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Greg Vaughan Shares How He Prepared For His Emotional Final DAYS Scenes!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Next week, Days of our Lives fans will say goodbye to Greg Vaughan, who has played Eric Brady since 2012 when the character exits the canvas to serve a prison sentence following the car crash that took the life of Dr. Daniel Jonas.  Eric, was the drunk driver behind the wheel that caused the crash.  Since leaving DAYS, Greg has begun filming a role in OWN’s new soapy drama, Queen Sugar that is currently filming in New Orleans.

In this week’s issue of Soap Opera Digest on newsstands now, Vaughan opens up in an interview about his final scenes, what precipitated his exit from the long-running NBC soap opera, and more.

On Eric’s emotionally intense scenes when he exit the canvas for prison stripes, Vaughan shared:  “When Eric leaves the canvas, I have an eight-minute scene and I rewrote some of it.”   He went on to say of his co-stars:  “It’s the greatest scene that I have had.  It was me, Deidre Hall, (Marlena) Drake Hogestyn (John) and Josh Taylor (Roman).  I moved everybody into a huddle and I told them … (gets emotional) … just thinking about it … I was saying thank you, for having the chance to be there and share the stage and play and connect with every one of them, and how much I appreciated them.  I said, ‘This is going to be the mark, this is my thumbprint, and my final thing and I just want to make a connection, so let’s do it.”‘

So, are you ready to say goodbye to Greg Vaughan on DAYS?  Do you hope he will return one day? Are you looking forward to seeing Eric say goodbye to his loved ones?  Comment below!

 

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JudyCeeCeeMoRjElise Kiefer Recent comment authors
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Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

I seen some chemistry between Eric and Jen that seemed to be going somewhere-too bad we will never know where…

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

was reading the issue of SOD, today

Greg Vaughan, was sharing the cover, with his pic

and caption, reading….

“on his exit” there wasn’t a dry eye on the set

OK one last time… I’ll quote Deidre Hall again… “he’s so beautiful”

that aside… He really had some charged scenes… and the angst and emotion in his face alone… is stunning

despite the storyline … who will ever forget Father Eric and Kristen DiMera

I”M SO GLAD he’s on the OWN Network…

I will be tuning in to his show – “Queenie Sugar”

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Yes, the Father Eric & Kristen DiMera “scandal” story-line rocked! It was sooo bad, yet sooooo good. (good – meaning, real soapy material). Definitely will miss Greg, I agree with Jimh, there was definitely some great chemistry between Eric and Jennifer. That was unexpected and interesting. I wish Kristen DiMera would have made a brief and unexpected return to Salem, alive and well, just to take Eric captive to parts unknown…To get back at Marlena for throwing her out that window/cliff in Italy. In the words of Susan Banks…”that Kristen is mean, mean, mean….she’s the head vampire.” Farewell, Eric/Greg, for… Read more »

damien
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damien

i will miss greg vaughan as eric soooo much
ericole was such a exciting and electric couple !
eric had so much angst and moral anguish with being a priest and his firce love for nicole, his rage with kirsten, his broken heart with serena
i wont let that b.s about daniel being love of nicoles life taint the real truth
even eric and jenn had potential
good luck on the new project…. i dont watch days anymore because of too mnt rapid changes but cant wait for the new own project!!!

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

I’m confused– I thought I read a while back on another thread that GV had already come back to DAYS; perhaps I misunderstood and the thread was about a rumor he was coming back– if I have time this weekend I will try to find that thread. Anyway, Eric is seldom on that in my mind the character has been long gone, so these goodbyes will a bit anti climatic for me— I loved Eric as the priest and with Nicole, but the character was destroyed with that hold Serena? and the elephant story line. His addiction story line and… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

in the latest SOD issue… I read… he was “given” a 13 week extension… to close up shop… hence the drinking issue and scenes with Jennifer

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

I was aware of that 13 week extension–no this was something back in Jan when the show announced they were going to rehired someone, and there were pictures on social media of Greg hanging out with the cast on set and Greg twitted something about never say never when people asked if he was back on Days. I did an engine search and could only find one site that had that rumor on it, but I really thought On Soaps did a thread on it, but I couldn’t find it. Anyway in my mind it was a fate complete, but… Read more »

Dylan
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Dylan

What a complete waste of talent!! DAYS had the chance for a new power supercouple in Eric and Nicole. To have him go to prison while unrepentant psychopaths and murderers roam free is an example pf why soaps can be so depressing and discouraging to watch. On the plus side, it will wring some great performances, and it is great to hear that Greg already has other employment.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

yeah, the FACT that he already has … other employment lessens the sheer disappointment… in DAYS

James R. Poissant
Guest
James R. Poissant

Boy—they took long enough to send Eric to prison—I thought the actor had been given a reprieve and was going to be able to stay—so much for that.

Dean_Morgan
Guest
Dean_Morgan

He is a good actor and Eric is a legacy character. Both will be missed. I like the chemistry between Jenn and Eric and with both of their history with Nicole, the storyline could have been entertaining. With that said, I am excited for Greg’s new role on “Queen Sugar”. I would welcome his return to Days, though if possible.

