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Kelly Thiebaud To Reprise Britt On General Hospital!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

The “Britch” is on her way back for a short-term visit on ABC’s General Hospital!

According to Soap Opera Digest, actress Kelly Thiebaud, who brought the drama to many of the citizens of Port Charles, will reprise her role of Britt in December.

No word yet what brings Britt back on to the canvas, but stay tuned!

Kelly was last seen on the long-running ABC daytime drama series on 2015 for a guest visit.  Britt has been on the canvas previously from 2012-2014.

Are you looking forward to seeing Kelly again? What will bring her back for a short term visit? Comment below.

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Patrick
Patrick

WHERE – is ALL this – good – NEWS

coming from ?

two of my favorite “ladies”

for reals ?

Britta and Theresa @DAYS

ooh la la

Shay
Shay

Oh, Patrick, your delightfully priceless post made my Thanksgiving! Thank YOU! (Hope yours was a wonderful one!….) I briefly alluded to that same Ava scene on another thread, but with nowhere near the joyful relish (No, not Pickle-Lila…) and spot-on observations as you have!!! Needless to say, I enjoyed Ava’s gutsy tongue-lashing as much as you apparently did! It’s always a huge treat when Alexis is given a proper comeuppance for her condescending attitude and haughty behavior and Ms. Jerome proved the perfect woman to do exactly that!…(Why, yes, the “sponsor” line was just toooo much fun, as was all you so skillfully stated about Alexis….she is quite simply an absolute mess who cannot even carry a turkey on a platter without it turning into a three-alarm disaster….what a fitting metaphor for her life!!!!) Now she’ll be acting all coquettish and flustered with Dr. Bensch’s amorous advances, although it looks like they may be about to to “hit the carpet” ala Julexis? Hmmmm….will that delay her from making another beeline to Julian’s jailcell door ????? (Me thinks probably not….even if she momentarily “succumbs” to a sexed-up session with “Dr. Feelgood,” she’ll still be primed and ready for a hasty return to her dagger-wielding ex!!!! That’s just the way that dame is wired, she like ’em baaaad!….To be continued….) Have a great holiday weekend, Patrick!

Jimh
Jimh

Give me a B…give me an r…give me an itch!…..i have been craving me some Britch since the day she left…wish her return was for good but i will take a short stint-better than not appearing at all…i also need some Lisel…Mutter! Mutter!-where is my favorite Mutter?-lol

Jimh
Jimh

OOPS!…i dont want someone to give me an itch-lol…

rebecca1
rebecca1

hahahahhaha…now THAT was funny, Jimh!

Francesca Bruno
Francesca Bruno

This visit is out of the blue, Jimh. It is very possible that Britt heralds a visit from her father coinciding with Steve Burton’s arrival. Britt had turned a new leaf, so I hope this is a friendly visit?
You may get your wish if Liesl comes with her.

This sounds too neat. It is too much of a coincidence, which could mean Faison is part of the two Jasons’ identity switch.

Jimh
Jimh

I wouldnt mind a Faison return too…another favorite of mine!!!

Shay
Shay

@Francesca….I believe that Faison and Dr. O. are quite probably up to their eyeballs in this “Q Twin Caper,” ala their links to Helena, and most likely, Victor Cassadine, too! Word was circulating that GH had recently attempted to “borrow” a contract player from another soap and that it was no dice…speculation was that the actor in question was Days’ Thaao Penghlis! (Of course, with Ron C. there, it was never going to happen….) If so, I am hugely disappointed because Victor was always a favorite of mine back from the “Ice Princess” days and he never really got his due as the most debonair and handsome of the brothers Cassadine…he definitely left me wanting more!

Shay
Shay

Absolutely, jimh! ‘Twill be the “Britch Who Saved Christmas!” Could there be a “Faison Family Holiday Reunion” in store for us, as well???? (Complete with musical selections from Liesl!!!!) We can certainly live in hope!!!!

Jimh
Jimh

Lisel…dressed in a sexy Mrs. Claus outfit sings happily to her beloved Faison-“You’re a mean one, Ceaser Faison…you really are a heel…together we will plot our evil and make all of Port Charles squeal!…Ceaser Faison!…my dedication and love for you is…%100 reeaaallll!!!…..woud love an Ice Princess type plot for them-instead of freezing PC they invent a snow machine and plot to ruin the Christmas Holiday by dumping endless snow on all of PC!!!!!!!-lol

Jimh
Jimh

Love..’The Britch Who Saved Christmas’…you come up with some of the best stuff…love reading your comments!!!

