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All My Children’s Candace Earley Nolan Passes Away At 68

Photo: Young's Funeral Directors

She played Pine Valley’s Donna Beck for 18 years, and over the weekend the soap world also lost Candace Early Nolan.  The former daytime actress died last Thursday, January 31, 2019, after an 8-year struggle with Multiple Systems Atrophy.

Earley was on ABC’s All My Children from 1976 to 1992 and returned in both 1993 and 1995.  In story, Donna started out in Pine Valley as a prostitute.  She had romances with Dr. Chuck Tyler and then at one time, Palmer Cortlandt.  Candace also appeared on Broadway in Jesus Christ SuperstarGrease, and South Pacific, to name a few.

In her obit it mentions that while eating lunch at world-famous Sardi’s in New York, a Casting Director of ABC daytime television asked,  “Who is that attractive mid-western looking type across the room?”.  Shortly thereafter she was cast as “Donna” on AMC.

Check out this clip of Earley with Richard Van Vleet as Chuck Tyler in a scene from her time on AMC below.

Then, share your condolences and remembrances of Candace via the comment section below.

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Teenie KatzLynnThat Candace early has passed away who played DonnEmma MetzBriley Recent comment authors
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Steve
Steve

I’d like to think she’s up there reminiscing with Ruth Warrick and James Mitchell.

Jimh
Jimh

We lost Candace Early from AMC…Carmen Duncan from AW…Kristopher St John from Y&R…and movie actress and soap star Julie Adams From Capitol all in the same week…what a horrible, sad and tragic week for us in the soap world…i first seen Julie in The 50s classic The Creature From The Black Lagoon!!!!

Shay
Shay

I was just about to mention Julie Adams, too, Jimh! She was fabulous on “Capitol” as the looney tunes, faux-agoraphobic Paula Denning! That character was almost gothic in the way she was sequestered in her darkened rooms with only her beloved harpsichord as a constant companion! I still remember laughing myself silly when she plowed down her psychiatrist in the parking deck in order to keep him from blowing the whistle to her senator husband Mark, regarding her fake condition…which would have allowed him to divorce her without guilt in order to marry his true love, Clarissa, aka Constance Towers (aka, Helena Cassadine!!!!) Such fun that show was! Ditto for AMC’s many tales of Pine Valley’s favorite hooker with a heart of gold, Donna Beck, whose mere presence drove Phoebe Tyler to the vapors….especially when her “bossman,” the incomparable Billy Clyde Tuggle, was involved! Oh, those were the politically incorrect days when just about anything and anyone was fair game in our fictional soap burgs! As for AW’s Carmen Duncan, she was a truly lovely Iris…classy with a real international flair! I grew up watching all three of these ladies, and although each one was vastly different in their respective roles, they all left indelible, unique impressions for their daytime audiences. So sad to see them leave us, but their memories will live on for all of those who had the privilege of enjoying their talents on a daily basis during some of soap operas’ best years.

Jimh
Jimh

I never watched Capitol but seen clips and wish i had…did watch AMC and Aw…Carmen grew on me as i first thought she was a miscast after watching Bev Mckinsey who was so irreplaceble in the role,,,but i did grow to love her as Iris-she was a beautiful classy lady…AMc had the most colorful characters in the 80s-i consider that its best decade and wiish those eps were on again!!!!

Shay
Shay

@Jimh…I consider the ‘80’s the best decade for soaps, period!!! It was a veritable banquet of both daytime and primetime dramas and there was no shortage of incredible women who occupied some of the best roles ever written for female soap characters, including the aforementioned ones. Capitol was a perfect product of the glamorous Reagan-era DC, yet it also managed to be offbeat and quite mysterious at times…I really enjoyed that stylistic blend and was livid when it was abruptly cancelled. (So did Sloane survive the firing squad???) In fact, I was so miffed I swore I wouldn’t watch its replacement “B&B!” Of course, my reticence immediately faded when I caught a glimpse of the Forrester brothers duo of Ridge and Thorne! Lol…As for Carmen Duncan, I had no issues with her as the Iris recast because I was not a McKinsey fan, per se, and, as such, readily accepted the actress and her exotic Aussie background….I particularly loved the elan and je ne sais quoi international stars brought to soaps, and to this day, I wish we still had the array of foreign characters that we did way back then….especially on GH! Port Charles always drew the best stars from around the globe!

