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Nancy Lee Grahn’s Star-Studded ALS Fundraiser Reveals “I’ll Be There” Video Featuring Soap Opera Notables

Photos: ABC and JPI

Talk about your impressive line-up! It’s a soap fans dream and for a great cause. General Hospital’s Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis) is prepping her one-night only ALS fundraiser which will feature many of her friends and co-stars.

The benefit is set for May 4th in Glendale, California. Slated to participate are Genie Francis, Jane Elliot, Peter Bergman, Maurice Benard, Eileen Davidson, Thorsten Kaye, Michelle Stafford, Stephen Nichols, Rena Sofer, Jason Thompson, Kelly Monaco, Melissa Claire Egan, Maura West, Kristina Wagner, Gregory Harrison, Trevor St. John, Kate Mansi, Kirsten Storms, Cynthia Watros, and many others.

On Wednesday, Grahn took to her social media and released an “I’ll be there” video shout-out featuring, Monaco, Elliot, Bergman, Bernard, West, Harrison, St. John and more. In a touching and important moment in the new video, Michelle Strogny, who is battling ALS, is featured.

Photo: ABC

Previously, in speaking with Soap Opera Digest on the impetus of the event, Grahn recalled, “I was actually doing Zoom events during Covid and I met this woman that I just fell in love with, Michelle Strojny. At the time, Michelle had been living with ALS for four years. Now, it’s five years. She is a mom of a teenage son, she has the most wonderful husband, and she has been dealing with this [disease] for quite a while. And obviously, there isn’t a cure yet. It’s not survivable yet. But as she says, it’s not incurable. Nothing is; it’s underfunded. But anyway, I just really dug this woman. She is so grounded and filled with grace, and she spends all of her time working to raise money for the cause. We did a fundraiser for her last year and then I thought, ‘You know what? The soaps don’t ever get together to do something for charity.’ Collectively, we have this amazing community and we don’t collectively use it for a good cause, and I think it’s such an easy thing for us to do and we could potentially really make a difference.”

As GH viewers know, Gregory Harrison is playing the character of Gregory Chase, who is also battling ALS in a touching storyline that is currently playing out shedding a light on this disease.

For information on Nancy’s event, including the stars who are s scheduled to participate click here. To purchase tickets to the event click here.

Check out the video featuring Nancy’s friends and co-stars below.  Now let us know, your thought son the line-up for the benefit and helping raise awareness and funds for ALS research via the comment section.

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Best Wishes to all participating in this wonderful event on the West Coast.
On the same day, I’ll be attending another wonderful event on the East Coast, as we celebrate what would have been the 60th Anniversary of ANOTHER WORLD in Tarrytown, NY. So many AW stars are coming out for this.

Thank you to all the soap stars who connect in such a personal way with their fans!

Bless Nancy for putting the ALS event together!

I love Nancy and would expect nothing less of her and while San Diego is close to L.A , how does that saying go, the Spirit is willing but the flesh is week? So true, but I wish them all the best and hope they rake in millions.

This is definitely a very worthy cause and I hope the fundraiser is very, very successful. ALS is such a terrible disease. Thank you to Nancy Lee Grahn for her efforts.

Long term daytime viewer may remember that we lost the wonderfully versatile actor Michael Zaslow to ALS in 1998. His daytime credits include Search for Tomorrow, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, Roger Thorpe on Guiding Light (his most famous role) and, of course my favorite, David Renaldi on One Life to Live. He also had several episodic TV and film credits. Michael has the distinction of playing the first character killed off in the first episode of the original Star Trek series.

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Nina Confronts Ava for Sabotaging Her Relationship With Sonny and Signs the Divorce Papers

Looks like Nina (Cynthia Watros) and Ava (Maura West) are back to be each other’s sworn enemy number one. By the end of the Monday, April 22nd episode of General Hospital, the women know where they stand with each other after Nina goes in on Ava accusing her of wanting Sonny (Maurice Benard) all to herself, while her marriage has been on the rocks.

In story, at Nina’s office, Ava shows up to see Nina and says she is sorry about what happened with Sonny and that he reacted the way he did, acknowledging that is was over the top, even for Sonny. Ava says she’ll smooth things over, but Nina says she now understands how manipulative and transparent Ava really is.

Given their horrible history, Nina goes in on Ava and how she should never have trusted her. Nina wants to know how long has Ava had this agenda dating all the way back to telling Nina to turn Carly (Laura Wright) and Drew (Cameron Mathison) into the SEC. Ava says she never told her do to that, but Nina wants to know how long Ava has been playing her for a fool.

Courtesy/ABC

Ava says she moved in with Sonny to keep Avery safe and she wants to be on good terms with Avery’s father, Sonny. Nina thinks she likes being in Sonny’s inner circle. Ava tells Nina if she goes to him about her advising Nina to call the SEC on Carly and Drew, it won’t work.  Sonny still considers Nina a traitor and he will think she’s lying because she’s so desperate to win him back. Ava says if Nina would stop blaming everyone else that maybe Sonny would respect her.  Nina says “like he does you?” Ava says Sonny not only respects her, but he also counts on her.