Celia
Celia

Ahh, Shay….we had a long, heart to heart conversation without doubting the singularly stealthy hand of Helena, the Matriarch of all that is evil…
…..without debating the fact that a Cassadine, in whatever form, had her/his well-manicured, albeit tainted, sinful hands in this imbroglio……way back when.
Actually, when Six first came into sight, I thought it was Nikolas….he may still be, LOL.
Satan said he was accosted by Helena in Hell….but he did date twin Saccubi—perhaps Helena transforms herself …….Saccubi are wont to do that; ’tis an art??…en pareil with ‘Chimere’.
I am sure Francesca can tell you, it is the plural form of Chimera ( fm. Pl.).
Victor Cassadine—Thaoo; so charming!!! Are you familiar with Tony and Andre DiMera. He can grace and cross the ‘threshold’ of PC, anytime.
You and I never believed he died….. Ahhhh, the Cassadines!!!! Those indomitable, pernicious Cassadines!!!! They are self-combustible; at will……they have a knack for pulverizing their ‘entity’ into thin air–poof….oopsies: now you see them; now you don’t.
And, who is to say Nikolas is not part of this? Watch him appear out of that same thin air….
Let’s not forget Valentin…
So, I tend to agree with Francesca when she says Britta’s appearance is an introduction to her father, possibly her mother and the ‘Cassy Gang’.

Shay
Shay

@CeeCee….Why, yes! We have engaged in quite a number of delightful discussions and sneaking suspicions regarding the regally evil Helena and her ever-imaginative antics that make so much go amiss in Port Charles….and what a cornucopia of food for thought that has been!!! Whilst I continue to hold out hope that we have not yet seen the last of this diabolically delicious diva and that she is still either simply lying low or being held in suspended animation awaiting another resurrection, if she is well and truly gone from this mortal coil, then she has left her crafty handiwork to a new contingent of Cassadines, you can be sure!!! Whether that list includes a haughty offspring in the glacially-patrician Cassandra remains to be seen, but what a promising notion that is! Just consider that if this newest cool blonde villainess is Helena’s progeny and say, the also daughter of Caesar Faison, how much fun would that be???? First, it would mean she is Britt’s half-sister and secondly, this would give her an undoubted history with the one and only Dr. O.!!!! Something tells me that Cassandra has some definite links to the lethal Liesl, and here was my first inkling: I don’t know if you caught this, but when she was discussing ice-skaters with Charlotte, she chose the rather perplexing choice of Anett Potzsch, who was the East German who won Olympic gold in 1980, right before Katarina Witt assumed her mantle as the ice world’s favorite “Iron Curtain Maiden”…(These two were even briefly related when the former married Witt’s brother, but that’s neither here nor there….) Anyway, it struck me as really strange that Cassandra would have made such an obscure reference when so many other more recent skating stars would have more suitably sufficed. Was this a sly clue to her own background???? Only a huge fan of the sport who’s well-versed in the international champions of the past would have noticed this, but it made me wonder if the reason was to give us a hint that Cassandra had spent at least some of her childhood in that formerly communist country in Europe, which would have probably provided her with access to Obrecht. Just a sneaking suspicion there….maybe she was even left in Liesl’s care if Helena had to keep the existence of her child a secret???? Hmmmm…..At any rate, I am extremely familiar with Tony and Andre DiMera….After adoring Thaao Penghlis during his all-too-brief GH stint, I followed him to Days, even though I eventually left that soap behind me decades ago. However, he is indeed all you have stated and more….love, love “The Thaao” and so wish that his Victor would be the latest Cassadine to make a miraculous return to Port Chuck!!!! And speaking of that very subject, I am fully convinced that one day Prince Nicky will once again tread the GH canvas…I’ve never believed for a moment that he is actually dead…although I frankly must wonder if he were another part of… Read more »

Shay
Shay

Why thank you, jimh! Coming from “The Quipmaster” himself, that is high praise indeed! And a good laugh certainly never hurt anyone, that’s for sure! Having said that, I love your idea for an “Ice Princess Christmas!” Along with the Faison and Liesl scenario….if you think those two did Halloween justice with their kinky hijinks, can you just imagine how they would utterly slay the traditionally-accepted concepts of “Yuletide Cheer?” Bring it on….

Celia
Celia

Oh, WOW, Shay…..you raise some pretty phenomenal points and questions.
Yes, when Cassandra mentioned Annett Potzsch, I was, somewhat, taken aback……unless one is ‘drenched’ within that realm ( I am the product of a long line of dancers and skaters), one would completely miss the implication, per se.
There is, obviously, a link between her and the Cassadines…..and, I don’t just mean with Valentin.
Yes, this duo has a past–not ‘un affaire du coeur’, but ‘un affaire du corps’…..big difference, wouldn’t you say? LOL.
When you first suggested Cassandra as a-would-be, Helena’s daughter, the thought did give me pause….then, I realized there would be no blood connection between Valentin and Cassandra unless they shared the same father, Mikos ( sp). Am I correct?
So, if that is the case, Helena must have had an affair.
To think of Valentin and Cassandra not only sharing DNA but also the sheets is vile, LOL.
….love all your premises and possibilities, Shaybelle…..especially, our Britta.
Prince Nicky? Of course he will return—on his proud, white steed; armor and all…..all primed for Britt !! Ha!
Furthermore, your theory of Nik not being Nik is the most plausable explanation for his sudden change in behavior and countenance, the last few months before his tumble out the window to Nowhereland.
As you say, too many foreshadowing possibilities…..all thrown out there; purposely done or not….it is definitely food for thought.
I’d like to give the writers the benefit of the doubt and hope they have a scope, out there on the horizon, and not “fluke it up”, as our Timmmbo so playfully, but meaningfully stated.

