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Andrea Evans Chats On Her Latest Project Hidden Gems, OLTL, Erika Slezak, & Her Daytime Roles!

Photo Credit: Jago Soria

She’s synonymous with daytime drama for her memorable roles as: Tina Lord on One Life to Live, Tawny Moore on The Bold and the Beautiful, Patty Williams on The Young and the Restless, and Rebecca Hotchkiss Crane on Passions.  While soap fans dearly miss seeing Andrea Evans every day on their screens, the talented and clever actress has been busy with films, and her own projects.

In her latest entertainment adventure, Hidden Gems, Andrea, along with her producing partner Minh Collins, have created a new concept for a “unique” travel show, which has comedic actress Tara Erickson along for the ride with Evans.  These two very disparate women come together and check out some of the more intriguing, fabulous, and little-known places in America, and seem to get themselves in a whole heap of trouble while doing it!  As Andrea details, think of the 1991 motion picture classic Thelma and Louise as a sort of prototype for Hidden Gems.

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Evans to find out details about the Hidden Gems Indiegogo campaign, and how fans can participate in the series fundraising efforts.  Plus, this being the 48th anniversary week of the beloved One Life to Live, Andrea discusses some of her most famous scenes, reflecting on her time there, and working alongside daytime legend Erika Slezak (Viki), and what she has thought of Stacy Haiduk’s turn in her former role as Genoa City’s Patty Williams.  In addition, you will learn what soap opera Evans could see herself on in the future.  So, let’s hit the road with Andrea, and find out what she had to say about it all.

So watching the Indiegogo teaser for Hidden Gems, it seems like a reality show, crossed with some scripted elements, and crossed with travel.  How would you explain the concept?

Courtesy/HiddenGems

ANDREA:  It’s kind of a weird hybrid.  I worked with this director on a film and we hit it off so well that we started our own production company, and optioned a couple of films, and came up with this show idea, because I love to travel, and he loves to travel.  We found that we both had gone to the same places that nobody ever heard of, and had great times.  So, that is how the Hidden Gems idea was born.   However, when we started shooting it we hired Tara to come with us.  She was so fun and wild.  Then strange things started to happen on the shoots.  We then kind of altered what we were doing from a simple travel show to a “Thelma and Louise” hit the road.  I think fans will see me in a different way than they have before, which is me out on the road having fun, and being a little wild and crazy with Minh and Tara.   They will catch me reacting to things, and it’s not entirely scripted.   You won’t just hear, and I don’t want to hear, that the “Ritz Carlton is a beautiful hotel.”  (Laughs)

When watching the teaser, I thought it was a very fun amped-up version of “Andrea Evans” you were playing.   Is that how you view it?

Courtesy/HiddenGems

ANDREA:  Well, (laughs) it’s not the glamour puss that people are use to seeing me play, but I love to travel, and I have a little rebellious side.  And as I say in the clip on the teaser, “I’m going rogue a little bit.”   In my off-soap career, I like to have fun, and do projects that interest me.  This was a riot to shoot.  The whole reason we are on Indiegogo is that we have some interest and a showrunner.  If you look at travel shows there is no “Thelma and Louise” about two women traveling.  One way to protect ourselves, and our idea, and our concept, is to shoot a few episodes ourselves first, which is why we are doing the Indiegogo campaign.

How did you find your on-screen sidekick, Tara Erickson?

ANDREA:  We had auditions, and talked with people.  When I met her we instantly clicked.  I thought she was hysterically funny.  She is very different from me, so we wanted that. We wanted someone quirky and still attractive, and to have someone else in a bathing suit, because God knows, I hung up my bikini a while ago! (Laughs)  I wore my bikini and my underwear on TV enough! (Laughs)  As for the reference to “Thelma and Louise”, I am more the Susan Sarandon to her Geena Davis.  But, at the same time in the teaser, I don’t tell my husband where I’m going!  Tara is more of a comedic actress, and I am known, whether I am funny or not, as a soap actress.

How much funding do you hope to raise through the Indiegogo campaign?

Courtesy/HiddenGems

ANDREA:  It’s a flexible goal, but we need about $4-$5,000 per episode just to complete them.  We try to put perks in there that we think those who contribute, and my fans will be interested in, and would like.  One of the biggest perks is that they could be on the show, and part of one of the road trips.

Where would you like to shoot and travel to, if you make more episodes?

