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ABC Executives Acknowledge They "Misfired" On How Kelly Ripa Found Out About Michael Strahan's Exit!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

The ABC suits have now apparently apologized to former All My Children star and co-host of Live with Kelly and Michael, Kelly Ripa!

According to reports on Monday, top executives at Disney and ABC, which include: Ben Sherwood, president of the Disney-ABC Television Group, ABC stations president Rebecca Campbell, and ABC News president James Goldston personally apologized to Kelly Ripa for last week’s bungled announcement about the departure of her co-host Michael Strahan.

Come September, Strahan is moving from “Live,” which is overseen by Campbell, to “GMA,” which is overseen by Goldston.

CNN reports that the bosses apologized to Strahan too.  The apology also extended to the Hollywood agents who represent the co-hosts.   ABC executives expressed regret for the way Ripa found out the news.

Ripa was informed after last Tuesday’s episode and 30 minutes before the news got out that Strahan quit “Live!” for a full time gig at “GMA”  As for Campbell, who now also oversees General Hospital and is based in California, sheflew to New York to manage Ripa’s return on Tuesday.  Dave Davis, who now runs WABC, is the other executive involved.  Campbell used to run WABC in New York where Live with Kelly and Michael‘s studio resides.

So, doesn’t this bring up memories of Susan Lucci finding out about All My Children shortly before they announced to the rest of the cast and to the world that the show had been canceled?  Did the ABC executives do right by apologizing to Kelly … or is to little too late?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Isabelle McKayWendy - VancouverPeggieblakeRose Recent comment authors
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SZima
Guest
SZima

Well, at least they DID apologize, but this should never have happened in the first place!
The ABC higher-ups are a bunch of idiots if they thought they were handling this well. Not the way to treat a long-term company employee, but as with most large corporations these days, the suits care about nothing the the almighty $$…and the employees be damned!

David
Guest
David

They are the WORST network. CBS at least appreciates their daytime lineup. ABC continually gives it the back of their hand.

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

Looks bad for ABC. Makes GMA look desperate. I’m with Kelly on this one–and I loved her closing comment about her father (a busdriver for 30 years) thinking they were all ”crazy.’ Certainly brought reality to the who debacle, didn’t it?

Rose
Guest
Rose

Good point about her Dad.

Eva
Guest
Eva

It does indeed remind me of The Susan Lucci saga. I’m glad ABC apologized. Now they need to clean up their mess and Kelly’s slightly tarnished reputation. (Although, I was Team Kelly all the way. I would have reacted the same way.)

Sprite
Guest
Sprite

It’s a MUCH bigger issue than that. ABC wants to take away LIVE’s established hour and extend GMA with a third hour. Not only will Strahan host that hour for GMA, but the real question is, what happens to LIVE? What about Kelly? Why would ABC mess with a show like LIVE that is doing well? ABC Daytime’s latest executive shuffle is starting to wreak havoc in a very messy, irrevocably dangerous manner.

Peggie
Guest
Peggie

What about Kelly?? The way she reacted is prime example. She did not start this show and she does not sign Michael Strahan’s pay check. Anyone else would have been fired. I hope they do cancel the show now. Serves her right.

Wendy
Guest
Wendy

Well at least some of the ego driven upper management of the CBS & Disney group had the maturity to apologize to both Kelly and Michael. The thing that bothers me is that Michael didn’t just tell them to shove the idea of keeping Kelly in the dark about his leaving Live when he was told to keep quiet. After all it was assumed they were on good terms as co-hosts. Although I have noticed since Michael was flying back and forth from LA to NYC for GMA and Live, he was less focused on Live and probably due to… Read more »

Peggie
Guest
Peggie

So Michael should have gone against his boss and told Kelly. What a crock. Respect goes a long way but it does not put food on your table and it sure does not pay your bills. I am so sick of the way Kelly reacted like a brat. There is a replacement for everyone, including her. Just saying

