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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

“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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What a fantastic interview! I loved hearing Max Gail’s thoughts on the character and where the story is going, and portraying something that is resonating with so many people. Max has been so wonderful in this storyline that if he’s not standing on stage collecting an Emmy next year, there should be an investigation.

Working with Max and doing this story has brought out something different in Maurice Benard, as well. He’s been tremendous. Which I know will be hard for some people to admit.

The Alzheimer’s story and Max’s portrayal of the progression of the disease has been one of the best and most honestly written and realistic things on GH in quite some time.

I totally agree. Maurice Bernard has done his best work so far, because of Max Gail. Max Gail is the best actor on GH. He makes me cry all the time. Him and Maurice have gut wrenching scenes, and I love Max, for serving them up. I am so not ready for Max Gail, to leave GH. I never get tired of watching him on General Hospital

Iagree totally with you!!

I feel the same way….please leave him on the show.

I went through a very similar thing with my father! I did not want to put him in a home ! He kept wandering off and we had to take shifts to.watch him !Eventually he had gotten a feeding tube and kept pulling it out and we had no choice but to give him nursing facility helpHe didn’t last very long after.He passed away at 80.We did not get along until the end when he began to get sickI really feel Sonny is the definition of how I felt!thank you Maurice and Max!!!

Oh I can sayWhat a story line. The whole cast are doing superbly. Max is doing. Such a good job. It. Breaks my heart. That is the best general. Hospital. You. Pick. A good subject. My. Hats off to you.

I so totally agree He has done a phenomenal job interacting with Sonny and portraying this awful disease of Alzheimer’s
This has been the Best storyline ever it’s amazing how right on he is as many who watch have gone through this with one of our parents and it really hits home
His scenes are Emmy Worthy and I hope he gets that recognition He and Sonny are Fabulous

Ilike G.H Good

I… would… never… share… this.. in the same sentence

“… These scenes, as all the scenes in this storyline, have been exquisitely played by Max Gail (Mike) and Maurice Benard (Sonny) ”

Alzheimer’s is a shock to the system that all present REEL. it’s a death defying feat that nature has no answer

I cried… heart full of my grandpa and I

Max Gail has been a gift . this story HAS TO BE shared.

I already shared, this story has played out.. due to the bad writing… Max Gail has done his part… this last gig.. is watching Maurice Benard and Laura Wright weave themselves in to the last nail on the coffin.

1. the only thing that comes to light :

“…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. ”

the very idea that he is lucid one day… and “lost” the next.. is what Max Gail is a delight in… he’s captured , with his acting.. that there is a sensitive captive audience that is delighting in his nailing his character.

2ndly : ANY scenes he has with Stella.. are a true delight and just magic fodder for coulda woulda shoulda… DANG IT… they just beam connect and delight in each other company

i’m certain Max Gail knows that writing is central to any thing that orbits.. and flys. outside of his performance… continuing to prop Sonny and Carly.. who have nose dived what otherwise could have endeared themselves to the audience.

ITA!

I love Mike’s scenes with Miss Stella! I love their friendship!

Kudos to Max! What great acting in such an important story! Kudos to Maurice as well because the two of them make magic on my screen.
Having lost my mother to this incidious disease, the story hits home. And hard some days but that is great! Through my tears, I’m really grateful for this storyline that educates about Alzheimer’s and what it can do to families.
Max and Mo both deserve an Emmy for an outstanding performance! I hope we fans are privileged to see “Mike” around for a lot longer. I also hope GH will continue to show Mike’s further, painful demise in a tasteful manner. It’s an important message for all!

Max is definitely doing the best work of his career. Like you I also lost my mother to Alzheimer’s. I was so into this story when it started but for me it’s jumped the shark (despite Max’s brilliant work). The second they tied this emotional heartfelt story to another needless Mob murder & a buried body is the day the story was cheapened. GH continues to cut off it’s nose to spite its face were the Mob crap is concerned.
They are also missing the fact that Adult Protective Services would be all over the Corinthos clan because they have allowed Mike to become endangered as well as endanger others = losing him in the park,his taking off with Avery, his getting lost during the earthquake, his running off from GH & setting off the gas leak, etc…
Take it from me. My mom wandered away once (before we grasped the magnitude of the needed precautions) & we had an immediate visit from Adult Protective Services.
Like I said Max is doing great but I’m just over it now that the 30 year old mob killing has tainted it. I never want to hear the word Croton again.
Great interview,Michael.