ANDREA:  We have been researching travel places to go that are luxurious, fun, and a bit weird, and places people don’t even know about.  For instance: we have been researching route 66, and in Nevada there are all types of “alien” things that people don’t even know about.  There are crazy mansions in Northern California with doors, stairs, and rooms that were built, because the “spirits” told people to do that to protect themselves!  We are going to shoot right now in the U.S., but we would love to eventually shoot out of the country, because there are so many unique and unknown places around the world.

One Life to Live celebrates its 48th anniversary this Friday on July 15th.  It premiered on that date back in 1968.  I was thinking about you, and if it was still around, or was revitalized again, it would be great if Tina could come back and drop right back in the story!

Courtesy/YouTube/ABC

ANDREA:  Oh, absolutely!  One Life to Live is one of the great loves of my life.  I miss it dearly.  I think it’s a crime they took it off the air.  Happy 48th to One Life!  I know it still lives in a lot of people’s hearts.

Recently, I came across a clip from One Life, which was the set-up of the Marco Dane (the late Gerald Anthony) murder!  Looking back on it, it was still one of the best stories ever plotted, and there was you and Erika Slezak in the middle of it.  Wasn’t Tina being framed by Marco via a porn picture? (Laughs)

ANDREA:  What happened was Marco Dane was putting innocent 16-year-old Tina’s face on naked women and making porn!  Viki found out about it.

Do you ever talk to, or stay in touch with, Erika Slezak?

Courtesy/ABC

ANDREA:  Not that I talk with her a lot.  However, I was very touched when my mother passed about a year and half ago.  Erika really worked hard to locate me through people and to find me, and it was so nice to hear from her.  She was sending me her love and condolences.  Erika knew my mother, because when I started on One Life I was so young.  She got to know my mother very well, and it was so sweet of her to do that.  Erika is a lovely woman.  It’s a shame she is not on TV.  She is so talented, and wonderful.  So much about what I learned in this industry I learned from her.  She should be working and current.  I am just sorry that no one else has realized that and put her back on TV, because she should be there.

Every time I have been a segment producer for the Daytime Emmys, and they are looking to do a clip package from classic moments from the soap, one would always come across footage of Tina going over the Igazu Falls in Argentina!  It’s still iconic years and years later.  Where do all of those scenes sit with you when you reflect back on your time on One Life to Live?

Courtesy/ABC

ANDREA:   I started on the show so young, and I have to be honest, I was not even aware of the show before I started appearing on it.  But One Life to Live became such a huge part of my life and my career.  It’s funny, you see people who become very indentified with a character, and that character is indelibly created in people’s minds. Some people resent it, and some people love it.  I personally love it.  I take great pride in it, and I take great pride that my audience, whom I love, still adores it.  To be iconic in anyway in this industry is a blessing, and a huge, huge compliment.

What do you think of what happened to your former Y&R character Patty Williams since you have been gone from that role?  She is “crazy Patty” now, as played by Stacy Haiduk!

Courtesy/CBS

ANDREA:   Not only was there a change in the character, but she grew quite tall! (Laughs)  Patty went crazy!  I remember I went back to Y&R as Tawny from B&B one day, which was really strange.  And Stacy was on the same day, so it was kind of weird, but we did not share scenes together.  Tawny was looking for Amber before she returned to The Bold and the Beautiful.  Originally, I was not available to reprise Patty, because I was working, but I think Stacy did a really, really good job, and the character had gone an entirely different way.

Would you go back to doing a soap if a part came up?

ANDREA:  It’s not like I have been away from the soaps for too long, but yes, absolutely.  They are always a part of my life.  I love them!  I would be more than happy to return to The Bold and the Beautiful, or do one of the two shows I have not appeared on yet: General Hospital, or Days of our Lives.  I love the medium, and I totally support it.  Yes, I love doing other things, and have been building up my film portfolio, but daytime is always a part of my life.

If they could write a really good part for you on Days of our Lives, I could see you shaking things up in Salem.  What do you think?

Courtesy/IMDB

ANDREA:  You know the truth is: Days of our Lives is a soap I have always wanted to do, because I think I would fit in it really well.  I also have to say I am very protective of my career, and my brand, and my fans.  And for me to come back to do something, it doesn’t have to be a role that goes on forever, it could be a short run role that has a certain amount of pop to it.  I would choose a role that is important, and that has to be right.

