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

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.

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

He will be the pimp trying to pimp Cassandra!

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

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

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

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!

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.

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!

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.

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

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

That would be an interesting duo!

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!

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

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!

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!

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

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!

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!

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!

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!

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

Kelly Ripa Shares on Husband Mark Consuelos: “My Funny Valentine…Celebrating 29 Years of Love With This Guy”

Ah, we remember them when, right? Hard to believe that 29 years have passed since Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos tied the knot when they were mere young adults on All My Children on May 1st, 1996 and portraying Hayley and Mateo, respectively.

But, look at them now! Kelly and Mark are happily married with three children and co-hosting the top-rated syndicated morning talk show!

On Valentine’s Day, Mark took to his Instagram and Kelly took to hers, posting pics and snaps of their love for one another. Consuelos shared: “My forever Valentine…You make smile♥️♥️” to which Ripa replied “Ten Hearts.”

Photo: MConsuelosIG

Kelly posted a plethora of great shots of the duo through the years, captioning it all with “My funny Valentine…Celebrating 29 years of ♥️ with this guy 😍”

The photo album included: Kelly and Mark in matching blue and white outfits standing in front of a red sign that spells out the word “love.” In addition, Ripa chose some moments from their red-carpet appearances and some of their favorite vacations.

Photo: Live with Kelly/Mark IG

Meanwhile, the Live with Kelly and Mark social media account featured a shot of the couple wearing matching t-shirts that said, “Find someone that loves you as much as Mark loves Mark 😂 Happy Valentine’s Day!”

So, what do you think? Are Kelly and Mark the best example of a Valentine’s Day couple we know and love? Share your thoughts in the comment section and Happy Valentine’s Day from Michael Fairman TV!

 

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All My Children

Grammy Winner Jody Watley Recalls Dancing On ‘Soul Train’ with All My Children’s Darnell Williams: “Like Every Other Soap Fan I Loved His Legendary Character ‘Jesse'”

Look who’s paying an homage to one of the all time daytime greats, Darnell Williams (ex-Jesse, All My Children), none other than recording artist and Grammy-winner, Jody Watley.

While in promotion of her new single, Everlasting, Watley has been sharing photos and memories of moments from her career that are everlasting.

Taking to her Instagram, Watley shared a photo of herself with a young Darnell Williams, where we learned not only is she a huge fan of the iconic Jesse from Pine Valley, but she danced with Darnell when they both appeared on Soul Train! Darnell was regular on the show from 1974-1975.  Watley began her professional career on Soul Train, then became part of the musical group, Shalamar, before beginning her own solo career which has now spanned decades.

Photo: JPI

Watley expressed on Willi: “EVERLASTING Indeed! 😁😁✨ “Always believe in you..” #flashbackfriday #70s 😘 this photo was shared with me from a ST fan page on FB .. I’d never seen it before 😯😍 – two teens with big dreams — Darnell Williams such a nice guy and so handsome we danced together a few times – a snapshot – … later like every other soap fan I loved his legendary character “Jesse” back in the golden era of daytime TV “All My Children” ❤️❤️❤️❤️ terrific actor— and I was in awe like “I knew him on ST” 😁 – before coming into my own trajectory as an artist.”

Photo: DCorneliusProdsInc

Two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Darnell Williams appeared on All My Children during several stints from 1991 to 1998, then again from 2008-2011, before reprising the role in 2013 in Prospect Park’s reboot of the series.

Watley’s biggest hits include Real Love, Looking for a New Love, Everything, Some Kind of Lover and more.

So, what do you think of the Darnell and Jody connection, and her remembrances of his time as Jesse on AMC? share your thoughts in the comment section, and also check out the radio edit version of Jody’s new single below.

 

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A post shared by Jody Watley (@jodywatley)

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All My Children

‘Live with Kelly and Mark’ Scores Most-Watched Week of Syndicated Talk Shows in 2 Years; Delivers Strongest Week in Nearly 3 Years

In another case of soap alums doing great things, come news that former All My Children stars and real-life marrieds Kelly Ripa (ex-Hayley) and Mark Consuelos (ex-Mateo) are having a great ride together as on-screen co-hosts of the syndicated morning series, Live with Kelly and Mark.

New numbers were just released by ABC that share that during the week of January 15-19 2024: Live with Kelly and Mark hit series highs in Households (1.81 rating) and Total Viewers (2.673 million). Interestingly enough, former GH star, Rick Springfield (ex-Noah Drake) appeared on the show that week performing with friend and musician, Richard Marx.)

But there is more good news: Live with Kelly and Mark delivered the franchise’s strongest week in nearly 3 years in both Households and Total Viewers, as well as double-digit week-to-week increases in key demos over the last three weeks.

Photo: ABC

With 2.673 million Total Viewers, ‘Live’ delivered the most-watched week of any syndicated talk show in 2 years ( since Dr. Phil second week of January in 2022).

In even more solid gains for this ratings report: the talker stood as the week’s top  daytime talk show in Households (1.81 rating) and Total Viewers (2.673 million). ‘Live’ also ranked as the No. 1 entertainment talk show of the week across all key Nielsen measures, topping all daytime and late-night entertainment talk shows.

Photo: ABC

Overall the Live with Kelly and Mark is up 4%  from the the previous year averaging roughly 2.4M viewers across all of its episodes. ‘Live’ also stands as the season’s No. 1 entertainment talk show across all key Nielsen measures.

Consuleos arrived officially on the season on April 17th 2022 taking over for the departing Ryan Seacrest to co-host the show with Ripa. While many voiced concerns that the on-screen and off-screen coupling might make for lower ratings if they were not entertaining, just the opposite has happened, the series seems in a very healthy place; given the constant downturn in linear ratings and viewership in daytime TV.

Are you enjoying Kelly and Mark as co-hosts compared to Kelly’s other co-hosts through the years? Comment below.

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