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Marla Adams, The Young and the Restless’ Dina Mergeron, Dies at 85

Photo: CBS

Marla Adams, best known for portraying matriarch, Dina Abbott Mergeron on CBS’ The Young and the Restless for 37 years, died on April 25, 2024, in Los Angeles. The news came from Y&R’s Director of Media and Talent, Matt Kane.

Throughout her veteran soap opera career, Marla appeared had appeared on Secret Storm (in her other longest running soap role as Bell Clemens from 1988-1974), The Bold and the Beautiful (ex-Beth Logan), Days of our Lives (ex-Dr. Claire McIntyre), Generations (ex- Helen Mullin), General Hospital (ex-Mildred Deal) and Capitol (ex-Myrna Clegg).

However, it was her role as Y&R’s upper crust Dina, who abandoned her children and her marriage to John Abbott (the late Jerry Douglas) that was her most memorable role. Throughout the years, Dina would have several romantic reunions with John, but in 2017, the character returned to Genoa City to reunite with her estranged family. Dina was the on-screen mother to Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson), Traci Abbott (Beth Maitland) and Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman).

Photo: JPI

As for Adams, she joined Y&R in 1982, but left the soap three years later her contract expired. She returned to Genoa City for stints in 1991, 1996 and 2008 before being asked by then Y&R head writer-producer Sally Sussman to return in 2017, which would begin the top-rated daytime drama telling the story of Alzheimer’s disease. Through Dina, the show shed light on a person going through the perils of the illness, and how the family copes and tries to come to terms with its fate.

In fact, Marla took home the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Daytime Drama Series in 2021 for her work in the storyline, She had previously been nominated in 2018.

Photo:JPI

Speaking with Michael Fairman TV, Marla shared on her final scenes on Y&R when Dina passed away and was reunited with John Abbott, “It was heart-wrenching for me.  In the story, Dina died when she went outside and to the front door of the Abbott home.  They did not tell me before-hand, and that’s why it was so wonderful.  I hope they came in for a closeup of that because I had no makeup on, it was beautiful, and then, Dina said, “Oh, John.”  I’ve done everything from movies, to daytime, to nighttime, to Broadway, but that was the iconic moment for me, to do this gig with wonderful, wonderful actors and friends, and to do this particular storyline.

Born in Ocean City, New Jersey, on August 28, 1938, Adams’ love for the stage was ignited after winning the Miss Ocean City and Miss Cape May pageants and finishing as a runner-up in the Miss New Jersey pageant. She also fondly remembered being the Miss Diamond Jubilee Queen during the 1954 celebration of the 75th anniversary of Ocean City’s founding.  A student at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Adams appeared on Broadway in the 1958 production of The Visit at the Morosco Theatre with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne and starred as June in the 1961 feature film, Splendor in the Grass

Over the span of her decades long career, Adams starred in more than 40 productions including television’s: The Golden Girls, Hart to Hart, The Love Boat, The New Dick Van Dyke ShowHarry OAdam-12Starsky and HutchMarcus Welby, M.D.Barnaby Jones, and the feature film, Beneath the Leaves.

Photo: CBS

In a statement, Y&R’s current head writer and executive producer, Josh Griffith expressed, “On behalf of the entire company of The Young and the Restless, we send our deepest sympathies to Marla’s family. We’re so grateful and in awe of Marla’s incredible performance as Dina Mergeron as both Marla and Dina made an unforgettable mark on Y&R.

Marla is survived by her daughter, Pam Oates, son, Gunnar Garat, grandchildren, Gefjon and Stone, and her great-grandson, Remi.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV sends our condolences to Adam’s family, friends and co-stars. Now below, share your remembrances of Marla Adams, and watch a few of our interview with Marla from the set of Y&R during the show’s 45th anniversary celebration and on the red carpet at the Daytime Emmys below.

 

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I loved the character of Dina. Ms. Adams was a wonderful actor to watch.

