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Judith Light On Her Career Highlights: "One Life to Live In The Late ’70s. That Changed My Life.”

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

She has done it all including: a daytime soap opera, a massive hit primetime sitcom, made-for-TV dramatic movies, motion pictures, and the theatre.  After winning two Tony Awards and two Daytime Emmy Awards, and being nominated for her extraordinary work in Amazon Prime’s Transparent, Judith Light has had an acting career filled with some of the most riveting and choice roles out there.

But soap opera fans will never, ever forget her stunning portrayal of Karen Wolek on One Life to Live back in the late 70’s.  And as we have reported numerous times over the years, no will ever forget Karen’s courtroom confession, which eventually won Judith her first of two Daytime Emmys, and stands among the greatest television moments in history.

This weekend in the New York Post’s Page Six, Light had spoken about some of the highlights of her critically-acclaimed career, where she noted:  “When I came back to the theater in 1999, I did a play called ‘Wit,’ and that really turned a lot of things around for me.  As well as appearing on the soap opera ‘One Life to Live’ in the late ’70s. That changed my life.”

Earlier this year in February, On-Air On-Soaps spoke with Judith during her run in the play, “God Looked Away” where she spoke of OLTL creator Agnes Nixon, as well as her role of Karen being one of the standout roles of her career.

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After the jump, watch a segment of Judith’s interview with The Archive of American Television from 2015, where she discusses Karen’s courtroom confession, and the impact it has not only on her life, but that of others in the viewing audience, and more.

So, what do you think of Judith paying tribute to her soap roots and OLTL?  Comment below!

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Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

She done a good courtroom scene and i know i will be in the minority here but i was never truly a fan…did like Who’s The Boss…however, the courtoom scene has been talked to death like daytime done no better…dayrtmes greatest actress was the late great Beverly Mckensie who was great in every scene she played..she may never got an emmy but every thing she did on AW and GL was award winning to me!!!

Alan
Alan

Karen’s testimony is always mentioned as one of the greatest moments in daytime because it was the perfect culmination of storytelling and character development. What really made it so memorable were the months of character driven writing with scenes of Karen falling into a life of prostitution because she felt unloved and unworthy that led up to it. Those scenes never get the play that Karen’s testimony does because they were quieter and more subtle but many of them were even more heartbreaking, watching her sleep with a parade of an anonymous men in pursuit of feeling loved for a hour or two and then feeling even more empty and alone afterward.

Anne
Anne

My mother is convinced that Judith Light’s court testimony was the highlight in all of One Life to Live’s long history.

Charday
Charday

She was great on DALLAS!

dmr
dmr

I LOVED her on Dallas. AMAZING!

rose
rose

Charday/dmr…Unfortunately I missed Judith’s earlier career on soaps, but like both of you loved her in Dallas. Remember the scene when she met the drug dealer and went through the pat down? Gutsy! Think I’ll see if I can find it on youtube.

Edward Ramirez
Edward Ramirez

Thank you so much. Just love her

Kathy Healy
Kathy Healy

She was outstanding! And glad to see her pay tribute to OLTL! A lot of former soap stars don’t.

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

Judith Light is a superb actress and always a joy to behold. I remember the courtroom confession as if it were yesterday. Karen Wolek was a very complex character and Ms. Light’s performance was always so very powerful.

dmr
dmr

I was born in 1980, but always knew of the courtroom scene, and watched the episode on a “Daytime to Remember.” I’ve also watched it on YouTube, and she was outstanding. That was when storylines were full of heart and soul, and performances were of raw emotion.

mark
mark

She was so intense on Dallas I loved her

JMER
JMER

“We are in the service business”–I love that

Miriam
Miriam

I loved her on OLTL and did not miss one day of her storyline. She was just awesome. It was an unforgetable performance for me…

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

Scenes as powerful as that just don’t exist anymore. Some daytime stars do their best to make it come close but nothing can possibly compare to that courtroom episode. The pages of dialogue those actors had to learn had to have been very overwhelming. Very nice trip down memory lane.

