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GENERAL HOSPITAL: Spencer Pays Ava A Visit In The Hospital As Maura West and Nicolas Bechtel Deliver Touching Scene!

Courtesy/ABC

What happens when Maura West (Ava) and Nicolas Bechtel (Spencer) share a scene together? One word, magic!  In one of the top scenes of the week on the soaps, Spencer, who is suing Valentin (James Patrick Stuart) comes to visit Ava in the hospital at her bedside.

These two have more in common than one might instantly think.  First, Spencer commiserates with Ava on to the fear of seeing oneself after being badly burned.  After all, Spencer went through something very similar when he was burned and worried about his face being disfigured after the fire at Wyndemere a few years back.

This opens the conversation up to Spencer’s father, Nikolas.  Spencer tells Ava that his heart is with her, as was his father’s.  Ava tells Spencer that he reminds her of Nikolas, and that his father would be so proud of him standing up to Valentin.  She knows that her relationship with Nikolas got cut short due to his untimely death, and if he had lived, things in her life may have turned out completely different.

Ultimately, Spencer hopes she will testify in the civil suit to speak to how Nikolas protected her from dying that fateful night on Cassadine Island. Later, Spencer thanks Ava for making his father feel better and wishes her peace.  It is then that Spencer reaches over to the bed and gives Ava a tender hug, something that moves Ava to tears.

It was a beautifully acted moment by Maura West and Nicolas Bechtel.  We wish we would see more of them together in the future stirring up some trouble for the residents of Port Charles.  As fans know, Bechtel has already wrapped his summer run on GH, though there are more episdoes to come featuring the talented young man in the week’s ahead.  As for Maura West, she has made every moment of every scene tragic and yet triumphant, as Ava teeters between wanting to live, and wanting to be put out of her misery.

What did you think of the scenes between Ava and Spencer on Friday’s GH? Comment below!

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Aria
Aria

I wish little Nicolas bechtel was on contract he’s so talented and his scenes with all his peers are pure magical to watch but his scenes with Maura made me ache for Tyler Christopher to return.

Rodd
Rodd

I totally agree, Aria.

Anne
Anne

I’m with you on this one.

dmr
dmr

Nicolas has more talent in his pinky toe than some of the adult actors on the show.

Celia
Celia

Say it again, dmr. Nicolas is so inspiring—I hope TPTB do not mess with his innocence.
It is that purity of heart which is so endearing to me.
I beg the ‘lords’ of GH to keep him as natural and ingenuous for as long as they can. That is his charm.
The makeshift cellar looks suspiciously like the same one in which Maxie was held, doesn’t it? And the Spencer house?
I don’t buy the hints, here and there that Valentin is involved in Spencer’s kidnapping, albeit I am probably wrong. But, then, Valentin’s newfound freedom would have no air: caput.
This would be a good time for Nik to show up. He took his son to assure him he is alive; and, Spencer is not to disclose this knowledge.

Celia
Celia

You have a noble heart, Aria…..
Nik should return, but I doubt it will be Tyler. We shall see.
As I have been saying for weeks on end, now; I really believe Valentin and Nikolas, the elder, have staged everything on Cassadine island.
As we heard Valentin say today [to Laura] Nik was on the run, hiding….ending up in Greece.
Perhaps, Valentin aided Nik. Perhaps, Valentin has contacted Nik to tell him what is going on with Spencer….how desolatep and painfully angry the boy is. Hence the kidnapping. Either Nik did the deed himself, or he sent one of his lackeys to do it for him.
Will spencer be taken to Nik; or will Nik show up in the flesh?
However he presents himself to Spencer, Nik will iron things out with his son, for the kid’s own sake.

Mary SF
Mary SF

It was touching especially after Avery’s reaction to seeing her mother’s appearance. Normally both of them can over act a times, but I thought they both toned in down enough to make the scene very sincere and sweet- And it proves once again, sometimes in soaps, simple works best.

JMER
JMER

Nicely said. Those were my exact thoughts, and I was pleasantly surprised since I only tuned in for the remembrance of Lee Baldwin.

soapqueenforever
soapqueenforever

That was the reason I tuned in as well. As I said below, where was the so called tribute? But the scene between Ava and Spencer was terrific. Classic soap opera at its best

Suzie rm
Suzie rm

Great scene. Spencer with Laura and Kevin has been a bright spot this summer. The show desperately needs to change its focus and having Spencer back has helped. To bad he is leaving

Still a fan
Still a fan

It’s rare on daytime that one gets to see a child actor that can go toe to toe with an adult actor with more than 20 years of experience and hold their own. This young man holds his own with with everyone he works with. I’ve been lucky enough to watch Ms. West entire daytime time career. From when she started on atwt on to y&r. I was so glad to see that gh didn’t let her get away. Another Emmy is in the near future. Kudos to both of these wonderful actors.

Celia
Celia

Indeed, Still a fan….love this kid. He just fits any part he plays; assuming any role. My son loves him on the Disney Channel, ” Stuck In The Middle”.
I must confess, somtimes I watch with him…..and, Nicolas does not disappoint. So sure of himself. He’s just a little wonder.
Not only is he a proficient, young actor, he’s a genius; so gifted!!
I wish he were on everyday. I always look forward to his return.
Sadly, some of my favorites won’t be returning. Liesl is out for blood in her revenge of Finn—-my guess is she’ll kill Hayden. Two birds with one stone. They will both be leaving……not too happy about that. Love them both.

