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GH’s Ron Carlivati Addresses Vincent Irizarry As Valentin Rumor! Matt Borlenghi Clarifies His Tweet On If He Was Recast!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto

This had been the talk of many a soap conversation over the last day which began with online rumors that circulated that All My Children favorite, Vincent Irizarry (Ex-David Hayward) had been tapped to play the role of Valentin Cassadine, and will begin to play the role sometime in mid to late 2014, the role once belonging to Matt Borlenghi!

Borlenghi had been originally tapped to play the role of Valentin, but due to James Franco coming on the canvas as “Franco” and that story moving forward at that time, the role was put on the back burner.

When Borlenghi read the rumors about Irizarry, he tweeted to Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati: “@carlivatiron @valentinifrank Anyone care to comment on recasting me as Valentin Cassadine? Wasn’t enough that I got Franco’d before? Hurts.”

To which that tweet got a reply from GH head writer Carlivati, who responded: “It’s a false rumor, Matt. No reason to be hurt or upset.”

Borlenghi then posted on the Gossip Gypsy this comment as a follow-up to their item:  “First of all, I lashed out at nobody. I respect and admire Mr.’s Valentini and Carlivati immensely. Yes, I was hurt by the news of a re-cast. It opened an old wound of getting “Franco’d” the day after my first and only night of taping in the role of Valentin Cassidine, which I was extremely excited about doing. In my hurt I asked a question. That’s it. If, indeed,  Mr. Irizarry gets the honor of playing Valentin for the wonderful GH fans and family, I wish him all the best. He is a terrific human being. As for those who replied in negative ways, well, I wish them the same peace and happiness that I wish for those who replied with support and compassion. Tomorrow is a new day… Happy holidays to all.”

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WATCH: Stars of GH Past and Present In COVID-19 Quarantine Music Video

So, what do you think of Borlenghi’s tweet and facebook message?  Do you think Vincent Irizarry is truly coming to General Hospital as Valentin?   Comment below!

 

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Joanne
Joanne

I would love it if Vincent would join GH! Matt answered very honestly….but I don’t believe ABC…the fans have been lied to before. With that said….I think if Mr I is indeed coming to GH..we won’t know about it yet. These actors are sworn to secrecy. I have to say…I truly love Vincent, great actor, and nice man.

Max
Max

I so wish GH would create a role for Vincent Irizarry. Great actor, great energy – he could bring alot to the show. But with all the trouble ABC’s gotten themselves into by cancelling AMC and fighting with Prospect Park, who knows if the tangled web they’ve woven can be dissolved.

Barbara t loves One life to live
Barbara t loves One life to live

I WISH, I LOVE VINCENT IRIZZARY, LOVED HIM AS DAVID HAYWARD, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

Johnny
Johnny

I think this show does not need anymore evil people. Unless Valentin is a nice Cassadine. As for this tweeting business I wish it would go away. Actors are known to be very needy and self absorbed people and attention seekers. Back in he day if they lost a role thy would go home get drunk and pout. Now hey have forums in which to express their personal and professional rants and it all comes across very unprofessional, very childish, and I’m sure much of it done under the influence of something. It is hard to take people seriously when they do things like that, especially something like this. This was not highly anticipated explosive casting news. It was like…”Oh yeah…that kid with the funky hair that played Hayleys boyfriend on All My Children 20 years ago.”. No offense to Matt…but he was never a big soap star. He was a teenage player for 2 years. And didn’t he get “Franco’d” out several years ago?James Franco started on the show like 4 years ago. That’s a long time to hold a grudge and then reckelssly tweet about it. This show has enouh newbies and enough villains and enough big name soap people without adding more. This is similar to Ronn Moss’ wife posting her message. VERY immature…very unprofessional…and I highly doubt she did it without his knowledge or consent. And if she did something like that which could potenially hurt her husband’s career without him knowing…then I hope he sets her straight. She maligned the business decisions of showrunners, she insulted a new actor, she implied her husband was irreplaceable, she talked down to fans, and made herself the subject of ridicule. According to all published reports…Ron left because he wanted to. A year later, upon recasting…to send a post like that means that there are hard feelings and bitterness. You don’t quit a job and then cry foul in social media later. The days of soap actors commanding mega salaries and holding their boses hostage in protracted negotiations are long gone. These people should be happy to have jobs. I wait tables for a living. Its not glamorous and very hectic work and when I come home at he end of the day with my 100 bucks in tips I am happy. It means I can eat and live and that Iam physically able to hustle my butt for 8 hours a day. I dot get to kiss glamorous leadig ladies and travel to exotic remote locations and sign autographs as job perks. If I did you can be sure I would be darn grateful for it…not quit it and then sulk a year later.

