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Judith Light On The Return of One Life to Live, Karen's Courtroom Testimony, DALLAS & Her New Play!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Two-time Daytime Emmy winner and Tony winner, Judith Light spoke with On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman for a very special interview for FrontiersLA.com! 

The in-depth conversation spotlighted Light’s career in the theatre, primetime television and film, and of course, her now iconic as Karen Wolek on One Life to Live, and her latest role as the twisted Judith Brown Ryland on TNT”s Dallas!  In addition, Light, who is one of the leading advocates and friends to the LGBT community, weighed in on the issues of equality for all, and how she became an activist.

Judith is currently in previews for the new dramatic Broadway play, The Assembled Parties which is set to have its opening night on April 17th, which also stars ATWT favorite, Jake Silberman!  Here are few very interesting excerpts from the interview for all One Life to Live and Dallas fans!

The show that gave you your start One Life to Live was canceled in 2011, and went off the air in January of 2012; only it has a second life to live! One Life is coming back online with all new episodes on April 29. What are your thoughts that his iconic soap is literally coming back from the dead?

JUDITH: I think it is so fantastic, and I am so happy for everyone. I am not just happy for the people on the show, because it was something that they had devoted themselves to for such a long time, but also the fact that the fans are the ones who really demanded it! They were the ones that put themselves on the line and put themselves out there, and they got what they wanted and what they deserved. It makes me so happy. You want for people to want what they have longed for, and what they have been devoted to. This is a demonstration of the power of the people.

Courtesy/ABC

A few weeks ago, the internet was abuzz again with posting the clips and scenes of the 34th anniversary of the ultimate soap opera performance of you as Karen Wolek in the Daytime Emmy winning courtroom scene on One Life to Live from 1979! What do you think about that performance, when you look back at it today?

JUDITH: I think dynamically for the culture, as we were talking about before, what it demonstrates is the need to have the courage to come out. When people see that they are moved by it, because against all odds, against every secret, against ever knowing that she will be rejected by her community, her husband, her friends, everyone in her life just about, she knows that she has to tell the truth about what she had done. And in doing so, it sets her free.  I think at a deep profound level which we all know and can feel, there is that oneness and connectedness. Karen’s omission on the witness stand is an ionic moment, because everyone understands that at a very deep profound level. It’s not only that performance; it’s what the moment in time symbolizes … something that everyone can recognize as a kind of bravery to support a friend that simply has to be done. It doesn’t just free the friend; it frees the person who was doing it, as well. You also have to understand, that was a year and a half of putting every piece of that story in place. When I came on OLTL they said to me, “We want to do the story from the movie Belle de Jour with Catherine Deneuve.” It was the story of this woman who was a prostitute during the day and was married to this man, and that was her life. They said, “What do you think of this story?”  I said, “I think it’s brilliant.”   So they carefully laid in the pieces of that, and you have to look at the level of writing! People say, “Ech, Soap Operas!” Look at what they created! I believe it is one of TV Guide’s Top 100 Moments in Television. It is for the depth of the story, the writing of the story, the year-and-a-half of placing it in real time, and then having the courtroom scene being the culmination of it. I think that is why people still relate to it.

Let’s now talk about your fantastic new role on TNT’s Dallas reboot! Why did you choose to play Judith Brown Ryland on Dallas? She is so creepy! [Laughs]

Courtesy/TNT

JUDITH: If you saw the character description, you don’t say “No.” We read the character description, and went, “Oh, my God!” The first writing sample was so exciting and thrilling to work on. The reason that I choose the way that I choose, is not only to satisfy my own creative interests. Certainly that is there, there is no question about it. But to me, theater, television and film, and art in general, are a way in for people to view their own psychology. Subsequently, I think it’s a way to talk about the culture, and who we are as human beings. Now I know those are lofty things to talk about, but I try to talk about them in a way people can relate to them. I can go do Judith Brown Ryland in my bathroom and it won’t make any difference. [Laughs] In people seeing a character like Judith Brown Ryland, who is so controlling and so angry, and needs to make the world the way she wants it, and the sorrow and the reaction that comes from that, maybe someone will say, “I see myself in that, or I see a relative of mine in that, and I want to make it be different.”

