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AMC’s Jill Larson a Daytime Treasure- Palmer's Tribute Episode

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

I know it seems like every blog entry I have written lately has been about a beloved daytime veteran passing on to Soap Heaven, and a subsequent tribute.  I would be remiss, and not a long time follower of All My Children and daytime, not to report back my comments and thoughts on yesterday’s episode.  This show from beginning to end was definitely a labor of love from the production and writing teams, and the actors, who wanted to give a proper goodbye to their long time compatriot, James Mitchell, who for decades played the deliciously devilish Palmer Cortlandt, or as known to Daisy, just simply “P.C.”

Courtesy/ABC

But truly, and without peer, the power performance of this week has to go to daytime stalwart, Jill Larson (Opal).  This goes to show, that give an actress of Larson’s incredible acting prowess and depth material worthy of her magnificent talents, and in return she will deliver a heartfelt performance that transcends the material.  Well, Larson, in every scene she was given, made this reporter grab for the box of Kleenex.  Calling Palmer her “Love Bug” throughout the show brought back so many memories of the Opal/Palmer stormy relationship.  Wasn’t it terrific to see flashbacks of Opal marrying her Palmer? And I’ve got to say, the writing was not half bad either… what irony and what a way to give Palmer’s favorite two wives, Daisy (Gillian Spencer) and Opal a chance to reveal and admit long held secrets.  Daisy secretly had been meeting Palmer for years every September, but Opal knew!  And Daisy came back to town early in April because Palmer was going to call the yearly meeting off and return to Opal.  Hankies!  If any scene also showed that Larson is a cut above, it was her opening scene in the episode sitting in the dark alone, devastated over the news that she will never get a chance to tell Palmer she loves him again.  Tad (Michael E. Knight) finds his mother and is there as a sympathetic ear and support for her, all the while watching her letting out her unbelievable grief.  If any soapers out there got the chance to read my feature titled; Opal’s Opus that I wrote last year for Advocate.com, you got a rare opportunity and glimpse into Larson’s private life and thoughts, and at that time we did not even know if All My Children would put her back on contract and move her to Los Angeles with the show this past January!  But, thank God, someone had the sense to know what a valuable and vital asset she is.  Since then, she is back on contract and back in the opening credits where she belongs.

Courtesy/ABC

The episode was wonderfully supported by subtle performances and remembrances by Susan Lucci (Erica), Debbi Morgan (Angie), a returning and still as beautiful as ever, Taylor Miller (Nina), the before mentioned night Michael Knight, Bobbie Eakes (Krytal), Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake) and Alicia Minshew (Kendall).   I think there was not a dry eye in the house in Pine Valley, or the viewing audience at home, when a DVD was played to the mourners, and we saw Palmer (i.e. James Mitchell) on screen in his last appearance on the show taped during the 40th anniversary episode.  Struggling with his words, looking older than we had seen him before, it was hard to take, but such a nice tribute to the fans of the show, and for his co-stars to be even more emotionally invested into the scenes that they were performing.

Courtesy/ABC

Then we come to David Canary and Julia Barr, whose Adam and Brooke admitted (finally) to each other on this special episode that they do indeed love each other.  It was Barr and Canary’s nicely nuanced performances, and remembrances of Adam’s contentious relationship with Palmer that made this tribute all the more special.  I know many fans were excited about Dixie (Cady McClain) opening the door to Palmer at the end of the episode, as their favorite moment of the tribute.  For me, that felt just a bit too forced.  However, Erica, during the candlelight vigil for Palmer, saying that now Palmer will be with Mona, Myrtle and Phoebe, was another hankie moment that worked.  But, it was Jill Larson, when all was said and done, who got a rare opportunity to say goodbye to her co-star and the love of Opal’s life… and we got to watch, weep and pay our respects.

Watch the video clips below of the beginning and end of the special tribute episode featuring Larson and cast.

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Doe
Guest
Doe

Wow! Michael, thanks for putting that scene up. It was one of the best tribute scenes I have seen, because it was done with so much taste and elegance. There was nothing overdone and it was so sincere and subtle without any pretense. I am impressed. James Mitchell was one classy man. I know he started out as dancer and there are movies where I have seen him dance with the likes of Cyd Charisse, etc. So, rest in peace, James……

Doe
Guest
Doe

I do want to mention Jill Larson because she really delivered the sweetest performance. And she has given the role of Opal her personal stamp. A fine actress. I forgot to single her out in my previous comments.

