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B&B's Lesley-Anne Down looks back at "Upstairs Downstairs" & her success in soaps!

Photo Credit: Celebrity-Pictures.ca

Photo Credit: Celebrity-Pictures.ca

Who can ever forget the historic landmark British soap opera, Upstairs Downstairs that aired on PBS from 1971-1975? Not anyone who was around 40 years ago, that is for sure. And now in honor of the cherished series, a DVD has been released containing  never before seen material and interviews commemorating the legendary soap.

The Bold and the Beautiful’s Lesley-Anne Down (Jackie) was one of the series signature characters and stars when she played Lady Georgina Worsely.  Down chatted with TV Guide for a look back at her delicious role and why she is so good at being in the soap genre!  Here are a few excerpts!

Lesley-Anne on her instant fame from Upstairs Downstairs but that the pay was less than stellar: “The pay was truly horrendous! I was making only 300 pounds per episode on the hottest show in the world! Bruce wasn’t working at the time. We were living above the first-ever punk shop. Every morning, we’d come down and say, “Oh, hello Johnny!” — meaning Johnny Rotten. “Oh, hello Sid!” — Sid Vicious, of course. I had been doing all these crapola Hammer House of Horror movies up to that point and we had no money, so Bruce and I wrote a porno story for a magazine, and that brought in at least 15 pounds. And then I went and earned 100 pounds for the afternoon dubbing a French porno movie into English — all the while playing Lady Georgina. It was so insane!”

Down on why some of her biggest career moves and successes have been in the soap format: “I love the form. And I love B&B! Prior to playing Jackie, I had done [the NBC daytime soap] Sunset Beach for Aaron Spelling and when that ended after three years I prayed and prayed — I’m a very religious person — saying, “Dear God, I want a soap opera.” [Laughs] There are not a lot of actors out there who pray to God for that! These days the young ones are all looking for a big break because you’re not going to get famous on a soap. But for somebody my age — which is 57 — this is an absolute gift. I’ve been there, done that, darling, so for me this is brilliant. And I will do everything required. I will dye my hair blond, work out like a fiend, drench myself in self-tanner, have my face stretched. I’m only vain about one thing — my arms. I’ll do anything as long as my arms are covered. [Laughs] And, hey, if things don’t work out, I can always go back to dubbing French porn. I’m really good at it, actually!”

Jean Marsh (Rose), Upstairs Downstairs star and co-creator returns April 1oth for a sequel to the series to be seen on PBS! Should be must-see TV!

All My Children

All My Children Alums to Appear in E!’s New Series, ‘Reunion Road Trip’

All My Children is having a bit of a renaissance of late. First with the previously announced primetime series in development, Pine Valley, and now a new series on E! Entertainment Television.

Coming up on the June 10th episode, which kicks-off the new show, Reunion Road Trip, several of your favorites from AMC are part of the first episode.

Look for Rebecca Budig (Ex-Greenlee), Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria), Cameron Mathison (Ex-Ryan), and Jacob Young (Ex-JR) along with Alicia Minshew (Ex- Debbi Morgan (Ex-Angie), Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), and Darnell Williams (Ex-Jesse), to appear.

According to EW.com, who broke the news, viewers can look for Budig, LaRue, Mathison, Young, to come together at an exclusive Hollywood mansion to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary where they get some surprise visitors in the form of Minshew, Morgan, Ripa, and Williams.

Reunion Road Trip airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT with other episodes to feature the former casts of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, A Different World and Scrubs.

So, looking forward to seeing the Pine Valley crew on Reunion Road Trip? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GL Alum Kimberly J. Brown Joins the Cast of General Hospital

Another daytime favorite is coming to General Hospital.  This time its Kimberly J. Brown (Ex-Marah) of Guiding Light fame.  She last appeared on the soaps during her from 1993-1998 and then a brief return in 2006

According to Soap Opera Digest, she will make her GH debut next week in a mystery role.

Kimberly worked with two GH powerhouse actresses during her tine on Guiding Light. 

She noted to SOD about her time in Springfield: Cynthia Watros (Nina, GH, Ex-Annie Dutton, GL) was my stepmom for a bit, and Laura Wright (Carly, Ex- Cassie, GL) played my aunt.”

Brown has appeared in numerous primetime television shows and motion pictures over the last few decades.

Now the question becomes, who will Kimberly play on GH? Share your theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital and ‘H.R. Pufnstuf’s’ Billie Hayes Dead at 96

She was one-of-a-kind, and now actress Billie Hayes has passed away at the age of 96.  Hayes’ family announced her death from natural causes on April 29th at Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

Hayes was best-known for her unforgettable role as Witchiepoo on the 1969-70 Saturday morning live-action children’s classic H.R. Pufnstuf from Sid and Marty Kroft.

However, daytime fans will remember that then General Hospital executive producer, Gloria Monty, hired Hayes to play the recurring role of the street-smart international spy, Brighton O’Reilly, back in the 80’s series hey day.

GH’s Tristan Rogers (Robert Scorpio) took to Twitter to mourn the loss of Hayes on Monday sharing; “My dear wonderful Billie Hayes has died. Sadly I only got to work with her on GH but it was a magical relationship. Right away Gloria Monty saw something unique and ran with it. I cannot tell you how her passing saddens me.”

Photo:ABC

In story, Brighton O’Reilly was shot and killed by Victor Cassadine back in 1981. Billie told Soap Opera Digest back in 2003 about her time as an agent on GH, and her exit from the series: “I asked Gloria why she killed me off, and Gloria said, ‘To tell you the truth, Billie, we really hemmed and hawed at it. But I decided to do it for selfish reasons. I knew if I killed O’Reilly there’d be such an abundance of sympathy and love for Scorpio that his stock would go up. And he’s my new leading man!’ I understand why Gloria knocked me off, but I would have loved to have gone on with it because I feel it could have been developed into a fascinating character.”

Photo: JPI

Sid and Marty Kroft also took to Twitter and expressed:  “Margaret Hamilton (Wizard of Oz) once told us that Billie Hayes was “one of the best witches ever” We couldn’t agree more. Rest in Peace dear friend.”

Billie’s career spanned decades including Broadway, television, motion pictures and voice-over work. In addition, she founded the Los Angeles-based animal rescue nonprofit organization Pet Hope, a cause she had championed since adopting a puppy abandoned in the basement of Broadway’s St. James Theatre during the run of Lil’ Abner in which she was featured in the role of Mammy Yokum.

Share your remembrances of Billie Hayes and your condolences for her family and loved ones via the comment section below.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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