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Chappell, Rogers & Madison Discuss Agnes Nixon's Involvement In Prospect Park's AMC & OLTL!

Courtesy/HallmarkMovieChannel

In a new segment from Planet 360, a weekly news entertainment series airing on the Hallmark Movie Channel, soap stars Crystal Chappell (Venice, The Grove, The Inn), Tristan Rogers (General Hospital) and Martha Madison (The Bay) take part in the second installment of the Soap Dish segment discussing the latest hot topics in the soaps! 

Planet 360 is hosted by real life couple, Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo who originally met when they were contestants on American Idol.  Associated Television International’s Jim Romanovich serves as one of the series executive producers. As soap fans know, DeGarmo went on to have a role on The Young and the Restless!  The topic of conversation on this Soap Dish segment has Chappell, Rogers, and Madison discussing, what they think Agnes Nixon’s involvement and role will be in shaping Prospect Park’s reboot of All My Children and One Life to Live?  Crystal admits she is a huge fan of Nixon’s legendary work and asks Tristan and Martha, if  they think Prospect Park will put Agnes to work?  In which, Martha responds, “If they are smart they will put her to work!  She is still there and willing to offer up her expertise.  They would be crazy not to take it.”

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Tristan Rogers offered up a slightly different perspective:  “I don’t know if I would be looking to Agnes to inform the future, and to go to the next stage in daytime.  She made a huge contribution to daytime; there is no question about that.  Whether that contribution needs to be translated on where they are going in the future, I don’t know.   I don’t know whether they need to go back in time and repeat all those storylines and then bring them forward to the later day.  I think, “Let’s start with a fresh sheet of paper.”

Chappell responded, “I don’t know how personally involved she will be, but I am glad she is there to see her shows come back to life!”

Watch the Plant 360 soap segment below, and let us know what you thought of it, and the comments made about Agnes Nixon’s involvement with the relaunching of the soaps she created!

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Jansu0000JohnnyEdna BarefootTroy Turner Recent comment authors
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su0000
su0000

I agree with Tristan Rogers ..
Agnes is an icon a woman of legacy fame.. Her creations are everlasting..
But, would she want to tarnish her legacy with what is now wanted for the internet soaps?
Theses two soaps are no longer under the restraints of network TV and are in the hands of younger 21st century men who have different thoughts from the unchanged network soaps, that have had little change in 50 yrs and never made it to the now media of this generation of the 21st century.
Time moves on and the people with it.. The old die or fade out and the new take over according to their world.
Example’ we have come a very long way since the 50’s I Love Lucy, Leave it To Beaver when a married couple could not be seen in the same bed etc etc..
… The media has changed.. so will soaps, eventually or they will die along with their older 1960-70-80’s generation viewers.
I’m excited to see the soaps journey into the 21st century 🙂
((even though I doubt the change will be great but rather somewhat minor 🙁

Network TV is struggling to keep viewers , most go for the cable channels that give/offer modern media, less censored programming..

jim
jim

50s shows didnt have to show people in bed together because that generation were intelligent enough to use their imagination. Where is it written that we have to show every couple in bed together just to prove they have a sex life? Just because you dont see the couple down the street in bed together doesnt mean theyr not doing it. I Love Lucy and Leave It To Beaver didnt have to be real. We watch shows like this to escape the real world. I feel soap sex is erotic and good enough as it is. It doesnt have to show more to prove whats going on under the sheets. I feel it very today. Im Adult enough and Intelegent enough to know whats going on. To be politically correct maybe the actors should really be shown having sex? I know it will never go that far but how far does pushing the envelope need to go? Soon itll be 2014 then 2015, and so on. Will the future generations laugh at the soaps of 2day and say the problem with the shows werent realistic enough and that they needed to show more. How far do things have to go b4 someone ever says thats enough? And getting back to Lucy, some bedroom scenes showed their beds together and we knew more was going on than Ricky just performing the babaloo, and we didnt need to see a thing to prove it. People had sex back then and cussed and i dont recall anyone saying its 1955, and and that these shows had say or show everything just to make it current. I know we will never agree on everything 100%, and we both have our right to our own opinions. Youve said things ive agreed on and disagreed on. Thats what these boards r 4….to discuss our common interest and what we like and dislike about it. I may not agree with what you said but i still enjoy reading your comments just the same.

jim
jim

By the way many network shows have outlived cable shows and both networks and cable have lost viewers to other outlets.