Deebs
Guest
Deebs

It was a nice tribute, it reminds me of former character tributes etc. Myrtle, mona, Pheobe, Dr. Charles Tyler, Kate Martin.

William
Guest
William

This James Mitchell tribute was first class. I agree with everything you said, except the part about Dixie. I was not expecting that, and I almost lost it when she appeared to welcome him to the afterlife. Cady McLain is a great actress–she broke my heart with one line!

All My Children

Beloved Soap Stars Left Out of 2021 Primetime Emmy Broadcast In-Memoriam Tribute

Last night, during the presentation of the 73rd annual Primetime Emmys broadcast on CBS, the annual In-Memoriam segment brought with it so many households names in a year that saw so many legacy talents and more pass away.

The tribute was performed by Leon Bridges and Jon Batiste to Bridge’s song, “River”, and as the images of the departed played across the screens from Cloris Leachman to Cicely Tyson, to Ed Asner to Michael K. Williams, and more, it was clear that several of the major late daytime soap stars were not included in the on-air tribute as well as other omissions.

Now granted, we know they will all be a part of next year’s 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in-memoriam segment, but still these actors were a part of this community and not only appeared on the soaps, but other shows as well.

Those that daytime fans noticed were not included were: Michael Nader (Ex-Dex Dexter and Dimitri Marick, Dynasty and All My Children) Stuart Damon (Ex-Alan Quartermaine, General Hospital), Ray MacDonnell (Ex-Joe Martin, All My Children) and Jay Pickett (Ex-Frank Scanlon, Port Charles).

From primetime MIA action were: Michael Constantine (Ex-Room 222), Tanya Roberts (Ex-Charlie’s Angeles), Director, Richard Donner, writer Larry McMurty, and DMX, to name but a few.

However, the Television Academy did list all of its members who died on their website in the In-Memoriam section, because due to time constraints, they could not possibly showcase everyone.

What do you feel about the omissions of Nader, Damon, MacDonnell, Pickett, and more from the In-Memoriam tribute? Let us know in the comment section, but first watch the segment.

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All My Children

AMC Alum Sarah Michelle Gellar Reflecting on Her Time on Soaps: “Anything I Can Do to Continue the Legacy I’m Very Proud Of”

Daytime fans knew of Sarah Michelle Gellar her way before her Buffy the Vampire Slayer days, when she stepped on to the small screen as Erica’s (Susan Lucci) troubled daughter Kendall Hart on ABC’s All My Children. 

Gellar played the role from 1993 to 1995, and made a brief return in 2011 as the show came to its conclusion on ABC. Additionally, Sarah won a Daytime Emmy for her performance in the Outstanding Younger Actress category in 1995.

Photo: NATAS

Sarah has partnered with Lysol for their brand’s Disinfecting Wipes “Buy One, Donate One” program. where now through September 26, whenever a pack of Lysol Disinfecting Wipes is purchased, another pack will automatically be donated to an under-resourced school through the Kids In Need Foundation.

The program is aimed to help curb the spread of illness-causing germs in schools this back-to-school season, a total of up to 16 million packs of Lysol Disinfecting Wipes will be donated to Title I schools across the country.

The program is the latest component of Lysol’s HERE for Healthy Schools initiative. Started in 2019 with the mission to help curb the spread of preventable illness and to help kids miss less school so they are able to learn, grow and thrive, HERE for Healthy Schools has provided educational materials for students and Lysol disinfecting supplies for educators and administrators to more than 49,000 schools across the country. This year, HERE for Healthy Schools is focused on helping to protect children, educators and parents as they make their big return to in-person learning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking with TV Insider on the partnership, Gellar recalled her time on the soaps and how it changed her career and outlook, noting: “it was the training ground for the rest of my career.”

She went on to say: “I made incredible friends at that time and I learned incredible work habits, and soap operas are an intense amount of work, and I’m incredibly grateful for that time and the people that I met.  We live in a world now where my kids don’t even really know what a soap opera is, so anything I can do to continue the legacy I’m very proud of.”

So, do you remember Sarah’s time on AMC? What do you think of her thoughts on her time on the soaps? Comment below.

