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Byrne & Hensley reunite one last time for ATWT farewell interview!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

In a informative, touching, humorous, and sentimental interview from TV Guide Canada’s, Nelson Branco, Martha Byrne, the original Lily Snyder, and Jon Hensley, the one and only Holden, are reunited one last time for a frank chat on their time together as As the World Turns as the uber-popular supercouple, just as the CBS series heads towards it’s finale on Friday.   From their plagued storylines, to Martha’s exit from the series and being replaced by Noelle Beck, to what former head scribe Doug Marland would think of ATWT’s cancellation, to Martha’s least favorite storyline during her decades on the soap,  it’s all here for long time fans of this beloved on-screen soap couple.    Here are a just few intriguing and juicy excerpts!

Hensley on if he will watch this week’s final ATWT air shows: I’m watching the last week. I wasn’t really on prior to that because they had some other stories that they were wrapping up. I’m pretty heavy in the past 10 days, so I’ll probably check that out. And that’s it — that’s all she wrote.”  Bryne then responded: “No, I’m not going to watch. I’ve seen some of the previews and I think, “I don’t want to go there.” I’m choosing to separate myself from it. It’s like choosing to be sad and uncomfortable. I prefer not to feel like that. I feel like it’s better to put [the experience] to bed instead of remembering what I may see in the final shows. Maybe down the road, I’ll watch it on YouTube when some time has passed.”

Byrne on her least favorite all-time storylines to play as Lily! “I didn’t like it when Lily started getting really dumb. You know, when she was addicted to painkillers and signing over her mother’s company — I had a problem with that. I didn’t mind the weight storyline … as long as the story was about character, I had no problem. Probably my least favourite storyline was when Lily couldn’t accept Luke as a gay man. I always had an issue with that story point. Not being able to accept Luke as gay was very, very difficult for me  — especially having to make it work on my part and as a mother in general. Lily would never have had a problem with Luke’s homosexuality. Yes, Damian, of course, but not Lily. Maybe Holden a little bit. But that’s part of your job as an actor — trying to make these stories work. And sometimes it doesn’t. The fans still remember those failures, and continue to bring them up. Let’s face it — our fans know our characters as well as we do. I always try to get it out there that we know the problems with our characters and stories, but we don’t write the show. We can only adjust so much for it to be palatable in those moments.”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Hensley on if Holden was really based off of former head writer and Oakdale wunderkind, Douglas Marland: “I think my character was who Doug was as a kid so he had this special interest in me as a person. He always made sure I was growing as a person and made sure I was happy. We would have dinner once a month and go to the theatre. He was more of a father figure for me than anything else. He was very caring and loving. It was a very special relationship. I never expected to have experienced something like that with a head writer. I mean, when you go out with your head writer, you’re terrified because you don’t know what to expect.”

Byrne on what Marland would say about the state of  ATWT in it’s final years and it’s ultimate cancellation: “He’d probably be happy that they didn’t put Holden and Lily back together. He would have wanted to tell that story … he had such a personal investment in the characters. He also would’ve been heartbroken about the show’s cancellation. [Moreover], I don’t think a lot of things would’ve have happened, including our cancellation, would he still be alive today. It took a long time until [ex-head writer] Hogan Sheffer showed up before we stopped treading water after Doug’s death. It was so apparent that we really couldn’t survive without Doug. He was the only one who could juggle and spin the plates on our show. You know, the Bill Bells of the world, there are so few of those talents. But Hogan did give our show new life. I think Hogan and Doug would’ve been best friends. Although they are so different on so many levels, they are equally passionate about the genre. I think Doug would be very hurt and very sad about what has happened to World Turns and the state of where things are. I do believe had he lived that we would not have been canceled. We wouldn’t be having this conversation right now, Nelson. It’s like what Lauralee Bell said in your interview last week, which was so beautiful, her father would’ve evolved with the times, and he would have made adjustments to keep the characters true to who they are. Bill was a very progressive thinker as was Douglas. I know they were the masters at what they did. They would have been teaching us how to continue this genre.”