Tawny Moore was great trailer trash on B&B!  Would you say that she was one of your favorite roles of your career, as well?

ANDREA:  I loved Tawny, and I had been assured she would be coming back to the canvas at some point.  Adrienne Frantz (Amber) and I have remained very close.

To sum it up, for us to see more antics from Andrea Evans, what are your hopes for your project, Hidden Gems?

ANDREA:  I hope people will love, and support it, and hopefully be on it!

Watch Andrea’s Indiegogo campaign video for Hidden Gems below.  Then let us know what you think of the concept? Would it be fun to travel with Andrea and her crew during filming? What did you think about her sentiments on One Life to Live, playing Tina Lord, and Erika Slezak?  Would you love to see her return to daytime on Days of our Lives, GH, or back as B&B’s Tawny? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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I’m still heartbroken over not getting my daily fix of One Life To Live! It’s a damn shame the idiots over at ABC took off one of the Best Shows to ever grace its network! It’s also a shame that Prospect Park’s failed attempt to bring it back happened! I watched all 40 some Episodes of the Reboot from Prospect Park and loved every minute of it! I thought they were doing a great job. Was it everything it was on ABC? No! Of course not! But it was pretty damn good! There’s no Actress better than Erika Slezak Period! Through Daytime or Primetime! She should be gracing our television’s on a daily basis! Robin Strasser is also another amazing actress we should still be seeing! I miss Dorian & Viki so much! It would also be great to see Andrea Evans on our television screens again! There’s so many Extremely Talented Stars we don’t get to see anymore! And that’s really ashame! Happy Anniversary One Life To Live! I still hope we get to see you again one day!

So true. Erika and Robin are awesome actresses along with so many of OLTL’s actors. They should be on daytime.

Kyle,

You took the words straight from my heart. I ache for our beloved One Life to Live. I am fortunate enough, read that old enough, to have seen the very first episode of One Life to Live on July 15, 1968 and instantly fell in love with it. All the wonderful characters and actors who have come and gone throughout the years were such a joy to watch. And I agree with you totally. Erika Slezak and Robin Strasser should be gracing out television screens this very minute. And Andrea Evans made Tina Clayton Lord Roberts unforgettable. They are not the only ones. I’ve always said One Life to Live has the strongest cast of any show on television. Even very young and/ or inexperienced actors who are not very strong grow and learn from working with the best of the very best.

Like you, I watched every episode of the Prospect Park series and loved every second of them. I was truly look forward to seeing what would happen next. Some fans have hard feeling about Prospect Park. I do not. At least they tired to keep bringing us the very best daytime drama there ever was. I will always be grateful to them for that.

I will never forgive the alphabet network/mouse company for taking our beloved One Life to Live from us.

Happy Anniversary One Life to Live!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are NOT forgotten and I too still hope to see you again someday.

Very nice interview with a consummate pro. I studied with a top soap Casting Director back in the day, and she bragged that Andrea Evans had a nearly photographic memory! And how sweet of Ms. Evans to mention Erika Slezak…two lovely women. Andrea’s new travel show sounds truly delightful, I hope a cable network picks it up.

I want her on GH….

I got into One Life right before they announced it was being cancelled and it was great TV for it’s last year on ABC. I really enjoyed Andrea making a brief return and thought it was a multi layered character.

I’ve been watching old OLTL episodes and am currently in mid-July 2008. Andrea’s Tina is back in a lackluster and disappointing storyline (IMO) but it sure is great seeing Andrea in the role again. Tina was always a favorite character of mine and I will always be thankful to Andrea for this and wish her well.

THIS actress was THE Patty Williams!

You should have asked her about her time on Passions. Her Rebecca character was truly memorable.

Thank you for an interesting and up to date interview with one my favorite actresses, Andrea Evans. Andrea is always a class act; I would love to see her on soaps again! Looking forward to checking out Hidden Gems!

I loved her on Passions, she and Liza Huber were delicious as mother and daughter villains. They were the best characters next to Tabitha and Timmy.

Love this woman. She always gives 100 per cent no matter what.

General Hospital

Johnny Wactor’s Co-Worker, Anita Joy, Speaks Out For First Time Since His Fatal Shooting and Saving Her Life

Those who knew Johnny Wactor (ex-Brando Corbin, GH) were well aware of what an upstanding man he was. As tributes poured in when news that the General Hospital alum was shot and killed by one of three car thieves, they all spoke to his qualities as a human being.

