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EXCLUSIVE: All My Children Matthew Cowles Interview! Here Comes Billy Clyde Tuggle!

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

In true soap fashion look, when we recently visited the new All My Children studios in Connecticut, we were in for the shock of our soap life, when we saw none other than Matthew Cowles (A.K.A. Billy Clyde Tuggle) looking the same as when we saw him decades ago strolling in the hallways!  We came to find out that Matthew is set for a stunning return to the new AMC in all new streaming episodes starting on Thursday May 16th on Hulu and iTunes.

So, just how will Billy Clyde be a critical part of the story arc?  Well, from what we can tell, the former pimp turned born-again-Christian is back to cause trouble including a face-to-face encounter with Dixie Martin (there is no love lost in that department) and look for Tuggle to be instrumental with long time foes, Jesse and Angie, who are trying to find their missing daughter Cassandra, who is now embroiled in a horrific sex-trafficking scheme and scandal!

In this exclusive, and in his first interview back to All My Children, we sat down with the oh-so-talented Cowles to talk about the heyday of AMC (where Billy Clyde was the town pariah), how he managed to make the character one of the most memorable of all-time, and what we can expect in upcoming episodes!  Here now is what Matthew had to share!

How did this shocking return come about?  How did you end up back here on All My Children so many decades later?

Photo Credit: David Russell/TOLN

MATTHEW:  My manager called and asked me if would consider doing Billy Clyde Tuggle on All My Children.  I said, “I certainly would!”  I didn’t know this format, the Internet format, nor do I have the capability of watching it myself.  I am not much of a techie, but I love to play this part!  And so I said to my manager, “Yes, I would be interested.”  So, I signed the contract and here I am.

Billy Clyde Tuggle is one of the most delicious and quirky roles in the history of soaps!  He perpetrated horrible things on the poor citizens of Pine Valley!  I so remember the scenes between Billy Clyde and Estelle, played by the amazing Kate Dezina!

MATTHEW: Oh boy, do I remember Kate Dezina!  I remember those days, and I can almost remember the dialog of every scene we played.  Now that is an exaggeration, but not too far off the moolah. (Laughs)

In your opinion, why is Billy Clyde such a great character?

Courtesy/ABC

MATTHEW: That is because the initial AMC producer, a man called Bud Kloss said, “We would like you, Matthew, to be in charge of the development of this character.  If you want to oodle with the lines and tweak them, that’s OK.  You are not going to write storyline, but the dialog in your scenes is pretty much in your department.”  When you can use the words to prompt the action to get where the character wants to go, it is memorable, and that is for anyone.  I was very fortunate.

Now Billy Clyde is back, and from everything we have read from the teasers thus far, he is once again going to be a real troublemaker!

MATTHEW: A “troublemaker”?  (Laughs) I suppose that is a good way to describe him as a troublemaker, but he doesn’t perceive it as that, necessarily.  But, he takes himself, and is out for himself … first.

When they asked you to come back was it just for a short-term story arc?

MATTHEW: I have no idea what their plan was.  I said, “Let’s just do it.”  They threw a bunch of numbers at me, but really the numbers are not what’s important.

Long time fans also remember your scenes with Benny Sago, then played by Vasili Bogazianos!  They were so tension-filled!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

MATTHEW: This is true! And people do remember him.  My wife said to me, “You’re the star.”  And my wife, Christine Baranski, is a very successful actress!  I don’t make any comparisons.  She does The Good Wife, and she is terrific!  Oh my goodness, my wife is a good actress.  And … she makes beautiful babies!

Prior to landing back on All My Children, what was the most recent acting role you had?

MATTHEW: I did Taming of The Shrew last year and I loved that, with a terrific director, Arin Arbus.

Who have you gotten the opportunity to work with on All My Children?  I know for sure your old buds, Debbi Morgan (Angie) and Darnell Williams (Jesse)!

MATTHEW: They are so wonderful.  I am supposed to be the archenemy of Jesse, but Jesse was the one who called me “Billy Clyde” the other day, and I could almost throw my arms around his neck and kiss him for that.  But that was not in the script, and that would have been very misunderstood, because in the script I was referred to as “Rob Gardner”.   That was the code name to keep my return to AMC a secret from everybody.  This new style of shooting here is not shot episode-to-episode; the way this is shot is like a jigsaw puzzle!  You will have to watch the story.  It’s been exciting to do!

Why did Billy Clyde and Jesse become enemies in the first place?

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

MATTHEW: They operated on the other side of the fence.  He has an ax to grind for Jesse.  I am working with some great actors.  I worked with an actor by the name of “Thorsten” the other day.  Holy Cow!   I’m impressed with his strength and humanity, and he is an “actor”!  And so too is Darnell and Debbi!  You know, I still see a lot of Mark Lamura (Ex-Mark Dalton, AMC) too, and he is doing great.

Matthew, you were part of the heyday of All My Children!  What is it like now being back to see the revival of the show?