Wendy - Vancouver
Guest
Wendy - Vancouver

While I do appreciate a difference of opinion may I point out that Kelly has years of experience working at Live, not Michael. He was a football player for goodness sakes and happens to have had the opportunity to do some sports announcing. He is not an actor, he’s never had to host a live on-air show himself, as Kelly has done when with Regis. Are you aware the same backhandedness occurred when Regis announced his retirement. Kelly was told just 20 minutes before she went on air that morning. Before Kelly was on Live she had been an actor… Read more »

davlestev1
Guest
davlestev1

They made her look bad.. She fed into it by her not so professional reaction… Now everyone’s scrambling days before her return and she and Strahan will make a big joke out of it c come Tuesday.. Like hee hee so that happened..

louisa
Guest
louisa

ABC management has not improved one bit since they mistakenly cancelled All My Children and One Life to Live. Nobody is looking at the big picture–ever. They just want a quick fix. I predict Michael Strahan will be a complete failure at GMA.

David
Guest
David

Which is why their daytime lineup has been falling apart.

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

Yes!

mmc
Guest
mmc

It was so disrespectful to Kelly…she was blindsided & that’s never a good feeling.I’m sure if Michael had his way it would have been done differently.It’s really sad when those in charge stop thinking of their employees as people & just see them as the almighty dollar.

Robert Seganti
Guest
Robert Seganti

Network executives are among the most venal and stupid creatures on Earth.If the programmers at ABC want to free up an hour in the morning cancel that execrable embarrassment – the View and do the country a favor by taking that polluted, nasty,sick mess off the air.

Robert Seganti
Guest
Robert Seganti

and get rid of the Chew while you’re at it.

Alan
Guest
Alan

I love the Chew, ratings are up. The show is terrific and it got renewed again.

Harry
Guest
Harry

I hate The Chew–their recipes suck and the loonies which run the show are annoying as heck.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

ABC is owned by Disney. They care about movies first, sports, primetime and then their parks. The LAST thing they care about is daytime! What they did to AMC and OLTL is a disgrace! They put actors out of work and screwed over the fans! The only reason they are kissing Kelly’s behind is because there is MONEY to be made on her show. They will keep her and enjoy ALL the press and the ratings will be huge come this September!

Jp
Guest
Jp

Kelly should be looking elsewhere for a new job. That’s what they told amc and oltl cast and crew that they were devoted and committed to the shows. Soon after, they were cancelled. Kelly said she worked for this company for 26 years. She deserved the same respect and consideration. I’m sure erika sleazak and susan Lucci deserved the same respect and consideration after over 40 years of their commitment and professionalism. I’m so glad kelly was given an apology. However to me, this is just another example of why the alphabet network is run by a bunch of liars… Read more »

Peggie
Guest
Peggie

I agree with you JP. And you know Susan Lucci was a better actress than Kelly is.

James R. Poissant
Guest
James R. Poissant

I personally hope she’s the kind to carry a grudge—if it were me, I definitely would.

Peggie
Guest
Peggie

She seem to be carrying a really huge grudge, She is being a bitch.

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

Corporations have always disrespected employees. There’s a psychology, a manipulative one, where they call you “family” and impart an “us” mentality. But where they expect an employee to give at least two weeks notice if he or she wants to quit, they give no such notice if they want to fire you. You can be gone from your “family” the same day. In that same vein, they can move you around the family, make “executive” decisions and don’t feel a need to inform you, until it suits their interests. It’s hierarchal power. Perhaps they thought Kelly would be unhappy with… Read more »

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

I totally agree with all the comments above. After Kelly gave her speech this morning, the first thing that came to mind was Susan Lucci. I don’t have much faith in what Disney says after that debacle. I support Kelly all the way!

Sandra
Guest
Sandra

I was glad to hear Kelly discuss this today on air. She has been assured that LIVE will be a priority. I took that to mean that it is still an active show, and the rumors about it being done away with are not true. We will have to wait and see. Glad to have the air cleared. And apologies made.

