premiere of his series.
He's so good with kids, in fact, that he's not taking any chances should the new show be as successful as Full House.
"Our babies are so cute on the show. In fact, I just got them to sign a contract that if we do a reunion 25 years from now of Grandfathered, they have to be in it," he jokes. "I'm signing them up now."
On Grandfathered, Stamos plays a lifelong bachelor who's suddenly stunned by the news that not only is he the father—of the twentysomething Gerald (Josh Peck), no less—but a grandfather as well, to Gerald's baby daughter, Edie.
While the jury's out as to whether the new cute baby in town can rise to Olsen-level stardom, there's one thing for sure: "She doesn't have the money the Olsens have," jokes Stamos.
Grandfathered, which also stars Paget Brewster and Christina Milian, debuts tonight at 8 p.m. on Fox, followed by the premiere of Rob Lowe and Fred Savage's new sitcom, The Grinder.
John Stamos Sets the Record Straight on Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in Fuller House: "I Love Them Dearly"There's nothing but love for Michelle Tanner, according to Uncle Jesse. Sorry, there's nothing but love for Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen, according to John Stamos. The star of Fox's Grandfathered stopped by NBC's Today to discuss his new comedy and the talk obviously turned to Fuller House, Netflix's followup series to Full House, because when you have Stamos on your show, you want to talk about everything.
Fuller House follows Candace Cameron Bure's DJ Tanner-Fuller, newly widowed and taking care of three kids with the help of sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and Andrea Barber's Kimmy Gibbler. The first episode will be a reunion of sorts with Stamos, Bob Saget, Lori Loughlin, Dave Coulier, Blake and Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit and more original stars appearing, but not the Olsens.
"They're fully welcome anytime, I love them and there was a lot of miscommunication in the press and stuff," Stamos told Matt Lauer. He's of course referring to the Olsens saying they learned about it from Stamos on Jimmy Kimmel Live and certain comments he made on Twitter after the fact. "I talked to them, I understood why they didn't want to come back. They just have big lives, they haven't acted in a while, but I love them dearly and they're always welcome on our show."
News first broke about the Olsen's participation in the show back in May.
"Although Ashley and Mary-Kate will not be a part of Fuller House, I know how much Full House has meant to them and they are still very much considered family," executive producer Robert L. Boyett said in a May 2015 statement about Mary-Kate and Ashley's absence from the reunion. "It has been exciting to see how they have built their professional careers, and I support their choice to focus on their fashion brands and various business endeavors. I appreciate their support and good wishes towards Fuller House."
Stamos said he's been trying to get a new Full House off the ground for six-seven years "because I knew how important the show was to people."
"It was cancelled a little premature, we were still going strong, we didn't even know the show was going to be cancelled until a few weeks before, we didn't even do a finale of Full House," he said. "And for years I've been trying to get this going, I've realized how important it is to people."
Look for Stamos to balance his duties on Fuller House—he's an executive producer and recurring guest star—with his full-time gig on Grandfathered.
"I think people will be very happy, it's very sweet, it has a lot of the same elements as the original did," he said of Fuller House.
Grandfathered premieres Tuesday, 8 p.m. on Fox. Fuller House premieres on Netflix in 2016.
Christopher Kennedy Lawford to speak about his addiction, sobriety at O’Brien House fundraiser(theadvocate.com) Christopher Kennedy Lawford describes himself as the product of an “addictive perfect storm.”
The eldest child and only son of Patricia Kennedy (sister of slain President John F. Kennedy) and actor Peter Lawford, the 60-year-old says addiction runs in both sides of his family. He’ll talk about his battles and his sobriety at the O’Brien House breakfast fundraiser on Wednesday, Sept. 30.
Lawford was only 8 when his uncle, President Kennedy, was assassinated in Dallas in 1963. In 1968, another uncle, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was assassinated in Los Angeles.
“We had to relive those events over and over,” says Lawford on a call from his home in Hawaii. “That’s brutal PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) by the way.”
“In 1969, when it began for me, we had an entirely different culture,” he says of his first foray with drugs. “It was a time of experimentation, permissiveness and, frankly, ignorance of what this disease is. I remember doing cocaine because everyone said it wasn’t addictive.”
Over the years, people tried to help Lawford but intervention was unheard of back then.
“If it had been, I would have been OK,” he adds. “Now, we’re free to talk about it and act, to help determine whether someone’s life is a tragedy or success.”
In 1984, Lawford’s cousin, David Kennedy, who also battled substance abuse issues and with whom Lawford had a close relationship, died of a drug overdose. David’s death prompted Lawford to seek professional help for his issues.
“I’m in recovery now for 30 years,” says Lawford, who had a 15-year career as an actor (including three years on the hit soap opera “All My Children”), lawyer, executive and producer. “For about 20 of those, I was anonymous, speaking in church basements and other 12-step programs. In 2005, I wrote a book, ‘Symptoms of Withdrawal,’ a New York Times bestseller. There was such an avalanche of response that I began speaking publicly … It was important for me to give back, to be a part of the solution.”
That response led to his second book, “Moment of Clarity: Voices From the Front Lines of Addiction & Recovery,” another New York Times bestseller. It’s a collection of stories from 44 people who share the spiritual epiphanies that enabled them to move from addiction to recovery.
“Addiction costs this country $500 billion a year,” says Lawford. “It’s the No. 1 public health issue.”
So what do we do?
“I don’t know,” says Lawford frankly. “I believe the recovery community is really going to have to effect change. We can’t expect government to deal with this. If we want to get a handle on addiction, we have to make a serious commitment. We don’t have the money or the focus right now, but I believe it will happen in increments.
“It’s a really complicated problem,” he continues. “Can we (government) actually make a difference? Yes, but we have to change the focus from source eradication to one of treatment, prevention and education. Those are things that will make a difference.”
Lawford is starting to investigate other opportunities. He’s letting cousin Patrick Kennedy, founder of the Kennedy Forum, which unites the mental health community, and co-founder One Mind for Research, whose mission is to track research in traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress, take the spotlight in speaking out on addiction and mental health. Both are taking part in UNITE To Face Addiction in Washington, D.C., Oct. 4. Organized by an independent coalition of national, state and local nonprofit organizations, the mission is to “produce a collaborative and unifying event to collectively raise awareness and reduce the human and social costs of addiction.”
“We know addiction and mental health issues run in families … those who know best about this issue are the ones who’ll drive the conversation toward a solution,” says Lawford, who plans to continue sharing his story. “I enjoy speaking and writing and I have a brand that people trust.”
O’Brien House fundraiser
WHAT: Breakfast featuring Christopher Kennedy Lawford
WHEN: 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30
WHERE: Renaissance Hotel, 7000 Bluebonnet Blvd.
INFORMATION: (225) 344-6345
‘Grandfathered’s’ John Stamos may be ‘old’, but he’s no Abe VigodaIf John Stamos looks too young to be a grandpa, that’s part of the basic joke of his new sitcom.
The “Full House” alum returns to weekly television work — playing a personal-freedom-loving restaurateur shocked to learn he not only has a son (played by Josh Peck, formerly of Nickelodeon’s “Drake & Josh”), but also an infant granddaughter — on FOX’s “Grandfathered,” premiering Tuesday (Sept. 29). Paget Brewster (“Criminal Minds”) and Christina Milian also star in the show, which Stamos considers a perfect fit for him.
“This is the show I’ve been waiting for for 10 years,” he tells Zap2it. “I mean, I couldn’t be more grateful for this particular type of show. As actors we like to try to find roles that we don’t normally get typecast in. And I was actively looking for a show, but something a little edgier. I wanted to play a bad guy. And my agent was like, ‘Why don’t you just do what you do well, and play in your wheelhouse?’ I was like, ‘That makes sense.’ ”
Also an executive producer of his new series, Stamos is very aware he doesn’t match the traditional definition of “grandfather,” and he’s relishing that: “That makes it sort of interesting, and I guess there’s some irony in it … though I feel that a lot of people sort of look good at [that age]. I remember watching television when I was a kid and a 50-year-old guy was, like, Abe Vigoda. I was like, ‘Well, here’s a chance to change things.’ ”
Stamos also will reprise his Jesse Katsopolis role in the upcoming Netflix sequel show “Fuller House.” He believes it and its 1987-95 forerunner have thematic links to “Grandfathered,” which he terms “a very relatable high-concept show, but again, an unconventional family show. But ‘family first’ on this.”
Anderson Is Future-Bound!Fans of GENERAL HOSPITAL's Bradford Anderson (Spinelli), you're in for a great surprise! If you're interested in seeing him in a role that he describes as "a character that people don't normally cast me in," set your DVRs for the Monday, September 28 episode of MINORITY REPORT airing on Fox at 9:00 p.m. ET
The sci-fi crime series first brought to life with the 2002 Tom Cruise film of the same name, is a look into a future where law enforcement has the ability to predict crimes (and, therefore, stop them) before they're committed. Anderson plays a man named Harlan, who is a bartender in a trendy pick-up club.
"I feel so lucky and thrilled to do have done it," Anderson says of the show set in 2065 Washington D.C. "It was such a fun show to work on. Not only does the futuristic world look so cool, but I think many folks might be surprised to see me as this kind of character. There may be a twist or two!"
Ava's Next MoveAudiences were thrilled when at long last, GH's Ava picked up that box of hair coloring and washed the remnants of Denise right out of her hair. And, if she's being honest, so was her portrayer, Maura West! "I love Ava with all my heart," she admits. "She's such an incredible character, and I feel lucky that I get to play her!
If there's one thing missing from Ava's life, it would be love. And while she thought she had it with Morgan, that proved to be an epic mistake with far-reaching consequences. "She desperately wants to love and be loved," muses West. "But is she even capable of allowing herself to let down her guard? She did that, to a certain extent, with Morgan. But whenever she thinks that she's being seen as vulnerable, the protective barriers go right back up."
What else does West love about her complicated alter ego? Well, you'll have to pick up the latest ABC issue of Soaps In Depth to find out!
GH's Willis Loses Her Mind!Alicia Leigh Willis (ex-Courtney, GENERAL HOSPITAL) fans will not want to miss her tour de force performance in Dangerous Company. "It was the biggest film role that I've done, for sure," she offers. In it, Willis plays a successful businesswoman whose greedy husband (played by Rick Ravanello) conspires to make her think that she's suffering from early onset Alzheimer's disease.
Might her sister (played by Susan Sloan) throw her a lifeline? "She's so talented," Willis says of her co-star. "We had a really heavy scene, and I don't think I would ever reached the place I got to emotionally without her help." Catch the film on Lifetime Movie Network tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET and tomorrow at 12:00 a.m., and also on Amazon Video. And see Willis next in the fall season of The Bay.
Here's What Viola Davis Has to Say About Any 'Backlash' Over Her Historic Emmys SpeechViola Davis made Emmy history last weekend when she became the first black star to win outstanding lead actress in a drama series for her work as Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder.
Twitter overflowed with support for Davis, 50, after her inspiring acceptance speech about the need for more diversity in Hollywood.
"The only thing that separates women of color from everyone else is opportunity," she said. "You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there."
But General Hospital actress Nancy Lee Grahn made headlines after tweeting that Davis is "elite" and "has never been discriminated against," adding that she wished "she'd brought every woman in the picture" instead of focusing on her experience as an African-American performer.
Grahn, 57, spent the rest of the night (and wee hours of the morning) apologizing on Twitter. And in an interview with The New York Times on Thursday, Davis addressed her comments for the first time.
"If there has been any backlash, it's that all people want to feel included in a speech. I know there has been some backlash with an actress who didn't feel she was included," she said.
When asked if she was referring to Grahn, Davis responded, "Yes. I don't know that I want to say more about that."
One peer who is standing squarely behind her is Empire star Taraji P. Henson, who was also nominated but says Davis deserved the accolade.
"First of all, that was like the second or third time we hugged through the night," David told the NYT of their on-air embrace during the ceremony. "She said, 'I love you,' and I said, 'I love you more than anything in the world, I love you!' That's what we said. I think at the end of the day, people want to be seen. And I think that's why it was important for me and Taraji to acknowledge that in each other, to not just feel like it is competition, to just say, I see you, yes, I see you, too. I love you. I take you in."
Davis also discussed her historic win on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday – and how she calmed her nerves by drinking prosecco before hitting the red carpet.
"While I was getting in hair and makeup, while my daughter was jumping on my lap, I drank," she said, laughing. "I just guzzled the glass."
How to Get Away with Murder season 2 premiered Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
Talk Show AppearanceTHE LATE LATE SHOW with JAMES CORDEN – CBS
Monday, Oct. 5 Actress Julianne Moore; actor John Stamos
The Truth About Those Rumors!Despite published reports on several Web sites claiming that GENERAL HOSPITAL's Nancy Lee Grahn was being fired or suspended because of remarks she made during Sunday night's Emmy telecast, we're here to tell you she's not going anywhere. A source confirms that the reports are "absolutely not true."
