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Rebecca Budig Exiting General Hospital!

Courtesy/ABC

Rumors had been swirling that Rebecca Budig was on her way out at General Hospital.  This morning,Soap Opera Digest has reported that Budig was let go from her role of Hayden Barnes.

Budig, who has signed a four-year contract with the ABC daytime drama series, and previously became soap-famous for her roles on Guiding Light and All My Children is reportedly wrapping her final scenes on the series this week, before the show’s July 4th hiatus.

According to sources, Rebecca was informed of the show’s decision to write her out a month ago.  As well, that Budig’s departure has all to do with a storyline-dictated decision and nothing else.

Currently in story, Budig is pregnant with Finn’s (Michael Easton) baby.  What does this mean for how the relationship will end, or not, for Finn and Hayden? Stay tuned.

So, what do you think about GH’s decision to let-go of Rebecca Budig? Comment below!

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Michael S
Michael S

Seems like such a waste if they end up killing off her character. The writers made the effort to tie Hayden to an established family so why kill her off? At the very least let Hayden, Finn and baby exit together.

su0000
su0000

It is the writers at fault.
Both Michael and Rebecca are great actors. It is the lackluster stories they have been given,
Toenail clippings are more exciting and intriguing than Finn and Hayden and that is solely on the writers.

There is not one GH couple that has been interesting, exciting, or even enticing and that is on the writers.
GH couples a dull, they are stale. Not one couple has had an adventure.
The couples do nothing but have boring conversations and an occasional rollover in bed and even that is lackluster.

didn’t couples use to save each other on an adventure of high drama life and death risking their lives for each other.. and hard drama betrayals .
bottom line; there is not one super couple, not even close to super anything.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

“Toenaill clippings,” eh? Hey, I DID have an exciting time clipping said toenails before attending church Sunday! Bunches of fun! 🙂 🙂

Chrissy
Chrissy

Why? I love Hayden. New writers??

Patrick
Patrick

“…couples do nothing but have boring conversations and an occasional rollover ”

made my day

the writers are in fact the culprit and to their own detriment… spiral

Hayden… was clearly forced.. and GH history was even rewritten, for

she had two of the best chances and it was smoldering and fun

which would have brought her that much more in to the fold… had they not mucked up

1. Nicholas… was all smolder. in this time frame… thee best leading man. He ignited once again a new passion… he had it with Britta and then with Hayden… till TPTB FIRED HIM. what a joke of a show Frank and Shelley own

they did this mind numbing … “war of the roses” greed and diamonds .. and the forever and day fighting between Nikolas and Jason… with Jason always coming out on top… what fun is that ? Jason is so dull and lifeless.

Tyler Christopher needs to return with Jason Patrick Stuart. Period.

2. FUN… with Curtis. ( definitely add in smolder ) this was a couple in the making… and TPTB mucked up. Curtis and Hayden could have easily taken over the super sleuthing that Jason and Sam do… and could have made one of the cutest couples FUN playful flirty and SEX’y.

GOD … what is the matter with TPTB .. what allegiances are made behind closed doors

that they continually obsess about : The dullards

Sonny / Carly / Jason / Sam / Michael / Nelle / Finn / Hayden / Franco

i’m sorry to see Hayden go… of all the characters who lackluster… Hayden could have come out on top.

once again… the Corinthos pie @GH. sinks this show.

dmr
dmr

su0000, I absolutely agree with you, on what you said about there being no super couples to root for. I have said this in other posts. There is no Luke and Laura, Sonny and Brenda (90’s version), Frisco and Felicia, etc. to rush home to watch and root for. I don’t consider Sonny and Carly a super couple. Not sure I ever have (just my opinion). There is no build-up, no formation of a couple, no friendship, no courtship-nothing to be excited about.