Jan
Jan

Showing sex scenes on soap is really over rated and really isn’t needed.
Tell me story and imply sex , why do we need to see IT.

jim
jim

Sorry, but i cut myself off too soon. One finale thing i like to mention is that to really compare network soaps to cable, id like to see cable do a soap with racey content and place it opposite the highly rated Y&R. If they beat Y&R, then maybe ill agree with you that cable is stealing viewers from the network. And i did say maybe.

Alisa
Alisa

Jim,

You have made some great points. If the new AMC/OLTL push the envelope they may lose their some of their viewers.

jim
jim

Now that im not distracted by my crazy family and able to reread your comments i do agree with you on some of what you said, and hope you realize my reply wasnt against everything you said i was trying to point things out to other readers as well. I feel the changes will be minor as well…i hope they dont go too far…because they could hurt these classic shows by offending some people and they will tune out. Not only could they tarnish Agnes they could tarnish the shows reputation as well. Im sure they wont be doing soft porn or cursing in every sentence. What the shows need is good drama, romance, and occassionally send out a message about equal acceptance for all no matter the color of one skin, sexual prefrences, religous freedoms ect and respecting human life. Also stories like when the Bert Bauer got a pap smear and 100s of women wrote to the Guilding Light thanking them for saving their life. That was way back in the 1960s. This is how soaps should be…more informitive. and if more sex got to be there, then include the risks of an unwanted pregnancy, STDs and AIDS which is still out there but some seem to 4get. I rather escape the real world for a few hours a day and miss the old soap stories that helped me do it, but if they got to change its not racier sex scenes and cuss words they need, its still good drama and sending out an occasional good message or two. AS i said to you i do enjoy hearing what you have to say no matter if we agree or not.

Katie
Katie

Ehh I don’t think Agnes has much of a problem moving soaps forward she was all for Bianca having a girlfriend and well didn’t mind her having sex scenes LOL yes it will be different maybe a bit more racy but come on now this woman OK’d Erica Kane to have an abortion back when that was taboo.

brian
brian

I highly agree ! All the respect to Agnes Nixon. She should right a racy storyline for Tristan on one of the shows and make him eat his words, although I am a fan of his too.

brian
brian

oops right = write

Patrick
Patrick

Ms. Nixon insisted that different races and classes commingle in Llandview in the hopes of bridging those gaps. The Woloks, The Greys, and The Lords shared Llandview in a time in the 60’s when racism was a huge issue and the rich and the poor were far apart. Wait, those things hav sadly not changed! Ms. Nixon – we need you -STAT!

jim
jim

I agree with you. I feel Agnes was the first to move soaps forward. I feel Tristian insulted Agnes by making her sound too old to know whats going on in the world 2day. He might as well said”Move along Old Ma, your children are all grown now and this is 2013, we dont need your advice any longer.” These shows are her children, and no one knows their children better than the woman who gave birth to them. Maybe Robert Scorpio should b dropped from GH and replaced with a younger version to help move GH into the 21st century.

Patrick
Patrick

Hey Jim! Very well said. Good story telling is an art. It is ageless. Can’t wait to see Ms. Nixon’s work. We will know by the heart and soul we will see in the stories!

Looking forward-

Patrick

Johnny
Johnny

Two characters we don’t seem to be hearing about are Jake Martin, who has been played by a number of actors through the years, and sexy Amanda Dillon. Will they still be in Pine Valley? Amanda is the daughter of the Late Trevor Dillon and the slightly crazy Janet from another Planet.

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

Chrishell Stause (Amanda Dillon) was leaving the show when the cancellations were announced. She stayed on board for the ending of the show – but I doubt she will work on the reboot.

Troy Turner
Troy Turner

I follow Chrishell on Twitter, and she’s already taken, but not at liberty to reveal details-I agree, though-while not essential, a recast Amanda Martin would be nice to have around

Johnny
Johnny

Well, thanks for the info. I don’t know how crucial her character is, but she is still married to Jake (isn’t she?) and was still married to him when the ABC-TV version ended. So, I would think that Jake Martin would somehow resurface, somehow…..

SteveS
SteveS

It sounds like neither Tristan Rogers nor the first poster here know anything about Agnes Nixon. Her soaps were never set in the 1950s land of Leave It to Beaver! One of OLTL’s first storylines back in 1968 involved a black woman trying to pass as white and AMC tackled several social issues before prime time did including abortion, but child abuse, wife beating, drug use and homosexuality. IMO, network interference was a large part of what killed her shows starting around the time Disney took over ABC when her soaps became less controversial and more generic. I’m very excited that Agnes is back in charge to lead her soaps online and restore them to their former glory!