Soaphound
Soaphound

Oh Celia, how great was this scene? It’s the first time I’ve teared up in ages. I winced when Spencer hugged her, imagining the pain. But Ava knew it was worth it. Kudos to whoever created this Idea! And I have a possibility as a solution to the Liesl problem, since I’m also a fan. Unable to find a job in the medical field, she gets a gig at The Floating Rib singing songs from Broadway shows and other popular hits. Why not? Her WILKOMMEN number was fabulous two years ago. Sure beats saying goodbye for good!

Celia
Celia

@Soaphound.
Ohhhh, I really like your ‘cabaret’ idea at the Floating Rib. Kathleen/ Liesl would be purrfect! Right style, right moves, right voice, right attitude.

Steve
Steve

That cabaret act would be very “Chicago” like.

It might take some finagling by Maxie to get her muttah-in-law to work there. Don’t forget Mac owns the joint and Liesl put his brother in a coma for a year.

Shay
Shay

Or as someone else suggested, Liesl could buy the old Campus Disco and turn it into her own nightclub with karaoke and cabaret night…an endless opportunity for her to perform to her (and our) hearts’ content!!!!

Celia
Celia

@Shay.
Wouldn’t that be the cat’s meow, Shay? LOL….how did this expression come about? I heard it for the first time very recently on “I Love Lucy”…..love those classic shows. They never go out of style.
Howevah….If only Liesl would stick around, but, as I said, I think she will take her revenge on Finn by killing Hayden….hope the baby will survive, if that’s the case. Bad, bad, bad, all around.

A karaoke/cabaret establishment run by no other than Dr.O would liven up the depressing ambiance….perhaps, even straighten Sam’s head.
Actually, what Sam may have is no joke. My husband watched with me late last night……according to him, Sam is displaying a rare malaise caused by ingesting some kind of bacteria; if the diagnosis is not psychological.
The disease actually has a name. But, I would not be so presumptuous as to jump the gun.
If this is, indeed, the case, it is a wonder Scout is safe from it….is Sam supposedly nursing?
Sorry….did not mean to go off track…..
Imagine Liesl on stage, Shay….what else could we ask for? Ahhh, maybe a little Faison, as her
partner in song……what a novel idea. Perfection. LOL.

JK
JK

ABSOLUTELY MAGICAL…. MAURA WEST, AS ALWAYS, WAS TERRIFIC AND NICOLAS WAS OUTSTANDING…LOVE THEM BOTH…..PLEASE BRING BACK TYLER CHRISTOPHER OR SOMEONE NEW TO CONTINUE THIS STORY……HE WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH AVA AND THEN VALENTIN IS PROVEN NOT TO BE A KILLER….THE OPTIONS ARE ENDLESS…..RUN WITH IT GH!!!! MORE SCENES BETWEEN THESE TWO PEOPLE…HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK!

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Ohhhh…I was wondering if lil Nicolas Bechtel was staying. He is so completely adorable in every way…and completely charming in his rambunctious, yet-oh-so wise-beyond-his-years way. He is at once brilliant and then can turn on a dime to a vulnerable little boy! Love him!

The scene between Spencer and Ava was pure soap opera gold. So completely touching…just beautifully acted and displayed more humanity in that one scene than too many scenes put together to count.

Great job!

Patrick
Patrick

” God ” can you imagine… if GH ! and/or TPTB just simply gave us.. the audience , back, Tyler Christopher.. and we’d have another ready made family. dag! this was so enticing and we were all in savor mode… till he was FIRED.

Nicholas / Ava / Spencer ( w/ Avery and Kiki )

Valentin / Nina / Charlotte

Ned and Olivia

Kiki and Dillon

Kevin and Laura

Lucas and Brad

Mac and Felicia

just saying

rose
rose

Another possible…Leisl and Faison. Not a relationship made in heaven, but when she got her “freedom” for her tradeoff for resigning from GH Dr. O did mention it did give her freedom to see however she wanted to see. And possibly find a way between them to cause more intrigue and mischief.

Bonnie
Bonnie

He was not fired, he did not want to renew his contract is was all about money…after he got the Emmy

su0000
su0000

Christopher recently opened up about his departure explaining that financial reasons kept him away.

“We couldn’t come to an agreement that made sense for me and my family,” the actor said. “As we all know, the economics of daytime have changed. As a result of that, I just couldn’t make this work.”

🙁 🙁

Lois
Lois

This was an epic GH moment! One of the best series of scenes ever! Maura and Nicolas were magnificent in their deep, emotion filled drama! Both are phenomenal! I was touched beyond words by their dialogue, etc. Nicolas is so amazing! I love him! He can play with anyone and do it brilliantly! I am going to miss him again. I hope he can pop up now and then when we least expect him too. A bravo, standing Ovation! Together, they delivered the knockout punch!