Soaphound
Soaphound

Suooo, right again. All the couples are bores. But I can’t help wondering if cutting Rebecca is to make more money available to throw at Steve Burton who, according to Soap Central, is returning to GH. I don’t get it. Whenever Burton gets bored or wants time off, they/he spin these cockamamie tales to cover for him until he decides to grace us with his (limited) talents again. If they oust Billy Miller to make way for this guy’s return, that’s the end for me. Period. Why not get Greg Rikaart instead? Someone who appreciates his job and doesn’t just soap-hop to (presumably) get more cash now that he’s won a second Emmy!. Ugh!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

I agree!

Timmm
Timmm

Kill em off and give Nina the baby!

Jenny
Jenny

This should be a lesson learned in HOW NOT TO BRING ON A SOAP CHARACTER. This goes way back to 2014 from the conception. First of all, Frank Valentini is WAY into “name” actors. So…he probably, gushingly happy, called Ron and said “We got Budig! Write a part for her'” From there, Ron wrote one of the most pointless characters and stories ever witnessed on daytime…that of Hayden pretending to be Jake’s wife from a neighboring suburb. So…what…they had no friends…no neighbors…no house…no one or NOTHING to back uo her claim? Then she got involved with a legacy character who has been trashed and destroyed himself, Nikolas. Always a good guy, he would have never had her shot for such a weak reason, or any reason! Thankfully, she was off the show in a coma with no reason to ever really return. Then…a writer switch takes place, and the character is brought back as someone that Tracy keeps snidely referring to as Rachel. This had long tike viewers racking their brains trying to think of someone named Rachel…maybe with a Quartermaine or Cassadine connection. Nope…turns out she was a con artist…daughter of an off screen, never before hesrd of con artist. Who cares??? Finally, trying to shoe horn her onto the canvas, they made her Jeff Webber’s daughter from an affair. That plan had potential…had that been the game plan all along. But even that…Jeff Webber is a character from 35 years ago. He is not familiar to today’s audience. He may be known in passing as Elizabeth’s constant absentee father, but thats all There was chemistry with Finn. I actually enjoyed their light banter and awkwardness at love…but they were strangers! I didnt know or care enough. Why cant they write endearing stuff like that for the vets we know and love? So now she is leacing while pregnant. My guess is she will somehow die…the baby will have to be implanted into someone else….probably Elizabeth…..and then the baby complications with Finn blah blah blah. And there’s another one…Finn. Michael Easton is not a one man show, he is not a soap sacing superstar, and has NO anchor in town. His salary could be better spent. I have demonstrated why this was HOW NOT TO BRING ON A CHARACTER. In the HOW TO department….if a soap name is available…look at the canvas. See who has family. See who needs a story. See who needs a solid long term love interest. Maybe it could be a recast. For instance, Elizabeth already has a sister out there floating around who had a history with Nikolas and Lucky. Her name is Sarah. Budig could have played her. She could have played a back to life Emily as a reason why Nikolas suddenly turrned badass. She could have been Jimmy Lee Holt’s daughter…and thus a Quartermaine heir. With that all said…I have a sneaking suspicion this may have something to do with ABC planning to bring on more AMC and OLTL characters and… Read more »

Patricio
Patricio

Great post Jenn! You’re are 100% correct and what a memory! I forgot all those lousy stories they tried to shoehorn her in! Green Leigh Smyth and Leo DuPre were the bomb.

Max Daddee
Max Daddee

Really disappointed at this turn of events. She’s good with Michael Easton, has had a good storyline with him. But, it’s been about love and relationships, Finn’s substance abuse – things people can relate to. Their storyline’s been a nice break from the focus on violence with Sonny and his tribe. Rebecca transitioned her character from unlikeable to likeable, was developing a relationship with sister Liz…again, very disappointed to see her go.

Michele
Michele

it sucks! why have her pregnant in the show tban write her out! Im sad for finn! will miss her

Sandy
Sandy

Not a smart move letting her go as she is a talented actress. I do feel she was not given an exciting or memorable role to play. That’s on the writers and execs. A shame.