Briley
Briley

Beverlee McKinsey is the only Iris I ever knew.

Harry
Harry

Oh How sad!!! I loved Donna Beck! I will never forget how Phoebe Tyler sputtered out,”That Donna BECK person!” Chuck looks a little bit like Harrison Ford.

Jeff
Jeff

Rest in Peace, Candace. You brought such a loving, vulnerable energy to “Donna” that endeared you to do many AMC fans.

Michael
Michael

First Iris (2.0), then Neil and now Donna Beck. Let’s hope deaths do come in threes, so that we don’t grieve another soap vet.

Jimh
Jimh

We did lose a 4th…Julie Adams ex Capitol!!!!

Boop
Boop

I didn’t watch All My Children that often; however, I remember Candace’s character of Donna. Her family and friends have my prayers.

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

I am stunned. I remember her well. Such a lovely woman. She did such a wonderful job as Donna. I loved the story of Donna and Chuck. My deepest sympathy to her family and friends.

Thank you Candice Earley for sharing your remarkable talent with all of us. May you rest in peace.

Lin
Lin

I was so sorry to hear of Candice’s passing and from such a horrible disease. I loved her in All My Children. I also saw her on Broadway in Grease shortly after she started on AMC. I loved her in that, too. I got her autograph after the show. I think I still have the playbill. My deepest sympathy to her family. My heart goes out to you.

rebecca1
rebecca1

I remember her…another familiar face gone that will live on in the archives of soap history. Sad news. Condolences to her family.

Sassy Duck
Sassy Duck

Rest in peace, beautiful Candace. You brought so much spunk, and grace to the role of Donna. My deepest condolences to your family, your All My Children family, and your friends. The soap world has lost another gifted actor.

Alan
Alan

ALL MY CHILDREN was my first soap and Donna Beck was the reason I got hooked. I couldn’t get enough of teenage hooker Donna, her pimp Tyrone, her pal Estelle LaTour, Estelle’s pimp Billy Clyde Tuggle, Maggie Flanagan, Lettie Jean, and the rest of the Locust Street gang.

Donna was the center of so much story on AMC: the Donna/Chuck/Tara triangle; Donna’s car getting hit by the train resulting in amnesia and Donna thinking she was a hooker again; Donna’s first pregnancy resulting in a stillborn child (I still remember Donna shopping for baby clothes while Dr. Clater told Chuck that there was no heartbeat); Donna marrying Palmer Cortlandt and on her honeymoon in Switzerland sleeping with Chuck in a cave after an avalanche which resulted in Donna getting pregnant and Palmer, believing he was sterile, paying a doctor to tell Donna the child had a birth defect so she would get an abortion (luckily, Chuck arrived in a nick of time to stop the procedure); Donna and Benny raising Emily Ann after Estelle died on the way to the hospital when they thought the tot had swallowed a safety pin; Donna being the key to solving the murder of Zach Grayson; Donna trying to protect a grown Emily Ann from the returned Billy Clyde Tuggle.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Alan, thanks a million for bringing us up to speed on Donna’s main storylines! I watched at the time, but my memory is spotty. I do remember Phoebe giving Donna a hard time. I do remember Billy Clyde excitedly talking about buying a new “macro-wave oven!” I remember Donna and Estelle talking about “Sea City” or “C City,” which — correct me if I’m wrong — I think initially was short for “Center City,” where the hooker trade was happening.

