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OLTL's Erika Slezak chats on her 40th Anniversary homage episode & more!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

It is hard to believe, but come this March 17th Erika Slezak will have played the indomitable Viki Lord Gordon Riley Burke Riley Buchanan Buchanan Carpenter Davidson Banks for 40 years on One Life to Live. And, as the centerpiece of Llanview, the series is planning a very special homage to Erika and Viki on April 26th!

TV Guide spoke to Erika Slezak to get her thoughts on the upcoming episode, working on soaps for decades, OLTL’s cancellations rumors, the addition of Kim Zimmer to the mix in Llanview, and the men in Viki’s life.  Here are a few excerpts below:

Slezak on the scoop on the 40th Anniversary episode: “I haven’t seen the script yet but I think it’s going to include a lot of me. [Laughs] No flashbacks or anything. I think they’re going to dredge up a lot of what’s going on in Viki’s life right now and how she’s dealing with it. When Frank said, “We’re writing a show for you,” I was so touched I started to cry. It’s so sweet. But I was kind of hoping it would all go by unnoticed.”

Slezak on the men in Viki’s life: “I’ve been fortunate in that they’ve given me partners who were willing to share. Not every actor is unselfish. A lot of them are very selfish indeed and it’s always all about them. Fortunately, I’ve never had that kind of guy. Even Clint Ritchie (Clint), who wasn’t necessarily the best actor in the world, was so wonderfully natural and pure and touching that we made a great pair. They used to call us The Cowboy and the Lady. I’m not saying Clint was a bad actor. He was a real-life cowboy. He wasn’t used to acting, and television. But we found something that worked. Viki brought out a sweetness in him.”

Slezak on if it was true that Robin Strasser was indeed freaked that Kim Zimmer was rejoining OLTL: “Kim coming back to the show was a freakin’ brilliant opportunity. Robin was indeed concerned. She came to me and said, “Erika, I just don’t know about this.” But I told her this could only be good for our characters and the show. Bringing back Echo delved into our history and brought up all that old animosity. It’s just fabulous! And Kim is such a joy.”

So now we ask, “What is your favorite Viki moment from the past 40 years?”  Let us know.

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Todd
Guest
Todd

I am happy they are doing an episode for her. She is the heart of the show. My neice used to say at 2:00 every day…”it is time for the Viki show”.

Chip
Guest
Chip

Ms. Slezak is a class act…a gracious lady and a brilliant actress. Happy anniversary to her! I hope she and OLTL enjoy 40 more years of success!

Brian Greene
Guest
Brian Greene

Miss Erika is the greatest! 🙂

Brianna
Guest
Brianna

I liked it when she told Clint that Cord Roberts was his son. Not to mention that Natalie was Jessica’s twin sister and also her daughter. Plus the way that she stood up to Roxy when she started to trash Natalie . That was completely awesome. But then riding into save Natalie’s life against her own father. Now that says something about a mother’s love. Natalie’s and Viki’s love has truly evolved. Plus , the way that she adores Rex . Even though , she didn’t know anything about him. Now, finding out that Rex is actually biologically Clint’s and… Read more »

Derek
Guest
Derek

Favorite Viki moment? Gosh, there are too many to even begin to count! LOL One of my first memories of Viki actually was back in 1985 when she turned into Niki Smith on the witness stand at Tina’s trial for the murder of Harry O’ Neill. I remember just being mesmerized by the whole thing!! And shouting at the TV “Leave her alone! She’s not Viki. She’s Niki!” LOL From that moment on I was a HUGE Viki and Erika Slezak fan. Viki going to heaven, Gabrielle Medina leading Viki into Eterna and Viki remembering more about Eterna, Viki going… Read more »

General Hospital

GH’s Josh Swickard Stars in HBO Max Film ‘A Hollywood Christmas’

Circle Thursday, December 1st! That’s when you can see General Hospital’s Josh Swickard (Chase) in yet another holiday film.  This time, Swickard stars alongside Jessika Van in A H0llywood Christmas streaming on HBO Max.

In story, A Hollywood Christmas follows Jessica, a successful Christmas movie director, who begins living her own real-life Christmas movie when a handsome television executive named Christopher (played by Swickard), shows up on the set.

Sent by the network to decide if producing Christmas movies are worth the expense, Christopher’s presence threatens to halt production on Jessica’s latest film. With Christopher looking over her shoulder on behalf of the network, Jessica now has to juggle: actors on the set falling in and out of love, an elf dog, and her own romantic feelings for the network exec!

As many are aware, Josh stars in many holiday films, so it’s a bit of send-up about a guy who is in Christmas movies starring in a movie about the making of one.

Warner Brothers posted tune-in info on their official Instagram a few days ago, sharing, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… #AHollywoodChristmas premieres in SIX Days! Spend the #HolidaysWithHBOMax.”