Chrystie_Delancey
Guest
Chrystie_Delancey

I wonder if this could all be a publicity stunt? Ever since the invention of Photo Shop and social media, I cannot believe much anymore.

jaybird369
Guest
jaybird369

Oh, gimme a break already!!!!! The only reason that Disney-ABC ‘apologized’ to Kelly Ripa is because Kelly (and Michael) bring in HUGE RATINGS (or whatever) to ‘Live’. Those idiots at Disney-ABC are fooling N-O O-N-E!!!!!

Joe
Guest
Joe

Unless you have the legal right to know something, don’t be surprised to find something out right along with the general public. The truth is, you’re really not that special (not to the executives anyway), regardless of how long you’ve been at your job. It’s just business (Kelly Ripa, Susan Lucci, and all the other fired soap stars). Stop acting entitled. It’s not very attractive. It just makes you look like a big drama queen.

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

I have not seen the LIVE show, or anything else on the alphabet network, since the last day One Life to Live aired; but, this situation demonstrates once again that the alphabet network and mouse company are not to be trusted. They have ZERO respect, commitment, concern for their employees or their audience.

Linda
Guest
Linda

Still waiting for ABC/D to apologize for canceling AMC & OLTL!!

Lorenzo
Guest
Lorenzo

I am with you Linda, ABC will never admit there mistake in cancelling AMC & OLTL. I hope ABC choke on it. We lost 2 wonderful soaps, bad Karma is coming for Brian Frons and nobody can replace AMC and OLTL. The replacement shows all failed except the Chew, which is still on.

Tina Gray
Guest
Tina Gray

Too little, too late! They didn’t care about her feelings and did what they wanted – as usual. This is who they are. Dirtbags. And shame on Michael for going along with it!

blake
Guest
blake

Of course the executives are going to apologize AFTER the public lashed out at them.

blake
Guest
blake

Michael’s last day will be May 13th!

Gwen
Guest
Gwen

Thank God, Michael was really annoying. He talks like Mike Tyson Lol. Kelly Ripa god bless her, she has a good attitude about this mess. She is a class act and love that she is back on air.

blake
Guest
blake

Yeah I can’t wait til he is gone!

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

Doesn’t that seem appropriate? LOL!

Rj
Guest
Rj

Understandably, she thought they were going to eventually pull the plug on the show. They should have had the decency to talk to her about this decision, and assure her that the show would go on. Yes, it brings up the issue about respect and communication in workplaces. These are people’s lives and livelihoods – workplaces should be held accountable to treat people with dignity and respect.

Abruzzfan
Guest
Abruzzfan

I agree with Andy Cohen when he said ” So I can’t get over that he left Live! where he was co-hosting Live! With Kelly and Michael. Your Name Is in the Freakin’ Title! He left and went to GMA. He is now one of five people sitting at that crowded anchor desk. What happens if the ratings don’t go up?” I wonder if ABC pressured MS? IMO … Those suits are clueless?

Chrystie_Delancey
Guest
Chrystie_Delancey

That’s what I kept thinking too. Not to mention, MORE work. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has to go on location. Not a good move when you already have a short, steady, and LUCRATIVE job. But what do I know?

Abruzzfan
Guest
Abruzzfan

Why would Michael leave a show where he is 1 of 2 co-hosts that has his name in the title – for a show that has so many anchors?

Peggie
Guest
Peggie

Maybe there are going to be changes in “Live”. Management did not let the fans in on cancelling All My Children and One Life to Live. Just saying…

Mo
Guest
Mo

At this point, I don’t care. Too many other important issues going on for me to worry about it.

Mo
Guest
Mo

Wonder if she got any perks or money with the apology.

Chrystie_Delancey
Guest
Chrystie_Delancey

My theory that this is a PUBLICITY STUNT is building. That entertainment show with that guy that used to be on The Tonight Show as Ross the Intern showed a photo of Kelly Ripa coming out of her home with Anderson Cooper’s book in her hands and they made a point to mention that you could clearly see his face on the book. They also say that he is in the lead to be her new cohost.