In the days since the Emmy telecast, Grahn and the soap have gotten more than a little negative publicity, a fact that led to the speculation about the actress being punished. Given that this is not the first time a member of the GH cast has stirred up a little controversy via social media, it seems likely that some sort of guidelines will be handed down in the not-too-distant future. Not surprisingly, Grahn has gone radio silent on Twitter since her attempts to apologize to those she'd offended seemed to make a bad situation worse. Her last tweet to her followers, posted on September 21, reads, "I apologize for my earlier tweets and now realize I need to check my own privilege. My intention was not to take this historic and important moment from Viola Davis or other women of color, but I realize that my intention doesn't matter here because that is what I ended up doing. I learned a lot tonight and I admit that there are still some things I don't understand, but I am trying to and will let this be a learning experience for me."
B&B'S JACOB YOUNG EXPECTING THIRD CHILD!Soap Opera Digest is thrilled to announce that B&B's Jacob Young (Rick) and his wife, Christen, will be welcoming their third child in February 2016. The new addition will join brother Luke, 7, and Molly, 2. Our warmest congratulations to the entire Young family!
Cheetwood Set To Exit GHMagic Milo is about to add "disappearing act" to his repertoire. Drew Cheetwood, who plays Sonny's bodyguard/Epiphany's main squeeze, Milo Giambetti, is packing up his family and moving to Michigan.
"The game change was starting a family and having kids," says Cheetwood, who joined his real-life and reel-life brother, Derk Cheetwood (Max) on GH in 2006. "I'm in full support of how I was brought up — the values, the mentality. I thought somewhere in the Midwest would make sense one day. And all the things that I am, I can do there, too."
But all hope is not lost for Milo fans. Cheetwood is very happy to say that there is a good possibility that after his November move, you'll still see Milo around! "I gave [executive producer] Frank Valentini the rundown of where my heart was," Cheetwood says. "He said that he understood 100 percent because he has a ton of family on the East Coast that he misses every day. I said, 'I hope it doesn't mean that Milo can never be a part of the show again. If you guys can group some shows together, maybe I can fly out.'" Valentini let Cheetwood know there was a very good chance that could happen.
Meanwhile, let's all wish Cheetwood luck in his new home and his continued success in both the health/fitness world and with acting! "It's interesting that you can act anywhere, really," he points out. "They just shot Batman Vs. Superman in Detroit. You don't necessarily have to be in L.A. or New York to make this thing work. Sometimes getting out of that element, getting out of the belly of the beast can be more beneficial."
GH'S GRAHN SPARKS TWITTER CONTROVERSYOn September 20, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER's Viola Davis became the first black woman to win the Emmy for Lead Actress in a Drama Series and spoke out about racism in Hollywood in her acceptance speech, noting, "The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is simply opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there." Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis, GH) tweeted in response, "I wish I loved #ViolaDavis Speech, but I thought she should have let @shondarhimes write it." She went on to say in a tweet that she subsequently deleted, "Im a f--king actress for 40 yrs. None of us get respect or opportunity we deserve. Emmys not venue 4 racial opportunity. ALL women belittled." Replying to a fan, Grahn described Davis as among "the elite of TV performers," saying, "Brilliant as she is. She has never been discriminated against." The actress was inundated by negative responses and issued an apology, writing, "I never mean to diminish her accomplishment. I wish I could get her roles. She is a goddess. I want equality 4 ALL women, not just actors.… I apologize 2 anyone who I offended. I'm women advocate since I became one. After reading responses, I hear u and my tweet was badly phrased." Later, she continued, "I apologize for my earlier tweets and now realize I need to check my own privilege. My intention was not to take this historic and important moment from Viola Davis or other women of color but I realize that my intention doesn't matter here because that is what I ended up doing. I learned a lot tonight and I admit that there are still some things I don't understand but I am trying to and will let this be a learning experience for me."
DIANE AND SPINELLI TO REUNITE ON GHFirst came word that Bradford Anderson is poised to reprise the role of GH's Spinelli, which he last played earlier this year. Now his frequent scene partner, Carolyn Hennesy, has announced that she, too, will be heading back to Port Charles and will share the screen with Anderson. "Diane and Spinelli...together again. You asked for it...you're gonna get it. #GH," the actress tweeted. As for Anderson, he tells Digest, "I love being there and any time they need me, if I'm available, I'll be there." Look for more with the actor in an upcoming issue.
John Stamos nearly played a male hookerJohn Stamos says he was nearly cast by “Glee” co-creator Ryan Murphy in a proposed series about male hookers.
“He wanted to do three male hookers, like ‘Charlie’s Angels,’ who’d .?.?. save relationships by having sex with the husband and the wife,” recalls Stamos, who’s next show is “Grandfathered.”
“Maybe I was too afraid then,” he told Details. “Ryan also wrote ‘Nip/Tuck’ for me, but the person with whom I was in a relationship at the time read the script and said, ‘That’s demeaning toward women.’ I’m not with her anymore.”
Morning Show AppearanceToday - NBC
Monday, September 28
(7-9 a.m.) John Stamos on Grandfathered and Fuller House.
(9-10 a.m.) John Stamos on Today.
(10-11 a.m.) John Stamos on Today.
Need A Kristina Refresher?On today's episode of GENERAL HOSPITAL, Lexi Ainsworth brought Kristina Corinthos Davis back home to visit her father, Sonny, as he recovers from the gunshot wound that nearly killed him. Since it's been a few years since the character was last on the canvas, Soaps In Depth is here to provide you with a refresher on the storyline that led Alexis and Sonny's child out of town to begin with!
Yale brought out the worst in Kristina. When she returned to Port Charles two years ago, it was bitter and resentful that her father had pulled a few strings to get her into the prestigious university. She also returned with a boy named Trey. He was a budding filmmaker who followed Kristina home to produce their reality show, MOB PRINCESS. Small world that it is, Trey turned out to be Connie Falconeri's son, who was conceived during rape and later abandoned.
Even though Kristina was conned into marrying Trey (she demanded an annulment upon realizing that he was the son of her dad's mortal enemy, Joe Scully), the young couple eventually realized that they wanted to be together as a bona fide couple and decided to move to California for a fresh start. But while Trey said an emotional good-bye to his mother before moving across the country, Kristina became distracted by a rumbling in the trunk of Connie's car, unaware that Johnny was tied up inside! When Kristina pointed out the mysterious ruckus, Connie got in the car and peeled out! Concerned that something very weird was going on, Trey, Kristina, and their pals Michael and Starr hopped into a car and followed Connie in close pursuit. As a result of the car crash that occurred when Connie slammed on the brakes, Trey suffered a serious brain injury.
When Trey was declared brain dead, Connie ultimately agreed to take her son off life support. But Kristina blamed her father's ex for Trey's death and smashed Connie's computer with a bat, threatening that she would be next to die! Connie called the police and had her arrested, but during Kristina's arraignment, changed her tune and dropped the charges. Nevertheless, the judge sentenced Kristina to community service at Pentonville.
Kristina later left Port Charles and returned to college, this time at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
John Stamos Breaks His Silence About Rehab Stay: 'It Was a Turning Point'With two new shows in the works, John Stamos is back and better than ever after completing rehab for substance abuse.
The Grandfathered and Fuller House star discussed his DUI for the first time in new interviews with Details and Entertainment Weekly.
"I've had a rough year with my mom dying, so it all came to a head, and it was a turning point," Stamos, 52, told Details. "You either continue on that path – and some of it's fun, but a lot of it's not – or there's this other thing, this golden opportunity sitting there with all this work and all this goodwill that you have going for you. That's the key."
His mother, Loretta Phillips Stamos, died last September, and he shared the news with a heartbreaking Instagram post calling her the love of his life.
The actor was arrested in June for driving under the influence and was taken to the hospital to treat a still unknown medical condition. He entered rehab in July and checked out after a month. Since then, he's been all smiles while filming the Netflix Fuller House reboot and promoting Grandfathered, which premieres Sept. 29.
"I can't wait to get to work in the morning," he told EW of the Fox comedy. "I haven't felt this in a long time. I feel better than I've felt in a decade. And I hope people see that. That's what I want them to see."
Stamos also spoke to Details about striving to be more mature.
"I'm trying. I swear to God I'm trying," he said. "It's not as much fun, but you have to be responsible. It's about discipline, which I lost for a while. Part of being undisciplined for the past five or six years is that I didn't work as much as it looked like. I had some high-profile jobs, like a Super Bowl commercial or a few episodes of Glee, but there was a lot of downtime, and that can be, obviously, dangerous."
Talk Show AppearanceWATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE – Bravo
Thursday, October 1, 2015 – JOHN STAMOS
John Stamos Jokes That Grandfathered Twins Are Contractually Obligated to Do a Reboot (Hear That, Olsens?)What would a Full House reboot be without Michelle Tanner?
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who shared the role of the youngest daughter in San Francisco's favorite family from the beloved '90s sitcom, have yet to sign on to the much-anticipated reboot, Fuller House – but John Stamos says they are more than welcome.
"No Olsen twins yet, but the invitation is there," Stamos, 52, said on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday night. "I understand they're doing different things, but we'd love to have them."
"I would have been great as them, I really would have," host Jimmy Kimmel joked of his offer to take over the role for the girls. "And by the way, they're not such good actors."
"Oh, what, you thought those little Muppets were good?" Kimmel said to the booing audience. "I mean, cute, yeah."
Coincidentally, Stamos is also currently working with young twins on his new Fox comedy series, Grandfathered.
"These twins, I just had them sign a contract that says: 'If we ever do a reunion show of Grandfathered in 25 years, you kids have to be on it,' " quipped the actor of the girls who share the role of his granddaughter on the show.
The Olsen twins' involvement in the reboot has been ambiguous since the 13-episode series, set to premiere on Netflix in 2016, was confirmed in April.
In May, executive producer Robert L. Boyett announced that the sisters, now 29, wouldn't be reprising the role and Stamos tweeted that he was "heartbroken."
However, in July, the head of content acquisition for Netflix, Ted Sarandos, said during a press conference that the twins "are teetering whether or not they'll be around."’
Grandfathered premieres Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.
Rylan Defends Dante's Dalliance!All good things must come to an end... except Lante! They're not "ending," are they? Fans of GENERAL HOSPITAL lovebirds Dante and Lulu have reason to be concerned. There's still a gigantic secret (a one-night stand with Valerie) that is preventing them from having a fairy tale love. It doesn't help that Dillon is waiting patiently in the wings for the first signal to swoop in and sweep Lulu off her feet!
In the current ABC issue of Soaps In Depth, Emme Rylan (Lulu) explains Dante's uncharacteristic night of infidelity, sheds light on what Lulu is not saying and defines her character's blossoming connection with Dillon!
"People grow apart, but they can also grow together," Rylan tells readers. "Lulu loves Dante and Rocco more than anything in the world. But there is that familiarity of things she and Dillon went through when they were younger. They have a bond."
Stephen Nichols Short FilmsThere are a couple short films by Stephen Nichols (Patch, Days/ex-Tucker, Y&R/ex-Stefan, GH) available to watch on his website stephennichols.net.
Get The Dime: https://vimeo.com/89706426.
I See: https://vimeo.com/107762867.
GH CASTS NEW HUNKSaop Opera Digest had learned that GH has cast an African-American male for a key upcoming role. Around the set, there is considerable buzz about the chemistry he generated during his screen test with a popular leading lady.
Showtime’s Lena Waithe Pilot Casts Sextet Of Actors, Adds Elwood Reid As EPAisha Hinds (Under The Dome), Tequan Richmond (Everybody Hates Chris), Alex Henderson (Empire), Sierra McClain (House Of Payne), Olivia Dawson (Empire) and Jason Weaver (The Ladykillers) have been cast in Showtime’s Chicago-set hourlong drama pilot from Dear White People‘s Lena Waithe, Common, Clark Johnson and Aaron Kaplan. The project also has brought in The Bridge co-developer/showrunner Elwood Reid as an executive producer.
Written by writer-producer-actress Waithe, the untitled drama is described as a relevant, timely and distinctive coming-of-age story of a young African-American male in which just growing up can be a matter of life and death. Waithe executive produces with Common, Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment, Reid and Johnson, who will direct, for Fox 21 TV Studios. The pilot will film in Chicago later this year.
Richmond, repped by ICM Partners, manager Leonard Torgan and attorney Allison Binder, will play Emmett, an attractive, young African-American teen who believes his sexual prowess is what defines him. But there are consequences, as he has fathered three children by three different women. However, his attitude about what it means to be a man will be challenged when he’s forced to raise one.
Hinds, repped by Greene & Associates, is Jada Emmett’s young, single mother. Jada is strong, smart, a survivor, with a surprising mix of honesty, anger, humor and love.
Henderson plays Kevin, an adolescent whose childlike innocence collides with his pent up aggression. Kevin has seen more in his twelve years than most people have seen in their whole lives.
McClain is 18-year-old Jerrika, a tightly wound restaurant manager. She and her boyfriend, Brandon, are trying to pull themselves up in the world, but the southside does not easily let them go.