Michael (not Fairman)
Michael (not Fairman)

And one of the reasons for that is the writing, and one of the reasons for THAT is a point JL made in the first clip, which is that the courtroom scenes were the climax of a year and half of story involving multiple characters–carefully plotted and executed story, and the viewers had been allowed to see every moment, every beat play out before their eyes. Soaps got away from that kind of storytelling at some point, on the assumption that viewers–younger ones, especially–don’t have the patience for that anymore (an assumption I’m not sure really would hold up, if tested), but they did so at the price of the kind of scenes that Viki’s trial provided. You can’t have the payoff without the buildup, and the soaps just don’t invest the time to do the buildup anymore. My own argument would be that that–and not the “short attention span” of viewers–is why the ratings have continued to deteriorate.

Damn JL was good in that scene! I forget just how good, and then I watch it again, and damn, there it is.

DARLENE SMITH
DARLENE SMITH

WWOW!That’s ACTING!Thank you,Judith.That was Oscar worthy!!!

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

Thank you so much for your input!!! I have been on a rage about how our stories used to be compared to now. You made my day with your response!!!

Patrick
Patrick

Gavel : just because

“…the courtroom scenes were the climax of a year and half of story involving multiple characters–carefully plotted and executed story, and the viewers had been allowed to see every moment, every beat play out before their eyes. ”

beautiful

rebecca1
rebecca1

I agree that soaps were very detailed and played out longer then…but I also think there are a couple of reasons why they don’t anymore.

First, back then soaps were pretty guaranteed to be ongoing. When soaps were abruptly canceled, many were devastated that there was no closure. They had been written at a leisurely pace not anticipating that they wouldn’t have “tomorrow.” Because of the current climate of soap uncertainty, I think they feel it’s best to wrap up stories quickly and move on to the next…

As for attention span…look at the responses we get here. So many of the posters here complain that the story is dragging out. I really don’t think the soap audience of today has the attention span, patience…whatever you want to term it, as the audience did back then when they were riveted….

Alan
Alan

@rebecca1: I think when people complain that a story is dragging it is because today’s writers don’t understand the way to write long term story with several “reveals” and plot twists before the actual climax of the story. Today’s viewers could and would easily invest in a story that took a year or more to play out if it were carefully constructed and character-based. It’s all about the audience’s investment in a character: if the characters are beloved, the viewers will follow them through anything. The failure of most shows — daytime and nighttime — comes from underestimating the viewers’ intelligence.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hi Alan…agree…in theory. Still, I’m not sure about today’s daytime soap audience. I UNDERSTAND what you mean, and I agree about beloved characters, etc…still…I just don’t see, gauging from many reactions here, that many have the desire to see a story played out like they did “back in the day.”

LOL. I must beg to differ regarding failure of primetime! I think TV…cable AND network shows have really outdone themselves. Gone is the time when a film actor would be caught dead on a television show. Many of these shows are as good if not better than film! The problem lies with the audience in many cases. I can’t count how many quality shows were canceled because the ratings weren’t there; yet garbage like The Kardashians and other mindless crap is thriving.

Viewer “intelligence” varies….

Sue M.
Sue M.

Karen Wolek!!!

rebecca1
rebecca1

absolutely chilling performance! brilliant…and, oh…Larry Wolek, Marco Dane, Herb Callison…oh, the days when they actually filled scenes with the actors and not a sprinkling of extras….

Michael Storm (Dr. Larry Wolek) should come to Port Charles for a romance with Monica!