Patrick
Patrick

Hello Shay – HAD – to share

you had to LOVE Ava giving it to Alexis ..as Alexis tries to grandstand and loud over Ava

quipping to Ava that SHE get on the stick and call in her markers.. for Julian

LOL oh how Maura West delivers

Ava to Alexis at her doorstep : “Toughen Up … Handle your own problems. don’t you have a sponsor to figure things out”

it was priceless as Alexis gobSMACKED left hurriedly

ON that same eppi – oh I was livid with Sam… “sharing” with Steve Burton Jason’

on how Alexis will struggle for the rest of her life with drinking because of Julian.

I digress… Alexis is so stuck in her lack of.. and committing to any thing.. other than her virtue and high moral standard

I want to give her a good clean scrub of makeup … she doesn’t deserve to paint herself Cleopatra .. with heavy on the eyelid.

she’s tired and she knows it

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

Who cares? The Britch is back and that’s all that matters. Maybe we can see Felix and Brad in some scenes with her.

Donna
Donna

Yes! I’m very happy to see Britt back on General Hospital! I can’t wait to see what she’s up to and I hope she’ll be sticking around for a long time!

su0000
su0000

WHOOPIE!!
The “Britch” is back..
but– only for a short stay 🙁

looking forward to the Britch !!!!

hopein’ somehow they’ll keep her on, yah agree ?

Steve
Steve

Hopefully a short term visit from Anders Hove is in the works as well. Her return must have something to do with the Jason twins.

Harry
Harry

Good, I absolutely adore her. I just wish they’d keep her on longer.

Shay
Shay

Amen, Harry! Wouldn’t putting her in cahoots with Cassandra make for a fabulously formidable femme force for evil-doing in Port Charles? I just love when witchy women whip up trouble like so many once did back in the golden days of daytime and Britt definitely excelled at that with the help of her “Mutter Dearest!”. Once they tried to reform this naughty vixen and took away her big, bad bite, it was all downhill from there! Let’s hope the real “Britch” will indeed be back! (With her “Mad Daddy” in tow????”)

Timmm
Timmm

I thought Cassandra should have been Helena risen! I realize she is way younger than the previous version but its a soap! Plus, the new Helena could claim to be the old Helena, she had “Work” down in that amazing lab of hers!

Shay
Shay

Oh no, Timmm! We need the current Helena to return to Port Charles to have a face-to-face with her suspected progeny!!! Cassandra and she would be the best mother-daughter combo from hell since Britt and Liesl’s familial link was revealedl!!!!

Lisa
Lisa

Happy to see her back ,however short the visit.
Maybe she’s going to be Ava’s unethical surgeon !?

TERRY LEGGANS
TERRY LEGGANS

SHES A OB GYN

rebecca1
rebecca1

That’s what I think also, Lisa. Wrote that in a comment that didn’t post. She asked Griffin, a neurosurgeon…why not a gyno? LOL! (perhaps she’s gained insight from her dad on how to work faces…) 😉

Lou piikes
Lou piikes

I hope she is involved in the patient 6 storyline. Add in Obrecht and Faison to make it more intriguing.

Charday
Charday

Woo-hoo! Cannot wait! But why short-term? I want long-term Britt (and the mean/evil Britt). She was one of my favorite characters on GH of all time.

Timmm
Timmm

Probably to busy to stay long term. I would hope if Nicholas ever returns that she would be brought back then.

Shay
Shay

Me, too, Charday!!! Those early days of Britt and her evil ways were utterly sublime soap viewing! And I’ll never forget that baby doll she so beautifully barbequed…I still get the giggles just thinking about that hideously charred molten piece of grotesqueness!

Rodd
Rodd

Absolutely! I wish she was back full-time. There was so much left unresolved with her stories. Maybe Brad and Lucas will get some air time when she’s back. Here’s hoping.

Satan
Satan

Could it be that Britch has been running her daddy’s clinic in Russia for him, while he’s locked away in whatever Supermax prison Robert Scorpio put him in.

Assuming Faison hasn’t escaped yet… which we all know he will eventually. That bastard could probably escape Hell… actually he HAS, come to think of it.

Tony
Tony

Yes, can’t wait for Britt to come back she was one of my favorites!

Soaphound
Soaphound

Hope this means her BFF Brad will be getting some airtime, too. They’re a blast together.

Shay
Shay

Tell me about it, Soaphound! A tasty dishing sesh is definitely in order for Britt and her BFF Brad!

k/kay
k/kay

This only tells me the writers have decided to go down the route of Faison maybe at this point they still probably don’t know never was interested in this actress.

jeremy
jeremy

🙂 Oh My Gosh. Awesome, that she is back. We need a Crazy Britch 🙂

su0000
su0000

I think the Britch is back to—-
Give Maxie an abortion or talk her out of it..