I am not much of a conspiracy theorist but this really has publicity stunt written all over it.

Abruzzfan
Guest
Abruzzfan

Hmmmm … interesting thought Chrystie. Somethings that wouldn’t jive with that is 1) I would think that this would be a step down for Anderson Cooper unless he would do both shows (AC360 & Live)? I am not in the entertainment industry – so I could be wrong? 2) Kelly sure seemed pretty upset Tuesday. The ABC suits did the same thing to her when Regis left. I agree that out of respect for her 26 years with the company and the fact that she is the only other co-host and the primary co-host, the professional thing to do was… Read more »

Isabelle McKay
Guest
Isabelle McKay

I cannot believe that the top guns at ABC would do such a stupid thing as not to tell Kelly and Gelman about Michael Strahan leaving. What a mess for Michael to be left with! Unbelievable how ABC operates!

Isabelle Mckay

All My Children

‘Strahan, Sara and Keke’ Canceled by ABC; Show Aired In Timeslot That Once Housed ‘All My Children’

No matter a network tries to do, replacing All My Children, which ran for 41 years on ABC has remained as everyone that follows the world of daytime drama knows, problematic.  Now come word via Page Six that Strahan, Sara and Keke has been canceled.

The show hosted by Michael Strahan, Sara Haines and Keke Palmer if you recall, replaced the foodie show, The Chew which ran for seven seasons and was the first show to air in the timeslot that belonged for over four decades to All My Children. 

Back in March of this year, Strahan, Sara and Keke took a break to make way for ABC’s News  Pandemic: What You Need to Know, a daily coronavirus report anchored by Amy Robach, Dr. Jen Ashton and sometimes TJ Holmes.

However, because the show did well in that two-week experimental run it morphed into GMA 3: What You Need to Know.  The new version of the show also talked about hot topics in the current news cycle, as well.

ABC’s Catherine McKenzie began producing the “GMA3” show four months ago and the network officially announced her as Executive Producer of the program on Thursday.

While ABC has yet to officially announce Strahan, Sara and Keke is over, a spokesperson told Page Six: “We’re proud of our teams at ‘SSK’ and ‘GMA3’ and how quickly they transitioned to producing a daily show to give people the news and information they need during an unprecedented pandemic, and conversations continue about how the show will evolve in the months ahead.”

It appears that Strahan, Sara and Keke won’t be returning; the future as many of their staff have transitioned over to ‘GMA 3’ with producers from ABC News Live, (the streaming division), helmed by McKenzie.

As for the futures of Strahan, Haines and Palmer; Strahan will continues to host Good Morning America, and they are all actively under contract with the network.

So, what do you think of  ‘Strahan, Sara and Kek’e being replaced by ‘GMA 3: What You  Need to Know’?  How long do you think that show will last in the timeslot once taken up by residents of Pine Valley? Comment below.

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All My Children

Eva LaRue Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination, And Opens Up About The Loss Of John Callahan

For Eva LaRue, the past two months have been some of the most emotionally gut-wrenching and challenging of her life, following the passing of her ex-husband, father of her child, and dearest friend, John Callahan (Ex-Edmund, All My Children). The outpouring of support she has received not only from her former AMC cast mates, but the soap world in general illustrates just how dear Eva is to all of us, and how many people had special memories of their time with John.

While mourning the loss of Callahan along with their daughter, Kaya, there was some heartwarming and re-affirming news that any actress would love to hear. Eva was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for her work as Celeste Rosales on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, and she is great company as her former AMC co-star Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad) is also nominated along with her for his work on General Hospital.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit our country and world hard, but through it All My Children virtual reunions emerged as fans were engaged by the content, transported to happier times that brought them back to familiar faces in Pine Valley in which Eva participated along with her good friends, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and so many more, thanks to the EW. com weeklong event which concluded on Friday.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Eva in this very candid, at times heartbreaking, and open conversation where she shares details into the final days of her beloved John, her last moments with him, and how she tried to plan a memorial in his honor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For so many of us, 2020 has certainly seen more lows then highs, but in the end for Eva, to receive a nomination now (an award she was last nominated for back in 1997 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Dr Maria Santos on All My Children) couldn’t have come at a better time. Here now is our conversation with Eva.

