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MONDAY: GH's Kelly Monaco Returns To The Dance Floor On Dancing With The Stars!

On tomorrow night’s edition of ABC’s  celebrity ballroom dance competition, Dancing with the Stars, Kelly Monaco (Sam, GH) makes her return to the series when in its 25th season, the six remaining couples in the competition become a trio when they are joined by a former champ or runner-up.

Monaco, who was the season 1 champ, will share the floor with Terrell Ownes and Cheryl Burke. Kelly tweeted last week: “So excited to share the Dance floor with my bestie @CherylBurke and the legendary @terrellowens next week on  DWTS”  As noted on social media, the trio has been busy in rehearsal for their performance.

Kelly and the gang will compete against another competitor who appeared on the soaps, Corbin Bleu, who played Jeffrey on Prospect Park’s reboot of One Life to Live.  Bleu will dance with Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold.

Rounding out the night will be:  Kristi Yamaguchi  joining Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas, Rashad Jennings dancing with Drew Scott and Emma Slater, Laurie Heranadez who will dance it up with Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy, and Alfonso Ribiero who joins Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson.

So, will you be rooting on Kelly and her dance partners tomorrow night?  It all begins at 8PMEST/7PMCST on ABC. Comment below!

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rebecca1
rebecca1

I haven’t watched this show in a few seasons and yet it remains one of my favorites! (I hope to catch up with OnDemand.)

Kelly’s a great dancer; so is Corbin. I’ll tune in. Fun!

Patrick
Patrick

Corbin Bleu – WOW

he’s growing up.. what a cutie petutie… perfect 10’s

as for Kelly Monaco – oh well

I laughed when I saw Billy Miller in the audience 3 rows back. please soap god let it be a grown up mature adult like – hell coquettish – FUN’ster. @GH

Patrick
Patrick

should you catch this show “OnDemand”

catch up with Mark Ballas.. he’s the dreamiest

just spot on La La Land… Hollywood shuffle

WITH Kristie Yamaguchi… love her to bits

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hey Patrick…

I really DO have to catch up (though I just watched Kelly’s “three-way” dance.” I was kinda disappointed; she can do so much more/better…just didn’t like the dance though I love her and thought she looked great!

LOVED the “psychedelic” dance with Jordan and Lindsay. Fantastic! As was Mark’s samba.

Yeah! He’s an amazing choreographer as is Derek, Max, etc.(Love Mark with the curly hair!)

They’re just all so great. Love!

rebecca1
rebecca1

Patrick…ya…Corbin’s ka ute!!!!

I didn’t laugh when I saw Billy…I wanted to see more of him! I like him…

Can’t agree on everything… 😉

Dymundjake
Dymundjake

Can’t wait! Kemo on DWTS again I love it and DVR is set, but ouch those rehearsals….

Francesca Bruno
Francesca Bruno

Hello, Dymundjake,
I have always liked Kelly Monaco. Such a pretty Italian girl. I remember when she won her first time around with ‘Dancing’,

I enjoy her subdued role as Samantha, even though she is underestimated as an actress by some.

Shay
Shay

Me. too. Francesca!!!! I have always sung comely Kelly’s praises for her dancing skills….she deserved her first win on DWTS and should have taken home the mirrorball trophy on the champions edition, as well! It was not only her innate talent that impressed me so, but her steely determination and strong work ethic she displayed during her appearances on the show. Throughout her last round of competition, she was carrying a full load of episodes on GH at the same time, but never complained or expected special treatment…she was a real trooper and sport, plus, she demonstrated that she’s also a truly fun, lively girl! (Quite the opposite of the often laconic Sam, which just goes to show that her subtle take on Sam is an actual acting choice and not simply a lack of chops as some viewers tend to imply.)

Francesca Bruno
Francesca Bruno

I know @ Shay. I feel the same way about Sam. I have always liked her, even as her hellion-self years ago. I watched from a distance lol.

I didn’t know about her hearing problems. That would explain her whispering, but speaking sotto voce, which literally means, ‘below voice’, is an affectation.

I can’t be sure if her mumbling is due to auditory issues.
I do not know enough on the subject to form an opinion.
Kelly sounded normal on “dwts”, which makes me wonder if her half whispers and mumblings is part of her repertoire.

Kelly Monaco appeals to many and I am one of her long-time fan. I like her calm way of dealing with life. I know it was fake, but I thought she did so well during her labor and then giving birth in those deplorable conditions.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Great for Kelly! No one can away her victory as winning dancer of the inaugural season of DTWT! And I like her GH character!

rebecca1
rebecca1

LOL Jamesj75! I agree on both counts! That was so funny…when Kelly’s win was contested by John O’Hurley (?). Ans then at his request they had another dance-off! Hahahah…ahhhhhhh…that ol’ competitive spirit!

I also agree…I like Sam, too!

