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OLTL’s Erika Slezak Recalls Viki’s Breast Cancer Battle, Pays Tribute to Andrea Evans, and Shares Heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to Those Who Reached Out on the Passing of Her Daughter, Amanda

Photo: ABC

One of the all-time classic breast cancer storylines of the soaps was that of Viki’s on One Life to Live. Back in 2000 and into 2001, the character went through many trials and tribulations trying to face the disease, which again afforded the iconic Erika Slezak to be featured in another dramatic storyline, which at the same time helped so many female viewers.

As part of last week’s virtual event, Daytime Stands Up – A Benefit for Stand Up To Cancer – We All Have a Story, Slezak chatted with co-host Michael Fairman about her remembrances of the important storyline, the passing of her co-star, Andrea Evans (ex-Tina) to breast cancer, and took a moment to address the fans and those who reached out to her following the sudden death of her daughter, Amanda Davieback at the end of January of this year.

While Erika has still been in mourning, she took the time to be a part of the night and wanted to contribute her voice to the benefit, and we cannot thank her enough.

Photo: ABC

Speaking on how Viki dealt with her diagnosis of breast cancer, and at the time being in a relationship with a younger man, Ben (played by Mark Derwin), Erika shared, “It was a very good story to tell because Viki, who had always been strong and by herself and tough and ‘I can deal with anything’, suddenly couldn’t deal with it. She was afraid. There was the whole relationship with Ben that was going on, and she didn’t want him to be a part of it. So that was separate, and the day that Vicki checked into the hospital, the last shot was me sitting on the end of the bed, sort of my dangling my feet over it, completely alone because she didn’t want anybody else to know.”

“Ben was around in the hospital and eventually found out that she was there and wanted to be a part of her life. But she didn’t want it,” Erika added. “She couldn’t deal with it. It was a frightening thing for her because it had been caught too late to treat. She had to have a mastectomy and a reconstruction and she had never been faced with such a very personal trauma. I mean, yes, she had Niki and all the others (Viki’s alters), but this was a physical thing that she could not control. It was a very powerful story, I think.”

Photo: ABC

One of the memorable moments from the story was when Viki sang the Gloria Gaynor hit, I Will Survive. Slezak remembers, “That was at Crossroads. She was singing to herself, I Will Survive, and she was desperately trying to believe it, as we all do when we deal with something horrible.”

In tribute to her former co-star, Andrea Evans, who started on One Life to Live as a teenager in 1978 and who died in July of 2023 at 66-years-old, Erika expressed, “Andrea grew up so beautifully and she was so talented that the person that she really was, who was a a kind and loving woman, could play so many different levels of Tina. I had such admiration for her for that. It wasn’t in her nature to be Tina, but she played the hell out of it. She really did. Her first day on the show, her hair was down to the back of her knees. She was just a kid, and she grew up to be a wonderful woman.”

Courtesy/SRodriguez

Speaking emotionally about Andrea’s personal life, Erika recalled, “I think one of the proudest moments of her life is when she got her daughter Kylie, she was so happy. Audrey, Andrea’s mother, used to bring Kylie to the studio, all the way from California she would fly in. I first met Kylie when she was a year old.  I watched her slowly grow up and it was wonderful. Andrea was a fabulous mother. I never met her husband Steve. I wrote to him after she passed, and he wrote me back a very, very sweet letter. But when Andrea met Steve, it was like her life was almost complete, and then she had Kylie, and that was complete. And it is so, so sad that she died so young.”

Photo: JPI

During the conversation, Erika took a second to acknowledge all those who contacted her with their condolences, thoughts and prayers on the passing of her daughter, Amanda, sharing, “I thank all the fans and the people who have written to me. I’ve saved every single card. I’ve responded to every single person because the amount of people who reached out to me is just astonishing. I have a pile that it’s two feet high of cards and letters that people wrote to me. And I’m very, very grateful because this is the hardest thing that’s ever happened to me in my life.”

You can watch the conversation with Erika below on the replay of Daytime Stands Up – A Benefit for Stand Up to Cancer. The six-time Daytime Emmy-winner appears at the 34:17 mark in the show. Below that is a playlist of scenes from Viki’s breast cancer storyline on One Life to Live.