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Nicole
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Nicole

I remember when Holden first came on the show and caught Lily’s eye. The chemistry between Martha & Jon was incredible from the start. So happy to read this interview. Their friendship is adorable.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Hi, Michael!

I must respectfully mention that Lucy Deakins was the original Lily in 1984, followed by our wonderful Martha Byrne in 1985! 🙂

As The World Turns

As the World Turns Alum Rita Walter Dead at 71

We’re still losing so many beloved soap opera actors as 2022 comes to a close. Now comes word that former As the World Turns alum, Rita Walter (nee McLaughlin) passed away at the age of 71.  Walter had been diagnosed with Multifocal Glioblastoma, an extremely aggressive form of terminal brain cancer.

Rita had an 11-year-run as Oakdale’s Carol Deming Hughes Stallings Andropoulos Frazier.

The former actress-turned-optician, died on Christmas.  Rita’s brother, David McLaughlin revealed the news on the 26th which also happened to be the anniversary of Walter’s exit from the defunct CBS soap opera in 1981.

In his posting on Facebook, McLaughlin shared: “My sweet, loving sister Rita was called to Jesus today on Christmas day, his birthday. She was a well known actress as well as dedicated server of the Lord Jesus. May you rest in peace Sis, I love you forever. You’ve taken my heart with you.”

Photo: SOD

Before playing good girl, Carol Deming, who always found herself in distress as only a good heroine could do, Rita started her career as Patty Duke’s double on The Patty Duke Show, before getting her first foray into soaps with a role on The Secret Storm as Wendy Phillips.

We clearly remember when on ATWT, Carol was married to Jay Stallings, but Jay was having an affair behind her back. Carol also had failed relationships and marriages to Tom Hughes and Steve Andropolous.  Eventually, Carol left Oakdale after falling in love and marrying Reverend Norman Frazier.  In a case of life imitating art, Rita married Reverend Normal Walter in 1976.

Walter is survived by her three children, Brian, Jill, and Amy, and her husband, Reverend Norman.

Share your condolences and remembrances for ATWT’s Rita Walter in the comment section below.

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As The World Turns

ATWT Alum Michael Park Joins The Cast of Hulu Drama ‘Saint X’

Great news! Fans who have missed Michael Park (ex-Jack, As the World Turns) on the small screen will get a chance to see him once again in the new psychological drama series, Saint X.

The series will stream on Hulu and in it the two-time Daytime Emmy-winning actor will play the part of Bill Thomas, in the eight-episode series adapted from Alexis Schaitkin’s novel.

In story, Bill and his wife Mia Thomas (Betsy Brandt) are upper middle class parents of two, enjoying a family vacation in a Caribbean resort until one of their daughters goes missing.

According to Deadline, the series is told via multiple timelines and perspectives, explores and upends the girl-gone-missing genre as it explains how a young woman’s mysterious death during an idyllic Caribbean vacation creates a traumatic ripple effect that eventually pulls her surviving sister into a dangerous pursuit of the truth.

No further details have been been made available as to when the show will premiere on the streamer, but stay tuned for more updates.

So, excited to see Michael in Saint X? Comment below.

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As The World Turns

ATWT Alum Julianne Moore to Star In New Limited-Series

In casting news, Academy Award-winner and As the World Turns alum, Julianne Moore (Ex-Frannie and Sabrina Hughes) will star in a new period-piece drama for Sky and AMC.

Moore, who won a Daytime Emmy for her work on the beloved CBS soap back in 1988, will play Mary Villiers, Countess of Buckingham, in Mary & George.

Villers in 17th Century England moulded her  son, George, to seduce King James I and become his all-powerful lover. Through outrageous scheming, the pair rose from humble beginnings to become one of the richest, most titled, and influential mother and sons England had ever seen.

According to Deadline, the series is due to begin filming in early 2023 and is slated for an 8-episode run.

Mary & George will mark only the second time, Moore has starred in a TV drama, after her appearance in the 2021 Apple mini-series Lisey’s Story.

Julianne won her Oscar for Lead Actress back in 2014 for Still Alice, where she played a woman battling Alzheimer’s disease.

Intrigued to see Julianne in Mary & George? Comment below.

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