Lois
Lois

I wish too Nicolas was under contract, then we would have him. But what we do get is magical. It made me want Nik back for Ava in the form of Nick Stabile! If Tyler can’t, then make Stabile an offer to come back. Stabile and West had sizzling chemistry!

jeanine girard
jeanine girard

I am so with you on bringing back Nick Stabile as Nicholas!! Thought he was terrific with charisma galore and chemistry with Ava! Please make this happen, GH!

Steve
Steve

Stabile was okay as a temporary replacement for TC, but I don’t buy him as a long-term Nikolas. Yes, he did have a good rapport with MW, but I chuckled when he called GF mother. There’s a 9-year difference between “mother” and “son’.

I eagerly await Rebecca’s reply about age not mattering on soaps 🙂

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Haha, Steve. You know it! So…ahem…Tyler is 44; Nick Stabile is 46…Genie Francis is 55. So, basically, she’s too young to be the mother of either! But…we went with it.

Kin Shriner is 63, Roger Howarth is 48. I guess “Scott” fathered him at 15!

Jane Elliott is 69, Wally Kurth is 58.

Get where I’m goin’? 😉

Celia
Celia

My thoughta exactly, Lois.
I’ve been chanting the same litany since Nick Stabile replaced Tyler, for just that short while.
I always thought he and Maura had found their romantic niche, like no other.

Celia
Celia

@Steve.
As I said, Steve…we like who we like…I did not take to Tyler. Nah….
Kelly Monaco and William DeVry are eitht years apart….lest we forget, Gina Tognoni is only six years older than Michael Graziadei ( mother and son)….Josh Morrow is only eleven years older that Robert Adamson…..etcetera, etcetera. You get my point.
I do agree with you, though. I think it is ridiculous; this age thing. There should be at leat, 18 years between a parent and child, before it defeats reality.
This is the state of affairs regarding soaps….can’t escape it. I was decapitated a couple of years ago, when I made, exactly, your point…..not only between children, but reducing characters’ age by a decade or more, especially, when they look their age.
Oh, Steve, by the by, Tyler is only two years younger than Nick S.

Timmm
Timmm

Thats just it, Tyler didnt want to sign with GH because of the money they offered so bring in Mr. Stabile. He and Ava had their scenes together and were terrific. And also, Tyler is a good actor but is Hollywood knocking down his door? Acting is such a limited job. People take swipes at Braeden, Geary and Bernard but they have all become millionaires and got to act for 25 some years apiece choosing daytime. I commend Tyler just like I commended Steve Burton for sticking to their guns but the lust of acting and the money these shows pay compared to a normal 9-5 job, you have to wake up and smell the coffee. [Even if it was imported by SONNY!]

Celia
Celia

HaHa, cute, Timmmbo…” Even if it was imported by Sonny”. Very witty!!
Well, I do ‘claw’ Sonny, more often than not. Geary as Fluke/Luke was an adjustment for me.
Keep in mind that I walked into these discussions during the Fluke phase. Thus, I did not kow Luke….I did later, and I was impressed by the definite ‘switch’ in personality. Amazing actor.
I do not like Victor Newman. He uses the love of/for family as a shield ….” I did it for you”,; kind of talk. But, Eric is masterful at his craft…he uses the stage as his playpen. He takes hold of the situation presented before him effortlessly.
He is focused and incredibly credible ( accidental oxymoron, lol).
I cannot say the same for Maurice. His representation of Sonny is waning. I loath Sonny, but I am indifferent to the actor. I like him, I guess, but not his acting. That’s how I feel.
Burton proved his mettle to me by the end of his run as Dylan.
However, there is no comparison between him and Eric. And, Maurice? Not even in the running.
…..which is exactly my point….how do some of these ‘actors’ manage to hit the stage, with little or no talent and thrive? Most people WORK for their millions/billions. Luck?? Fate?? Right place at the right time? …..speaking of which; Kelly Monaco. Nothing about her translates to, “good acting”…….
….my opinion.
Many think Nathan is a ‘dud’ actor, but,he has charisma…loaded with it….makes a lot of difference, I think.
I am not a great fan of Amy….cannot grasp how the frivolity of this storyline is supposedly reeling us in; but, the girl can act…the writing su**s. Risa expounds her delivery natually—-and her facial expressions is an open book. Her face tells a story. There is a day-and-night difference between Risa’s stage presence and Kelly’s….
I bet you did not expect the rant, eh, T?
But, gee…we haven’t talked in ages. LOL.

luisa
luisa

nice performance by a actor she didn’t over shadow him give me this Gh and maybe I start watching again

Bonnie
Bonnie

but weren’t you watching?? ; )

Mateo
Mateo

Those two together were perfect. The scene was tender,poignant and real. Ava seemed to overcome the self-pity that has been haunting her just for that moment in time with Spencer. I know that Ava really loved Nikolas for that short period of time. They were so good together. Maura West just continues to amaze me when she takes what could have been boring or over the top and manages to pull in real emotion, sincerity and just pure talent. Nicolas J Bechtel is a star in the making. He just has great timing. That is a gift. I love GH for this reason. They manage to bring out the best in just about every actor they have. Kudos for a great moment in the magic history of GH.