That Texas drawl of an accent you have as Judith Brown Ryland is subtle but so delicious! I am sure you are aware that everywhere on the internet, Dallas and Judith Light fans are screaming, “She is too young to play Harris’ mother! Judith and Mitch Pileggi (Harris) are not that far apart in age!”

JUDITH: All I want to say to people is: look at the film Manchurian Candidate. Angela Lansbury was only three years older than Lawrence Harvey when she played that part. I think people are forgetting and not understanding how young Judith Brown Ryland was when she had Harris. I know everyone is saying she is too young, and everyone is talking about this. I want to say to people don’t just look at it at the surface …  go a little deeper as to why Harris and Judith are not that discrepant in age. It will educate the public to what this is really all about. And, why they in fact, chose me to play his mother, and why the dynamic between the two of us is so infinitely off balance. I appreciate that people think I look good, that’s so nice! [Laughs]

Photo Credit: Joe Marzullo

You were just honored a few weeks ago by the MCC (Manhattan Class Company) for your career in stage, film and television at their annual Miscast Gala in New York City! It was quite a turnout, and looked like a fun night! Were you shocked at all the stars and accolades bestowed upon you?

JUDITH: First off, they did a rap of my entire career! You have to hear this rap! It’s completely stunning. It starts with my career on One Life to Live. It’s brilliant and off the charts. My mouth was hanging open, and someone said to me finally, “You better close your mouth. They are taking pictures.” [Laughs] It was truly one of the highlights of my entire life. I truly don’t know how to describe it, and it was beyond words.

Now below check out the promotional video for Judith’s new role as Faye in The Assembled Parties.  For ticket information click here!

Then, Let us know what you thought of Judith’s comments on the fan support bringing back One Life to Live?  Her one-of-a-kind performance when Karen confessed all on the witness stand on One Life?  Her new role on DALLAS as Judith Brown Ryland?  And, what did you think of the rap (check the link in the final question) which payed homage to her sterling career starting with One Life to Live?  Let us know!

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Iakovos
Guest
Iakovos

I adore this woman. Judith Light is a delight to watch. I remember so very well that OLTL testimony. Amazing stuff. It is good to know she regards this aspect of her career well and recalls it fondly for and with her fans. Thank you!

Tali
Guest
Tali

I too remember – it was iconic! Loved her on “Who’s the Boss” and her new role on Dallas. Hope she’ll grace the tv screen more often. She’s been great!

Joliefan Forever
Guest
Joliefan Forever

I loved her as District Attorney/Judge Elizabeth Donnelly on Law and Order SVU

Carole
Guest
Carole

I love her as udith and can’t wait to find out what is really going on with her and Harris!

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

Bravo Judith Light. Magnificent as always.

ethel
Guest
ethel

judith light = awesomness – loved her ever since was karen wolek on oltl!

GertieGal
Guest
GertieGal

In regards to Dallas, am I understanding her correctly??? Is she saying that she was just a child when she had Harris??? Was she raped by her father maybe and that is why she is the way she is???? Sounds delicious….

Edna Barefoot
Guest
Edna Barefoot

I love Judith Light. I have watched her in OLTL on the witness stand several times. Each time I cry again. It was heart wrenching. Haven’t seen Dallas so I can’t say. I loved her in Who’s the boss. She can play any part & make you believe it. It is good to hear that the stars recognize all we the fans did to get our soaps back. And we did that because the stars are so talented that they feel like family to us. Thank you Michael for the article. I really enjoy your writing.

Jamie
Guest
Jamie

Judith is so amazing. I’m intrigued to know the story about her and Harris’ relationship on Dallas. Judith Light is truly a delight to watch on everything she does. She makes the viewers feel what she feels. Wish I could go see her play.

nancy
Guest
nancy

I just love Judith and have followed her since her days on OLTL. When I saw she had been cast on Dallas I practically jumped up and down with glee. 🙂

Fakeer Raheem
Guest
Fakeer Raheem

The lyrics to the rap tune dedicated to Judith Light is absolutely fabulous and totally accurate: She IS so good she can’t be miscast! Truer words were never spoken about any performer in my lifetime.