Joliefan Forever
Joliefan Forever

Bravo SteveS!!! Great Post I completely Agree!!!!! I would not bother talking to su0000 or Jim, I don’t believe they can hear ya way back in the 50’s!

KM
KM

Love AN, a true icon. And to everyone else who worked so hard to keep our soaps alive. Thank You!

Having said that, I do think Tristan Rogers is right. We can’t go back to the 70s and 80s school of soaps except in terms of a writing structure and production model. AN may not be the future of soaps but I will say she can probably offer some valuable insight as to where they went wrong in the past.

What I miss most about the golden age of soaps is the actual story telling and the bonding between family, room mates and friends who also watched religiously and often together. We talked about the serious topical issues as well as just the plain old fun of the love/hate characters. AN or not, It’s a pretty high hurdle to try to recreate that now when we’re all on major news/online entertainment overload to the point of being pretty much beyond shock. But it’s the only way online soaps will succeed.

I hope that PP with AN’s help can at least be mindful of getting back to basics. They could start by listening to genuine fan feedback ON STORIES rather than childish polls about what guy should be with this girl. Who cares? The writing makes the characters/couples, not the other way around.

I think that’s one big thing AN does bring to the table.

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

I definitely think Agnes has no problem with racier story lines, edgier dialogue and moving online. I believe this will only add to her legacy, not detract from it. She has nothing to prove – she is doing this out of love of her stories and her fans. I agree with Crystal, knowing Agnes is involved in these shows makes me feel much better about them and their success. 🙂
I will watch…will you?

Troy Turner
Troy Turner

Well said-I don’t know how many of you follow sports at all, but think of it this way-Agnes is a first ballot Hall of Famer coming out of retirement to be the guardian angel over this project. The scuttlebutt says that she is VERY involved-so all the quibbling over whether she should be is meaningless, quite frankly

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

Good analogy Troy! (baseball & football watcher here) She is definitely a first ballot Hall of Famer! Hey…do we have something like that?…I think we need to start one!

Joliefan Forever
Joliefan Forever

hell Ya I can’t wait!!!!!

Linda
Linda

I agree that Agnes Nixon was not afraid to tackle issues that reg TV wouldn’t. It wasn’t her writing that was the problem it was ABC/Disney that wanted to make the shows a certain way. I love Tristan but it sounds like the excuse they used to get rid of AMC & OLTL. I am an older person and it was stated they didn’t care we watched they only wanted to reach the younger generation. It it wasn’t for my mom and grandma watching and us “older folks” watching there would be no younger generation watching. The bullying storyline on OLTL was very realistic and on point, so was the teenage pregnancy. Not all older people need to be put out to pasture! We are the ones who got the soaps to the 40 & 50 year marks!

KM
KM

As an older person myself and I couldn’t agree more. But you have to keep in mind that in the 70s up until about the mid-eighties primetime was still mostly wholesome family variety shows and sitcoms. It was much easier for soaps to make a bold statement in that context and Agnes did it brilliantly. But there is a trick there. You have to break some eggs to make an omelet.

I agree that the bullying story was very realistic at least at the start. It’s the sort of story where PP can and should excel. The strong writing actually made me feel sorry for that insufferable little brat, Shane, no small feat. But then it all devolved into nonsense like a “ghost Gigi” and an idiotic magic TV to show us what we all saw happen isn’t what really happened.

If Agnes Nixon just drops by once a week to review scripts, points out to the writers what makes no sense at all and tells them to keep it real then she’ll have done her job. Hopefully PP will listen and edge away from the cheap camp fest that have made soaps such a laughing stock in the last couple of decades.

Joliefan Forever
Joliefan Forever

BRAVO LINDA BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!! TAKE A BOW DEAR LADY YOU DESERVE IT!

jim
jim

Loved your comments Linda. If it wasnt for our generation many of the soaps wouldnt have lasted as long as they did and we r still around to support them. If they dont want us around maybe we should leave, then see how many of them will survive. A lot of the younger generation today have a lot of things to distract them from soaps that our generation never had but we r the ones who still stick around and support our soaps but instead of getting a simple thank you for our devotion we get a hard slap in the face instead.

jim
jim

Maybe one message soaps should send to all people is to respect their elders because if it wasnt for us where on earth do you think you would be?