Tony
Guest
Tony

Griffith destroyed the character with the hit and run and for no reason! Too bad. A better story would have been to have Brady be driving driving drunk, then be the one to get the heart. Years of story with someone they wanted to keep on the canvas. Brady is so boring now. Daniel could have been in another car with Eric. Maybe Eric was drunk too and Daniel grabbed the wheel to swerve out the way of Brady’s car. Daniel dies. Eric can’t remember what happened. Brady’s fall off the wagon is temporary etc.. could have been powerful.

sonniorsolita
Guest
sonniorsolita

Sending Eric to jail and this whole story made me sick. One of the reasons I stopped watching. Loved Greg Vaughn, though. Look forward to his next project.

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

I am really going to miss Greg Vaughan. I think he’s a very good actor and I enjoyed his portrayal of Eric. Loved him as the adult Lucky on GH years ago. I wish him much success in the future.

Rj
Guest
Rj

Sorry to see Greg/Eric leave. I enjoyed when he came on, and the chemistry with Nicole. I was sorry that they destroyed his character and the relationship. I would have liked to have seen him in some other storylines as I liked the character and his acting ability. I wish him good luck and hope the door can stay open for him to return in the future. Sorry he went in the abyss and will be going to jail – may be in the future he can be redeemed again.

Elise Kiefer
Guest
Elise Kiefer

I’d like GH to recast and bring back Lucky. Greg has played him already so it’ll be easier to accept him as the character. Elizabeth needs her first love back in her life.

Mo
Guest
Mo

Is Eric still on?

Another character who could have been better and the writers ruined. Although, I don’t think the actor suited the role.

Rj
Guest
Rj

Liked the scene with Eric/Marlena today. Felt the mother/son pain. Kudos to both! Greg is doing an excellent job as he wraps up his final days. Sorry, the character came to this, but he is doing a good job expressing his pain, hurt, fear. Would love if in the future he could come back stronger after he has worked through his problems.

Judy
Guest
Judy

Eric and Nicole were the super couple of daytime why didn’t DAYS let it continue. I will miss Greg but will wait for him to appear on Queen Sugar on OWN in September. Maybe someday NBC will wake up and he will come back to assume his roll as Eric Brady

Mo
Guest
Mo

When Eric returns, I hope he is recast.

Judy
Guest
Judy

I guess you never met GV he is a great actor beside being kind, considerate, a great loving Father and loves his fans. YOUR LOSS MO !

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

The scene between Deirdre and Greg was so REAL, you could almost touch the affection they hold for each other. I did cry; that’s how much their own tears got to me. This was not acting on their part……Marlena and Eric disappeared there for a few minutes…..life and friendship took over.
Sorry to see him go. Sad!!

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alison Sweeney on Working with Bryan Dattilo: “28 Years Later, Some Things Never Change. Still Laughing Between Takes and Grateful to Have Such a Talented Supportive Co-Star”

This week, Days of our Lives viewers have witnessed that Sami Brady DiMera (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo) hit the sheets, and Lumi fans everywhere rejoiced!

On and off, for almost three decades. Alison Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo have played the relationship between these two exes who share children together to the hilt, because Sami and Lucas’ history is well … complicated.

But, what will happen if and when EJ finds out that Sami had sex with her ex? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Alison took to her Instagram and shared her thoughts alongside photos of her and Bryan, then and now.

Over the years, Bryan had remained one of Alison’s good friends.

Sweeney expressed: “I have always had such fun working with @bryan.dattilo !! 28 years later, some things never change. Still laughing between takes and grateful to have such a talented, supportive costar. Thanks @nbc for this great archive photo! And so grateful to @nbcdays for the incredible opportunity to play Sami.”

What did you think of the scenes where Sami and Lucas slept together and its aftermath thus far? Comment below.

 

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A post shared by Ali Sweeney (@alisweeney)

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Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Breaking News

REPORT: Dan Feuerriegel is DAYS New EJ DiMera

Could Days of our Lives finally found their new EJ? Rumors have been circulating on the internet for weeks that the character of EJ DiMera may finally have a new face and a new actor portraying and heading back to Salem, especially since Sami (Alison Sweeney) is back on the canvas.

The role was previously played by longtime fan favorite James Scott, who had made it very clear he would never return to Days of our Lives.

Photo: DFeuerriegelIG

Now according to Daytime Confidential and their report from setside sources, the new EJ will actually be played by former Spartacus actor Dan Feuerriegel.

The Australian-born actor has been seen in Starz’ Spartacus franchise in the role of Agron.

According to the report, look for the new EJ to make his debut sometime this summer.

DAYS fans know that in story, EJ was brought back form the dead, from the serum from Dr. Rolf, but then was injured in an explosion and had reunited with Sami and had been recovery in Europe.

So, if this reports turns out to be true, what do you think of the new EJ? Comment below.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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