Over the first 24 hours since his passing, the public learned Wactor lost his life putting himself in front of a female co-worker when confronted by his assailants, following their shift at a downtown LA bar. The thieves were attempting to steal his catalytic converter from his vehicle.

Now. Wactor’s former co-work, Anita Joy, has spoken out for the first time via her Instagram account of what happened on that fateful morning and her remembrances accompanied by photos and videos with Johnny.  As many now know, Johnny died a hero.

Photo: AJoyInstagram

Anita began, “I’ve needed to take some time to collect myself and my thoughts. I was with Johnny in his last moments and I’m here to be his voice after such unimaginable events. His story is in this post as it happened, please swipe through the top photos and read it. Early Saturday morning (May 25) after our bartending shift Friday night at Level 8 in DTLA.”

“He was killed senselessly by a coward who reacted without care of the gorgeous life he was taking,” Joy shared.  So, I’m angry, I’m sad and I’m all of the feelings and once … but above all, I am here for Johnny’s justice. My friend of 8 years went from laughing together, working side by side, leaving our bartending shift and walking to our cars, to him dying in my arms in the street of DTLA in the dark hours of 3am.”

She went on to say, “Everything happened in an instant. I’ve come to describe it as a glass of water that gets tipped over and you’re scrambling to grab it and save it from spilling out completely but it just runs through your fingertips and is gone.” Joy said that she and Wactor, “cautiously approached the men questioning what they were doing, at first thinking the car was being towed.”

Photo: ABC

“We were no threat and Johnny kept his cool as he always did, simply stating that it was his car and for them to leave. Hands open to his sides in peace, Joy recounted. “Johnny was between me and the man who shot him – as I heard the shot ring into the night, he forcefully tumbled back into my arms as I grabbed for him I shouted, ‘Hunny, you OK?’ And he only responded, ‘Nope! Shot!’ Joy went on to say that she and Johnny “toppled onto the street” where she was trying to hold his body up as she was screaming for help and screaming at Johnny to “stay with me.”

Next, Joy details that a security guard named Bryan ran into the street and phoned 911. Anita wrote, “I’m so thankful for Bryan showing up, trying with all his might to save Johnny. My only peace is that I was him and this didn’t happen to him alone. My other peace will be seeing these awful men brought to justice.”

Speaking on Wactor’s character, Joy added, “Johnny had this incredible ability that was truly just his genuine nature – to make anyone and everyone feel so special in his eyes. No matter how well you knew him, he treated everyone like he truly cared about you. He lit up any room – you couldn’t not smile around him. His energy was magnetic and pulled you in so effortlessly – you were safe with him. He treated everyone with love, respect, compassion and he really ‘saw’ you.”

Photo: ABC

“He was beautiful, goofy as hell, full of work ethic and values, he never put people down, even when joking, he never made you feel unsure of yourself – he knew how to be hilarious in such a positive way and it just made him that much more lovable. It just filled your heart to be around him,” she recalled.  Johnny made you love him instantly,” Joy added. “Absolutely one of the best men I’ve ever known. I’m so grateful to have been a part of his world and him, mine. My heart is shattered with his loss but I believe l have gained the best guardian Angel out there.  I love you Johnny Wacky.”

Anita then addressed the crime that took Johnny’s life and how Level 8 did not provide parking for its late night shift workers.  Joy explained, “These criminals need to be caught – Level 8 needs to provide parking for their late hour staff as they originally promised- This cannot be something that isn’t responded to with action, it needs to be addressed in a manner to prevent anything like this ever happening again to the best of their ability – Level 8 needs to contribute to Johnny’s family to honor and respect him for all the hard work and effort he did for them.”

Photo: AJoyIG

Speaking on GoFundMe page that has been set for Wactor, Anita spoke about Johnny’s family, expressing, “They are on the other side of the country and it’s going to be a lot on them emotionally and financially to get Johnny home to them.”

What do you think about Anita’s account of Johnny dying in her arms after shielding her from the thieves who were trying to steal his catalytic converter in his car? Her remembrances of the man she became friends and co-workers with? Comment below.

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All My Children

Chrishell Stause to Guest Star on Amazon Freevee’s ‘Neighbours’ in New Soap Role

Look. who’s returning to the soaps but this time down under? Chrishell Stause, who before the reality-series Selling Sunset found notoriety on daytime dramas, is set to play a new guest role on the iconic Australian soap, Neighbours.