Kelly
Kelly

Th only reason PP is touting that Agnes Nixon is involved is to appease the older fans of the show and to keep them from tearing apart their new, updated version. She’s just a figure head and I doubt has much power over any of the important decisions being made about the shows. I believe that PP will politely listen to what she has to say, nod their heads, and then do what they want – not saying that they won’t use any of her ideas, but let’s be realistic about who holds the power here.

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

Who holds the power?…apparently it’s US. The fans. 😉

jim
jim

Agnes should be there and its not to appease us old geezers. The only ones who could tear apart these shows is those behind the scenes such as the producers, writers ect. I havent read anywhere on these messages where a fan got blamed for whats happening on these shows. I wish i had that kind of control. Agnes is there because these shows are her children like ive said, and who knows their children better than the mother who gave birth to them.

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

I have to disagree with Tristan on this one. Agnes Nixon brought to TV a black woman passing for white, working class black and white families living side by side and being very close friends. She brought us the first Jewish family with front burner story lines. In Viki and Meredith, the wealthy Lords were friends with and respected the Wolecks, the Grays, the Siegels. And who could forget housewife hooker Karen Woleck. All those stories were on OLTL. I’m not that familiar with the AMC history but seem to remember the first daytime abortion and a story line involving a real New York drug rehab facility.

Agnes Nixon is very much aware of the real world in which we live and not afraid to tackle real life situations in a realistic manner. I am thrill that she is involved with both shows and look forward to very exciting and compelling story telling.

Barbara t loves One life to live
Barbara t loves One life to live

I agree with you Llanviewer717, Having Agnes Nixon back on daytime is a good thing, I love that she will work side by side with the writers, She has the rights to have something to say about the soaps she created, and she is not afraid to tackle real life situations like you said. I say welcome back Agnes Nixon, I am One fan who is glad that you are bad where you belong with AMC and OLTL.

jim
jim

Aparently Tristian doesnt know Agnes Nixon.

Jan
Jan

See I agree.

Christy
Christy

maybe she’ll be a consultant? Somehow I don’t think of Agnes Nixon while AMC & OLTL are shooting a sexy photoshoot… and some writer said they could do “things” tv soaps can’t. That could mean several things!

Troy Turner
Troy Turner

Both statements can be true, Christy. Agnes is on board as a consultant, but as things have developed-she has shocked everyone with her degree of involvement. As for the photoshoots, etc-that’s PP’s doing. Both shows will be edgier, but as Jeff K said here in a column a few months back-they know there’s lines they can’t cross, internet or not. Everyone just needs to relax…

Edna Barefoot
Edna Barefoot

Rogers has miss spoke as far as the fans go. We have fought for one year to bring our beloved soaps back with Agnes Nixon. She is AMC & OLTL. If the writers don’t listen to her they are idiots but I’m counting on them to be very smart. I want to see my OLTL not another version. I want new but mixed with the old. Thanks Michael for this information. YEAH OLTL IS BACK!!

su0000
su0000

Most seem to believe that Agnes will have the power and the say, not true..
Agnes is there as a consultant of the past and characters etc
She will not be writing nor have full creation of stories ..
I’m sure she will be asked about many things concerning AMC and be shown great respect, but she is not a producer or writer..
Agnes is with PP but how much power will she have? What is her creative position? Theses are things we do not know ..
Again, Agnes will be given great respect ..

And the PP peoples are very modern and in the 21st century media and will carter to a younger audience (18-49) after all they are and will be the future 🙂
I’m sure AMC and OLTL will have more uuumpth now and still remain much the same..
But is a new word of media and it is 21st century media and AMC does need a younger audience same as it was in the 1970’s which were a huge collage audience and in home younger women .. not many seniors 50 and over were watching in the 70 or 80’s mostly younger .. they would be a 100 yrs old now LOL 🙂

Jan
Jan

Why is an idol who didn’t make it a co host with her husband?
They don’t represent SOAPS. What am I missing here?

All My Children

Eva LaRue Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination, And Opens Up About The Loss Of John Callahan

For Eva LaRue, the past two months have been some of the most emotionally gut-wrenching and challenging of her life, following the passing of her ex-husband, father of her child, and dearest friend, John Callahan (Ex-Edmund, All My Children). The outpouring of support she has received not only from her former AMC cast mates, but the soap world in general illustrates just how dear Eva is to all of us, and how many people had special memories of their time with John.