All My Children

‘Soap Opera Know-It-All’ Virtual Game Show Debuts

This week, the Michael Fairman Channel dropped the premiere episode of the first-ever virtual soap opera game show, Soap Opera Know-It-All.  

The game features four soap fans from around the country who test their knowledge against each other for prizes and the bragging rights to be the “Ultimate Know-It-All” come seasons end.

Photo: MFTVInc

With the coronavirus pandemic still among us and life not fully back to normal, the game show is produced and hosted by Michael Fairman that brought fans from different parts of the country together for the kick-off.  They are: Marni Ockene, Floyd Elwell, Nicholas Hess and Gina Patterson.

 

The game is played in two rounds, and the players receive points for each correct answer as they choose questions from 2 game board categories which are all soap operas; either primetime or daytime in a ‘Jeopardy’-like format.

Photo: MFTVInc

However, come the knock-out round we are left with two players who try to answer the final question from this week’s guest performer, The Young and the Restless‘, Sharon Case (Sharon).  If no one is eliminated, the game goes into “Sudden Death”.

On each new episode, different soap operas will be featured on the game board and/or in different amalgamations, plus you never know just which of your favorite soap stars might pop up!

Check out the premiere of “Soap Opera Know-It-All” below.  Then, let us know what you thought of it via the comment section below.

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Dallas

Dallas and B&B Favorite, Patrick Duffy Finds Love Again at 71 with Actress Linda Purl

It’s never to late to fall in love again and Dallas star, Patrick Duffy (Ex-Bobby Ewing) is proof positive of that.  Duffy, who was married for 48 years to ballet dancer Carlyn Rosser till 2017, when she passed away due to cancer, has reconnected with Happy Days and motion picture and TV actress, Linda Purl whom he first met knew years ago.  Soap fans also remember Duffy’s turn from 2006-2011 on The Bold and the Beautiful as Stephen Logan.

According to PEOPLE and as it has turned out, the Covid-19 pandemic was actually the impetus for Duffy and Purl reconnecting after being casual friends for years, who had simply lost touched with one another..  However, during the Covid-19 lockdown, they happened to be on the same group text chain with other friends that eventually wound up with just the two of them chatting.

Photo: NY Times

Duffy shared,  “At that point, I loaded up my car and drove 20 hours and ended up on her doorstep just to see if it was real.  We haven’t been apart since.” He added, “I never thought for a minute this would happen again. I never thought I’d feel this way again.”

 

The actor who is going to be in the upcoming Lifetime holiday movie, People Presents: Once Upon a Main Street debuting on November 29th, noted on his relationship with Purl, that he know his beloved late wife would want him to be happy, expressing: “I  feel quite honestly, that it is keeping with the desires of my wife, the fact that we are intended to be happy.  So when it’s offered, think about it, do whatever you do, but don’t let it pass you up if it’s the right thing.”

So,  happy for Patrick that he has found love again after his enduring romance and life with his late wife? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Bradford Anderson, Melissa Fumero & Juan Pablo Di Pace To Appear In Virtual ‘Ballots Over Broadway’

Some of your favorites who have been in both daytime and primetime soaps will be participating in this Friday August 7th’s virtual event, “Ballot Over Broadway” to benefit Higher Heights for America and Field Team 6.

Look for General Hospital’s Bradford Anderson (Spinelli), and former Dallas and Fuller House star, Juan Pablo Di Pace (Ex-Nicolas Trevino, Dallas) to join the likes of Laura Benanti, Andre De Shields and so many more from Broadway, TV and Film in an intimate evening songs.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine and former One Life to Live star, Melissa Fumero (Amy and Ex-Adriana, respectively), will be speaking during the event.

Field Team 6 is a national volunteer army with a simple mission: Register Democrats. Save the world. By targeting places that need Democrats most, we aim to take the White House, flip the Senate, and expand our House majority.

Higher Heights is the only national organization providing Black women with a political home exclusively dedicated to harnessing their power to expand Black women’s elected representation and voting participation, and advance progressive policies.

The event kicks-off at 8PM PST/11 PM EST and to be able to view make sure to get your tickets or to donate by going to this link here.

So might you join the virtual event and watch Bradford, Melissa and Juan Pablo? Comment below.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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