But I really appreciate your filling in the gaps for me. Candace Earley was a wonderful, appealing actress, and her loved ones, as well as her fans, mourn her loss…

Alan
Alan

I left out The Chateau fire that resulted in baby Johnny dying (Chuck’s son) and Donna believing a rag doll was her baby. Ultimately Phoebe helped Donna come to terms with her loss. I always thought that was a huge mistake to kill off the child because he was a next generation Tyler.

Patrick
Patrick

^^^ per Jamesj75. ABSOLUTELY thank you for the recall

the delight of Donna… I always loved the wrong side of the track FLIGHT
PLAN

Candace Earley MADE it, showed up, and REELED

dang it tho… ALL these shows back in our day… were just loaded to the gills with TALENT… bar none.. FULL CAST

individual stand out.. she was awarded right outa the gate

Alan
Alan

I think Center City was where the hooker trade was located (and maybe Foxy’s, the bar where Opal forced Jenny to work to support the two of them). Sea City was where Jesse and Angie got married after they ran away with baby Frankie when they kidnapped him following Les Baxter forcing Angie to give the baby up for adoption.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Awesome! Thanks for the further details, Alan!

Shay
Shay

@James….Hearing “Billy Clyde” talk about anything was a sheer delight and laugh riot! I don’t think any soap character ever revelled in his own unrecognized ignorance as much as Mr. Tuggle did wiith his multi-mispronunciations and delusions of grandeur!!!! (Not to mention, his total lack of style which he seemed to think was fashion at its finest! I still remember that plumed fedora!) Perhaps my favorite thing was how Billy always referred to his car as “The Clydemobile!” Haha…It took a truly talented actor to make such a trashy reprobate as BCT so amusing…and Matthew Cowles did just that! IAlthough I have to admit I was totally taken aback when I discovered he was related to the Drexel dynasty…)

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Awesome to see your reply, Shay! Glad you also liked Billy Clyde… I think many of us want some humor in our soaps — and in our daily lives! — and Matthew Cowles surely delivered! Thanks for reminding me about the fedora! I didn’t know about the Drexel dynasty connection (or the Drexel dynasty itself). Sadly, he and Candace Earley both have passed… I enjoyed the work of both actors. Take care, Friend!

Shay
Shay

Thank you, James! So good to hear from you! How could one NOT like Billy Clyde??? He was such a unique, memorable character with the knack to make any situation comical—-intentionally—-or otherwise! (I clearly recall an occasion when an agitated Mr. Tuggle was recovering from serious surgery whilst bellowing about “busticating his stiches!”) And to think it took a self-admitted black sheep of a blueblood family to play a whitetrash procurer with such absolute authenticity! Lol…Matthew Cowles indeed delivered his offbeat best in bringing to life some of the most bizarre creatures ever to inhabit daytime….he was also hysterically funny as Loving’s unlovably lovesick hillbilly, “Eban Japes,” who burst into Corinth to track down his erstwhile common law wife, “Lottie Bird!” Again, this extremely versatile actor’s wardrobe was unforgettable…manky overalls and a seriously mangy chapeau!!!! In the case of Cowles’ colorful characters, clothes really didn’t make the man, but they certainly were icing on the cake when it came to his outre’ portrayals! P.S. By the way, kudos to your latest Sonny comments….I read them with great relish, but didn’t get the chance to return back to the appropriate thread to echo them. No matter…between CeeCee and you, I think the subject was covered quite capably! Later, my friend!

jaybird369
jaybird369

Shay…girl…I remember BOTH AMC’S Billy Clyde Tuggle and Loving’s Eban Japes…HAPPILY AND TOTALLY!!!!! Also…BOTH Billy Clyde and Eban used to brighten my day with their LOL-filled antics. Most of all, if I remember correctly, Matthew Cowles was quite the popular and beloved star on the Broadway stage. In an interview years ago, Matthew said that he felt most at home on the Broadway stage. Memories.

