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Martha Byrne, Ellen Dolan, Elizabeth Hubbard & Colleen Zenk Talk ATWT Reunion, Memories & Mementos!


On a recent episode of The Talk that aired on October 12th, the afternoon series welcomed stars from As the World Turns as part of a special broadcast honoring CBS Daytime’s 30 years as the number one daytime television network.

Four powerhouse actresses who kept fans on the edge of the seats during their storylines were part of the ATWT reunion: Martha Byrne (Lily), Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda), Ellen Dolan (Margo) and Colleen Zenk (Barbara).  Before these soap opera MVP’s were brought out in front of the live studio audience, a short retrospective of ATWT clips was shown reminding us all what made the town of Oakdale so special for 54 years.

Sadly, As the World Turns was canceled, and aired its last episode on September 17th, 2010.   It has now been six years since its loyal audience saw the characters whose lives they followed for decades, or a major television reunion featuring some of them.

Following this fab four’s appearance, On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman sat down with Martha, Elizabeth, Ellen and Colleen backstage for our own sentimental and heartfelt reunion.  All Emmy-nominated and Byrne and Hubbard having won multiple Emmys, these ladies looked back on the incredible time in their careers, collaborating with each other, and shared their appreciation for being part of an iconic piece of television history.  In addition, they also are well-aware what a loss it was for fans when ATWT when off the air.  Here’s what these terrifically talented ladies shared!

It was very emotional watching each of you come out in front of the studio audience and take your place on set.   I especially noticed Martha.  You had tears welling-up in your eyes.  What was going through your mind at that moment?

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MARTHA:  It was so emotional while we were up there, and especially when we were backstage and the clips came on, and they were so good!  Those were really good scenes they showed from As the World Turns.  That was some good stuff we put out there, and it just reminded us that there are hundreds of hours of this show!

ELLEN:  I didn’t recognize myself in the Christmas scene when it played! (Laughs) I remember going, “Who is that?”  Then, I went, “Oh, that’s me!”

What has been the most memorable part of this reunion, seeing each other and representing the iconic ATWT, in this CBS 30 years at number one celebration?

COLLEEN:  Just being together …

MARTHA: … And also we have all evolved as human beings   We have all had our personal stuff that we have been through in our real lives.  But, I think our growth since that time is tremendous.  So we can look back at it now, and come here, and we can really appreciate first of all, that we were even asked.  The show was canceled, and it was so painful for so many people, and it was such an abrupt ending.  Then shows were canceled after that like All My Children, and thus lots of people were out of work in New York.

ELIZABETH:   There was a wrap party at a bar at Eighth avenue and 49th street in New York.   I got to this bar and I said, “I’m looking for the party.”  And this man tells me, “It’s up the stairs!”   So when I get there this other guy says, “Welcome to a room full of unemployed people!”  There were the producers, the directors, the actors, the hair and make up people, everyone.


MARTHA:   It was sad.   So to have this moment on The Talk, and to be embraced by the head of CBS Daytime, Angelica McDaniel was special.   They treated us so well.

COLLEEN:  We were celebrated!

Let’s not forget As the World Turns was the number one show there for awhile starting in 1958 through 1978.

COLLEEN:  Yes. We were number one in the 70’s from 1970-1978!

ELIZABETH:  And then I came on and ruined it. (Laughs)   We had wonderful directors on our show.   I was talking about this with Grant Aleksander (Ex-Phillip, GL), who directed on ATWT too.  You could go to the directors and say, “This is my problem!” They would understand what you’re talking about, and not think you are some creep, or a sociopath, or whatever they think actor’s are.

ELLEN:   When I came out to Los Angeles for a couple of years, I did enough work, but I thought, “It’s not enough for me.”  We’re workhorses on the soaps, we’re in there every day.  We spew out so much story.   I thought, “I have a strong character- she’s funny, she’s rock em, sock em.   What am doing here?   I’m going back to New York and do my character. ”    You know, people mostly are lucky if they get to do two films a year, and they get to do five scenes in a year.   On ATWT, we did 5 scenes in one morning!

ELIZABETH:   I did one sitcom, Hope & Faith.  I loved it, because it was so fast and the writers are right near you, and they are on your side during the tapings . They are not in a room some place making up stories, and so they can tell the actors to make changes quickly, and we did it.   I think in the story, Kelly Ripa kicked my character’s ass in the end, and it was perfect.  But I did like that experience.


