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OLTL's Hillary B. Smith chats on Willee-Coppee Fund and Venice!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Each Sunday for the next four weeks, On-Air On-Soaps will be rolling out parts of our chat with Daytime Emmy winning actress, Hillary B. Smith (Nora) of One Life to Live for the ebay auction to help raise money for Hillary, and her best friend, Lindsay Harrison’s joint endeavor The Willee-Coppee Fund! Check each weekend for a new auction item that will be up for bids that is something very special and personal to Hillary, and fans of OLTL, and especially, Nora Hannen Gannon Buchanan (fill in the rest)…love that name!  Right now, you can bid on a great tape of episodes from the 93-94 soap season featuring: Todd terrorizing Nora (in the form of Roger Howarth) through Nora defending Dorian on a murder charge.

Here are this week’s excerpts from my conversation with Hillary on the background of the Willee-Coppee fund and “Dude”, Guya’s special needs dog coming in season two of Venice.

Hillary on how the Willee -Coppee fund was created: “It came about two-fold. Lindsay had her dog Willie, and I had my dog Coppee, who was 16 when she passed away.  During her life there were times where Coppee had her various things like Lyme disease, and needed medication that could cost around $400.00. I had the money to do that, but it was the realization that some people don’t.  Lindsay works with the Sherman Oaks Veterinary Group and they are really wonderful. The idea for the fund was that hopefully it would catch on and people would do this in their neighborhoods as well.   Lindsay and I wanted to find away to honor our puppies, because Willee and Coppee died at around the same time, and we said, “You know what? We need to do a little something in their honor!”  So it’s used as a discretionary fund by the Veterinarians in the clinic, and it has been used for lots of wonderful purposes.  It all started around three years ago, and it took on its own little life. ”

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Hillary on how a pet owner can get help from the Willie-Coppee Fund: “Usually there are people who go to the Sherman Oaks Veterinary Group and when they bring there animal there, it’s based upon the need of the pet owner and if they can’t pay for the care.  It’s up to Sherman Oaks to say, ”I think this is something for the Willee-Coppee Fund to kick in on.”

Hillary on her beloved Coppee: “She had gone through so much.  Coppee was allergic to everything like grass, and hay, and she had to be on steroids and prednisone. They kept saying this was going to shorten her life. I think what happened was that the dog  just did not want to leave us. She always wanted to make us happy and she knew if she died, it would make us sad.  So ultimately we had to carry her into the vet and put her down.”

Hillary on “Dude”- Guya’s special needs dog in Season Two of Venice: “In season two, I think you will see Guya in her store, which is interesting because shooting schedules being as they were in season one, there was no store.  Instead, we were in New York in Tina Sloan’s fabulous apartment.  When I entered her place, I said to myself, “Oh, I have read about places like this!” It’s spectacular.  How “Dude” comes into Venice…I think is…that the dog spoke to Guya and she is desperately in need of being needed.  You saw her with her babies.  There is nothing she loves more than her babies, and that is Gina and Owen. You will start to understand why Gina and Owen are so important.  In real life, “Dude” was a product of an owner who decided not to give the dog spinal surgery which would have saved the dogs ability to walk.  You understand now? And then the dog ended up being paralyzed and then they could not take care of the dog so they gave the dog away.  But Lindsay ended up with him through many twists and turns, and he is just wonderful!”

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Chrissie
Chrissie

Aww. I just love HBS. She’s so sweet and funny. Sad to hear about Coopie, but I’m glad Hillary decided to do something positive to remember and honor her. Excited to see what’s in store for Guya in season 2 of Venice. 🙂

Kera
Kera

Such great insight into a wonderful project!! Dude is one lucky dog!! Of course, Hillary is fabulous, too!!

toptim
toptim

Michael this is a really great article bringing awareness to animals and ways to help, and Thank you Hillary for doing such a wonderful thing in honor of your beloved dog

Bina
Bina

Hillary is such a wonderful person, she is one of the most generous, loving & caring person I have grown to love. She is so loving towards her fans. She and Lindsay Harrison are doing a wonderful thing in helping pet owners pay their Veterinarian bills through The Willie-Coppee Fund.

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Justin Hartley Scores Supporting Actor In a Drama Series Nod As 25th Annual Critics Choice Nominations Unveiled

And the nominees are … so say the film and TV critics … in the just announced 25th Annual Critics Choice Awards.  The winners will be announced during a live ceremony airing Sunday, January 12 on The CW beginning at 7PMEST/6PMCST.

In the television categories, This Is Us came up with several key nominations including: being in the running for Best Drama Series, and in addition, Justin Hartley (Ex-Y&R, Revenge, Passions) nabbed a Supporting Actor in a Drama Series nomination for his performance as Kevin Pearson in the NBC drama series,

Hartley’s on-screen brother, Sterling K, Brown received recognition in the Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his work as Randall.  In addition, Susan Kelechi Watson scored a nomination for her work as Randall’s wife, Beth in the Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category.

In an interesting first, The Kelly Clarkson Show received a nomination in the Best Talk Show category and is the only one in the running from daytime, all the rest in the pack are from primetime or late night.

Downton Abbey: The Movie scored in the film categories in Best Production and Costume Design.

Click here for the official list of all the nominations in the film and TV categories competing for the Critics Choice Awards 2020.

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Now below, let us know what you think of Justin’s nomination as well as his cast mates from This Is Us in the comment section.