He is doing a GREAT job playing this character!!! He DEFINATLY DESERVES AN EMMY!!!!!

GH is doing a great job. I have suffered memory losses do to bad medications in the past and still have issues . This story on GH is hitting home to me.
I hope is that Max & Maurice well win daytime Emmys
Because they truly deserve them. Great Job guys

My Mother passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. I am glad General Hospital is having this story line. It is a heartbreaking disease for the person who has the disease and family. Praying for research to find a cure or at least medicines and test to slow down, help the symptoms and find the disease early.

I cried watching each of the other characters interact and cry. When I get involved in an emotional scene I normally gently cry, but this was full out verbally wailing, bravo!

Michael. my condolences on the loss of your mother; I lost my 96-year-old mother Jan. 22 of this year. Mothers are a large part of what we are, and the loss leaves a gigantic void.
PS I loved Wojo also; I loved Barney Miller–wonderfully written.

Great interview! My 90 year old mom has dementia and my brother in law has alzheimers he is 66. They have done a great job showing the confusion and saddness of this dreadful disease.

A beautiful interview indeed. The Alzheimer’s story has touched closed to home as I watched my Uncle and then Aunt as well as dear friends “disappear before my eyes. The highs and the lows at times were unbearable. Max and Maurice have been handed some incredible material and are hitting it out of the ballpark. To watch how the character of Kristina is so protective of her Grandpa is wonderful. The way Carly, (Laura Wright), is able to communicate with Mike and calm him down just by the way she speaks to him with the tone of her voice. I love when Mike and Stella are together. There scenes are simply brilliant. They make me laugh and cry. Bravo to all the actors involved in this difficult and heartbreaking story.
I loved Max on Barney Miller but love him even more on GH.

Max Gail’s performance has been riveting. Every facial expression – the pain (and sometimes joy) in his voice). What an amazing actor. Hope that this story is able to continue for as long as possible and when it is over, ABC would do well hiring him for any of their shows. I will watch any show that he is on.

Max Gail has been fantastic as Mike Corbin. The story and his portrayal are very realistic. My mother had Alzheimer’s, and I had to put her into a care facility. That was something she had agreed to many years prior to her diagnosis with Alzheimer’s.
I have a great appreciation for the way this story is being dealt with. Maurice Benard is doing a great job and Max Gail definitely deserves an Emmy for his outstanding performance as a man who is slowly losing his way.

Wonderful interview! Truly one of the best story lines on GH in a long time. I only wish it could turn into some kind of misdiagnosis, like an operable brain tumor. GH needs Max Gail. Thank you.

interviews w/ newbies are a delight… it’s the one’s where the vets have to fall all over themselves and delight in pressing… for a tired show that aches. ie: Kirsten Storms and Roger Howarth… please don’t tell me there’s one on the way from Michael Easton… argh!

Max Gail is his own show… how is it that a character could come on and from the get go… TAKE. WOW the fun is in knowing his work from Barney Miller and loving him way back when… and getting to know his craft all over again… he will be walking away with an emmy 2019.

I too wish ^ should Max Gail want to be around… have a misdiagnosis. otherwise it’s simply time to put this story to bed. how many more mishaps can Mike have before Sonny and Carly have to pull the plug. end of story… end of Sonny and Carly… now the latter is what I cheer for… it’s ad nauseum knowing that the story will end with faux pas that is… GH sole focus.. on the top couple who dullard. Sonny and Carly

Loved Mike in this role, I have watched GH from the beginning, love all the stories that relate to real life, love Sonny and Jason.

At first, I was weary of a recast of long-ago (but not seen for many years) character. Gail, however has far exceeded expectations. He has brought out some Benard’s best performances in years. It seems he is doing justice to all viewers who have family members in similar situations.

