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Anne Heche Talks Dancing with the Stars, Another World’s Vicky/Marley, Ellen DeGeneres, Standing Up to Discrimination

Photo: ABC

America is getting reacquainted with Daytime Emmy winner, primetime Emmy and Tony nominee, actress Anne Heche  This talented dynamo has taken to the ballroom dance floor on the new season of Dancing with the Stars with her pro dance partner Keo Motsepe.  Daytime soap fans are thrilled to see her again after her unforgettable performances at twins Vicky and Marley on the beloved Another World early in her professional career.

While everyone had a heart-stopping moment on Monday’s episode of Dancing with the Stars, when Heche and Motsepe found themselves in the bottom two- they were saved by the judges and will dance into next week!

Michael Fairman caught up with Heche prior to Monday’s show from her home in Los Angeles for a new interview feature on The Michael Fairman Channel on  You Tube.  Their conversation covered many points throughout Anne’s career, from her difficult upbringing detailed in her memoir, “Call Me Crazy”, to how she landed on Another World and life on a soap opera, to making the decision to leave, to having her career in film and TV reach a critical impasse when she was in a relationship with Ellen DeGeneres, to life now with her two children and of course, being a celebrity dancer on live TV on this very different season of DWTS.

Here are just a few of the highlights from the chat with Heche below.

Photo: ABC

Speaking on performing on the Covid-19 season of Dancing with the Stars, Anne expressed:”You can’t define a moment that’s getting on to that ballroom floor, and all of a sudden you know you are on live television.  Dancing with the Stars is usually done in front of a live audience and it’s not this year.  So you only have the other dancers as your audience, but stepping out knowing the responsibility that I was taking on for Keo, that I was taking on for myself, and then that click – and you get four clicks – and then you go.  You don’t know if you’re going to be able to do it.  I will go as far as I can go as an artist.  But when judge Derek Hough said ‘You made me smile’, that was my intention.  That’s why I am doing this more than anything.  Yes, I want to learn, but I am here to entertain in a world where there is little entertainment (right now), where it’s live, it’s now, and it’s happening in this moment.  We can’t feel each other, but you can look at my face and know that whatever dedication I have to do this, I will do to the best of my ability.  I have been given the opportunity to perform for an audience who is at home to give one thing – that is the joy with the entertainment that I bring.”

Photo: NBC

Soap opera fans will always recall Anne’s sensational portrayal of twins Vicky and Marley on Another World from 1987-1991.  To this day, it remains one of the all-time greatest in the genre, and at that time, daytime fans knew that Heche would eventually go on to an even greater mainstream career in motion pictures and television and Broadway.  Anne’s road to Bay City and Another World happened the day after she graduated high school (she was discovered there) and landed in New York and at Another World producer and director John Whitesell’s office, where she learned now only was she playing one part, but two!

As Anne recalls it, Whitesell said to her, “What you don’t know is that I auditioned you for two characters because you’re going to play twins.  And by the way … that Bahama Mama T-shirt you wore, and obviously you thought you should repeat it, because you’re wearing it in your screen-test, and you’re wearing it now, get it off! Vicky is the sexy one, so go figure it out!  Your first day you’re going to be in a hot tub and you’re talking to your dad, because you just lost a million dollars.  I’m like, ‘What?’.  Whitesell continued, ‘Yeah, it’s a bubble bath … and don’t make me regret this decision, because I am the only person who wanted to hire you.”  After that moment, Anne took on the dual roles still not knowing much of anything about daytime and she became a fan favorite.  Throughout the interview, Anne recalls her time working with Kale Brown (Ex-Michael Hudson) (Ex-Anna Stuart (Ex- Donna Love), and Tom Eplin (Ex-Jake McKinnon).

Heche had made the decision to exit Another World and was going to quit acting with the intent on going to the Parsons School of Design, when her agent called for her to go out for a role in a film that starred Jessica Lange in which he landed the role.  Noting that the production team at Another World moved all of her scenes to the end of the day so they could tape Vicky and Marley’s departure (so she could go be in the movie), Anne next found herself in a Motel 6 on location in Nebraska when the Daytime Emmys were being handed out in 1991, and she was nominated for her Outstanding Younger Actress.