SZima
SZima

Very well said, Johnny! I so agree with you…about all the tweeting and what Ronn Moss’ wife did.

David
David

I could not have said this better myself. And yes, if someone is asking a professional question of someone, doesn’t it make sense to reach out personally to that person instead of sending out a tweet for everyone to see? He wanted the attention.

Elite advisors
Elite advisors

Bad way to start a new job…. looks like you did this to yourself. Next…

Kay
Kay

I definitely agree about Ron Moss’s wife. As for Valentin being a nice Cassadine, I wouldn’t count on it. According to Helena, Valentin hates both the Cassadines AND the Spencers and was determined to destroy both families. Of course that was from 2009, so they could easily retcon the character to be nice and say Helena lied or something.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I wrote several posts ago that i would like V.I. join GH…i suggested he play Jim Hastings, Laura’s doctor who follows her back to PC and later its revealed he is a Cassidine! And now i hear he might show up as a Cassidine? It would have been nice to see the actor who originated the role return but i dont remember him in the part because it must have been during a period i stopped watching! In that picture he looks something like Stuart Damon…maybe he could still return as a Quartimaine?…IMO

Kay
Kay

There’s nothing really to remember about him. Any scenes he may have taped never actually aired. I’m not sure we ever even saw a picture of him, so Matt Borlenghi never officially originated the role. He was supposed to air in October 2009, but James Franco decided he wanted to try out soap acting, so the show execs created the role of Franco for him and put Valentin Cassadine on the backburner. I’m not really sure why Matt Borlenghi is complaining at this point. Five years is a long time to hold a grudge over a character he never officially portrayed, and Ron and Frank weren’t even at GH back then.

Monica
Monica

So will the character be on GH at all? Confused about RC’s response to MB as being just a rumor

richard
richard

I think GH should bring Vincent as David Hayward, then he can reunite with Anna and be the one to resurrect Helena Cassadine!!! GH could use a strong male Doctor!!!!

CarolB
CarolB

I like the way you think 🙂 maybe they should hire you… not being sarcastic, I really think that would be a great story line.

Jimmy
Jimmy

I thought this, too, when AMC first went off the air. If OLTL characters and actors can join GH, so can ones from AMC.

However, with all the Prospect Park shenanigans for the past two years, I doubt GH would want to risk bringing and AMC character to their canvas and have those people from PP sue ABC again for some breach of something bs.

But if he did come on as a GH character, like Valentin Cassadine, that would be awesome! Thaao Penghlis is coming back as Victor, and TP and Vincent Irizzary look somewhat alike, so it could work! And VI is a great actor, as David Hayward on AMC and David Chow on Y&R back several years ago! My vote is yes, please!

Lovesam1122
Lovesam1122

I thought his question to Frank came off a little rude. Reading his explanation either he didn’t mean it in that manner or is backtracking. I really don’t have any idea of who they are casting in the future. My first concern would be to lighten the load we have right now and then think about more characters.

Beth
Beth

GossipGypsy is a junk tabloid. I am surprised Matt took the rumor on their word to begin with. I can understand his upset if he believed it to be true and I don’t think his tweet was out of line. Just the same, I think GossipGypsy is full of you know what.

Anne
Anne

While I thought it was unprofessional for this all to be aired over Twitter, I was happy to see RC answer in the way he did. The whole thing is rather odd, though. And you know what they say: where there’s smoke, there’s fire….

edward
edward

i wish they did not drop this storyline…. because us vetran viewers pay attention so we keep waiting

Mark
Mark

Vincent is so talented I loved him as Lujack/nick on Guiding Light!!

kaffe
kaffe

He come to GH to play a new Dr…..

I was a little bit disapooint Mr. Izzariary wasn’t cast as Sam Call father…..

But I’m kool with William Defry….

Vincent still can come as the “evil Dr”, who will get on Michael Easton (Dr. Silas Clay nerves!!)

CarolB
CarolB

I think Vincent would make a great Cassadine. He and Nicolas have some resemblances.

Jimmy
Jimmy

Agreed, and with Thaao Penghlis coming back as Victor, think of the storyline possibilities!

John
John

I met Matt at a AMC finale viewing party in Chicago back in 2011. I actually asked him what happened to him joining GH…and his exact answer was “You would need to ask James Franco that question”…so this guy really has been holding a grudge for a long time now!