Where do each of you see your ATWT character right now at this point in her life, since the audience can’t see them, and has to also use their imaginations on what happened to these wonderful women that they loved?

COLLEEN:  Barbara’s definitely In a dance hall!

MARTHA:  Lily would hopefully be single.  She was never alone.  She always had a man around.

ELLEN:   I think Margo would still be the police lieutenant.  She would still be ordering people around and no one would listen. She would be making mistakes, and coming home to Tom.  She would ask the proverbial question, “Well, why?” (Laughs)   I think Margo would be that gruff older rascally lieutenant and she would take over Dan Frazer’s (Dan “Mac” McClosky) role.  Margo was such a beautifully constructed character.  She had just a little dash of everything, and I don’t think that much would change.  You would  now be watching someone age, and becoming their true selves.


When you look back on the final episode of As the World Turns, do you think it did it justice?  It is an extraordinarily difficult task to wrap-up a show that is 54- years-old with so much rich history, characters, and story.

COLLEEN:   I felt that it really captured everything.   There was a lot they had to leave on the floor, a lot of scenes, because there was so much shot for the finale.  But, it made me weep.

ELLEN:  You got the sense that these lives are still going to go on.

ELIZABETH:  I was doing a Dutch soap at the time, so to have John (Larry Bryggman) and Lucinda deported was a good way to get us out of Oakdale. (Laughs)

On the last day of taping, did you take any mementos or keepsakes with you?


MARTHA:  Kelly Hensley (Emily) gave to me Lily’s wedding ring when the show went off the air.  Noelle Beck (Ex-Lily) did not wear my ring.   So, they had put it in a box somewhere.

COLLEEN:   I took the giant crystal rock chandelier that was in the nightclub, where Barbara and Henry (Trent Dawson) did their famous dance.  I took the barrel back silk Damask chair that Barbara would always hide in when she was going through her evil era.   I also have the marble plaque of the mausoleum, some Stenbeck documents, but in the end the show sold everything off.

ELLEN:   I took the clown on Hal (Benjamin Hendrickson) and Margo’s desk.

ELIZABETH:   The last day everything had already been sold, but there was a thing you put a vase on.   I said  “I will take that.”  There was a second one and I said to the stage hand, how much will it be to deliver it to my house?  And he said, “Oh, no.  It’s free.  Your the only one who gave us Christmas presents.”  That was nice.

Photo Credit: MF Soaps Inc.

If another network soap came calling, would you jump at the chance to do a role on daytime drama at this point in your careers?

MARTHA:   Listen, we are actors!   When the phone rings you pick it up, and you go to work.  I’m doing a play in New York right now, because I love what I do.  That’s in our DNA.  It doesn’t go away.

ELLEN:  You say, “yes” to every job, and if there is a ever a job like we had on ATWT that can be recreated, you say, “Yes, absolutely.  I will do it!”

For more on CBS Daytime’s 30 years at number one celebration, The Paley Center For Media in Beverly Hills, California now through November 27th continues to feature an interactive exhibit of one-of-a kind memorabilia and original set pieces from some of the most popular daytime shows of the last thirty years.  This special exhibit honors CBS’s five current shows—The Price Is Right, Let’s Make a Deal, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, and The Talk—as well as legacy programs, including As the World Turns and Guiding Light.

So, what did you think of Martha, Ellen, Elizabeth and Colleen’s thoughts on their time with ATWT, being at this televisied reunion with each other and their memories and mementos of their time in Oakdale?  What soap opera would you like to see these four ladies on now?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below, and let us know if you miss ATWT!

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Thank you VERY MUCH for this interview. I enjoyed it a lot.

Now, why haven’t any of the remaining soaps hired any of these experiences actresses?? They know what they are doing and they surely have fans who would not otherwise turn on the soap??

They would not be hard to cast: Elizabeth Hubbard as Dina Abbott on Y&R; Colleen Zenk as an age-appropriate romantic partner for Eric on B&B ……….

Hi Barbara, I totally agree with you. Sadly, the soaps are too focused on youth, with a few exceptions and with the shoestring budgets they now have in place, these great actresses would probably be priced out of roles.