Now let us know, what did you think of Viki’s breast cancer storyline? Erika’s words on the late Andrea Evans and her “thank you” to all for sending their condolences to her and her family during their difficult time? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

 

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Viki’s breast cancer story was riveting and Erika Slezak portrayed all the ups and downs and twists and turns masterfully as always. Erika Slezak is the very best of the best. Cancer touches too many people.

The whole Ben and Blondie story was so beautiful. I loved Mark Derwin and was heartbroken when he left OLTL.

Once again, I giant thank you to Michael and Alan for the Daytime Stands Up 2 Cancer benefit.

Ms. Slezak is ever a class act. Those of us who watched OLTL know what wonderful talent she is. That she is just as gracious in real life is special.

Lovely words, couldn’t agree more.

La Slezak is one of the classiest women on Earth.

Days Of Our Lives

(WATCH) 51st Annual Daytime Emmys Red Carpet Interviews

A week ago, at the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards, many of your favorite soap opera stars took to the red carpet prior to the telecast on CBS and streaming on Paramount + and posed for pictures for the paparazzi and several spoke to the media before going inside and taking in the ceremonies and rooting on their castmates and shows.

While on the red carpet, Michael Fairman TV interviewed those who stopped performers who stopped by and those we could catch on the action-packed bustling arrivals. All of the video interviews are now posted and complete on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel.

Look for conversations with Days of our Lives, Tamara Braun (Ava), Suzanne Rogers (Maggie) with Rob Scott Wilson (Alex) and Paul Telfer (Xander), Dan Feuerriegel (EJ), Greg Rikaart (Leo), and Eric Martsolf (Brady) with wife Lisa and their twin sons, Chase and Mason.

Photo: JPI

Stopping by to chat from General Hospital were Maura West (Ava) and Finola Hughes (Anna), and from The Bold and the Beautiful, Thorsten Kaye (Ridge) and his daughter, McKenna, Annika Noelle (Hope), Kimberlin Brown (Sheila) and John McCook (Eric) and his wife, Laurette.

Photo: JPI

From The Young and the Restless, Peter Bergman (Jack), Courtney Hope (Sally), Christian LeBlanc and Tracey Bregman (Michael and Lauren), Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea), Michael Mealor (Kyle), Melissa Ordway (Abby), Kate Linder (Esther) and Bryton James (Devon), and making their first appearance on a Daytime Emmy red carpet were Neighbours stars: Stefan Dennis, Annie Jones and Georgie Stone.

Photo: JPI

Below is the complete playlist of 2024 Daytime Emmy Red Carpet interviews. Make sure to check them out. Then let us know who you loved seeing and hearing from the most via the comment section below.

 

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General Hospital

GH’s Evan Hofer Talks Life for Dex After Sonny’s Beatdown, Giovanni Mazza, and If Josslyn is Love Endgame

General Hospital’s Dex Heller (Evan Hofer) has been at the epicenter of Sonny Corinthos’ (Maurice Benard) paranoia, which led to the beatdown of Sonny’s former right hand man.

Now, Dex is licking his wounds, and trying to move on with his life after joining the PCPD; following attempting to move away from working for the mob and under Sonny’s thumb. Problem is, Dex has a soft spot for Sonny. Meanwhile, looks like there still may be a future for Dex and Josslyn (Eden McCoy) as the two are trying to mend their once-fractured relationship.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Evan Hofer at the 51st annual Daytime Creative Arts and Lifestyle Emmys (in which Hofer was a presenter during the ceremonies), to discuss the current life and times of his Port Charles alter-ego.

Photo: DHoferIG

Evan has now gotten to see and feel first-hand what is like working in soaps and television, when you have to wear prosthetics on your face after Sonny accosted Dex at Brook Lynn and Chase’s wedding reception.

Hofer recalled the experience. “Our makeup team is incredible. Priscilla, my makeup artist is just so talented. She layered silicone every day so she could control the swelling, so that way, she would have control over how it looked as it progressed and, you know, decreased, increased,” Hofer revealed. “She was incredible and very, very detailed.”

