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David Canary’s Daughter Raises Question If Repeated Head Traumas From His Football Past Contributed To AMC Star’s Condition Before His Death

Photo: ABC

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative brain disease that is now widely known to be the outcome of repeated head traumas, concussions and more for many NFL athletes, Pro Wrestlers, hockey players and more   It has caused mental illness, severe behavioral changes and more in younger athletes to even old-timers, many who suffer unaware what is happening to them. Some athletes who have committed suicide have been later to have been diagnosed with CTE when their brains were donated to research.

Kate Canary, the daughter of All My Children’s beloved and late, David Canary (Adam/Stuart Chandler), is a contributing writer to the New York Daily News, and she wrote a heartfelt, and thought-provoking article, on just what happened to this icon, who died in 2015 at the age of 77  with his formal diagnosis being Alzheimer’s disease.

However, David’s earlier football past as a high school and college football player could very well been the reason why he suffered so many years before, and as Kate related here in these excerpts: “But this diagnosis came after years of suffering with Dad’s cognitive decline, and arguably decades of signs. Without exposing the most excruciating details of a disease that could extinguish the most vibrant of men, I can confess that his case was anything but typical.  We lost him in fits and starts, over and over, for roughly seven years leading up to his final breath. Begrudgingly, we learned to lie to him — ‘entering his world,’ as my brother Chris so delicately deemed it — to skirt the contradictory truths that would trigger his outbursts, which left physical scars on objects, on himself, and on others. We knew many families who had faced Alzheimer’s, yet we were the only ones uttering the comparison ‘Jekyll and Hyde.  Those closest to Dad witnessed firsthand the erratic, delusional and at times explosive episodes that characterized his particular case, which we tried attributing to an overactive imagination in a broken brain. But as more information emerges about CTE and the nature of its symptoms — the violent mood swings, the lapses in judgment, the hours-long hallucinations, the paranoid delusions — we are left with more questions than answers, more regret than relief.”

Kate goes on to state the facts that David Canary suffered at least four major concussions as a lineman in his high school and college football playing days between the ages of 16 and 22, (she also relates that those are the ones he remembered).  She also notes the multi-Daytime Emmy winning star has experienced cognitive difficulties decades before his Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and that there was no genetic lineage that the family knew of that would you would often find with Alzheimer’s patients.  She also noted that David’s volatility was unusual for a patient suffering from this disease, which leads us all back to CTE.

In the end a loving daughter asks the questions, “Did football kill my father?”  Kate was on the verge of looking into a way to donate David’s brain to science, but sadly he passed away eight weeks later in November of 2015.

The upshot is that when mothers and fathers allow their kids to play football or other-related sports at an early age were concussions are a possibly or involved, think again, you could be changing the course of their lives forever.

So, what did you think of what Kate shared about David Canary’s mental health and condition?  It would seem CTE could have been the root cause of what befell this giant of a man in the daytime soap world. Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

So sad! A great actor who seemed like a gentle man.

Iakovos
Iakovos

Real life is always such a fascinating story. I hate to think Mr. Canary and his family suffered so in his final years. Serious issues like this affect many families. Seems fitting a daytime drama might address such in a story line one day. Bless you Ms. Canary for sharing your personal truth with us. I am sure you comforted some, informed others, and hopefully woke up those who have the power and ability to do something about this.

Jimh
Jimh

When one of the Three Stooges died it was believed to have been caused by being hit in the head over the years from their constant head hitting in their sketches…injuries of any kind to the head should always being taken seriously as they are the most dangerous…i believe its possible that those injuries DC suffered contributed later to his medical problems/death!!!

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

Such a very sad story. I could tell he wasn’t well during the online AMC. He was seated during most of his scenes and had little dialogue. When he did speak, you could tell he was putting maximum effort into his lines. Alzheimer’s is such a devastating disease. My mother died of it many years ago. (I doubt she ever played football.) Perhaps it’s time to reconsider violent sports.

Thank you David Canary for sharing your marvelous talent with us. Rest in peace.

sheila nies
sheila nies

I know my dad had Alzheimer’s, it was awful he also was a diabetic 2 times the people over dsed him on his insulin once they took him to the hospital the other time they didn’t. I think to many people get it and at times he wouldn’t remember who we were . Other times he did . i wish there was a cure for cancer and Alzheimers. i think they are both awful i hope i don’t get Alzheimers . My memory is already bad and has been bad a long time lose everything for things forget peoples names .

Cat
Cat

My mom died from Alzheimer’s disease with no family history of it anywhere. She too suffered a terrible head trauma from a bad fall that left her unconscious and with blood loss and a scar that ran the length of the front hairline. I’d read of the head trauma connection after she passed and have always wondered if that head injury lead ultimately to her demise.

All My Children

8 Years To The Day Of All My Children & One Life to Live Being Canceled; Still Considered By Many Worst Move For Daytime

It’s hard to believe that 8 years ago today on April 14th, 2011, the soap world, its fans, and the cast members, learned of the heartbreaking news that ABC, in one swift move, decimated its daytime line-up when they announced the cancellations of long running series, All My Children (which would end at its 41st year), and One Life to Live (which would ends its run in its 43rd year).

