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Happy 43rd Anniversary to One Life to Live!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

The soap at times labeled, “The Little Engine That Could” for 43 years has captured soap viewers imaginations for decades with its amazing heart and soul, and not to mention unbelievable and stellar performances and storylines. And today, the current cast of One Life to Live celebrates its bittersweet final anniversary on network television in New York City. The only daytime drama still left in the Big Apple has left an indelible impression for fans that will live on forever, whether it be on the small screen or on the web (it’s future home).

Originally titled, by its creator, Agnes Nixon, Between Heaven and Hell, the title got an overhaul shortly before its network television premiere on July 15th, 1968.  Although On-Air On-Soaps could (and we just might) put together a tribute for fans of the series before it ends its network run,  no compilation could really serve to illustrate what the show has meant to so many people.

From social issues of the day, many daytime firsts, and stars past and present as rich as: Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser, Judith Light, Gerald Anthony, Brynn Thayer, Roy Thinnes, Al Freeman Jr., Robert S. Woods, Jerry verDorn, Hillary B. Smith, Phillip Carey and this amazing list that could just go on and on, OLTL is simply put a rare gem of a show that for 43 years has entertained and made us examine the human condition.

Watch an opening sequence montage of One Life to live through the years after the jump! And then leave a comment with your anniversary wishes, thoughts or favorite all-time moments of the soap.

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I do not have enough words to express what this show has meant to me. I’ve enjoyed for all 43 year’s. Yes, I’m in 50 bracket..

The cast over the year’s, adored Asa.

I’m sorry guys, as said above, I’ve just no words, but I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, for giving us an escape for an hour each day from this crazy world.

The best actor’s in Daytime, the stories. I thank you all for everything and I do look forward to watching on the “net” if that is what it means for now.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY OLTL! You brighten my day!

too hard to better or equal your comment, you have summed up how I feel as well, except i have only been watching since 1981.

i truly hope that OLTL lives on!

you have summed up my thoughts as well – i started watching when erica slazak startes as vicki – just watching these openings has brought tears to my eyes – i am also in the 50 bracket – oltl has always been my favorite

Well, I too am the big, 5-0. I have been watching ever since I can remember. Not sure exactly what year. My earliest memories were when Meredith and Larry lived in the carriage house, which was broken into and Meredith being hit over the head with the gunman’s gun. Of course, Meredith died leaving Larry broken-hearted. I remember Viki living at Llanfair with Victor…and have been a loyal ever since! The talent has been AMAZING…Meredith Chris (Wanda); Michael Storm (Larry); Judith Light (Karen); Brynn Thayer (Jenny); Erika Slezak (Viki) and the three Dorian’s–Nancy Pinkerton, Elaine Princi and of course–Robin Strasser–and on and on and on. To me, Viki and Dorian ARE “One Life To Live” and–the main reason I’ve watched all these years. I stuck it out when Dorian was written off for several years because I still had the true, tried and stable, “Viki”. THANK YOU for these fantastic years of entertainment, great story and wonderful acting. I truly appreciate it and will continue to watch on the net!

Happy Happy Anniversary to my first and favorite soap!

I remember each and every one. My favorite years ( story wise) were the years where they sang the theme song. OLTL was truly “can’t miss” tv back then!! Happy 43rd OLTL. Thanks for the memories!!

The openings gave me goose bumps! Look how many characters and actors we have lost over the years! Bittersweet!!

Just watching the collection of openings (and I remember each one) has made me cry – I can’t imagine how it’s going to be when it last airs on TV. Happy Anniversary, OLTL!

I have so many fond memories of this show.I reaaly am going to miss OLTL.

To the great writer, Agnes Nixon, creator
The grand dames, Erika Slezak & Robin Strasser
To all the residents of Llanview, Pennsylvania,
who have brought such immeasurable joy and pleasure
to so many of us and for so long, here’s wishing you a
Happy 43rd! One Life To Live – and a heartfelt “Thank you”
See you soon on-line in the New Age!

OLTL and GH were the soaps on after school for me and I never strayed far as life went on. And I was so glad for the VCR, Lynda Hirsch, and the internet, so I could keep up with OLTL and my other fave, ATWT.

As for OLTL, I recall the Viki-Steve-Joe triangle, the torrid Dorian Cramer-Mark Toland (Nancy Pinkerton and Tommy Lee Jones) affair as well as the exciting and gut-wrenching Karen Wolek-Marco Dane storyline. (Judith Light was amazing. Gerald Anthony was so sexy!) Oh, I loved the Craigs and Wanda Webb! And Pat Ashley and the bad-boy Tony Lord. We followed Llanview through good and bad and crazy, many of us. I liked the blue-collar storyline with Bo and Didi, her father, and sisters. And the Marty rape that brought her and Todd to the forefront. The storyline with Ryan Phillippe as the gay teen. How well that was done! Watching Starr grow up before our eyes. Blair! And everything Dorian in the person of Robin Strasser. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

On July 15, 1968, I was playing at my friend Rosie Kavanaugh’s house on Silliman Ave. in Lawrence Park, PA. Rosie’s mother told us there was a new soap opera beginning in a few minutes. So the three of us sat down and watched the very first episode of One Life to Live. That I remember where I was, who I was with, and what I was doing that afternoon 43 years ago demonstrates the impact the show has had on my life. Happy birthday One Life to Live, and thank you for the dramatic, romantic, chilling, and suspenseful entertainment you’ve provided me for most of my life.

