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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 and Guiding Light Vet, Gil Rogers Passes Away

Gil Rogers, who played one of the all-time most dastardly villains in soaps on All My Children and was the on-screen father to the one and only Reva Shayne (Kim Zimmer) on Guiding Light, has died at age 87.

News came via his daughter, Amanda Rogers on her Facebook page, relating that Gil passed away on March 2nd.

The actor had played Tad (Michael E. Knight) and Jenny’s (Kim Delaney) father, Ray Gardner on All My Children from 1977-1978 making multiple appearance though 2001, then later as Hawk Shayne on Guiding Light from 1985-1992 making multiple appearance through 2009.

Gil also appeared on Another World, Search for Tomorrow and The Doctors.

In her post, Amanda wrote: “Gil Rogers died this morning. As you all know, my dad was awesome. He was my best friend, confidant, mentor and just an awesome dad. He came to pick me and  Charlotte Whitaker Zdanowski up at clubs at 2AM in our teens to keep us safe, and drank bourbon with me every day since moving out here 2 years ago. He was welcoming and kind, funny and gregarious, a shameless flirt and a fierce protector. He loved his dinners with grandkids and endured animated movies and discussions about pokemon. And I miss him so terribly already. He died in his sleep, without pain or fear. I am so grateful to have had such a great father and to have spent these past 2 years with him every day.”

Check out this vintage scene below from All My Children where Ray played by Rogers blows up the Martin house.

Now share your remembrances of Gil’s performances and along with condolences for his family in the comment section.

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All My Children

‘Pine Valley’s’ Leo Richardson Teases First Episode Script of All My Children Primetime Reboot

On Friday, soap fans were abuzz on Twitter, when head writer and executive producer, Leo Richardson of the All My Children reboot in development, showed off the script cover of the pilot and first episode of Pine Valley.

The series is currently in the works over at ABC with former AMC favorites, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos and Rebel’s Andrew Stearn as the other executive producers.

Richardson shared along with the script pic, “A year and a half of work comes down to just 60 pages. And off she goes… #PineValley””

Fans of All My Children are thrilled at Richardson’s news and now will await word on what will happen with the proposed show.

Leo has also written the long-running British soap, EastEnders and for Lee Daniel’s Star.

Check out his tweet below.  (UPDATED: Since this original posting, Richardson’s tweet was taken down)

Now, let us know if you are excited to find out just what characters are in the script of Pine Valley in the comment section.

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All My Children

Kim Delaney on All My Children Primetime Reboot: “All They Have To Do Is Ask, and I’m There”

While Kim Delaney is currently appearing on General Hospital in the role of Jackie Templeton, and she just appeared in her new Lifetime movie, The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother’s Hunt of Justice, the actress revealed she would be up for appearing in the upcoming primetime revival in development of All My Children.

Delaney became soap-famous in the role of AMC’s Jenny Gardner from 1981-1984 before she was killed-off the show in the now iconic jet ski explosion.

Now even though Jenny died, Kim would be up for figuring out how the character could be resurrected or how she could take part in the primetime reboot of the ABC soap opera called, Pine Valley.

In an interview with Soaps.com, Kim shared on being part of the reboot: “All they have to do is ask, and I’m there.  Sure, Jenny died, but someone asked me the other day if we ever saw her body. So maybe she’s out there, somewhere… ”

Former All My Children stars and real-life duo, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos are executive producers of Pine Valley along with Andrew Stearn.

So, would you like to see an alive and well Jenny Gardner, or some other role for Delaney, in the All My Children reboot? Comment below.

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