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Thanks, Rebecca! I wasn’t a fan of O’Hurley’s challenge, but the good thing was that Kelly got more airtime — and dance time!

Celia
Celia

I don’t watch “Dancing With The Stars”, James. But, I wanted to see Kelly perform…… so, I watched her do her number. Did you catch it? WOW….she still “got it” !!…. impressive. She’s a natural. Brava!!

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

So glad you tuned in, Celia! I agree with your assessment!

su0000
su0000

That dancing with the stars, it’s so bad..
I tuned in a couple of times and it’s grandma stuff.
watching people dance, why ?? why would people want to watch those people dance bwahaaa to each their own..
I tuned in to see the now Secretary of Energy Rick Perry (Trump/who replaced Dr. Ernest Moniz who holds a Doctorate in Theoretical Physics) with the dancing Perry, and it was a stunningly embarrassing thing to witness (o0oh my gawd!)

It might be interesting to watch a woman with the body of a 11yr old girl dance in 7” heels dance. It could be as good as watching Rick Perry, that was priceless!!
So it could be worth a look-see …

Celia
Celia

You’re a light in the darkness, SuzieQ…..waking up with rain pounding on the roof is a downer, then I read your post…LOL and then some.
You do have a way with words.
I never watch, albeit I know Kelly won….she must have been fantastic……it’s been a while; no longer the spry-dancer-with-7-inch heels. Someone needs to remind her of that. HaHa.
What can I say? More power to her? Break a leg? Sorry, could not resist.
You know what I do notice, each and every time a picture of Kelly is shown? Never as she looks today….always pictures of twenty years ago. Strange, that.

Fanny
Fanny

@CeeCee.. Kelly’s been on a few times, since her initial WIN…
And I will say she’s an EXCELLENT dancer!!!
Check her out on Utube, partnered with Val C.

su0000
su0000

hi Celia !

That dancing with the stars, is nursing home gawd awful !
Their costume are from the wardrobe of a 3 ring circus; they should drop down from a trapeze
And who in heck dances like that= nobody ! 0oh dear lorddy!

They look more than ridiculous wiggling their feathered g-strings, too stupid for human consumption, Rick Perry proved that point bwahahaa haaa!

Celia
Celia

@Fanny.
Merci, mon amie,
I did watch Kelly….every move was fluent—I truly loved her style….and she looked smashing.
….caught a bit of dialogue, too. She seems fun…not, at all, like her character on GH.

Shay
Shay

Hello again, CeeCeeGirl! I’m so glad you have finally experienced the “real” Kelly M that I have championed to you on many a previous occasion! Wasn’t she dazzling??? You really must check back to her performances on the “Battle of the Champions” series because she was always inspiring and beautiful in her varied dance genres. Quite frankly, she and her partner, “Valentin” (Shades of GH…Lol….) were absolutely magnificent and they definitely should have won that competition. At any rate, I hear you on the youthful dance classes….your vivid descriptions of your little one brings back memories of my own years of recitals and stage performances which also began at age three…and yes, the finery was every bit as sparkly as you detail!

Shay
Shay

P.S. The best part was seeing Kelly’s “Darling Billy” there amongst the audience to witness her performance!

Celia
Celia

@Shay.
Hey, Shaybelle.
I apologize for taking a bit long to reply….life happens. My GG ( great grandmother) went to heaven….she would have been 100 this coming April. Sad!! Miss her, already…RIP.
But, I am one to forge on….I cannot sulk, ot I’ll lose it. I cannot allow THAT feeling to take a hold of my throat. Suffucating!!
So, …..Kelly Monaco. She was dazzling….no doubt. ….never questioned her dancing skill, nor her nice looks.
Kelly is undeniably pretty, but not a beauty….as some are wont to push her toward that category. ….just what I think, that’s all.
Kelly does have ( as per Francesca) the classic Italian eyes ” of Laura”, the love of Petrarca’s life, who immortalized her image for the ages……Petrarca was obsessed with her skin, her hair and her eyes….unfortunately “Laura” was married to someone else. Poor Francesco Petrarca….
So doomed he was!! Reminiscent of the Aligherian Beatrice, and his unrequieted love for her.
I do have a fresh appreciation for Sam, though. She did surprise me. I just finished watching yesterday’s episode. She does have a voice, afterall…..meaning, she did not just stand there and allow caveman Billy/Jason to threaten or take a stupid fit of uncontrolled, sotto voce anger (which sounds more ominous had he been yelling), as Neanderthal Jason1against Franco. Both remind me of Bluto ( Popeye cartoon).
I love Billy but this new Jason2 behavior turns me right off.
I’m sure his ‘tude will be excused as logical, considering this “new” interloper….well, I do not buy it. Jason1 should be just as angry, but lo and behold, he is not showing any of the anger toward this more pressing situation…..for Sam’s sake? To keep his sanity in check?
It seems that both Sam and Carly revel in this behavior from their men….certainly does not make them more virile or manly. Yuck. A man can prove his mettle by keeping his cool ….that’s sexy to me….not be stepped upon, of course….stand his ground without threats and the behavior of a brute.
…..( aside)…..What the hey did Maura do to her hair?? Looks so much better as a blonde…no vamp, this!!