Steve
Steve

I can see why many want NB to stick around as he’s an incredible actor for his age. The show needs characters like Spencer, who pop in for a few months each year. Heather is another, and Serena could certainly fit the bill. I’m not going to mention those currently on contract that we can use a break from.

fginaspy
fginaspy

I agree these scenes with MW and NB were special. A surprise to me as I find the character of Spencer mostly annoying. His current s/l is long overdue. I am glad it was addressed.

Evelyn
Evelyn

That scene is what soap opera is all about. Outstanding acting from both actors. I’ve been watching soap operas for 60 years and have never seen better!

Patrick
Patrick

I was a little miffed.. at the “story” between Valentin and Alexis… ? huh? it seemed so juvenile, beneath them…

Valentin mutters … he’ll take care of him ( Spencer ) himself.

I hope I’m not jumping the gun… as cute as Spencer is… AND, IM TRULY HOPING this is just a catalyst for Spencer getting his father back.

thereby, Anna , Valentin, and Nina… can all… MOVE… ON

I just thought the banter between Valentin and Alexis sharing barbs and wit.. as it were.. lame and inexcusable… all this happening over Spencer.. and yes… Nicholas is involved. it just seemed so out of character for Valentin to be putting so much stock in to … ??? this … or whatever.

as if this is the only way for Valentin and Alexis as 1/2 brother and sister.. to not see eye to eye. thereby giving Alexis that step up to reach her moral ground.. where we are not allowed.

Spence being cute and all… does generate. it will be interesting to see how Valentin will take care of this

PLEASE GH… no more one step forward two steps back. ENOUGH already. MOVE

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Hi Patrick…I didn’t see Alexis and Valentin trading barbs and wit. I saw Alexis telling him straight on that Spencer is suing him and Valentin obviously threatened by it.

James Patrick did say in his interview that Valentin is still vulnerable…stronger yet can lash out or get defensive…even by someone like Spencer.

At the moment it really IS the reason for Alexis and Valentin to not see eye-to-eye. The writers made a mistake by not showing a grieving Alexis when Nicolas was “supposedly” killed. They were as close as can be. But they were do concentrated on her despair over her persona life that they neglected to get her reaction over hearing of her nephew’s death. If anything, I think Alexis should feel the same wrath as Spencer and go after Valentin with a vengeance…even if she think’s it’s futile…to exact some kind of revenge…attempted justice, etc.

Alexis doesn’t need to step up to her moral ground; she never lost it. She got lost in love and closed her eyes to certain things for Julian. Until she couldn’t. Like Carly has done with Sonny, Liz with Franco, Nathan for his mom, Dr. O, Dante for his dad, Sonny…LOL. Many of the “good” characters have looked the other way for their less-than-good loved ones.

What I found frustrating was the dialogue where Valentin accused Alexis of taking advantage of Spencer for money. It was ridiculous. I can’t even imagine Alexis is charging Spencer! She’s doing this for her nephews…Nicolas AND Spencer. No ulterior motive; that much is too obvious for Alexis not to have slammed down from the start.

I think (hope) Nicolas will show up at some point…regardless of who’s playing him.

rose
rose

New idea…Many of us don’t believe Nik is dead, and if not where he is and who has him…Valentin even said today when sparring with Laura he might have shot him but no one ever found his body after V apparently killed him…Ava talked to Griffin about how hard it would be to “get on with her life” looking like she looks, in comparison to Griffin.

All this gave me, granted a far-out an idea, where to take Ava and Nik story. I remembered “The Enchanted Cottage,” one of my favorite older movies, with Dorothy McGuire ( at one time was even on Y&R), who plays a very nice, kind woman, but homely in most people’s eyes, and how she connects with a once handsome, blind, ex-military flyer, who before his injury was going to rent the cottage for his honeymoon. He did come back to the cottage to heal and hide. Eventually they only saw the inner “beauty” in each other no matter what the ret of the world saw.

What if Ava and Nik do the same thing for each other? 🙂

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Haha, Rose! Great idea! Could also be a “Beauty and the Beast” or a “Phantom of the Opera” with role reversal…Ave being the “beast” or the “phantom”. LOL…they could make it an opera at next year’s Nurses Ball!

I, too,think Nicolas is alive although I’m honestly not sure if Spencer is aware of it. I think not. If Valentin and Nicolas are in cahoots…Valentin gets everything and Nicolas gets to fake his own death…it’s still a mystery why Nicolas would let his son suffer and think him dead. Yet, dunno. Not sure Spencer knows. If he did, Valentin wouldn’t be going crazy mad at him and Spencer wouldn’t have told Charlotte.

The above was one theory that Valentin and Nicolas were in the “fake” death together.

However, if they weren’t…and Nicolas just plunged into the abyss and is living somewhere with amnesia (lol..maybe Steve Burton will be the new Nicolas with a new face!) then yeah; maybe he’ll come back as a blind man. Interesting! Of course..as all fairy tales go…I’d really like them to both heal. With all the miracles on GH Ava should be able to get her face back even if it’s a mask or mold of her face!!! LOL!

rose
rose

Am revising my opinion from a few weeks ago about Spencer. Had thought that he was just too overbearing and privileged…as well as being cute. But he has really shown some strategic growth (thank goodness Sonny didn’t “help” him), and maturity in his quest to get his home back by finally enlisting Auntie Alexis to help him with a legal suit against Valentin. Hoping this is also a turning point for Alexis, and gives her her legal mojo and confidence back. Also liked the popsicle scene with Laura and Alexis.