Photo: JPI

I’ve been thinking so much about you.  I’m glad we could do this, and in the midst of the tragedy of losing John Callahan, and then receiving a Daytime Emmy nomination.  What was your reaction when you learned you were nominated in a category with none other than your former AMC castmate and good friend, Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad, AMC, now Martin, GH)?

EVA:  Oh, I know!  He’s the first person I texted!  I was like, “Congratulations, Michael!  Did you ever in a million years think that you and I would be in the same category of anything?”  Then I said, “And when you win this, can I just borrow it for the weekend just to dress it up and take pictures with it… just want to borrow it, just babysit the trophy for a weekend, please?” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What did you end up submitting that landed you the nomination for your role as Celeste on Y&R?

EVA: I submitted a scene with Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I have been friends for 30 years, if not more, and in all that time we had never worked together.  I met him when I was married to John O’Hurley (Ex- Dr. James Grainger) because John was over at The Young and the Restless at the time.  I went to a Christmas party with John to Peter and Mariellen’s house, and do you know who else was there?  Lisa Rinna (Ex-Billie, Days), and it was before she had gotten Days of Our Lives. She was dating Peter Barton (Ex-Scott Grainger, Y&R) at the time. We both ended up on soaps at the same time.  So, I submitted a scene with Peter, who is amazing, warm and open and such a great actor. Then I submitted a scene with my on-screen daughter Sasha Calle (Lola, Y&R) – I love that girl, and another one with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) who has also been my great friend for a couple of decades. The other scene I put on my reel was with me and Jordi Vilasuso (Rey, Y&R) who I also adore.  He is awesome and such a sweetheart.  I only had two months worth of material to draw upon.  So, I just submitted the scenes that I liked the best, and they all were within story, and all made sense.

Photo: Getty Images

Where is Celeste supposed to be now?

EVA:  She went back to Florida, and that was that. I would never say never to anything, but it was always supposed to be a short stint, and it was great.

So not only is it you and Michael E. Knight, but Jeffery Vincent Parise, Chrishell Stause, and Elissa Kapneck. This Guest Performer category is loaded!

EVA:  I know! I know and love, Chrishell (Ex-Amanda) because we worked together on All My Children, too, right before I left, and she is a doll.  She just might be the sweetest, kindest, girl on the planet.  She literally might be the sweetest person who ever lived!  I don’t know the other two nominees personally.  So, I’m excited for them too.  It’s such a diverse category.  It’s just really fun to be nominated with all of them.

Photo: Hallmark Channel

You were nominated before, though, for your work as Maria on All My Chldren during the emotional baby switch storyline; working opposite Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica) for a lot in it.

EVA:  Yes.  I was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for All My Children, and I was nominated for Best Original Song.  I wrote a song when Maria came ‘back from the dead’ to All My Children, with a producer friend of mine from Miami Sound Machine.

Photo: Live with Kelly Ryan

So, you’ve been doing all of these All My Children virtual reunions, which is so interesting that in this pandemic, people are looking for content, and they dip back into these beloved shows.  Was it fun doing the EW.com Santos Family reunion with everybody?

EVA:  Oh yeah, it was really, really fun.  I only saw in the big picture everybody else’s photo who was a part of it, and the people who I actually do hang out with the most, and see the most, and talk to the most, are Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), and Sydney Penny (Ex-Julia).  I don’t see Sydney as much, but I do see her probably once every two years at least, but Sarah Michelle Geller (ExKendall) I see all the time and talk to all the time.  Kelly, Mark, and Sarah are the ones who walked me through that first week when John Callahan passed.  They literally were on the phone with me, the three of them, almost every day, but I got beautiful outreach, from what seemed like everyone.  This is when no matter how many years have passed since you have been in daytime, that the daytime family as a group – there used to be fifteen shows, now there are four – and people have bounced around and they are on other shows- – but the entire soap opera community reached out,   I cannot even tell you how much that meant to me.  It was overwhelming, and it was really, spectacularly beautiful.