Alan
Alan

Judith’s performance was brilliant but what made it even more powerful were the reactions of all the people Karen loved and lied to — her sister, her husband, her best friend, her former pimp (who was posing as his own brother) — and the reveal that not only was Talbot Huddleston was one of Karen’s tricks (and Mario Corelli’s killer and the one who beat Katrina Carr to a pulp) but that he was also the driver who ran down Brian Kendall. Karen’s testimony was edge of your seat material but waiting for her individual scenes with Larry, Jenny, Marco/Mario, Ed Hall, etc as she had to face the music for what she had done added even more levels of drama and suspense.

Gordon Russell and Sam Hall spent nearly two years setting up numerous stories to have them intersect and culminate at Viki’s trial, resulting in even more story. Genius writing.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Kudos to you and your memory! Seriously…sounds like it was yesterday. I would never in a million years have remembered those stories; still don’t, LOL. But, I agree with your “review.” Sad that Gerald Anthony passed so young…love my idea about a Larry Wolek siting on GH…the actor is still living as far as I know. Would be great to see him again….

Steve
Steve

Like the concept of a a Larry/Monica pairing, however Michael Storm is not a “friend of Frank”. He stopped appearing on OLTL entirely shortly after FV took over. Despite his longevity on the show, he was not asked back for even a cameo in the show’s final months.

Larry always seemed to get the short end of the stick. Meredith died. Karen moved on to more things. exciting things. Brenda fell for his son Danny. You would have thought when Ivan Kipling controlled Larry’s brain, he would have given him an excitement jolt!

JasonLovesGH
JasonLovesGH

She’s magnificent!

PennySoap
PennySoap

Karen Wolek in the courtroom, on the stand, was actually the first time I watched OLTL! Was a fan till the end…

Patricio
Patricio

What people don’t mention is that scene was the end of 6 months plus of story telling about Karen being forced into prostitution and trying to defend the beloved Viki Lord. I was just a teenager but remember that storyline like it was yesterday! Life long fan!

elm1951
elm1951

she is an extraordinary actress!!

Kim
Kim

The courtroom scene can never be outdated or old. It’s one of the most powerful moments in the history of Daytime. I saw it live as a child; definitely influenced my love of soaps. Judith is amazing.

Steve
Steve

Like you and Robert, I saw it live as a child. Still the best courtroom scene I remember seeing on daytime or nighttime television. Definitely the most memorable scene in the 45 year history of OLTL.

Kim
Kim

Absolutely.

Robert in Jersey City
Robert in Jersey City

I cut school for 43 days (in the afternoon) in 8th grade to watch the trial. When the trial was over – I went back and my teacher asked me why I came back and I told the truth – “the trial was over” – I actually watched this unfold everyday! Yes, i graduated, lol.

rebecca1
rebecca1

LOL! Ummmm…I guess either your mom was an ardent viewer or you had some secret place to watch it???

jaybird369
jaybird369

Judith Light has ALWAYS BEEN an A+ CLASS ACT!!!!! ALWAYS!!!!!

Days Of Our Lives

Eric Martsolf Talks Brady Being Duped & His Co-Stars; Galen Gering & Camila Banus Chat Hernandez Siblings On ‘Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast’

On the latest episode of the Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast, Eric Martsolf (Brady Black) chats with host. Michael Fairman as Brady’s story hits a major turning point!  As DAYS fans know, Brady recently hit the sheets with “Nicole” who was Kristen in disguise.

Photo: NBC

During the podcast conversation, Eric explains how he has to sometimes suspend belief to make stories work in daytime which included Brady not figuring out that “Nicole” was Kristen, although it certainly re-ignited his thoughts of her!  Plus, he chimes in on the fun he has had working with his co-stars: Arianne Zucker (“Nicole”) and Stacy Haiduk (Kristen/Susan) in their many scenes

Later, Eric tries to remember all of the loves of Brady’s life that crashed and burned, and is posed the question, “What would he think if Days of our Lives SORAS’d Brady’s son, Tate, to an 18-year-old?

Courtesy/NBC

Then, the podcast goes behind the scenes for a dressing room segment where Galen Gering (Rafe) welcomes his on-screen sister, Camila Banus (Gabi).  The two banter about their on-screen and off-screen relationship as brother/sister and friends, and how much they value one another as they create the Hernandez sibling dynamic.