Dawson will play the mother of two of the main characters Brandon and Coogie (casting TBD). A hard-drinker, she’s a woman that has never received a lot of love from her parents so when she has her own children she has very little to give.
Weaver is Ronnie, a street corner philosopher and a fixture in the neighborhood, who must go to extraordinary lengths to try and win back the love of his life.
WME-repped Reid developed the FX version of drama The Bridge with Meredith Stiehm. The two ran the series the first season, with Reid serving as sole showrunner in Season 2. He recently sold a drama to Fox with Peter Berg producing.
On VacationSoap Opera Digest reports that Nancy Lee Grahn will be off the air for a brief time while she takes a trip to Ireland with her daughter.
Grandfathered VideoJohn Stamos Gets Some Grandparenting Advice: Video.
GH's Bechtel Gets A Bigger Family!Spencer may be Nikolas' only child on GENERAL HOSPITAL, but portrayer Nicolas Bechtel is going to be part of a massive clan on the new Disney Channel comedy STUCK IN THE MIDDLE!
The premise of STUCK IN THE MIDDLE focuses on Harley Diaz, an engineering whiz who uses her inventions to navigate the chaos she experiences as the middle of seven children! Among the actors and actresses playing her numerous siblings is Bechtel, who will be playing Danny.
Production is scheduled to begin this November, and the series is set to premiere on Disney Channel in spring of 2016. There's no word yet on how this new gig might affect Bechtel's role on GH, but we're sure the talented tyke will have no problems juggling both shows!
Ignacio Serricchio On “SCORPION,” MONDAY, SEPT. 28“Cuba Libre” – Team Scorpion heads to Cuba when a woman from Cabe’s past pleads for him to help catch a Serbian war criminal, on SCORPION, Monday, Sept. 28 (9:00-9:59 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Alana De La Garza returns as the new head of Homeland Security and Kevin Weisman guest stars are Walter’s new friend, Ray, whom he meets doing his court-mandated community service.
GUEST CAST INCLUDES: Alana De La Garza (Adriana Molina), Kevin Weisman (Ray), Ignacio Serricchio (Alfonso)
Ramirez Protects And ServesAs GENERAL HOSPITAL's young Gia, Marisa Ramirez had a way of finding trouble. Now the current cast member of CBS' cop drama, BLUE BLOODS, is working to help others get out of trouble in the city where the show is produced.
"Trying to provide affordable and safe housing in New York City is not easy," she says. "So there are about 25 teams of 10 women each raising $250,000 to $500,00 to build homes for local single mothers [via a Women Build project for Habitat for Humanity]." Amongst those teams is a seven-member one from BLUE BLOODS, The Bricks & Sticks Chicks, which the actress is a part of.
"We have a make-up artist, someone from the wardrobe department, our script supervisor, and also myself and fellow castmembers Amy Carlson (Josie, ANOTHER WORLD), Vanessa Ray (Teri, AS THE WORLD TURNS) and Abigail Hawk," Ramirez says proudly. "I've gotta get some steel-toed shoes! We have no idea what we'll actually be doing, but we are excited and looking forward to it." With just weeks left until the Saturday, September 26, build day, the actress is fundraising for the BLUE BLOODS team. Click here to pledge your support.
For more from Ramirez, whose TV series returns Friday, September 25, at 10:00 p.m. EST, keep an eye out for her Keeping Track feature in an upcoming issue of Soaps In Depth.
GH STAR RELEASES FILMJason Cook (ex-Matt, GH) released his mockumentary, State Of Bacon, on Google Play and iTunes, on September 5 in honor of International Bacon Day. A description of the film reads, "The definitive mockumentary celebrating bacon fellowship at the annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in Iowa. WWE legend Hacksaw Jim Duggan faces off against PETA, while a diplomatic envoy from Iceland steals Governor Terry Branstad's pardoned pig, all while Senator Chuck Grassley and a Bacon Queen reign over all things bacon." To view the trailer, go to: https://youtu.be/gM38MbuWVYU. Look for the actor to make his Salem comeback this fall.
GH'S NEW HEAD WRITERS UNVEIL THEIR GH VISIONGH's new head writers, Shelly Altman and Jean Passanante, provide an in-depth look at their vision for the show in the issue of Soap Opera Digest on sale tomorrow, covering such topics as Genie Francis's (Laura) status, their plan to bring more romance to Port Charles, the role of the hospital and the mob on the canvas, revitalizing the Quartermaines, the timing of the Jason reveal, the possibility of recasting Robin, and much more. “There is nothing more passionate than a GENERAL HOSPITAL fan," Passanante says. "We hope that they will invest their commitment in the show and give us a chance, because I think they will be rewarded." Adds Altman, "We are excited to be here; we are writers and fans." Be sure to check out the can't-miss conversation.
Talk Show AppearanceWATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE – Bravo
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 – RICK SPRINGFIELD
Soap Opera Writers Forced By Producers To Get WGA Waivers For Less Work & Pay(deadline.com) More and more soap opera writers are being “bullied” by producers into requesting waivers from the WGA to take pay cuts, according to guild sources, one of whom described it as a “particularly insidious” problem that’s “cropping up regularly on daytime TV.” The guild, however, has been powerless to do anything about it because the writers are afraid that they’ll lose their jobs if they speak up. WGA sources say that veteran CBS soaps The Bold And The Beautiful and The Young And The Restless are the ones the guild has received the most complaints about. “Writers have told the guild this is happening,” said a WGA source.
The guild’s contract requires a show’s soap writers to be given one assignment a week, but writers can ask for a waiver to cut back on the workload if they have a legitimate reason, such as illness or a family emergency. Some crafty producers, however, allegedly have been gaming the system by bullying less-favored writers into asking the guild for waivers to reduce their assignments by one or more a month, even though they actually want to continue working full time. Sources say that some writers have been forced to give up a script or two a month so that an actor or a line producer can write a show or so a new writer can be brought in at no extra cost.
The contract language governing these waivers was meant to protect writers by mandating that the request come from the writer. If it does, the contract requires the guild to grant the waiver, but if the guild determines that it originated from the company, it can refuse. The guild, however, has yet to deny such a waiver requested by a soap writer.
Guild records show that from June 2014 through June 2015, the guild granted 23 such waivers to soap writers – 16 on CBS’ The Bold And The Beautiful, six to writers on the network’s The Young And The Restless, and one to a writer on NBC’s Days Of Our Lives. In the previous year, writers on B&B requested another 11 waivers, and Y&R writers asked for two. A spokesperson for Bell-Phillip Television Productions, which produces both CBS daytime dramas, declined comment “at this time.”
“The number of waiver requests have multiplied over the last decade,” said Karen Harris, a WGA board member and former chair of the guild’s Daytime Writers Committee who sits on the guild’s Waiver Committee. “Hardly a month goes by when we don’t have a waiver request or two.”
Harris, a former soap writer, has been one of those leading the charge against the practice. Contacted by Deadline, she said that she knows of one writer who actually wanted the waiver but said that “the vast majority are being told to request a waiver to accept less than what the Minimum Basic Agreement requires.”
Harris said that she has seen soap writers’ personal service agreements that “memorialize a reduced guarantee along with the condition that the writer seek a waiver every 13 weeks.” This, she believes, “demonstrates coercion on the part of the company and establishes that the waiver requests are often not truly ‘initiated’ by the writers as required by the MBA.”
Soap operas have been in a steady decline during the past 15 years. Ratings have fallen precipitously, and there now are fewer daytime serials airing on the networks – only four – than at any time in the past half-century. No new daytime soap has been created in this millennium, and many of the old favorites have fallen by the wayside, including Guiding Light, which ended its 72-year run (on radio and television) in 2009; As The World Turns, which ended its 54-year run in 2010; One Life To Live, which was cancelled in 2012 after 43 years; and All My Children, which was cancelled after 41 years in 2011. The latter two had post-network runs online and on OWN.
“Daytime has contracted,” Harris said. “The pool of available writers is large, and in order for any given writer to continue working in their genre, they’re finding themselves in a position of having to accept what the producers demand.”
She added: “The producers do it because they can. It gives them more flexibility to pick and choose and let the writers pay the price.”
Contacted by Deadline, Dan Wilcox, who raised the issue in his campaign for election to the WGA board of directors, called it an “unfair labor practice. It’s a way to hire people at below the contracted minimum.”
In his campaign statement, Wilcox noted: “Over the last few years, a couple of the companies have begun using the reduced-load waivers to punish some writers and reward others. The companies tell the writers in disfavor to apply for a ‘half-deal’ waiver or be fired. Given a choice between some income and none, the writers request the waiver.”
Wilcox, a member of the committee that reviews the waivers, wrote that sometimes the committee “learns discretely that a writer is lying and doesn’t really want fewer assignments. But so far those writers have declined to say anything in public, lest they offend the company. Without proof something’s amiss, the guild can do nothing.” He wrote that the contract language that allows the request for the waiver to appear voluntary “has taken the guild’s negotiating power out of the mix, leaving the writers to negotiate one-on-one with the company. We’ve set them up to be bullied.”
Guild records show that there is growing concern that the companies are pressuring writers to request these waivers, and that several members of the Waiver Committee continue to be frustrated by the waivers, which they view as pay cuts being unfairly imposed by the producers. Guild records also show that the guild’s staff and a majority of the board recognize that the daytime writers are facing increasing pressure to accept these deals, but that the guild believes the solution, if any, does not lie in denying the requests of these particular writers.
“Until some brave writer risks company disfavor and goes public, this is a problem without a solution,” Wilcox wrote, “Perhaps it is. But there are tweaks we can make to shift the balance a little. I’d like to see the Waiver Committee attach conditions to every one of these reduced-workload waivers making the arrangement non-exclusive, leaving the writer free to look elsewhere for more lucrative work. And if the new job would make it difficult to complete the old one, the writer should be permitted to terminate the waiver deal on one day’s notice.”
BRADFORD ANDERSON BACK TO GH!It's official: A GENERAL HOSPITAL rep confirms exclusively for Soaps In Depth that Bradford Anderson will be returning as Maxie's baby daddy and Sam's P.I. partner, Damian Spinelli! When, exactly, that's happen is currently being planned.
When last seen, Maxie clearly chose Nathan as her hunka burnin' love, while Spinelli had an epiphany that Ellie was the girl for him. They returned to Portland with baby Georgie, leaving Spixie fans wondering if their favorite couple was, indeed, over and done with. It's easy to assume that his return will confront that issue... or if the timing is more in sync with the reveal that Jake is Jason!
ABC is keeping a lid on what's coming up next!
Brandy Norwood’s BET Comedy Series ‘Zoe Ever After’ Sets CastSouthland alum Dorian Missick, Tory Devon Smith (The Get Down), Haneefah Wood (Freedomland), Ignacio Serricchio (The Wedding Ringer) and Jaylon Gordon (The Good Book) round out the cast of BET Networks’ multi-camera comedy series Zoe Ever After (fka Zoe Moon), starring and co-executive produced by Brandy Norwood. Production is underway in Atlanta for premiere in January.
Zoe Ever After centers on Zoe Moon (Norwood), a newly single mom stepping out of the shadow of her famous boxer ex-husband Gemini Moon (Missick) while trying to balance dating, motherhood, a complicated relationship with her ex and finally fulfilling her career dream of starting a cosmetics line. Gordon plays her 8-year-old son Xavier; Smith is Valenté, her fashion-forward and fun assistant; Wood plays Pearl, her publicist and best friend; and Serricchio is sexy contractor Miguel.
Zoe Ever After comes from executive producers Debra Martin Chase, Danny Rose, Scooter Braun, executive producer/writer Erica Montolfo-Bura and co-executive producers Norwood and Elaine Aronson. Missick is repped by Innovative Artists.
SOAP FAVE REVEALS CANCER BATTLEIn a post on his Facebook plage, Randolph Mantooth (ex-Alex, LOVING/ex-Hal, ATWT/ex-Richard, GH/ex-Alex, The City/ex-Kirk, OLTL) revealed that he was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. "It pleases me to say that I have successfully completed treatment and have begun the long recovery process. I am feeling stronger every day," he reported. Sadly, the actor also relayed that his sister, Nancy, passed away on August 26 following her own battle with cancer.
GH CASTING NEW ROLEGH is seeking to fill a role described as "Caucasian, 9-11 years old. This is an ONGOING recurring Day Player. Very important role, looking for complex actress." A show rep could not confirm whether this is a recast of Josslyn, whose current portrayer, Hannah Nordberg, has been unavailable to the show of late; she booked a role in NBC's upcoming Dolly Parton biopic, COAT OF MANY COLORS.
Michael Easton Talks About Silas' MurderMichael Easton's exit as GENERAL HOSPITAL's Dr. Silas Clay didn't just take fans by surprise; it also caught the actor off guard! But being the classy guy he is, Easton is taking his dismissal in stride.
