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Crystal Chappell's The Grove The Series Debuts! – Watch the Pilot Episode!

Courtesy/OpenBookProds

Courtesy/OpenBookProds

Just in time to ring in 2013, Crystal Chappell finally has released her highly-anticipated new project, The Grove The Series. The pilot episode features so many of your daytime favorites including: Jessica Leccia, Robert S. Woods, Michelle Stafford, Christian LeBlanc, Jordan Clarke, Mark Hapka, Bobbie Eakes, Nadia Bjorlin, Beth Maitand, Peter Reckell, Linsey Godfrey, Judi Evans, and Harrison White.  The story tells the tale of two longtime feuding families against the backdrop of Nico (Chappell) and Ivy’s (Leccia) wedding (although they were legally married a few years before, this was to be a celebration for themselves, friends, and family).

The just released pilot is an hour plus, but sets up the story nicely as the valued land of The Grove provides plenty of dramatic tension, as we learn the dynamics of the relationships of all the characters.

It was wonderful to see Robert S. Woods again in a part worthy of his talents.  As well, Jessica Leccia delivered one of her best performances, and creator Chappell is always stellar!  It was also noteworthy to see Christian LeBlanc, back in bad boy mode, and Nadia Bjorlin in quite the departure from her roles as Lara on Venice, or Chloe on DAYS.  Michelle Stafford also did some fine work, and we hope to see more of her character when the series continues.  And how great it was to see Beth Maitland, Peter Reckell, and Mark Hapka again!

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Watch the pilot of The Grove The Series after the jump and let us know your thoughts! Do you like the story?  Who was your favorite in the pilot episode? 

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Darlene
Darlene

What a fabulous time I had watching this!! Crystal Chappell has done it again! The actors were fabulous. the Story interesting…. Can’t wait to see more!!

Andrea
Andrea

I loved it. The whole cast is excellent . It is great to see Bob Woods again an in such a heartfelt role. Beth Maitland was another stand out character for me. Great show!!

Stephanie
Stephanie

I thought it was great!!! I loved seeing RSW on screen again. He looked so at home and so alive working on this project. It was so nice to see him in a role that was suited for him.

Tricia
Tricia

Crystal has done it again! What a cast and crew! I thought it was very well written and looked great. Congrats toall involved. Thanks for reviewing it, Michael.

Perla
Perla

The story was well put together, everybody was in their elements. This serie has the best actors and i mean all of them. Bravo to the people that had work behind the scenes (Team OBP).

heidi
heidi

It was very good to see Robert S. Woods again! He was my favorite! It looks good… but some of the language was gratuitous and I am sure that makes me old fashioned. The writing seems to be well done. Some of the characters are a bit annoying and maybe a bit too strange. Jessica does seem to be so natural and at ease with the character.

Barbara
Barbara

I guess I’m old fashioned too. Just because you CAN use the language doesn’t mean you should overdo it. JUST MY OPINION… I do love the show , the quality of the production, and the characters’ dynamics. And it’s nice to see Jessica Leccia allowed to “stretch” more. She seems to really be in her element. 🙂

heidi
heidi

Thanks for verablizing it better than I did and for agreeing too!

Blake
Blake

Love it! Look at all the great talent on this show! Crystal is so great with these web soaps!

Cubfnatic
Cubfnatic

I absolutely love the Grove! Thank you Crystal for bringing all of these actors together for us! So great to see them. Crystal and Michael brought us a brilliant show!

BS
BS

I really liked it and loved seeing RSW, BM, CLB, MS, BE and others together in one show. Jessica was so gorgeous and it was one of her strongest performances for sure. The chemistry between JL & CC was still there for me. It was different than in other roles but just as strong. I wish we were seeing more of The Grove soon.