Now to figure out what to do with Valentin because I want him to stay. However he still has to account for shooting Nik, whether he killed him or not…which I suspect he did not. And I am game for having Stabile as Nik. I liked his chemistry with with Maura.

But his touching scene with Ava at her bedside was classic and felt really genuine. And as others have mentioned, it was really nice that Maura didn’t overpower him.

Patrick
Patrick

it’s unfortunate… how in the blink of an eye fast… that tribute happened, right?

at the very minimum… I got to look at Kin Shriner.

the saving grace… dag it ! YES

YES – YES

the fans all rejoiced.

I too was taken with the genuine REEL that Spencer and Ava delivered. and YES I agree it made wanting Nicholas, back, that much stronger.

i’m still reserving some judgment on the writers part on just how far Spencer writing will take us. or for that matter.. Valentin.

since the writers DO NOT KNOW how to write Valentin out of his baggage that bogs him down… dead bodies and what not.

GH ; LISTEN … find a way to bring back Tyler Christopher

Bonnie
Bonnie

This was the highlight of this episode for me, not a Spencer fan, but this showed he had some heart. Always love Maura, but this scene was sweet and both were wonderful in it!

soapqueenforever
soapqueenforever

I was a HUGE GH fan during the Luke and Laura craze up until Frisco and Felcia’s wedding and the Robert and Anna pairing. Then life and work vot in the way and I started watching again when nd they had the 50th anniversary Nurses Ball and I got attached to the Sabrina and Patrick story. I stopped again because the mob stories and the whole thing with Helena Cassidine was ridiculous. Having said all that I was totally disgusted with Friday’s so called “tribute” episode. Kin Shirner stepped up to the plate and gave a heartfelt performance. Although I wasn’t watching during te Serena years, and even though it was a sad time for them to be reunited, I enjoyed watching Scotty with his daughter. But I five minute chat with Laura was tne Lee Baldwin tribute? What a waste. I tuned in for that? Tracy got a better send off.
With having said that, the one bright spot of the episode was watching the interaction between Ava and Spencer. It brought me to tears. That little guy can act his butt off. It almost made me want to start watching again until I heard he was leaving. I tuned in for the first time in months to see a so called “tribute” to a vet which was a big let down, but little Spemcer saved the day, and. now I hear they might be getting rid of him. Now I know why I won’t be tuning in tomorrow anymore.

Grant Putnam
Grant Putnam

The Lee Baldwin tribute certainly was a letdown and complete waste of a visit from Serena. She absolutely has blossomed and has a striking resemblance to her bio mom Dominique! The Lucy and Laura interaction was completely wasted in a hotel room setting. Disappointed that Bobbie and Felicia were not used.

As for Ava and Spencer, does she not see that he is playing her! His dad is alive and well and he is covering. All part of his ploy to regain the mansion and return SORAS’d to take on Avery as the love of his life! Does it matter that they are cousins?

Judy Darlene
Judy Darlene

Nicolas Bechel is a wonderful young actor. His portrayal of Spencer is just fantastic! The scenes with Maura West were so touching. Like many other viewers I cried. I just love Nicolas and truly enjoy all his scenes. I wish he were on more. There are so many possibilities for him. May God continue to bless him.

Linda
Linda

Spencer is a very precocious young man and I laugh at many of his antics. However, if he were my kid or grandkid there are times I would like to send him to his room!

Timmm
Timmm

THIS is GH period! You get hoodwinked into believing they will pay tribute to a legend and get the shaft BUT then they hand us the Spencer Ava scene. As was the case in “The Facts of Life”, you take the good with the bad! BUT then, this is why GH is so far behind Y&R, no balance!

Ann
Ann

Performance from both actors was wonderful

janet
janet

This was great. They both brought their A game.. I usually get turned off with Spencers over acting. They both broke my heart. He has a reason to spout off, his father is dead, and his home is gone. MW also did a great job. The tribute was a way to get us to tune back in. Worked for a while, its off now. Every time I relent, and watch ,there is sonny. FF is mine. Doesn’t he and Carley ever have a day off. No thanks. Reading how they called Ava names took her child etc, when Sonny killed AJ. Also went to the hospital and brow beat a patient. Again . NO thanks. Stone cold is returning ??? Off to the gym.Now

Steve
Steve

Just in the nick of time. It’s getting tough to separate who we’re discussing. Three males, three different spellings:

Nicolas (Bechtel) – plays Spencer
Nikolas (Cassadine) – also referred to as Nik.
Nick (Stabile) – temporarily played Nik.

I find it slightly amusing when actors and characters have the same first name, but spell them differently. In addition to Stabile, Sean Blakemore played Shawn while Rick Hearst played Ric Lansing.

Katiek
Katiek

Tyler must come back as Nik. He’s deeply
Missed.

Breaking News

GH’s Maurice Benard Takes On Role Of John Gotti In Upcoming Lifetime Movie

Who better to use their mobster experience playing the iconic role of Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital, and put it to good use, when taking on the role of a real-life mobster than Daytime Emmy winner, Maurice Benard?