((it within the line of her profession that she could abort a baby))

Shay
Shay

I would sincerely hope it is the latter….Maxie aborting her unborn child is hardly something that would enhance the current warm and fuzzy atmosphere that all these GH vets and their visits are bringing to Port Charles. In fact, I still get queasy just thinking about Lulu’s unfortunate procedure all those years ago…especially in light of her subsequent problems carrying a child to term.

Steve
Steve

After all the trouble she went through to have little Georgie, it’s highly unlikely Maxie would consider an abortion, especially being in a happy relationship.

gh'er
gh'er

Britch vs Nelle.
Now that’s a story.

Darnell
Darnell

Her parents are so deep in this but they ain’t the culprit. It has to be someone no one would suspect like Tracy Quartermaine. It could be a guest arc having it known that she left PC to deal with Patient Six but couldn’t bc everything else went so horribly wrong starting with Drew/Ava car incident. Tracy funded this experiment after being confronted by Faison on behalf of Helena which Tracy was not aware of. This was her way of finally getting ELQ solely as her baby. Let’s rock this GH!!!!! Everyone can guess Helena, Obrecht, Faison or even another Cassadine would be behind this. But no one would ever guess Tracy was knee deep in it. Okay, it could still be one of them as the head villain but having Tracy apart of it would be catastrophic.

Timmm
Timmm

Tracy has mellowed over the years. I just dont think she would do this. And remember, her and Monica have gotten closer over the years.

Shay
Shay

Well, if we’re going to start pointing fingers at past Q’s, how about Edward since this plot apparently goes way back to GH’s heyday???? That crusty old coot always had his hands in something unsavory and perhaps he didn’t like the prospect of a grandson with a heart defect. Later on, he may have reconsidered and approved of the twin switch when it looked as though his “golden grandson,” Jason, had the prospect of being mentally-defective following his auto accident. That sounds exactly like something “Old Eddie” would have done and shamelessly so!

Steve
Steve

The only Q who would somewhat make sense being involved would be Ned. He was the last one to see Jason Quartermaine prior to him hopping into that ill-fated car ride with AJ. However, the show has spent a good deal of time establishing him as the moral compass of the Q clan.

The mastermind of this plot has to be someone that can fil new scenes. That leaves out John Ingle and Jane Elliott (who didn’t rule out a short-term return, but wouldn’t for a character asassination plot).

rebecca1
rebecca1

Talk about changing history! LOL…Tracy and Monica et al might have had their “scuffles” over the years but none were ever Cassadine-crazy diabolical. And…when all was said and done they loved each other.

I don’t think it would “rock GH.” I think it’d cause it to come tumbling down…

Your Rick-swap however I could possibly see…sorta. Well, compared to Tracy. But though Rick has been off the canvas for way too long, I still hold out hope he’ll return. Causing SUCH heartache for all concerned, including Sonny, would knock him right out of the ballpark before he stepped foot back on.

Darnell
Darnell

P.S.- Just another scenario here but Rick Herst would be great being apart of this whole Jason swap. He could have anted Jason away from Sonny so he could finally be the #1 in Sonnys life. Jealousy makes you do crazy things.

Timmm
Timmm

I thought the same but I was thinking Ric would have done this to F with Sonny and try and take over his territory. Rick Hearst signed to be on Dynasty so this wish is dead!

Timmm
Timmm

I was never a fan of the Britch. HOWEVER, since she has gone, I miss her realtionship with Spencer and her BF, Brad. If Brad wasnt gay, those two would be great together! The other thing about Britt coming back, since she has left, we have had and still have a couple real annoying ladies on GH that really need to go and I would take Britt over these ladies any day! [I will be kind and not name them.]

Shay
Shay

I’ll do it so you don’t have to, Timmmbo! Nurse Amy, Nina and Alexis….just to name three! (Although, at the very least, there are a few more who deserve to be added to that list…)

Timmm
Timmm

You opened the can of worms so lets fish!

My list:
Jordan
Amy
Chet
Nathan
Nina
Michael
Nelle
Finn

Celia
Celia

I thought Timmm liked Nina, Shay….
Say you do, T….LOL. C’mon…just say it, ” I like Nina”.

Celia
Celia

It is funny you should mention Brad, T. …..I truly miss him. None of the present hospital staff is worth his/her mettle compared to him.
He didn’t even have to speak…..his ‘tude was enough to strike the fanciful, humorous side of me……coupled with Britt? Well, what can I say?….. Farout ?