Joyce All
Joyce All

I loved The Grove I love Nico & Ivy both and there is three parts of it 1 is when they first met 2nd is when they knew they loved each other 3rd the wedding ceremony loved the song Nico chosen to walk down the isle.Crystal is a Amazing writer and Actress.Everybody involved the cast and crew did a amazing job on the show.Joyce All

kelltwomyn
kelltwomyn

There are so many noteworthy performances that it’s difficult to name them all, but standouts include Nadia Bjorlin and Beth Maitland (hilarious mother-daughter team!), Judi Evans, The Stafford, CJ LeBlanc, and of course, Chappell and Leccia. Their chemistry is unparallelled, no matter what venue. I’ve watched it twice, just to absorb everything…and there is so much! The best compliment a show can receive is the question “when do I get to see more?”.

Thank you, Michael, for showcasing The Grove. It’s a must-see.

Rdblaz
Rdblaz

Great job by Crystal and OBP. Enjoyed seeing Jessica act out a Hepburn imitation immensely!

Ldawntoo
Ldawntoo

it was a pleasure to watch this story unfold. The Chemistry of CC & Jl does not dissappoint. Glad to see a story showing the love of this couple and how it will unfold in time. The series left enough anticipation of further story lines to keep us wanting more. CC does not dissappoint and JL looked beautiful in her gown . Nadia was hysterical and Nico daughter both prove to be interesting characters as it grows..Bravo

Madison
Madison

Nico’s daughter – Lindsy Godfrey is quite an actress, too. She’s so natural and sweet and charming. Wonderful role model for children of gay parents.

Love the fact that the one and only SUSAN FLANNERY is involved along with all the other behind-the-scene folks that don’t always get the credit like those folks in front of the camera.

My only minor complaint was that on ocassion, the camera seemed to jump around a bit.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. This show “THE GROVE” and the story have so much potential. I want to know more about these families past and present and definitely the FUTURE!!

Madison
Madison

I forgot one thing — I loved the setting!!

Chris
Chris

As expected from CC an awesome show, her talent truly amazes me. Her selection of the cast is outstanding.

denise
denise

The Grove is excellent! It has fantastic story lines, writing, and acting!

Joshua
Joshua

Won’t support anything Chappell does after her approval of that bully Melissa Reeves this past summer.

hatnanpolmak
hatnanpolmak

Approval? What approval? You may wish to revisit what actually happened. If anything Crystal proposed some hard questions of Melissa that went loudly unanswered.

Cindy
Cindy

Love CC and all of the fabulous actors on The Grove. Also LOVE LOVE LOVE Venice, the Series. But, unfortunately, The Grove just didn’t keep my interest. Watched about 45 minutes of it and … nothing. Very sorry to say it, too.

susan M.
susan M.

I rather see Robert Woods on OLTL IF it comes on line. Everyone here seems to like The Groove. But I watched about five minutes of it and it’s not my cup of tea.

RobinAshleyLove
RobinAshleyLove

This was a great cast, great acting, great cinematography and production. All-in-all very well done. I found myself liking the characters, they were all very distinct and the story line has me interested in what is to come. I have to admit I am pleasantly surprised. Even though it featured the same leads as Venice, I not once felt a resemblance between the two shows, didn’t even think of it while watching.

Jeanie Borchelt
Jeanie Borchelt

Amazing Show. Great acting. I am watching it for the third time. Great music, setting, storyline, and beautiful actors with great comedic timing and realistic. Can hardly wait for the next episode.
Thanks for a great show.
Jeanie Borchelt from Sonoma Ca.

Danielle
Danielle

I absolutely loved it! So many great performances from all involved, but I have to say that Nadia Bjorlin and Jessica Leccia did it for me. I loved seeing Nadia in a comedic role. She had me laughing out loud with her facial expressions and delivery of her lines. Jessica Leccia was simply perfect. I didn’t want the pilot to end and I’m so looking forward to seeing more of “The Grove!’

Lara
Lara

Omg yeah, Nadia made me laugh so hard 😀 Like you said, the facial expression, and it was hilarious how she was constantly chewing chewing gum. I feel so sorry for her, I guess at the end of the shoot she was sick of any chewing gum at all 😀

Jackson
Jackson

I am in awe with such a great story line, cast and acting. The Grove is …… WOW!!! Exciting!!!

Sierra
Sierra

Am I wrong in thinking that there are no immediate plans for more of The Grove? The pilot is all we get for now?