In the current ABC issue of Soaps In Depth, Easton opens up his reaction to finding out that Silas was being killed off, the petition fans have started in an effort to save the character and the talk of him joining another soap. "You do this over time and you get used to saying good-bye to people," he admits with a sad smile. "I'm not rushing into anything. I'm going to look to see what's out there, be patient and enjoy time with the family. And do a little writing to clear my head."
For more of the exclusive exit interview with the humble star, pick up the current ABC Soaps InDepth issue!
Watch WINTERTHORNE Now!WINTERTHORNE, debuts! The delicious drama, centered around one family's candy dynasty, features plenty of faces familiar to daytime viewers, like GENERAL HOSPITAL's Kirsten Storms (Maxie) and Kathleen Gati (Obrecht), DAYS OF OUR LIVES' Martha Madison (Belle), John-Paul Lavoisier (soon-to-be Philip; ex-Rex, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) and Kevin Spirtas (ex-Craig) and DALLAS matriarch Linda Gray (Sue Ellen; ex-Priscilla, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL).
Check it out at www.winterthorne.com.
Rick Springfield plays state fair after winning butt lawsuitRick Springfield was a big hit at the opening day of the 2015 New York State Fair. So was his tush.
The singer best known for his 1981 No. 1 hit "Jessie's Girl" returned to the suburban Syracuse fairgrounds for the first time since he was sued after falling off the stage during a 2004 concert there. A New York woman said she suffered serious head injuries when Springfield's buttocks hit her.
In January, he won a seven-year legal battle when a state Supreme Court judge said the performer didn't injure the woman.
The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports (http://bit.ly/1KerfRn ) that during Thursday night's performance, the 66-year-old thanked fans for supporting him during the trial.
One fan held up a sign that read, "Rick your butt can fall on me anytime."
Ricky Martin Says ''Enough Is Enough'' When It Comes to Donald Trump ''Harassing'' the Latino CommunityRicky Martin can't take it anymore.
Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has gotten plenty of backlash for his negative comments about the Latino community and, after his recent altercation with Univision journalist Jorge Ramos, the "Livin' La Vida Loca" singer has taken it upon himself to speak up against the candidate.
Martin has penned a powerful op-ed for Univision urging fellow Latinos to stand up and fight against Trump's "xenophobia" (intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries).
"The fact that an individual like Donald Trump, a candidate for the presidency of the United States for the Republican party, has the audacity to continue to gratuitously harass the Latin community makes my blood boil," reads the op-ed, which was translated into English from the original Spanish (via Billboard).
"When did this character assume he could make comments that are racist, absurd, and above all incoherent and ignorant about us Latinos?"
Martin continued to highlight the event that occurred a few days ago. "Jorge Ramos was doing HIS JOB as a journalist at a press conference in which he appeared freely and democratically, representing one of the most important Latin television networks in the world and with the same right to freely exercise his profession as all other journalists," he wrote.
"But this new character in American politics verbally attacks him and ejects him from the press conference."
The singer adds that he's no longer surprised by Trump's actions, but he's more disappointed that Latinos aren't speaking up.
"This action from Trump doesn't surprise me, what does surprise me is that as Hispanics we continue to accept the aggressions and accusations of people like him who attack our dignity," he wrote. "Enough is enough! If we are united for some things we should be united for others. We have already shown the United States who we are and we cannot allow this behavior.
"We have to defeat the power that Trump pretends to have over Latinos, anchored in low rhetoric and xenophobic speech, which his campaign team is convinced works for him.
"Let's show that our Latin race is to be respected, let's not allow a political hopeful to plant his campaign in insult and humiliation. Let's demand respect for those first generations of Latinos who came to the United States and opened a path for us. We have fought for every right that we have today."
Trump addressed the confrontation he had with Ramos yesterday, and explained that he felt the reporter was "totally out of line."
"He was totally out of line last night. I was asking and being asked a question from another reporter. I would have gotten to him very quickly," Trump told NBC Today's Matt Lauer via phone Wednesday. "He stood up and started ranting and raving like a madman, and frankly, he was out of line. Most people—in fact most newspaper reports—said I handled it very well. He was totally, absolutely out of line."
"Sit down! You weren't called. Go back to Univision," Trump said as the Mexican-American journalist tried to ask a question that the Republican presidential candidate deemed out of turn. As a result, security escorted Ramos out of the pressroom. The Spanish-speaking newsman later returned to ask two questions.
Why Rick Springfield Won't Join in on Your Band's Rendition of 'Jessie's Girl'It's his signature tune – and Rick Springfield says "Jessie's Girl" often comes on when he least expects it.
"I'll sometimes hear it at the supermarket!" Springfield tells PEOPLE. "Or if I go to gyms on the road, they'll play it."
But the musician-actor, who's currently starring Meryl Streep's boyfriend in Ricki and the Flash, in theaters now, says he most enjoys hearing the song covered by other musicians.
"I'll walk by a bar and hear a band playing it live. That's the coolest thing," he says, although admits he has yet to join in. "They do it better than I do!"
While the singer says he still likes playing his classic hits, he also looks forward to putting out new music to play for audiences and will soon be releasing his 18th studio album.
"I think it's great that I'm still excited about music. I can't just always do another old song. I have to play new music and I have to play it live."
For more with Rick Springfield, check out the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.
Help Geary Hit The Big Screen!Before leaving GENERAL HOSPITAL and Los Angeles for Amsterdam, Anthony Geary (ex-Luke) starred in a short film called The Obituary. The film tells the story of a struggling writer who pens obituaries for the local paper to make ends meet. But when he arrives at a man's home to collect information on a recent passing, he finds himself in a life or death situation of his own!
The Obituary has already been filmed, but the producers are trying to gather the money to distribute the film so that audiences can see it and perhaps even develop the short into a full-length feature film. You can visit the project's Indiegogo page by clicking here to watch Geary and the rest of the cast and crew talk about the film as well as see a short clip from it.
And then if you'd like to take part in a little moviemaking, you can donate to assist with distribution. Some donation levels come with rewards that range from Geary-autographed photos, posters and DVDs to producer credit or even lunch with the actors and director!
Grandfathered Video: John Stamos Has the Ultimate Pick-Up LineJimmy Martino (John Stamos) definitely has a way with words on Fox's new comedy Grandfathered.
Before his life gets upended when he learns he has a son (Josh Peck) and a granddaughter, the longtime bachelor disarmed the ladies with his choice pick-up lines and smooth delivery. But Jimmy ain't got nothing on Stamos himself.
Check out the exclusive video below to see the granddaddy -- no pun intended -- of all pick-up lines (and some of the worst).
Grandfathered premieres Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 8/7c on Fox. (Video)
Nia Peeples Files for Divorce from Husband Sam GeorgePretty Little Liars actress Nia Peeples has filed for divorce from her husband, pro surfer and filmmaker Sam George.
Peeples, 53, submitted the paperwork in the Los Angeles County Courthouse on Aug. 11, just 20 days short of the couple's eighth wedding anniversary.
The papers obtained by PEOPLE cite irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. Peeples is seeking to keep the couple's home, a Malibu, California, mobile home with an ocean view that's valued at $875,000. Also listed among the couple's community assets is a Las Vegas condo worth $91,000.
In 2013, Peeples' mobile home was featured in an episode of Celebrity Wife Swap that showed the actress trading homes with '80s pop singer Tiffany.
Peeples, who rose to fame on the TV series Fame, has been married three times before. She and George have no children, but Peeples has two children from previous marriages.
Graceland Adds Arrow AlumArrow and Person of Interest alum Annie Ilonzeh has joined USA Network’s Graceland in a recurring role.
Per The Hollywood Reporter. Ilonzeh will play Courtney Gallo, a beautiful and brilliant attorney who quickly grabs Jakes’ eye. She will first appear in the Sept. 3 episode.
As Graceland creator Jeff Eastin previously told TVLine, “Jakes’ storyline evolves in the last half of the season to take the most important spot. Our entire cliffhanger is based on Jakes.”
Ilonzeh’s TV credits also include Drop Dead Diva, Switched at Birth and General Hospital.
John Stamos Is All Smiles (and Jokes!) in First TV Appearance Since Leaving Rehab(Pic1, Pic2) Following a month in rehab for substance abuse, John Stamos looked to be in good spirits at the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday in his first TV appearance since his treatment.
The 51-year-old actor and Grandfathered costar Josh Peck gentle ribbed each other in a short segment.
Peck, who wore an "Uncle Jesse" wig, misappropriated Full House's Joey Gladstone catchphrase "Cut! It! Out!" as if it were Stamos's own phrase.
Stamos, who was all smiles, replied "That's not my catchphrase."
Peck said, "You calling me a liar?"
"I ain't callin' you a truther. BOOM! Catchphrase," Stamos joked back.
The Full House star checked himself into rehab on July 10 following a DUI charge on June 12.
Stamos announced on Twitter July 24 he's out of rehab and "took a month to take care of things."
"Healthy. Feeling grateful for the love & support of family & friends," he also wrote.
Stamos is currently back to work filming the Full House sequel series Fuller House.
Jason Talks Sam... And Robin!Fans of GH's Patrick Drake are wondering if he's going to be the odd man out when Sam finds out that Jake Doe is actually her beloved Jason. Soaps In Depth sat down with the Emmy nominated Jason Thompson to talk about Patrick's loves, his losses and fan uproar over the Robin situation. The good doctor's life is in flux, indeed. But Thompson is taking his character's fate one day at a time!
"Patrick's life has been all over the place for the last two years," Thompson says in the current ABC issue. "So I feel like, within that, I'm able as an actor to make more rash decisions, in a way. 'Nothing's going right. I may as well go down a 'wrong' path and see what happens!' It might be interesting see where he comes out on the other end."
For more with the sexy doc's portrayer, pick up the current ABC issue, on sale now!
Eden Riegel & Khary Payton Among Voice Cast For Disney Channel’s ‘The Lion Guard’ MovieThe Lion Guard: Return Of The Roar TV movie, a precursor to The Lion Guard TV series, is set to premiere in November on Disney Channel with Rob Lowe, Gabrielle Union, Max Charles, Atticus Shaffer and Sarah Hyland among the voice cast. James Earl Jones and Ernie Sabella reprise their roles from The Lion King as Mufasa and Pumbaa, respectively.
The movie, a continuing of The Lion King tale, follows Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, as he assumes the role of leader of the Lion Guard, a team of animals tasked with preserving the Pride Lands. The movie previews The Lion Guard TV series, premiering in early 2016 on Disney Channels and Disney Junior channels around the globe. A special preview of The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar will be presented at Disney’s D23 Expo on Sunday, August 16.
Cast includes Rob Lowe (The Grinder) as Simba and Gabrielle Union (Being Mary Jane) as Nala. Max Charles (The Strain) stars as Kion. The voice cast also includes Joshua Rush (The Adventures of Puss in Boots) as Kion’s best friend Bunga, a fearless honey badger; Atticus Shaffer (The Middle) as Ono, an intellectual egret; Diamond White (Sofia the First) as Fuli, a confident cheetah; and Dusan Brown (Blaze and the Monster Machines) as Beshte, a friendly and good-spirited hippo.
Set in the African Savanna, The Lion Guard: Return Of The Roar follows Kion as he assembles the members of the Lion Guard. While traditionally the Lion Guard has been comprised of lions known to be the fiercest, bravest, fastest, strongest and keenest of sight in the Pride Lands, Kion breaks tradition by instead calling upon some of his friends who he believes best exemplify these heroic qualities. Throughout the movie and the series, the diverse team of young animals will learn how to utilize each of their unique abilities to solve problems and accomplish tasks to maintain balance within the Circle of Life, while also introducing young viewers to the vast array of animals that populate the prodigious African landscape.
The Education and Science experts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park serve as consultants,. Ford Riley (Special Agent Oso) developed the movie and series and serves as executive producer. Howy Parkins (Jake and the Never Land Pirates) is the director.
Additional cast members include: Eden Riegel, Sarah Hyland, Madison Pettis, Jeff Bennett. Andrew Kishino, Vargus Mason, Greg Ellis, Khary Payton and Kevin Schon. Disney TV Animation is the producer.
MCCOUCH OUT, DERRINGER IN AT GHAdd Robb Derringer to the list of soap actors who've replaced their own replacement — he'll reclaim the role of Kyle Sloane from Grayson McCouch in September, a show rep confirms. Derringer originated the part of Kyle in November 2014, with McCouch taking over in February 2015. It doesn't look like Sloane will stick around for long, though; the GH spokesperson says, "At this point he’s back for a short story arc."
LISA LOCICERO BACK TO GH!Lisa LoCicero will be back on-screen as GH's Olivia next week, after a maternity leave that the actress, who gave birth to daughter Verity on May 30, says "flew by." LoCicero says she doesn't know much about the show's storyline intentions for Liv, but acknowledges, "The writers really got hit with a double whammy in terms of this storyline. You’ve got a burgeoning romance, one of them gets knocked up and the other one [Wally Kurth, ex-Ned; Justin, DAYS] leaves unexpectedly [laughs]! It’s kind of like, ‘Uh, good luck coming up with something smooth for this!’ " For more with the actress, check out the new issue of Soap Opera Digest on sale today.