KatieK
KatieK

I love VI, Id love to see him on GH, as anyone. But, lets work with the actors we have. Poor AJ waited for a trial 4-ever, then it just lasted for a short time. Now, the guy can’t get a storyline. We all KM, is leaving, so Robin will be gone. Lets build the Q’s story back up, thats what Im here for, I love them. Bring the Cassadines back. I love the old families.

Jimmy
Jimmy

Actually, Kim McCullough signed a contract and will be staying on GH for the foreseeable future

Georgette
Georgette

Frankly, Matt Borlenghi is acting like a child. The role does not belong to him because he was once cast in it and never aired, so wondering if he was recast is sort of a stretch Also, Frank and Ron had nothing to do with that original casting, so I don’t know why he is whining to them. Different regime. The sideswipe against James Franco was pretty unnecessary too. James Franco is a MUCH bigger star than Matt Borlenghi will ever be. Sour grapes. That aside, I would love to see Vincent Irizarry in the role of Valentin.

Jimmy
Jimmy

Agreed, 100%. FV and RC were not part of GH back however many years ago, they have nothing to do with and of this. And Matt B didn’t even air as Valentin, so it’s not as if he truly originated the role, because we as viewers never got a chance to see him as Valentin. He shouldn’t be taking this personally or holding a grudge for this long. If FV wants Vincent Irizzary in the role, a role he’d do stellar in, it should happen! I, for one, would love it!

su0000
su0000

well,
.. FV is very sneaking with who is coming..
RC and FV love to surprise us..
When and if, Valentin Cassadine, is cast, we will not know until he is reviled…

( some can believe they know, but they do not know ,, lol 🙂

boes
boes

Why are you so sure that whoever plays Valentin, be it Matt or VI will be reviled?
We might like them, you never know.

su0000
su0000

Matt Borlenghi was cast as Valentin Cassadine…
”Borlenghi had been originally tapped to play the role of Valentin, but due to James Franco coming on the canvas as “Franco” and that story moving forward at that time, the role was put on the back burner.”
IF, Valentin Cassadine, is to return then Matt Borlenghi should play him..

Andrew
Andrew

I don’t think Matt is being childish…. I remember his GH casting being announced as a big deal by the soap press. I get his annoyance – you’ve signed a contract, you’ve put your life in the hands of your employers and the soap press and fans are excited… and then pfft nothing. Who’s to say that Matt hasn’t had some fallout from that… In any job, being let go (no matter what the reason) on your first day is not good. So I can understand retaining his anger esp if there’s a rumor that someone is getting the job that should have been yours.

On the other hand, I’d take VI as a GH villain than Matt. Matt would be good on the show but in a different role. Maybe a good guy type.

On a related note, I actively missed the whole James Franco era other than a day or two a couple times a year to remind myself why I wasn’t watching.

Val
Val

Strictly from a story standpoint, it makes sense that the upcoming new Cassadine we know about (Victor) would need either a familial rival or a co-conspirator in the latest chapter of the Cassadine/Spencer/Scorpio feud. Enter Valentin. VI in this talented mature veteran mix fits much better than MB ever could IMO!

rebecca1
rebecca1

I totally understand his hurt…just don’t get how expressing it so publicly can help his chances of EVER landing a role with these guys. should have contacted them privately…

Mfarris70
Mfarris70

I really doubt that GH would be casting a role six months or more in advance. I fault Borlenghi for addressing his issue in a public forum instead of in private like a professional. He was hired years ago by a different crew at GH, the role of Valentin does not belong to him.

SZima
SZima

I would LOVE to have V.I. on GH, but not as a Cassadine.
I’d like to see him with Alexis 🙂

Jimmy
Jimmy

Alexis is technically a Cassadine by blood, that wouldn’t work. But good idea though! If blood wasn’t an issue, I could totally see it!

Shay
Shay

Not an Irizzary fan….would much rather see Ronn Moss as Valentin! Or some other big soap alum…this would have been a far better role for RoHo, but I’m not going to initiate another anti-Franco (2) discussion here,,,,,I can live with him doing what he’s doing, but I don’t think that the character and writing is serving him at all well at this current juncture.

Jimmy
Jimmy

Ronn Moss? Playing a possibly evil character? I can’t see that, mostly because he’s a terrible actor, but also because of his age… he’s over 60, and I don’t think GH would want to go that old with a new character, it might benefit more if they bring in a new 40-50 year old Cassadine, someone closer to Nik’s age.

But yeah, Ronn Moss as Valentin would flop, I hated him as Ridge on B&B (SO happy they recast him with Thorsten Kaye!) and I doubt he’d fit in here.