Natalie
Natalie

I loved it. seeing all the people I watch or have watched on daytime, that was great. Crystal Chappell Has done it again, awesome work. Love seeing chritian LaBlanc play a bad boy again. Loved it all. great acting across the board.

lenafreed
lenafreed

I love the soap genre so much and it was a real treat to see all these wonderful actors in The Grove. Beth Maitland is a gem – her performance really stood out for me and I always love how CC and JL interact with each other. I enjoyed the humorous moments and the soapy story lines. I hope very much that this Pilot will lead to a series both on line and perhaps on cable. I would so love to see a true soap opera channel with new original programming on cable or even on the internet.

lisa
lisa

The acting was superb. Crystal and Jessica really captured the emotion felt between NIcho and Ivy.

olddoolfan
olddoolfan

What shines is the ensemble strength of this cast and a genuinely clever and warm script (major props to Michael Sabatino, Crystal Chappell and Paul Barber). Maitland, Bjorlin and Le Blanc perhaps steal the show … so deliciously wrong but oh so right. Woods, Clarke and Reckell are all class..as always. Leccia delivers the first performance I have felt genuinely comfortable watching from start to finish. She seems in an easy place with Ivy and it shows. Crystal is Crystal .. I am not sure much more needs to be said. Powerhouse .. particularly during her vows. Sniff. Godfrey is light and fun. Stafford and Eakes … “who’s drooling .. who’s the one who’s drooling” … what a win for Chappell to add them to the Open Book family. Add to that beautiful locations and a soundtrack (including a perfectly original theme by Kelly Moneymaker) to be proud of and this is a must see production on every level. It really shows when a cast and crew is genuinely invested. Making drama for the sake of good drama.

Peacetat
Peacetat

The Grove pilot was a great mix of comedy and drama. With some extremely talented actors. I am looking forward to seeing more from OBP and Crystal Chappell.

Michele
Michele

Loved it! Michael & Crystal did a great job pulling this together. Outstanding performances by a stellar group of actors. The chemistry between Jessica Leccia and Crystal Chappell is still there. The production value was great, the scenery – spectacular, the storylines held my interest and left me wanting more. I sure hope this series will continue! Great job as well by the crew, directors and producers (Hilary B. Smith, Susan Flannery, Karen Wilkens, Katherine Kelly Lang and Crystal Chappell).

carla reed
carla reed

Loved it so much. Hurry up and get some more up for us. We miss all the great actors from the soaps that are no longer on. Thank you so much!!!

PalmGirl73
PalmGirl73

No surprise yet another brilliant show by Crystal and Michael! Brilliant!!, Such a fantastic brilliant cast! cant wait for more ! Love the Grove!

Scott
Scott

Crystal Chappell and her husband are creative geniuses. The Grove is amazing; and I believe it to already be better and more serialized than Venice. It’s brilliant and I look forward to future episodes!

Venicepolice
Venicepolice

What can i say but our girl has done it again. Everything Crystal touches turns to gold. She puts her whole heart and soul into everything she does and along with Michael (boots) Sabatino and the Open book team including the amazing Susan Flannery, Hilary B Smith and Kathering Kelly Lang to lead the team it is clear that they have another hit on their hands. My favourite performance is by our Nadia Bjorlin and Beth Maitland who made me lol so much sitting on the couches watching the spanish soap. Nadia & Beth doing comedy is pure gold. The chemistry and emotion that Jess and Crystal put into their scenes are so cute and adorable. Love all the cast and crew so much for bringing us such an amazing show and i can’t wait for more.

SUE H
SUE H

What a fantastic 1+hrs. Continue dreaming big CC and MS…inspiration to anyone having a dream and then seeing it brought to life. Amazing cast and crew. CC + JL still have such great chemistry…best performance yet for Leccia, she seemed so happy and was having fun. NB was hilarious RW was gracious and is such a talented actor. The cinematography WOW and what a great storyline, that get me captivated!!! Bravo OBP team. Bravo Crystal. Look forward to future episodes!