That she was.

This is so sad, loved Marla Adams, as Dina Abbott Mergeron. Marla was a wonderful actress. Very classy sassy lady. May she RIP ❤️

It was The Secret Storm that I mostly recall her from. Very impressive as Belle. True acting master class on screen watching her and Bernard Barrow together. That was before he was on Ryan’s Hope.

Yes, she was excellent as Belle on The Secret Storm. You could love and hate her at the same time. They don’t make ’em like her anymore. A total class act! She was in the same category as Robin Strasser, Erika Slezak, Victoria Wyndham, Susan Flannery and so many great others, from 60s, 70s & 80s. Rest in peace.

Same here. When she started on Y and R, I remembered her as a little girl watching Secret Storm with my mom as Belle! She was a memorable character from some my childhood and I loved her on Y and R! Rest in peace Ms. Adams!

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‘Entertainment Tonight’s’ Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner Back as Hosts for 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards

CBS and The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced on Thursday that Entertainment Tonight’s Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner are set to return as hosts for the upcoming 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, airing live on Friday, June 7 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on-demand on Paramount+*.

This marks the third Daytime Emmys in a row that the ‘ET’ combo has hosted the festivities, having done son in 2022 and 2023.

In addition, Frazier and Turner are also nominated this year for Daytime Emmys in the Outstanding Daytime Personality- Daily category. That is in addition to ‘ET’ being in the running for Outstanding Entertainment News series.

Photos: CBS

Frazier has been co-host with Entertainment Tonight since September 2014. Previously, he was co-host and managing editor of The Insider and a correspondent and weekend host of ‘ET.’

As for Turner she has been the co-host of ‘ET’ since 2021. Nischelle first joined the entertainment news program as a correspondent back in 2014. Turner is an award-winning journalist with ‘ET’, and often lends her voice to entertainment and political news shows, along with joining their coverage on the Grammys, Golden Globes and Oscars. She was previously was an entertainment contributor for CNN.

Photo: NATAS

This year marks the 18th time CBS has broadcast the Daytime Emmy Awards, more than any other network. The show will broadcast live from the Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles.

So, what do you think about Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner returning as the hosts of the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards? Comment below.

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Patrick Mulcahey OUT as General Hospital Co-Head Writer

After various reports surfaced, it has been confirmed that Patrick Mulcahey is out as the co-head writer of General Hospital. This is after a very short tenure of under five months.

Mulcahey was named to the position back in January of 2024 along with longtime GH writer Elizabeth Korte. They replaced the team of Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor, who had been the head scribes of the long-running ABC daytime drama since 2019.

A source informed Soap Opera Digest that stories created by the co-head writing team of  Mulcahey/Korte team will air through mid-summer. However they added “There will be more news to share at a later date as to the composition of the new writing team.”

In addition, eagle-eyed soap fans have seen that in recent episodes former co-head writer, Chris Van Etten has been credited, as he is reportedly a breakdown writer with the show.

Soap Opera Network is reporting that Korte has assumed the head writing duties solely on her own at the moment, while Buzz blog initially reported Mulcahey’s exit.

We will have more on the GH writing team evolution in the days ahead.

What do you think about the writing team changes at GH thus far? Comment below.

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Melody Thomas Scott and Edward J. Scott to Receive Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Honors

The Young and the Restless iconic Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) and her husband, Emmy-winning producer, Edward J. Scott have been named by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences as Lifetime Achievement Honorees at the 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

Melody and Ed will be presented with the award on June 7th during the 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards (8 PM ET/delayed PT) broadcast live on CBS and streaming live and on-demand on Paramount+*.