Shay
Shay

First off….cannot stand the “Ridge” recast with TK! Don’t like his acting style and most especially his less than refined scruffy, unkempt look! Yuck! (Feel the same about GH’s Car-LOS! and Peter Reckel, too…) Secondly, I just don’t see Irizzary as having that European “flair” befitting a Cassadine….it’s not always about the acting ability, but looking the part and having that certain je ne sais quoi that most Americans simply do not possess. Moss does have that….hence his great popularity in other parts of the world. Yes, he is older now, but he retains that quality. Besides Thaao Penghlis is close to 70 (and also looks great!) so they could be of the same generation of that family…wasn’t Victor the youngest of the brothers? And is Valentin not supposed to be the illegitimate son of eldest brother Mikkos? The thing about the role of Valentin is that neither his age nor much else has ever really been established, other than he is evil and crazy…he is a mystery on so many other levels. Yes, he was apparently intended to be younger with the Borlenghi casting (wasn’t crazy about that idea either…) but that sounds to be changeable with whomever “Cartini” decides to play this character. While I do understand your criticisms of RM, I still believe it would be a coup to get him on GH…even on a short term basis or as a different character, he would probably bring a lot of new viewers with him, as he is a soap favorite, whether he’s a good actor or not. And who knows? He may just do “bad” quite well….particularly if he thinks of the Bells as his “inspiration.”

Tim
Tim

I am not familiar with him. I’m surprised we ddnt see more ex-soap stars on GH & Y&R.

aria
aria

no to vincent and yes to matt!

Kathleen Allshouse
Kathleen Allshouse

I hope they seriously consider Vincent on GH. He would really be great! He is one of the greatest soap actors out there.

dmr
dmr

Unfortunately, I think that the show is overcast as it is with too many recurring characters. It reminds me of OLTL, way too many characters. I think the writers need to clean house, beginning with nuMorgan and Lauren/Kiki. It’s unfortunate that we are teased with seeing the Quartermaines for a little bit; then, nothing. Take for instance, AJ and him sitting in prison, no air-time, hardly a mention. Then, a few days of his trial, he’s set free, etc.-very forced, rushed. I miss the Quartermaines. I miss the adventure of the 80’s. I miss the excitement of the 90’s. I miss supercouples. I miss cliff-hanger Fridays. I do love the Jerome family being back. Love Ava. Love Julian. Great casting choices.

Elite advisors
Elite advisors

I agree with the rushed story lines as well…..it starts as a fire and fizzles out into nothingness….

Off topic though I did not like the way they sent off Laura…. Loose ends….hse rushed to get married to Scotty… then boom he wants a divorce…then boom she’s going to Paris to get tested… to never return?

Makes me dizzy

Jimmy
Jimmy

I would love to see Vincent as Valentin, he would be amazing. Recently, GH has made some pretty great casting choices, with Maura West as Ava Jerome and William DeVry as Julian, they’re both amazing actors and great characters. GH has a lot of cast members, though, and with the return of Ryan Carnes (Lucas) and Thaao Penghlis (Victor), I don’t know that now is the right time to introduce a new character, even though Vincent Irizzary would be an awesome and welcomed addition to the cast

Matt Borlenghi
Matt Borlenghi

While I regret to a degree having put my heart on the line in a public forum, this is 2014, and that’s become the standard in some ways.
I did not expect the vitriol spewed but some of the folks who see themselves as experts on the matter. Folks like Johnny above, who dares to insinuate that I was under the influence of something when I wrote what I wrote.
The fact is that I was honored to be in the position to bring Valentin to life. It was crushing to lose that opportunity. I felt connected to it immediately.
I know that role is gone. As I said, V.I. Is a terrific human being, and if he plays Valentin, God bless him.
All you folks who want to throw stones at me for being human, try acting human…
It requires compassion, not postulating and criticizing.
How about making that your 2014 Resolution?
All you that showed that compassion already, thank you.
MB

Ellen
Ellen

Matt, I agree with you about “being human”! I read these forums on occasion to see if I might get a clue if a rumor about a fave actor of mine is coming to a show I like. But, I most definitely disagree with the way some people handle themselves on these forums. They think it’s a place of free reign to ridicule and put people down. I especially hate when the posters start in on each other with insults, which (though I didn’t read every post) I didn’t see much of here, thank goodness. But, some people are run by their ego. They sit in judgement if others. Yes, we are all human and not one if us is without fault. I think possibly contacting the GH writers personally would’ve been a more professional route, esp since it’s a different set of chiefs now. However, I understand your hurt and why you did what you did in the heat of the moment. We all have regrets. Compassion and understanding are human qualities I treasure in others. God Bless you. Kudos for you giving Vincent Irizarry kudos !! 😀

Lin
Lin

if they were smart, they would not create a NEW character for Vincent. They would bring on David Hayward. Much better than any stupid Cassadine. I’m bored with them. They are cartoon characters. They should have had David bring those people to live.