As revealed over the past weekend, Maurice Benard is hard at work filming a Lifetime Movie based on the life of Victoria Gotti called “The Victoria Gotti Story”.

Sharing the news via his social media, Benard expressed: “Thank you lifetime and everyone involved 4 a Beautiful opportunity.”

Recently, John Travolta played the notorious New York mobster in the movie Gotti released earlier this year.

The infamous Gotti, had a wife and a daughter both named Victoria.  So as to which point of view the film is focusing on is yet to be released.

So what do you think of the casting of Maurice as John Gotti? Intrigued to see the Lifetime Movie when it debuts? Comment below

Continue Reading

General Hospital

General Hospital’s Max Gail Opens Up On Portraying Mike’s Battle With Alzheimer’s & Making A Difference In People’s Lives

“What happens the day I wake up, and you guys are the strangers,” says Mike to his son, Sonny and his wife Carly (Laura Wright). “I left you before to my everlasting regret, but it’s going to happen. I’d do anything if I didn’t have to do it again, but it’s going to happen – one way or the other.  At least this way I could leave some good feelings, instead of disappearing before your eyes.”  Those words were said during a gut-wrenching scene on Friday’s episode of General Hospital, as Mike tries to come to terms with his deteriorating mental state in his battle with Alzheimer’s, and the hard realization that he may be better off in a care facility, instead of at his son’s home.  These scenes, as all the scenes in this storyline, have been exquisitely played by Max Gail (Mike) and Maurice Benard (Sonny).

When Max Gail arrived on the GH canvas as the recast Mike Corbin in a role made soap-famous by Ron Hale, viewers did not know what to initially expect.  What they did know was that Max is an accomplished actor with a body of work from primetime dramas and comedies, film, and the stage, and that if he is coming to GH, he must be coming on board for something major.  Before GH, suffice to say, Gail is most remembered for his role as “Wojo” on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller that aired from 1975-1982.

In story on GH, Mike, who abandoned Sonny as a child, once again re-enters his son’s life, but soon we learn that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and that the soap is tackling a story that is an important medical, social, and familial issue of our time.

Gail has been a revelation in this role.  A clear frontrunner for an Emmy, playing the facets, the levels, the characteristics, and the heartbreak of a person who is slowly losing everything they know near and dear to them, as in the end they are ultimately stripped of their dignity from this most horrific of diseases.

On a personal note, and as part of this conversation with Max, it was important for him and for me to share, that I lost my mother at the end of April of this year to Alzheimer’s.  So his work hits close to home, this story hits close to home, as it has also resonated for many viewers who have shared their stories on social media and when Max makes personal appearances.

Here now is this very special interview for Michael Fairman TV with an actor whom we can all agree is touching all of our lives.

You’re portraying a person suffering from Alzheimer’s and play the progression of the disease.  Do you feel pressure as an actor to get it right for those who have loved ones, or person’s afflicted with it?

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  It’s more like an urge, or a calling to find some kind of truth in it that I can connect with.  One of the things I’m inclined towards showing is someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia often just drifts off somewhere else.  “Where am I going?”  This has happened to me many times in life.  For instance, when I was a youngster, I can remember getting in my car, and I’d driven a long way from some party or something like that, and I’d been drinking, and I didn’t remember it.  I knew I’d gotten home somehow.  So, it’s not out of my realm.  I’ve learned that there are no set behaviors really… other than that it usually ends up being really difficult for caretakers, and seemingly really painful for many, if not most people suffering with Alzheimer’s, and losing connection and losing the ability to just function.  We are kind of on the cusp of that in story at GH.  I think it was originally proposed that I would play the part for just a few months, and to give me an out if it wasn’t working.  Maybe, there was a placeholder idea to ship Mike off to a home or something, but the storyline has touched so many people that it has been continuing.

The story has been so effective.  You’ve done such an amazing job, and the fans love Mike and what you’re doing with the character, and they’re on board on this journey.  It’ll be interesting to see how far they will take this with Mike.  Will we actually see him not being able to communicate anymore?  How far will the writers go to show the horrific aspects of Alzheimer’s? 

MAX:  I’m not sure.  You know, I’ve had times where I’ve got the scene, I get the writers, and I get the heart of it.  Other times, I find where that transition is from where Mike is lucid and clear, and other times what that state of mind is and that switch is, and what that is in behaviors and energy level.  I think there’s an ongoing downturn for Mike, and for me as an actor finding something in the moment and finding how it works with things that he does remember.  They’re trying to find a place for Mike within all of the interwoven drama of General Hospital.  I, frankly, had no idea how complex the range of storylines was.  Mike doesn’t really have control over his story.  I don’t want that as an actor.  Mike has some intentions that are really important to him.  I’m trying to find that balance where there are times when he has a pathetic, very sad remorse about what he has missed.  I think that underlies his feelings for his son, who he never could quite reach, because of his own failings as a father.  Sonny’s formative experiences growing up were then with his abusive stepdad.  Finding all of that is really important to do in a way that doesn’t make Mike just this sweet older man with Alzheimer’s.   It’s a wonderful challenge to be presented with.