Paying a nod to actors who have to take on TV or movie roles where they have to wear complete facial prosthetics, Evan shared, “I do not envy people who wear full face prosthetics. I think my longest tape day was probably seven hours in it. I got a little claustrophobic. It does cause you to have a lack of of depth perception, which is a rough one.”

Photo: ABC

Hofer weighed-in on if he thinks Dex will ever turn in Sonny and press charges against him for his character’s recent beatdown. “I hope he doesn’t. It’s hard though, because he loves him (Sonny) and that’s the problem,” stated Evan. “That’s what we do with people we love. It’s almost an abusive parent relationship, isn’t it? I have this theory that Dex almost feels like he deserves these things.”

Now might be the time for the GH writers to explore more of Dex’s backstory which could include a backstory of abuse. “I really would love them to. I think it’d be incredible,” hoped Evan. However, he added, “I’m just grateful for whatever I get to do every day and excited for whatever story we get to tell.  Something like The Departed – undercover with the mob- would be cool (for a storyline), and then everybody’s wondering which side I’m on the whole time.”

Photo: ABC

Is there hope for Dex and Josslyn fans that they will still may be each other’s love endgame? Hofer teased, “I think they start spending a little more time together, but who knows what’ll happen. You never know on a soap opera. Maybe Dex’s evil twin will show up and steal Josslyn away.”

Photo: ABC

A few months back, Evan shared some major scenes with the one and only Finola Hughes (Anna). In story, Dex admits he was going to kill Cyrus on Sonny’s orders. Hofer shared it was a big moment for him since his time being on GH. “What an honor to get to do those scenes with Finola. I had only worked with her once before and that was when Dex broke her out of prison and he got shot the first time,” recalls Hofer. “She’s all about working the scenes ahead of time, which I am, too. We got to get a lot of reps in and when we get up there on stage, she’s incredibly affecting. I’ll kind of have an idea of maybe of how the scene will go, and then I’ll just look in her eyes and suddenly I am just so in a different space that she’s pulled me into. In those scenes, having Dex feel like someone cares about him was really beautiful.”

Photo: ABC

Recently, Giovanni Mazza premiered as Gio. In Hofer’s first on-screen scenes with Mazza, the two talk about Gio’s dad having been in the military and Dex’s experience in the Army and serving in Afghanistan.

This raised some GH viewers eyebrows to what if the two characters could somehow be related? Perhaps, brothers? Evan responded to those inquiring minds, “Oh, I don’t know. We look pretty alike. There is the military connection. I think it’ll be interesting. Those first scenes we had together were incredible. I was so excited to work with Geo. He couldn’t be any nicer really. He’s an incredible person. He’s so easy to be around. We hang out outside of work all the time, already.”

Photo: JPI

Does Evan think there will come a day where Jason (Steve Burton), Dex and Sonny will all be working together on the same side, and thus, Sonny will have both his former henchman at his disposal?  While Hofer doesn’t know what’s coming down the pike, he expressed, “It’s been incredible to have Steve around. He’s a really wonderful man. I’d only met him on Zoom previously to him coming back.  I hope we get to work together more. We got one batch of scenes together and I hope we get to do more soon.”

Photo: ABC

As to what GH viewers should be on the lookout for in the weeks ahead, Evan teased, “We’ll see what Joss and Dex get into, and we’ll see what happens within the police department.”

So, are you rooting for Dex and Joss? Do you want Dex back working for Sonny, or hope he stays with the PCPD? Would you want to see more of Dex’s backstory explored? Comment below.

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Interviews

The Bold and the Beautiful’s Kimberlin Brown Teases to Fans: “There’s Something Coming Up, But It’s Not What They Think”

Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown) is now a married lady! Yup, after a small, very small intimate ceremony she married Deacon Sharpe (Sean Kanan) on recent episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful.

Deacon’s daughter Hope (Annika Noelle) showed up for the nuptial to support her father, but Sheila’s son, Finn (Tanner Novlan) happened by Il Giardino, to pick up some food only to stumble upon his mother’s wedding, causing more trouble in his marriage to Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood).

