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Michael Fairman: "In Honor Of Jeanne Cooper"

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

I have had a very unique vantage point from many other people who have had the opportunity to cross paths with the legendary Jeanne Cooper.  At some points in my relationship with Jeanne, I was to be the journalist, always questioning her, awaiting her forthright, humorous, and take-no-prisoners answers to anything I threw at her.  And then at other points, I had the honor of being her dear friend.

I always knew the days I would come to the Y&R set and sit in her dressing room with her was going to be a good day.  Jeanne would always greet me with a smile and a joke, and when I would tell her, “I love you” at the end of our interviews or visits, she would say back. “And I love you, too.”  I knew she meant it.  I felt her love and friendship for many years … always!  She always had my back.  She never judged me.  Both Jeanne and I had many ups and downs in our lives, and when we would get the chance to talk, we shared them with each other.  But as I am trying to wrap my head around the devastating loss for Jeanne’s family, her Y&R family, her scene partners, her fans and her friends worldwide, I feel so fortunate to have learned so much about her, and how she feels about so many people whose lives were enriched by knowing her, too.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

I know that she had a very soft spot in her heart for the boys on the show. (Well, they were men, actually!) In particular:  Doug Davidson, Greg Rikaart, and Christian LeBlanc … Oh, how she enjoyed each of you, and loved you.  She told me that so many countless times.  I knew she respected, enjoyed, and protected Katherine’s relationship with Jill, and her enduring relationship with Jess Walton.  And, I knew how much Jeanne’s children and her grandchildren meant to her, as they were often the topic of conversation. And, I knew when the chips were down that I could count on Jeanne.

In 1999, I hosted on-camera The Young and the Restless 25th anniversary party for Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment’s Soap City.com.  We were streaming live from the CBS soundstage 41.  Against the party atmosphere and the large Y&R logo backdrop, and the 25th anniversary Olympic sized medals I placed around each of the performer’s neck in honor of the milestone, I was told earlier that day that my contract was not being renewed after four years.  So that evening, I was addressing the online viewing public and the cast, while hosting this soiree’, only I had to figure a way to sign off as “Soap City Michael”.  I waited till Jeanne Cooper was with me.   I knew if Jeanne was holding my hand and next to me, I could get through it and just blurt it out that I am signing off.  A stunned and upset Jeanne called over Peter Bergman, Michelle Stafford, and Christian LeBlanc, none of whom knew what on earth was going on!  But with these people surrounding me, thanks to Jeanne, I got through it.

Photo Credit: MF SOAPS Inc

To say that she lived a fascinating life is an understatement.  Everyone got to learn more about it when Jeanne released her memoir, Not Young, Still Restless last year.  My final interview with Jeanne was this somewhat technically odd Skyped split-screen interview, with her while she was in New York on her press junket with Harper-Collins for her book, and me at home in Los Angeles.   I have to thank Harper-Collins for letting me do this chat with Jeanne and making it happen, so I will have it with me forever.  But through the magic of the Internet, and even with the look of it, and even with audio problems, I swear, it was the defining interview of my time with Jeanne.  It was there that Jeanne and I shared laughs, tears, and even talked about our friendship more publicly for the first time. (You can view our final interview together below.)

The world will never be the same without our Mrs. C.  … an amazing actress, a kind soul, a loyal friend, and a true legend deserving of that title many times over!  I hope Jeanne has some hilarious stories to share with me, when we conduct our first interview in heaven together.  Till then, I will hold you in my heart, Jeanne.

 

 

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That is really lovely. Thanks for sharing.

thank you for sharing this is absolutely beautiful!!

Michael, thank you for sharing your deeply moving thoughts and memories of Jeanne. They were so beautiful.

awe micheal beautifull words for a beautifull friend …

Wonderful Michael!

Thank you for that I always knew she was a very special woman she had so many loyal friends wow I believe i her heart hung on her sleve

Thank you Michael!!! You are truly a good guy and we are so lucky to have you and your phenomenal site in our lives!!!

That was a great interview… I remember it from when you originally posted it on the site but it was so touching to see it again after just losing Jeanne. What a lovely tribute! I am sorry for your loss of a dear friend. I love that you are friends with so many of our faves and that you are truly the biggest fan of the genre and of all the talented people that bring us our favorite characters and stories! Thanks again Michael! Jeanne was also very lucky to have you as her friend.

My thoughts remain with Jeanne’s family and friends. She was so talented and she sounds like such a wonderful person.