MATTHEW: Well, I am waiting for Susan Lucci (Erica, AMC) to come back!  I enjoyed working with her.  She hit me with a bottle once in a scene, a bottle is made of sugar, but there is one hard seam part to it.  Susan hit me with the hard part …. she hit me with the seam! (Laughs)

Fans used to be very vocal in their venom towards Billy Clyde!  Did you have trouble walking down the street, as some soap stars have encountered in the past, when there is no separation for some fans between reality and fantasy?

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

MATTHEW: I think only one or two people that took it seriously would say, “That’s a bad man.”  Most people thought that is a funny guy doing unexpected stuff.

What is it about you that makes you so good at playing a type of character like Billy Clyde?

MATTHEW: Every human being has their own strengths that are unique to them.  And I just was blessed enough to find out what I was good at.  Then, blessed enough to get hired to do something I find great joy in doing.

So AMC fans, what do you think will happen when Billy Clyde arrives on the scene in Pine Valley?  Will he be up to no good? Will he turn a new leaf? What did you think of Matthew’s comments on working with Darnell and Debbi again? And getting to step into the shoes again of one of the all-time villains in soaps? Let us know your thoughts!

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Debbie Harris
Guest
Debbie Harris

Should be fun having Billy Clyde back on AMC! He was one villain we loved to hate!!!

TV
Guest
TV

One day in 1977 I walked into the kitchen of our ‘hippie farmhouse’ in Holsopple, PA. and there sitting at the kitchen table was this wild looking guy. What a fun time it was knowing Mathew during the filming of Slapshot in J-Town, PA. I have followed Mathew’s carreer since then.

em
Guest
em

Thanks – Billy Clyde was the best thing that ever happened to All My Children. I stopped watching after his character left.

ISN
Guest
ISN

He will be the pimp trying to pimp Cassandra!

BTripp
Guest
BTripp

This is great! We just need to get Tad and Erica back now. Tad is gonna need to protect Dixie from Billy Clyde!

takeitish
Guest
takeitish

I love it! Welcome home Mr. William Clyde Tuggle! We missed you and the soap world is ecstatic you’re back!

Jody
Guest
Jody

Haha…..if I had wishes to use I would also ask for the return of Mark Lamura as Mark Dalton; ahhh, the memories!

Georgette
Guest
Georgette

Billy Clyde is my all time favorite soap villian. I cannot believe he is coming back. I am so thrilled. Matthew Cowles- Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Edna Barefoot
Guest
Edna Barefoot

Billy Clyde was a mean man but you always wanted to see what he would do next. I can’t believe he has turned over a new leaf but will be great to find out. My question is we saw him die. There was a body. Tad was the body that disappeared. Maybe I’m wrong but I can still see his body laying on the rocks. It should be exciting having him around again. And by the way I have a brother who could be Billy’s brother.

Rhonda
Guest
Rhonda

The return of Billy Clyde Tuggle will be epic!!! I was so excited when I heard the news. I may not be able to wait until lunch on the 16th to watch…might have to get up early to see his return. Loving the new show!

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

What a great character–so glad Matthew Cowles is coming back. Wish ABC had not taken AMC and OLTL off air, but glad they are back on the Net. Too bad so many people are shortsighted. A serial with great actors/characters will always endure.

su0000
Guest
su0000

Bring it home! Matthew Cowles//Billy Clyde..
You are da`man!

Beacon
Guest
Beacon

There’s a great scene on youtube of Natalie (Kate Collins) banishing Billy Clyde from the hospital as he is attempting to see Donna. Kind of makes you wonder how Billy Clyde Tuggle and Janet Green would have gotten along LOL

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

That would be an interesting duo!

jane
Guest
jane

I love the character of Billy Clyde! I saw the sweet part of him when he was with Estelle. He just cracked me up half the time. Loved Benny Sago too. His relationship with Pheobe Tyler (the Dutchess was what he called her) was so sweet. Cant wait to see Billy Clyde on AMC again! Great coup, Prospect Park!

Denise
Guest
Denise

I am simply delighted that “Billy Clyde” will be returning to Pine Valley! Thank you for another fantastic interview Mr. Fairman.

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

I am simply gushing over this news! Matthew Cowles is one of my all time favorite actors from AMC. I have always loved to hate Billy Clyde Tuggle and yet, looked forward to see what he would do next. It was a pleasant surprise to see him at the premiere and I ended up in tears after we talked. Even though he LIED and told me no when I asked if he was returning to Pine Valley 😉 I understand why he did – and I am glad for the surprise. I can’t wait to see him again!

RICKIE
Guest
RICKIE

Daaaang… I’m old! I remember when Billy Clyde first popped on the scene — he became Donna’s pimp after Tyrone (the wonderful Roscoe Orman) fled the scene. And, of course, there were Donna, Estelle, and Lettie Jean (Delphi Harrington) — the hookers of Locust Street. This should be fun!

Dez
Guest
Dez

Billy Clyde???? One word…HILARIOUS. This spells big fun and great summer entertainment!

Mk
Guest
Mk

I have been waiting for 23 yrs for his return. If tad survid the btidge fallc, so couldid bc. I loved his scenes with phoebe and adam. I remember when he buried estelle alive!

