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OLTL's Daytime Emmy Winning Favorite Al Freeman Jr. Dies!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

One of On-Air On-Soaps most beloved performers in the history of soaps, Al Freeman Jr. has died!  For many years, Al played Llanview police Captain Ed Hall on One Life to Live.  Freeman played the role from 1972 till 1987.  Many long time OLTL fans will remember his on-screen relationship with Ellen Holly (Carla).  But what we will always remember is the sweet and amazing friendship that Ed built with the hooker-with-the-heart-of-gold, Karen Wolek played by Judith Light.

Al Freeman was such a subtle performer of such dignity and charisma during his time on One Life.  He finally won his long overdue Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in 1979 and was the first African-American to win a Daytime Emmy.

News of Freeman’s death came on Friday from Howard University through this short statement.  “It is with tremendous sadness that the passing of our beloved Professor Al Freeman, Jr. is confirmed,” Kim James Bey, chair of the university’s theater department said in a statement.  Freeman was a faculty member at the university.  Bey gave no details about the death of Freeman, who was 78 and taught acting at the Washington-based university, but said a bigger statement would be issued later.

Freeman Jr., was also widely recognized for his portrayal of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad in Spike Lee’s 1992 film Malcolm X, plus  countless television, film and theatre projects throughout his enduring career. Now after the jump watch some scenes with Al Freeman Jr as Ed Hall on One Life to Live, and then share your thoughts on his passing with us.

 

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Susan Csusan M.Carol PaintergloriaMBmomof3 Recent comment authors
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diane c
diane c

Loved al freeman jr on oltl, as ed hall .great actor

Sharon B.
Sharon B.

He was a great actor and will be missed by many. I didn’t know he won the First African Ameican Emmy. Also did not know he had been gone from OLTL that long!

Gmbenet
Gmbenet

I saw Al Freeman, Jr. on OLTL during the brief time that I watched the show. Later, he appeared on an episode of The Cosby Show as Heathcliff’s former track coach(?). When I saw him on The Cosby Show, I immediately associated him with OLTL.

Did not know Mr. Freeman had served as a professor at Howard University, but glad to hear it. Phylicia Rashad who played Clair Huxtable, also taught at Howard University. They had much to talk about if they served at the same time.

My condolences to Mr. Freeman’s family and Howard University.

margie
margie

We were blessed to have him portray Ed Hall! Sad news of his passing. Our stars are so much biger than life. God bless he will RIP at home.

Sal Piscioneri
Sal Piscioneri

How sad, Ed, Carla, Sadie and the Woleks (all) made OLTL tremendous to watch and I miss them all so much. This news just makes me sad of all we lost over the years on soaps.

dg
dg

He was an awesome, ground breaking actor who gave legitimacy to the genre. His era of One Life was classically indicative of Agnes Nixon’s vision of daytime. This is a huge loss, particularly for the African American acting community.

His portrayal of Elijah Mohammad in Malcolm X was nothing short of brilliant. He will be truly missed.

Debbie Harris
Debbie Harris

So sad to hear of Al Freeman Jr.’s passing. Loved his portrayal of Ed Hall on OLTL and the romance/friendship between him and Carla. Ah, memories. OLTL forever!!
RIP Al Freeman Jr.

PAUL WILLIAMS
PAUL WILLIAMS

Seeing those old OLTL clips from ’84 brought back great memories of not only a great daytime soap, but also of a great actor like Al Freeman, Jr. It’s little wonder why he was such a success, not only on this show, but throughout his entire career, too. He always carried himself with such dignity, honor, and class! OLTL was very priveledged to have him as part of their cast! His presence will indeed be missed, but he’ll always be remembered for his great work, especially in “Malcolm X”. RIP, Al, and thank you for giving of yourself as you did, we’ll remember you always!

JLH
JLH

I’ve never forgotten Ed Hall or the truly great actor who portrayed him. Ed/Al is very much a part of fond OLTL memories. Very sad news.

Llan fan
Llan fan

Great to hear Michael Zaslow’s piano playing again. We’ve lost so many great ones. No one these days compares to them. RIP Al et al.

ethel
ethel

i remember when he started on oltl – what an awesome actor! my prayers & thoughts are with his family………………………

susan M.
susan M.

DITTO!!!!!!!!!

Elhu
Elhu

A class act and a beloved character who will always be remembered. May you rest in peace Al Freeman Jr.

Jose
Jose

RIP… what a great actor, class personified.