Rick Springfield Finds the Upside to His DepressionRick Springfield has a lot to be excited about these days. He plays Meryl Streep's boyfriend in Ricki and the Flash and will soon be releasing his 18th studio album. But the "Jessie's Girl" singer says his lifelong battle with depression makes for "good days and bad days."
Springfield, 65, wrote about his highs and lows in his 2011 autobiography, Late, Late at Night and says today he is "feeling better" but admits it's not always an easy thing to discuss.
"It's not a cool thing. It's not like saying I had a bad heroin habit and I went to rehab and I'm good now," he tells PEOPLE. "It's a life sentence. You can't go to rehab for depression."
But the actor-musician, who currently lives with his wife Barbara in Malibu, has found there is something good that comes out of the dark times.
"When you get depressed you look in and ask what's going on. Introspection is the greatest tool for an artist," he says. "It does help in a weird way."
He's also glad he decided to be honest about his depression in his book.
"A lot of people come up to me and say they bought the autobiography and gave it to their mom or daughter or friend to help them," he says. "I get that. But I wrote it because it was a part of my life it would have been this hole if I didn't."
Ricki and the Flash hits theaters Friday.
John Stamos Makes Fun of His Full House Hair: "It Was Like Two Crows Died on My Head!"() You can't touch the hair. But you can make fun of it.
Though Full House's Uncle Jesse will forever remain one of our ultimate TV crushes, the man himselfJohn Stamos did not hold back while talking about his infamous hairstyle when he caught up with E! News.
"It was like two crows had died on my head!" he told Kristin Dos Santos at the 2015 Television Critics Association Press Tour on Thursday. "The sideburns were big!"
But come on, at the time, Stamos, who is reprising the iconic role but not the early hairstyle) of Jesse for Netflix's 2016 revival Fuller House, must've loved the 'do as much as Jesse did on the show, right? Wrong.
"No! I look now and I go, 'Why didn't anybody say something to me?!" he quipped.
But Stamos, whose new Fox show Grandfathered premieres this fall, is actually excited to see his old hair return in Lifetime's upcoming TV movie The Unauthorized Full House Story, with a "pretty dreamy" Justin Gaston taking on the role of Stamos/Uncle Jesse. "I can't wait for that TV movie!" Stamos admitted. "Is that bad to say?"
And Stamos also admitted he did almost have Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen fired when they were younger because they wouldn't stop crying, telling us, "I did. I was a thespian! I was coming off of General Hospital. I was a real actor! I had to pull off these scenes and these kids were crying!'" As Stephanie Tanner would say: How rude!
On The Road To Recovery!After seriously injuring his hand in a motorcycle accident (just as GENERAL HOSPITAL's recent three-week hiatus had commenced), Ryan Paevey (Nathan) tells Soaps In Depth that he's well on his way to a full recovery. "My doc is impressed with how quickly my tissue has mended," the actor reports. "All the 'road rash' is gone. The bones have fused, and my body's not fighting the metal. The surgical side is fine."
However, there are still a few obstacles to overcome. "My range of motion is still really limited," he confides. "It'll probably be a while before I'm on the bike or in the gym again."
Paevey credits his pal Mike Viruet, a trainer/nutritionist, with helping him heal. "He came over and totally re-hauled my refrigerator and prepared all these meals for me. He designed a plan especially engineered to aid in the recovery process. So it's pretty cool — I had three microwavable meals from a buddy for a while!"
The GH hunk is right-handed — which is the one he injured — so his life has gotten a little more complicated. "Elastic and I have become good friends," quips the performer. "Buttons are a nightmare!" The good news is that because Paevey's injury occurred at the beginning of GH's hiatus and his recovery has been going so well, the accident didn't have to be written into Nathan's storyline. "[GH executive producer] Frank Valentini was really supportive when I called him both after the accident and surgery. I told him I can't pick anybody up or punch anybody. But that's it."
The actor hasn't had to call in sick a single day of taping because of his rough spill, either. "If I miss a day of work then something is terribly wrong," he quips. "It's because I either don't know that I'm working or I'm dead!"
Undercover Couple? John Stamos Jokes That He and Rob Lowe Have 'Dated for Years'Love is in the air at Fox.
John Stamos and Rob Lowe are both starring in new comedies at the network: The Grinder for Lowe and Grandfathered for Stamos. They also are attached to two upcoming shows, with Lowe acting in NBC's You, Me and the End of the World and Stamos bringing back Uncle Jesse's mullet for Netflix's Fuller House. Plus, they're both total heartthrobs.
"As a founding member of Jimmy Kimmel's Handsome Men's Club … I am looking forward to the time John makes it in," Lowe, 51, joked during The Grinder's panel at the Television Critics Association junket in Los Angeles on Thursday. "There is a rumor –"
"Rob, tell the truth, we've dated for years!" Stamos, 51, heckled from the back of the ballroom as the crowd laughed.
"This is what journalism has become," Lowe cracked. "Anyone can get credentialed!"
On a more serious note, Lowe told reporters he immediately loved the script of The Grinder, which follows his character, Dean, as an actor who played a lawyer on TV and decides to try his hand at the real deal in his father's practice – much to the chagrin of his brother, actual attorney Stewart (Fred Savage). At the panel, Lowe said his dad is still practicing law at age 75, and one of his sons is in law school.
"I came up in a time when the leading men were anti-heroes. It would have been fun to come up today, but the guys you wanted to emulate were the Dustin Hoffmans, so I was the odd man out," he said of his career. "My favorite show as a kid growing up was Saturday Night Live ... so when I got to do SNL, it was a dream come true. I learned a tremendous amount from The West Wing and a lot from Parks and Recreation and Brothers and Sisters, and without being too fine about it, everything has led to this, and my ability to play a guy like The Grinder. It's a perfect time for me to play a guy who has done a lot of television."
As for Stamos, he told the press at the Grandfathered panel that he also relates to his character, a bachelor who learns he has a son and a baby granddaughter.
"When you pull the curtain behind it, this character is a lost and insecure guy just like everybody else," he said.
Not having kids, he added, "is something that is missing in Jimmy's life, and it's a bit autobiographical, but that is something I hope to achieve at some point in my life, to be a father. I was watching the pilot the other night and it was like, is this a pilot or an E! True Hollywood Story?"
John Stamos' Galavant ReturnJohn Stamos will reprise his role as Galavant’s Sir Jean Hamm during Season 2 of ABC’s midseason comedy.
John Stamos is all about family in his 2 upcoming comediesTwo shows at the same time playing a member of two families: that's what John Stamos is up to these days.
He stars in the upcoming Fox sitcom "Grandfathered," playing a freewheeling bachelor who discovers he has a son and infant granddaughter he never knew about.
Meanwhile, he's shooting "Fuller House," the much-awaited reboot of his enduring 1990s comedy that centered on three single men raising kids. It's being revived by Netflix.
Speaking to TV critics Thursday, Stamos said his dual roles are two sides of the same coin: unconventional family life.
He cited "Full House" as an early example of a comedy built around an unconventional homestead. And now, on "Grandfathered," he plays a man who, at age 50, must come to terms with two generations of a family he never imagined. "It's 'family first' on this show," declared Stamos, who turns 52 later this month.
His co-stars include Josh Peck as his grown son, along with Paget Brewster, who plays the mother of Stamos' son, conceived during a long-ago one-night-stand.
Meanwhile, Stamos is producing and starring in a 13-episode cycle of "Fuller House," a spin-off where Candace Cameron-Bure stars as a pregnant and recently widowed mother of two. Jodie Sweetin, who played her sister in the original, and Andrea Barber, who played her friend, move in to help her.
The series originally aired on ABC from 1987 to 1995.
Bob Saget, who played the widowed father of the three girls in the original series, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, are also being courted to be in the new series.
Netflix has said "Fuller House" will debut next year on the streaming television service.
"Grandfathered" premieres on Fox Sept. 29.
John Stamos: Lifetime ‘Full House’ Movie Is Right, “The Olsen Twins Did Cry A Lot” – TCAIn the latest trailer for Lifetime’s The Unauthorized Full House Story, a frustrated John Stamos is seen complaining about Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. The actor was grilled about the TV movie’s accuracy today at the TCA Summer Press Tour panel for his upcoming Fox family comedy series Grandfathered.
Unabashedly Stamos acknowledged, “It’s a true story, the Olsen twins did a cry a lot. That’s 100% accurate. They brought in non-actor redheaded kids. That didn’t work. I said to get the Olsen twins back.”
Stamos seemed to be amused by the whole parody hoopla surrounding Full House as Netflix reboots the series with its upcoming Fuller House.
“I hear there’s an off-Broadway musical that National Lampoon is doing. Perez Hilton is going to play Bob Saget,” said Stamos before deadpanning, “I found a lot of humor in that.”
Stamos kept the lid on Fuller House saying that he shot “the first two episodes. At this point, I’m going straight into Grandfathered.”
The former pin-up guy took to Grandfathered after being encouraged by his agent to stay the course with the affable characters that audiences have responded to in Stamos. The Fox series tells the story of a middle-age guy who discovers one day — he’s a grandfather.
‘He said, ‘Why don’t you do what you do?,” said the actor about that conversation, adding that his character is, “like a George Clooney before he turned against everything he believed in” and got married.
Earlier in the panel, Stamos quipped that he whispers to the crying kids acting on Grandfathered, “That I made them a lot of money.”
During the panel, Stamos revealed his fondness for older mentors in the TV business, specifically Jack Klugman and Garry Marshall. Talking about his own grandfather, Stamos hysterically revealed that the older guy adored it when people would randomly call him up after finding his number in the phone book, mistaking him for his own grandson. According to Stamos, “He would say, ‘Oh, yes, I am John Stamos! What are you wearing?’ “
Michael Easton GH Exit Interview Part OneMichael Easton GH Exit Interview Part One: Read it here.
GH ALUM ALICIA LEIGH WILLIS IN NEW FILMAlicia Leigh Willis (ex-Courtney, GH et al) plays the lead role in a new thriller available now on Digital HD and On Demand titled DANGEROUS COMPANY.
“My character owns a multi-million dollar clothing company and she is on top of everything,” Willis teases of the mystery. “She’s got her ‘you-know-what’ together, always has, but slowly she starts to slip in terms of losing her memory. Her mother passed away from Alzheimer’s and she is diagnosed as having early-onset dementia, and slowly her world starts to fall apart. But, there are twists and turns ahead for her that you won’t believe! It was a heavy role, but very rewarding. Rick Ravanello, who plays my husband in the film, is just amazing! We had a great time working together.”
For more on Willis, check out an upcoming issue of Soap Opera Digest. To check out a clip of the flick, click here.
Rick Springfield steals 'Flash' rocker roleRick Springfield knew the odds of appearing alongside Meryl Streep in Ricki and the Flash were stacked against him.
Director Jonathan Demme acknowledges that he had two other leading candidates for the part of the Flash guitarist. Springfield almost blew off the audition but ultimately flew cross-country and plugged in all business-like to jam with three-time Oscar winner Streep.
"They didn't want some nervous guy up there going, 'Oh, my God, it's Meryl Streep,' " says Springfield. "I knew I had to break the ice. So I went to the mic and said, 'I just want everyone to know I'm about to jam with Meryl Streep.' "
The two have been making beautiful music ever since, as Streep and Demme were wowed by the former General Hospital heartthrob pop-immortalized with '80s hits such as Jessie's Girl (which topped Billboard's Hot 100) and Don't Talk to Strangers.
"From the moment (Streep and Springfield) looked at each other in character with guitars on, that was it," says Demme. "My two favorites went right out the window. Rick stole the part."
Springfield, 65, is counting on his role as Ricki's loyal love interest in Flash (in theaters Friday) to make the rest of the world realize there's more to him than classic oldies.
"The majority of people's memory of me is Jessie's Girl and bad soap-opera acting," says Springfield, who let his hair go gray and grew a full beard to disappear into his Flash character. "I didn't want Rick Springfield there. And they didn't want Rick Springfield."
On the set, Demme didn't allow Hollywood filming tricks such as playbacks, lip-syncing or fake guitar playing. Streep learned to play electric guitar while singing for camera. Springfield felt right at home, since he's never taken off the guitar strap, touring non-stop — including a fan concert aboard a ship cruising around Marina del Rey, where he talks just before taking the stage.
Fans inevitably get stoked and demand his signature Jessie's Girl.
"They'd find my body in the L.A. River if I didn't," says Springfield. "They'll probably play it at my funeral, but in a minor key because it's got to be sad. I'm proud to have written the song and the place it's taken. But it does overshadow other stuff I do."
That's changing. Springfield rode the Flash momentum to earn the part of freaky psychiatrist Irving Pitlor in HBO's True Detective. He cut and dyed his hair jet-black, colored his face orange and had his skin pulled back with hidden elastic bands to resemble plastic surgery.