That was beautifully written Michael as you gave us a glimpse into your friendship with Jeanne. She wasn’t someone you interviewed but someone you could call friend and I know you will hold that with you forever. Jeanne will be sorely missed and Y&R will not be the same without her.

Thank you,so wonderful to see you two together.

This is probably a story that you never wanted to write, but thank you for sharing your story with us.

That is beautiful Michael, thanks for sharing that story and the last interview with us! So sorry you lost a dear friend, but it’s not forever!

Michael this is so wonderful of a story thank you for sharing I cannot even imagine the pain this caused you by writing It Thank you again for shring

Thank you so much for sharing that fantastic interview, Michael! It was such a delight to watch. I have been reeling all week from Jeanne’s death. I just can’t believe she is gone. I’ve grown up watching Mrs. Chancellor, and to me she always was the soul of Y&R. What an amazing life she led, and what a stellar example she was of how to live on this earth and how to treat others. Truly one of a kind. I know you must be grieving the loss of your friend. I wish you peace and healing. Thanks again for sharing this.

Michael, how extrodinary. The love between you and Jeanne that goes back years, is so endearing. The friendship that you had with her is to be treasured in your heart. I know this was mutual and I loved the playfulness that went back and forth. You are fortunate,Michael. But so was she. Loved your dedication in honor of Jeanne, You are great!…..

Michael, this was awesome. Such a grand friendship with a grand lady, Thank you for sharing the interview, she was truly a “Duchess”. She will be greatly missed.

Thank you so much for sharing your interview with Jeanne. I absolutely loved it. Watching the interview was very comforting for me because it is how I want to remember Ms. Cooper. As much as I am sad Jeanne is no longer with us, I am glad she is no longer suffering. I am thankful I just happened to meet her in a Las Vegas casino some 20 years ago. I hope you will keep this interview posted forever. God bless you Michael and sorry for your loss too.

As if I haven’t cried enough;) God Bless you & your colleagues for being willing to share @ this time when you are mourning.. Mrs C, Jeanne is one that I hope greets me w my grandparents @ Heaven’s gateway!!b

Thank you for airing this; it was fabulous !

Thank you so much for this.. I have been born and raised in 1973 and watched Y&R to this day.. She will be missed so bad but never forgotten.. Thank you again for sharing the good times

I have seen other interviews with Jeanne Cooper but this one is extraordinary. There is love in this interview between you, Michael, and Jeanne. Your pace of questions, your patience in waiting for Jeanne’s responses and Jeanne’s candor and conscientiousness as she lovingly responds. It so apparently reveals the love you have for each another as well your commitments to both your profession and audience. Feeling blessed to witness and receive such an exquisite example of love and dedication <3

News

Jacqueline MacInnes Wood Tells ‘The Talk’ That Steffy “Needs Finn to Man Up” While On B&B, Finn Tells Steffy “I Think I Just Need Some More Time”

On Monday’s March 4th episode of CBS daytime’s The Talk, one of the featured guests was The Bold and the Beautiful’s three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Jacquline MacInnes Wood.

During her guest appearance, Wood spoke with The Talk co-hosts Amanda Kloots and Sheryl Underwood, who both have previously appeared on B&B. In fact, Kloots guest stint just aired last week.

When the conversation turned to recent storyline developments where Steffy stabbed Sheila (Kimberlin Brown) to her eventual death, and how Steffy’s husband Finn (Tanner Novlan) is coping with the situation, Jacqui shared her reaction, “I was in complete shock…but like Steffy, I mean, ding-dong the witch is dead.  This is what needed to happen. They’ve been going toe to toe for so long and I think that it’s cool to know that Steffy went up against one of the best villains.”

Courtesy/CBS

However, Woods weighed-in on Finn’s odd behavior grieving his birth mother, who tried to kill him and his wife. Jacqui stated, “Steffy needs Finn to man up, she needs her man to stand up for what is going on, because it’s absolutely crazy. Sheila terrorized their family for so long… and Steffy honestly doesn’t want to have to murder Finn too.”

Courtesy/CBS

Meanwhile, on Monday’s episode of The Bold and the Beautiful, after being comforted by Hope (Annika Noelle) and talking out his feelings towards Sheila’s death (and how he currently feels about his wife, Steffy), he eventually heads back to the cliff house. It appears he is going to be there for his wife and their family, only he starts to get a case of the heebie jeebies when Steffy tries to kiss him. Finn further freaks out when he looks around and see the blood-stained carpet with his mother’s blood soaked into it.

