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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.

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

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Doe
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
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
Deebs

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

William
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

TODAY: John Callahan ‘iHub Radio’ Tribute With AMC Stars: Julia Barr, Walt Willey, Bobbie Eakes and More Guests

Saturday morning at 10PMPST/1PMEST on Palm Springs iHub Radio, there will be a special hour tribute to the late soap veteran John Callahan who passed away last week at 66.

Callahan hosted his own show on the station, and to honor him the stations owner John McMullen, along with several of Callahan’s former All My Children co-stars including: Bobbie Eakes (Ex-Krystal), Walt Willey (Ex-Jack) , and Julia Barr (Ex-Brooke)  will also be part of the live broadcast special event, along with LIVE magazine TV host Melissa Neiderman, and other longtime friends and colleagues of Callahan’s.

As some know, John Callahan was a longtime resident of the Coachella Valley. From 2018 on he continued to be a part of the station with his weekly show all the way up until his death.

John’s soap resume was impressive, not only from his time as All My Children;s Edmund Grey, but also as General Hospital’s Leo Russell, Santa Barbara’s Craig Hunt, and Days of our Lives, Dr. Baker, plus his primetime roles including on Falcon Crest.

Following iHub Radio’s special broadcast, the tribute program will be available as an on-demand podcast after 1 pm Pacific on Saturday from the iHubRadio.com home page.

So, let us know if you will be listening or caught the special broadcast honoring John today via the comment section below.

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TODAY: John Callahan 'iHub Radio' Tribute With AMC Stars: Julia Barr, Walt Willey, Bobbie Eakes and More Guests
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All My Children

Kelly Ripa Shares Her Grief and Remembrances of John Callahan on ‘Live with Kelly and Ryan’

There was always something special about the wonderful actors and the cast pictured here from ABC’s All My Children.  After all, this is where Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley) met her husband, Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo) and where Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria) met her ex-husband John Callahan (Ex-Edmund).

Then, over this past weekend this family picture from Pine Valley was forever changed, when the soap world was rocked by the news that John Callahan passed away at only 66/

Heartbreaking remembrances poured in on social media …. and none more so than from Eva LaRue, who also shares a daughter with John, named Kaya.  Eva and Kaya rushed to John’s bedside where he has been put on life-support following a reported massive stroke.

Now on Monday’s episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan, which is being done remotely from the hosts individual hosts due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kelly Ripa shared her grief over the loss of her dear friend John Callahan with Ryan.

Kelly said “I had a really a bad weekend this weekend.  A very dear friend of mine for many, many years, almost 30 years, passed away over the weekend. He was a great actor, a really good friend. One of the funniest people I’ve ever met. He was the ex-husband of my first-born son’s godmother, Eva LaRue. His name was John Callahan. He was 66 years old—way too young to be taken from us.”

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Ripa went on to to tell her co-host: “A gentleman of, I mean, Ryan, you two would have loved each other. He would say the funniest things and we were all going through our brains about all of the funny, like the funny ‘Callahan-isms’ over the years. He was just one of these guys and you know and he just died way too soon. His daughter and my daughter are good friends, they’re the same age and I just want everyone to know, Eva and Kaya, that we are thinking of you and we are just so sad and so devastated. So, I apologize in advance if I seem out of it. I really actually am, I’m terribly out of it. You know, forgive me for it.”

Watch Kelly discuss the death of John Callahan with Ryan Seacrest below.  Then share your thoughts on what Ripa had to share and more on the loss of John Callahan via the comment section.

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All My Children

Soap Vet and All My Children Alum John Callahan Dead At 66

Absolutely heartbreaking news this Saturday afternoon.  John Callahan, best known to soap fans for his role as Edmund Grey on All My Children has passed away after suffering a massive stroke.  The stroke happened on Friday, March 27th when paramedics responded to a call at his home in Palm Desert, California. He was 66-years-old.

According to reports, Callahan was rushed to Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA, where he was put on life support.  John’s daughter Kaya, and his former wife, and AMC co-star Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria) rushed to the hospital to be by his side from Los Angeles.  John died Saturday morning.

Photo: JPI

In a statement, Eva La Rue shared: “We are extremely saddened and distraught over the loss of John. He was my great friend, co-parent and amazing father to Kaya. The absence of his bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever. Words cannot express the shock and devastation we are feeling at this time. The Yankees just lost one of their greatest fans.” 

John played Edmund on All My Children from 1992-2005.  He also appeared throughout his soap career on: Santa Barbara, Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bay and primetime’s Falcon Crest and Desperate Housewives; in addition to many more television appearances.

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Michael Fairman TV will continue to follow this breaking story as remembrances are shared by John’s former co-stars throughout the day and night.

Below is LaRue’s touching tribute to John  via Instagram:

 

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May Flights of Angels Wing You to Your Rest my Dear Friend. Your bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever. We are devastated-My great friend, co parent partner, and loving father to Kaya. That big belly laugh, bear hugs, bad puns, ability to harmonize to any song, great kitchen table singing-fests, and two steppin bad ass! “Johnny Numbers”, my All My Children soap stud, the great time keeper, Beatles fanatic ( I wish to God we could go back to “Yesterday”)… Kaya and I are beyond broken hearted, so stunned, sorry that my thoughts are a mess. You gave the best most beautifully written tributes, and I am at a complete loss for words right now for you. I hope Heaven has baseball and that your team always wins! The Yankees has just lost their biggest Fan. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

A post shared by Eva LaRue (@evalarue) on

Please share your condolences with Kaya and Eva and the Callahan family below, and let us know your thoughts on this heartbreaking loss on the death of John Callahan via the comment section.

 

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