Photo: JPI

I hope it was some solace to you knowing how much people loved John, and also that they love and care so deeply for you.

EVA:  I mean, people who did not even work with John reached out.  Every soap was represented by getting a hold of me, sending a text or a phone call, or if they didn’t have my personal information, they tweeted, or whatever it was… literally from every reach of soapdom.  It was amazing.

And your relationship with John was amazing with all of the ups and downs you went through; that you remained such dear friends.

EVA:  We remained really great friends all the way.

Photo: JPI

I so remember when the two of you first got together and it was this storybook real life soap couple romance.  John was always so sweet to me.  I was so, so sad, and you know, my heart just broke for you.

EVA:  I think it was just such a shock.  I don’t think anybody, and even Kaya were talking about it, because she graduated this week, and her dad is not here.  We’re not having a graduation, because of COVID-19, which sucks on top of it, but we were just kind of talking through the feelings of it.  She said, “You know what’s weird?  I guess I never pictured dad getting old, and I always wondered why, and now I know.”  When I would get on John about his heart or his health, he used to always say, ‘Oh, don’t worry Evala, (he always called me “Evala”).  I’m going to be here.  I’m going to be here a long time.  I’m fine.  I’m going to be here to walk Kaya down the aisle and see her kids and all that.  Stop worrying,” Every time he said it to me, something in my gut said, “I don’t think he is.  I don’t think he is,” but I always just dismissed that.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think John wouldn’t make it to her high school graduation.  He was only 66.

Photo: JPI

I had heard you ended up running to Palm Springs to be near John.  I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

EVA:  The only good thing about this pandemic is that we had been shut down for only two weeks at that point.  Kaya and I got in the car.  John had some heart procedures the day before, on a Thursday.  I called him in the morning before he went in for the procedure.  I said, “Call me as soon as you get out of there.  Call me as soon as you come-to again, and you’re good,” and he said, “Okay, I will.”  I said, “I’m going to send Kaya out to you on Friday for the weekend, just so you have somebody to hang out and watch you, and I might come out too,” And then, I said, “Maybe, I’ll come down too in case you are feeling weak, just to watch out for you for the weekend.”   So, he called me after the procedure.   I said, “I cannot believe they sent you home! You just had some major heart stuff done.”  He said, “Oh no, they said I’m fine.  It was just run-of-the-mill heart stuff, angiogram…”  I was like, “Are you sure?”  He said, “Yeah, I’m fine.  I’m just tired.  I’m going to go to sleep.”  I said, “Do you want me to send Kaya out tonight?” and he was like, “No, no, no.  Send her tomorrow.”  So, in the morning, I called him at 9:00am.  No answer.  I texted him.  He always texted me like Johnny on the spot, and then texts me immediately back.  So, I call him again at 10.  Nothing.  His best friend calls me about a half-hour later, “Hey, I talked to John at about 8:00 this morning.  He said he was feeling really, really shitty and was going to go back to the hospital, and then, I texted him again at like 8:30 to just tell him something, and he hasn’t texted me back, and he always texts me immediately back.”  I said, “Oh my, God, I’ve been trying to get a hold of him for two hours; he hasn’t texted me back,”   I said, “You know what, I’ll call you back.”  So, I called his friend who lives down the street from John, and I said, “Go to his house, please right this second, knock on the door, jump the fence, knock on his bedroom, he might be asleep, I don’t know.”  So, he gets there, nobody is answering.  I said, “Break into the house please.  So, he did, and John was collapsed in the bathroom.  They called the paramedics, and as soon as they called me back and said, “John is unresponsive in the bathroom,” Kaya and I threw everything in the car, and what usually takes us two and a half hours without traffic, we made it down there from Los Angeles in an hour and forty-five minutes.