While mourning the loss of Callahan along with their daughter, Kaya, there was some heartwarming and re-affirming news that any actress would love to hear. Eva was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for her work as Celeste Rosales on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, and she is great company as her former AMC co-star Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad) is also nominated along with her for his work on General Hospital.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit our country and world hard, but through it All My Children virtual reunions emerged as fans were engaged by the content, transported to happier times that brought them back to familiar faces in Pine Valley in which Eva participated along with her good friends, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and so many more, thanks to the EW. com weeklong event which concluded on Friday.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Eva in this very candid, at times heartbreaking, and open conversation where she shares details into the final days of her beloved John, her last moments with him, and how she tried to plan a memorial in his honor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For so many of us, 2020 has certainly seen more lows then highs, but in the end for Eva, to receive a nomination now (an award she was last nominated for back in 1997 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Dr Maria Santos on All My Children) couldn’t have come at a better time. Here now is our conversation with Eva.

Photo: JPI

I’ve been thinking so much about you.  I’m glad we could do this, and in the midst of the tragedy of losing John Callahan, and then receiving a Daytime Emmy nomination.  What was your reaction when you learned you were nominated in a category with none other than your former AMC castmate and good friend, Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad, AMC, now Martin, GH)?

EVA:  Oh, I know!  He’s the first person I texted!  I was like, “Congratulations, Michael!  Did you ever in a million years think that you and I would be in the same category of anything?”  Then I said, “And when you win this, can I just borrow it for the weekend just to dress it up and take pictures with it… just want to borrow it, just babysit the trophy for a weekend, please?” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What did you end up submitting that landed you the nomination for your role as Celeste on Y&R?

EVA: I submitted a scene with Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I have been friends for 30 years, if not more, and in all that time we had never worked together.  I met him when I was married to John O’Hurley (Ex- Dr. James Grainger) because John was over at The Young and the Restless at the time.  I went to a Christmas party with John to Peter and Mariellen’s house, and do you know who else was there?  Lisa Rinna (Ex-Billie, Days), and it was before she had gotten Days of Our Lives. She was dating Peter Barton (Ex-Scott Grainger, Y&R) at the time. We both ended up on soaps at the same time.  So, I submitted a scene with Peter, who is amazing, warm and open and such a great actor. Then I submitted a scene with my on-screen daughter Sasha Calle (Lola, Y&R) – I love that girl, and another one with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) who has also been my great friend for a couple of decades. The other scene I put on my reel was with me and Jordi Vilasuso (Rey, Y&R) who I also adore.  He is awesome and such a sweetheart.  I only had two months worth of material to draw upon.  So, I just submitted the scenes that I liked the best, and they all were within story, and all made sense.

Photo: Getty Images

Where is Celeste supposed to be now?

EVA:  She went back to Florida, and that was that. I would never say never to anything, but it was always supposed to be a short stint, and it was great.

So not only is it you and Michael E. Knight, but Jeffery Vincent Parise, Chrishell Stause, and Elissa Kapneck. This Guest Performer category is loaded!

EVA:  I know! I know and love, Chrishell (Ex-Amanda) because we worked together on All My Children, too, right before I left, and she is a doll.  She just might be the sweetest, kindest, girl on the planet.  She literally might be the sweetest person who ever lived!  I don’t know the other two nominees personally.  So, I’m excited for them too.  It’s such a diverse category.  It’s just really fun to be nominated with all of them.

Photo: Hallmark Channel

You were nominated before, though, for your work as Maria on All My Chldren during the emotional baby switch storyline; working opposite Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica) for a lot in it.

EVA:  Yes.  I was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for All My Children, and I was nominated for Best Original Song.  I wrote a song when Maria came ‘back from the dead’ to All My Children, with a producer friend of mine from Miami Sound Machine.

Photo: Live with Kelly Ryan

So, you’ve been doing all of these All My Children virtual reunions, which is so interesting that in this pandemic, people are looking for content, and they dip back into these beloved shows.  Was it fun doing the EW.com Santos Family reunion with everybody?

