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‘Passions’ Alum Ben Masters Dead at 75

Photo: Getty

Ben Masters, best-known to soap opera fans as the rich and powerful, Julian Crane on Passions has passed away.  The actor died today on January 11, 2023, at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Springs, California.  Masters had battled dementia for several years and succumbed to Covid-19.  He was 75-years-old.

Julian Crane was involved in many a whacky plot on the defunct NBC soap opera and he played the part from 1999-2008.  Masters, also appeared on Another World in 1982 as Vic Strang.

With quite an accomplished career in theater, film, and television career, which began at a young age, Masters moved to New York City, where he starred in many on and off-Broadway productions, including Captain Brassbound’s Conversion with Ingrid Bergman, The Cherry Orchard with Meryl Streep, and Boys in the Band.

Later, Ben segued into film, starring in Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz with Roy Schneider, Key Exchange with Brooke Adams and Danny Aiello, Making Mr. Right with John Malkovich, and Dream Lover with Kristy McNichol.

Throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Masters starred in many TV mini-series, including Noble House with Pierce Brosnan, Celebrity with Ned Beatty and Tess Harper, and guest starred in numerous television series, including Kojak, Petrocelli, Touched by an Angel, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Barnaby Jones, Murder She Wrote, Heartbeat, Walker: Texas Ranger, Diagnosis Murder, Sisters, and Pensacola Wings of Gold.

He is is survived by his sister Cheryl Lerner, nieces Hannah and Clea Lerner of Los Angeles, and numerous friends and colleagues by whom he was loved and respected.  At Ben’s request, there will be no memorial service or funeral.

Share your condolences and remembrances for Ben as we have lost yet another member and alum from the daytime family in the comment section below.

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He was also on Another World playing opposite Nancy frangione.

I never cared for Passions and it’s craziness but Mr Masters was so handsome and a delight to watch.

So sorry to hear this.I have always been a fan of Ben’s.lOVE d him in Passions.May you rest in peace Ben and may God bless you.

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‘Santa Barbara’ Episodes May See Light of Day Yet; Will the Beloved Soap Opera Come to Streaming?

For decades, soap opera fans around the world have wanted a chance to see Santa Barbara episodes again. The soap, which first aired on NBC back on July 30, 1984 aired for only 9 seasons until the network pulled the plug after diminishing ratings and multiple changes in writing and producing regimes. The show last aired on January 15th, 1993.

Santa Barbara was co-created and initially produced and co-written by the legendary team of Bridget and Jerome Dobson. At the recent 51st annual Daytime Emmys, Jerome was honored with the Gold Circle medal for his over 50 years of work and accomplishments within the medium. Sadly his wife, Bridget passed away earlier this year in January at the age of 85.

The show featured an all-star soap cast throughout its run which included, at times: Marcy Walker, A Martinez, Dame Judith Anderson, Robin Wright, Justin Deas, Eileen Davidson, Lane Davies, Nancy Lee Grahn, Kim Zimmer, Jack Wagner, Jed Allan, Louise Sorel. Judith McConnell, Roscoe Born, Sydney Penny, Todd McKee, Terry Lester, Justin Gocke, Nicolas Coster and many more.

Photo: NBC

During a livestream conversation on Friday, June 21st, Jerome Dobson and A Martinez visited the Michael Fairman Channel to reminisce about the success and ups and downs of Santa Barbara and much more.

Many people in the live chat and many around the world (Santa Barbara was very popular internationally) have wanted to know with the legal issues it appears had plagued the show for years, if there would be a chance that fans could ever see Santa Barbara episodes again, and if they could become available or streamed?

Photo: JPI

Dobson shared exclusively, “Well, there’s some legal footwork being done right now about that kind of possibility. There’s been so much demand to see Santa Barbara, and so it’s not totally out of the question.” Martinez (ex-Cruz Castillo) reaction to that possibility was that of “Wow!” That was also the same reaction by several viewers watching the live conversation in the chat, because that would be a soap dream come true for many.

Photo: NBC

So, do you hope that the legalities can finally be worked out and you could relive the seasons of ‘Santa Barbara’ all over again? Let us know in the comment section below. You can check out the live chat with A and Jerome below, the moment happens around the 56:18 mark.

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Trevor St. John Announces His Departure from The Young and the Restless

In a shocker, Trevor St. John revealed on Tuesday that he is leaving the cast of The Young and the Restless and his role as Tucker McCall.

The popular actor took to his account on X and in a series of posts said his “thank you’s” and bid farewell to the top-rated soap opera.

St. John shared, “As you well know, Tuckers come and Tuckers go, and so the cycle continues… this Tucker is in his go phase… I thank each and every member of the wonderful cast, the crew, the directors, the producers and production staff, and CBS/Sony for the great experience from day one to the last. I feel so fortunate to have played such a terrific role.”

Photo: JPI

 

Trevor continued: “Most importantly, I want to offer my heartfelt gratitude to you the (Y&R) fans. THANK YOU!” Tucker might be gone for the time being, but I’m not going anywhere. I’ve got projects in the works, and if you haven’t seen my film, A Good Enough Day, it’s now available to stream for free on Tubi!”

The news of his exit comes just two years shy of his time on The Young and the Restless.  St. John made his Genoa City debut in September of 2022 as the new Tucker, last played by Days of our Lives, Stephen Nichols (Steve). The role was first played by actor William Russ.

No word from St. John or Y&R as to when his last episode will air on the top-rated soap opera.  In story, Tucker is losing his company to a takeover by Audra and Victor, while Ashley is finally getting help she needs after her personality split.

So, what do you think about Trevor’s departure from Y&R? Comment below.

Photo: TStJohnX

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The Bold and the Beautiful Casts Joshua Morrow’s Son, Crew, as the New Will Spencer

In casting news, Crew Morrow, the son of  Joshua Morrow (Nick Newman, The Young and the Restless) and his wife, Tobe, is joining The Bold and the Beautiful as a a recast in the contract role of Will Spencer.

That means that Crew will be the biological son of Katie (Heather Tom), who formerly played Joshua Morrow’s on-screen sister, Victoria Newman over at Y&R) and Bill (Don Diamont).

According to Deadline, Crew has already begun taping episodes of B&B starting last Friday on June 14th. Look for the new Will to debut on the July 1st episode of the CBS daytime drama series. Clearly, B&B is ramping up their summer teen storylines and now Will supposedly has a half-sister in Luna (Lisa Yamada).

Photo: IMDb

The role of Will Spencer will mark Crew’s third acting credit according to his IMDb, where previously he appeared in Continental Split and Healing Towers. The previous Will’s included Heather Tom’s real-life son Zane Anchor, who played the role on occasions from 2013-2018, and Finnegan George who took over the part and was last seen in 2020.

Photo: JBelushiIG

In addition, more casting was revealed. Jamison Belushi, the daughter of comedian and actor, Jim Belushi, is making a one-day guest appearance in the role of April, a lab technician on today’s Monday, June 17th episode. The outlet also mentioned that Li (Naomi Matsuda) and Finn (Tanner Novlan), with whom April works for, are about to embark on a summer mystery story that kicks off on July 1.

So, what do you think about Crew Morrow becoming the new Will Spencer on B&B? What do you think will be the new summer mystery story? Share your thoughts via the comment below.

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