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Caroll Spinney, Legendary Sesame Street Puppeteer Behind Big Bird And Oscar The Grouch, Dead At 85

More sorrowful news on Sunday.  Caroll Spinney, the legendary puppeteer behind beloved Sesame Street characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch,died today,  at the age 85 at his home in Connecticut.  Spinney has been suffering from dystonia for quite some time.

For the body of his life’s work, Spinney received many significant honors.  He was the recipient of four Daytime Emmy awards, as well as the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, the Library of Congress’ Living Legend Award, two Grammy awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

PhotoL SesameStreetWorkshop

The Sesame Street workshop put on this press release upon his passing: “Caroll was an artistic genius whose kind and loving view of the world helped shape and define Sesame Street from its earliest days in 1969 through five decades, and his legacy here at Sesame Workshop and in the cultural firmament will be unending. His enormous talent and outsized heart were perfectly suited to playing the larger-than-life yellow bird who brought joy to generations of children and countless fans of all ages around the world, and his lovably cantankerous grouch gave us all permission to be cranky once in a while.

Welcomed to Sesame Street by Jim Henson, Caroll thrived under a mentorship that led to a decades-long great friendship. Caroll’s unparalleled career saw Big Bird visit China with Bob Hope, dance with the Rockettes, be celebrated with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a U.S. postage stamp, and named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress. A favorite highlight for Caroll was conducting symphony orchestras and performing with them across the United States, Australia, and China, allowing him to personally connect with families everywhere through the music of Sesame Street. Caroll Spinney gave something truly special to the world. With deepest admiration, Sesame Workshop is proud to carry his memory – and his beloved characters – into the future. Our hearts go out to Caroll’s beloved wife, Debra, and all of his children and grandchildren.

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Sesame Street co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney said of her longtime colleague and friend, “Caroll Spinney’s contributions to Sesame Street are countless. He not only gave us Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, he gave so much of himself as well. We at Sesame Workshop mourn his passing and feel an immense gratitude for all he has given to Sesame Street and to children around the world.”

Share your thoughts on the passing of Caroll Spinney and his tremendous contribution for bringing to life for children young and old, Big Bird, and Oscar the Crouch and more.

But first, watch Barbara Walters present Spinney with the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award at the 33rd annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

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Days Of Our Lives

Noted Soap Opera Producer Lisa de Cazotte Has Died; Daytime Community Mourns Her Passing

Sad news to report on Sunday as the soap opera community and its fans learn of the passing of Daytime Emmy-winning and noted soap opera producer, Lisa de Cazotte,

Lisa passed away yesterday on Saturday December 7th after a long illness at the age of 58,   From early in her career her love of the soaps and passion for it were evident.  She began right out of college as an intern on ABC’s One Life to Live, where she worked her way up to Coordinating Producer.

Photo: JPI

Next, Lisa eventually became the Supervising Producer of NBC’s one and only Santa Barbara.  She spent time also on All My Children, before heading back to NBC and Sunset Beach where she assumed the role of Supervising Producer there.

However, it was in 1999 where de Cazotte became the  Executive Producer of Passions, which she helmed and remained till the end of its run in 2008.  It was a show that she loved so much.  She continued her career in the soaps in 2012 stepping into Salem and Days of our Lives where Lisa was named Co-Executive Producer of the series winning two Daytime Emmy Awards. for her efforts.

Sadly, now her final gig began in 2017, when she became Supervising Producer of The Young and the Restless and won her third Emmy in the process this past year.  De Cazotte was said to still be producing Y&R at the time of her passing. She is survived by her husband, Antoine de Cazotte, and her beloved brothers: Michael Patrick Smith, Robert Terence Smith, and Brian Charles Smith.

Photo: JPI

On social media over the last several hours, many actors, and colleagues have shared their sorrow and remembrances of Lisa.  Here are just a sampling:

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Jason Thompson (Billy,, Y&R): We lost a member of the family last night, one of our producers, Lisa De Cazotte. I first worked with Lisa when she produced the 2nd season of “Night Shift”. Years later and currently on @YandR_CBS  She was kind and smart. Our thoughts are with her family.”

Eric Martsolf (Brady, DAYS): The kindness and opportunity this woman furnished me was immeasurable. We have lost one of the hardest working and graceful producers in our genre. I will miss you terribly, Lisa. #RIP”

Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) “Sometimes you recognize those women who are part of “the tribe”. Whether you know them for 20 years or 20 minutes… they are still part of your tribe. Lucky for me. Godspeed beautiful Lisa”

Angelica Rosas McDaniel (Ex-CBS Daytime Exec) “Last night we lost a light in this world with the passing of Lisa De Cazotte. Lisa was smart, strong, kind, vibrant, an incredible friend and an Emmy winning producer on many beloved shows. I was blessed to know her. Sending love to her family and friends.”

Michael Logan (Former TV Guide Columnist): “RIP Lisa de Cazotte, one of the truly great soap producers. A real nose-to-the-grindstone talent, she never wanted personal glory choosing instead to do the work, quietly and fabulously. Her partnership with James E. Reilly on #Passions was epic.”

McKenzie Westmore (Ex-Sheridan Crane, Passions):  “Heart broken at the passing of my Passions EP Lisa!!”

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Sara Bibel (Writer, Y&R): “Lisa was a wonderful producer, a joy to work with, and knew everything about daytime. She will be missed by everyone at Y&R. RIP”

Michael Fairman TV will continue to update this section of the post as more remembrances are posted over the next 24 hours.

Share your condolences and thoughts on the passing of Lisa de Cazotte in the comment section below.

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DAYS Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk chat with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019; during their conversation the on-screen dup talk about the latest developments of Brady and Kristen within the series time-jump and more. Leave A Comment

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