Liz Hubbard-Dina Abbot-Y&R…Martha Byrne-Sarah Webber-GH…Ellen Dolan-Sandy Horton-GH and love interest for Roman…Colleen Zenk…Derricks overprotective mom-Days… who helps Derrick keep Sonny and Paul apart!!!

Yes, Jim that’s what I said about 3 weeks ago on this site. They need to hire Elizabeth Hubbard as Dina Abbott.

After six years I still say shame on CBS for canceling these great actors in favor of the cheap empty talk shows. I wish all these talented ladies lots of new roles. They deserve to be working a lot.

Thank you for continuing the interview, four minutes just couldn’t do them justice. ATWTforever

Funny..people claim to boycott abc for cancelling their soaps but not cbs…

Amen to you Jim, totally agree with your comment.

Jim I have never once turned on the talk for that exact reason. ATWTs was my fav show. What replaced it is dead to me. I never forget. or forgive.
These were four of my favorites . the EP who ended the show made me hate him forever. Lily and Craig with imposters playing them for no reason. never forget, never forgive.

Actually, ATWT was number 1 rated soap from 1958 – 1978 – that’s 20 years at the top.

I think all my children knocked it off the top when cliff and Nina were in full swing.

Kelly Hensley (aka Emily) is a powerful actress and would be a excellent addition to Y&R for Jack Abbott to give Phyllis a run for her man. Or put her with Dollar Bill on the Bold & Beautiful because Brook s/b with the arrogant Ridge Forrester.
Colleen Zenk can be a powerful billionaire who will get under Victor’s womanizer skin and give Niki something to wine about again.
Ellen Dolan (aka Margo) can be Paul newest detective on the force since Dillon is leaving Y&R soon and bring Margo husband Tom Hughes as Y&R needs another lawyer or DA.
All of the above-mentioned actors/actress will be great. Any roll they play. Hopefully some one will pick them up.

I was never a fan it always overshadowed GL which was a better show completely but I’m glad CBS is showing stuff like this maybe they have realized what a mistake they made. I miss GL terribly.

Man do I miss Guiding Light, Reva the slut from Springfield was a wonderful character. Y&R need to call Kim Zimmer and hire the lady. she can act. Peter Bergman needs Reva Shayne LOL.

It was so awesome and yet so sad to see these ladies from ATWT—I met Liz and Colleen at a fan club gathering in Manhattan the year before the show left the airwaves. I had so much fun with them that day and I never forgot how gracious they were to me even though I was so tongue-tied. All I could say to Liz was that I had loved her almost all of my life and how I had been watching her since she was Dr. Althea Davis on “The Doctors”. When I met Colleen, she just kept poking a finger at me because I was just so star-struck with her. she was so beautiful and I got to talk to her along with my partner who told her that her then-husband Mark Pinter would make a great Craig. She told us that she had been after them for years to do that. Anyway, I loved seeing these 4 ladies again and even moreso, it was great to see how beautiful they still are!!!

I hope the exhibit at the Paley comes to the Museum of Television and Radio in NYC

LOVED seeing them on ‘The Talk’! Miss them and their former co-stars so much! What a wonderful opportunity to see them and get an update on their lives.

We may be a smaller community, but we are loyal and vocal. I, for one, would love to see more of this type of thing happen on TV. Lord, knows, they should never have cancelled the show!

What a small segment on the very show (The Talk) that replaced As The World Turns. CBS made a mistake but will never admit to it. Colleen Zink is absolutely beautiful! Her story was sad but a miracle. God answers prayer! Too little time with the GL actors too. Miss them any day that I am at home in the afternoon.

Oh how I miss ATWT!!! I’d watch any of these ladies on anything. I recently saw Scott Holmes in a play. He was fabulous!!

I was heartsick when ATWT was cancelled. Would ❤❤❤ for it to come back! Wish these four ladies were on Bold and Beautiful. Elizabeth Hubbard and John McCook would be a power couple. I can just imagine the storylines between Hubbard and “Quin Fuller.”