Have a good one, Shay.

Shay
Shay

Hello to you, Jaybird! It’s always nice to share fan-favorite recollections of soap operas past and I’d have to say that those regarding Matthew Cowles and his crazy cast of characters are a true testament to his immense talent. To think that even decades after those performances in his two ABC soap roles he’s left behind such an indelible impression on us is quite remarkable! Those brilliant onscreen moments with Billy Clyde and Eban seem like just yesterday…I also vaguely recall one of the actor’s primetime appearances on a Law and Order episode when he played another really out-there type of guy called “Lemonhead!” As Mr. Tuggle would have observed, such bizarre characters were Cowles’ “speciality!” (Don’t you just love it when a performer comes to their role so completely immersed that they even invent their own unique vocabulary????? Not to mention donning a wardrobe that heralds their arrival without saying a word!) There’s no doubt that Cowles was a very special thespian, so I’m not at all surprised he loved the Broadway stage…I’m just glad he shared his gifts with the soap world where his inimitable characters will forever live on in our collective memory. You have a great day, too, Jaybird…it’s always a delight to hear from you!

jaybird369
jaybird369

Thanks, Shay!!!!! Much, much appreciated.

Later.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Just a quick reply, Shay. Thanks for the further details about Cowles’ characters! I forgot about his work on Loving (I rarely watched that one). And thanks for the acknowledgment and backup on my recent conversation with CeeCee on Sonny. As you know, I can’t help myself… Best to you, Shay!

Shay
Shay

It’s always my pleasure, James! The undeserved adulation and highly-questionable hero status bestowed upon the character of Sonny Corinthos shall forever beggar belief for me. The fact that there are other good people who share my particular disdain for GH’s most inexplicable and disturbing decision to designate this man (and his close circle of associates) as the show’s so-called “moral center” is indeed refreshing and welcome. Quite frankly, it never ceases to amaze and grate upon me the audacious efforts in which this soap engages in its futile attempts to sanitize the career criminal’s not so fragrant past so as to present him as a current pillar of the Port Charles community. As you passionately observed in your own posts, you are not buying what GH is selling when it comes to Sonny Corinthos….Well, neither am I!!! Take care, my firend!

Caleb
Caleb

One of the absolute best.

Patrick
Patrick

TAKEN from @Wiki :

“…Former prostitute and adoptive mother of Emily Ann Sago Martin. Her relationship with Chuck Tyler antagonizes Chuck’s grandmother, Phoebe Tyler. Married to Chuck Tyler, Palmer Cortlandt, Benny Sago and Chuck Tyler (again). Sister of Mitch Beck. She was romantically involved with Tom Cudahy and Ross Chandler. ”

Dag! didn’t she have it all. UBER HOTTED OUT Richard Van Vleet @Chuck Tyler !!! he was simply one of thee BEST. AND ??? Tom Cudahy AND Ross Chandler … what a girl, what a woman, what a chanteuse.

“…Earley’s portrayal proved popular with viewers, and won an award for Most Exciting New Actress in the first annual Soapies held in 1977 (these awards are now known as the Soap Opera Digest Awards). Over time, the character of Donna grew into a mature woman with a gift for singing. Earley was written out of the show in 1992. ”

she was such a captivating presence; she parlayed this role 15 PLUS Years. her first scenes @AMC show her beaten bloodied and in a coma at Pine Valley Hospital.. whodathunk

Good for her

Good Job Candace

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

i remember her as Donna. That was a character I like on AMC. So sad to hear of Candace’s passing. Rest In Peace, Candace.

Adam
Adam

Bless her heart, glad she passed over and is no longer in pain.

They really do come in threes don’t they?

Becky Smith
Becky Smith

I am so very sorry to hear of Candice’s passing! I totally remember this scene from AMC! Candice brought such a sweet vulnerability to the role of Donna Beck! My sincere and deepest sympathy to Candice’s family and friends and the entire AMC family!

boes
boes

I loved Donna. Candace was such an important part of AMC’s early years, an actor and character I missed when she left the show. Those were glorious days, when the Tylers were still part of the show….

