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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

All My Children Virtual Reunion On Tap With Jill Larson, James Kiberd, and More

Some more residents of Pine Valley are set for another virtual reunion.

This time circle your calendars for next week on Wednesday, December 2nd.

That is when Matt Borlenghi (Ex-Brian Bodine), William Christian (Ex-Derek Frye), James Kiberd (Ex-Trevor Dillon) and Jill Larson (Ex-Opal Cortlandt) will gather from their respective homes for this conversation with Alan Locher on The Locher Room You Tube channel.

To watch the livestream conversation click here next week beginning at 1:00 p.m. EST / 10 a.m. PST

What were your favorite storylines through the years involving AMC’s Opal, Ttevor, Derek or Brian?  Let us know via the comment section below.

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All My Children

WATCH: Kelly Ripa’s Walk Down Memory Lane with the Stars of All My Children & More On Her 30th Anniversary with Walt Disney Company

Today on Live with Kelly and Ryan, the morning show spotlighted Kelly Ripa’s 30-year career with ABC and the Walt Disney Company; which started back in 1990 when she took Pine Valley and All My Children by storm in the role of troubled teen, Hayley Vaughan.

On this special look-back episode of the syndicated talks show many guests from Kelly’s past and present career paid tribute to her accomplishments and remembered their time working with the talented actress and host.

From All My Children, Susan Lucci took part in the special anniversary and group virtual conversation with Ripa along with Eva LaRue, Walt Willey, Ripa’s husband, Mark Consuelos, Cameron Mathison, Finola Hughes and Dondre T Whitfield   Then, Ripa’s former Hope & Faith co-star Faith Ford was part of the festivities.

There were several special moments throughout the episode and you can watch some of them below.   Kelly made her ABC debut on this date, November 5th, 1990!

So, check out the anniversary celebration for Kelly below, and then share your well-wishes and congrats to her via the comment section.

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All My Children

Kelly Ripa to Celebrate 30 Years at Walt Disney Company With Former Co-Stars of All My Children

Soap fans can say they knew her when, and tomorrow on the Thursday, November 5th episode of the syndicated talker Live with Kelly and Ryan, Kelly Ripa, celebrates her 30th anniversary with the Walt Disney Company and ABC.

Ripa started her journey as Hayley Vaughan on All My Children, a role she made her debut with back in 1990.

Joining Kelly for her anniversary with the company and network are former AMC castmates: Finola Hughes (ex-Alex/Anna), Eva La Rue (ex-Maria), Susan Lucci (ex-Erica), Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan), Dondré T. Whitfield (ex-Terrence) and Walt Willey (ex-Jackson).

Kelly stayed with All My Children until 2002, and along the way met her husband, Mark Consuelos who played Mateo on the show.

In 2001, Ripa replaced Kathie Lee Gifford as co-host of what then became Live with Regis and Kelly.  She also appeared on the sitcom Hope & Faith with Faith Ford from 2003-2006.  Ford will also participate in tomorrow’s special episode.

Check local listings in your area to watch Ripa’s anniversary celebration.

Share your favorite moment of Kelly as Pine Valley’s Hayley, or any other moment you loved in her television career via the comment section below.

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