As for next year’s Emmys, I’m not sure if there’s a limit to the number of episodes in the Guest Performance category. He’d definitely walk away with the award in that category. Hope he doesn’t have to compete in the Supporting Actor category, as that would have him up against Jon Lindstrom, who the writers are also giving great material to.

I didn’t think anyone could replace Ron Hale but Max Gale has impressed me and that is hard to do. He is a Gem on GH and they need to keep him, let the story play out (I know he can’t be shrunken, fetal position, tubes etc but) he can be bed ridden, non verbal with 24hr care givers. “Sonny” can even get a dramatic scene at the end.
As a nurse, I spent years taking care of pts w/Dementia/mental illness/ Neurological issues. As a Daughter in Law I was impacted by the YEARS of my husband’s parents Alzheimers and their deaths.
Re the story: 1. The Mob shouldn’t have been brought in to it. There was enough history with out this, to be needed. 2. Sonny has enough $ to build/staff a sufficient Home/Hospital for Max on his property/in his home. 3. Keep Stella & Max interacting because they are magic together. 4. Stella can help inform audience of resources, what the disease does/differences/norms 5. Let Max and Laura (when she returns) talk about the old days..when he was her nanny, working for her & Luke.

As a viewer I don’t want or need to see the ultimate end wit Mike bedridden, non verbal, etc. This is one of THE most poignant stories GH has ever done and it’s practically flawless. Max Gail has surpassed anything I could have imagined. But, it’s sad enough. I don’t think viewers need to see such a dramatic, heartbreaking ending. We know the reality. It’serves no purpose to push it to that limit other than to break our hearts more than they’re already being broken.

Love Max Gail. He is an amazing actor. I still watch Barney Miller. Him and Barney were my favourites on that show. I love how he is portraying Mike. He is such a talented actor. Great interview

I liked the the othere siade of Maurice barenad really liked stoves character taking charge he is such a crime boss will do for his family thank you writers sharing your experience for us it’s a pleasure

It was heart wrenching and so sweet . I cried my eyes out . So much love and professional work . So much talent !!! I been watching for atleast 53 yrs and lived everymoment !!! Going to hate to see what happens with Mike . Been thru that with my father in law .. Emmys for all ❤️❤️❤️❤️

It’s been almost a year since I lost my mother to this terrible disease and it’s sometimes hard to watch the scenes with Sonny and Mike even harder for my brother we have been General Hospital fans since day one It was also my mother’s favorite show Max’s portrayal of Mike is as hard at it is to watch is so accurate Maurice’s is also doing a great job as Sonny Mikes’s son congratulations I will as always continue watching bravo

I lost my mom to dementia and my father-in-law to Alzheimer’s. The story line rips me apart but in a healing way. Max and Maurice are amazing actors.

I honestly wasnt happy about Ron being replaced, I have to say I was absolutely wrong! Max Gail has been a fabulous addition to Gh. He and Maurice have slayed this s/l. Their connection feels so real. They have brought out each other’s skills beyond what we have already seen from them and that says a lot because they were already fabulous! Bravo Maurice and Max!

My husband has Alzheimer’s and is now in a care facility. The hardest bart for me,after 53 years of marriage, is the loss of the emotional connection. No hugs or kisses, not hearing your name when you come to visit. Watching the personality slip away and becoming someone you no longer know. So sad and devastating. Thank you Max for giving our lived ones a voice.

It is an ongoing struggle to deal and have patience with Alzheimer Victims which is clearly well performed in GH.
Heartbreaking and also heartwarming at the same time!
Mike does an awesome job
GH is doing i it again !!

u know I was a huge fan of Ron hale. I didn’t know what to make of WOJO playing the new mike Corbin , but MAX made me a believer. every time he’s front and center on GH he totally gets to me !! I’ve been a huge fan of vernee Watson as well ..and every seen she and max have together reminds me of the magic that EDWARD and Lila had ..I hope the become a couple on the show !!

oh shucks… yeah, in the same context… sure… let’s just prop comfortably Ed and Lila.. and near next… Mike and Stella…. this is the reason I don’t want this story to end… just flawless delight in how enamored and at ease these two are with each other. you’re just waiting for : “can I have this dance” FLY audience let’s go … let it be

Beautiful interview if they don’t win Emmy’s I don’t know those scenes OMG I got a lump in my throat love GH!!! Excellent performances and Max was my favorite 2 on “Barney Miller”! Bravo Maurice Bernard and Max Gail

Max Gail’s whole performance is great, but the best part for me is when he’s obviously ad libbing something and catches actors like Maurice Bernard off-guard. That is what acting is all about. Sonny should take notice.

