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JOY Director/Writer David O. Russell Calls Soap Actors "Professional Athletes" After Working With Maurice Benard, Laura Wright, Susan Lucci & Donna Mills!

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In David O. Russell’s latest film Joy (which opens nationwide on Christmas Day) Virginia Madsen plays the mother of Jennifer Lawrence, who is obsessed with her soap operas!  The motion picture features some very famous soap notables seen on screen on a daytime drama.

But rather than dig up old relic clips, Russell created new soap material featuring: General Hospital’s Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Laura Wright (Carly), Knots Landing favorite, Donna Mills (Ex-Abby), and the one and only Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica) of All My Children and Devious Maids, who appear in the film!

In a director’s roundtable of the most acclaimed films for this award season via The Hollywood Reporter, David said of working with actors from the soaps: “Jennifer Lawrence’s mother [in the film] is into soap operas. So we shot a soap opera from the ’60s to the 2000s, with Susan Lucci and Maurice Benard, who is like the Brando of soap operas. And those guys are like professional athletes. I’d go, ‘Donna Mills! Susan Lucci! Let’s have a catfight.’ They don’t go, ‘Oh wait, what’s my motivation?’ They just go, bang! I was blown away by the power of these women actors.”


Fellow director Quentin Taratino, who was part of the rountable for his latest film, The Hateful Eight chimed in and said: “That might be one of the most interesting things said at the table. The power of soap opera actors. That actually is a nugget, and I buy it 100 percent. (Laughter.)”

So, what did you think about the analogy made by David O. Russell on the soap opera actors as professional athletes? Excited to see Joy come Christmastime?  Glad to hear a Hollywood “A” list director/writer/producer is giving props to the work ethic and talents of the likes of Maurice Benard, Laura Wright, Susan Lucci and Donna Mills? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Finally. They deserve far far more credit than they get. I hope that they get some consolation from the absolute fact that soap fans are die-hard. We support our favorites and will support them.

Finally, soap actors are getting the respect they long deserved. Can’t wait to see Maurice, Susan, Donna, and Laura all together on the big screen.

Maurice, Laura, Donna, Susan.
WOW & WOW!!!!! ^^^
David O. Russell picked GH power actors–

This I loved;
quote David-
”Maurice Benard, who is like the Brando of soap operas”

I love and agree ^^^

Totally agree! Maurice is TOTALLY the Brando of daytime. I’d like to see him doing Apocalypse Now! He blows me away every time I watch him. Mo is a national treasure.

Sonny is the soaps Marlon Brando, for sure the best description.
I really luvs Sonny!!!
Once you peel away the all the layers, you do find a treasure, The Sonny !.

So good to hear soap actors are finally getting the respect and recognition they deserve. Many of them are just as good as “A”-list movie stars. Many of them have later BECOME “A”-list movie stars. And those who choose to stay on their soaps can go toe-to-toe with movie stars like James Franco. I am really excited to see “Joy”!

It’s great that soap opera actors are getting some recognition for their hard work.

Can’t wait to see this. Really nice, yet well-deserved, comments by industry big-wigs. About time!

Yeah….now if only the networks,would feel that way.

This is so true! Soap actors should get that kind of recognition! They work all year; not just do a movie every one or two years.

I cannot wait, to watch this movie JOY…

Soap opera actors have been doing the “heavy lifting” for years. These professionals have to learn pages and pages of dialogue each and every day. In addition, they must emote and film, put the scenes to bed and be ready to do it all again the following day. Oftentimes movie actors have weeks and weeks to learn their lines and “find motivation” Bravo that Soap Stars are FINALLY being recognized for their amazing talent and work.

Kudos to Mr. Russell for recognizing the true professionalism of soap actors. Too bad the network suits can’t or won’t see that.

Very excited about this movie. Can’t wait to see Donna Mills on the big screen. It’s her 75th birthday today too. 🙂

“… I was blown away by the power of these women actors.”

there you have it… the reason I watch and laud this genre

easy on the eyes menfolk is one thing

Sounds good to me! Love the actors, watched G.H. since start, and heard bout movie ”Joy” from HSN, have all her products! L.I. girl, like me! Can’t wait!