"Friends called me to say, 'Dude, you so creeped me out.' Pitlor was just really weird," says Springfield. "People didn't know it was me until I took my glasses off or they heard my voice. As an actor, it's a great compliment."
Springfield chalks his resurgence up to persistence ("I've been out there doing my best whether people were watching or not") and deciding to try out with Streep after all.
"If I hadn't, I'd be sitting here saying, 'I really should have gone for that audition,' " says Springfield. "Hopefully, people see that this is a guy who can really do it. I'm OK with surprising people on the good side."
ABC Family announces the full cast for StayABC Family on Tuesday announced the full cast for Stay, its drama pilot about a recently widowed police detective and his two daughters, who are stranded at a foreboding hotel and must unravel the building’s mysteries to escape. Skeet Ulrich (Jericho) will star as Detective Shane Brenner, with Elizabeth Cappuccino (Deception), Jordan Fisher (The Secret Life of the American Teenager), Alicia Coppola (NCIS), Sosie Bacon (Scream), Brianna Brown (General Hospital), Leonard Howze (Memphis Beat) and Mia Vallet (Believe) rounding out the cast.
Watch WEIGHT!(Video)If you missed out on the group Twitter chat when the pilot of WEIGHT debuted over the weekend, you can watch the new Web series starring AS THE WORLD TURNS' Martha Byrne (Lily/Rose) right here!
Byrne plays Claire, a housewife who went on a reality TV series called THE WEIGH OFF and returns to her friends and family a hundred pounds lighter. But it turns out that changing her appearance has also changed other aspects of her life. Her kids don't recognize her, her husband doesn't want to get intimate, her sister is jealous and cupcakes taunt her at every turn.
Written by Writers Guild Award nominee Daryn Strauss and directed by BLUE BLOODS and 24 director/producer Frederick King Keller, WEIGHT is just as adept at tugging on your heartstrings while it's tickling your funny bone. Check it out!
Written by Writers Guild Award nominee Daryn Strauss
Executive produced by Daryn Strauss and Martha Byrne
Directed by Blue Bloods producer/director Frederick King Keller
Produced by the Emmy Award winning producer behind Sony Crackle's Cleaners Anne Clements and award-winning producers Steve Silverman, Maitely Weismann, and Dorothy Fucito. Suzanne Ordas Curry and Melinda Stichweh join as associate producers.
Starring three time Emmy winner Martha Byrne, Allison Smith, best known as Mallory O’Brien on The West Wing and Jane Curtin’s daughter Jennie on Kate & Allie, Bradley White, most recently seen on ABC’s Revenge and Showtime’s Masters of Sex, Peyton Ella, who made her TV debut as the youngest Von Trapp in The Sound of Music Live with Carrie Underwood on NBC, and Kate West, daughter of three-time Emmy Winner Maura West and Scott DeFreitas, with special guest stars Trent Dawson (As The World Turns, Homeland), Dee Freeman (The Hughleys), and Maitely Weismann (Masters of Sex).
MICHAEL EASTON ON GH EXITMichael Easton addressed his exit from GH as Silas in a Facebook post to fans, saying, "THIS IS HOW IT ENDS... It always hurts to say goodbye. The sting is lessened because of the time I was able to spend with all of you. Not sure when our paths will cross again but in the meantime, my family and I extend our heartfelt thanks and blessings for all the support and kindness you showed us over the past three years. You made us feel loved and we send our love back to you."
Kin Shriner Unplugged!This week marks a big day for GH's Kin Shriner (Scotty). Four decades in daytime is a reason to celebrate, don't you think? For the current issue of Soaps In Depth, we sat down with the fan fave and talked about his rascally alter ego's past (and future) in Port Charles... and how he still keeps Scotty fun and fresh after all these years!
"Every time you leave, you do some other new stuff, because all actors shoot for the moon," Shriner admits. "Then, when they want you to come back and be that character again, you think, 'Sure, I can pump him back to life again.' When you get there, you gotta bring it. I come to the table with game. Those actors that I work with on GH, they all have game. They sometimes don't know what to make of my game, so they're on high alert," he jokes.
"They step up to bat and go, 'I don't know what Kin's gonna do, but I'm gonna have game, too!' There's nobody on GH that's not good. It's just how you rile them up at the time. If I stick my finger out at Maurice Benard (Sonny), believe me, he's going to bite it off! My game and his game. That makes the scene interesting."
In the 10-page special dedicated to Shriner, he shares his hilarious childhood connection to the legendary Lucille Ball, memories of those iconic early years on GH, and the person to whom he attributes the show's success. We also opened our files to find some old photos of Shriner that will surely put a smile on your face!
IT'S OFFICIAL: REBECCA BUDIG BACK ON GH!Rebecca Budig is officially back at GH (and on contract) as Hayden and the character will emerge from the coma she's been languishing in since May, when she was shot in the head on orders from lover/blackmailing target Nikolas. When Executive Producer Frank Valentini called to invite her back, "I was surprised!" she reports. "I thought I came in and I did my job, and that was all that I was meant to do — come in, cause some trouble and leave." She's thrilled to have been wrong, saying, "I love being there and I am working with a great bunch of people." For more with Budig, check out the issue of Soap Opera Digest on sale today.
SOAP FAVE RELEASES ALBUMIlene Kristen (ex-Delia, GH; ex-Roxy, OLTL et al) released her first album today entitled …I'm Not Done With U Yet! The album can be purchased on iTunes or Amazon, and features 12 songs. The actress was most recently seen on GH in May.
New Twist In Prospect Park Lawsuit!In a new court motion, Prospect Park Networks has asked to convert its Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan to a Chapter 7 because they have been unable to pay the fees owed to their legal counsel, Jones Day, in the breach of contract suit against Disney/ABC over ONE LIFE TO LIVE. PPN had hoped that selling $6 million in tax credits it had received for filming the OLTL and ALL MY CHILDREN reboots in Connecticut would pay for the law firm to represent them in the $95 million lawsuit, but the proceeds weren't enough to keep Jones Day as their counsel or find a suitable replacement once PPN had paid off their largest claim holder.
"The best hope for a meaningful recovery to creditors is successful prosecution or settlement of the ABC litigation," reads the motion. "The debtor and the debtor's counsel have done everything to keep the ABC litigation alive for the benefits of creditors."
Under the Chapter 11 filing, PPN would have liquidated the estate, but the company's creditors bashed that plan, claiming that the disclosure statement failed to provide information about how the production company valued the contract suit with ABC (its primary asset) or how that litigation would be handled under the plan. Switching to Chapter 7 bankruptcy would effectively allow PPN to have their debts canceled. (However, PPN is requesting that a trustee be appointed as quickly as possible to oversee the ongoing ABC litigation.) Explaining in the motion that their revenue stream from Hulu is set to expire on July 31, rendering the estate "administratively insolvent because the outstanding and unpaid fees awarded to estate professional exceeds the amount of cash the Debtor has on hand."
LEXI AINSWORTH RETURNS TO GH!Setside sources report that Lexi Ainsworth is returning to GH as Kristina, Alexis and Sonny's daughter. Ainsworth played the role from 2009-11; the following year, the character was aged and portrayed by Lindsey Morgan, who last aired in early 2013. Kristina has been off-camera ever since, studying at Wesleyan.
Recently, the actress spoke warmly of her time in Port Charles to Digest, saying, "It really was a big family for me and I can see why people have been on the show for so many years. I got attached to my character as well and she’s always in my heart.” Look for Ainsworth to air at the end of August or early September.
Anthony Geary may return to General Hospital if 'story is interesting'(ew.com) Luke Spencer said goodbye to Port Charles on Monday, but there’s a chance that General Hospital’s most recognizable star may stage a return.
Anthony Geary told EW that while he’s “excited to raise the curtain on Act 3 and reinvent myself,” he’s not completely opposed to returning to the daytime drama that made him recognizable just about everywhere.
“If the story is interesting to me and it works out, I may come back to the show for six weeks or so,” Geary told EW.
Executive producer Frank Valentini welcomed the possibility.
“He has millions of friends here,” said Valentini, who adds he was “devastated” when Geary came to him about wanting to leave. “It’s not a question of him being able to stay or come back. It just has to be a good enough, solid to bring [him back].”
In the meantime, Geary’s plan is to retreat to Holland – where he has a second home – and find work in another language. He’s especially interested in musical theater. “I’ve been studying voice for the past 10 years,” said Geary. “I would like to do musical theater in Holland or near London.”
Geary said he created another home for himself overseas when he realized that he would always be known as the guy who plays Luke Spencer.
“I came back to the show in 1991 after seven years,” recalled Geary, who first joined the sudser in 1978. “That’s when I realized that returning to this character was going to become my career. I learned that after all the attention I got playing the role, there weren’t going to be a lot of offers coming in. I was so associated with this guy. So I made the conscious decision to find another place in the world where I could spend time with people who didn’t know me. In Holland, the show has never ran. The Dutch have no interest in celebrity. I just love it there.”
That said, Geary has never lost his affection for his Port Charles alter-ego.
“I’m not sick of Luke. He’s an infinitely fascinating character,” said Geary. “He’s one you can take out of modern context, put in the 16th century, and give him a sword. I really don’t think we have exhausted what he can do. It depends on the writers and how far they want to look. We had just been repeating ourselves for a while. I had become a dad, a grandfather. There was no way I was going to stick around to become just another guy. If they come up with something, a twist, I would come for it.”
GH'S MICHELLE STAFFORD EXPECTING BABY NO. 2!Huge congratulations are in order! Michelle Stafford (Nina, GH) confirmed on Instagram that she is expanding her family, which already includes daughter Natalia, 5. The actress, who welcomed Natalia via surrogate, posted:"#babynumber2 #yepitstrue #noimnotkidding #imthinkingthesamething #yepimcrazy #butyepimlucky #SOlucky #trulygrateful #trulyamiracle I may not be certain of many things in my life but the one thing I am certain of is that I'm a good mother... I am SO grateful to have more love in my life..."
‘When Calls The Heart’ Renewed For Season 3 On Hallmark ChannelHallmark Channel has picked up a third season of original scripted series When Calls The Heart for premiere in February. The network ordered 10 hours of Season 3, with a 2-hour sneak peek of episodes 1 and 2 premiering during the 2015 holiday season. Based on the bestselling series of books of the same name by Janette Oke, When Calls The Heart tells the story of a young woman who begins a new chapter in her life in an early 20th century coal mining town. Stars Lori Loughlin, Erin Krakow, Daniel Lissing and Kristina Wagner are set to return for Season 3.
When Calls The Heart is produced by Believe Pictures and Brad Krevoy TV. Krevoy, Tony Blake, Robin Bernheim, Brian Bird, Michael Landon, Jr., and Michael Shepard are exec producers. Eric Jarboe and Neill Fearnley co-executive produce.
Even as Anthony Geary leaves 'General Hospital,' he can't explain why we loved Luke and Laura(latimes.com) Luke Spencer has spent four decades chasing happiness in picturesque Port Charles but little time actually finding any.
Events always seem to get in the way. Things like accidentally killing his mother with a baseball bat, purposefully killing a mob boss, becoming a mob boss, kidnapping various personages, being kidnapped himself, being injected with a deadly virus, owning a disco, falling ill during an encephalitis outbreak that he brought to town, being run over by a car while saving someone's life, burning down a police station, marrying Laura, divorcing Laura, marrying Tracy, divorcing Tracy, breaking his back in an avalanche, residing in a psychiatric facility, having a heart attack and undergoing quadruple-bypass surgery. Lately he's been having suicidal thoughts too.
But that's life in a soap opera — at least until Monday, when one of daytime television's most beloved, intriguing and unconventional leading men, played by actor Anthony Geary, officially takes his leave of ABC's "General Hospital."
"Luke really is iconic, one of the original gray hats of daytime," said the 68-year-old actor in his dressing room last month after taping one of his final scenes at Hollywood's Prospect Studios. "He was designed as the guy you love to hate and hate to love. He's a classically romantic character, a classic anti-hero."
The high point of his decades in Port Charles remains his character's on-screen romance with Laura Spencer, played by Genie Francis. The couple's roller-coaster romance was a game-changer for daytime television and helped propel "General Hospital" into becoming the longest-running American soap still in production today.
Their storyline broadened the show's audience beyond what many thought was possible for a soap, attracting legions of new fans in workplaces and college campuses alike. Their "Luke and Laura" wedding episode in November 1981 drew 30 million viewers, still a record for a daytime drama.
"When he started, soap operas were custom-made for stay-at-home housewives," said Ed Martin, editor and TV critic of MediaVillage.com who has closely followed "General Hospital." "It was the home for very pretty people. Tony wasn't the typical leading man — he looked like an ordinary guy."
Exiting the show is something Geary has been contemplating for 15 years. Except for an eight-year break in the 1980s, he's been on the show since 1978. (The series premiered in April 1963.) While he still finds the Luke Spencer character "compelling and interesting to play," he feels the timing is right to move on.