MAX GAIL is so GREAT on GH – He makes me cry in his portrayal of an Alzheimer’s person. I am glad that General Hospital is showing this. We need more funding to help this disease that afflicts so many. It makes me cry!!!

Max…you are doing a great job as Mike…you make it seem so real..I am going thru a similar situation with my sister…she has been diagnosed with vascular dementia..it is very similar to Alzheimer’s..keep up the good work..GOD BLESS YOU…❤

Some of the best work on tv to date. The performances from Max and Maurice are heart wrenching and real. Their scenes together are so intense that you just get swept up with them. Incredible.

Max is killing it on GH and his scenes with Maurice and Laura always make me cry.

My deepest condolences on the loss of your mom to this horrible disease.
Max is a revelation. His work is nothing short of masterful. He and Maurice are compelling together.

The scenes Friday were so sad Maxand Sonny played such great parts .Sonny did a great crying scene.My husband had Dementia and I know what it’s about so hard to see my husband not be the happy go lucky and such an easy going person fade away.We were always very close, friends would say we are joined at the hip.It is like seeing my husband drift away and you can see it in his eyes.

I got tears in my eyes there doing such a great job

Great interview, Max is killing this part! He is an awesome actor & so deserves an Emmy for this! Him & Maurice are incredible together, the chemistry is undeniable & they never fail to make me cry! Thank you so much for tackling this awful disease, keep up the good work guys

I think he is one of the best actors that could have chosen for that roll. I will be sad to see him go off the show…

There is no words to Express how honor and blessed to see this man, as a character and a humble human being. I was diagnosed with Lupus in 2010, I’m 48 now, but there is one thing that would keep me going and making me feel better, and that is Watching BARNEY MILLER ❤. Watching the show takes me back to a different world, a world so different than today, I find it calming and soothing, especially hearing the voice of Max Gail. So if you ask me how many times I have seen reruns? All i can tell you is that I watch it every day , and there is not one time I couldn’t tell you I feel as I have never seen that episode before. Thank you for everything you do Mr.Gail, many blessings❤

Audrey R

My Mom had dementia she was 91 when she died but she remember me until she went into a comma an died very peaceful but she’s in heaven an all better I hope she is watching over me

I love his acting on GH I can’t wait to keep on watching

I think this is my favorite interview of all the interviews you’ve done, Michael. It is so absolutely beautiful…Max Gail sounds as genuine and sincere as he comes across in his role. His answers are considered and meaningful, and shows that he’s given a lot of thought to the character he’s playing and the weight it carries.

GH couldn’t have cast a better actor for this end-stage game in the life of Mike Corbin. It’s been gut-wrenching, sweet, painful, beautiful and Max captures every moment with every gesture, from furrowed brow and broad smile to upstretched hands in despair and defeated walk.

There are drugs that supposedly slow down the progression. I, too, would love to see “Mike” stick around a lot longer. I wonder if there’s still time to portray him as one of the “luckier” ones in a bad luck situation, where the drugs give him more time with his family and “us.”

Thank you, Max Gail, for putting your heart and soul into a character that many of us have known for years. You’ve touched us all.

I’ve mentioned several times on MF that I do’t like sad, depressing stories. But this story about Mike drifting off has captivated and humbled me. As have the comments who have shared the experience of alziemers in their lives. Partly it has been because of Max Gail superb portrayal of Mike, Maurice showing a depth as Mike’s son that he hasn’t been able to show before as just Sonny, and Vernee Watson as Stella, his social worker, which as grown into friendship, and even that the “Doctor” can learn from the patient. And the writers who have shown great sensitivity in this story. Tears and hope that a cure can develope for this horrible disease.