Photo: JPI

I don’t know how you made it down there in one piece. Thank, God!

EVA:  I drove so fast, like literally broke all land speed records and thank God because we got there just in time.  He was in emergency.  He hadn’t been put up in ICU yet, where we wouldn’t have been able to see him.  They weren’t going to let us in the hospital.  Thank God the person answering the door was an All My Children fan.  She was the one saying, “Sorry, no one is allowed in the hospital, no one can come in,” and I was like, “No, no, no, my ex-husband just came in.”  She said, “Was it Edmund?” and I said, “Yes, it was Edmund!”  She said, “Okay, follow me.”  Thank God for All My Children.  Thank God.  So, we followed this woman secretly, and we get to spend a half-hour with him in Emergency.  He was already on life-support, totally unresponsive, but we got to play John his favorite music, we got to just sit there and hold his hand and talk to him, and tell him how much we loved him.  Sarah Michelle Gellar called right when we were in the hospital in Emergency, and she said, “Put the phone by his ear,” so I put the phone by his ear, and she talked to John too, and she told him how much she loved him.  She used to always call him “GP”, which was short of grandpa, because she came on the show when she was 15, and she didn’t have a dad, and John acted like a dad to her – but she used to always call him “grandpa”, and he hated “grandpa”, so he was like, “You can call me “GP”, but not grandpa,” so she always called him GP.  I just put the phone by John’s ear, and what was crazy is that when she talked to him, his feet started twitching.  He started moving his feet.  Then, when Kaya was talking to him about Yankee season, he started moving his feet.  We were kind of hopeful that something was changing for the better.  We had about a half-hour with him, and then, they took him up to ICU, and then, we knew we couldn’t see him again.  They called us later that night that he had passed.

Photo: JPI

I am just so thankful that you got to see John one last time.

EVA:  I thank God every day that we got to say goodbye, because if we hadn’t gotten there in time to say goodbye, I just don’t know.

It’s very rare that a couple after a divorce, who have a child, and went from romance to dear friends, end up maintaining that relationship so many years later in their lives.  I know so many people who were together at one point in their lives, for years, and they don’t even talk to each other now.

EVA:  Well, you know, like any divorce, the first four years afterwards were super contentious but then, by year five, we kind of had this major breakthrough, and from then on, he was one of my closest friends, and one of the things we always kept alive for each other was we loved to  dance together. We fell in love, I think, dancing because originally our characters on AMC met at this country-western bar, and we had to take country line dancing lessons on the show.  They hired a choreographer for us so that during those scenes where we were falling in love, we would actually be able to do a two-step! So, we went out and practiced at Denim and Diamonds, which was a big country-western place in New York City at the time.  We used to go out with a whole group of us.  It was me, and Teresa Blake (Ex-Gloria) and Kelly Ripa, and her boyfriend at the time, Winsor Harmon (Ex-Del), sometimes Walt Willey (Ex-Jack); we just had a whole crew of us who would go out country dancing.  John and I also loved singing together.  He had the most amazing gravely kind of rockstar voice, but his real talent was harmonizing.  He could harmonize to anything.  So, when he would come over, we would sit in the kitchen and sing, and sing, and sing until the late hours because that’s what we loved to do, and that’s what he loved to do.  That’s one of my favorite last memories of us.  He was just over the month before, and Kaya’s bedroom is near the kitchen, so she came out and was like, “Can you two shut up?”  It was like two in the morning and we were still singing in the kitchen. (Laughs)  John was my dear friend and my confidant.

Photo: ABC

Were you able to have some kind of service during this stay-at-home pandemic we are all dealing with, in order to mourn the loss of John?

