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Former Y&R, Santa Barbara, Capitol, and Guiding Light Executive Producer John Conboy Dead

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Photo: JConboyFacebookPage

Reports surfaced on Friday that legendary soap opera executive producer, John Conboy had passed away.

Judith Chapman (Gloria, Y&R) posted the news of Conboy’s death on her facebook page along with these sentiments: “It is with a heavy heart and a grateful smile that I called him my friend,, “BIG” JOHN CONBOY, the ORIGINAL Producer on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, left us today The Big Guy, with the BIG LAUGH, Man about Town, and One HELLUVA PRODUCER… Whether you loved him, or not ..YOU have to agree He was ONE OF A KIND! God Bless you, John. Give Jeanne a Hug from all of us.”

CBS Daytime also tweeted: “We join Judith and the CBS Daytime community in mourning the loss of John Conboy. John was a longtime Executive Producer on #YR, created Capitol and later was EP of Guiding Light. He will remain in our hearts forever.”

Conboy was the original executive producer of The Young and the Restless and remained with the show from its inception in 1973 through to 1982.  Prior to that, he served as the EP on CBS’ Love is a Many Splendored Thing from 1970-1973.  After Y&R, John next launched CBS’ new soap Capitol and stayed as the EP up through its cancellation in 1987.

John made a comeback in 1991 with the one and only Santa Barbara, where he served as the top executive of the series for a time, with the last soap he helmed being Guiding Light from 2002-2004.

Throughout his daytime career, Conboy picked up four Daytime Emmys – three for the soaps, and one for an afternoon special.

Share your thoughts on the passing of John Conboy in the comment section below.

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Mateo
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Mateo

I didn’t know Mr Conboy but even I recognize his excellence in daytime drama. I watched Guiding Light and still watch Y&R….RIP Mr. Conboy. Thank you for your gifts to us.

K/kay
Guest
K/kay

I adored his work he was great.

K/kay
Guest
K/kay

People this. Was when Daytime. Was really a force now it’s just ok this is my buddy he works you don’t back when personal feelings were kept out of the work environment you had a job you did it.

Shay
Guest
Shay

So right you are, k/kay! Mr. Conboy’s efforts were class personified…He helmed so many superb shows that made daytime viewing a sumptuous feast to be savored….In contrast, today we’re simply left to pick up the leftover crumbs in search of the occasional treat!!!!!

jaybird369
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jaybird369

Mr. John Conboy…Thank You…Thank You for ALL that you brought and gave to the soap genre over the years. You will be truly missed. Rest In Peace.

Amen.

Kevin C
Guest
Kevin C

I so remember John Conboy being the EP at the beginning of Y&R who made a difference during his time at Y&R…RIP John…

Barbara from Atlanta
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Barbara from Atlanta

Jeanne Cooper discussed Conboy in her autobiography. He was the one who contacted her about appearing on Y&R in what she thought would be the short-term part of Kay Chancellor. Sorry to hear of his passing. Y&R owes its success to people like Bill Bell and Conboy. They built a strong foundation for the show, which is a major reason that the show has managed to stay on the air — even in its current, very diminished form with a constant flow of head writers trotting in and out the door for the past decade. When I hear of the… Read more »

Kevin C
Guest
Kevin C

Very well said Barbara…THANK YOU…he surely will be missed and I loved what he did for Y&R…

Ron
Guest
Ron

Barbara, I could not have said it any better. Thank you for speaking on behalf of so many loyal Y & R fans.

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

Into the wild blue YondeR…

RIP, JC.

Iakovos
Guest
Iakovos

A man whose talents and leadership clearly were a gift to the genre and to fans of these wonderful programs.

Julianne
Guest
Julianne

The GUIDING LIGHT was the best soap ever with REVA ❤️
No one could ever repeat those scenes with Josh

Janice T. White-Harris
Guest
Janice T. White-Harris

RIP his work was inventive & appreciated by many people of color!

Connie
Guest
Connie

Mr. Conboy was a class act and one of the greatest creative in soap history. May he R.I.P

General Hospital

Soap Alums Frank Grillo and Dee Wallace to Star in New Peacock Streaming Series

From director and executive producer Jason Woliner, best know for his work on Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, comes a new untitled streaming series for Peacock which is said to be groundbreaking, in that, it mixes fact and fiction to tell a bizarre and incredible tale.