EVA:  Oh yeah, it was really, really fun.  I only saw in the big picture everybody else’s photo who was a part of it, and the people who I actually do hang out with the most, and see the most, and talk to the most, are Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), and Sydney Penny (Ex-Julia).  I don’t see Sydney as much, but I do see her probably once every two years at least, but Sarah Michelle Geller (ExKendall) I see all the time and talk to all the time.  Kelly, Mark, and Sarah are the ones who walked me through that first week when John Callahan passed.  They literally were on the phone with me, the three of them, almost every day, but I got beautiful outreach, from what seemed like everyone.  This is when no matter how many years have passed since you have been in daytime, that the daytime family as a group – there used to be fifteen shows, now there are four – and people have bounced around and they are on other shows- – but the entire soap opera community reached out,   I cannot even tell you how much that meant to me.  It was overwhelming, and it was really, spectacularly beautiful.

Photo: JPI

I hope it was some solace to you knowing how much people loved John, and also that they love and care so deeply for you.

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EVA:  I mean, people who did not even work with John reached out.  Every soap was represented by getting a hold of me, sending a text or a phone call, or if they didn’t have my personal information, they tweeted, or whatever it was… literally from every reach of soapdom.  It was amazing.

And your relationship with John was amazing with all of the ups and downs you went through; that you remained such dear friends.

EVA:  We remained really great friends all the way.

Photo: JPI

I so remember when the two of you first got together and it was this storybook real life soap couple romance.  John was always so sweet to me.  I was so, so sad, and you know, my heart just broke for you.

EVA:  I think it was just such a shock.  I don’t think anybody, and even Kaya were talking about it, because she graduated this week, and her dad is not here.  We’re not having a graduation, because of COVID-19, which sucks on top of it, but we were just kind of talking through the feelings of it.  She said, “You know what’s weird?  I guess I never pictured dad getting old, and I always wondered why, and now I know.”  When I would get on John about his heart or his health, he used to always say, ‘Oh, don’t worry Evala, (he always called me “Evala”).  I’m going to be here.  I’m going to be here a long time.  I’m fine.  I’m going to be here to walk Kaya down the aisle and see her kids and all that.  Stop worrying,” Every time he said it to me, something in my gut said, “I don’t think he is.  I don’t think he is,” but I always just dismissed that.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think John wouldn’t make it to her high school graduation.  He was only 66.

Photo: JPI

I had heard you ended up running to Palm Springs to be near John.  I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

EVA:  The only good thing about this pandemic is that we had been shut down for only two weeks at that point.  Kaya and I got in the car.  John had some heart procedures the day before, on a Thursday.  I called him in the morning before he went in for the procedure.  I said, “Call me as soon as you get out of there.  Call me as soon as you come-to again, and you’re good,” and he said, “Okay, I will.”  I said, “I’m going to send Kaya out to you on Friday for the weekend, just so you have somebody to hang out and watch you, and I might come out too,” And then, I said, “Maybe, I’ll come down too in case you are feeling weak, just to watch out for you for the weekend.”   So, he called me after the procedure.   I said, “I cannot believe they sent you home! You just had some major heart stuff done.”  He said, “Oh no, they said I’m fine.  It was just run-of-the-mill heart stuff, angiogram…”  I was like, “Are you sure?”  He said, “Yeah, I’m fine.  I’m just tired.  I’m going to go to sleep.”  I said, “Do you want me to send Kaya out tonight?” and he was like, “No, no, no.  Send her tomorrow.”  So, in the morning, I called him at 9:00am.  No answer.  I texted him.  He always texted me like Johnny on the spot, and then texts me immediately back.  So, I call him again at 10.  Nothing.  His best friend calls me about a half-hour later, “Hey, I talked to John at about 8:00 this morning.  He said he was feeling really, really shitty and was going to go back to the hospital, and then, I texted him again at like 8:30 to just tell him something, and he hasn’t texted me back, and he always texts me immediately back.”  I said, “Oh my, God, I’ve been trying to get a hold of him for two hours; he hasn’t texted me back,”   I said, “You know what, I’ll call you back.”  So, I called his friend who lives down the street from John, and I said, “Go to his house, please right this second, knock on the door, jump the fence, knock on his bedroom, he might be asleep, I don’t know.”  So, he gets there, nobody is answering.  I said, “Break into the house please.  So, he did, and John was collapsed in the bathroom.  They called the paramedics, and as soon as they called me back and said, “John is unresponsive in the bathroom,” Kaya and I threw everything in the car, and what usually takes us two and a half hours without traffic, we made it down there from Los Angeles in an hour and forty-five minutes.

Photo: JPI

I don’t know how you made it down there in one piece. Thank, God!

