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‘Inside the Actors Studio’ and Daytime Soap Scribe, James Lipton Dead at 93

Photo: JPI

Best known as the host of Inside the Actors Studio, James Lipton, passed away on March 2nd from bladder cancer.  Lipton was 93.

But in addition for making his mark from 1994 to 2018 interviewing so many famous actors and celebrities, Lipton has quite the daytime soap background in his illustrious career.

He started acting on Guiding Light, playing Dr .Dick Grant, but then soon worked his way up to becoming the head writer of the series in 1952.

Throughout the next two decades, Lipton served as head writer for Another WorldThe Best of Everything (which he helped create) and Return to Peyton Place. He also wrote for The Edge of Night.  Later from 1972 and 1974, Lipton not only worked as the head writer forThe Doctors but also on Return to Peyton Place.  His last soap writing gig was on Capitol in the mid-80’s

In 2016, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daytime Emmys and a Critics’ Choice Award for best reality show host.

Lipton passed away early Monday at his home in Manhattan as his wife, Kedakai Mercedes Lipton related to The Hollywood Reporter.

Share your condolences on the passing of James Lipton via the comment section below.

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Eden
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Eden

I am so sad about this. I LOVED RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE and watched every episode. I would give any thing to see it all over again. Wonderful series (3 April 1972-4 January 1974) that was not given a fair go.

Soaphound
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Soaphound

Now THIS a true loss to lovers of movies and the arts of acting and directing. So many glorious hours of exploring the lives and experiences of the movie industry’s best. Of course, half the fun was watching Mr. Lipton’s delight in his own exhaustive preparation process.. those index cards! And the honest, heartfelt reactions from the subjects themselves indicated their trust in Lipton’s sincerity and fan-like zeal. My favorites were Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, Ellen Burstyn, Clint Eastwood…. so many more. Naturally, the show in its present state is a joke! Celebrities “interviewing” other “greats”… Read more »

Violet Lemm2
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Violet Lemm2

Oh, I was such a big fan of this wonderful man. I was so in love with him on the GL so many years ago, as Dr. Dick Grant and miss Inside the Actor’s Studio as he was the master interviewer, like someone else we all know. He could pull things out, like no one else.I have often wondered what had happened to him.
R.I.P my dear Mr.Lipton.

rose
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rose

James Lipton…a life well lived. The Actor’s Studio was always one of my favourites…such an intelligent, entertaining “class.” He was such a good, understated, interviewer who got the best from those actors he interviewed. Since there is not much of quality on tv anymore, wish they would do reruns of Actor’s Studio.

Breaking News

Guiding Light’s Lee Lawson Dead At 80

UPDATED: More loss for the Guiding Light family.  Now comes word on Monday that Lee Lawson, who played Bea Reardon on the CBS daytime drama series from 1981-1990, passed away Sunday night in Los Angeles at 80-years-old. Lawson passed away at Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles after a decades-long fight with cancer with her children by her side.

What makes this all the more heartbreaking is that Guiding Light and soap fans just recently mourned the loss of one of Lee’s on-screen daughter’s Lisa Brown (Ex-Nola Reardon) who died back in November of last year.

According to Lee’s dear friend, Marian-Hailey Moss via Facebook, she shared: “My down-to-earth, sassy smart and beautiful friend LEE LAWSON is telling it like it is in a better place. A fine actress and a super generous friend. I’ll meetcha there LEE!! 1941-2022❤️

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke to Marian-Hailey Moss and confirmed Lee’s passing.

In addition to her time in Springfield, Lawson also appeared in for a time in 1979 on One Life to Live in the role of Wanda Wolek and started her soap acting career on Love of Life in 1965 in the part of Barbara Sterling.

Lawson also appeared on numerous primetime television shows from Kojak to Maude and many others.  After a long career in entertainment, Lee achieved a lifelong ambition by gaining a doctorate in clinical psychology, and enjoyed a fulfilling successful second career in Los Angeles as psychologist and crisis counselor,. She was especially proud of the work she did for many years at the Los Angeles Times before moving into private practice.