From there, Ava launches into why she and Sonny understand each other, after all, Sonny is a powerful, turbulent, and sometimes violent man. She goes so far to say if Nina wanted someone to just sit by the fire with and play with their grandchildren, she’s got the wrong guy.  Ava then talks about Mike from Nixon Falls (Sonny with amnesia) and how Sonny hid the darkest parts of himself from Nina back then, whereas with Ava they are the same similar creatures, so he doesn’t have to hide anything.

Courtesy/ABC

Nina wants to know just what Ava wants with Sonny? What is her end game? Ava responds that they understand each other, in ways she can’t with Sonny. Nina tells Ava she can go ahead and have it all and signs Sonny’s divorce papers. Ava walks out with the documents, while Nina in tears at her desk, takes off her wedding rings and has her assistant come in so she can messenger the rings back to Sonny’s address.

The episode and these scenes featured great performances by Cynthia Watros and Maura West. You can check some of the scenes below.

Now, let us know, what is Ava’s next move? Is she going to become Mrs. Sonny Corinthos? Do you like Ava and Nina as enemies? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Ellen Travolta Makes Another Return to General Hospital

If General Hospital’s Chase (Josh Swickard) and Brook Lynn’s (Amanda Setton) nuptials are on, you didn’t think Grandma Gloria Cerullo would miss out on the festivities, now did you?

Casting news from Soap Opera Digest reveals that Ellen Travolta is back taping scenes that will air the week of May 13th on the ABC daytime drama series.  When viewers learned that Carmine Cerullo, was also on his way back to Port Charles, now in the face and body of actor George Russo, it only made sense that Grandma Gloria would join Grandpa Cerullo. Look for them both mid-May.

As most people know, Ellen is the older sister to John Travolta. She first make appearances as Gloria back on GH in the mid-90s. Most recently, she returned to the Quartermaine mansion to meet up with daughter, Lois (Rena Sofer) and granddaughter Brook Lynn for Thanksgiving in Port Charles in 2023.  Michael Fairman TV interviewed Rena Sofer and Amanda Setton late last year where they shared what it had been liking working with Ellen, who remains very close to Sofer in real-life.

Photo: JPI

Amanda shared: “We fell in love immediately. What’s crazy is my maternal grandmother was Grandma Gloria. I had her till I was 30 and we were so close. She was really like a second mom to me. So, when I got this script and I’m reading “Grandma Gloria”, it was so bizarre. And then in meeting Ellen, she looks like my grandma – same haircut, same high cheekbones. It really did feel like I had a few days with my grandma. It was very, very special for me. Ellen is sweet, prepared, professional, talented and funny to boot. So, it was one of the best weeks I’ve had at work. I hope she comes back. My fingers are crossed.”

Photo: ABC

Now, we can’t imagine Brook Lynn and Chase’s wedding day to be smooth sailing, in fact, expect just the opposite, but could it be Grandma Gloria who is ultimately the hero or the calming voice of reason for any pre-wedding jitters? Stay tuned.

So, glad to know that Ellen Travolta will be back for Brook Lynn and Chase’s big day? Comment below.

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Breaking News

The Young and the Restless and General Hospital Actress and Writer, Meg Bennett, Passes Away at 75

Meg Bennett, who had played Julia Newman and later became a writer for the top-rated daytime drama, The Young and the Restless has died at the age of 75.  The news comes from her family who shared that she lost her battle to cancer back on April 11th.

Daytime fans remember fondly, Meg’s portrayal of Victor’s (Eric Braeden)first wife. Bennett joined the show in 1980, after her first soap stint for two years in the role of Liza Walton on Search for Tomorrow.

Impressed by her story notes, the late Bill Bell, then head writer of Y&R, had Meg doing double duty acting and writing on the show from 1983-1987. When he decided to write off the character of Julia, he also wanted Meg to stick around as a writer.  Not only did this begin a whole other daytime career for Bennett, but she was not done playing Julia either. Throughout the decades, Julia would still come back to Genoa City for a visit. Most recently, Y&R fans saw Julia in 2018, and again in 2020.

Photo: JPI

Bennett also appeared on Santa Barbara and was a writer on that show as well from 1991-1993. She played the role of Megan Richardson. It was next that Meg had her longest writing stint coming to ABC’s General Hospital. Meg wrote for GH from 1993-2011.

In 1995, Bennett won her first Daytime Emmy for writing and her personal life changed after falling in love with nine-time Daytime Emmy winner, former GH head writer, Bob Guza Jr. In addition, GH also utilized Bennett for her acting skill when she was cast as the villainess Allegra Montenegro.  Meg and Bog Guza were officially married in 2004 and purchased a home once owned by Boris Karloff and Gregory Peck.

Photo: JPI

Additionally, Meg wrote for The Bold and the Beautiful 1987-1989 and later served as a executive story consultant to Brad Bell from 2002-2004.  She also wrote for Sunset Beach, Generations and GH: Night Shift throughout her writing career. She went on to win five WGA Awards for GH and Santa Barbara.

Meg is survived by her husband of 19 years, Robert Guza Jr., two stepdaughters, four grandchildren, a brother and a sister.

Share your remembrances and condolences for Meg Bennett via the comment section below.

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