He is amazing. he and sonny are so in sync. I love the way GH is handling this delicate story line.

he is amazing. He is so handsome with that gorgeous sparkle in his eye. He and sonny are so in sync. I love them together. I love the way GH is handling this delicate storyline

They are both amazing. They have such a great chemistry. Surely hope they both get EMMY’S They make me cry all the time.

Having dealt with this with my mom in the 1980’s. Let me tell you my office I shared with a female Engineer. She had dealt with it with her mom years before. And told me what my mom had after 3 dr’s told me nothing. Since that day I have thought of her often & my mom. I was in my early 20’s. All my brothers and sisters were miles away.

I loved Ron Hale, and usually, I dislike recasts; but, I LOVE Max Gail! I love when “our shows” portray a real-life social issue (Stone/GH, Cindy/AMC, etc.). Max Gail “brings it” to each and every scene, and tears at your heart strings.
What a total GEM!

I lost my mom and Aunt (her sister) this year to this horrific disease. It’s hard to watch at times but this storyline started when I was losing her and helped me understand a bit more. AND cry…ALOT… Thank u GH…I’ve been watching my whole entire life..54 yrs…

Everything they are doing with this story from the acting to the writing has been top-notch! I wish they would sign him to a 3 year contract and keep his character around for a long time.

I ally enjoy watching Mike on the show. Although I haven’t experienced Alhimezers in my family I have seen people with it. Mike is an excellent portrayed and is bringing some excellent information for all us. Thank you Max…..love ou for all you do

General Hospital

General Hospital’s Kate Mansi on Her First Scenes with Eva LaRue: “It Was So Tense and Uncomfortable, Which Was So Fun For Us.”

This week, General Hospital viewers have witnessed the arrival of Eva LaRue as Blaze’s (Jacqueline Grace Lopez) mother, Natalia. When Natalia blew into her daughter’s life, she also caught Kristina (Kate Mansi) in bed. The next moment, Mansi and LaRue played the awkwardness of the scene.

In the story, and at that point, Natalia apparently didn’t have a clue that her daughter is gay, so finding Kristina is her daughter’s room was puzzling to her.

Kate Mansi spoke to Soap Opera Digest on her introduction to soap veteran LaRue, who has appeared on All My Children as Maria Santos and won a Daytime Emmy for her role as Celeste Rosales on The Young and the Restless.

Photo: JPI

“She just came in like such a freaking pro,” shared Kate on LaRue. “She was so good. It was such a funny first introduction for our characters – it was written so well and it was so tense and uncomfortable, which was so fun for us.”

The two actresses instantly created a bond. As Mansi explained, “Right away, we were doing these funny one-liners back and forth (between scenes). Blaze said something like, ‘Kristina is more than my friend, she’s my partner,’ and then they’d call, ‘Cut!’ and Eva and I would look and each other and we’d be like, ‘She means writing partner,’ or she’d be like, ‘Yeah, yeah, she means producing partner, right?’ We were just dying laughing.”

Photo: ABC

On Wednesday’s episode of GH, Natalia learned Blaze was gay, but isn’t quite believing her, thinking she had been somehow influenced by Kristina.  In the key scenes, Blaze tells Natalia that Kristina is more than her friend. She’s her girlfriend. Blaze asks if her mother heard what she truly said, and Natalia claims she did, but then starts cleaning up the place as a method of trying to cope with what she just heard.

Things get testy when Blaze says, “Kristina and I…” Next, Natalia cuts her daughter off, firmly saying, “There is no Kristina and you!”

So, did you enjoy the tension-filled scenes between Kate Mansi and Eva LaRue? Are you liking where GH is heading with the story of a disapproving and religious mother, trying to come to terms with her daughter and her girlfriend’s sexuality? Comment below.

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All My Children

Maurice Benard Reveals All My Children’s Lee Meriweather and Daughter’s Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

At the beginning of the latest episode of General Hospital star, Maurice Benard’s (Sonny Corinthos) State of Mind series, he delivered some heartbreaking news with a purpose.