Ces
Ces

No disrespect to the lovely Rebecca Budig, but this storyline has NOT worked from the get goj; starting with Nicholas and ending with this boring Finn story. This is a case of a character being shoved down our throats and it is wasted airtime. I’m not sure what will become of Michael Easton, but this story really is not working. When they are on, that’s usually when I multitask.
Best to Rebecca.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Hayden was always a forced-on-the-viewer character and it made it difficult to accept her…rumor is Easten’s days are numbered and will return later as John Mcbain…also Roger will be dropped and return as Todd manning…ok, there is no rumor i read…i just wanted to start one-lol

dante williams
dante williams

I love and support your rumor and hope it’s actually true and we just aren’t made aware of it yet. They could totally do what you have proposed and I would be ecstatic. I would gladly trade in waste of time non-legacy Finn and a character that no one wanted, needed or even asked to return with a different actor like Franco for Mcbain and Todd. Those are characters that will go down in history as strong characters that many still love and care about to this day, because they belonged on the shows they were on, and didn’t have to be slowly massaged into the canvas over several years and still not fit into the show like Franco and Finn. The only reason I even like Franco is because Roger has put his all into the role and can make anything work, and he and Rebecca Herbst really put it down when they are on the screen, have chemistry, and their storyline as a result has many more layers than most of the cast because of the nuance they add to the material given.

However Rebecca Budig had it bad from the beginning. They forced her on the audience as a hateful character with no saving graces to root for and she was constantly propped by Tracy (I still miss her) and then they had the nerve to make her Liz’s sister overnight so they could pretend she was legacy, but there was no background story when what we needed was Liz’s father to be recast so that we could see why he would cheat when he was never portrayed as a cheater to my knowledge in the past. They skipped several necessary beats to make her viable and likable and the whole show suffered as a result. The final blow was when Nik was killed off and they had to give her another coupling with Finn who had flimsy story throughout his creation and their coupling did neither any favors, and no amount of propping could hide that they didn’t need to be there. The writing was so-so as it was since Carlivati left, plus the current regime couldn’t give the characters the ‘pop’ they needed to light up the screen like say, Ava could, but it’s still disappointing that they couldn’t make it work for a good actress, no fault of hers. They promoted her like she was sliced bread at the beginning and then they discard her like day old bread? That’s the current regime for ya. They need new, experienced writers that RESPECT AND KNOW THE HISTORY and love the show immediately, and we’ll see a stop to these characters that are out in the fringes only tangentially connected to the canvas needing to be constantly propped.

MB
MB

GH is bringing back Steve Burton. This signals that ABC is stepping in and trying to return GH to be GH, with GH actors. This is what could bring back GH fans.

That also suggests they’re finally getting that Frank’s agenda of tons of new actors from other soaps does not work.Their fan bases are myths. They may exist on a show that they originated a character on but it doesn’t translate to them coming to a new soap with them.

If this is the case, ABC isn’t going to flood GH with characters from OLTL. However many OLTL fans may come,more GH fans will be disgusted and leave as many already have. And in particular, more bites at the apple, more special treatment for Easton and Howarth will drive fans away for good. They’ve done nothing for GH.

Finn should be going with Hayden, there’s no point to the character. And when Burton returns as Jason he murders Franco and bye Howarth with no return as Todd or anyone else. Yes I know he just signed a new contract, but we can see as with Budig’s four year term, they are worthless on soaps.

Celia
Celia

Agree with you and Sandy, Ces. A real shame!!!! “When will they ever learn!!”
I thought with a baby on the way, the Finn-Hayden love story would flourish.
I must admit that I really did not feel that all-out-mad, passion with this couple. Nik and Haydrn had it going.
Needless to say; that soured with the ridiculous twists and turns Hayden’s character took.
Same could be said for Nikolas.

Good luck, Rebecca!! Love you.

Ces
Ces

Probably because Tyler Christopher can just look at some one and there would be passion. Without him though her character was always just meh…
I like Easton but I don’t have a problem with him leaving if that’s where they want to go with it.