At the time, ABC announced it would move to more lifestyle/entertainment series to replace these dramas.  In its place came The Chew and The Revolution, neither show is still on the air today.  Executives at that time pointed to research saying that times are changing and that their decision was “guided by extensive research into what today’s daytime viewers want,” and blame, in part, “the changing viewing patterns of the audience” for the axing of AMC and OLTL

Then ABC Daytime President, Brian Frons had joked to Deadline about the big announcement that he: “Pre-entered the witness protection program prior to today’s events.”  He added that “The demise of the two venerable soaps was actually a year in the making.  A year ago, we started to look at our projections where the ratings for the soaps would go.  When those projections came in pretty discouraging, the network began to aggressively develop replacement shows, 15 of them.  Four of the 15 were picked up to pilot: The Chew and The Revolution and two others, a talk show and a dating show. Originally, the idea was to cancel only one daytime drama.  The way the ratings developed and the pilots turned out, the ratings developed negatively and pilots developed positively, so we decided to make a bigger shift.”  Of note is that when it went off the air, One Life to Live was in third place among its competitors in the ratings.

The press release that came with the cancellations stated: “To honor the core, passionate audience and their rich history both shows will conclude in a manner that respects their legacies and the longstanding hopes of many of their viewers.”

Following the cancellations daytime reeled. The mainstream was sure it meant the endings of the soaps, period.  However, four shows illustrated that is not true at all.  For Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless all remain, and still whether they are up or down in their numbers/ratings, they remain relevant and important to the enduring daytime viewing audience.

Sadly, as with any shows, the end of ABC’s AMC and OLTL meant loss of jobs for so many working in front of the camera and behind the scenes. One Life was the last soap opera in production in New York at the time.  AMC was already being shot in LA to cut costs to save it.

Still in 2019, if you venture on to social media, especially Twitter, you see fans constantly missing its stars and the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, wanting this wrong rectified.  Although Prospect Park tried to revive the show with their online versions, eventually after legal battles that went on for a few years, ABC now retains the right to these properties,

The good news is that many favorites from AMC and OLTL have found success and been hired on other soap operas, bringing their followings with them, whether it be on-screen, or in the writing, producing, directing or crew departments.

So, do you think the loss of AMC and OLTL consolidated daytime and made the remaining shows stronger so they would not be touched or canceled?  Do you think ABC should try to mount a resurrected AMC and OLTL or an amalgamation of the two?  Do you remember where you were when you learned the two soaps were cancelled? Was this the worst misstep of all-time for daytime? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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All My Children

George R. R. Martin’s “Leak” Of New Hulu Series WILD CARDS Featuring Eden Riegel, Thorsten Kaye. and Greg Rikkart

April Fool’s Day started off with a bang today when Eden Riegel (Ex-Bianca, AMC) posted a photo of herself with Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Greg Rikaart (Ex-Leo, DAYS)  in a very intriguing image.  See above pic!  As it turns out, it’s said to be from behind the scenes from some leaked footage of the upcoming Hulu series, Wild Cards.

The premise of Wild Cards is based on the sci-fi anthology series edited by George R. R, Martin, best known for writing the “Song of Ice and Fire” novels, on which HBO’s Game of Thrones is based.  Riegel’s husband, Andrew Miller is the showrunner attached to the upcoming series.

On Martin’s website he teases the set-up of the “leaked” video clip:  “This was not supposed to go public.. Everybody (Well, everybody that has been paying attention knows that we are developing two Wild Cards as a series for Hulu  Andrew Miller has taken the reins as showrunner, a writing staff has been hired, and they have been hard at work for months.  What was NOT supposed to be known is how far they’ve come.  Not only have some scripts been finished, but the first show has gone into production and has been shooting.  That was supposed to be a deep dark secret, however.   We wanted to surprise the world. It’s hard to keep secrets in Hollyweird, however.  And now it appears that some of the rough footage has been leaked by person or persons unknown”

Meanwhile, Riegel sent out a series of tweets: “Hooo boy…cat’s out of the bag! Fans, please don’t judge our show based on these leaked videos!! The effects are going to knock your socks off. And my costars, and , are doing the best work of their lives!”  That was followed by, T”hank you for the chance to work with you on your first foray into soaps! I am humbled and honored. We won’t let you down.” And then, “I’m probably not allowed to share this with all the NDAs I signed, but damnit I’m just so proud of the team!  think we are breaking new ground for soaps. So proud to work with you!”

Now below, check out the Wild Cards “leaked footage” and let us know if you think of the …. um … drama! Comment below.  And one more thing … Happy April Fool’s!

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All My Children

WATCH: All My Children Reunion On Strahan & Sara

On Monday’s episode of ABC’s Strahan & Sara, the show welcomed several stars of the beloved All My Children for a reunion, of sorts. Joining hosts Michael Strahan and Sara Haines were Susan Lucci (Erica), Walt Willey (Jack), Cady McClain (Dixie), Jacob Young (JR) and Jill Larson (Opal).

While it was wonderful to see the stars from Pine Valley again, it was also a painful reminder that this network, ABC, canceled the show, and had put in its place – The Chew, and now Strahan & Sara – since canning the series.   In fact, as you will see on the clips below, many of the crew who work on this talk show were once the crew for All My Children.

During the segment, Susan Lucci was tested to see if she remembered all of Erica Kane’s wedded names.  Later, Walt Willey and Susan re-created the final scene of the ABC version of All My Children between Erica and Jack, where Jack walks out on her.  However, this time, they have Jack changing his mind and coming back to Erica and sealing their relationship with a kiss – a moment of closure that never happened (since the show moved to online via Prospect Park).

In addition, Cady McClain and Jacob Young re-created the infamous Dixie “dying from eating poison pancakes” scene, as JR watches his mother die, only this time she lives.

It’s always great to see these veteran performers, but Strahan & Sara is trying to capture the soap viewers to put eyeballs on their show by bringing in talent from the show that sadly and wrongly went off the air.

Watch the clips below from the All My Children reunion below.  Then, let us know what you thought of it via the comment section below.

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