Photo: JPI

Finn can’t handle being in the house with Steffy where his mom was killed and runs out, leaving Steffy panicked and shocked over all that has just happened to her.

Check out Wood’s appearance on The Talk below. 

Then let us know, should Finn man up and get a grip and come back home to Steffy, Hayes and Kelly? Or, should he go it alone and come to terms with his feelings with or without the comfort of Hope? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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News

‘Tracker’ Starring Justin Hartley Renewed for Second Season by CBS

Justin Hartley’s (ex-Adam, Y&R, ex-Kevin, This Is Us) new series Tracker, which has only aired four of its episodes, has already received a second season renewal for the 2024-2025 season from CBS.

The early renewal isn’t surprising given the drama series boffo numbers for its recent episodes. In addition, Tracker has become the most-watched new series since Young Sheldon in 2017-2018 and the most-watched new drama since 2014-2015 season of Empire.

Tracker, which debuted on February 11th following the Super Bowl, has now been seen by 30 million multi-platform viewers and is Paramount+’s #1 show in February. Since its post-Super Bowl debut, Tracker is averaging nearly 16 million multi-platform viewers. In more impressive numbers, Tracker has improved its regular Sunday, 9:00 PM time period by +83% year over year.

Photo: CBS

Amy Reisenbach, president of CBS Entertainment shared on the renewal, “Tracker kicked off our premiere week with a ratings bang and has kept the momentum going. We knew we had something special when we saw the very first cut of the series and the overwhelming audience response confirms it. We couldn’t be more grateful to Justin, the talented cast, the incredible writing and producing teams and our partners at 20th Television for such compelling episodes. And, of course, we’re also so thankful to the millions of viewers tuning in each week.”

The series stars Justin Hartley as Colter Shaw, a lone-wolf survivalist who roams the country as a reward seeker, using his expert tracking skills to help private citizens and law enforcement solve all manner of mysteries while contending with his own fractured family. The series is based on the bestselling novel The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver.

Photo: CBS

Hartley, Ken Olin, Elwood Reid and Ben Winters serve as executive producers. Tracker is off this coming Sunday likely due to the Oscars airing on ABC, but returns with an all-new episode on Sunday, March 17th. Check out a promo for the episode entitled “St. Louis” below. Be on the lookout for the sixth episode called “Lexington” when Hartley’s real-life wife, Sofia Pernas (ex-Marisa, Y&R) appears.

So, excited to hear Justin’s series is getting continued life with a second season? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Steve Burton Confirms ‘General Hospital’ Head Writer Switch Changed Jason’s Comeback Storyline

General Hospital viewers will see today, Monday, March 4th, the beginnings of the return storyline for Steve Burton and his character of Jason Morgan.

Just how did the recent head writing regime change at GH alter the plans for story for Jason’s comeback? As had been rumored, seems plenty. Back on January 22nd, it was revealed that Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor had been replaced by Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte. At that time, Burton had already signed-on to return to the daytime drama for the first time since being let go towards the end of 2021.

Speaking with Soap Opera Digest, Steve confirmed that what we will see on-air is from the new head writers and that the direction of the story changed, “So apparently there was a whole different story planned and then the head writer switch happened and then they kind of rebooted (the story arc). I know Patrick (Mulcahey, one of the new head writers) a little bit, but I really know Elizabeth Korte (who was promoted to co-head writer).”

Photo: JPI

Burton added, “There’s no one in the building that loves that show, knows the history of the character, and is invested in it 100 percent than Elizabeth. There has never been a more deserved promotion, ever. Once I know that she was (one of the head writers), I was like, ‘Oh, this is gonna be good! I cannot wait.’ And it has been exactly that. Everything has been amazing.”‘

Photo: JPI

In addition, during an Instagram live on Monday with his podcast and comedy show partner, GH star, Bradford Anderson (Spinelli), Burton also commented on the upcoming story arc which brings Jason back to Port Charles. Steve expressed, “The story is not going to disappoint. The scenes are super deep. Frank (Valentini, EP, GH)  and the new head writers took some time to really think this out.”

Burton, being a longtime veteran of the soaps, said Jason’s return is not just isolated to be about him. “Great story on daytime should involve a myriad of people across the board and where it effects everybody,” he shared. The popular fan favorite feels that this story delivers on all levels.

So, what do you think about the head writer change and how it prompted the plans for Jason’s return? Comment below.

 

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Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

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