As The World Turns

Richard Roundtree, ‘Generations’, ‘ATWT” and ‘Shaft’ Star, Dead at 81

Motion picture and television leading man, Richard Roundtree, has passed away at the age of 81. The actor, best known for his role in the iconic film Shaft, and its sequels, died from complications from pancreatic cancer on October 24th in his home in Los Angeles.

In a statement, Roundtree’s manager, Patrick McMinn shared, “Richard’s work and career served as a turning point for African American leading men in film. The impact he had on the industry cannot be overstated.”

During his extensive credits and career, Roundtree made two stops to two daytime soap operas. In 1990 till 1991, Roundtree played Dr. Daniel Ruebens on the defunct NBC soap opera Generations. He later appeared on As the World Turns from 2002-2003, taking on the role of Oliver Travers, the father to T. Marshall Travers played by Lamman Rucker.

Photo: NBC

Roundtree’s leading lady on Generations, Jonelle Allen took to her Facebook upon learning the news of the death of her former castmate and friend, expressing: “My Leading Man on Generations. I Am Very Sad. My Condolences To Your Family. Dearest Richard Roundtree.”

In a subsequent post, Allen shared a photo of their Generations’ characters, Daniel and Doreen about to lip-lock. Jonelle stated, “In the scene with him I kept thinking: ‘Shaft is about to kiss ME!!!’ Thank You.”

On Generations, Roundtree’s character of Daniel Reubens was a brilliant doctor, who was accused of killing someone by causing an explosion at a lab in 1974. He and his daughter, Maya, then went “underground” for the next 15 years. Maya was played by Viveca A. Fox.

Photo: AP

Fox, honored her former on-screen soap father with an Instagram post upon learning of his death. Vivica wrote: “GM Dawlings! My heart is sad this morning as late last night I learned that LEGEND Actor @officialrichardroundtree had passed. I had the blessing of working with Richard on alot of 1st in my acting career! He played my Dad on the soap opera #Generation‘s TV show #90210BeverlyHills Mr Roundtree thank u for your AMAZING GIFTS! U will truly be missed as u were the 1st African American Action Star #SHAFT I’ll never forget the time u stood for ME when a director was being a jerk to me! I’ll miss your smile, jokes, laughs & hugs! REST EASY KING! U DID WELL. #Classic #LEGEND #LeadingMan #Actor #SuperStar #Respect #RestInPeace”

Richard was also known for his roles in Roots and the Brad Pitt thriller Se7en. On television, Roundtree appeared on: Murder, She Wrote, A Different World, Beauty and the Beast, 21 Jump Street, MacGyver, Beverly Hill 90210, L.A. Law, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Alias, Desperate Housewives, Heroes, Grey’s Anatomy, Chicago Fire, and Private Practice and many more.

Share your condolences on the passing of Richard Roundtree via the comment section below.


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As The World Turns

Soap Alum John Wesley Shipp Shares Health Update

John Wesley Shipp, best known to daytime fans for his roles on As the World Turns, Guiding Light, One Life to Live et al, and primetime fans for his role in The Flash, shared a heartfelt health update via his Instagram.

While Shipp did not go into specifics, he did say he underwent surgery earlier in September for an urgent medical issue.

In his post, accompanying by his photo, John expressed: “Hello out there! Friends and contacts have written recently, like, “where are you? are you ok?” Well, here’s the deal: I had surgery early this month for a health issue that had to be dealt with immediately. All went well, but I’ve had to postpone a theatre production and personal appearances as the recoup will take some weeks. I do read and appreciate what you share with me, that you entrust me with your thoughts and feelings. You are ever on my mind and in my heart, and I look forward to getting active and out there again as soon as possible. Until then, remember to play nice, be kind, and stay engaged! Our futures depend on it.”

Photo: JPI

John’s soap resume is quite impressive having portrayed: Dr. Kelly Nelson/Victor Laszlo on Guiding Light, Doug Cummings on As the World Turns, Martin Ellis on Santa Barbara, Carter Jones on All My Children and Eddie Ford on One Life to Live. Shipp won two Daytime Emmys along the way.

More recently, John has appeared in primetime’s, Arrow, The Flash, Stargirl and countless other TV appearances.

Share your well-wishes for a speedy recovering to John via the comment section below.