Tammy Washington
Tammy Washington

Total agreement.

Steph
Steph

Agree with Ces completely. Great actress but continual propping!

Jessie
Jessie

Seriously, first as Jake Doe’s wife, then with Nikolas then with Finn and both propped by Tracy and then let’s make her a Webber as well. Last scene at the Q’s. More propping! And yes while I enjoy Michael Easton , Fayden’s chemistry was ok. Nothing extraordinary. I won’t get into that subject now….

dmr
dmr

I completely agree with you, Ces. The character was highly unlikeable, and was forced upon viewers by being tied to many popular characters (Nikolas, Jake/Jason, and now, she is living in the Quartermaine mansion). I’ve never been a fan of hers (used to watch AMC) however; I don’t think the character ever really took off.

Ces
Ces

Agreed dmr, I wasn’t a fan of Greenlee either.
They tried to make the character likeable but between this nonsense addict story and weak “love story” with Finn there was no hope.
I’ve been hard on Michelle Stafford before due to GH shoving Nina down our throat but Michelle has managed to turn it around and I root for Nina now; never got there with Hayden.

Shay
Shay

With no disrespect intended to Rebecca Budig, I have to say that this news gladdens my heart! Hayden was a perfectly smug, annoying creature whose meandering presence always felt like it was being forced upon the audience…like so many newbies her mere existence seemed to be primarily predicated for the purpose of bringing yet another soap vet “get” to the GH canvas without much forethought to actual potential storylines or wishes of the show’s loyal, longtime viewers who have time and time again expressed their disapproval of this seemingly never-ending casting practice which does not successfully mix the old and the new….much to the detriment of beloved legacy players. Having said that, now if we can just similarly see the obnoxious, omnipresent Nina receive her walking papers outta Port Charles, then I’ll be over the moon! (Sorry about that last request, Ces….and CeeCee!!!!)

Mari
Mari

Shay, I completely agree with you. We were force fed big spoonfuls of Hayden constantly.
Her presence was always forced. A financial officer always at the nurses’ desk and wandering the GH halls. Oh and yes let’s have her detox Finn! Seriously? Just some of these scenarios that drove me nuts. While Easton and Budig did have some good scenes with Jane Elliott, it was still propping. Making her pregnant after only one shown sex scene was stupid! A baby was the last thing this couple needed.
If Easton stays on GH they have to develop him as a character and give him backstory and other relationships. Personally, I like him. Good luck to Rebecca Budig.

Patrick
Patrick

boffo

“…because Tyler Christopher can just look at some one and there would be passion. ”

I am so hoping… that when – Valentin – returns… so does Nikolas… hence the reign of the Cassadine MEN

Ces
Ces

I would love it if Tyler returned; doesn’t look like they’re going that direction.
I am loving James Patrick Stuart though! Love me some Valentin.

Shelly
Shelly

You are right.

Mrs Hubby D
Mrs Hubby D

I’m loving Valentin too!! He is sexy, smooth, cunning, and whether right or wrong, he doesn’t back down from a fight!! Team Valenina!!!

curacaoman
curacaoman

YES!

Michael T
Michael T

I mean whatevs.. However I’m glad Elizabeth had a sister even if it was just temporarily and I wasn’t watching lol

Bruce
Bruce

Not a good choice here! I like Hayden and believe she’s been the best addition in a loooooong time and she def has lasting abilities and GH should keep her. Sad to hear.

Leonie
Leonie

Agree

Mrs Hubby D
Mrs Hubby D

I liked her too! There was finally an INTERESTING woman on GH, BESIDES Laura Wright!!

Steve
Steve

The character was originally intended to be short-term. Once on contract, she never really seemed to catch on, despite the writers constant changes. The Rebecca Herbst fan base saw her as an Elizabeth replacement. Even after the retcon making her a Webber/Hardy, A toned down Hayden was nicer, but not very interesting.

