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Cady McClain speaks on Dixie's return, Michael E. Knight, and AMC's network TV axing!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Daytime Emmy winner,  Cady McClain (Dixie) over the weekend at the All My Children Fan Club Gathering to ask her about the shocking turn of events that led to dead-as-a-doorknob Dixie being risen from the ashes and given new life as the 40-year-old soap prepares to end its network television run on ABC Daytime on September 23rd.

With not-to-be missed episodes, Tad and Dixie fans will see major moments beginning to play out on-screen this week, with a key episode on Monday August 8th.  McClain, a savvy soap veteran opens up about how her return as Dixie came to pass, her unbelievable on-screen chemistry with Michael E. Knight (Tad), the upcoming Tad and Dixie reunion scenes, and how she handled the news that both AMC and OLTL were to be to shipped off of network television.  We found Cady to be witty, funny,  smart as a whip, and filled with deep emotion on the subjects we bantered about.

Cady, did you want to come back to All My Children and revive Dixie one more time after the poison pancake debacle, or were you just done?

CADY: I think I had really let it go, I had just decided, they were not calling. It’s dead. She’s dead. She ate the poison pancakes.  She was a ghost twice!  Maybe I would come and talk to Tad as the ghost; you know I thought I was going the way of Jenny Gardner! (Laughs) First, I had heard that Lorraine Broderick was hired as head writer, and I thought, “Hmmm. What is going on here? Lorraine has always liked me and been very supportive of me.” And then like in a second, I got a text from Julie Carruthers, the executive producer of All My Children, and I literally had to sit down.  I almost fell off my chair.

At the time you got the text, did you for a moment think, Dixie might turn out be alive this time?

CADY: No! It was just, “You want to meet for coffee? Are you in New York still? What is going on?” And I am like. “You tell me?” (Laughs).  So we had sat down and had some coffee and they informed me they wanted to bring me back for a year and that was before the show was canceled. So, we were talking and in negotiations and then I got a call from my agent who said, “Ah, sit back down. The show has been canceled.”

Courtesy/ABC

Now we have amped up sped up version of what would happen if Dixie came back to her loved ones very much alive due to the network television conclusion of All My Children which is upon us.  Did it feel sped up in the storytelling to you?

CADY: Yeah and I suppose that is kind of what we have. And in a way, I am kind of glad. I mean, there are times when it feels like, “Whoa. This is happening so fast!”

And there are times, if you had the luxury to tell the story over a year arc; it could also feel drawn out into infinity!

CADY: Right, exactly and especially for the fans who are like, “Would you please exit the crypt!” (Laughs)

When you first heard the news that AMC was canceled, as someone who has consistently worked in the daytime genre and has been an actress associated with playing a beloved character on this show, were you shocked by the news?

CADY: I was in frozen shock for a couple of days, especially announcing both One Life to Live and All My Children being canceled at the same time.  And then, I got very depressed. I had to lie down and really feel sad about it. It is a genre that works really hard. Everyone in the business knows no one works harder than those in the soaps. It is five shows a week, fifty two weeks a year. We kill ourselves to put on programming like that. It is very dramatic, emotional, and relevant programming, and not everyday do you hit it out of the ballpark. But you have to keep the story going and sometimes when soaps do it well, it is amazing.  It felt like soaps were misunderstood, not being wanted, not being liked, all those painful feelings that rejection brings, and then it felt like an opportunity of: let’s show them how good we can be.  Let’s do the very best job we can do and keep continuing on to the very end and see what happens.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Michael E. Knight and you have this undeniable on-screen chemistry. Tad and Dixie are one of the all time favorite couples in the history of AMC.  The big reunion scenes are set to air on Monday August 8th.  Were you good with it and how they wrote it?

CADY: The reunion is really good!  I am very good with it and Michael and I were talking about this. There is nowhere else in our lives where we have this experience of true love that has lasted over our entire lives. And in the world we live today, not many people have that with their partners.  Not many people have that anymore with one person. Whether Tad and Dixie have fallen apart or cheated on one another, certainly, there is something about them that they just love about each other and they know each other and they are family. That has great value; having that one person who has always fought for you and stood by you and wanted for you. I am getting emotional just talking about it. Michael and I because of our friendship have some of that, but it really blossoms on-camera. It is this fantasy world we get to go to and it’s this very precious thing that is available to find in real life, but very hard to find.

Over the years, Michael E. Knight has turned Tad into this extremely relatable, everyman type of guy with his sweet and sincere performances. I believe he has grown as an actor, and he is just amazing to watch.

CADY: It is sweet. Michael has had an amazing journey as a person and as an actor in his career.  It is funny; I see acting just like some people see painting. It is sort of this thing that it is outside of yourself, but you and your craft keep growing at the same rate… as you grown in your craft, you grow as a person.  So, as he has grown as a person his acting has just expanded into this other rich facility and that is really hard to get.  I remember in my first acting class they said, “You will be an actor in twenty years. So just stick with it. Everything you do up till then will be about learning how to do this.” And that is where I feel where we are both at now.  I can do this and I get it, and it’s become wide and rich inside both of us.