EVA:  It’s been so crazy.  We couldn’t even have a funeral.  That’s what made it all the more heartbreaking.  There were less than twenty of us, and we just got on a Zoom call and memorialized John.   I thought we were going to do a big Zoom memorial, but it seemed so overwhelming and so impersonal, it just was rubbing us wrong in every way.  Every way we were looking at it, we were like, “Oh my, God, we just can’t.”  We wanted to invite everybody he had ever worked with, and we were like, “No, we want to do that when everything can open back up again, and invite every person, and have a party” because John was always the life of every party.  Maybe we can do that in the fall or next year.  I kept trying to write something for the small memorial we did do for three days.  I kept coming back to this one song, because John was always the consummate bartender, too.  I sang a song that Bette Midler sang on the very last episode of Johnny Carson.  It was “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” and it’s about a bartender who has got a big personality and a lot to say.   I changed some of the words around a bit just to reflect who John was, and so, I ended up singing for it instead of speaking.  We always talked about that last episode of Carson; how stunningly emotional it was when Bette sang that song to kind of sing Johnny off for of all of his years on the air.  So, that’s what I did and because we loved to sing together, it just made sense.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

I do think you touched upon something, earlier, too.  I don’t think any other genre would have that kind of unbridled camaraderie.  It’s such a family, like you said.  I don’t think you would find that quite like this; certainly in show business. 

EVA:  I really don’t think you can. Even though there is always a good amount of competition in the soaps as well; between the soaps it’s like they are any sports team, but there is always a level of respect, love, and familial connection within the community.  I think that is why they have stood the test of time.  I really do think that is what hooks our audience, that is what keeps them there after all of these years, even though unfortunately the genre is antiquated looking, there is something about it that is nostalgic, familial, and comfortable for people.

Photo: JPI

Every time I talk about All My Children, why do you think everybody go ga-ga for it, when it’s been off the air for several years now?

EVA:  It speaks to people’s childhoods.  It speaks to how we grew up.  You can’t undo nostalgia.  You can’t.  It’s in the way we grew up, the things we loved, the things that we scheduled our lives around, the people we fell in love with on the shows that we watched, who we cared about and loved their storylines. I grew up watching All My Children, General Hospital, and Days of Our Lives.

It must have been a spectacular moment for you when you realized you were actually in Pine Valley and a member of the cast of All My Children then?

EVA:  It was amazing.  I was a fan when I got the show.  I was a straight up fan.  I fangirled walking through that dressing room hallway for the first time! I was trying to keep it in check, but you know … (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

So, in closing, you would say, “Thrilled to be nominated”?

EVA:  Yes.  So fun.  It has really been a rollercoaster of a couple of months here.  That nomination was literally the bright, shining spot in all of this.

So, happy to hear Eva is in the running for a Daytime Emmy? Were you moved by Eva’s sentiments she shared on her relationship with the late John Callahan? Do you miss Pine Valley’s Dr. Maria Santos? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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All My Children

All My Children Reunion with Josh Duhamel, Ricky Paull Goldin, Cameron Mathison and More; Later Debbi Morgan Live

It’s a big finale of the weeklong virtual celebration of the iconic All My Children.  On tap today in EW’s series to benefit Feeding America during the COVID-19, some major names from the history of Pine Valley and who had story with each other participating in the chat, premiering at 10 a. m. EST.

Taking part in the walk down memory lane are none other than Josh Duhamel (Ex-Leo), Ricky Paull Goldin (Ex-Jake), Chrishell Stause (Ex-Amanda), Cameron Mathison (Ex-Ryan), Rebecca Budig (Ex-Greenelee) and Melissa Claire Egan (Ex-Annie).

But that’s not all folks! Daytime Emmy winner, Debbi Morgan will participate in a live virtual chat with EW.com today beginning at 3 p.m. EST/12 p. m. PST.  Now will be your chance to hear from the one and only Angie Hubbard from the beloved ABC daytime drama series.

Over the week, EW.com has posted other virtual conversations with notables from Pine Valley, you can check them out here.

So, will you be checking out today’s one-two punch of AMC favorites? Comment below.

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B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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