Connect with us

Breaking News

17

One Life to Live’s Ellen Holly Talks Her Groundbreaking Role And Struggles As Carla Gray

Courtesy/TVAcademyFoudation

In a sit-down video interview with the Television Academy Foundation, Ellen Holly best-known for her iconic and groundbreaking role on One Life to Live as “Carla Gray” talks about being the first African-American actress with a continuing major role on a soap opera and the turmoil behind it.

Throughout the over four and half hour’s of interview conducted with Holly, the actress chronicles her struggles with One Life’s creator Agnes Nixon, and various producers to be paid fairly, while also asking for good and dramatic storylines.

Photo: ABC

Holly recalls leaving One Life to Live in 1980, and returning in 1983, only to be fired by then-producer Paul Rauch at the end of her contract.  She discusses what she feels was poor treatment by the network and several producers of One Life to Live, and what she learned from that experience.

There are lots of stories, and behind the scenes moments through the viewpoint of Ellen, as well as how important it was at the time to be cast is such a key role in 1968.

From advice for actors, the civil rights movement, diversity in television, events and behind the scenes stories with her co-stars and producer at One Life, pivotal career moments and more, all of it was covered with the TV Academy Foundation

Now below check out a six segments relating to Holly’s experience and time on OLTL.  Let us know what you thought about what she had to say via the comment section.

Leave a comment | 17 Comments
Advertisement

17

avatar
8 Comment threads
9 Thread replies
15 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
12 Comment authors
AdrienneYolandaViolet LemmTomJnancy dillingham Recent comment authors
newest oldest
RICKIE BOGUILLE
Guest
RICKIE BOGUILLE

Always loved Ellen Holly and Carla! (From the narrative and having read her book, I presume her dressing room was given away to Jacquie Courtney and her co-star of less sexual wattage than Peter De Anda and Robert Milli was Herb Davis.) However, she misrepresents the span of time Lillian Hayman was on “One Life.” Lillian left about 1970 (replaced by Hilda Haynes and Esther Rolle) and didn’t return to the show full-time until 1977 (the show was 45 minutes at this point; original cast member Doris Belack had been fired and replaced a few weeks prior). Sadie did, however,… Read more »

Jamesj75
Guest
Jamesj75

Rickie, thanks so much for providing such detail and filling in the blanks. I, too, watched OLTL during that time, but my memory of that show is not as vivid.

What I do remember, however, is the mesmerizing allure of Ellen Holly as Carla Gray. A great actress in a groundbreaking storyline — for any medium!

I must thank Michael Fairman for this illuminating feature, including snippets of this riveting interview. For me, it’s so enjoyable when the early days of soaps are honored — and deservedly so!

Steve
Guest
Steve

There doesn’t seem to be any love lost between Holly and Erika Slezak, who she refers to as “the third Viki”

M J
Guest
M J

Lol @ the third Viki. Yikes! That hurt MY feelings… I started watching OLTL as kid in the late 70s, so I missed the initial groundbreaking Carla Benari/Grey storyline, but I fondly remember Miss Holly during the Ed Hall era. It really is heartbreaking how she and Miss Hayman were relegated to bit players when they were clearly and integral factor in the shows success. And speaking of the third Viki, I would imagine that the overwhelming majority of the remaining OLTL fans could never fathom anyone in the role of Victoria Lord Riley Burke Riley Buchanan Buchanan Carpenter Davidson… Read more »

RICKIE BOGUILLE
Guest
RICKIE BOGUILLE

LOL. I was thinking the same thing. In her book, she raves about Gillian Spencer (the original Victoria Lord) and mentions that Joanne Dorian (her replacement) was a good actress who was physically a Xerox copy of Ms. Spencer (the actresses only vaguely looked similar, as I recall). Re: Erika Slezak — I was impressed she had so much chemistry with Lee Patterson (Joe Riley) when he returned to the show (Slezak was cast with Bernard Grant as her love interest; she hadn’t worked with Patterson during his first run). However, Slezak wasn’t a major draw for me personally. Ellen… Read more »

M J
Guest
M J

In going back over the history of the the show, ES didn’t seem to be much of a stand out until they brought back Niki Smith. Prior to that, I believe both Judith Light and Robin Strasser had won Emmys before Slezak won her first. Viki could be quite dull and one note. They really milked the DID storyline to the point of ridicule. As a kid, I remembered it being poignant and heartbreaking to see Viki succumb to Niki Smith. After a while, it just looked like the writers drug out Niki whenever they didn’t know what to do… Read more »

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

Yes–soaps historical OVERDO a once-good thing. 🙁

Thad Bosley
Guest
Thad Bosley

When I watch Ellen Holly, I feel as though I am witnessing a remake of Captain Queeg’s Court Martial in The Caine Mutiny. Whew… creepy.