As Heche recalls, “I’m watching the Emmys and I win and I’m eating a cheeseburger on a bed by myself in a Motel 6 in Nebraska and they say ‘she can’t be here … she is a new movie with Jessica Lange.’  I won an Emmy on a bug-infested bed in a Motel 6 in Nebraska and at that moment said, with a cheeseburger in my mouth, ‘Does this mean I’m supposed to be an actress?” (Laughs)

Photo: JP

Anne’s relationship with Ellen DeGeneres was a highly-publicized from 1997-2000 for their public appearances together which later backfired on Heche’s career.  However, through Heche, the needle moved forward to pave the way for same-sex couples to be able to express their love publicly.  As she reflects on that time in her life, she expressed: “I was told not to go to the premiere of Volcano if I took Ellen, and I looked at the suits standing in front of me, and even Ellen said, ‘You listen to them, Anne.  You can’t go with me.’  This is four days after I met Ellen.  I said, ‘If I had met George Clooney and four days later I was taking him to a premiere we would not be having this conversation.” This is the moment I realized what discrimination feels like. because, even Ellen is sitting here telling me not to go to the premiere.’  I said to Ellen, ‘You just came out Tuesday night on Ellen (referring to DeGeneres then comedy series) and you are sitting here right now and you are telling me to not bring you to my premiere as my date?!’  So, even Ellen did not agree with me. Then it happened again in front of President Clinton. I put my arm around her.  She said, “You’re not allowed, you can’t do that.’  I said, ‘I will not be discriminated against.”

Watch the entire video interview with Anne below.

Then let us know, are you rooting Anne on during her run on DWTS?  What are your favorite Vicky/Marley moments portrayed by Anne on Another World? What do you think about the comments she shared on Ellen DeGeneres and what happened throughout her life and career? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Who is the Another World character/actor pictured with Anne? (not the magazine cover but the publicity shot) He looks familiar, but I can’t place him.

That’s Russell Todd who played Jamie Frame.

Russell Todd who played Jamie

I think he was the second Jamie. Laurence Lau played Jamie 86-90.

He was actually the fifth “adult” Jamie, if I am remembering correctly. The first three were Tim Holcomb, Richard Bekins, and Stephen Yates (an interesting choice, given that Yates had played a different character on the show in the mid-70s); Lau was the fourth, and Todd was the fifth and final.

Yes that is Russell Todd, who took over the role of Jamie Frame from Laurence Lau, who was Anne’s first leading man along with Tom Eplin’s Jake McKinnon.

Anne was fantastic on AW. I still remember and love it. I was heartbroken when she left. I didn’t think they would be able to find someone to fill her shoes, but they did. Still, Anne was my favorite. I think she’s doing a good job on DWTS. She seems so happy.

I also enjoyed Anne in the TV show set in Alaska.

Anne will always be my favorite soap star. Vicky/Marley was just sensational tv.

Love this, love Anne. Great interview Michael

The year was 1987. I was a closeted gay teenager living in the Midwest attending a pretty large high school. The 80s weren’t an easy time for everyone. And that particular year was one of the worst of my childhood besides ’83 losing my Dad. Call me crazy but often soaps were an escape for me, as they are for millions of people, especially during the 80s. Many gay or straight men watched soaps, or at least during summer breaks, etc. Everyone knew who “Bo and Hope” were on DAYS, which my siblings and I grew up on due to our Mom watching since it premiered. Then my best friend, another male teenager who was and still is straight with a wife and four kids, told me I should watch Another World too, which followed my DAYS on NBC. I tuned in early ’87 during the riveting serial killer storyline called the “Sin Stalker” which basically wrapped up in time for Anne Heche’s debut on the show. She was cast in the pivotal roles of twins Victoria and Marley, where she appeared first as Vicky who became the more dominant character than when the Emmy-winning Ellen Wheeler originated the parts. She was Marley first, when the show later added twin sister Vicky who’d been given up at birth. My best friend and I began writing are own fictional soaps throughout high school which we graduated together. And as Anne had the courage to leave the show to pursue other interests in 1991, I mustered the courage to leave my home and enroll in a Fort Lauderdale, FL college in October of ’91. As a matter of fact, some friends and I gathered in my dorm apartment to watch Anne win ‘Best Leading Actress’ on the Soap Opera Digest awards, which aired after she had already left the show, like the Emmy she had also just won for ‘Outstanding Younger Leading Actess’. As for my favorite scenes of her on Another World, that’s easy. It was during the ‘Who Shot Jake’ storyline and Anne had to portray one twin-Vicky-pretending to be the other twin-Marley on the witness stand! To protect her sister who was falling apart, Vicky posed as Marley, fooling everyone in court, even their lawyer Cass. However, when it’s mentioned that Jake indeed raped Marley instead of just attempting to which is what Vicky believed, it was all she could do not to break down herself. As soon as a recess was ordered, Vicky made her way to the ladies’ room to have a moment to herself to process this news. And in total ‘Vicky fashion’ she freaks out, trashes the restroom, tearing a picture off the wall! That was the moment I knew Anne Heche would be a star!

Dancing with the Stars

‘Dancing with the Stars’ Derek Hough Reveals Wife Hayley Erbert Undergoing Skull Surgery

Dancing with the Stars judge Derek Hough has revealed that today on December 20th, his wife Hayley Erbert will be undergoing skull surgery.

Previously this month, Erbert had to have an emergency craniectomy after being diagnosed with a cranial hematoma. The surgery on Wednesday is to replace “a large portion of her skull”, Hough shared, that was removed during the first procedure.