Happy 43rd Birthday One Life To Live! I was only 10 years old back in 1986 when I started watching OLTL. For the past twenty five years, you have entertained and captivatied me with your innovative storylines, amazing performances and ground breaking drama. No other daytime drama took us to Heaven, the Wild West, Eterna or the falls of Argentina. This was the era I started watching and became an avid viewer. May you live on and continue to tell great stories on line and hopefully be brought back to television for one more life to live.

I suppose I’m “old school” One Life to Live. My favorite memories are all pre-Buchanan era (I never quite understood why boisterous southerners would set stakes in mainline Pennsylvania).

My memories are of the rich tapestry of so-called supporting actors: the eccentric but nurturing Ina Hopkins (Sally Gracie), the lovable Vinnie & Wanda Wolek (most memorably, Marilyn Chris and Antony Ponzini), the radiating warmth of Sadie Gray (the divine Lillian Hayman), the high-strung energy of Eileen Siegel (Patricia Roe, Alice Hirson), the seething sleaziness of Matt McAllister (Vance Jefferis), the no-nonsense, earthy Anna Wolek Craig (Doris Belack was the only one, as far as I’m concerned), and the wise and fatherly Jim Craig (Nat Polen).

Of course, the show gifted with wonderful lead actors: the sublime Ellen Holly (as Carla), George Reinholt (as the fiery Tony Lord), the emotion-packed Jacquie Courtney (Pat Kendall), Nancy Pinkerton (as the icy Dorian Cramer), Bernard Grant (as the commanding and protective Steve Burke), David Reilly & Jill Voigt (as the adorably sweet Richard Abbott & Becky Lee Hunt), the sexy Peter DeAnda (Price Trainor), and Tom Berenger as the determined, lovelorn hero Tim Siegel. In its first 11 years, One Life to Live boasted the strongest acting repertoire ever assembled, and under producer Doris Quinlan, director David Pressman, and headwriter Gordon Russell, one of the most richly entertaining TV shows ever produced!

Some of those posting have incredible memories. I know I have age-related memory loss but now I am beginning to worry about the onset of dementia.

I love everyone (cast and crew) and everything associated with OLTL, even if I can’t remember everyone and everything. One person I do remember but did not see in the opening montage was Michael Zaslow who played David Renaldi. Many people have passed away, but they will not be forgotten.

I can’t thank everyone enough for decades of incredible work. OLTL has always been more entertaining than anything in primetime. It would be wonderful if every past episode could be available on the internet to watch it from the beginning all over again. In a few years, it will probably be completely new to me.

Breaking News

Michele Val Jean Gives Update on Daytime’s Newest Soap: “The Team for ‘The Gates’ is Coming Together and It’s Fire”

CBS daytime’s newest soap opera, The Gates, is set to bow in January of 2025.  Until now, not much has been known of who else behind the scenes or in front of the camera might be coming on to the show.

However, The Gates writer, and co-executive producer, Michele Val Jean, shared an update on the series ,which has as its premise and epicenter, the story of a wealthy black family living in a gated community.

Now, Val Jean has taken to her Instagram account to share an update on the show.  Michele expressed, “You guys! The team for #TheGates is coming together and it’s 🔥🔥🔥. I couldn’t be happier. Exciting announcements coming soon. Stay tuned!”

Previously, Michele attended last weekend’s 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Award ceremony where she also shared on her IG, these sentiments: “Had a great time at the #daytimeemmys tonight. I so love this community of such colossally talented and genuinely nice people. I’m humbled to be adding to the legacy with ‘The Gates’. Shout out to my #boldandbeautiful peeps. You guys are the best.”

Val Jean has been a writer for The Bold & The Beautiful, Generations, Santa Barbara, General Hospital, and Port Charles throughout her daytime career, and she has won Daytime Emmys for her work on B&B and GH.

Now the question becomes, who would you like to see cast on ‘The Gates’? What kind of roles might be available? Who could be helping steer other creative elements behind the scenes? Stay tuned. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

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General Hospital

GH’s Mark Teschner Tells Casting Stories of Johnny Wactor, Giovanni Mazza, Rebecca Herbst & Nicholas Chavez

This week during a very informative and insightful conversation, General Hospital’s 11-time Emmy-winning casting director and now a Daytime Emmy Silver Circle honoree, Mark Teschner spoke on finding the talent for specific roles on the ABC daytime drama series throughout his near three and half decades with the show.

During a livestream chat on the Michael Fairman Channel, Teschner recalled some of the behind the scenes casting stories that brought many beloved favorites to the GH family including the late Johnny Wactor (ex-Brando), the newly-arrived, Giovanni Mazza (Gio), longtime fan favorite, Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth), and rising star, Nicholas Chavez (ex-Spencer) to name but a few.