Far too young,

DMR
DMR

Oh, I remember Donna, that set, and Chuck! He was so handsome! 68 is young today. God bless and Rest In Peace! Sad news.

jaybird369
jaybird369

I was very saddened to hear about Candace Earley Nolan passing away. My ALL-TIME FAVORITE AMC storyline featuring Donna was Donna and Natalie’s friendship. To me, Donna and Natalie’s friendship was WONDERFULLY TIMELESS!!!!! Yes.

Later.

Sherrie
Sherrie

God Bless Candace! She brought every afternoon an hour of friendship, kindness, humor & determination! She was a wonderful addition to the AMC cast! May you Rest In Peace dearest Candace & my deepest sympathy to your family!

Anita
Anita

I loved Donna on AMC. I still cry when I hear the song they used for the death of her baby.

Dr.Bruce Pillow
Dr.Bruce Pillow

I Remember Candace…when she came to Indianapolis and appeared at the Indiana State Fair. . we reminenced about the first time we met in New York on the set of AMC….Rest in peace dear one!!!

Debbie
Debbie

I had the pleasure of meeting Candace many years ago when she and Patrick Duffy from the tv show Dallas were at our local mall. She was very sweet as was he.

Emma Metz
Emma Metz

I met Candance at one of her fan parties. She was a wonderful person and terrific actress. We wrote to each other for a long time.

That Candace early has passed away who played Donn
That Candace early has passed away who played Donn

I just found out That Candace early has passed away who played Donna & Pat Tyler Court and on all my children I know her from Lawton Oklahoma she was a very nice lady she performed wonderfully at the theater we should begin she could hit a high note to break a class and to prove it she feels a glass with water and hit the high notes and shattered the Glass Rest iIn Peace Candace Early , Dona Beck Tyler Cortland Sago

Lynn
Lynn

I watched all my Children all those years when she was on. She was one of my favorite actress on the show along with Julia Barr. Susan Lucci was great too. Wondered what happened to Candace Early, and Sad she left us when she was still young.She’s joined the other greats on that show who passed on.

Teenie Katz
Teenie Katz

Very late on this…but, so sad to learn of Candace’s passing. I was 9 years old, and home from school for a week with the chicken pox. Previously, I had no interest in soap operas, but was flipping through the dial and stumbled on Donna Courtland in Gstaad, trapped under an avalanche with Chuck Tyler. My pop-cultural life was forever changed. Thank you Candace for introducing me to this highly entertaining genre. Rest easy, my friend.

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.

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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.

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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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All My Children

All My Children Weeklong Virtual Reunions Kick-Off With Ripa, Consuelos, LaRue and Penny

Beginning this morning, Tuesday, May 26th, a weeklong virtual celebration with the cast of All My Children is on tap for fans of the beloved ABC daytime drama series, featuring a “Who’s Who of Pine Valley”.

The weeklong event is brought to you by EW.com and PEOPLETV.com and starts at 10 am EST/PST.   You can watch it right here.

Featured in the first installments are  the Santos family which includes: real-life marrieds, who met on All My Children, Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley) and Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), as well as Eva LaRue (Maria) and Sydney Penny (Julia).

Episode 2 coming up on Wednesday will feature: Michael E. Knight (Tad Martin), Cady McClain (Dixie Cooney Martin), Jennifer Bassey (Marian Colby Chandler), Jill Larson (Opal Cortlandt), and Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard).

The weeklong event is in support of Feeding America helping those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information and how you can make a donation visit ew.com/allmychildrenreunion

So, let us know what you think of the first installment featuring the Santos clan from Pine Valley as they reunite for a good cause via the comment section below.

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Rivals, Confrontations and Fashion Battles Next Week on Y&R and B&B
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