Shay
Shay

In response to your above reply at the top of the thread, CeeCeeGirl….I agree that there were some mighty interesting ruminations there regarding Cassandra, Helena, et al! I’m still mulling over that curious Potzsch reference…it came so out of left-field! There must be a clue in that or why wouldn’t one choose a more widely-known skater if it were merely idle chit-chat???? Hmmmm….Also, loving the supposition that Helena would have had to wander from Cassadine territory to spawn Cassandra…what a wily vixen she must have been to have gotten away with that under Mikkos’ tyrannical rule! Although the bio-daddy could always simply be a pool boy or a bodyguard, I’m hoping that it’s Cesar Faison…that would just be too much fun! We need to repopulate Port Charles with some really interesting femmes and what could be better than two crazy Faison sisters in Britt and Cassandra???? (Shades of Liesl and Magda!!!! Yes!) As for the other notions? I really do desire that they come to fruition, since as much as I am loving Steve Burton’s return, the introduction of Oscar’s mom and suggestion that “Drew” is his possible father truly don’t interest me…and the show was on such a roll with the “Two Jasons” storyline!!! Seems we are headed back to more “Sonnycentric” days all over again with this new Kim Nero person since her arc will involve Joss, Carly and “you know who” in all his dimpled glory!!!!

Shay
Shay

@CeeCee…Hopefully, I’ve been enough of a bad influence on Timmmbo that he’s adopted my own less than stellar opinion of Nina!!! As for “Britt&Brad???” They are quite simply “tres superbe!”

Celia
Celia

Nina is my goddess!!! ….so, mia bella, Shay; watch it!! LOL.
You are allowed to cut Alexis to shreds, as I agree with what you ‘preach’….but, only if she falls into the abyss, as she licks Julian’s, uhmm…heels. HaHa….Hope she snaps out of ’round 2′ merry-go-round. I like Alexis sans Julian….Nancy is great !!
Have you noticed how the ‘writing’ tries to make the viewer feel compassion for Julian?!?! “My devil sister made me do it”… and, oh, no….he did not kill ‘the love of my life, Duke’….RIGHT!!!! He only ordered ‘the kill’ while on safari.
I would advise Alexis to ignore the “prurito” and try to give it a go with Dr. Borscht?…whatever his name is.
I still think Timmm likes Nina since she was Phyllis….know why? Neither of us can stand nuPhyllis and we both wish Michelle would waltz back on the Y&R stage.
Now, then…..I, certainly do love the idea of Britt and Cassandra as half siblings…..
I do hope either can dig out a cauldron….what say you?
However, we do not know if Britt revert back to her wicked ways. Nonetheless, if she has been with her Daddy all this time, her essence must be struggling with its evil side and its good side.
And, oh, yeah….I am soooo indifferent to this Kim thing .
BTW….no worries about Thanksgiving…..I actually did not do much, but after spending all those hours with a passel of kids whose ages range from 6 months to 16 ( cousins galore) , I have yet to descend on earth.
Gotta run, amichetta mia.

Shay
Shay

@Timmm…In the words of The Partridge Family, “I’ll Meet You Halfway”….(Rest in Peace, Mr. David Cassidy….) Jordan, Amy, Nina and Nelle. But I do have a soft spot for Chet and Finn, and I have to admit that Michael looked quite fine this past week! For the first time, he seemed more grownup, not so much that perpetually wide-eyed innocent…great hair, too! (And since “Double C” loves Nathan, we have to keep him, too!)

Phyllis Fontaine DeMarco
Phyllis Fontaine DeMarco

remember the whale song by the Partridge Family- it is on Youtube-kind of strange but cool. Loved that show-glad he is no longer suffering. Have a soft spot for David, bigtime. I think now is the time the lady lawyer Sonny diddled a while back is due to return with his child, If not, he is remiss in cranking out another Corinthos. I’m sure we will have another day or week of Morgan Memorial Hospital soon. I really have been loving the show as of late-especially on edge waiting for Nelle to go total psycho-please!

Steve
Steve

Hopefully Kathleen Gati is done filming “Arrow” and comes back to GH soon. The Man Landers dribble would have been slightly more amusing if we got to see Mutah’s reaction.

Sue M.
Sue M.

Wicked Witch!!!!

brian
brian

love this news and Kelly !!! Bring it on GH !!!

Rose
Rose

I wish britt would stay on gh love her and wish u would bring sabrina back they are my favorite ladies britt and sabrina rock

Breaking News

GH’s Maurice Benard Takes On Role Of John Gotti In Upcoming Lifetime Movie

Who better to use their mobster experience playing the iconic role of Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital, and put it to good use, when taking on the role of a real-life mobster than Daytime Emmy winner, Maurice Benard?

As revealed over the past weekend, Maurice Benard is hard at work filming a Lifetime Movie based on the life of Victoria Gotti called “The Victoria Gotti Story”.

Sharing the news via his social media, Benard expressed: “Thank you lifetime and everyone involved 4 a Beautiful opportunity.”

Recently, John Travolta played the notorious New York mobster in the movie Gotti released earlier this year.

The infamous Gotti, had a wife and a daughter both named Victoria.  So as to which point of view the film is focusing on is yet to be released.