Brian Greene
Brian Greene

Rest In Peace, Dear Wonderful Al!

Iakovos
Iakovos

Freeman was a class act, it seems. I remember him on OLTL as Ed Hall and always wished as the years passed there would be a way to bring him back as Ed with Carla and others. I always loved the NYC-based daytime dramas for they were populated by such amazing talents. OLTL had many of them. Bless you, Al Freeman Jr.! You are remembered well.

Christy
Christy

I can still hear his voice in my head… he was a great actor on One Life to Live, but his acting career spanned from 1958 to 2004 (see IMDB for the long list). Not only was he the first African -American to win a Daytime Emmy Award, he was also the first African-American to direct a soap opera as he directed several episodes of One Life to Live.

I didn’t know about his teaching career but it seems to fit as he was such a great actor.

He will be greatly missed.

Christy
Christy

one door closes and another one opens….

today I read about news for 2 former OLTL actors – Al Freeman Jr.’s passing, and a birth of a first child for Brandon Routh (ex-Seth Anderson) and his wife Courtney Ford ( of True Blood), Leo James Routh, born Friday, August 10.

On One Life to Live his character Seth came to Llanview in 2001 with Natalie Balsom and he knew Natalie, not Jessica, was Viki’s true daughter. … back when they didn’t know they were both Viki’s daughters, that is.

You might remember Brandon more as the face of the new Superman in the 2006 movie, Superman Returns.

susan M.
susan M.

rememeber those days of OLTL, I watched with mt mom at that time….Ed Hall & Carla Gray marriage on OLTL Oct. of 1973……The Woleks………………….RIP…

susan M.
susan M.

When OLTL was in B&W……………………………….

susan M.
susan M.

Was a good old soul & will be missed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Great actor. Loved his OLTL character and he was in many of my favorite storylines. Especially the Ed and Carla/Clara story.

gloria
gloria

I can hear his voice right now. Reminds me of just how good OLTL always was & makes me miss it more than ever.

susan M.
susan M.

Ditto!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Carol Painter
Carol Painter

Awww, how sad, I didn’t expect to read this. I just check in every now and then, to read the top news, stories, and updates. How sad. I enjoyed watching him on OLTL.
sad News.
sigh…………

Susan C
Susan C

He will be greatly missed. And has been missed off screen for a long time. I also remember him fondly from Hot l Baltimore….very funny show and a different side to Mr. Freeman!

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OLTL Alum Brandon Routh Revisits Playing Superman This Time On TV

Big news out of San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend involving former One Life to Live star and the former motion picture Superman, Brandon Routh (Ex-Seth Anderson, One Life). The actor will be making a comeback in the superhero role, but this time on television.  Brandon played the man of steel in the motion picture Superman Returns over 13 years ago.

Routh who presently stars on Legends of Tomorrow as Ray Palmer AKA The Atom will be donning the Superman cape along with Tyler Hoechlin in an Arroverse crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths. Both Routh and Hoechlin will appear as Superman but in “different time frames.  Crisis on Infinite Earths will take place over five episodes, three in December 2019 and two in January 2020.

Photo: Warner Bros

During Arrow’s San Diego Comic-Con 2019 panel, Brandon Routh revealed that he was wearing a shirt with the Kingdom Come Superman emblem, which means he will be playing the Superman from another universe.   As to what the story will be, it is reportedly based on Kingdom Come, a story that landed on the pages of the Justice Society of America, set far in the  future, when Superman has a bit long in the tooth, and is facing competition from a younger, more violent generation of superheroes.

Routh told EW: “It’s an opportunity for me to kind of say hello and goodbye to the character in a way I didn’t get to the first time.  Being a young individual of 24, 25, I thought, ‘Oh, I’m going to do this for years and make multiple movies.’ And that, of course, didn’t happen. I’m just very honored to be able to do this one last time.”

Photo: ABC

 

As for Routh’s time on One Life playing opposite Melissa Archer’s Natalie, from 2001-2002, his time in Llanview was cut short via a reported firing and was then replaced.  Guess Brandon has had the last laugh with this one going on to motion picture and primetime TV superhero roles.

Watch below when Routh revealed his upcoming man of steel turn at the Arrow panel at SDCC below.

Then, let us know, will you be checking out Brandon as Superman once again? Do you recall his time on One Life to Live when Seth was scheming with Natalie? Comment below.