Celia
Celia

@Shay.
Oopsies: Alighierian…..hard to keep all those vowels in check.
Shay, please note that, in no way, do I try to discredit Kelly her looks. She is well-put together—-we petites girls can swing ‘them’ hips just as much as those never-ending, long-legged models.
Seriously, forgive me for repeating myself, but Kelly was, indeed, a vision on that dancing stage.
I wonder if she had any training, other than/ prior to “Dancing”?!

Shay
Shay

Deepest condolences to your family and especially to you, CeeCee….I know how important and influential your great-gran was to your existence, so, of course, she shall be dearly missed. But what a life! To have been on this earthly plane for nearly a century….that’s a lot of wonders your dear lady beheld and witnessed. May she forever rest well and in peace!

Shay
Shay

As for GH matters,CeeCeeGirl….I could not agree more about the macho attitude overload of the “Two Jasons!” So much posturing and grandstanding yet to come, you can be sure…what next, a measuring stick contest???? (Please, just keep Sonny out of it…..Lol!) However, I do remain intrigued with the storyline, which in and of itself is something of a miracle for me! I cannot tell you the last time that has happened, but needless to say, it has been years! At any rate, I am gratified that you have finally had the chance to see Kelly shine outside of the narrow Port Charles milieu. Yes, she is a very fine dancer, a real firecracker and an excellent physical specimen of the female form despite her petite stature….good things do indeed come in small packages, to which we both can attest. (In terms of your observations on the “hips” thing??? A resounding yes! In college, I was coined “Swivel Hips,” not for any lascivious reasons, I assure you, but due to my catwalk-like sashaying around campus in my favorite high fashion ensembles….When I was first apprised of this moniker I was horrified, but when it was explained to me by its male originator, I considered it a compliment!) Lastly, I’m thinking Maura has gone mousy-blonde to detract from Ava’s usually come hither appearance since the character is still feeling unattractive given her facial reconstruction did not come to full fruition….that and perhaps she also wishes to be a bit less va-va-voom in the company of her still rather virtuous ex-priest boy???? You know, less “Madonna-esque” and more Madonna-like????

Francesca Bruno
Francesca Bruno

Sorry for your loss, Celia.

Condoglianze per una ragazza cosi’ ammirevole.
Che la tua bisnonna riposasse in pace per l’eternita’.
Con sincero conforto, e un grande abbraccio.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hi su…

If you like dance…then you’ll love Dancing With The Stars. This is a show with great entertainment and excellent choreography. The dancing is stupendous once they weed out the few that aren’t adept at it. (Which always contradicted what the show was supposedly going to be about…taking an inexperienced dancer and pairing him or her with a pro dancer…and seeing how much they improve week to week…as they compete with the other less experienced “stars.”)

That’s not how it evolved. Now, we have celebrities…some very well-known with a popular following, from TV, film, theatre, sports…others not as well-known or from previoius generations…but they can dance! The dances are electrifying, the music is great…and it’s the epitome of talent, fun, competition, hard work, amazing sets, etc.

And, though I know you’re very cognizant of age on almost every subject, DWTS is not “grandma stuff.” At all.

If you truly loved dancing…had a passion for it (I do…) then I think you’d appreciate it. If it’s not your thing it’s understandable if its not for you.

rebecca1
rebecca1

oh, and by the way, Kelly’s body is as rocking today as it ever was. all one has to do is check her out on the show and they’ll see that; I have no doubt she’ll kill it.

Celia
Celia

su, I did watch Kelly. Fantastic job. But, I won’t watch again….I cannot deny how talented these dancers are. Yet, my sister said, the show did not start this way……having celebrities sort of defeats the purpose; which was geared towards “untalented” contestants.
What I did take from this is that Kelly may not be such a great thespian ( in my opinion), but she seems like the kind of girl one wants to be friends with. ( sorry about the poor sentence structure)….. gotta run.

su0000
su0000

That dance stuff geez nobody dances like or would wear circus customs to go dancing in.. Not to mention the two thumbs down music..

We go clubbing and dancing..
Seen some wild stuff and some lame stuff on the floor but nothing like the dancing with the stars, it is totally lame .. who would dress and dance as that=nobody ..
And– it’s not even fun to watch its so not cool .. bwahaa!

Celia
Celia

@Shay.
Thank you for your sweet words, Shay….they do mean the world to me.
Much love.

Celia
Celia

@Francesca Bruno.
Grazie, Signora…..your kind words are much appreciated.