Isisdawonder
Guest
Isisdawonder

I watched all of this interview. I have her book as well. She dropped quite a bit of info from her years on the show and beyond. Well worth viewing. She is quite knowledgeable of the business and how the game is played. It IS a shame how she and others were treated by those in power at ABC. She deserved better.

fginaspy
Guest
fginaspy

I have always loved Ellen Holly. She is a beautiful and talented actress. She still is. I am sorry TPTB treated her so badly. Thank you Michael Fairman for sharing these videos.

Adrienne
Guest
Adrienne

Ellen Holly’s the reason I began watching OLTL beginning at age five with my big brother and two aunts. I never understood why she suddenly disappeared until reading her book years later. you Ms. Holly

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

So sorry–evil lurks everywhere.

TomJ
Guest
TomJ

I was only 5 years old when OLTL debuted and I watched with my mom and my great aunt. I loved Ellen Holly. Funny that even at my you g age, I never saw Ellen as a supporting or secondary role. She was always a a main star of OLTL in my eyes. Her words in this interview are a much needed cautionary tale for everyone who is new act acting.

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

I was just a young mother, years ago when watching the most romantic relationship between Carla and Ed. I also loved watching Ms. Holly many years ago in The Heat of The Night with Carroll O’Connor. What a two for one treat that was.

Yolanda
Guest
Yolanda

When was she on In The Heat Of The Night with Caroll O’Connor? If you are thinking of the actress he married on there, that was Denise Nicholas of Room 222 fame, Blacula, and other shows and movies.

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

She played Ruth Peterson from 1989 to 1990. You can Google it, if you like.

Yolanda
Guest
Yolanda

Gotcha. But Denise Nicholas has been misidentified often as other actresses. I didnt know Ellen Holly was ever on there..but I only watched it about half the time

Breaking News

Krista Allen is The Bold and the Beautiful’s New Taylor Hayes

In a shocking casting move, former Days of our Lives star, Krista Allen (Ex-Billie Reed from 1996-1999) has replaced long time B&B favorite, Hunter Tylo in the role of Dr. Taylor Hayes.

According to EW.com, Allen will take over the role of beginning on December 10th. Tylo, had previously played the role of Taylor for over three decades on the CBS daytime drama series.

Photo: JPI

The report also notes that The Bold and the Beautiful did reach out to Hunter about reprising her signature role but was unsuccessful.

For fans of the show, Taylor has been absent for many key story points since 2019 including: her son Thomas’ brain surgery and the recent marriage of her daughter, Steffy’s marriage to Finn, plus the birth of her grandson and more.

In a tweet following the casting news being announced, Allen shared on her Twitter account: “This is gonna be a fun one! Very excited to step into this iconic role and be back on Daytime after 25 years! … Omg T-W-E-N-T-Y F-I-V-E years?”

Krista will start taping at B&B’s CBS Television City soundstage this Thursday, October 28th, and will share her first scenes with Thorsten Kaye (Ridge). Will there be trouble ahead in his marriage of Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) and Ridge with NuTaylor back in the picture?

Allen was recently seen on the TV series 9-1-1, and numerous primetime and film appearances.

So, what do you think of Krista Allen becoming the recast Dr. Taylor Hayes? Comment below.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Stars React to Alec Baldwin Fatally Shooting Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins & Injuring Director, Joel Souza, In Prop Gun Mishap On Set of ‘Rust’

UPDATED: Over the last 24 hours, the entertainment world has been stunned, by the horrific incident that took place on the set of the western drama Rust, while it was shooting scenes in New Mexico.

What is known is that Alec Baldwin (Ex-The Doctors, Knots Landing) discharged a prop gun that killed Director of Photography, Halyna Hutchins and injured director, Joel Souza.  The film also stars Frances Fisher (Ex-Edge of Night) and Jensen Ackles (Ex-Days of our Lives). Baldwin is also a producer on the film.