All My Children

Eva LaRue Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination, And Opens Up About The Loss Of John Callahan

For Eva LaRue, the past two months have been some of the most emotionally gut-wrenching and challenging of her life, following the passing of her ex-husband, father of her child, and dearest friend, John Callahan (Ex-Edmund, All My Children). The outpouring of support she has received not only from her former AMC cast mates, but the soap world in general illustrates just how dear Eva is to all of us, and how many people had special memories of their time with John.

While mourning the loss of Callahan along with their daughter, Kaya, there was some heartwarming and re-affirming news that any actress would love to hear. Eva was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for her work as Celeste Rosales on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, and she is great company as her former AMC co-star Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad) is also nominated along with her for his work on General Hospital.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit our country and world hard, but through it All My Children virtual reunions emerged as fans were engaged by the content, transported to happier times that brought them back to familiar faces in Pine Valley in which Eva participated along with her good friends, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and so many more, thanks to the EW. com weeklong event which concluded on Friday.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Eva in this very candid, at times heartbreaking, and open conversation where she shares details into the final days of her beloved John, her last moments with him, and how she tried to plan a memorial in his honor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For so many of us, 2020 has certainly seen more lows then highs, but in the end for Eva, to receive a nomination now (an award she was last nominated for back in 1997 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Dr Maria Santos on All My Children) couldn’t have come at a better time. Here now is our conversation with Eva.

Photo: JPI

I’ve been thinking so much about you.  I’m glad we could do this, and in the midst of the tragedy of losing John Callahan, and then receiving a Daytime Emmy nomination.  What was your reaction when you learned you were nominated in a category with none other than your former AMC castmate and good friend, Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad, AMC, now Martin, GH)?

EVA:  Oh, I know!  He’s the first person I texted!  I was like, “Congratulations, Michael!  Did you ever in a million years think that you and I would be in the same category of anything?”  Then I said, “And when you win this, can I just borrow it for the weekend just to dress it up and take pictures with it… just want to borrow it, just babysit the trophy for a weekend, please?” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What did you end up submitting that landed you the nomination for your role as Celeste on Y&R?

EVA: I submitted a scene with Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I have been friends for 30 years, if not more, and in all that time we had never worked together.  I met him when I was married to John O’Hurley (Ex- Dr. James Grainger) because John was over at The Young and the Restless at the time.  I went to a Christmas party with John to Peter and Mariellen’s house, and do you know who else was there?  Lisa Rinna (Ex-Billie, Days), and it was before she had gotten Days of Our Lives. She was dating Peter Barton (Ex-Scott Grainger, Y&R) at the time. We both ended up on soaps at the same time.  So, I submitted a scene with Peter, who is amazing, warm and open and such a great actor. Then I submitted a scene with my on-screen daughter Sasha Calle (Lola, Y&R) – I love that girl, and another one with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) who has also been my great friend for a couple of decades. The other scene I put on my reel was with me and Jordi Vilasuso (Rey, Y&R) who I also adore.  He is awesome and such a sweetheart.  I only had two months worth of material to draw upon.  So, I just submitted the scenes that I liked the best, and they all were within story, and all made sense.

Photo: Getty Images

Where is Celeste supposed to be now?

EVA:  She went back to Florida, and that was that. I would never say never to anything, but it was always supposed to be a short stint, and it was great.

So not only is it you and Michael E. Knight, but Jeffery Vincent Parise, Chrishell Stause, and Elissa Kapneck. This Guest Performer category is loaded!

EVA:  I know! I know and love, Chrishell (Ex-Amanda) because we worked together on All My Children, too, right before I left, and she is a doll.  She just might be the sweetest, kindest, girl on the planet.  She literally might be the sweetest person who ever lived!  I don’t know the other two nominees personally.  So, I’m excited for them too.  It’s such a diverse category.  It’s just really fun to be nominated with all of them.

Photo: Hallmark Channel

You were nominated before, though, for your work as Maria on All My Chldren during the emotional baby switch storyline; working opposite Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica) for a lot in it.

EVA:  Yes.  I was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for All My Children, and I was nominated for Best Original Song.  I wrote a song when Maria came ‘back from the dead’ to All My Children, with a producer friend of mine from Miami Sound Machine.