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As The World Turns

‘As the World Turns’ Alum Martha Byrne Speaks Out On Conviction Against Her Husband, Michael McMahon: “We are Fighting Till the End”

If you have been following two-time Daytime Emmy-winning actress, Martha Byrne’s (ex-Lily, As the World Turns) social media accounts or have been following news reports, Byrne is adamantly speaking out about charges and a conviction levied against her husband, former decorated NYPD sergeant-turned-licensed private investigator, Michael McMahon.

The couple share three children together and have been married for over 30 years.  Last week, McMahon was preparing to go back to work. However, Michael was blindsided when a Brooklyn federal court convicted him and two others accused of stalking a New Jersey couple on behalf of China.

McMahon told the New York Post, that he felt betrayed by the Department of Justice (DOJ).  Clarifying further, Michael felt he and his family with Martha Byrne where being made scapegoats in the DOJ’s first case against Operation Fox Hunt, which is the Chinese Communist Party’s anti-corruption campaign that targets Chinese nationals abroad.  It also targets former government officials and others suspected of economic crimes against China.

In the case against McMahon, he was hired in fall of 2016 by what he believed was a translation company from New Jersey to do surveillance on a luxury New Jersey home occupied by a relative of Xu Jin and Liu Fang, and to use public records to find companies and other assets registered to the couple.  He was then informed that Xu and Liu had had stolen money from a construction company, and the people who hired him wanted to find where the cash had gone. However, McMahon says what he was not told was that Xu was a former official in Wuhan, who had fled China amid allegations of corruption.

McMahon said that when he conducted surveillance as he had done on numerous other cases.  However, what he did not know was that his work was used in a civil suit in New Jersey in 2018 against Xu and others by a Chinese construction group that alleged that they had embezzled millions from that company.

Things took a bad turn in October of 2020 when 12 federal agents surrounded McMahon and Byrne’s home.  Michael was arrested, but it wasn’t your normal arrest, he detailed.  McMahon didn’t think he needed a lawyer so he spoke to the FBI agents. He had wanted to help the government.

Photo: MBryneFacebook

Byrne shared, “He was being as transparent as he possibly could. Instead, they turned everything against him and made him look like the devil in court. I’ve never seen such dark forces trying to portray him as an unlawful person.”

McMahon was charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act by working for the Chinese government without telling the State Department, and with conspiracy to commit interstate stalking.

Byrne answered one soap fan’s inquiry to clarify what exactly happened to her husband in a Facebook post. She expressed: “He was hired to find assets on a civil matter. never asked to do ANYTHING illegal. The FBI let the Chinese agents flee, who were operating some scheme separately and unbeknownst to my husband, so the FBI turned their attention to an innocent man to save face. They took legal work as a PI and deemed it criminal for their own purposes. This is VERY VERY scary for every US citizen.”

In the NY Post account, it details that the DOJ shifted its focus to Operation Fox Hunt, targeting private investigators across the country, including McMahon.

Currently Michael is not allowed to be a private detective until this case is overturned.  He shared: “I didn’t harass or stalk anyone, and if I had been asked to do so, or if I had suspected that my clients worked for the Chinese Communist Party, I would have contacted the FBI right away and not proceeded with the job.”

Byrne expressed: “The DOJ knew this problem existed, that private investigators were being used, they knew the patterns well, but they communicated none of this until after Mike’s arrest … We are fighting to the end.”

McMahon’s lawyer will file a post-trial motion next month to overturn the conviction.

Photo: NATAS

On her Twitter account, Martha shared their lawyer’s, Lawrence Lustberg’s statement: “We are obviously very disappointed with today’s verdict and feel strongly that it is not consistent with the evidence in the case but more importantly, is not consistent with the truth.  That truth is that Michael McMahon never had any idea that he was working for the Chinese Government.  If he had, he would not have taken the job or done the work he did.  His work in this case was the normal every day work of a private investigator and Mike’s conviction on the stalking counts, as a practical matter, criminalizes the work of private investigators in every case.  We will file post-trial motions and, if necessary appeal, until all possible appeals and lawful avenues to challenge this verdict have been exhausted.  And I believe that we will ultimately prevail because this conviction is a terrible injustice, one that I do not believe our legal system will allow to stand.”

What do you think about the conviction of Martha Bryne’s husband, Michael McMahon and by all accounts how he has been wrongly convicted? Comment below.

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