Courtesy/CBS

You brought up that Mike is seemingly very sweet in his demeanor now.  My mother, who I shared with you died a few months ago from Alzheimer’s was a strong-willed, feisty woman.  As the disease took hold of her, she became very sweet.   She became almost childlike.  The fire had gone out of her eyes.  You knew she didn’t know who you were, and so, all of that, as you know is so tough to witness as her son.  In terms of Mike and his ultimate care, everyone says they love him and want what is best for him, but that he needs to be taken care of because he gets confused, doesn’t know where he is sometimes. etc.  Sonny has been grappling with putting him in a care facility to be looked after, or to keep him with the Corinthos family under their roof.  However, Mike has come to a realization that he may need to be in facility all on his own, and doesn’t want to burden his son by living with him anymore.  That was a poignant moment, and another one of the best scenes has been when Mike couldn’t remember that Sonny was his own son. 

MAX:  Right and he doesn’t know if he’s around friends or around enemies.  This can be true of Alzheimer’s patients.

I had that happen with my mother when she came out to Los Angeles to see me for the last time.  She was out of her element, she was confused, and she broke down and cried in the hotel room.  She asked my father, “Why did you bring me here?” and he told her, “We came to see our son.”  It was heartbreaking.   Later, she had a moment of clarity and realized more of what was going on.  I think it’s those in-and -out moments that you portray so well on-screen.  I feel that they are very realistic to what I, and others, have experienced.

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  I appreciate that and sharing that with me, because you never know as an actor.  That place of “Where am I?  What is this?” makes me think of that “Summer Wind” moment from the Nurses’ Ball when it wasn’t just, “I’m embarrassed.  I don’t remember the words.”  It was, “I don’t know where the f**k I am.  I thought there was a band there, but there’s not.”  So, in a way, I just had to be there on this big soundstage and just feel this big space around me.  I could barely see that there were people out there.  It’s kind of a terrifying thing to a lot of people, but I think Mike has something in him that makes him want to be okay with all of this.  He doesn’t have to freak out and get accusatory.

Courtesy/ABC

What has it been like working with Maurice Benard as your on-screen son?  Do you watch back your scenes together and ever go, “Oh, that was great!?”

MAX:  Yes, there have been a lot of those!  There are some scenes that are so emotionally focused, and we get a lot of delight in each other.  He has been playing this character in this situation for so long, so it’s just kind of in him.  Maurice has presence.  I think when I went in to read for the part of Mike, I had gone through pilot season and had gone in for some interesting pilots.  I didn’t feel like I was really connecting in the readings, because most things are by tape these days, anyway.  When this part came up, a soap hadn’t really been on my radar.  I knew I’d be going in to read with the actor, so I said, “Okay,” and I looked at the material, and then I checked out Maurice on IMDB.  One of the things that got my interest was that he has been diagnosed and takes medication to deal with bipolar disorder, and that’s become a part of his life, and it’s become part of his character.  I thought, “Wow, that’s really interesting.  This is a survivor, and he’s risen to something that takes a certain kind of balance and courage.”  I watched some clips, and when I went in for the reading of this kind of an amalgamation scene of what the story elements were going to be, I felt like we connected before we’d even started the dialogue.

Well, Maurice certainly loves working with you! He has been very supportive and vocal about that.

MAX:  It’s mutual.  We can take really little simple moments, and we can find something deeper in it, and it doesn’t have to be an, ‘I’m going to start crying now’ moment.  Although, I would love for Mike to have a moment of self-observation where he goes, “Gee.  I cry a lot more than I used to.”  I think there are people who are like that, and it’s okay for certain people to cry, and for other people it is not.

Courtesy/ABC

There was a part of my mom that knew something was wrong.  She’d go, “Why am I crying?  I don’t know why I’m crying.”  She got confused as to why she was feeling that.  She couldn’t connect it all, and at times she kept saying, “I don’t understand.  I don’t understand.”  Those were the things she would try to express.

MAX:  I have a feeling that Mike has those moments too, but he finds a way for it to be okay.  There may be a point where someone with Alzheimer’s can’t pull it off anymore, but how we find those and those specifics, I don’t know.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Working on a classic sitcom such as Barney Miller is vastly different than working on a daytime soap opera.  While now being at GH, have you found any commonality within the experience?

MAX:  If I can take a moment and reflect on Barney Miller, because it was a great experience and one that I found was not so easy to find again over the years.  One of the things that really resonates is that when we started shooting the studio audience laughed too easily.  We would end up retaking the scenes.  Sometimes, we didn’t have the end of the show written, because they tended to let certain things start to show up in the earlier parts of the script.  Danny Arnold who was the writer, creator and producer of Barney Miller would always take over the way Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) does in a way … looking to be respectful of the director, but still seeing things on his own.  Frank has a really wonderful eye.  He’s much more connected into the overall storylines, the motivations that went into the writing, and what he sees in the moment.  I always welcome him on the set because the directors, who have a range of talents and sensibilities, are tasked with coming up with a whole lot of shots to cover, a whole lot of tricky angles, and all of that.

Courtesy/ABC

Vernee Watson has been amazing as Stella, who is also Mike’s social worker.  Does Mike have romantic feelings toward Stella?