All of this, after Deacon figured out that Sheila didn’t really die at the hands and butcher knife of Steffy, back in February of this year, but it was really her lookalike Sugar who had plastic surgery to look like Sheila many years ago ( one of Sheila’s more heinous acts) who was killed. Thus, setting the stage for Sheila’s return.

Photo: JPI

Kimberlin Brown visited You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel for an exclusive livestream one-one-one chat where a myriad of “Sheila-esque” subjects were discussed.  Here are a few of the more intriguing excerpts below.

After Kimberlin was informed she was exiting the show, did she have any idea, if or how, they were going to bring her back via the Sugar connection? Brown shared “I didn’t. As a matter of fact, when Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer B&B) called me asking if I would come back to the show, I said, ‘Well, how are you gonna pull this one off?’ And he goes, ‘we’re researching it right now.’ So, I guess that’s where their research took them to Sugar, and Sugar was on The Bold and the Beautiful at one time with me as well. Remember, when we had all of the Forrester boys, and we were holding them against their will and and at the foundry? Robin Mattson played that part brilliantly, and then back on The Young and the Restless is when she ‘unfortunately’ had the surgery to look like Sheila, unbeknownst to her.”

Photo: JPI

With Sheila being married to Deacon, does she think it will last more than a month, before her vendetta streak against others takes major hold of her? Kimberlin weighed-in, “I think for the first time in Sheila’s history, she has found a man who truly does love her. And yes, she does love him. Sheila desperately loved Eric Forrester too, but there were too many people around her that would never allow that to happen. And even though there are people around Deacon that prefer that this doesn’t happen, he’s actually stood up to them and said, ‘No, this is who I want to be with. She makes me happy. There are a lot of things that  make me a little crazy, but I go crazier when she’s not there’.  Sheila has finally found true love, I believe, and it’ll be interesting to see if she can hold onto it, and it’ll be interesting to see if a good man in her life can truly make a difference in hers.”

Photo: JPI

Everyone has waited and hoped, that when Lauren makes cross-over appearances to B&B she will bump into Sheila, but still years later that has never happened. Brown feels it’s just a matter of time, sharing, “I believe that they will cross paths one day. It’d be too good to not have that happen. Tracey Bregman and I, really did create something fabulous together. It was at the time, villain against really not a good girl, but a girl that never wanted what she had until Sheila wanted it. So it’s definitely a storyline that I think could resurface, there’s no doubt about it.”

Photo: JPI

Finn’s adoptive mother Li played by Naomi Matsuda may not be what she appears to be either. Might we look forward to the two moms going at it again?, Kimberlin teased, “Working with Naomi Matsuda is great. She’s fun a lot of fun to work with. But let me tell you what, Li has a mean streak. She really does. I have a feeling it may come out, or it may not, but she’s no angel herself.  She may be one calling the tea kettle black, you know?”

Photo: JPI

Fans of B&B have come up with many scenarios of where Sheila’s story is going, from an attempted murder mystery of her, to a plan to get Hope and Finn closer together to put the screws to Steffy. Kimberlin previewed, “There’s some big stuff happening on the show coming up that. I wish I could say more.  I got the script and when we were filming it, I was going, ‘Oh my gosh, this is just too good.’ There are a lot of characters involved in it. There’s something coming up, but it’s not what they (viewers) think.”

Photo: JPI

It’s clear that Finn wants to appease his wife, to stay away from Sheila, but seemingly can’t. “I mean, he definitely has Sheila in him. It is her son,” shared Brown.  But, I think it’s really difficult for him to be in that position. I believe that he wants to give Sheila an opportunity and wants to get to know her. He feels a pull towards her and being he doctor that he is, he wants to explore that and figure out why, be it good or bad. But, Steffy is just not going to allow that to happen. So for Finn to always being stuck in the middle is definitely going to cause conflict.”

Watch the full conversation with Kimberlin below.  Then let us know, based on Kimberlin’s comments, what do you think is the big story coming up on B&B she previewed? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

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