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Michele Lee, Donna Mills & Joan Van Ark Talk Their ‘Sister’ Act and How They’re ‘Knot’ Done Yet

Who doesn’t love to see a Knots Landing (1979-1993) reunion,  especially when the three major leading ladies from the iconic primetime soap are seen together and step out in public!

Last night, the threesome of Michele Lee (Ex-Karen), Donna Mills (Ex-Abby) and Joan Van Ark (Ex-Valene) appeared in Hollywood at the the Hollywood Bowl The Jose Iturbi Foundation dinner, which promotes classical music to mainstream audiences, and awards grants to musicians, held before its concert.

It was there that these women chatted about their enduring friendship, and of course, missing that infamous cul-de-sac!  In a feature for ABC News via AP, with the fan favorites from ‘Knots’, Van Ark commented: “The truth is that we are, in fact, sisters. And when we’re together, it’s goofy and fun. When we have our three-way conversations, which might be just the three of us, we are truly joined soul-to-soul, heart-to-heart.”   The trio revealed that they always get together for dinner.

Coming up in December is what would be the 40th anniversary of the debut of Knots Landing. When asked if there might be another reunion show, Van Ark remarked that she would hope that Valene, Abby, and Karen would have had some ‘work done’, commenting: “They’ll all have facelifts, I hope.”

And if that wasn’t funny enough, Joan chimed in that there is a back-up plan if there is no reunion: “It’s a show that were going to call  ‘We’re ‘Knot’ Done Yet.’ And we’re not. We’re not.”

With female empowerment being a huge topic of our time, Donna Mills expressed how ‘badass” the ‘Knots’ gals were for their time: “We were so strong, our characters were so strong, that it was like, ‘Don’t mess with them.'”

So, would you like to see a ‘Knots’ 40th reunion special? Comment below.

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‘Bachelor’ Creator Mike Fleiss Slapped With Restraining Order After Allegedly Attacking Wife; Demanding She Have An Abortion

In what is now become sadly its own soap opera, the creator of ‘The Bachelor” franchise, Mike Fleiss and his wife, Laura are in the middle of a media frenzy this week after reports surfaced on Wednesday that Laura filed a restraining order against him following an argument and altercation allegedly over Fleiss demanding she have an abortion, as she is presently pregnant with his second child.

As more information came to light Mike had filed for divorce last week earlier after five years of marriage citing irreconcilable differences, according to court documents. It was listed their separation date was on July 7.  In addition, Mike requested joint legal and physical custody of their young son, Benjamin,

Shortly after the divorce filing, Laura who is a former Miss America from Wisconsin (Laura Kaeppeler), winning the crown in 2012, then filed an emergency domestic violence restraining order on Mike. In her claim, she says he physically attacked her and “demanded” she get an abortion. This allegedly went down over the July 4th weekend,  Court documents state that Laura is ten weeks pregnant at this time.

In addition, Laura alleges that Fleiss informed her: ‘If you have an abortion, then we can just go back to the way we were.’”  She went on to say: “Prior to July 4th, Mike threatened me that if I did not have an abortion, he would end the marriage.  This was not the first time he had threatened a divorce during our marriage, but now, he was using this threat as leverage to force me to have an abortion. In addition, on July 4th, Mike made the following statements to me: ‘I am cutting you off financially Monday morning’; ‘You are paying for everything with your money’; ‘Next time I see you, I don’t want to see your stomach’; and ‘You have a choice, you can choose. Have an abortion or go back to Wisconsin, but you are not taking Ben.’”

Photo: JPI

Fleiss defended himself in the documents obtained by The Blast: “I have not hurt, attacked, or attempted to physically harm Laura or our child, Benjamin Fleiss ‘Ben,’ in any way., Laura was the aggressor during the incident and physically attacked me. I tried to get away from her as she was chasing me and hitting me. I have security footage from our home that shows the incident, which the Court can review.”

He also added that: “After the incident, Laura was initially remorseful. I was leaving Hawaii for work commitments in Los Angeles. I spent time with Ben at the house in Hawaii prior to leaving for Los Angeles. A few days after the incident, Laura stopped all communication with me. “I don’t know where Ben is and I want custody of him because of Laura’s instability.”

On Thursday, Radar Online released text messages provided by Fleiss to the courts from his estranged wife.

Meanwhile, Warner Brothers, the company behind the “Bachelor” franchise said of the incident and the status of Fleiss with this series: We are aware of these serious allegations, and are looking into them.”

So, do you think Fleiss should be, or will be asked to step away from ‘The Bachelor’ franchise in lieu of this domestic dispute and violence issue? Comment below.

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