Casting announcements have begun and two faces very familiar to soap fans are in the ensemble.  First, former Guiding Light star, Frank Grillo (Ex-Hart Jessup) who most recently appeared in Kingdom, and Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, and second, former General Hospital star, Dee Wallace (Ex-Patricia Spencer), best known for her role in the film, E.T.

In addition to Grillo and Wallace, look for Rosanna Arquette and Dennis Haysbert to also appear in the series.

The “Untitled Jason Woliner Project” will be executive producerd by: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Loreli Alanis  Megan Ellison. Michael Sagol, and Bert Hamelinck.

Looking forward to seeing Frank and Dee in this one-of-a-kind project on Peacock? Did you love them as GL’s Hart and GH’s Patricia? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Guiding Light’s Lee Lawson Dead At 83

UPDATED: More loss for the Guiding Light family.  Now comes word on Monday that Lee Lawson, who played Bea Reardon on the CBS daytime drama series from 1981-1990, passed away Sunday night in Los Angeles at 83-years-old. Lawson passed away at Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles after a decades-long fight with cancer with her children by her side.

What makes this all the more heartbreaking is that Guiding Light and soap fans just recently mourned the loss of one of Lee’s on-screen daughter’s Lisa Brown (Ex-Nola Reardon) who died back in November of last year.

According to Lee’s dear friend, Marian-Hailey Moss via Facebook, she shared: “My down-to-earth, sassy smart and beautiful friend LEE LAWSON is telling it like it is in a better place. A fine actress and a super generous friend. I’ll meetcha there LEE!!”

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke to Marian-Hailey Moss and confirmed Lee’s passing.

In addition to her time in Springfield, Lawson also appeared in for a time in 1979 on One Life to Live in the role of Wanda Wolek and started her soap acting career on Love of Life in 1965 in the part of Barbara Sterling.

Lawson also appeared on numerous primetime television shows from Kojak to Maude and many others.  After a long career in entertainment, Lee achieved a lifelong ambition by gaining a doctorate in clinical psychology, and enjoyed a fulfilling successful second career in Los Angeles as psychologist and crisis counselor.  She was especially proud of the work she did for many years at the Los Angeles Times before moving into private practice.

Lee’s daughter, Leslie Bova, took to Facebook on May 24th and shared: “My Mother died. May 22, 2022. Thank you for having Chris, Me & Gaby so that we could have Gianna, Wilder & Sterling. We love you. You fought Cancer & COVID-19 like a champ. Rest, you brilliant, woman ❤️. Thank you, mom. R.I.P.”

She is survived by her children: playwright Christopher Stetson Boal, Gabriella, and Leslie; her sister, artist Susan Gray Arlow; and her grandchildren Wilder, Sterling and Gianna.

Below check out some scenes between Bea and Nola from Guiding Light.

Share your remembrances of Lee Lawson as Bea Reardon and your condolences in the comment section below.

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Guiding Light

One Life to Live and Guiding Light Stars Share Reactions and Remembrances of Jerry verDorn

Over the last 24 hours, tributes have poured in on social media for beloved soap opera veteran, Jerry verDorn (Ex-Ross, GL and Ex-Clint, OLTL) who passed away on May 1st.

The two-time Daytime Emmy-winning star, was one of the most genuine people you could ever meet and work with as noted by so many of his former colleagues from Llanview to Springfield.

Michael Fairman TV will continue to update this post as more remembrances for Jerry continue to be shared and posted.  Here is just a sampling of verDorn’s impact on the lives of those who worked with him in front of the camera and behind the scenes:

Photo: JPI

Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki, OLTL) statement to her Fan Club: “For anyone who knew Jerry verDorn, Sunday, May 1st, was a heartbreakingly sad day.He was a man of such warmth and kindness, talent, intelligence and most importantly humor, that every day spent working with him could hardly be called work.  It was joy.  He so loved what he did and was so very good at it. I was the very lucky recipient of his last 8 years in daytime and I thank God for that. “He made every day one to look forward to. I will always think of him with that lovely, rather impish, smile on his face, and that will stay in my heart forever. I know that he has gone to a peaceful place, with no pain.  I send my love and deepest sympathies to Beth and their sons and their families, of whom he was so very proud. They have lost a great man.”