"I feel very positive about my decision," said Geary, who recently picked up his eighth Emmy for lead actor in a drama, the most of any leading man in daytime. "That's tempered by leaving a character that has been part of me for more than half my life."
When his last scenes air Monday, Geary will be in Holland, where he has owned a house for 20 years.
"I'll be reinventing myself in a new place and a new language," said Geary, whose dream is to perform in a musical comedy.
Also on the bucket list are acting in the classics or in a comedy.
While grateful for his success, Geary said he's glad he'll finally be free of the creative straitjacket his character imposed. The soap-opera formula of relentless drama made bringing nuance to his character challenging.
"There's very little resolution, and certainly no consequences for a character like mine," he said. "A man who has killed people but always felt so bad about it that he was forgiven. Or the victims were bad people to begin with and his vigilantism was overlooked."
Even though more than three decades have passed since the "Luke and Laura" wedding, he said he can't fully understand pop culture's enduring fascination with it. The romance makes him more than a little uncomfortable — after all, he points out, it began when Spencer became obsessed with young Laura and raped her.
"It's amazing that people still talk about it," he said. "For me, Luke and Laura became as much of a burden as an advantage. Whenever I go on a talk show, they run that clip. It's like having your high school picture dragged out every time you meet someone.
"I appreciate it was a seminal moment for daytime. But personally it was not a wonderful time for me. It's difficult for me to appreciate it the way other people do. Plus, I had that awful '80s 'fro!"
In his last days as Spencer, Geary's co-stars and colleagues have showered him with praise, calling him a true professional who raised the bar for the "General Hospital" company.
I appreciate it was a seminal moment for daytime. But personally it was not a wonderful time for me. It's difficult for me to appreciate it the way other people do. - Anthony Geary on the 'Luke & Laura' wedding.
"All the young actors who have come through here looked up to Tony," said the show's executive producer, Frank Valentini. "There's so much respect and adoration for him."
Casting Geary was the idea of the late Gloria Monty, hired by ABC in 1977 to breathe new life into the then-flailing series. One of her initial moves was to increase the screen time of young cast members. Geary was added to the mix in 1978 as Luke Spencer, a guy from the wrong side of the tracks affiliated with the mob.
The role was supposed to last only 13 weeks. But when Monty and the late writer Douglas Marland had the shady Spencer become smitten with Laura, everything changed.
"Genie was only 17 at the time, and I was 32," Geary said. "They had Luke become obsessed with her, which led to the rape, which was then romanticized to my great regret through the years. Ironically, the audience had as much sympathy for the rapist as they did for the victim, which nobody quite understood. I certainly didn't. After that, Luke became more of a focal point."
The love story became a social phenomena — Newsweek featured the photogenic couple on its cover with the headline "TV's Hottest Show." College students arranged their classes around the show's air time. One industry insider said "General Hospital" during the 1980s earned enough profit to fund ABC's entire development slate for prime time.
Although Luke and Laura is a bit of a sore subject (the on-air couple had two kids but divorced in 2001), Geary's eyes brightened when talking about Francis and their on-screen chemistry.
"Those clear eyes, that porcelain skin," he said. "When Genie looked up at me, I really felt like somebody. She gave me romance. I gave her danger. That was the gift we handed each other without realizing it."
Francis was equally glowing about Geary.
"Nobody knows why lightning in a bottle happens," said Francis, who has been on and off "General Hospital" for years and returned to help close out Spencer's story.
"We had a powerful emotional connection to each other, and that comes through in our scenes," she said. "We could tell what the other was thinking. I was also very intimidated, very young. But I was very determined to go toe-to-toe with him. We fueled each other. It was a crazy ride for both of us."
The amazing success of the romance naturally led producers to try to capitalize on Geary's popularity. It was something he fought frequently.
"I don't have the looks or temperament for a romantic lead," he said. "So that has been a battle through the years."
So how will the show send out a character that has seemingly done it all — or had it done to him? Geary won't reveal any specifics, of course.
"They've given me a terrific wrap for my character," he said. "He's been a difficult, eclectic character to find a logical motivating conclusion for, but they've done that."
General Hospital: Did You Approve of Luke's (& Anthony Geary's) Farewell?(tvline.com) Even if you’ve never watched a single episode of ABC’s General Hospital, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the names Luke Spencer and/or Anthony Geary.
The former is one half of Luke-and-Laura, the supercouple whose wedding was an historic TV event and whose exploits dominated daytime television in the 1970s and ’80s.
The latter is Luke’s portrayer, an eight-time Daytime Emmy winner who in Monday’s episode bid farewell to the soap he called home, off and on, since 1978.
More than half of Geary’s — and Luke’s — final hour in Port Charles was spent down on the docks (of course), waiting for a boat and chatting with Maurice Benard’s Sonny. Their conversation recapped Luke’s recent victory — bringing Elizabeth’s presumed-dead son Jake home (alive!) to his mom — and revisited how Spencer remained tormented by his personal demons.
“I’m leaving Port Charles, Sonny,” Luke said. “For good.”
The men joked about how Frank Smith (a mobster involved in Geary’s first and last story arcs on the show) had brought them together, then Luke gifted Sonny with the gun used to kill the gangster.
“You sure he’s gonna stay dead this time?” Sonny joked.
“I’m gonna guarantee it this time,” Luke said, chuckling.
Lulu later delivered a letter marked “Angel” from her dad to her surprised mother, and as Luke stepped into a foggy night, he said his farewell:
“Goodbye, Port Charles. Good luck to you.”
'General Hospital' stars recall their good times working with Anthony Geary(latimes.com) Anthony Geary, who played the charming antihero Luke Spencer on ABC's "General Hospital," will make his last appearance on the soap opera on Monday. His departure from the series, which he joined in 1978, has prompted fond memories from some of his co-stars.
Jane Elliot, who plays Spencer's longtime love Tracy Quartermaine, said she remembers the first time she met Geary.
"Tony never phoned a performance in," said Elliot. "He never gave less than a full commitment, and that set the tone for everyone who worked with him."
She recalled when Geary first screen-tested for the role of Spencer, he acted with her. "It's always awkward with an actor you don't know," she said. "I was walking down this flight of stars, and I pass Tony, who is doodling on a piece of paper. He's doing tic tac toe. I immediately know what kind of actor he is, doing something real in an unreal setting. I went up to him, put an O next to his X, and our relationship was established."
In addition to working together, the two are tight personal friends off the set.
She added, "There's a rich history that flows between the two of us. There's a deep trust. That's the fun of the game."
Jonathan Jackson (ABC's "Nashville") clearly remembers working with Geary when he was starting out as a child actor on "General Hospital." Jackson played Lucky, the son of Luke and Laura Spencer (Genie Francis).
"Tony's friendship and guidance has meant the world to me," said Jackson, who was 11 years old when he started on the soap. "He was always extremely warm and very present, there was nothing condescending in him. He never treated me like a kid. We clicked right away."
Jackson returned to "General Hospital" recently to film some final scenes with Geary and help close out Spencer's story line."When I found out he was leaving, I knew I had to come back. He was great. Having those last scenes with me were everything I hoped it would be."
‘General Hospital': Luke Spencer makes his disappointing exit(zap2it.com) Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) is taking his last trip out of Port Charles on “General Hospital,” but his farewell was a lackluster affair.
On Monday, July 27, the legendary soap opera character said his last goodbyes to the fictional town that he’s called home for the past 37 years After wrapping up a dramatic storyline that brought back “Nashville’s” Jonathan Jackson as Luke’s son, Lucky, and saw Luke kill the gangster that brought him to PC in the first place, his final episode was just a handful of goodbye scenes to wrap up loose ends.
The show decided not to kill Luke off but rather send him out of town. Over the years, Luke has taken many a bender when Geary wanted to be on hiatus, but this is supposed to be the last hurrah that sticks. As he turns over the gun he used to kill Frank Smith (Joe Cortese) to his longtime friend Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), Luke admits that this exit isn’t about another caper or gambling bender — he’s out to start a new life.
“That gun belongs in the life that we both chose, a life I’m walking away from,” Luke says on the docks where all of Port Charles’ nefarious business takes place. “I have to find something different while there’s still time.”
While Lucky’s sons Lucky and Ethan (Nathan Parsons) did their last scenes with Luke during the Smith storyline, Luke’s final goodbye was to his daughter Lulu (Emme Rylan), who met him on the docks after a tip-off from Laura (Genie Francis) that he was leaving town.
Luke dispenses some fatherly words of wisdom that he thinks Lulu is perfectly capable of taking care of herself and she doesn’t need him to come and rescue her anymore. It’s a tearful farewell on Lulu’s end, but it’s the kind of speech that Luke has been giving to his children for years.
The only thing that makes this particular exit different from any of Luke’s other exits is that fans know it’s Geary’s last turn as the character. In the last moments of the episode, Luke walks away into the dark fog with a bag over his shoulder, ready to start a new life presumably without mobsters and casinos.
It was a low-key and disappointing affair for a character that has been an iconic part of “General Hospital” for nearly four decades. Still, with Luke not dead it leaves room for Geary to take a break from retirement at any time for special anniversary episodes and appearances.
Everyone knows that if Luke Spencer ever truly goes out it should be with a blaze of glory.
Brad Maule on His ‘General Hospital’ Days and New Life as an Acting Teacher(backstage.com) During his 22 years as Dr. Tony Jones on “General Hospital,” Brad Maule suffered gunshot wounds, impotency, temporary insanity, temporary blindness, and four brain surgeries before his character was finally done in by encephalitis in 2004. But in that time, Maule established himself as one of the most popular actors on daytime TV, earning two Emmy nominations and a host of adoring fans—whose letter-writing campaign even resurrected his character when the producers first tried to kill him off.
Now, Maule is not only back in his native Texas but at his alma mater, Stephen F. Austin University, enjoying a comparatively easier life as an acting and filmmaking lecturer. Here, he chats with us about his Texas roots, his life as a doctor on TV, and the retirement of GH’s other star, Anthony Geary.
Growing up you were a farmer. How did you transition from farmer to actor?
I went to a small country school that had about 150 kids total for all 12 grades. And once a year they’d hold a talent show for the entire school. From the first grade on I was in it. When I was 13 my brother died, and I went to live with my grandparents; at that school they had actual plays that I took part in. So that’s where it began.
I chose Stephen F. Austin for college because it was a rainy, beautiful place—West Texas never rained. I first thought I'd be a lawyer but I couldn't stay away from performing.
Did you get your big break right away?
When I graduated I drove to L.A. with $600 in my pocket. I was scared to death. After six weeks I had $11 left and was thinking of going back to the farm when I got a job with a singing group. I was on the road for a year and then spent a year in Hawaii singing backup for Don Ho. But by then I was in my early 20s and already thought my life was over—I wasn't doing what I wanted. So I moved back to L.A.
It was during the American Music Awards that I got my break. I filled in for Andy Gibb singing “Arthur's Theme” and the producer for “General Hospital” saw it. They called me in to audition for the role of Frisco Jones but then said I was too old. But they still kept calling, and eventually they told me, “You’re gonna be his older brother.”
How did you like working on “General Hospital”?
I really enjoyed it. It becomes a family for you. But it was different then—there were three channels on TV as opposed to 500. And everybody now has to work during the day, so there isn’t the audience. Back then we used to have to say lines like, “I’m about to pull a gun out of the drawer,” because our audience would be in the kitchen, or ironing, or somewhere other than the living room.
One of your most famous moments on TV is when you listen to your dying daughter BJ’s heartbeat for the very last time.
Yeah, that's in the Hall of Fame of daytime moments, right behind Luke and Laura’s wedding. During that shoot they were running late and asked if we could do it without a rehearsal. And I understood how to perform that scene because of what happened with my brother. What I tell my students now is you’re just mostly doing the work—but every once in awhile a wave comes and picks you up, and your work touches people when you never thought it would.
Why were you eventually let go from “General Hospital”?
You never really understand the mechanics of it all. But if you were over 30 and had been on the show for awhile they began to use you less and less. Also, when a new producer comes in, they try and put their stamp on things by getting rid of the old regime. It’s the same everywhere. But I’m happy to say I survived eight producers.
It was a pretty painful period for me though. And it’s harder to get jobs when you're older—I’d walk into a casting office and they’d see Dr. Tony Jones.
So how did you end up back in Texas?
I didn't intend to—I was just looking for places to live, and Nacogdoches was just a nice place. I fished for 30 straight days there just trying to get my head together. And I slowly started teaching and it’s been great. Since I’ve been at SFA our film program has expanded from 17 to 100 students—I’d like to take credit for that, but it coincided with the digital era.
What do you teach?
I teach acting for the camera, acting for theater, and beginning filmmaking. When I first taught acting I had to reverse engineer what I'd been taught—I was like, “Just act!” Because in the soap world there’s no time to find your character. So I had to change a bit, but I’d say I still fit the [David] Mamet style of acting. I've also found that one of the best techniques is to film an actor and then show his work back to him, so he can actually see what's he’s doing right or doing wrong.