Photo: Live with Kelly Ryan

So, you’ve been doing all of these All My Children virtual reunions, which is so interesting that in this pandemic, people are looking for content, and they dip back into these beloved shows.  Was it fun doing the EW.com Santos Family reunion with everybody?

EVA:  Oh yeah, it was really, really fun.  I only saw in the big picture everybody else’s photo who was a part of it, and the people who I actually do hang out with the most, and see the most, and talk to the most, are Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), and Sydney Penny (Ex-Julia).  I don’t see Sydney as much, but I do see her probably once every two years at least, but Sarah Michelle Geller (ExKendall) I see all the time and talk to all the time.  Kelly, Mark, and Sarah are the ones who walked me through that first week when John Callahan passed.  They literally were on the phone with me, the three of them, almost every day, but I got beautiful outreach, from what seemed like everyone.  This is when no matter how many years have passed since you have been in daytime, that the daytime family as a group – there used to be fifteen shows, now there are four – and people have bounced around and they are on other shows- – but the entire soap opera community reached out,   I cannot even tell you how much that meant to me.  It was overwhelming, and it was really, spectacularly beautiful.

Photo: JPI

I hope it was some solace to you knowing how much people loved John, and also that they love and care so deeply for you.

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EVA:  I mean, people who did not even work with John reached out.  Every soap was represented by getting a hold of me, sending a text or a phone call, or if they didn’t have my personal information, they tweeted, or whatever it was… literally from every reach of soapdom.  It was amazing.

And your relationship with John was amazing with all of the ups and downs you went through; that you remained such dear friends.

EVA:  We remained really great friends all the way.

Photo: JPI

I so remember when the two of you first got together and it was this storybook real life soap couple romance.  John was always so sweet to me.  I was so, so sad, and you know, my heart just broke for you.

EVA:  I think it was just such a shock.  I don’t think anybody, and even Kaya were talking about it, because she graduated this week, and her dad is not here.  We’re not having a graduation, because of COVID-19, which sucks on top of it, but we were just kind of talking through the feelings of it.  She said, “You know what’s weird?  I guess I never pictured dad getting old, and I always wondered why, and now I know.”  When I would get on John about his heart or his health, he used to always say, ‘Oh, don’t worry Evala, (he always called me “Evala”).  I’m going to be here.  I’m going to be here a long time.  I’m fine.  I’m going to be here to walk Kaya down the aisle and see her kids and all that.  Stop worrying,” Every time he said it to me, something in my gut said, “I don’t think he is.  I don’t think he is,” but I always just dismissed that.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think John wouldn’t make it to her high school graduation.  He was only 66.

Photo: JPI

I had heard you ended up running to Palm Springs to be near John.  I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

EVA:  The only good thing about this pandemic is that we had been shut down for only two weeks at that point.  Kaya and I got in the car.  John had some heart procedures the day before, on a Thursday.  I called him in the morning before he went in for the procedure.  I said, “Call me as soon as you get out of there.  Call me as soon as you come-to again, and you’re good,” and he said, “Okay, I will.”  I said, “I’m going to send Kaya out to you on Friday for the weekend, just so you have somebody to hang out and watch you, and I might come out too,” And then, I said, “Maybe, I’ll come down too in case you are feeling weak, just to watch out for you for the weekend.”   So, he called me after the procedure.   I said, “I cannot believe they sent you home! You just had some major heart stuff done.”  He said, “Oh no, they said I’m fine.  It was just run-of-the-mill heart stuff, angiogram…”  I was like, “Are you sure?”  He said, “Yeah, I’m fine.  I’m just tired.  I’m going to go to sleep.”  I said, “Do you want me to send Kaya out tonight?” and he was like, “No, no, no.  Send her tomorrow.”  So, in the morning, I called him at 9:00am.  No answer.  I texted him.  He always texted me like Johnny on the spot, and then texts me immediately back.  So, I call him again at 10.  Nothing.  His best friend calls me about a half-hour later, “Hey, I talked to John at about 8:00 this morning.  He said he was feeling really, really shitty and was going to go back to the hospital, and then, I texted him again at like 8:30 to just tell him something, and he hasn’t texted me back, and he always texts me immediately back.”  I said, “Oh my, God, I’ve been trying to get a hold of him for two hours; he hasn’t texted me back,”   I said, “You know what, I’ll call you back.”  So, I called his friend who lives down the street from John, and I said, “Go to his house, please right this second, knock on the door, jump the fence, knock on his bedroom, he might be asleep, I don’t know.”  So, he gets there, nobody is answering.  I said, “Break into the house please.  So, he did, and John was collapsed in the bathroom.  They called the paramedics, and as soon as they called me back and said, “John is unresponsive in the bathroom,” Kaya and I threw everything in the car, and what usually takes us two and a half hours without traffic, we made it down there from Los Angeles in an hour and forty-five minutes.