Lee’s daughter, Leslie Bova, took to Facebook on May 24th and shared: “My Mother died. May 22, 2022. Thank you for having Chris, Me & Gaby so that we could have Gianna, Wilder & Sterling. We love you. You fought Cancer & COVID-19 like a champ. Rest, you brilliant, woman ❤️. Thank you, mom. R.I.P.”

She is survived by her children: playwright Christopher Stetson Boal, Gabriella, and Leslie; her sister, artist Susan Gray Arlow; and her grandchildren Wilder, Sterling and Gianna.

Below check out some scenes between Bea and Nola from Guiding Light.

Share your remembrances of Lee Lawson as Bea Reardon and your condolences in the comment section below.

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Guiding Light

One Life to Live and Guiding Light Stars Share Reactions and Remembrances of Jerry verDorn

Over the last 24 hours, tributes have poured in on social media for beloved soap opera veteran, Jerry verDorn (Ex-Ross, GL and Ex-Clint, OLTL) who passed away on May 1st.

The two-time Daytime Emmy-winning star, was one of the most genuine people you could ever meet and work with as noted by so many of his former colleagues from Llanview to Springfield.

Michael Fairman TV will continue to update this post as more remembrances for Jerry continue to be shared and posted.  Here is just a sampling of verDorn’s impact on the lives of those who worked with him in front of the camera and behind the scenes:

Photo: JPI

Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki, OLTL) statement to her Fan Club: “For anyone who knew Jerry verDorn, Sunday, May 1st, was a heartbreakingly sad day.He was a man of such warmth and kindness, talent, intelligence and most importantly humor, that every day spent working with him could hardly be called work.  It was joy.  He so loved what he did and was so very good at it. I was the very lucky recipient of his last 8 years in daytime and I thank God for that. “He made every day one to look forward to. I will always think of him with that lovely, rather impish, smile on his face, and that will stay in my heart forever. I know that he has gone to a peaceful place, with no pain.  I send my love and deepest sympathies to Beth and their sons and their families, of whom he was so very proud. They have lost a great man.”

Melissa Archer (Ex-Natalie, OLTL) expressed: “I’m heartbroken to hear of Jerry VerDorn’s passing. I have so many wonderful things to say about this man, but I’ll try to keep it brief. I had the honor of playing his daughter on oltl. He was genuine from start to finish. A giving actor, a caring coworker, funny, talented, and full of smiles. When he took over the role of Clint, it was seamless. It felt as though he’d always been there and he formed family bonds with all of us quickly. His family are in my thoughts and prayers.”

Bree Williamson (Ex-Jessica, OLTL) shared: “I am devastated to hear about the death of Jerry. He was a wonderful man and I am so grateful for the time that I spent with him as my TV father. He was a talented and generous actor and a kind and gentle man. He made it effortless for me to feel close to him and to love him like a dad. I enjoyed everyday I was lucky enough to spend with him and I will hold those memories of him in my heart and mind forever. 💔💔”

Photo: JPI

Amanda Setton (Ex-Kimberly, OLTL, now Brook Lynnm GH) said: “I am so very sorry to hear this news. I was so fortunate to have worked with Jerry early in my career. I learned so much from him. I remember we would often run lines in his dressing room, classical music playing and all. His preparation and commitment to his craft was inspiring. He was an incredible actor, the consummate professional; prepared, present, supportive, and kind. He treated everyone with such respect and admiration. We have lost someone special. I am holding his family in my thoughts and prayers. “

Ron Carlivati (Ex-head writer, OLTL, now head writer, DAYS) shared: “Sad to hear the news that Jerry Ver Dorn has passed away. Jerry stepped into the role of Clint Buchanan in 2005 and quickly made it his own, playing a loving husband and father and eventually a very convincing villain, although the man himself was all heart. Rest in peace. #OLTL”

Robin Strasser (Ex-Dorian, OLTL) said:#JerryVerDorn a fine actor and true gentleman. It always felt good to see him, not just because he was so darn good looking (he was:) but because he was so affable & easygoing; while being thoroughly hardworking and dedicated to the work. All honor to one of the best of the best!”