You can check out the trailer below.

Will you be checking out Josh in ‘A Hollywood Christmas’ starting this Thursday? Comment below.

 

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Breaking News

Jack McBrayer and JoJo Siwa Named Hosts For First Annual ‘Children’s & Family Emmy Awards’

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has announced that Emmy nominee and former 30 Rock star Jack McBrayer (ex-Kenneth), and Emmy nominee and music and social media sensation JoJo Siwa, will host the first annual Children’s & Family Emmy Awards.

McBrayer will preside over the Children’s & Family main ceremony on Sunday, December 11 and Siwa will lead the Children’s & Family Creative Arts Emmy ceremony on Saturday, December 10.  Both events will take place at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles.

Photo: NATAS

In addition, XOMG POP!, the all-girl pop group created by Jess and JoJo Siwa, will perform at during Creative Arts ceremony. Dancing with the Stars fans will also recall that JoJo Siwa along with pro dance partner, Jenna Johnson took 2nd place during season 30 of the ballroom dance competition series, becoming the first all-female team to compete.

Siwa is also a bestselling author, singer and film star with over over  60.5 million followers on social media and 3.6 billion views on YouTube.  Her first-ever tour, D.R.E.A.M. The Tour, sold out 100+ arenas as she became the youngest artist ever to headline and sell out the O2 Arena in London.  She was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2020.

McBrayer is nominated this year for a Children’s & Family Emmy for Outstanding Host for his work on Hello, Jack! The Kindness Show. Siwa has two nominations – one for Outstanding Choreography for her Peacock show Siwas Dance Pop Revolution, and one for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition for a Live Action Program.

In a statement, the actor shared: “I am thrilled to be hosting the first Emmys ceremony specifically created to recognize the important and influential Children’s & Family genre.  It is truly an honor to be celebrating all of the individuals whose wonderful contributions remind us that great television can entertain, educate and bring together people of all ages.”

Siwa added, “I am honored to be hosting the very first Children’s & Family Emmy Awards, and to be a nominee in both outstanding choreography and outstanding music direction and composition for a live action program. It’s sure to be a fun-filled evening with my girl group, XOMG POP! kicking off the night with what will be a great performance!”

Adam Sharp, President and CEO, NATAS shared on the host announcements: “We’re thrilled to recognize the fastest-growing genre in television by launching the Children’s & Family Emmys with such cultural powerhouses as Jack McBrayer and JoJo Siwa. Their undeniable energy and enthusiasm perfectly capture the tone which will set this ceremony and competition apart for years to come.”

The Children’s & Family awards are the first standalone expansion of the Emmy Award competition since 1979 and marks the successful culmination of the first full year of the realignment between NATAS and the Television Academy.  With nearly 3,000 submissions, the competition is now the largest that NATAS oversees.

You can view the nominations here.

So, what do you think of NATAS’ picks of JoJo Siwa and Jack McBrayer to host the inaugural Children’s & Family Emmy Awards? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Irene Cara, Best-Known For Smash Hits ‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance… What A Feeling’, Dead at 63

Oscar and Grammy winner, Irene Cara has passed away.  The singer/songwriter/actress, known for her memorable vocal performances to the theme of the hit movie, Fame, and singing the title track to another 80’s blockbuster, Flashdance, apparently died in her Florida home yesterday. The cause of death is not yet known.

According to her publicist, Judith Moore on Twitter, the rep shared: “This is the absolute worst part of being a publicist. I can’t believe I’ve had to write this, let alone release the news.  It is with profound sadness that on behalf of her family I announce the passing of Irene Cara. The Academy Award-winning actress, singer, songwriter and producer passed away in her Florida home.  Irene’s family has requested privacy as they process their grief. She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films.”

A little known fact is that Irene’s first acting gig was on the daytime drama, Love of Life from 1970-1971 in the role of Daisy Allen.   She later appeared in TV roles on: What’s Happening, Kojak, Roots: The Next Generations, and in the film, Sparkle and many more.

Later, Cara first rose to prominence when she was cast in the 1980’s musical film Fame, where she sang the title track and starred in as Coco Hernandez.  Her vocal performance in Fame earned her two Grammy Award nominations for Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Performance Female in 1981.

Two years later, Cara not only picked up two Grammy Awards for her performance, but also an Oscar for  co-writing, “Flashdance… What a Feeling” from another 80’s pop culture smash, Flashdance.  At the Grammys in 1984, Irene won for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, and Best Album of an Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special.  She took home the Oscar for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards in 1983.

Cara’s rep added, that at the time of Irene’s death they were working on new projects: “Working on amazing projects that would have made her  and her fans incredibly happy. Her manager and I will finish them. She’d want that.”

Share your thoughts and remembrances on the passing of Irene Cara via the comment section below.

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