When you found out the reason Dixie was back and very much alive, thanks to Dr, David Hayward’s machinations, (although viewers don’t know and have not learned the whole story yet) where you like, “Oh my God! This is so far-fetched!”

Photo Credit: Steven Bergman

CADY: I loved it! I thought it was “camp” and I think the element of “camp” in soaps makes it so much fun.  It’s silly and larger than life, and why not?  It’s like where anything can happen. It’s almost like being in Wizard of Oz land. You have your real characters and then you have these fantasies.  So, I was fine with it. (Laughs)

When you film your final episode of AMC, and you have to leave the studio and say goodbye to everyone for the final time (even though the show will be moving to the web, and we don’t know if you will be with it at that point) what will be your takeaway and fondest moments with the series?

CADY: We have four or so more weeks to shoot, so I am not done yet. I will definitely remember what I shot most recently that is coming up to air.  I remember that very deeply and fondly already. I also think I remember and will take away living on set the most over the years I have been on All My Children. I have talked about this before with Michael, that there is this wonderful world we get to live in and have happy families and Christmas time and miracles, and that has been a wonderful place for me to escape my own life, and for all the people that watch All My Children too. We all escape there. So I will miss that escape, I truly will.

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Kim A.
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Kim A.

Cady, I’m just about to BURST!! I’m SO excited about your return in the form of being “ALIVE” and not a ghost! At this time, we have gotten to see you in a few episodes already, and of course, we have that constant anticipation for when Tad and Dixie are finally face-to-face once again. I truly hope you will continue on with AMC for many more years to come!
Much love, from just ONE of SO MANY “Soap Savers” across the nation who have never given up hope that our shows will live on…much like “Dixie”…(hahahahaha!)!
Kim Anderzak

Brian T
Guest
Brian T

When will we get more information from Prospect Park about how the online thing will work and who will be offered to stay? I just can’t take the suspense any longer. I love how the show is getting so much better and I know it will continue to be great online too.

Selena Celestin
Guest
Selena Celestin

Now THIS… Is something I’ve been waiting for. No ghost, the real, the Sunshine Song singer.. Dixie Cooney Martin… back again 😀 I watched ALL of the old episodes from 1988 til’ this day, and I’m 15. Dixie coming back, get’s me excited for next weeks Monday, When I’m NOT really a fan of Mondays Lol. Cady McClain, is the BEST at acting. I just really admire her. So the reunion and the reviving of Dixie? Officially made the year. I love Happy Endings, I just don’t want AMC to end when Dixie comes back, it’s been 5 years since… Read more »

ethel
Guest
ethel

i am so waiting for the dixie/tad reunion!
i hope she can get jr straightened out while she is in pine valley.

Robin
Guest
Robin

I am also a HUGE fan of the whole genre. I also am anxious to see how its going to work with the soaps on-line, but we have to have patience and let prospect park do what they have to do to make deals with the crews unions as well as the cast/actors & actresses on both shows. These contracts and deals take time. Hopefully, they will have it together soon!! THANK YOU, PROSPECT PARK, INC. I am so very THANKFUL TO YOU FOR KEEPING OUR SOAP FAMILIES ALIVE AND HAPPY!! WHATEVER YOU NEED TO HELP, IF I CAN ASSIST… Read more »

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

I have watched AMC and OLTL since my grandmother introduced them to me when they first began — I wonder if it will still be on soap net — or what I need to do – as I am a career person – and I record them every day – and watch on the weekends — and I just hate those nasty reality shows — who wants reality when the economy is horrible and people are losing homes and jobs — and I really don’t want ANY MORE REALITY — thank you very much — I’m a social worker –… Read more »

Torrey
Guest
Torrey

Is it just me or does anyone else feel like this Tad/Dixie Reunion was the absolute worse? Tad didn’t really even act like he was that excited to see her…… No tears, just a brief moment of acting as if he was stunned then that was it. The he goes to Cara and says he’s not for sure what’s going to happen with him and Dixie, and he feels more than a sense of obligation for Cara. Ok…..Tad has been moping around PV, looking at the sky while trying to reach out to Dixie’s spirit….constantly talking about Dixie and remembering… Read more »

All My Children

Kelly Ripa Talks On Her New Memoir ‘Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories’

Talk show host and All My Children alum, Kelly Ripa (ex-Hayley) is opening up about her life and times in her highly-anticipated memoir available now, Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories.

Ripa chatted exclusively with PEOPLE who got some of intel and dish on what’s included in the book.

Kelly told PEOPLE, when she landed the gig as the new co-host of Live with Regis and Kelly, with the late Regis Philbin back in 2001, she felt like she was “getting shot out of a cannon.”  Ripa was also appearing on All My Children at the same time.