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All My Children

‘Dynasty’ and ‘All My Children’ Co-Stars React to the Death of Michael Nader

UPDATED: Yesterday, Michael Fairman TV broke the news of the passing of Michael Nader (Ex-Dex, Dynasty and Dimitri, All My Children).  As reported, Michael died on Monday morning of an untreatable form of cancer at his home in Northern California with his wife, Jodi, and his beloved dog, Storm by his side.

Since then, several of Nader’s former Dynasty and All My Children co-stars have taken to social media with their reactions and remembrances after having learned that he has no longer with us.

From his leading ladies, Joan Collins and Susan Lucci, to Emma Samms and John James, Eva LaRue, Finola Hughes, Maxwell Caufield, Vincent Irizarry and more, so many are taking a moment to share their grief and outpouring of love for Michael.

Michael Fairman TV will continue to update this post throughout the day as more remembrances are posted.

Here are what several of Nader’s former co-stars and colleagues shared below:

Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica, All My Children):”MICHAEL NADER—so handsome, so talented—so wonderful and beloved as All My Children’s DIMITRI MARICK—and a great love of “Erica Kane”. I am so lucky to have played opposite Michael—playing some of the most romantic scenes ever—dancing in palaces in Budapest, our gorgeous Greek Orthodox wedding, complete with crowns. Michael was a doll to work with and to know.  RIP, Michael💙💙💙🙏🙏🙏”

Joan Collins (Ex-Alexis, Dynasty): “Very sad to hear of the death of my onscreen husband and lover #michaelnader aka #dexdexter – I loved working with him and his character was a wonderful mixture of tough and tender. #alexis was crazy to keep on rejecting him! #rip #ripmichaelnader”

Photo: ABC/Getty

Emma Samms (Ex-Fallon, Dynasty): “Incredibly sad news about Michael Nader. What a blessing it was to have had his participation and support for our Dynasty Reunion fundraiser back in March. Thinking of his wife Jodi and sending condolences to all of his many fans.”

Photo: Amazon

John James (Ex-Jeff, Dynasty): “I’m so sad to hear, that my dear friend Michael Nader passed away. We shared some great laughs together and I will miss miss you buddy. Sending prayers to the family.”

Finola Hughes (Ex-Alex, All My Children): “Oh #michaelnader sweet man. I worked with him so briefly, but he cared about his craft and his fellow actors. Sending much love and condolences to his family ❤️”

Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria, All My Children): “So heartbreaking to hear about the passing of Michael Nader! The sweetest man, with the best stories and the funniest out takes! Thank you for the endless belly laughs around that Wildwind dining table at #AMC ! You will be remembered with so much Love!😢♥️ All my prayers and sympathy to his family🙏🏼♥️ Rest peacefully sweet man♥️”

Photo: Sue Coflin/MaxPhotos

Cady McClain (Ex-Dixie, All My Children): “Michael was always a joy to work with, and one of the funniest human beings I ever met. I feel so blessed to have crossed his path and been able to watch him work his magic. I know he felt the love and appreciation of his colleagues and I’m grateful our discussions were always deep or kind. #RIP #michaelnader Photo by @stevenbergman29 💕 (note his book and bookmark! Only Michael would carry it on the res carpet. 😂)”

Maxwell Caufield (Ex-Miles, Dynasty): “That #MichaelNader in the arena many seasons with both @Joancollinsdbe and #SusanLucci – quel hombre.”

Dondre T. Whitfield (Ex-Terrence, All My Children), who commented on Eva LaRue’s post: “Wow. Haven’t seen him in years. So sad to see the Brother. He was very mice to me during my “Pine Valley” time. RIP Nader.”

Vincent Irizarry (Ex-David, All My Children), who commented on Eva LaRue’s post: “OMG, my heart is breaking!!! Loved dear Michael, working opposite him in both “Pine Valley” and in Jackie Collins’ ‘Lucky Chances’. So so sad to hear of his passing. Yes @evalarue, the sweetest man, and ABSOLUTELY the funniest outtakes…”

Sean Kanan: (Ex-AJ, GH, Deacon, B&B) “I was so sorry to hear that Michael Nader passed away. He and I played father and son in Perry Mason: The Case of the Maligned Mobster. We spent some time together and he was a very authentic person. My sincerest condolences to his family. RIP Michael.”

Share your thoughts and remembrances of these wonderful co-stars with Michael throughout his years on Dynasty and All My Children via the comment section below.

 

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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