So what do you think of the casting of Maurice as John Gotti? Intrigued to see the Lifetime Movie when it debuts? Comment below

Continue Reading

General Hospital

General Hospital’s Max Gail Opens Up On Portraying Mike’s Battle With Alzheimer’s & Making A Difference In People’s Lives

“What happens the day I wake up, and you guys are the strangers,” says Mike to his son, Sonny and his wife Carly (Laura Wright). “I left you before to my everlasting regret, but it’s going to happen. I’d do anything if I didn’t have to do it again, but it’s going to happen – one way or the other.  At least this way I could leave some good feelings, instead of disappearing before your eyes.”  Those words were said during a gut-wrenching scene on Friday’s episode of General Hospital, as Mike tries to come to terms with his deteriorating mental state in his battle with Alzheimer’s, and the hard realization that he may be better off in a care facility, instead of at his son’s home.  These scenes, as all the scenes in this storyline, have been exquisitely played by Max Gail (Mike) and Maurice Benard (Sonny).

When Max Gail arrived on the GH canvas as the recast Mike Corbin in a role made soap-famous by Ron Hale, viewers did not know what to initially expect.  What they did know was that Max is an accomplished actor with a body of work from primetime dramas and comedies, film, and the stage, and that if he is coming to GH, he must be coming on board for something major.  Before GH, suffice to say, Gail is most remembered for his role as “Wojo” on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller that aired from 1975-1982.

In story on GH, Mike, who abandoned Sonny as a child, once again re-enters his son’s life, but soon we learn that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and that the soap is tackling a story that is an important medical, social, and familial issue of our time.

Gail has been a revelation in this role.  A clear frontrunner for an Emmy, playing the facets, the levels, the characteristics, and the heartbreak of a person who is slowly losing everything they know near and dear to them, as in the end they are ultimately stripped of their dignity from this most horrific of diseases.

On a personal note, and as part of this conversation with Max, it was important for him and for me to share, that I lost my mother at the end of April of this year to Alzheimer’s.  So his work hits close to home, this story hits close to home, as it has also resonated for many viewers who have shared their stories on social media and when Max makes personal appearances.

Here now is this very special interview for Michael Fairman TV with an actor whom we can all agree is touching all of our lives.

You’re portraying a person suffering from Alzheimer’s and play the progression of the disease.  Do you feel pressure as an actor to get it right for those who have loved ones, or person’s afflicted with it?

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  It’s more like an urge, or a calling to find some kind of truth in it that I can connect with.  One of the things I’m inclined towards showing is someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia often just drifts off somewhere else.  “Where am I going?”  This has happened to me many times in life.  For instance, when I was a youngster, I can remember getting in my car, and I’d driven a long way from some party or something like that, and I’d been drinking, and I didn’t remember it.  I knew I’d gotten home somehow.  So, it’s not out of my realm.  I’ve learned that there are no set behaviors really… other than that it usually ends up being really difficult for caretakers, and seemingly really painful for many, if not most people suffering with Alzheimer’s, and losing connection and losing the ability to just function.  We are kind of on the cusp of that in story at GH.  I think it was originally proposed that I would play the part for just a few months, and to give me an out if it wasn’t working.  Maybe, there was a placeholder idea to ship Mike off to a home or something, but the storyline has touched so many people that it has been continuing.

The story has been so effective.  You’ve done such an amazing job, and the fans love Mike and what you’re doing with the character, and they’re on board on this journey.  It’ll be interesting to see how far they will take this with Mike.  Will we actually see him not being able to communicate anymore?  How far will the writers go to show the horrific aspects of Alzheimer’s? 

MAX:  I’m not sure.  You know, I’ve had times where I’ve got the scene, I get the writers, and I get the heart of it.  Other times, I find where that transition is from where Mike is lucid and clear, and other times what that state of mind is and that switch is, and what that is in behaviors and energy level.  I think there’s an ongoing downturn for Mike, and for me as an actor finding something in the moment and finding how it works with things that he does remember.  They’re trying to find a place for Mike within all of the interwoven drama of General Hospital.  I, frankly, had no idea how complex the range of storylines was.  Mike doesn’t really have control over his story.  I don’t want that as an actor.  Mike has some intentions that are really important to him.  I’m trying to find that balance where there are times when he has a pathetic, very sad remorse about what he has missed.  I think that underlies his feelings for his son, who he never could quite reach, because of his own failings as a father.  Sonny’s formative experiences growing up were then with his abusive stepdad.  Finding all of that is really important to do in a way that doesn’t make Mike just this sweet older man with Alzheimer’s.   It’s a wonderful challenge to be presented with.

Courtesy/CBS

You brought up that Mike is seemingly very sweet in his demeanor now.  My mother, who I shared with you died a few months ago from Alzheimer’s was a strong-willed, feisty woman.  As the disease took hold of her, she became very sweet.   She became almost childlike.  The fire had gone out of her eyes.  You knew she didn’t know who you were, and so, all of that, as you know is so tough to witness as her son.  In terms of Mike and his ultimate care, everyone says they love him and want what is best for him, but that he needs to be taken care of because he gets confused, doesn’t know where he is sometimes. etc.  Sonny has been grappling with putting him in a care facility to be looked after, or to keep him with the Corinthos family under their roof.  However, Mike has come to a realization that he may need to be in facility all on his own, and doesn’t want to burden his son by living with him anymore.  That was a poignant moment, and another one of the best scenes has been when Mike couldn’t remember that Sonny was his own son. 