She tells the story of when her agent called with the offer, Ripa was told: “They want you to know who your boss is. It was very ominous, and it did not feel good.”  Her agent also said the show didn’t want her, “bringing an entourage.” She brought two people. “I came with hair and makeup,” Kelly says. “It was not an unusual thing for people on a television show to show up with.”

She added that Regis greeted her with executive producer, Michael Gelman, saying: “Uh-oh, Gelman, it’s got an entourage.” It?!  Kelly expressed that she “felt horrible.  He was probably trying to be funny, but at the same time it felt like a pile-on.”

As for Philbin’s attitude at the time, Kelly shared, “I understand that probably he didn’t want a co-host, but the network wanted me to be the co-host and I didn’t think I should pass up that opportunity. I don’t think it was fair to him. But it was also not fair to me.”

Photo: JPI

The actress-talk show host-producer also talked on her marriage to Mark Consuelos (ex-Mateo), whom she met while both were on All My Children, sharing that they were, “too young to get married! On paper it should not have worked and when it didn’t work, we really worked at it. We fought for our marriage when it would have been easier to quit and throw in the towel.”

According to the book publisher, HarperCollins:  “In ‘Live Wire’, her first book, Kelly shows what really makes her tick. Whether recounting how she and Mark (Consuelos) really met, the level of chauvinism she experienced on set, how Jersey Pride follows her wherever she goes, and many, many moments of utter mortification (whence she proves that you cannot, in fact, die of embarrassment) Kelly always tells it like it is. Ms. Ripa takes no prisoners.”

So, will you be ordering your copy of Kelly’s memoir? Let us know in the comment section below.

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All My Children

Eva LaRue’s Stalker Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison

In a harrowing situation spanning 12 years, a man who threatened former All My Children, Santa Barbara, and Y&R favorite, Eva LaRue (ex-Maria, ex- Margot, ex-Celeste) and her daughter, Kaya was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

James David Rogers, 58, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt for over a decade of threatening letters and phone calls about torture, rape and death to LaRue and her daughter.

Rogers had pleaded guilty in April to two counts of mailing threatening communications, one count of threats by interstate communications and two counts of stalking.  According to court documents, all of this began in March 2007 until Rogers eventually was arrested in November 2019.  At the beginning of his stalking spree, LaRue’s daughter, Kaya was only five-years-old.

According to Deadline, Eva gave a “tearful victim impact statement, telling the judge in L.A. federal court that she has undergone therapy since the harassment began in order to deal with feelings of fear and paranoia.”  She added, “We didn’t know if he would show up on our doorstep. We will think about him for a lifetime. The fear is with me forever.”

Photo: JPI

The judge has ordered Rogers to self surrender on October 12th to begin his sentence at a federal prison in Ohio.

Eva won a Daytime Emmy back in 2020 for her guest star turn on The Young and the Restless, and is best-known to primetime viewers for her role in CSI: Miami.

Share your thoughts on Eva and Kaya’s heartbreaking real-life experience via the comment section below.

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All My Children

Soap Vet, Broadway Star and Artistic Director, Robert Lupone Passes Away at 76

Bob Lupone, the brother of Broadway Icon, Patti Lupone, and who is best-known to soap opera fans as con artist Zach Grayson on All My Children (1984-1985) has died at the age of 76.

The actor, and artistic director of Off-Broadway’s acclaimed MCC Theatre for over 40 years, passed away Saturday, due to complications from his three year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Photo: MCC Theatre

Ironically, Bob was best known on Broadway as Zach in A Chorus Line which landed him a Tony Award nomination in 1976, and he also received a Daytime Emmy nomination for his other role of Zach on All My Children in 1985.  The murder of Zach Grayson was quite the murder mystery and trial; bringing in many suspects to the story.

In addition to All My Children, throughout his soap career, Lupone held roles on: Search for Tomorrow as Tom Bergman, Ryan’s Hope as Chester Wallace, Another World as Neal Cory, Loving as Leonard Brill/Charley Nichols, and Guiding Light as Leo Flynn.  He also appeared in primetime TV roles including: The Sopranos, Sex and the City, and several roles in the Law and Order franchise.

Lupone made his feature film debut in the 1973 musical adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar playing the Apostle James, and two years later got the Broadway role of his lifetime playing Zach in A Chorus Line after convincing creator and director Michael Bennett to let him play the part after the original actor departed the show.

A decade later, LuPone would co-found the Off-Broadway theatre company, MCC Theater, with Bernard Telsey and William Cantler.  MCC was founded as an artists collective designed to offer peer based classes and playwright development and has launched several successful shows that went on to great success.

LuPone is survived by his wife, Virginia; his son, Orlando; sister, Patti; and brother, William.

Below, take a look at the suspects in the Zach Grayson murder case on All My Children, followed by the 1976 performance by Robert and the cast of A Chorus Line on The Tony Awards, and last, a scene as AMC’s Zach around the 6 minute mark in the video.

Now, share your condolences to the Lupone family on Bob’s passing, and your remembrances in the comment section.

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