Frank Valentini (Ex-EP, OLTL, now EP, GH) tweeted: “I was very sad to learn about the passing of my friend and all around great guy, Jerry verDorn (Clint #OLTL.) On behalf of everyone here at #GH, we send our heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends.”

Photo: JPI

Mark Lawson (Ex-Brody, OLTL) expressed: What a gentleman. I remember being so intimidated by both he and Bob Woods. Until I finally had scenes with them.  Jerry was the consummate gentleman. So elegant and kind. With a blue collar approach to the work and a respect and generosity for his fellow actors that flew beyond what was necessary. He was a benevolent king on that set. And funny. And ready to laugh.This photo was from the very last moments of filming OLTL at the studios in Manhattan.  I was blessed that day to work with Erika, Jerry, Bree, and Melissa.  I think about that day and these people all the time. Farewell, sir. It was a pleasure to know you.  #jerryverdorn #onelifetolive #oltl”

Liz Keifer (shared: “My heart is broken and filled with bittersweet love for Jerry and his family. Thank you for being my trusted friend onscreen and off. It was an honor to be yours. Rest well, dear Jerry. You are loved beyond measure.”

Patrick Mulcahey (Former head writer, GL) “So sad to hear of Jerry verDorn’s passing. What a fine actor and a good guy. He never stopped thanking me for a special GL episode I wrote for him (Ross’s Election Day dream), but I loved his work way back when Ross was with Vanessa, then Carrie, and then later, with Blake… He and Peter Simon [ex-Ed] played best friends beautifully — abiding male friendships are rare on soaps — and he had crazy deep chemistry with all his leading ladies. Writing Blake and Ross was about as much fun as a writer could have and those scenes always aired so deliciously… Many thanks, sir, for all you offered us, the humor, the depth, the stuffiness and vanity too, which you knew was there in all of us. Sorry you had to leave us in apple blossom time. Sorry you had to leave us at all.”

Robert Newman (Ex-Josh, GL; now Ashland, Y&R): “This one really hits hard. Jerry Ver Dorn was a wonderful actor and a beautiful person. He was one of my first role models. He actually was instrumental in getting me into Union service. He was our Aftra Deputy on Guiding Light, and eventually I took over for him in that role on the show. That planted seed led me to over a decade of serving on both the National and Local boards of Aftra, then Sag-Aftra after the merger. One of the finest human beings I’ve ever known. Rest peacefully, Jerry.”

What do you think about the comments and tributes from Jerry’s former castmates? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

 

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A post shared by Melissa Archer (@_melissaarcher)

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Breaking News

Guiding Light & One Life to Live Favorite, Jerry verDorn, Passes Away at 72

Very sad news to report on Monday.  Two-time Daytime Emmy-winner, Jerry verDorn, has died at the age of 72 after a months -long battle with cancer.

Jerry passed away on Sunday, May 1st peacefully at his home.

Daytime fans loved Jerry for his portrayals of Ross Marler on Guiding Light (1979-2005)  and then Clint Buchanan on One Life to Live (2005-2012 on ABC and 2013 on Prospect Park’s online version).  He later retired after 34 years of acting on daytime TV.

For his work on Guiding Light, Jerry took home back-to-back Daytime Emmys in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category in 1995 and 1996. Throughout his time on the CBS soap, he also earned four additional nominations for his performances.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Beth, his sons Jake and Peter, daughters-in-law Laura and Erin, his sister Bonnie, brothers Jim and Dan, and grandchildren: Benjamin, Nora and Penelope

A private memorial celebration will be held at a later date this summer.

Share your thoughts, remembrances and condolences for Jerry and his family in the comment section below.

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Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
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