Celia
Celia

DOUBLE LOL, su….you crack me up…..I am speechless…..
Let me just say that this is a show; entertainment…..I’ m sure when these people/dancers go out partying, or on a date, whatever, they do not dress in skimpy clothes and glitter.
Have you ever been to a recital or a play? What about the drama club….the glee club…..the theater?
My little girl is three and she’s in ‘Dance’ already…..with rhinestones, lace/silk/silver studded costumes. Sooo cute….she loves it; a really girly girl, already!!!!
As a kid did you not ever let yourself go, when alone, and just go crazy, dancing in front of the mirror? I still do it . Ha!!
And, my grandmother had a dance studio in the City for decades……that’s how it’s done. It’s called “give it up with all you got”, that’s what my Gran would tell her students…….. the flamboyancy, the ‘shine’ and lavish embellishment are all part of the fun.
Bye, SuzieQ.

Shay
Shay

You are most welcome for the sentiments, CeeCee….My heart goes out to you for your immeasurable loss. Despite the fact we most often come to these threads to discuss, dissect and yes, even denounce, the make-believe existences of our favorite—and NOT so favorite—soap opera characters, when real life prevails over fiction, it makes one realize how much we can come to regard and care about certain fellow posters as honest-to-goodness people and dear friends, rather than merely cyber-names attached to comments awaiting a response. I had a feeling that maybe something was amiss when you were not replying in your usual timely, clever and ebullient manner, and sadly, my intuitions were confirmed. Alas, as you stated, life indeed happened, but hopefully, the recollections of all those beautiful years you were blessed to have shared with your beloved “GG” will comfort you in these difficult days ahead….memories are such precious and wonderful gifts…they keep our loved ones forever alive in our hearts and minds so we can both carry on and carry them with us where’er we go!!!! Thoughts and prayers, mia amica…Take care.

Timmm
Timmm

Cee Cee, God bless you, I am sorry about your GG! I wish she would have made it to 100 but 99 is a good number, as well. Things will get better for you. You have your family to comfort you. If things get a little rough, stare into Steve Burton’s piercing blue eyes and let yourself go for a minute! Much you.

Jimh
Jimh

I stay away from mirrors…i always look old in them-lol

Celia
Celia

@Timmm.
Awww, thank you, T. My GG died with all her wits about her. She was aware we were all there—too many of us to count—she went to her place in heaven as quietly as she had lived her life on earth…..my beautiful, kind GG.
Yes, Steve’s eyes do help, LOL.

Celia
Celia

@Jimh.
LOL. Jimmy….you always bring a smile to my heart….I love you for it.

Mo
Mo

Can’t wait to see them all return! Kelly did a great job and deserved her win. Looking forward to seeing her dance.

Celia
Celia

She will do a great job, Mo, I’m sure……if Cloris Leachman did it, so will Kelly who is forty years younger. LOL.

Mo
Mo

I actually didn’t enjoy their dance too much. Maybe it was the choreography.

Jordan, Corbin, and Lindsay’s dance was fantastic!

Also enjoyed Drew’s trio dance.

Harry
Harry

Does Miss Monaco ever age?
Well, I guess Dancing with the Stars is a better fit for her than Jeopardy.

jaybird369
jaybird369

Good one, Harry…lol.

Francesca Bruno
Francesca Bruno

Yes, @Shay. I don’t quite understand why some do not see the very subtle talent hidden behind those expressive Italian eyes of Kelly’s, as Sam.

Her words do become inaudible, at times but I always excuse it as part of who she is.
She does what she does on cue without overdoing it, as most of us Italians do, lol.
Sam reminds me of my daughter who is about her age. She is lead singer of a local rock band, but not ostentatious.

I do not know her real personality, but Kelly’s character keeps it under control. It does not mean she is unemotional or does not feel inner turmoil.

Her dancing and body language are amazing, even though her grammar goes off the deep end sometimes, but who cares?

Shay
Shay

Nor do I, Francesca!….I thought “Sam” was suitably, albeit subtly, demonstrable in her deeply-seated emotions with Steve Burton’s character in today’s episode….They were both quietly effective in their heart-tugging shared scene….so much feeling and history simmering beneath the surface there! What a treat it was to behold…oh, so very poignant! As for Kelly’s occasional inaudibility, it has been explained in the past that she suffers from a certain degree of hearing loss, so I definitely give her—and her characteristic sotto voce— a pass! Given that consideration, hers’ is a far better affectation than screaming one’s lines! Finally, after watching Miss Monaco on DWTS for two different seasons, I have found her to be an incredibly fun, friendly and down-to-earth individual who isn’t prone to putting on airs, including, alas, her sometimes more earthy language! (Guess you can take the girl out of Philly, but you can’t take Philly out of the girl! Lol…..)

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

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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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