MAX:  Right and he doesn’t know if he’s around friends or around enemies.  This can be true of Alzheimer’s patients.

I had that happen with my mother when she came out to Los Angeles to see me for the last time.  She was out of her element, she was confused, and she broke down and cried in the hotel room.  She asked my father, “Why did you bring me here?” and he told her, “We came to see our son.”  It was heartbreaking.   Later, she had a moment of clarity and realized more of what was going on.  I think it’s those in-and -out moments that you portray so well on-screen.  I feel that they are very realistic to what I, and others, have experienced.

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  I appreciate that and sharing that with me, because you never know as an actor.  That place of “Where am I?  What is this?” makes me think of that “Summer Wind” moment from the Nurses’ Ball when it wasn’t just, “I’m embarrassed.  I don’t remember the words.”  It was, “I don’t know where the f**k I am.  I thought there was a band there, but there’s not.”  So, in a way, I just had to be there on this big soundstage and just feel this big space around me.  I could barely see that there were people out there.  It’s kind of a terrifying thing to a lot of people, but I think Mike has something in him that makes him want to be okay with all of this.  He doesn’t have to freak out and get accusatory.

Courtesy/ABC

What has it been like working with Maurice Benard as your on-screen son?  Do you watch back your scenes together and ever go, “Oh, that was great!?”

MAX:  Yes, there have been a lot of those!  There are some scenes that are so emotionally focused, and we get a lot of delight in each other.  He has been playing this character in this situation for so long, so it’s just kind of in him.  Maurice has presence.  I think when I went in to read for the part of Mike, I had gone through pilot season and had gone in for some interesting pilots.  I didn’t feel like I was really connecting in the readings, because most things are by tape these days, anyway.  When this part came up, a soap hadn’t really been on my radar.  I knew I’d be going in to read with the actor, so I said, “Okay,” and I looked at the material, and then I checked out Maurice on IMDB.  One of the things that got my interest was that he has been diagnosed and takes medication to deal with bipolar disorder, and that’s become a part of his life, and it’s become part of his character.  I thought, “Wow, that’s really interesting.  This is a survivor, and he’s risen to something that takes a certain kind of balance and courage.”  I watched some clips, and when I went in for the reading of this kind of an amalgamation scene of what the story elements were going to be, I felt like we connected before we’d even started the dialogue.

Well, Maurice certainly loves working with you! He has been very supportive and vocal about that.

MAX:  It’s mutual.  We can take really little simple moments, and we can find something deeper in it, and it doesn’t have to be an, ‘I’m going to start crying now’ moment.  Although, I would love for Mike to have a moment of self-observation where he goes, “Gee.  I cry a lot more than I used to.”  I think there are people who are like that, and it’s okay for certain people to cry, and for other people it is not.

Courtesy/ABC

There was a part of my mom that knew something was wrong.  She’d go, “Why am I crying?  I don’t know why I’m crying.”  She got confused as to why she was feeling that.  She couldn’t connect it all, and at times she kept saying, “I don’t understand.  I don’t understand.”  Those were the things she would try to express.

MAX:  I have a feeling that Mike has those moments too, but he finds a way for it to be okay.  There may be a point where someone with Alzheimer’s can’t pull it off anymore, but how we find those and those specifics, I don’t know.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Working on a classic sitcom such as Barney Miller is vastly different than working on a daytime soap opera.  While now being at GH, have you found any commonality within the experience?

MAX:  If I can take a moment and reflect on Barney Miller, because it was a great experience and one that I found was not so easy to find again over the years.  One of the things that really resonates is that when we started shooting the studio audience laughed too easily.  We would end up retaking the scenes.  Sometimes, we didn’t have the end of the show written, because they tended to let certain things start to show up in the earlier parts of the script.  Danny Arnold who was the writer, creator and producer of Barney Miller would always take over the way Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) does in a way … looking to be respectful of the director, but still seeing things on his own.  Frank has a really wonderful eye.  He’s much more connected into the overall storylines, the motivations that went into the writing, and what he sees in the moment.  I always welcome him on the set because the directors, who have a range of talents and sensibilities, are tasked with coming up with a whole lot of shots to cover, a whole lot of tricky angles, and all of that.

Courtesy/ABC

Vernee Watson has been amazing as Stella, who is also Mike’s social worker.  Does Mike have romantic feelings toward Stella?

