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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!

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I love this woman! She is so gorgeous Brad get her back on the canvas!

Guiding Light

Matt Bomer Reveals After Exiting ‘Guiding Light’ He Lost the Role of ‘Superman’ Due to His Sexuality

During the June 10th edition of the Hollywood Reporter Awards Chatter Podcast, former Guiding Light star, Matt Bomer (ex-Ben Reade) revealed the role that got away, and how his exit from the CBS soap opera was precipitated to accommodate his burgeoning movie career, only to have his sexuality wind up costing him the part.

Bomer was seemingly set to play the Man of Steel, Superman, in a motion picture version in the early 2000’s, and as he tells it to Scott Feinberg during the podcast, things went awry.

“I went in on a cattle call for Superman, and then it turned into a month-long audition experience where I was auditioning again and again and again, and flying out to New York and doing chemistry reads, an flying out to LA doing chemistry reads, flying back to New York, flying back to LA to do a screen-test,” recalled Bomer. “And it looked like I was the director’s choice for the role. This is a very early iteration of Superman, written by JJ Abrams called Superman Flyby and it never came to light.”

Photo: JPI

While Matt was going through the Superman audition process he was still under contract at Guiding Light. Bomer described how he was let go from the soap: “Concurrently on Guiding Light, there was a killer in town, and so I think they needed somebody to pin it all on someone. So, I think the executive producer very kindly wanted to free me up just in case this job came through and said, ‘Hey, you’re gonna be the killer. We’re writing you off the show. Go with my blessing.’ I guess, I basically got fired, but in a generous way.”

Photo: JPI

Bomer had good reason to believe he was on his way, and the role of Superman was his after he had signed a three picture deal with Warner Brothers. As to why the part of Superman never came to pass, Bomer believes it was due to his sexuality (Later, Matt would come out publicly in 2012).

During the podcast, Matt explained, “Yeah, that’s my understanding That was a time in the industry when something like that could still really be weaponized against you. How and why and who I don’t know. But yeah, that’s my understanding.”

While Matt has not yet played Superman, he has done stellar work in major projects including: Fellow Travelers, Magic Mike, White CollarIn Time, The Normal Heart to name but a few.

What do you think of Guiding Light making Ben that killer in order to free up Bomer to leave the CBS soap to go and become a star in Hollywood and potentially play Superman, only for his sexuality to take the role away from him by the powers-that-be? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Jason George Returning to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Main Cast for Upcoming Season

Soap opera alum Jason George (ex-Michael Bourne, Sunset Beach) is rejoining Grey’s Anatomy as a series regular for its upcoming 21st season.

According to Deadline, Jason will reprise his signature role of Ben Warren. Previously, the actor played Ben since season 6 of the ABC medical drama. Later, George became a series regular for seasons 12-14 before departing to join the ‘Grey’s’ spinoff, Station 19.

With Station 19 now canceled, it paved the way for George to bring Ben back to Seattle Grey’s Sloan. Over the past seven years, Jason was a mainstay on the firefighter drama and would make appearances and crossover to “Grey’s’.  Both series are produced by Shondaland and ABC signature.

Photo: ABC

In story, the seventh season of Station 19 had Ben tapping leaning into his medical skills while questioning his future as a firefighter in light of his shoulder injury. Then, in the Station 19 series finale, Ben told Captain Herrera that he was going back to finish his surgical residency. The story all fits together because when Ben was a fifth year resident at Grey Sloan, he found a way to pursue his other dream as a firefighter without jeopardizing his chances to return to the hospital and medicine one day.

Photo: NBC

George was featured on NBC’s Sunset Beach from 1997-1999 as lifeguard Michael Bourne and his love interest, Vanessa was played by Sherri Saum (ex-Keri, One Life to Live) who is also the wife of the late Kamar de los Reyes (ex-Antonio, One Life to Live)

In a post on X, following the story of his rejoining Grey’s Anatomy, George posted a video with the music from “Welcome Back Kotter” and the words “Well … it WAS kind of hush-hush. But now it’s official. Where my scrubs at?”

So, glad to hear Jason George is returning as a series regular to Grey’s Anatomy? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Bryan Craig Teases ‘Who Could It Be’ in Response to General Hospital’s Returning Mystery Man

Since General Hospital’s executive producer, Frank Valentini dropped a major bombshell of what’s to come on the long-running daytime drama at the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards, the guessing games have begun of just what former GH actor is returning to the cast this summer.

Speaking with ABC’s On The Red Carpet, as previously reported, Valentini shared, “A former cast member is coming back. And I think that the audience will go crazy for HIM.”

That has led to major online speculation that it could be anyone from: Jonathan Jackson (ex-Lucky), Greg Vaughn (ex-Lucky), Ted King (ex-Lorenzo Alcazar), Nicholas Chavez (ex-Spencer), and Bryan Craig (ex-Morgan) among others, that might be the gentlemen being referenced.

Photo: JPI

On Wednesday, responding to a post on the subject from Soap Opera Digest, Bryan Craig commented, “Who could it be ….”  Now, clearly he can just be having some fun with the situation to throw fans off-track, or he might be giving us a tease of what’s to come.

Before exiting GH, the actor won two Daytime Emmys for his performances as Morgan Corinthos in 2016 and 2017.  Craig appeared on GH from 2013-2016 and made a return in 2018. Since departing GH, Bryan has appeared most recently in Freeform’s Good Trouble and ABC’s Grand Hotel, plus several independent films.

The character of Morgan was killed-off the show when Olivia Jerome set a bomb that exploded in the car that Morgan got into, but was meant to kill Olivia’s brother Julian Jerome. Morgan’s death caused a huge split in the relationship of Carly and Sonny.

So, do you think Bryan Craig is just having fun with the audience, or do you think it’s possible he is the big return Frank Valentini is talking about? Comment below.

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