Photo: JPI

I don’t know how you made it down there in one piece. Thank, God!

EVA:  I drove so fast, like literally broke all land speed records and thank God because we got there just in time.  He was in emergency.  He hadn’t been put up in ICU yet, where we wouldn’t have been able to see him.  They weren’t going to let us in the hospital.  Thank God the person answering the door was an All My Children fan.  She was the one saying, “Sorry, no one is allowed in the hospital, no one can come in,” and I was like, “No, no, no, my ex-husband just came in.”  She said, “Was it Edmund?” and I said, “Yes, it was Edmund!”  She said, “Okay, follow me.”  Thank God for All My Children.  Thank God.  So, we followed this woman secretly, and we get to spend a half-hour with him in Emergency.  He was already on life-support, totally unresponsive, but we got to play John his favorite music, we got to just sit there and hold his hand and talk to him, and tell him how much we loved him.  Sarah Michelle Gellar called right when we were in the hospital in Emergency, and she said, “Put the phone by his ear,” so I put the phone by his ear, and she talked to John too, and she told him how much she loved him.  She used to always call him “GP”, which was short of grandpa, because she came on the show when she was 15, and she didn’t have a dad, and John acted like a dad to her – but she used to always call him “grandpa”, and he hated “grandpa”, so he was like, “You can call me “GP”, but not grandpa,” so she always called him GP.  I just put the phone by John’s ear, and what was crazy is that when she talked to him, his feet started twitching.  He started moving his feet.  Then, when Kaya was talking to him about Yankee season, he started moving his feet.  We were kind of hopeful that something was changing for the better.  We had about a half-hour with him, and then, they took him up to ICU, and then, we knew we couldn’t see him again.  They called us later that night that he had passed.

Photo: JPI

I am just so thankful that you got to see John one last time.

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EVA:  I thank God every day that we got to say goodbye, because if we hadn’t gotten there in time to say goodbye, I just don’t know.

It’s very rare that a couple after a divorce, who have a child, and went from romance to dear friends, end up maintaining that relationship so many years later in their lives.  I know so many people who were together at one point in their lives, for years, and they don’t even talk to each other now.

EVA:  Well, you know, like any divorce, the first four years afterwards were super contentious but then, by year five, we kind of had this major breakthrough, and from then on, he was one of my closest friends, and one of the things we always kept alive for each other was we loved to  dance together. We fell in love, I think, dancing because originally our characters on AMC met at this country-western bar, and we had to take country line dancing lessons on the show.  They hired a choreographer for us so that during those scenes where we were falling in love, we would actually be able to do a two-step! So, we went out and practiced at Denim and Diamonds, which was a big country-western place in New York City at the time.  We used to go out with a whole group of us.  It was me, and Teresa Blake (Ex-Gloria) and Kelly Ripa, and her boyfriend at the time, Winsor Harmon (Ex-Del), sometimes Walt Willey (Ex-Jack); we just had a whole crew of us who would go out country dancing.  John and I also loved singing together.  He had the most amazing gravely kind of rockstar voice, but his real talent was harmonizing.  He could harmonize to anything.  So, when he would come over, we would sit in the kitchen and sing, and sing, and sing until the late hours because that’s what we loved to do, and that’s what he loved to do.  That’s one of my favorite last memories of us.  He was just over the month before, and Kaya’s bedroom is near the kitchen, so she came out and was like, “Can you two shut up?”  It was like two in the morning and we were still singing in the kitchen. (Laughs)  John was my dear friend and my confidant.

Photo: ABC

Were you able to have some kind of service during this stay-at-home pandemic we are all dealing with, in order to mourn the loss of John?