EVA:  I drove so fast, like literally broke all land speed records and thank God because we got there just in time.  He was in emergency.  He hadn’t been put up in ICU yet, where we wouldn’t have been able to see him.  They weren’t going to let us in the hospital.  Thank God the person answering the door was an All My Children fan.  She was the one saying, “Sorry, no one is allowed in the hospital, no one can come in,” and I was like, “No, no, no, my ex-husband just came in.”  She said, “Was it Edmund?” and I said, “Yes, it was Edmund!”  She said, “Okay, follow me.”  Thank God for All My Children.  Thank God.  So, we followed this woman secretly, and we get to spend a half-hour with him in Emergency.  He was already on life-support, totally unresponsive, but we got to play John his favorite music, we got to just sit there and hold his hand and talk to him, and tell him how much we loved him.  Sarah Michelle Gellar called right when we were in the hospital in Emergency, and she said, “Put the phone by his ear,” so I put the phone by his ear, and she talked to John too, and she told him how much she loved him.  She used to always call him “GP”, which was short of grandpa, because she came on the show when she was 15, and she didn’t have a dad, and John acted like a dad to her – but she used to always call him “grandpa”, and he hated “grandpa”, so he was like, “You can call me “GP”, but not grandpa,” so she always called him GP.  I just put the phone by John’s ear, and what was crazy is that when she talked to him, his feet started twitching.  He started moving his feet.  Then, when Kaya was talking to him about Yankee season, he started moving his feet.  We were kind of hopeful that something was changing for the better.  We had about a half-hour with him, and then, they took him up to ICU, and then, we knew we couldn’t see him again.  They called us later that night that he had passed.

Photo: JPI

I am just so thankful that you got to see John one last time.

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EVA:  I thank God every day that we got to say goodbye, because if we hadn’t gotten there in time to say goodbye, I just don’t know.

It’s very rare that a couple after a divorce, who have a child, and went from romance to dear friends, end up maintaining that relationship so many years later in their lives.  I know so many people who were together at one point in their lives, for years, and they don’t even talk to each other now.

EVA:  Well, you know, like any divorce, the first four years afterwards were super contentious but then, by year five, we kind of had this major breakthrough, and from then on, he was one of my closest friends, and one of the things we always kept alive for each other was we loved to  dance together. We fell in love, I think, dancing because originally our characters on AMC met at this country-western bar, and we had to take country line dancing lessons on the show.  They hired a choreographer for us so that during those scenes where we were falling in love, we would actually be able to do a two-step! So, we went out and practiced at Denim and Diamonds, which was a big country-western place in New York City at the time.  We used to go out with a whole group of us.  It was me, and Teresa Blake (Ex-Gloria) and Kelly Ripa, and her boyfriend at the time, Winsor Harmon (Ex-Del), sometimes Walt Willey (Ex-Jack); we just had a whole crew of us who would go out country dancing.  John and I also loved singing together.  He had the most amazing gravely kind of rockstar voice, but his real talent was harmonizing.  He could harmonize to anything.  So, when he would come over, we would sit in the kitchen and sing, and sing, and sing until the late hours because that’s what we loved to do, and that’s what he loved to do.  That’s one of my favorite last memories of us.  He was just over the month before, and Kaya’s bedroom is near the kitchen, so she came out and was like, “Can you two shut up?”  It was like two in the morning and we were still singing in the kitchen. (Laughs)  John was my dear friend and my confidant.

Photo: ABC

Were you able to have some kind of service during this stay-at-home pandemic we are all dealing with, in order to mourn the loss of John?

EVA:  It’s been so crazy.  We couldn’t even have a funeral.  That’s what made it all the more heartbreaking.  There were less than twenty of us, and we just got on a Zoom call and memorialized John.   I thought we were going to do a big Zoom memorial, but it seemed so overwhelming and so impersonal, it just was rubbing us wrong in every way.  Every way we were looking at it, we were like, “Oh my, God, we just can’t.”  We wanted to invite everybody he had ever worked with, and we were like, “No, we want to do that when everything can open back up again, and invite every person, and have a party” because John was always the life of every party.  Maybe we can do that in the fall or next year.  I kept trying to write something for the small memorial we did do for three days.  I kept coming back to this one song, because John was always the consummate bartender, too.  I sang a song that Bette Midler sang on the very last episode of Johnny Carson.  It was “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” and it’s about a bartender who has got a big personality and a lot to say.   I changed some of the words around a bit just to reflect who John was, and so, I ended up singing for it instead of speaking.  We always talked about that last episode of Carson; how stunningly emotional it was when Bette sang that song to kind of sing Johnny off for of all of his years on the air.  So, that’s what I did and because we loved to sing together, it just made sense.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

I do think you touched upon something, earlier, too.  I don’t think any other genre would have that kind of unbridled camaraderie.  It’s such a family, like you said.  I don’t think you would find that quite like this; certainly in show business. 