KT
KT

Loved it! Very good story that moved along quickly. Nice to see all of my favorite soap stars! Thanks CC, can’t wait to see the next edition…

PJ
PJ

Brilliantly done! “Thank You!” to everyone involved in bringing this pilot to us. Looking forward to more of “The Grove”.

Brenda
Brenda

I watched this on twitter a few days ago and loved it. I especially love Beth Maitland’s character. It was so great seeing some of soap favs again. I hope we see more of this saga.

Grove Groovy
Grove Groovy

I love the new show. I love the people in it and I can’t wait to see more!

Esmeralda
Esmeralda

Maravillosa actuación de Jessica Leccia, fresca, hermosa, creible absolutamente en su papel de Ivy. Crystal, como siempre estupenda en su papel. Grato ver a a la actriz Linsey Godfrey, después de haber superado sus problemas de salud. Su papel de Poppy es fresco, agradable, amoroso. Ha sido un placer disfrutar de este piloto, del cual espero se desarrolle la serie que seguro será un éxito de seguir mejorando, en este ritmo de calidad en temática, diálogos, mezcla de comedia y drama. Por los momentos me gustó. (Traductor Google) Wonderful performance by Jessica Leccia, fresh, beautiful, utterly believable in his role as Ivy. Crystal, as always great in his role. Nice to see aa actress Linsey Godfrey, after having overcome their health problems. His role as Poppy is fresh, friendly, loving. It was a pleasure to enjoy this pilot, which I hope to develop the series is sure to be a success for further improvement in this rate of quality thematic dialogues, mix of comedy and drama. For now I liked.

Paula
Paula

I love this show and was so Awesome! I so love the Green that it was breathtaking. Crystal and the gang did a super damn job. The cussing was great and it was like any family out there (funny, it was a bit of a turned on for me) LMAO!. Excellent job Crystal and can’t wait to watch the next one!

Jo
Jo

I loved the pilot of the Grove! It was Awesome and Amazing!
Crystal,Michael,Hilary,Susan and other Producers,directors and crew people made it look so easy!
Congratulations to a wonderful job!
The best part was that I was able to see my favorite guy back n actin and onscreen !
Mr.Robert Woods was fabulous and just amazing in this role as Doyle Monihan.
He is a wonderful,fun,cool guy to hang out with as well.
Well done …..Everyone!
Can’t wait to see the next Episodes!
Anyone know when that will be ?

Adam
Adam

I LOVED IT! Great to see all of my favorite soap stars working together to tell what is shaping up to be a great story! I can’t want to see the next episode!

Jill Nelson
Jill Nelson

Loved it. Watched several times. Everything CC does is passionate and magical. Loved Nadia’s performance. Such honest chemistry between our favs CC and JL….such a wonderful production from start to finish. Fans say they want more…..here’s hoping Michael and Crystal hear us loudly!!! Thank you!!!

Carla Rodgers
Carla Rodgers

KUDOS Ms. Chappell!!!!

Brownie
Brownie

The Grove is interesting, but in some way missed the good writing of Venice.
Loved seeing all of the pros, especially, my favorite, Jordan Clarke. He plays a nasty person through and through, not a good guy underneathh. It is good to see him stretch his acting chops.
Good work.

Rose
Rose

Loved the show – can’t wait to see more

Bobwww
Bobwww

WHY the cursing??? You’re gonna lose a lot of viewers. Good.

sarah dioxn
sarah dioxn

I’ve seen the first series i guess u call it that so good to see all my old actors and actress on one show had missed them. this is great but how do you get to the second one if there is one am new at this computer stuff and really need a lot of help but i want to see more. How can i do that? dont want to miss the next one been trying but can’t get it figure out. THANKS

kels
kels

I love it, I love me some Nico and Ivy- been in love with them since guiding light days, can’t wait to ser morr

Lynda Michaels
Lynda Michaels

I am so thrilled that I found the Grove. I am a huge RSW fan and he did not disappoint. The entire cast was fantastic. Great story. Ican not wait to see more.

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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DAYS Stacy Haiduk and Linsey Godfrey Deliver 'The Power Performance of the Week'

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