MAX:  Vernee is wonderful.  I didn’t know Vernee had been on the show when I came on board.  She won an Emmy, and I’m not surprised.   She is so present and so specific, and she’s very bright and gets what all of these elements are, and so, I think they have a connection.  For whatever ways Mike has lived in his like, there isn’t some strange, exotic draw that she is black, and Mike is white.  I like that because both my first and late wife, and my second wife, with whom I’ve had children (and we’ve been separated for awhile, but have a great relationship) are African-American.  So, in my world that is not a big deal.   I think there’s an affinity there between Mike and Stella.  You know, he’s alive.  He’s old, but he’s not dead.  There’s an ease with women he likes.  I think there are a whole lot of reasons for them to not get involved.  One is just professional, and she’s a social worker.  We just shot something where I say something to somebody else about, “back when I still had all my marbles,” you know, he’s in another stage of life, which many people go into gracefully, while many don’t.

 

What do you think about how Mike knows about who was buried at Charlie’s Pub?  He was trying to keep the truth about Charlie Delaney from coming out, which turned into a gas leak that blew up the bar!  This storyline ties in to Sonny’s mobster dealings as well.

MAX:  Well, this is where they put this effort in the storytelling to connect Mike in some way and be intertwined with Sonny.  Of course, it reveals certain things about Mike that he’s never revealed to anybody before.  So, that’s kind of cool.  I think when he knows what and how much sometimes is not clear.  That’s why I started talking about Barney Miller because the other thing was a lot of times when we go together for the table reads, they didn’t have the end of the story.  They had a first draft, maybe. Dan would talk about it, and they’d say, “Next week, the main story is going to be this man in his fifties who is coming to terms with the fact that he is gay,” or whatever those underlying themes may be with the different characters reactions.  So, we knew elements going into it and that sometimes I  didn’t know what the writers are really intending.  In terms of Mike, he’s kind of back and forth in certain moments.  I have to resist the idea that they trap me by just being careless.  I’ve learned that just trying to fix the script often gets you into a place where you “rehearse yourself out of it,” as they say.

Courtesy/GoodDayLA

You appeared on the morning show Good Day LA  a few months back with Laura Wright (Carly), and Maria Shriver, who has founded the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.  What was that like meeting Maria, and helping get the word out about the effects of this disease and the work Maria is doing?

MAX:  It was great to do.  Maria had sent out a tweet that is was wonderful what was going on, on General Hospital.  On Good Day LA, she talked about her work, particularly focusing on the fact that more women are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s than men.  So, then Laura and I sat down and did an interview alongside Maria.  We actually had a nice conversation before.  They did a web interview also as a follow-up.  That was very cool, because Maria is very smart, and I’d never met her, but it was great to see what she was doing.  Whatever we are dealing with in the show is sort of my opportunity in the real world to bring awareness and shed light on the subject.  I’d love to see an ongoing conversation online amongst people who can share their stories with each other.  That’s a lot of what they’re doing.  They’re raising money for research, but people need to be able to talk to each other when you’re a caregiver.  Coming out of the early sixties and early seventies when I was playing a cop on TV, I never was a fanatic activist.  I certainly got the behavior of the Chicago police at a certain time in terms of the energy and conflicts of the time.  There was something to think about, but at the same time, I had opportunities to kind of share that all cops aren’t bad, just look at the show, Barney Miller.

Courtesy/ABC

You were my favorite character on Barney Miller as Detective Wojciehowicz!  I think for many who watched the show you were, too!

MAX:  I think “Wojo” ended up being the heart of the show.

Max, you’re helping people through your beautiful performances including me.  Congratulations on that.   I’ll continue have to have a box of Kleenex handy as I watch how it all unfolds for Mike.

Photo: IMDB

MAX:  Well, I really appreciate your questions.  I’m just planting that seed.  That is really what I would like to do after talking to you and so many people.  That’s something I’d like to put out there.   We each have our own domains and responsibilities and all of it overlaps, and you can kind of get in touch with that; if you just go around the circle and share it, and then go around again.  I’m looking to help people out there in the world who are watching and are looking to share in the conversation.

So, what did you think about the heartbreaking scenes on Friday’s episode of GH between Mike and Sonny?  What have you thought of Max Gail’s performance throughout his GH run?  Have you experienced the loss, or are watching someone you love, or care about slip away from Alzheimer’s?  Share your thoughts via the comment below.

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General Hospital

ABC Names William Burton As The New Head Of Daytime

Over the years there have been several changes to ABC Daytime, and now comes word over the last 24 hours that William Burton has been promoted to Senior VP and Head Of Daytime, Sports and Syndicated Development/Production for ABC.  Burton starts in his new role immediately.

Deadline first reported the executive level move by the network.  Burton had previously been overseeing the business operations of ABC Daytime since earlier this year as SVP Daytime following the departure of former Daytime head Rebecca Campbell.

Courtesy/ABC

Those duties have now been formalized in Burton’s expansive new role,  In terms of General Hospital, the creative aspects from the network are still being handled by ABC head of current programming, Vicki Dummer.  Burton has been behind the business operations of ABC Daytime including the daytime drama.

In addition, Burton will oversee the creation and production of syndicated programming across ABC platforms including the upcoming daytime talk show from Tamron Hall that is in development for a potential debut in the fall of 2019.

So, share your thoughts on Burton being named the new head of Daytime for ABC via the comment section below.

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Video du Jour

This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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