EVA:  It’s been so crazy.  We couldn’t even have a funeral.  That’s what made it all the more heartbreaking.  There were less than twenty of us, and we just got on a Zoom call and memorialized John.   I thought we were going to do a big Zoom memorial, but it seemed so overwhelming and so impersonal, it just was rubbing us wrong in every way.  Every way we were looking at it, we were like, “Oh my, God, we just can’t.”  We wanted to invite everybody he had ever worked with, and we were like, “No, we want to do that when everything can open back up again, and invite every person, and have a party” because John was always the life of every party.  Maybe we can do that in the fall or next year.  I kept trying to write something for the small memorial we did do for three days.  I kept coming back to this one song, because John was always the consummate bartender, too.  I sang a song that Bette Midler sang on the very last episode of Johnny Carson.  It was “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” and it’s about a bartender who has got a big personality and a lot to say.   I changed some of the words around a bit just to reflect who John was, and so, I ended up singing for it instead of speaking.  We always talked about that last episode of Carson; how stunningly emotional it was when Bette sang that song to kind of sing Johnny off for of all of his years on the air.  So, that’s what I did and because we loved to sing together, it just made sense.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

I do think you touched upon something, earlier, too.  I don’t think any other genre would have that kind of unbridled camaraderie.  It’s such a family, like you said.  I don’t think you would find that quite like this; certainly in show business. 

EVA:  I really don’t think you can. Even though there is always a good amount of competition in the soaps as well; between the soaps it’s like they are any sports team, but there is always a level of respect, love, and familial connection within the community.  I think that is why they have stood the test of time.  I really do think that is what hooks our audience, that is what keeps them there after all of these years, even though unfortunately the genre is antiquated looking, there is something about it that is nostalgic, familial, and comfortable for people.

Photo: JPI

Every time I talk about All My Children, why do you think everybody go ga-ga for it, when it’s been off the air for several years now?

EVA:  It speaks to people’s childhoods.  It speaks to how we grew up.  You can’t undo nostalgia.  You can’t.  It’s in the way we grew up, the things we loved, the things that we scheduled our lives around, the people we fell in love with on the shows that we watched, who we cared about and loved their storylines. I grew up watching All My Children, General Hospital, and Days of Our Lives.

It must have been a spectacular moment for you when you realized you were actually in Pine Valley and a member of the cast of All My Children then?

EVA:  It was amazing.  I was a fan when I got the show.  I was a straight up fan.  I fangirled walking through that dressing room hallway for the first time! I was trying to keep it in check, but you know … (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

So, in closing, you would say, “Thrilled to be nominated”?

EVA:  Yes.  So fun.  It has really been a rollercoaster of a couple of months here.  That nomination was literally the bright, shining spot in all of this.

So, happy to hear Eva is in the running for a Daytime Emmy? Were you moved by Eva’s sentiments she shared on her relationship with the late John Callahan? Do you miss Pine Valley’s Dr. Maria Santos? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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All My Children

All My Children Reunion with Josh Duhamel, Ricky Paull Goldin, Cameron Mathison and More; Later Debbi Morgan Live

It’s a big finale of the weeklong virtual celebration of the iconic All My Children.  On tap today in EW’s series to benefit Feeding America during the COVID-19, some major names from the history of Pine Valley and who had story with each other participating in the chat, premiering at 10 a. m. EST.

Taking part in the walk down memory lane are none other than Josh Duhamel (Ex-Leo), Ricky Paull Goldin (Ex-Jake), Chrishell Stause (Ex-Amanda), Cameron Mathison (Ex-Ryan), Rebecca Budig (Ex-Greenelee) and Melissa Claire Egan (Ex-Annie).

But that’s not all folks! Daytime Emmy winner, Debbi Morgan will participate in a live virtual chat with EW.com today beginning at 3 p.m. EST/12 p. m. PST.  Now will be your chance to hear from the one and only Angie Hubbard from the beloved ABC daytime drama series.

Over the week, EW.com has posted other virtual conversations with notables from Pine Valley, you can check them out here.

So, will you be checking out today’s one-two punch of AMC favorites? Comment below.

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All My Children

All My Children Weeklong Virtual Reunions Kick-Off With Ripa, Consuelos, LaRue and Penny

Beginning this morning, Tuesday, May 26th, a weeklong virtual celebration with the cast of All My Children is on tap for fans of the beloved ABC daytime drama series, featuring a “Who’s Who of Pine Valley”.

The weeklong event is brought to you by EW.com and PEOPLETV.com and starts at 10 am EST/PST.   You can watch it right here.

Featured in the first installments are  the Santos family which includes: real-life marrieds, who met on All My Children, Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley) and Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), as well as Eva LaRue (Maria) and Sydney Penny (Julia).

Episode 2 coming up on Wednesday will feature: Michael E. Knight (Tad Martin), Cady McClain (Dixie Cooney Martin), Jennifer Bassey (Marian Colby Chandler), Jill Larson (Opal Cortlandt), and Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard).

The weeklong event is in support of Feeding America helping those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information and how you can make a donation visit ew.com/allmychildrenreunion

So, let us know what you think of the first installment featuring the Santos clan from Pine Valley as they reunite for a good cause via the comment section below.

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