It is high time soap actors receive props from Hollywood. Our soap stars give their all each day, no time for retakes. I am proud to say I am a soap fan and the actors keep us coming back even when the story line may be inferior.

I remember thinking that when james Franco guest starred on gh he would bring some kind of Legitimacy but he chose to play the cliche soap opera actor (over the top) instead.

Roger has taken Franco in many directions, seeking the right fit..
I believe he has found it..
I am so loving Franco, as of late… a BINGO!

These industry “big wigs” know there stuff! They couldn’t have chosen better than my personal favorites – the ever gorgeous and intense, uber talented and fabulous – Maurice Benard and Laura Wright. They represent the best of a long list of actors who work hard everyday to bring their iconic characters to life day in and day out for decades, not just a couple of months. Kudos and thanks! Congratulations, much deserved, long overdue.

Sorry, “know their stuff”.

I am so excited to see this, if our soaps stars are in it. I am 100% thrilled. Finally our soap stars get the credit, they so deserve.

If you read the cast of Joy, Sonny is the only one with a charter name, he will be Jared.
The others have no name given to them, they are just listed by their names.
Looks like quite small parts, perhaps? .. be character name..

Soap stars have the ‘office jobs’ in acting….reliable, steadfast and they show up on time. Can’t wait to see “Joy!”

Benjamin Hendrickson worked for him years ago so he has always appreciated talent. I’m glad he’s giving them recognition, though more needs to be done.

All My Children

Billy Miller Memorial Scholarship Endowment Created at His Alma Mater to Help Others ‘Realize Their Dreams’

Two months since three-time Daytime Emmy-winning actor, Billy Miller passed away, the beloved All My Children (ex-Richie), General Hospital (ex-Jason/Drew) and The Young and the Restless (ex-Billy) star, will now have a permanent scholarship endowment in his honor at the University of Texas at Austin which was Miller’s alma mater.

Through the scholarship, it will be able to help radio/television and film undergraduate students with financial need. Billy’s family and friends have established this permanent scholarship in his memory, naming it the William Jon Miller II “Billy Miller” Memorial Scholarship. They hope the endowment will be a legacy to his life and love of acting.

Before becoming soap-famous, Billy graduated from the the university’s department of Radio-Television-Film (RTF) at the Moody College of Communication. On its official website, they shared the news of this special memorial scholarship and how Miller died at the age of 43 after surrendering his life to bipolar depression, which he struggled with his whole life.

Photo: JPI

Megan Hubbell, Billy’s sister, expressed, “We want something positive to be held in his name in perpetuity through the University he loved. He would be honored to know that even in death, he can help someone else realize their dreams.”

She added how she hoped her immensely talented brother will be remembered: “I hope BJ (as Billy was known by to his friends and family) is remembered for the kind-hearted, silly, funny, goofy, generous, beautiful soul that he was His megawatt smile, deep belly laugh and gorgeous mug were gifts on screen, but his true self was a bright light that will be carried with us forever.”

Photo: JPI

According to Miller’s family, Billy had his picks of schools and UT was his first choice. When he first came to the university, Billy started in the zoology program before switching to radio-television-film, where he felt he belonged. Miller was one of just 20 students at the time accepted into the department’s prestigious production-sequence program.

“BJ was extremely proud to be a Texas Longhorn and always remembered his time there fondly,” Hubbell said. “The time he spent at UT allowed him the space to explore who he wanted to be and what he wanted to accomplish.”

Photo: JPI

In honoring her brother’s work and strength to persevere in the often heartbreaking world of entertainment, Megan related: “I always admired the guts it took to go after a dream in Hollywood that so many people tried to discourage. He heard, ‘You’ll never make it’ more times than I care to count, but he used those comments as fuel and said, ‘Watch me.’”

Miller’s roles went far beyond those on daytime soap operas, as throughout his career he played major parts in primetime’s Suits, Ray Donovan and Castle to name but a few.