EVA:  I really don’t think you can. Even though there is always a good amount of competition in the soaps as well; between the soaps it’s like they are any sports team, but there is always a level of respect, love, and familial connection within the community.  I think that is why they have stood the test of time.  I really do think that is what hooks our audience, that is what keeps them there after all of these years, even though unfortunately the genre is antiquated looking, there is something about it that is nostalgic, familial, and comfortable for people.

Photo: JPI

Every time I talk about All My Children, why do you think everybody go ga-ga for it, when it’s been off the air for several years now?

EVA:  It speaks to people’s childhoods.  It speaks to how we grew up.  You can’t undo nostalgia.  You can’t.  It’s in the way we grew up, the things we loved, the things that we scheduled our lives around, the people we fell in love with on the shows that we watched, who we cared about and loved their storylines. I grew up watching All My Children, General Hospital, and Days of Our Lives.

It must have been a spectacular moment for you when you realized you were actually in Pine Valley and a member of the cast of All My Children then?

EVA:  It was amazing.  I was a fan when I got the show.  I was a straight up fan.  I fangirled walking through that dressing room hallway for the first time! I was trying to keep it in check, but you know … (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

So, in closing, you would say, “Thrilled to be nominated”?

EVA:  Yes.  So fun.  It has really been a rollercoaster of a couple of months here.  That nomination was literally the bright, shining spot in all of this.

So, happy to hear Eva is in the running for a Daytime Emmy? Were you moved by Eva’s sentiments she shared on her relationship with the late John Callahan? Do you miss Pine Valley’s Dr. Maria Santos? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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All My Children

All My Children Reunion with Josh Duhamel, Ricky Paull Goldin, Cameron Mathison and More; Later Debbi Morgan Live

It’s a big finale of the weeklong virtual celebration of the iconic All My Children.  On tap today in EW’s series to benefit Feeding America during the COVID-19, some major names from the history of Pine Valley and who had story with each other participating in the chat, premiering at 10 a. m. EST.

Taking part in the walk down memory lane are none other than Josh Duhamel (Ex-Leo), Ricky Paull Goldin (Ex-Jake), Chrishell Stause (Ex-Amanda), Cameron Mathison (Ex-Ryan), Rebecca Budig (Ex-Greenelee) and Melissa Claire Egan (Ex-Annie).

But that’s not all folks! Daytime Emmy winner, Debbi Morgan will participate in a live virtual chat with EW.com today beginning at 3 p.m. EST/12 p. m. PST.  Now will be your chance to hear from the one and only Angie Hubbard from the beloved ABC daytime drama series.

Over the week, EW.com has posted other virtual conversations with notables from Pine Valley, you can check them out here.

So, will you be checking out today’s one-two punch of AMC favorites? Comment below.

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All My Children

All My Children Weeklong Virtual Reunions Kick-Off With Ripa, Consuelos, LaRue and Penny

Beginning this morning, Tuesday, May 26th, a weeklong virtual celebration with the cast of All My Children is on tap for fans of the beloved ABC daytime drama series, featuring a “Who’s Who of Pine Valley”.

The weeklong event is brought to you by EW.com and PEOPLETV.com and starts at 10 am EST/PST.   You can watch it right here.

Featured in the first installments are  the Santos family which includes: real-life marrieds, who met on All My Children, Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley) and Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), as well as Eva LaRue (Maria) and Sydney Penny (Julia).

Episode 2 coming up on Wednesday will feature: Michael E. Knight (Tad Martin), Cady McClain (Dixie Cooney Martin), Jennifer Bassey (Marian Colby Chandler), Jill Larson (Opal Cortlandt), and Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard).

The weeklong event is in support of Feeding America helping those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information and how you can make a donation visit ew.com/allmychildrenreunion

So, let us know what you think of the first installment featuring the Santos clan from Pine Valley as they reunite for a good cause via the comment section below.

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