To download the episode via iTunes click here.   To listen to the podcast via NBC.com/Inside Salem click here.

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So, what do you think Brady should do now after the mess he finds himself in due to Kristen’s manipulations? Comment below.

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Dancing with the Stars

DWTS Host, Tom Bergeron Not Happy With “Divisive” Casting Choices Aimed At Sean Spicer

Controversy already erupted upon the announcement on Wednesday of the cast of the new season of Dancing with the Stars.  Most intriguing is that a statement from the longtime ABC series, host, Tom Bergeron revealed his hopes to the producers that their celebrity casting choices would be non-political in nature, especially after the ballroom dance competition had been on a year hiatus from the small screens.

Following the celebrity contestant reveal, which included former White House Press Secretary. Sean Spicer (who worked for President Donald Trump), the host released a statement via his Twitter account.  In it, Bergeron noted that he’d had lunch with the show’s new executive producer and had suggested some ideas for the show. Chief among them was that DWTS should avoid casting someone with “ANY party affiliations.”  When he left that lunch, Bergeron says he was convinced that would be the case.

Bergeron expressed: “It was my hope that ‘DWTS,’ in its return from an unprecedented year-long hiatus, would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations.”  Then he said, “Subsequently (and rather obviously) a decision was made to, as they often say in Hollywood, “go in a different direction”.  He went on to say, “It is the prerogative of producers, in partnership with the network, to make whatever decisions they feel are in the best long term interests of the franchise. We can agree to disagree, as we do now, but ultimately it’s their call. I’ll leave it to them to answer any further questions about those decisions.”

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DWTS new EP Andrew Llinares, then said in a statement. “We’ve got a great and diverse cast. We are excited about the season,”

You can see Bergeron’s tweet in full below.

So, what do you think of Bergeron’s hopes for the casting choices of DTWS?  Would you have preferred Sean Spicer to be cut from the cast?  Who would you have liked to have seen cast on the series? Would you want any celeb you like to even go on it any more? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Dancing with the Stars Season 28 Cast Revealed: From The Bachelorette’s Hannah Brown to Ex-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer

This morning on ABC’s Good Morning America the celebrity line-up was announced for the upcoming fall season and 28th edition of Dancing with the Stars.  Within the list of competitors are: The Bachelorette, Hannah Brown, former Dawson’s Creek star, James Van Der Beek, and even disgraced White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, and the “Uptown Girl” herself, supermodel Christie Brinkley 

In addition to the above celebs, showing their best ballroom dance moves will also be: Queer Eye‘s Karamo Brown, The Office‘s Kate Flannery and Kenan & Kel‘s Kel Mitchell, plus The Supremes’ Mary Wilson, Fifth Harmony’s Ally Brooke, and American Idol Season 10 runner-up  and now country/pop star, Lauren Alaina.

As for the former pro athletes in the cast; those slots belong to: former NFL linebacker of the Baltimore Ravens, Ray Lewis, and former NBA player (and former hubby to Khloe Kardashian) Lamar Odom.

On the pro dancer side, this season will mark the return of Peta Murgatroyd who last competed three seasons ago, as well as newcomers Daniella Karagach and Pasha Pashkov. In addition, the cast will include the steps of: Brandon Armstrong, Lindsay Arnold, Alan Bersten, Cheryl Burke, Witney Carson, Val Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Jenna Johnson, Keo Motsepe, Gleb Savchenko and Emma Slater.

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This season viewers will not learn of the celebrity/pro pairings till the night of the premiere.

All the moves kick-off on Monday night, September 26th at 8PMEST/7PMCST on ABC.

So, what do you think of the new cast of DWTS? Who do you think on paper stands the best chance of being a top contender for the Mirror Ball Trophy? Weigh-in below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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