MAX:  Vernee is wonderful.  I didn’t know Vernee had been on the show when I came on board.  She won an Emmy, and I’m not surprised.   She is so present and so specific, and she’s very bright and gets what all of these elements are, and so, I think they have a connection.  For whatever ways Mike has lived in his like, there isn’t some strange, exotic draw that she is black, and Mike is white.  I like that because both my first and late wife, and my second wife, with whom I’ve had children (and we’ve been separated for awhile, but have a great relationship) are African-American.  So, in my world that is not a big deal.   I think there’s an affinity there between Mike and Stella.  You know, he’s alive.  He’s old, but he’s not dead.  There’s an ease with women he likes.  I think there are a whole lot of reasons for them to not get involved.  One is just professional, and she’s a social worker.  We just shot something where I say something to somebody else about, “back when I still had all my marbles,” you know, he’s in another stage of life, which many people go into gracefully, while many don’t.

 

What do you think about how Mike knows about who was buried at Charlie’s Pub?  He was trying to keep the truth about Charlie Delaney from coming out, which turned into a gas leak that blew up the bar!  This storyline ties in to Sonny’s mobster dealings as well.

MAX:  Well, this is where they put this effort in the storytelling to connect Mike in some way and be intertwined with Sonny.  Of course, it reveals certain things about Mike that he’s never revealed to anybody before.  So, that’s kind of cool.  I think when he knows what and how much sometimes is not clear.  That’s why I started talking about Barney Miller because the other thing was a lot of times when we go together for the table reads, they didn’t have the end of the story.  They had a first draft, maybe. Dan would talk about it, and they’d say, “Next week, the main story is going to be this man in his fifties who is coming to terms with the fact that he is gay,” or whatever those underlying themes may be with the different characters reactions.  So, we knew elements going into it and that sometimes I  didn’t know what the writers are really intending.  In terms of Mike, he’s kind of back and forth in certain moments.  I have to resist the idea that they trap me by just being careless.  I’ve learned that just trying to fix the script often gets you into a place where you “rehearse yourself out of it,” as they say.

Courtesy/GoodDayLA

You appeared on the morning show Good Day LA  a few months back with Laura Wright (Carly), and Maria Shriver, who has founded the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.  What was that like meeting Maria, and helping get the word out about the effects of this disease and the work Maria is doing?

MAX:  It was great to do.  Maria had sent out a tweet that is was wonderful what was going on, on General Hospital.  On Good Day LA, she talked about her work, particularly focusing on the fact that more women are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s than men.  So, then Laura and I sat down and did an interview alongside Maria.  We actually had a nice conversation before.  They did a web interview also as a follow-up.  That was very cool, because Maria is very smart, and I’d never met her, but it was great to see what she was doing.  Whatever we are dealing with in the show is sort of my opportunity in the real world to bring awareness and shed light on the subject.  I’d love to see an ongoing conversation online amongst people who can share their stories with each other.  That’s a lot of what they’re doing.  They’re raising money for research, but people need to be able to talk to each other when you’re a caregiver.  Coming out of the early sixties and early seventies when I was playing a cop on TV, I never was a fanatic activist.  I certainly got the behavior of the Chicago police at a certain time in terms of the energy and conflicts of the time.  There was something to think about, but at the same time, I had opportunities to kind of share that all cops aren’t bad, just look at the show, Barney Miller.

Courtesy/ABC

You were my favorite character on Barney Miller as Detective Wojciehowicz!  I think for many who watched the show you were, too!

MAX:  I think “Wojo” ended up being the heart of the show.

Max, you’re helping people through your beautiful performances including me.  Congratulations on that.   I’ll continue have to have a box of Kleenex handy as I watch how it all unfolds for Mike.

Photo: IMDB

MAX:  Well, I really appreciate your questions.  I’m just planting that seed.  That is really what I would like to do after talking to you and so many people.  That’s something I’d like to put out there.   We each have our own domains and responsibilities and all of it overlaps, and you can kind of get in touch with that; if you just go around the circle and share it, and then go around again.  I’m looking to help people out there in the world who are watching and are looking to share in the conversation.

So, what did you think about the heartbreaking scenes on Friday’s episode of GH between Mike and Sonny?  What have you thought of Max Gail’s performance throughout his GH run?  Have you experienced the loss, or are watching someone you love, or care about slip away from Alzheimer’s?  Share your thoughts via the comment below.

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General Hospital

ABC Names William Burton As The New Head Of Daytime

Over the years there have been several changes to ABC Daytime, and now comes word over the last 24 hours that William Burton has been promoted to Senior VP and Head Of Daytime, Sports and Syndicated Development/Production for ABC.  Burton starts in his new role immediately.

Deadline first reported the executive level move by the network.  Burton had previously been overseeing the business operations of ABC Daytime since earlier this year as SVP Daytime following the departure of former Daytime head Rebecca Campbell.

Courtesy/ABC

Those duties have now been formalized in Burton’s expansive new role,  In terms of General Hospital, the creative aspects from the network are still being handled by ABC head of current programming, Vicki Dummer.  Burton has been behind the business operations of ABC Daytime including the daytime drama.

In addition, Burton will oversee the creation and production of syndicated programming across ABC platforms including the upcoming daytime talk show from Tamron Hall that is in development for a potential debut in the fall of 2019.

So, share your thoughts on Burton being named the new head of Daytime for ABC via the comment section below.

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Video du Jour

This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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