Kyle Oldham, the daughter of former All My Children star, Lee Meriwether (ex-Ruth Martin), who previously made a guest appearance on Benard’s show, returned for a new interview which will be coming soon.

During their conversation, Oldham shared that her beloved mother has Alzheimer’s. Sadly, according to Benard, Kyle also revealed she has been diagnosed with the disease as well.

Photo: JPI

Maurice expressed, “We talked about her mother and having Alzheimer’s and it was an amazing interview. And then Kyle said, ‘I gotta tell you something. I have Alzheimer’s.’”

Apparently, Kyle has agreed to come on State of Mind, periodically as the effects of Alzheimer’s take a hold of her to help educate others. “We decided that she was gonna come in … she was gonna call me and tell me as she progresses,” Benard shared. “She was going to come in again so the audience could see with their eyes what Alzheimer’s does to someone.”

Benard’s guest for this current episode of State of Mind was Vernee Watson (Stella, GH), who along with Maurice, was part of the Alzheimer’s storyline on the ABC daytime drama series that saw Mike Corbin (Max Gail) eventually pass away.

Photo: JPI

As for Lee Meriwether, not only is she known for her role on AMC, but also for her roles as Catwoman in Batman: The Movie, and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, and for the television series, Barnaby Jones, the New Andy Griffith Show and The Munsters to name only a few.

In soap operas, Meriwether was cast in The Young Marrieds years prior to her time on All My Children where she replaced Mary Fickett in the matriarchal role in the Martin family. She played the role from 1996-99, 2002-03, and 2007-11.

Meriwether’s daughter, Kyle Oldham, has been an actress and spokesperson herself through the years. She appeared on The Price is Right for over 14 years until she couldn’t anymore after going through multiple surgeries in her adult life.

You can check out the full episode of State of Mind with Maurice an Vernee below.

Share your thoughts on the sad news of both Lee Meriwether and her daughter Kyle Oldham, battling the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

Eva LaRue Makes Her ‘General Hospital’ Debut: What Were Your First Impressions of Natalia Rogers-Ramirez?

On the Monday, February 26th episode of General Hospital, former All My Children favorite, Eva LaRue (ex-Maria Santos), made her first appearance in her new recurring role of Blaze’s (Jacqueline Grace Lopez) mother, Natalia Rogers-Ramirez.

In key scenes, as Kristina (Kate Mansi) and Blaze are happy after spending the night together, Kristina is in for a shock when she is still in bed and the door opens and Blaze’s mother, Natalia strolls in seemingly oblivious to walked she just walked in.

Natalia announces, “Alison, Mommy’s here!” Then, Natalia looks over and sees Kristina in bed and both women are a bit startled. Kristina introduces herself to “Mrs. Rogers-Ramirez.” However, Natalia corrects her and says it’s “Miss.”

Photo: ABC

Next, Blaze walks into the room still in her robe. She is very shocked that her mother arrived in Port Charles much earlier than expected. Natalia wants an explanation of just what she walked in on. It is then, Kristina concocts a story and explains they had a girls’ night, and it got late so Alison let her crash.

Natalia seems to buy into Kristina’s lies. Blaze starts to argue with her mother over the non-vegan sandals her mother brought her from Puerto Rico and her grandmother’s pudding, which she has told her in the past she dislikes. Kristina pipes in that the reason Alison doesn’t like it, is because of the texture and the same goes for avocado and flan. Natalia says she thinks she knows her own daughter.

Photo: ABC

Then, Blaze gets more upset and asks Kristina to stay and be by her side. Blaze announces that she and Kristina are more than just friends. We already know that Natalia is from a very conservative background, so we anticipate on tomorrow’s episode of GH, she won’t approve finding out her daughter is gay. Stay-tuned.

So, were you happy to see Eva LaRue back on daytime and now on General Hospital? What were you first impressions of her new character Natalia Rogers-Ramirez? Share your thoughts in the comment section, but first, check out the scenes from her arrival below,

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