Is there one piece of advice you give all actors?
A common piece of advice I give is—you’re telling a lie as if it were the truth. And I tell them to stop flipping the actor switch because we can see it. I also say that if you're lucky enough to get a soap but feel like you’re too good for it, you’re lessening your chances for something better. You can’t have one foot in and one foot out. I believe in complete commitment, even when I did dinner theater where people are eating during your performance.
Talk about SFA’s Film Festival.
Yes, it's the Nacogdoches Film Festival—we’ve grown so much over the past four years. And we’ve been able to raise enough money to have panelists like George R.R. Martin from “Game of Thrones” and Charlaine Harris who wrote the “True Blood” books. We also have a great benefactor in Joe Lansdale, who wrote “Bubba Ho-Tep” and “Cold in July.”
Anthony Geary is retiring as Luke Spencer, a role he held for 37 years on “General Hospital.” What was he like to work with?
Tony is a wonderful guy. He never fell for the hype of being the most famous soap opera actor. He burns hot and loves his work and has a passion for it.
He doesn’t turn the acting switch on and off?
No, if anything he turns yours off.
WINTERTHORNE TRAILER RELEASEDIt’s the one month countdown until the premiere of the web series, WINTERTHORNE, and you can catch a sneak peek at the show on the official website. The first look at the candy-centric drama, which stars Martha Madison (Belle, DAYS), John-Paul Lavoisier (Philip, DAYS; ex-Rex, OLTL), Kirsten Storms (Maxie, GH), Kathleen Gati (Obrecht, GH), Creator Michael Caruso and more, can be seen here: https://player.vimeo.com/video/134270981.
TERESA CASTILLO PREGNANT!Teresa Castillo (Sabrina, GH) announced on social media that she is expecting baby No. 2, a boy. Castillo and husband Shane are parents to Victoria, born on May 29, 2014. “Someone’s getting a little brother,” she posted, along with a snap of her belly bump. See the family photo here. Congratulations!
General Hospital: Ron Carlivati Out, Two Soap Vets In as Headwriter(tvline.com) Port Charles has seen another casualty.
General Hospital headwriter Ron Carlivati has been replaced by soap vets Jean Passanante and Shelly Altman, ABC announced Friday.
Altman and Passanante will start in their new roles on Aug. 10.
Carlivati had been with the daytime drama since 2012, coming off his run as headwriter on sister soap One Life to Live. When news of his dismissal broke on Twitter Friday, many fans credited Carlivati with saving the show around the time that One Life to Live and All My Children were cancelled.
“We are pleased to welcome back two esteemed writers to our General Hospital family,” Vicki Dummer, Executive Vice President Current Series Programming, said in a statement. “Shelly and Jean’s combined talents and experiences promise to continue the show’s legacy of compelling storytelling that will resonate with our impassioned viewers. We’re delighted with what they have in store for the show as they continue honoring the rich, diverse environs of Port Charles.”
In the past, Passanante has worked on the writing staffs of sudsers like All My Children, The Young and the Restless and As the World Turns. Altman’s resume includes writing stints on One Life to Live and The Young and the Restless.
Both women have won multiple Daytime Emmy Awards.
MARTHA BYRNE’S “WEIGHT" TO DEBUT ONLINEThree-time Emmy winner Martha Byrne (ex-Andrea, GH) has created a comedy series about life after extreme weight loss on reality TV with Writers Guild Award nominee Daryn Strauss called WEIGHT. The pilot will be released online and viewers can join the "Virtual Release Party" with Byrne, cast, and special guests by using the hashtag #weightcrazy on Twitter and by following @weighttheseries, starting at 7 p.m. EST on Sunday, August 2. WEIGHT follows Claire, a middle class mom (played by Byrne) who returns home from a reality weight loss competition 100 pounds lighter but finds she’s gained some extra baggage due to the complicated reactions of her dysfunctional family and friends. For more info, visit and follow Weight on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/weighttheseries, and follow Weight on Twitter at https://twitter.com/weighttheseries
Video: BIG SKY COUNTRY Kurth & TaylorVideo: BIG SKY COUNTRY by Kurth & Taylor.
Alicia Coppola, Brianna Brown & Leonard Howze Join ABC Family Drama Pilot ‘Stay’Alicia Coppola (Teen Wolf) Brianna Brown (Devious Maids) and Leonard Earl Howze (The Lone Ranger) have booked series regular roles in ABC Family drama pilot Stay. Described as an edge-of-your-seat thriller, Stay centers on a recently widowed police detective and his two daughters who are stranded at a foreboding hotel and must unravel the hotel’s mysteries to escape.
Coppola, repped by APA and manager Leslie Allan-Rice, plays Alison, Jake’s mother and the wife of the conservative, emotionally withdrawn Frank, whom she fears. A steady diet of antidepressants help block out her crumbling marriage and keeps her sane. Brown, repped by Pakula/King & Associates, manager Gladys Gonzalez and attorney Marcy Morris, is Eva, another guest at the Grayfield Hotel, who’s seeking shelter from the storm. A con artist, Eva went down the wrong path in life, she let her actions get out of control, and is on a journey to right these wrongs. Howze, repped by Stone Manners Salners Agency and LINK Entertainment, plays Wagner, a helpful bus driver who brings several people to the Grayfield Hotel when his bus breaks down in the storm.
Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) will direct from a script by Spenser Cohen. The two will executive produce with Anna Halberg.
EARLY RETURN FOR GH'S HUGHES!Good news for GH fans! Soap Opera Digest is hearing that Finola Hughes (Anna), who's been on hiatus from the show, will be back sooner than expected; Anna's sojourn to Ireland was slated to last until Hughes returned in September.
Buy Patrick And Emma's Song!How sweet was the song that Patrick and Emma sang at the Nurses Ball on yesterday's episode of GENERAL HOSPITAL? "Nothing I Can't Do" was written by the actor who plays Dr. Drake himself, Jason Thompson, and the duet performed with his TV daughter, Brooklyn Silzer, is now available on iTunes: Nothing I Can't Do - Single - Brooklyn Silzer & Jason Thompson.
McCullough's New Gig!GENERAL HOSPITAL's Kimberly McCullough (ex-Robin) continues to develop her career behind the camera. The Disney ABC Creative Talent Development Facebook page posted that the actress will be directing an upcoming episode of the Disney Channel comedy series KC UNDERCOVER. We'll let you know when the episode is slated to air!
See GH Star's Documentary!Children Of Internment, the documentary on German families interned by the United States during World War II by GENERAL HOSPITAL's Kristina Wagner (Felicia), is having a special screening at the Santa Fe Film Festival on Sunday, May 4. Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion of the film with Wagner. Tickets are available by clicking here.
In addition, the doc will be screening at the Newport Beach Film Festival on Tuesday, April 29, at 5:30 p.m. at the Triangle Theater in Costa Mesa. Tickets for that showing are available at this link.
ABC Limits Next-Day Availability of Full EpisodesABC — which to date among broadcast networks has offered perhaps the most regular and wide availability of full episodes via streaming — is set to enact some limitations.
The network announced on its Watch ABC portal that starting Monday, Jan. 6, only those who can verify their cable subscription* — or those who use the Hulu Plus premium service — will be able to access full episodes the following day.
Those aiming to play morning-after catch-up without a valid cable service log-in or via Hulu’s free service will need to wait eight days after broadcast before new episodes become available for streaming.
Next-day downloads as always will be available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video. On-demand viewings are also still an option, but again — cable.
* Providers include AT&T U-verse, Cablevision Optimum, Charter, Comcast XFINITY, Cox Communications, Google Fiber, Midcontinent and Verizon FiOS — but not DISH, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable
Watch Brad Maule's Music Video!(Video) Remember when we told you that Brad Maule (ex-Tony, GH/ex-Reverend Palmer, Y&R/ Dr. Abel, PS) had released a new album? Well, now you can watch the music video for the title track, "Miles And Miles Of Texas!" (Naturally, the video was shot in the Lone Star State) Enjoy!
GH's Molly Has A New Book!GENERAL HOSPITAL's Molly Lansing-Davis has written a follow-up to Love In Maine, the romance novel Connie tried to pass off on her own! Maine Squeeze will be released as an E-book on Tuesday, August 13, and follows the courtship of Stephanie and Jeff, the best pal and brother of Love In Maine's heroine, Maddie. To pre-order the Kindle edition, visit Amazon.com here.
Love in Maine by General Hospital's Connie FalconeriAs seen on ABC Daytime’s General Hospital, the delightful first novel from Port Charles’s Connie Falconeri. Whether you’ve been a fan of GH your entire life or simply love a romantic romp of a beach read, Love in Maine is unputdownable!
Maddie Post is privileged, sheltered, and polite, and does not belong in Blake, Maine. But thanks to a high-stakes bet, she’s waiting tables at a riverfront diner catering to boat-builders and living in Janet Gilbertson's $200-a-month guest room. And Janet's dark and stormy son, Hank, back in Maine after 10 years as an active duty Army diver, isn't without his troubles, either. Their flirty friendship hasmany passionate ups and downs, but when Maddie and Hank put aside their considerable differences and start opening up to each other, the crackle ofsummer romance grows into a blazing fire.
Connie Falconeri hails from Brooklyn, NY, where she had a colorful youth. After many years off, she’s back and better than ever. This is her first novel.
“Newcomer Connie Falconeri writes with the confidence of a novelist who’s been around forever, and she brings her charming characters to life with effortless imagination and breezy good humor.”—Kate Howard, publisher of Crimson magazine
“Love in Maine is a perfect summer read.”—Diane Miller, author of The Secret Life of Damian Spinelli
“Falconeri puts so much personality into her writing – it’s almost like she has two personalities!”—Ron Carlivati, Professor of Creative Writing, Port Charles University
Love in Maine [Paperback] by General Hospital's Connie Falconeri: Order Here!
Love in Maine [Kindle Edition] by General Hospital's Connie Falconeri: Order Here!
Jackson Is A Published Poet!Jonathan Jackson (ex-Lucky, GENERAL HOSPITAL) has released his first collection of poetry, Book of Solace and Madness. The Enation frontman has published the book of mythical poems as J. S. Jackson, and it can be ordered for $15 at www.enationmusic.com. Check it out!
The Secret Life of Damian SpinelliThe Secret Life of Damian Spinelli: Following the success of the New York Times bestselling books, The Killing Club and Charm!, Hyperion and ABC Daytime announced today that they will join efforts to publish a novel based on Damian Spinelli, one of the most beloved characters on ABC-TV's popular daytime soap, "General Hospital," to coincide with the show's 48th anniversary.
Titled The Secret Life of Damian Spinelli (Hyperion; $22.99 hardcover; April 5, 2011 publication date), this book is the story of the endearing, lovable computer genius and geek, Damian Spinelli, and his exploits as a private detective as told to another character on the show, the high-powered attorney of Port Charles, Diane Miller. Filled with mystery and suspense, the pages were found on Ms. Miller's stolen computer disc and include never-before-told stories of Port Charles residents-their confessions and behaviors in times of crisis and triumph through Spinelli's imagination.
"General Hospital" is the longest-running daytime dramatic serial on ABC, having aired over 12,000 episodes. Carolyn Hennesy, the actress who plays Diane Miller and an established author herself, will actually write the book. Fans will be invited to special book signing events in select markets with actors from "General Hospital."
Readers will also be able to download The Secret Life of Damian Spinelli as an ebook, as well as an enhanced ebook, which will feature clips from the show and other bonus material.
Vice-President, Executive Editor Gretchen Young said, "Hyperion is thrilled to be partnering on a new book with ABC Daytime and bringing the world of Spinelli and Port Charles to life on the page."
Scrubs in Top Ten ListPatrick and Robin made one of David Letterman's Top Ten List, check it out here.
Late, Late at NightLate, Late at Night a book by Rick Springfield (ex-Noah Drake). Order here!
The Sock SongCheck out Kimberly McCullough’s very naughty appearance in Nikki Lynn Katt’s “The Sock Song” music video here.
Jonathan Jackson's EnationJonathan Jackson's (Lucky) band Enation released their first live album, The Future Is A Memory Today. You can download the album at: www.cdbaby.com/cd/enation8.
Video For Scrubs FansIf you’re a Scrubs fan, you’ll find this video amusing www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovhMk3JPjyc
The Note II: Taking A Chance On LoveThe Note II: Taking A Chance On Love, starring Genie Francis (ex-Laura, GENERAL HOSPITAL), will be available on DVD on Tuesday, May 5. Francis plays Peyton, a woman who attempts to develop a relationship with the daughter she gave up years earlier. The DVD’s special features include an interview with Francis and her leading man, Ted McGinley, about how they approached their characters.
Harlequin: A Change of PlaceDVD: Harlequin: A Change of Place starring Rick Springfield
Rick Springfield Music'Venus in Overdrive' featuring the single 'What's Victoria's secret?' Buy now at Amazon.com.
Anna Lee: MemoirBook: Anna Lee: Memoir of a Career on General Hospital and in Film
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