Melissa Archer (Ex-Natalie, OLTL) expressed: “I’m heartbroken to hear of Jerry VerDorn’s passing. I have so many wonderful things to say about this man, but I’ll try to keep it brief. I had the honor of playing his daughter on oltl. He was genuine from start to finish. A giving actor, a caring coworker, funny, talented, and full of smiles. When he took over the role of Clint, it was seamless. It felt as though he’d always been there and he formed family bonds with all of us quickly. His family are in my thoughts and prayers.”

Bree Williamson (Ex-Jessica, OLTL) shared: “I am devastated to hear about the death of Jerry. He was a wonderful man and I am so grateful for the time that I spent with him as my TV father. He was a talented and generous actor and a kind and gentle man. He made it effortless for me to feel close to him and to love him like a dad. I enjoyed everyday I was lucky enough to spend with him and I will hold those memories of him in my heart and mind forever. 💔💔”

Photo: JPI

Amanda Setton (Ex-Kimberly, OLTL, now Brook Lynnm GH) said: “I am so very sorry to hear this news. I was so fortunate to have worked with Jerry early in my career. I learned so much from him. I remember we would often run lines in his dressing room, classical music playing and all. His preparation and commitment to his craft was inspiring. He was an incredible actor, the consummate professional; prepared, present, supportive, and kind. He treated everyone with such respect and admiration. We have lost someone special. I am holding his family in my thoughts and prayers. “

Ron Carlivati (Ex-head writer, OLTL, now head writer, DAYS) shared: “Sad to hear the news that Jerry Ver Dorn has passed away. Jerry stepped into the role of Clint Buchanan in 2005 and quickly made it his own, playing a loving husband and father and eventually a very convincing villain, although the man himself was all heart. Rest in peace. #OLTL”

Robin Strasser (Ex-Dorian, OLTL) said:#JerryVerDorn a fine actor and true gentleman. It always felt good to see him, not just because he was so darn good looking (he was:) but because he was so affable & easygoing; while being thoroughly hardworking and dedicated to the work. All honor to one of the best of the best!”

Frank Valentini (Ex-EP, OLTL, now EP, GH) tweeted: “I was very sad to learn about the passing of my friend and all around great guy, Jerry verDorn (Clint #OLTL.) On behalf of everyone here at #GH, we send our heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends.”

Photo: JPI

Mark Lawson (Ex-Brody, OLTL) expressed: What a gentleman. I remember being so intimidated by both he and Bob Woods. Until I finally had scenes with them.  Jerry was the consummate gentleman. So elegant and kind. With a blue collar approach to the work and a respect and generosity for his fellow actors that flew beyond what was necessary. He was a benevolent king on that set. And funny. And ready to laugh.This photo was from the very last moments of filming OLTL at the studios in Manhattan.  I was blessed that day to work with Erika, Jerry, Bree, and Melissa.  I think about that day and these people all the time. Farewell, sir. It was a pleasure to know you.  #jerryverdorn #onelifetolive #oltl”

Liz Keifer (shared: “My heart is broken and filled with bittersweet love for Jerry and his family. Thank you for being my trusted friend onscreen and off. It was an honor to be yours. Rest well, dear Jerry. You are loved beyond measure.”

Patrick Mulcahey (Former head writer, GL) “So sad to hear of Jerry verDorn’s passing. What a fine actor and a good guy. He never stopped thanking me for a special GL episode I wrote for him (Ross’s Election Day dream), but I loved his work way back when Ross was with Vanessa, then Carrie, and then later, with Blake… He and Peter Simon [ex-Ed] played best friends beautifully — abiding male friendships are rare on soaps — and he had crazy deep chemistry with all his leading ladies. Writing Blake and Ross was about as much fun as a writer could have and those scenes always aired so deliciously… Many thanks, sir, for all you offered us, the humor, the depth, the stuffiness and vanity too, which you knew was there in all of us. Sorry you had to leave us in apple blossom time. Sorry you had to leave us at all.”

Robert Newman (Ex-Josh, GL; now Ashland, Y&R): “This one really hits hard. Jerry Ver Dorn was a wonderful actor and a beautiful person. He was one of my first role models. He actually was instrumental in getting me into Union service. He was our Aftra Deputy on Guiding Light, and eventually I took over for him in that role on the show. That planted seed led me to over a decade of serving on both the National and Local boards of Aftra, then Sag-Aftra after the merger. One of the finest human beings I’ve ever known. Rest peacefully, Jerry.”

What do you think about the comments and tributes from Jerry’s former castmates? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

 

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A post shared by Melissa Archer (@_melissaarcher)

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Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
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