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GH"S Daniel Benzali speaks on being revealed as The Balkan!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, as we all now know and has been confirmed, the hypochondriac patient that wheeled into GH and sought help from Robin, Patrick and Steven is really the international crime lord, The Balkan.  And famed character actor, Daniel Benzali is playing Theo Hoffman aka The Balkan for all he is worth.

In his first interview since assuming the pivotal role, Benzali spoke with TV Guide on his first foray into soaps and more!  Here are a few excerpts below!

Benzali on The Balkan’s theatrical style and if the crime lord is a frustrated stage star:  “[Laughs] We actually created a bit of a back story for the character and decided he probably did have some stage experience in the past in some limited way. He’s very good with accents. As Theo, he’s British. As the Balkan, he has sort of a New York street accent. And then there’s even a third accent coming up. I loved Theo’s introduction to the show as a hospital patient — it was way out there.”

Benzali on what layers of The Balkan might be revealed in his emotional life: “What I liked about playing all that subterfuge in the hospital with Robin is that it provided such a contrast to the real character and his goals and feelings. We just shot some scenes where we will see some very strong emotions come to the surface with him — really relatable emotions concerning his family.”

Make sure to listen to the new holiday episode of the On-Air On-Soaps Podcast where we name Benzali as the Power Performance of the Week.

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This man is PHENOMENAL! I was amazed when it was revealed that he was The Balkan & his ability to get you frustrated as a hypochondriac, engaging as a brilliant attorney, hate him in that street sounding voice he takes on as the Balkan and even gaining my sympathy as he hears how Alexander died ( his son ) is indicative of the brilliance of this actor! I hope that he can keep his “Balkan” identity a secret for a very long time to come so we can all enjoy this mans performances on GH. An excellent choice!

General Hospital

The Cast of General Hospital: The Alzheimer’s Storyline – Delivers The ‘Power Performance of the Week’

General Hospital’s depiction of the battle of Alzheimer’s disease and how it affects the dying, and the loved ones they leave behind, came to its heartbreaking conclusion this past week on the ABC daytime drama series.

Led by storyline standouts: Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Max Gail (Mike), who once again acted their hearts out in their final scenes together, the entire ensemble of actors who were part of this storyline each had their moments and each delivered which made Mike’s passing all the more poignant.

In a first since we started giving out our weekly kudos several years ago, Michael Fairman TV is giving our Power Performance of the Week to the cast of GH who participated in last week’s scenes for their riveting work.

From Laura Wright’s beautiful goodbye scene as Carly with Mike, where she dreams of him telling her she is a ‘daughter to him”, to Steve Burton’s all-knowing Jason, who tells Mike he will take care of Sonny and not to worry, to Michael (Chad Duell) and Josslyn (Eden McCoy) picturing how key moments of their life would look with Mike being witness to it, and the advice he would give his grandchildren, to Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) finding out that Mike is dying while being so far away from his family – each of these beats brought even more heart-tugging moments to the ending of Mike’s journey.

Even the actors who played a part in Mike’s care were touching as Vernee Watson’s Stella prepares Sonny on how to help Mike pass before saying her final goodbye to her friend.  Then there was Felix (Marc Anthony Samuel), who helped Carly and Sonny through Mike’s last moments at Turning Woods, who was also trying to keep it together through his sadness. Brando (Johnny Wactor) showed up at Turning Woods too, trying to make peace with the death he saw in the war in Afghanistan and now losing Mike.

Of course, there was the surprise moment where Mike is met by his late daughter Courtney and escorted to heaven that both Alicia Leigh Willis and Max Gail played so beautifully without saying hardly a word.

But in the end, it was Maurice Benard who showed us the devastation and acceptance of a son having to let his father go, while trying to make peace with their troubled past that was acting at its best, and perhaps some of the finest in his storied daytime career  – and there was Max Gail – the centerpiece of the storyline – who’s emotional heart was seen in all the scenes last week with the actors as the characters visualized moments with Mike.  Throughout the entire story, Gail played the tragedy of a human being trapped within this horrific disease with brilliance.  He will be missed.

So, what do you think of our choice of the cast of General Hospital for this week’s Power Performance of the Week?  Share your comments below.

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General Hospital

Holly’s Alive as Emma Samms Makes a Return to General Hospital

Friday’s cliffhanger ending of General Hospital revealed that Holly is indeed alive and being held captive, but by whom?  Who ever is behind this has her locked away and being watched on a surveillance system.

Viewers saw a hand of someone that is behind the kidnapping, and that Emma Samms made a return to GH in her signature role of Holly Sutton.

Samms, debuted on GH back in 1982, and has come and gone, and come back again to the ABC daytime drama series.  She last appeared back on it in 2015.

Nighttime soap fans remember her fondly as Fallon on ABC’s Dynasty and its spin-off, The Colbys.

Courtesy/ABC

Once the secret was out on her appearance at the end of Friday’s episode,  Samms shared on Twitter: “She’s alive…!”

So what do you think of the twist? That Holly is alive and that Samms was on-screen? Who do you think has Holly? Share your theories below.

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General Hospital

Michael Easton and Rebecca Budig’s Short Film “About a Girl” Receives ‘Outstanding Achievement’ Honor

While you loved them together on-screen on General Hospital as Hayden and Finn, off-screen. Rebecca Budig and Michael Easton came together for a stirring collaboration that just won them accolades at this year’s Best Shorts competition.

Best Shorts is an avant-garde worldwide competition that strives to give talented directors, producers, actors, creative teams and new media creators the positive exposure they deserve. It discovers and honors the achievements of filmmakers who produce high quality shorts and new media.  This film festival receives thousands of submissions from around the world.

About a Girl is directed by Easton while Budig wrote and starred in the short film. lt was honored with the Outstanding Achievement award, which is one of the top two most prestigious given out in the competition.

The story features Budig as a woman struggling with post-partum depression.  The festival said in a review of About A Girl:Deft direction, beautiful craft, achingly authentic performance by Budig.”

Rebecca shared on Twitter after receiving the accolade: “I am so humbled and honored to be included and awarded by @bestshortsand thank everyone involved.”

Two of Easton’s former OLTL co-stars, who have appeared his other short films, Trevor St. John (Ex-Todd later Victor Lord Jr.) and Sherri Saum (Ex-Keri) also appear in About a Girl.

Congratulations to Michael and Rebecca on their winning short  film! Share your kudos via the comment below.

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B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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Power Performance

Cast of GH: Alzheimer’s Storyline

General Hospital

Airdates: 9-14/18-2020

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