Shrona
Guest
Shrona

This reboot keeps getting better and better! Welcome back, Matthew! You made me laugh and cringe at the same time. I hope your alter ego, Billy Clyde, has his ‘persuadiator’ with him!

Teresa blue
Guest
Teresa blue

I love billy Clyde’s return and have fond memories of him & donna beck. I hope he gets to stay a very long time ! I want to see him and Dixie together! Oh…I have a brother who could be his brother! Seriously . He acts the same way all the time! Xxx BCT 4-ever!

Nancy Wizner
Guest
Nancy Wizner

Matthew Cowles MADE the character of Billy Clyde Tuggle what it was. No one else could have ever played that part as well. He was a such an excellent actor, and this comes a such a shock. So very very sad. Sending my sympathy to his family. RIP Matthew!

lenafreed
Guest
lenafreed

So sad to read the news of Matthew Cowles untimely death. So glad I got to see him and Billy Clyde one more time last year during the late lamented reboot of All My Children.

All My Children

Mark Consuelos Exits ‘Riverdale’

Last night, All My Children alum, Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo Santos) made what appears to be his final appearance for now on CW’s soapy drama, Riverdale.

Consuelos departed Riverdale as a series regular on the season 5 finale, after coming on to the show in its second season in the role of villain, Hiram Lodge.

Riverdale executive producer and showrunner, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, shared with Deadline a statement on Consuelos contribution and run on the series: “From the moment Mark joined us, he was up for literally anything, a hundred percent committed to making Archie’s life a living hell. And what’s funny is, Mark couldn’t be more different from Hiram. A classy pro and the sweetest guy, always looking out for everyone. We wish Mark the best and hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Hiram Lodge.

Consuelos offered up these sentiments in a statement on his Riverdale exit: “First and foremost, I would like to thank Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa for this incredible opportunity. Never before has playing a character that was so bad, felt so good. Huge thanks to the Riverdale fandom, to the brilliant crew and amazing cast, whom I consider dear friends and family.”

So, will you miss seeing Mark on Riverdale? Elsewhere, still no word on the “Pine Valley” reboot in which Mark and wife, Kelly Ripa, are two of the executive producers of that many All My Children fans were hoping would come to fruition. Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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All My Children

TONIGHT: Jacob Young in Lifetime Movie Network Premiere ‘My Daughter’s Double Life’

Premiering tonight, Lifetime Movie Network kicks-off his “Shocktober” with a thriller starring Jacob Young (All My Children, General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful) in the pivotal role as the leader of cult!

In My Daughter’s Double Life, previously titled, Fatal Following, the story follows Heather, a single mom who is desperate to find her daughter Ally when the teenager goes missing. After the police find Ally’s belongings on the riverbank, it’s presumed that she drowned in the river.  However, Heather isn’t so sure.

Photo: JYoungIG

While leaning on her minister and friend, Jack, Heather begins looking into her daughter’s things and is shocked to discover Ally was spending time with a group of troubled teens at a mysterious youth center.  That youth center is led by Bridger, played by Young.

The LMN movie also stars  Jacey Nichole and René Ashton.

You can watch a trailer for tonight below from Jacob’s Twitter account.

So, will you be checking out My Daughter’s Double Life, beginning at 8 pm EST Friday night? Comment below.

Friday Oct. 1st on @LMN ! Start your Shocktober off right! #shocktober pic.twitter.com/KxPSD2HFl3

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All My Children

Beloved Soap Stars Left Out of 2021 Primetime Emmy Broadcast In-Memoriam Tribute

Last night, during the presentation of the 73rd annual Primetime Emmys broadcast on CBS, the annual In-Memoriam segment brought with it so many households names in a year that saw so many legacy talents and more pass away.

The tribute was performed by Leon Bridges and Jon Batiste to Bridge’s song, “River”, and as the images of the departed played across the screens from Cloris Leachman to Cicely Tyson, to Ed Asner to Michael K. Williams, and more, it was clear that several of the major late daytime soap stars were not included in the on-air tribute as well as other omissions.

Now granted, we know they will all be a part of next year’s 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in-memoriam segment, but still these actors were a part of this community and not only appeared on the soaps, but other shows as well.

Those that daytime fans noticed were not included were: Michael Nader (Ex-Dex Dexter and Dimitri Marick, Dynasty and All My Children) Stuart Damon (Ex-Alan Quartermaine, General Hospital), Ray MacDonnell (Ex-Joe Martin, All My Children) and Jay Pickett (Ex-Frank Scanlon, Port Charles).

From primetime MIA action were: Michael Constantine (Ex-Room 222), Tanya Roberts (Ex-Charlie’s Angeles), Director, Richard Donner, writer Larry McMurty, and DMX, to name but a few.

However, the Television Academy did list all of its members who died on their website in the In-Memoriam section, because due to time constraints, they could not possibly showcase everyone.

What do you feel about the omissions of Nader, Damon, MacDonnell, Pickett, and more from the In-Memoriam tribute? Let us know in the comment section, but first watch the segment.

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