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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
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
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
Brian Greene

Miss Erika is the greatest! 🙂

Brianna
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 Echo’s son , she doesn’t seem to care. Natalie is still protective of him. And loves him . All and all, Viki will do anything to protect and be there for her children.

Derek
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 back to 1888 in time to stop Clint’s wedding to Miss Ginny, and the stroke storyline are also all favorites of mine. And of course anytime she is Niki Smith or pretending to be Niki it is freakin’ hilarious!! And I love all of her alters! So, congratulations Ms. Slezak on 40 years! Here’s to 40 more (and more Emmy’s)!! You deserve it all!

Breaking News

Lauralee Bell On Her 35th Anniversary With Y&R: “My Hope For Cricket Is To Smile The Way She Used To & Chill Whenever Possible.”

Congratulations are in order this Sunday to Lauralee Bell who is celebrating her 35th anniversary with The Young and the Restless.  Hard to believe, it’s been 35 years since the perils of a young Cricket became front and center and those young love stories with Danny (Michael Damian), Phillip (Thom Bierdz) and eventually, Paul ( Doug Davidson).

As Cricket matured, so to was the decision to now call the character by her birth name, Christine.  After all, she became quite the legal eagle! For over three and a half decades with time-off in between, Lauralee has shared memorable storylines with the amazing Tricia Cast, and the late Jeanne Cooper as Nina and Katherine, and let’s not forget Michael Baldwin, played by Christian LeBlanc, to name just a few/

In a few tweets on Sunday, Lauralee acknowledged the day stating: “We all couldn’t do what we love to do without the viewers so thanks to them!”  She followed that up with a tweet filled with photos of herself and her co-stars throughout the years ,and some self-effacing humor stating: “Wasn’t going to post for YR anniversary, because I’m not one to put attention on me but no denying these people have made my life better. Thanks to crew & fans and my hope for Cricket is to smile the way she used to & chill whenever possible”

As viewers know, Lauralee is the daughter of Y&R creators, the late, great Bill Bell and his wife, Lee Phillip Bell.  We are sure Bill is smiling today for Lauralee and proud of this accomplishment.

Share your congrats for Lauralee on this milestone via the comment section below.  Then let us know your most memorable or favorite Cricket/Christine moment on the CBS Daytime drama series.

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Breaking News

GH’s Vinessa Antoine Lands Primetime Series Will Make Canadian TV History!

Fantastic news for General Hospital favorite, Vinessa Antoine (Jordan)! The talented actress had landed the leading role in the primetime Canadian series, Diggstown!

The legal drama is scheduled to air this fall.  In Diggstown, Antoine will play Marcie Diggs, a top corporate lawyer who decides to dedicate herself to a legal aid office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

This casting news will make Vinessa a part of Canadian TV history as the first Black Canadian actress to star in a prime-time drama on legacy network television, CBC.

Antoine spoke to the Toronto Star about her starring role, “When I first read the script I was really attracted to the notion that she was a corporate lawyer and she believed in the system. And when that crashed for her, life nudged her to do something extraordinary. And because I’m a woman of color, so many things connected. She’s complex, not stereotypical, and that’s refreshing.”

However as suspected, and according to the Toronto Star: “General Hospital fans will not be happy to learn that Antoine, who has been with the show since 2014, will no longer be a series regular when she starts shooting Diggstown in August.”

So, excited to hear Vinessa has been cast in a leading primetime series?  Comment below!

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Breaking News

IT’S OFFICIAL: Downton Abbey The Movie To Go Into Production This Summer

The highly-anticipated and rumored revival of Downton Abbey to the big screen is on!  Production is slated to begin later this summer.

From what we understand, all of the original cast is set to reprise their signature roles in the motion picture, written by series creator Julian Fellowes.

Fellowes will also serve as the executive producer along with other ‘Downton’ notables behind the scenes: Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge, and Nigel Marchant. Brian Percival is set to direct.  Percival also directed the pilot episode of the critically-acclaimed and beloved period soap opera series.

In a statement, Gareth Neame expressed: “When the television series drew to a close it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production.  Julian’s script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen.”

Focus Features chairman, Peter Kujawski, shared: “Since the series ended, fans of Downton have long been waiting for the Crawley family’s next chapter. We’re thrilled to join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing back the world of Downton to the big screen.”

Downton Abbey ran for six seasons on PBS  and received 15 Primetime Emmy awards and 69 nominations.

Actress Joanne Froggatt, who plays maid Anna Bates, took to Twitter with much enthusiasm at the news: “Delighted to announce we’re getting the band back together! #DowntonMovie #DowntonAbbey”

So, thrilled to hear the Downton Abbey movie is happening? Comment below.

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This week, a shocking move leaves Victor stunned! What will happen when the mystery around J.T. is revealed, and the fallout from it begins? Check out this explosive promo from Y&R. Leave A Comment

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