In the early hours on Wednesday, Hough took to his Instagram story and expressed: “I strongly believe all the prayers that have been sent with the intention and love of Hayley’s recovery has helped so much. I can’t thank you all enough.”

Photo: JPI

Derek also added to, “Please keep her in your prayers as I believe the collective energy helped her through these past few weeks. We love you we thank you.”

Last week on Friday, Hough revealed that Erbert, 29, would need a skull implant in the coming weeks.  He offered up that, “the recovery process has been nothing short of a miracle,” and added that although, “Hayley is doing well,” she “still has a ways to go.”

As the holiday season is upon, Derek offered, “While this isn’t the holiday season either of us envisioned, it’s one that we’re incredibly grateful to have. We look forward to cherishing these moments with a deeper appreciation for life and the people in it.”

Send your well-wishes and prayers to Hayley and Derek as they go through this trying time via the comment section below.

 

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Dancing with the Stars

‘Dancing with the Stars’ Derek Hough Gives Update Following Wife Hayley Erbert’s Emergency Craniotomy

Over the last 48 hours, Dancing with the Stars judge and performer, Derek Hough shared on social media what happened to his wife, dancer Hayley Erbert when she underwent an emergency craniotomy after experiencing symptoms while on a dance tour with her husband.

In his first post on Thursday, Hough revealed that his wife of only three months “became disoriented and was taken to the hospital” while on their Symphony of Dance tour in Washington, D.C.  Ebert was later diagnosed with a “cranial hematoma from a burst blood vessel and required an emergency craniotomy.”

In an update on the situation on Friday, Derek revealed: “Hayley has always inspired me with her will, her strength, and her resilience and no more so than in the last 48 hrs.  She is now on the long road to recovery Words cannot express how grateful and thankful we are for the support and love that you have given us.  The kindness that we’ve been shown in this incredibly unfathomable and life-changing time is immeasurable. The offers of assistance that have poured in have been so humbling and appreciated. Our hope is that as a family, we can somehow and someway pay it forward.”

Photo: JPI

Hough and Erbert first met during the So You Think You Can Dance tour in 2013. They then began began dating in 2015 while both were appearing on Dancing with the Stars and were married in August 2023.

On Hough’s most recent Instagram post, celebrities from the world of soaps, motion picture and films and fellow cast members from DWTS all commented on Derek’s update sending love and prayers Hayley’s way including: GH’s Finola Hughes, Selling Sunset and former soap star, Chrishell Stause, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Matthew Morrison, Nina Dobrev, Emma Slater, Mira Sorvino, and Alfonso Ribiero.

Send you prayers, and well-wishes to Hayley and Derek while they go through this most challenging and difficult of times via the comment section below.

 

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Dancing with the Stars

DANCING WITH THE STARS: Crowns Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy Winners of Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy

On the three-hour season 32 finale of Dancing with the Stars, it all came down to who would take home the Len Goodman Mirrorball trophy. This would mark the first time the winners would receive the coveted award named after the beloved head judge who passed away in 2022.

With a perfect score for each of their four last dances (from last week’s competitions and the finale), it was clear that the team to beat was Xochitl Gomez and her pro partner, Val Chmerkovskiy. But would America feel the same?

After a stunning night of freestyle routines to close out the final round of competition, and a redemption dance performed earlier in the night, as deemed by one of the judges for the couples to improve upon from a previous performance, the five remaining couples put their best foot forward.

Photo: ABC

Here’s how it shook out when hosts Alfonso Ribeiro and Julianne Hough revealed the results:

In fifth place: Alyson Hannigan and Sasha Farber.  Next, in fourth place were former ‘Bachelorette’ star Charity Lawson and Artem Chigvintsev. Third place belonged to Vanderpump Rules star, Ariana Madix and her pro partner, Pasha Pashkov.

Then it all came down to two, Xochitl and Val, or Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Jason Mraz and pro partner Daniella Karagach. Mraz had actually performed his latest single, “I Feel Like Dancing” shortly before the results portion of the show.

Photo: ABC

The Season 31-winning celebrity contestant, Charli D’Amelio, returned to the ballroom floor to present the Mirrorball trophy to the winners. D’Amelio had performed earlier in the finale with her former pro partner, Mark Ballas, for a special routine.

Photo: ABC

Jason and Daniella were announced in first place, as Xochitl and Val were announced the Len Goodman Mirror Ball Trophy winners. For Val, this marks his third victory in his Dancing with the Stars career. He previously won the Mirrorball trophy with Rumor Willis in 2015 and Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez in 2016.

Photo: ABC

In the finale, Gomez and Chmerkovskiy performed a redemption foxtrot to Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally”, and finished with a freestyle dance to ‘Que Calor” by District 78.

Happy that Xochitl and Val won the season 32 Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy? Who did you think of the final results? Comment below.

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