Photo: JPI

In his death, Billy’s family is encouraging people to take stock of their own mental health. “BJ would want anyone struggling with intrusive thoughts to seek professional help,” Hubbell said. “Do not suffer in silence or try to muscle through on your own. Mental health is vitally important and shouldn’t be spoken about in silos behind closed doors but rather in open forums with open arms. Shame has no place in the discussion to seek help.”

To donate to the William John Miller II “Billy Miller” Memorial Scholarship click here.

Share your thoughts on Billy’s family and friends, along with his alma mater, setting up this memorial scholarship endowment to help other talented young people in financial need get a shot at realizing their dreams via the comment section below.

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All My Children

‘Live with Kelly and Mark’ Scores Touchdown in Ratings with Taylor Swift-Inspired ‘Halloween: The Eras Show’ Delivering Largest Audience In Over A Year

More great numbers for Live with Kelly and Mark. The talk shows Live’s Halloween: The Eras Show scored an impressive 2.9M total viewers on October 31, making it the most-watched Halloween episode in four years, according to the Nielsen ratings.

The episode also delivered some of the highest ratings in seven months for the morning show, particularly among women 18-49 and 25-54. Live’s Halloween: The Eras Show also pulled in a 1.92 household rating, as well as a 0.47 among women in the key 18 to 49 demo and a 0.69 among women 25 to 54. Those are up over the last two years of Halloween episodes and since Consuelos first started in the co-host chair back in April.

According to Deadline, Live’s Halloween: The Eras Show, also pulled in the largest audience numbers for a single episode in more than a year and half.

Photo: Disney/ABC

As is tradition with “Live’s Halloween” episodes, they are always filled with costume and pop culture moments and special guest surprises. Ripa and Consuelos were right in step with the biggest social media love story at the moment; that of Swift and her burgeoning romance with Kansas City Chiefs Tight End, Travis Kelce.

During Halloween week which started on Monday, October 30, Live was up up 11% versus the week prior in total viewers, and averaged 2.6 million viewers throughout the week.  Year-over-year, the talk show was up that week by 15% in terms of total viewers.  It looks like the former All My Children’s alum on-screen chemistry is just as palpable as it off-screen; as the two marrieds are making quite a successful run together on morning television.

Photo: Disney/ABC

So, what do you think of the impressive numbers for the Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos on ‘Live’? Did you enjoy their recent Halloween episode? Share your comments below.

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All My Children

‘All My Children’ Star Peter White Dead at 86

Peter White, best known to soap fans as All My Children’s Linc Tyler, passed away this week at the age of 86. The cause of death was revealed to be melanoma.

The late actor’s former AMC co-star Kathleen Noone (ex-Ellen Shepherd Dalton) confirmed the news to multiple outlets sharing that White died in his home in Los Angeles of melanoma on Wednesday, November 1st. His death was first reported by Soap Hub.

White’s first soap opera role was actually on The Secret Storm in 1965-66. Then in 1971, he joined CBS’ Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, where he took on the role of Dr. Sanford Hiller. However, he became soap-famous for his role as Linc on All My Children which he began in 1976 and it would be a role he would play on and off till 2005.

Photo: ABC

In story, Linc was in love with Kitty Cole and later her sister Kelly (both played by Francesca James), despite his mother Phoebe’s constant interference and disapproval.

Peter later appeared in numerous primetime shows including: The Colbys, Knots Landing, Dallas, Sisters, Hill Street BluesThe JeffersonsThe Paper ChaseThe West WingStar Trek: Deep Space Nine, Sisters, and more.  His film roles included: Dave, Flubber, Armageddon, Thirteen Days and First Daughter.  

Photo: BroadwayWorld

However, White jumpstarted his entire acting career in 1968 with the starring role as Alan McCarthy in Matt Crowley’s original Off-Broadway production of The Boys in the Band.  Later, the drama was made into a landmark 1970 film, White and his original co-stars were all featured in it.

Share your condolences and remembrances of All My Children’s Peter White via the comment section below. But first, check out this clip when Linc was trying to help Kelly after the murder of Eddie Dorrance.

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