Stause will play a new character, Yasmine Shields, who is said to be,”a glamorous and successful businesswoman in pursuit of an exciting new opportunity.” Chrishell will make her way to Australia and start filming in July.

Neighbours releases new episodes Monday-Thursday, at 7 a.m. BST, on Amazon Freevee in the UK and the U.S.  Stause is joining the show at the right time as it just received its first Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama Series at the upcoming 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

Photo: NBC

In a statement, the former All My Children, Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless star, expressed, “I am honored and excited to join such a beloved and iconic show.  Coming from the world of soaps in the U.S., it’s back to my first love in the entertainment industry. They pitched me an idea for a character, and I was immediately excited to figure out a way to make it happen. Ramsay Street here I come!”

Neighbours Executive Producer Jason Herbison said on the casting news, “We are thrilled to welcome Chrishell to the cast of Neighbours. We created a character especially for her and we can’t wait for her to bring the storyline alive. Expect intrigue and surprises – and many implications for the residents of Ramsay Street.”

Photo: CStauseIG

As fans know, Stause married her partner, Australian musician G Flip back in 2022, so now she has additional roots on the continent.

Previously on the soaps, Chrishell played the role of Amanda Dillon on All My Children (2005-2011), Bethany Bryant on The Young and Restless (2016) and Jordan Ridgeway on Days of our Lives (2013-2015; and make returns in: 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023).

Since leaving the American daytime soaps, Chrishell has received an MTV TV & Movie Award ‘Best Reality Star’ and a People’s Choice nomination for ‘Favorite Reality Star’ for her appearance in Selling Sunset. In 2023 she was recognized by Variety as one of the ‘40 Most Powerful Women in Reality TV’ and by Us Weekly as one of the ‘Top 10 Reality Stars of the Year.’

In February 2022, she released her debut memoir, Under Construction: Because Living My Best Life Took a Little Work. Chrishell is committed to philanthropic endeavors and is a vocal advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights.

Photo: AmazonFreevee

The continuation of the long-running series, Neighbours, is about the lives, loves, and challenges of the residents on Ramsay Street in Erinsborough, Australia, a fictional suburb of Melbourne—picked up two years after the finale in 2022, which was watched by millions of adoring fans.

As well as on Amazon Freevee in the U.S and UK as mentioned above, Neighbours streams on Prime Video in Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Australia’s Network 10 will retain first-run rights in Australia for the new chapter of the series. Previous seasons of Neighbours, as well as over 100 iconic episodes, are currently available to stream on Amazon Freevee.

So, what do you think about Chrishell Stause returning to the soaps with a role on Neighbours? Comment below.

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News

Tonya Lee Williams Says She Won’t Ever Be Coming Back to The Young and the Restless

It’s a different time in her life and she is in a different place, but Tonya Lee Williams (ex-Olivia Barber) addressed being asked back to reprise her signature soap opera role on CBS’ The Young and the Restless.

Tonya told Soaps In Depth the last time the soap reached out to her to reprise Olivia was for its 50th anniversary, “It it would have been lovely to do but I could not imagine doing the role. It takes a lot for me as an actor. You don’t just turn up and start reading a script. I don’t know how to explain it … I trained as an actor. I go through a lot of process into who that character is. And that character was someone from 20 years ago.”

Williams’ Y&R run Williams began back in 1990 and went through 2005. She later returned in 2007 making some appearances in the several years that followed. However, the last time anyone had an Olivia sighting was back in February of 2012 for Cane and Lily’s wedding.

She qualified that she left the show on “great terms,” adding, “I absolutely love the show. It has nothing to do with the show. But I try to explain it like this: Have you ever dated someone for a long time and you don’t want to date them anymore? And you have broken up with them and like, 10, 15 years have passed and people are saying, ‘Would you go back with that guy?’ I’m like, ‘No.’ Because you’re a different person now.”

Currently, Williams is the executive and artistic director for the Reelworld Film Festival. An organization she founded in 2001. Held in Toronto, the film festival features talent from ethnically diverse communities.

So, would you have liked to have seen the character of Olivia show back on Y&R? Perhaps, helping a patient in need since she is a doctor or speaking with/being involved with the Winters family in some capacity? Comment below.

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