Photo: Getty

According to Variety, the prop gun contained a “live single round,” according to an email sent by IATSE Local 44 to its membership.

On Friday, Alec Baldwin made a statement via Twitter on his Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation Twitter feed, expressing: “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”

Yesterday, The Sante Fe Sheriff’s Departments originally shared that “Hutchins, 42, and Souza, 48 were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin.  Ms. Hutchins was transported, via helicopter, to University of New Mexico Hospital where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel. Mr. Souza was transported by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical center where he was undergoing treatment for his injuries. This investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives.”

This morning, Frances Fisher revealed in a twitter conversation with Patricia Arquette, that director Joel Souza had been released from the hospital.  Meanwhile, photographs of a distraught Baldwin emerged following the shooting.

Photo: New Mexican

The news of the Baldwin prop gun incident, isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Jon-Erik Hexum was killed on October 18, 1984, on the set of the TV show Cover Up when he accidentally shot himself in the head with a gun loaded with blanks. Then, in 1993, Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died from a prop gun accident on the set of The Crow by a cast member.

As the news made its way through the entertainment community and mainstream news, several soap stars shared their reactions to the fatal shooting accident.

General Hospital’s Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan) expressed: “Feeling so sad for everyone involved in the tragedy on the #RustMovie set. I do know the film was staffed with experienced, thoughtful professionals. Please, let’s wait until we have the facts. Nothing positive will come from passing judgement or casting aspersions before then.”

General Hospital and Dynasty’s Emma Samms (Holly, Fallon) shared on her friend Jon-Erik Hexum’s death: This AWFUL tragedy on #Rust is unfathomable to me. If all on-set protocols were being adhered to, how, on earth, could it have happened? After what happened to Brandon Lee and my dear friend Jon-Erik Hexam, the firearm protocols became incredibly strict. I was told (when I was with him at the hospital afterwards) that Jon-Erik had been working with a completely empty gun all morning. A blank (still very dangerous) was loaded and then immediately there was a delay. Exhausted, he was allowed to fall asleep – loaded gun in hand. hey woke him, but there was immediately another delay. Jon-Erik put the gun to his head, forgetting it now contained a blank, (because he had just woken up) and jokingly pulled the trigger. He was not the kind of person to play around with a loaded gun. #fortherecord”

We will continue to post reactions and update this story.

What are your thoughts on the fatal shooting on the set of Rust? Comment below.  How can this not happen again, so everyone is safe in this working environment when ‘dangerous’ props are called for or used to make a movie or a TV show?

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Natalie Morales Set to Join ‘The Talk’ After Exiting NBC News

Looks like the The Talk table will now be set, as Natalie Morales will be added to the line-up of co-hosts for the CBS daytime afternoon series.

Although CBS would offer no official word or comment after the story on her coming to the series ran in the Daily Mail, Natalie would join: Sheryl Underwood, Amanda Kloots, Jerry O’Connell and Akbar Gbajabiamila on the panel.

This comes after Morales exited NBC News this morning after 22 years for an “unspecified new opportunity”.  However, she will continue to appear on Dateline’s 30th season throughout the rest of year.

The longtime Today Show anchor told staffers she was moving on expressing in a note: “To my Dateline and Today show families, it’s very hard to say goodbye… and we all know in this business it’s never goodbye but see you later. I’m eternally grateful for the support and deep friendships that will remain no matter where our paths lead.  I have so much to be thankful for and for every one of you who helped me get here… muchísimas gracias mis amigos.”

Tom Mazzarelli, the EP of Today also wrote in a note to staff that “Morales been offered an opportunity she’s passionate about and has decided to step away from NBC News after an incredible two-decade career here.”

Natalie previously anchored Access Hollywood from 2016 to 2019 and continued to be the West Coast anchor of Today.

So, what do you think of Natalie Morales, becoming a main co-host on The Talk? Good fit? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

DAYS head writer, Ron Carlivati talks with Michael Fairman on the creation and the making of the limited-series “Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem” currently streaming on Peacock. Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Power Performance

Laura Wright as Carly

General Hospital

Airdates: 9-9/10- 2021

Advertisement

Popular