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General Hospital and ‘H.R. Pufnstuf’s’ Billie Hayes Dead at 96

Photo: JPI

She was one-of-a-kind, and now actress Billie Hayes has passed away at the age of 96.  Hayes’ family announced her death from natural causes on April 29th at Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

Hayes was best-known for her unforgettable role as Witchiepoo on the 1969-70 Saturday morning live-action children’s classic H.R. Pufnstuf from Sid and Marty Kroft.

However, daytime fans will remember that then General Hospital executive producer, Gloria Monty, hired Hayes to play the recurring role of the street-smart international spy, Brighton O’Reilly, back in the 80’s series hey day.

GH’s Tristan Rogers (Robert Scorpio) took to Twitter to mourn the loss of Hayes on Monday sharing; “My dear wonderful Billie Hayes has died. Sadly I only got to work with her on GH but it was a magical relationship. Right away Gloria Monty saw something unique and ran with it. I cannot tell you how her passing saddens me.”

Photo:ABC

In story, Brighton O’Reilly was shot and killed by Victor Cassadine back in 1981. Billie told Soap Opera Digest back in 2003 about her time as an agent on GH, and her exit from the series: “I asked Gloria why she killed me off, and Gloria said, ‘To tell you the truth, Billie, we really hemmed and hawed at it. But I decided to do it for selfish reasons. I knew if I killed O’Reilly there’d be such an abundance of sympathy and love for Scorpio that his stock would go up. And he’s my new leading man!’ I understand why Gloria knocked me off, but I would have loved to have gone on with it because I feel it could have been developed into a fascinating character.”

Photo: JPI

Sid and Marty Kroft also took to Twitter and expressed:  “Margaret Hamilton (Wizard of Oz) once told us that Billie Hayes was “one of the best witches ever” We couldn’t agree more. Rest in Peace dear friend.”

Billie’s career spanned decades including Broadway, television, motion pictures and voice-over work. In addition, she founded the Los Angeles-based animal rescue nonprofit organization Pet Hope, a cause she had championed since adopting a puppy abandoned in the basement of Broadway’s St. James Theatre during the run of Lil’ Abner in which she was featured in the role of Mammy Yokum.

Share your remembrances of Billie Hayes and your condolences for her family and loved ones via the comment section below.

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Charday
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Charday

Rest in Peace Billie Hayes. You gave us so much entertainment.

Carrie
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Carrie

I loved her as O’Reilly. She, Robert, Luke and Laura were a blast together. Her improv skills were terrific and she was fantastic on GH. She was also hilarious in any scenes she shared with the character of Slick Jones. 1981 was a golden, hilarious year on GH. Gloria cast a lot of character actors and let them improvise. Thank you for the memories. Rest in peace.

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

I am so very sorry to hear this news. Billie Hayes was absolutely fantastic in all the roles she played. I so loved her as O’Reilly and was just heartbroken when they killed the character. She was great as Mammy Yokum in the Lil’ Abner film. And all of her witch characters through the years were wonderful.

Thank you Ms. Hayes for sharing your remarkable talent with all of us. Rest in peace.

Carrie
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Carrie

She looked much younger than 96. She seemed like a joyful person. What a nice life she lived. She will be missed.

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Loved her and Scorpio. I agree with her. She should have remained on the show as Robert’s surrogate mother. 🙂

Carrie
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Carrie

Very true Nancy. She and Robert were great.

General Hospital

Cameron Mathison Talks Strangest Shirtless Scenes, Favorite Susan Lucci Moment & More On ‘7 Questions With Steve & Brad’

On the latest installment of Steve Burton (Jason) and Bradford Anderson’s (Spinelli) You Tube series, 7 Questions with Steve and Brad, the General Hospital stars welcome the newest addition to their Port Charles family, Cameron Mathison.

Mathison is set to debut this summer back on ABC daytime in a role still under wraps, after previously playing All My Children’s Ryan Lavery and wrapping up his co-hosting gig on Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family.

Photo: StoneColdJackal

In the rapid fire sequence of questions from Burton and Anderson, Cameron fielded questions such as what was his strangest take-off-your-shirt moment in soaps, his favorite Susan Lucci moment (where in story, Ryan for a short time was romantically linked to Erica Kane), plus Mathison fessed up on his favorite hosting gig, if he bakes at home, and more.

Watch the enlightening and fun conversation here.

Then let us know, are you looking forward to Cameron’s debut on GH? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Rebecca Herbst Thanks Fans for the Birthday Love

She is not often on social media, but when she does show up, it delights so many of her enduring fans. General Hospital’s Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth), who yesterday celebrated her birthday on May 12th, took to Twitter to share warm ‘thank you’s’ to a few fan factions who sent her some lovely gifts in honor and support of their favorite soap star.

Herbst expressed: “Yesterday was such a beautiful day! THANK YOU for all your sweet Birthday messages! #Friz & #Liason showered me with the most gorgeous flowers, cakes & goodies. And #Friz donated $2500 to #SmileTrain.  I felt very loved. I’m so grateful for each & every one of you. …XO”

Of course, the Friz fans loved Liz with Franco (Roger Howarth) and the Liason fans are those who love Liz with Jason (Steve Burton).

Now with Roger Howarth returning to the show – in what is at this juncture still a mystery as who he will play – will Rebecca be paired with Roger in story again, or not this time?  Do you think Liz might end up romantically with Finn (Michael Easton), or is there still a chance that down the line Liz and Jason could get back together, or could Liz meet someone new? Only time will tell!

For now, Herbst was thankful for the money donated to the Smile Train charity and all the wonderful gifts and messages that came her way.

So, what did you think of Becky’s thank you message?  Who are you hoping Liz winds up with romantically in the future?  Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL Touches on Racial Profiling, Social Injustice and Bias In Key Scenes with Portia and Jordan

This week ABC’s General Hospital took the opportunity to write in to their scripts and story, the issue that has been so prevalent in our country now and for decades that of racial profiling, injustice, bias, gender equality and more rolled into scenes featuring: Brook Kerr (Portia), Briana Nicole Henry (Jordan), Sydney Mikala (Trina) and William Lipton (Cameron).

When Portia comes to the boxing gym for a workout and comes upon Jordan hitting the boxing bag hard over the the incident with Cameron in the hospital garage, it spurs a greater conversation.

Jordan tells Portia about the situation that arose with Cameron and a gun, and Portia says she heard about it.  Jordan knows if Cameron’s skin was a different color, she may not have been able to de-escalate the situation and talk her officers down, if she had not arrived on the scene in the nick of time.

This launches the two women into an important conversation on racial profiling, social injustice, white privilege and gender bias that they have found themselves dealing with in their professions (Portia is a doctor and Jordan the police commissioner) and their children’s lives.

Later in another scene, Trina reminds Cameron how they, along with Joss (Eden McCoy) were pulled over by a cop last summer when they were driving around the backroads.  She goes on to say when Cameron questioned why they were being stopped, it scared her.  She feels if Joss and Cam were not there, she would have likely been pulled out of the car and pinned to the ground by the cop.  Trina notes she put aside her fear and never said anything to them, because they would never understand.  Trina tells Cam he needs to realize how lucky he was the other night when nothing happened to him after his run in with police.

You can watch the conversation below in scenes with Briana Nicole Henry and Brooke Kerr.

Then let us know, did you like how GH wove this social message into the story?  Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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