When speaking with sadness over the loss of Wactor, who was shot and killed back on May 25th, and what he brought to the character of Brando, Teschner recalled, “With Johnny, what you see is what you get. You see the most kind decent, standup guy, and that’s innately who he is. So, that quality comes through in his work and with the character.”

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

Mark explained, “Brando was a raw kind of hothead, troubled kind of character, and Johnny was able to go there. He had a real intensity that he was able to bring to the role, but at the same time, the character of Brando had to have this depth and this giant heart that he doesn’t necessarily reveal when you first see him. Well, Johnny had the biggest heart of anyone you’ll ever meet. So that essence was already there, and then his acting and his skill played the character. Johnny brought so much of who he was to the character, and there was something so authentic about him.”

Photo: ABC

Giovanni Mazza recently debuted on GH as “Gio”, so what was his road to landing in Port Charles? Teschner shared, “I was casting a recurring role for a 15-year-old on the show, but when I’m doing the audition, sometimes I’ll open it up because we try to cast true to age, really within a year or so.  If you think about it, all the kids in our show are the exact age of the characters that they’re playing. Because if you have somebody that’s older playing younger, it sticks out because they’re not going to blend age-wise. But I did read a number of actors that were older just because they looked interesting. Gio’s audition came in. I was viewing this through self tapes, and there was just something about him. It wasn’t just that he was a great-looking kid, it was just there’s something very soulful about him and something very compelling, and he draws you in. ”

Photo: ABC

Mark continued, “So with the group of the 15-year-olds that I sent to Frank Valeintini (EP, GH), I said, ‘Hey, I’m including this kid, Giovanni Mazza. I’m well aware he’s too old, but I just want you to see him.’

After having him come into audition, two weeks later, Frank called Mark and told him they were putting Gio under contract. Teschner added, “So, that was an example where it was his first week in LA, it was his first and ever audition. So we got  before anybody else.  I think he’s really gonna develop into, you know, quite a young actor.”

Becky Herbst has been beloved as Elizabeth for decades, and Teschner recounted her audition process and how she came to the role of Elizabeth. “She (originally) auditioned for the role of Sarah Webber. But the role of Elizabeth was created for Becky. While the character of Sarah did not last long, here we are with Becky 30 years later.”

Teschner cited Becky’s casting as a great example. “I always tell actors when they come into audition, you lay it out, you put it all out there, you bring everything you have to that role. You may not get the role, but if you do good work, you get remembered. And it’s so true.”

Photo: ABC

Nicholas Chavez popped in the role of Spencer Cassadine before exiting the series. Teschner tells how Chavez came onto the GH casting radar. “Nicholas sent his self tape in from Florida and the rest is history. He had a meteoric impact on the show.” Mark added, “You always have an expectation and the hope that they’re (the actor) going to nail it and run with it. But sure, there are actors, you think, ‘They’re gonna be awesome,’ and then all of a sudden it goes to another level. With Nicholas Chavez, we knew he’d be amazing, but you know, who knew? Well, we did.”

Watch the full conversation with Mark Teschner below where he talks about even more of the casting stories behind some of your GH favorites, then and now.

What you think of the Teschner’s eye for talent casting the characters of General Hospital? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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News

Y&R’s Melissa Claire Egan Previews “Amazing, Juicy, Fun” Summer Storyline

The Young and the Restless, Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy seven-times throughout her career for her work on both All My Children and the CBS soap opera. Now viewers are wondering what’s next for the talented Egan in story?

Many are sensing that perhaps Chelsea might get back together with Adam (Mark Grossman) over their connection to their son, Connor and more, while others are rooting for Sally (Courtney Hope) and Adam, who have currently found their way back to one another.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Egan on the red carpet at the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards where she teased some major story to come. When asked if she felt Adam and Chelsea might get back together, Egan couldn’t give a direct answer, but she did tease a major story to put on Y&R viewers radar.

Photo: JPI

Egan revealed, “There’s an amazing, juicy, fun storyline happening this summer. Stay tuned, everybody. Chelsea’s involved in something and it has been so much fun to play. I am like, thinking about my words before I speak because I don’t wanna ruin it. It’s so fun and juicy and you guys (the audience) are gonna love it, or,  even if you don’t love it, you’re gonna feel passionate about it.”

Photo: MEganIG

Now a mom of two, Melissa spends her time at the studio taping all-new episodes of Y&R and juggling the daily lives of two young children, Jake and Caden. “I have a baby and a toddler, a 10-month old and a two and a half-year old,” she shares. “They’re exhausting, but they’re so amazing and they’re such sweet. They’re a dream come true. Jake has had me up at 4:30 in the morning a lot lately, and then I have to go to work by 6:30am. You know, it’s just a juggling act. But you just do it. You look at these little faces and you’re just obsessed and it’s all good. It’s all blessings.”

Check out our chat with Missy below.

Now let us know, do you want Chelsea with Adam? What storyline do you think is coming this summer involving her character? Weigh-in via the comment section below.

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