In a statement Melody and Ed expressed, “We are honored and humbled to receive this recognition from NATAS. Throughout our decades-long careers in front of and behind the cameras, we have had the opportunity to work not only with each other, but also with an incredibly talented pool of people who excel in their crafts and are passionate about the art we create in daytime television. We are grateful to have worked side by side with them and to be included with such esteemed recipients who have made their mark in our industry. We look forward to spending another wonderful evening celebrating the daytime community!“

Adam Sharp, President and CEO, NATAS added,“We’ve long wanted to honor the legendary daytime duo of Melody Thomas Scott and her husband Edward J. Scott. With a combined 93  years of contributions to our community, they are true institutions in the world of Daytime television.”

In addition to Melody and Ed receiving their Lifetime Achievement honors, public television host and cookbook author Lidia Bastianich will also be honored.

Photo NATAS

Lidia Bastianich said, “It is a tremendous honor to be recognized and receive the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award for having shared my passion for food with TV audiences for over 25 years. Cooking together and sharing food remain a common denominator of all cultures. Food nurtures, it connects diverse people, and it brings families, friends, and strangers together. There is no better place to be on this earth, especially in these trying times, than sharing food at a table with others. That simple idea has been the basis of my life’s work. Hence, as I say in my shows, “Tutti a Tavola a Mangiare!” Mille Grazie to NATAS for this honor.”

While Adam Sharp shared, “Lidia Bastianich’s astounding success combines her love of cooking while simultaneously entertaining millions each day. It is an honor for us to say ‘grazie’ for the many fine meals borne from her TV kitchen and cookbook pages.”

Melody Thomas Scott recently celebrated 45 years in the role of Nikki Newman, having joined the show in February 1979. Scott’s character has matured from the girl from the wrong side of the tracks to the serial’s luminous and resourceful leading lady.  After garnering a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in 1999, she went on to win in the same category for the Soap Opera Digest Award in 2001 and received four Soap Opera Update Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress (1992, 1993, 1995 and 1996). Scott began her career at age three. She studied singing, tap dancing, ballet and jazz and became one of the world-famous “Meglin Kiddies,” performing in USO shows as she started booking national commercials and guest spots on such series as “Wagon Train,” “My Three Sons,” “Ironside” and a recurring role on “The Waltons.”  Scott made her motion picture debut at age eight when she was cast by Alfred Hitchcock as the young Tippi Hedren in the thriller “Marnie.”  She has co-starred with legendary actors Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, John Wayne and Kirk Douglas. Scott has worked on stage and in numerous television shows and  was the subject of Lifetime Television’s “Intimate Portrait.” As a lifelong fan of “I Love Lucy,” Scott served as a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, N.Y., which is committed to preserving the legacy of the great comedienne. In 2020,

Scott released her memoir, “Always Young and Restless.” Married since 1985 to Edward J. Scott, the couple have three daughters and five grandchildren.

Photo: JPI

Edward J. Scott is a six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning producer who has played a pivotal role in the historic development of the soap opera genre for nearly five decades. Scott is currently supervising producer for The Bold and the Beautiful, the #2-rated daytime drama in the U.S. and the most-watched daily drama in the world, which is nominated for 12 Daytime Emmy Awards this year. Scott began his association with The Bell Family and Bell-Phillip Television Productions when he joined “The Young and The Restless” as an associate producer in 1976. He quickly moved up the ranks and served as the show’s executive producer for decades.

Scott’s legendary 48-year producing partnership and creative collaboration with “The Young and The Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” creators, the late William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell, and their son, Bradley P. Bell, has helped create the two most popular daily American television series. Today, both daytime dramas are syndicated internationally.  Before joining “B&B” Scott was executive producer for the NBC daytime drama “Days of Our Lives.” Born and raised in Santa Monica, California, Scott earned a B.A from California State University at Northridge with a double major of anthropology and broadcasting journalism. He has been married since 1985 to actress and author Melody Thomas Scott. The couple have three daughters and five grandchildren.

So, excited to hear Y&R’s Melody Thomas Scott and longtime daytime soap opera producer, Edward J. Scott are receiving this year’s Lifetime Achievement Honors at this years 51st Annual Daytime Emmys? Comment below.

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