Budig’s best scenes were with Tyler Christopher and Jane Elliott. Good luck to her.

Leonie
Leonie

She had a four year contract

Steve
Steve

Originally, she was recurring as the imposter wife of “Jake Doe” hired by Ric. When Hayden woke from her coma, Budig was got that 4-year contract.

In soap-land almost all performer contracts have 6-month option periods where the network can void the rest of the deal. Newer performers have 3-month options.

Ann
Ann

If they must……let her go for a little while…..then bring her back

Eileem
Eileem

Dumb move, but then again. . .

rebecca1
rebecca1

Weird. Just as they were gaining momentum…Hayden, Finn, baby…outing out Dr. O for trying to sabotage Finn…they never expanded the relationship between Liz and her newfound sis…I guess all the speculation that Jeff Weber would be back to bond with his “new” daughter, etc…out the window. Much untapped potential.

There are rumors Michael Easton is on his way out, too. Perhaps this is their exit story. Disappointed if that’s the case. I really love Michael Easton and would have liked them to find a great character for him to play, with longevity.

Rhonda
Rhonda

I share your disappointment, Rebecca. I know Michael Easton has a lot of projects going on simultaneously so if he exits it could be his decision.
I just hope they’re not letting Rebbecca go so they can pay Steve Burton a hefty salary who I guess is coming back as Jason.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hey Rhonda…I HEARD that…about Steve Burton returning??? But not from any official soap pub; just when I peruse various boards. I’d be surprised if he came back. Doesn’t seem like he’d want to. What has changed? He still lives in Nashville, he doesn’t want the commute and he’s opened a restaurant and a nutrition business that keeps him busy. And…he’d catch lottsa flack for leaving Y&R because he didn’t want to be a soap actor at this point in his life.

Personally? I’m used to Billy Miller in the role now. I don’t necessarily see him as Jason, per se, but whoever he is, I’m just used to his presence and rapport with Sam. Detest his friendship with Sonny and have no idea why they don’t show him with Michael more (as opposed to Michael Moore. 😉 ) Lots of interconnected people seem to have gone by the wayside. Alexis barely grieved for Nicolas, she hasn’t yet seen Spencer who is her nephew…Molly, Christina and Sam are cousins are also related to Spencer but we’ve never seen them together. Michael is Charlotte’s cousin…soaps are supposed to be about FAMILY!!!! But I digress… 🙂

I’m hoping Michael Easton stays…or realizes he’s John McBain and only THOUGHT he was Finn when he was high. ahhahaha. ahem.

Mary SF
Mary SF

I am all for Steve Burton returning to GH as Jason if it means Y&R kicks JT to the curb and we can get Billy Miller back as Billy Abbott– that character has never been the same since he left the show.

But I would be ticked if they are firing people to pay for Steve’s return, considering they weren’t willing to fork over some money to keep Christopher Tyler as Nik– which for me would have been worth it to keep him on the show- and if they did perhaps RB as Hayden would of had a better fate.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

I really liked his moody John Mcbain…

rebecca1
rebecca1

I’ll always miss John McBain. Well, LOL, you know what I mean. In soap land…

Jessie
Jessie

Hell yes! Loved him and his fiery redhead Natalie!

Steve
Steve

Since Michael Logan is confirming the Burton story, it’s pretty safe to say it’s true.

If Easton leaves that leaves General HOSPITAL without another doc or 2 – since Liesl is either out or will be banished from the hospital.

Unlikely, but it would be amazing if Burton shows up as Dr. Jason Quartermaine. I guy can dream, at least.

rebecca1
rebecca1

If he’s coming back I’d be surprised if he were here to stay. Maybe he’ll be a flashback in Sam’s memory…now that she’s going through hallucinations, etc…she might be remembering him in his former visage.

Patrick
Patrick

GH – NEEDS – to seriously think about the menfolk who are always featured

wheres the sizzlean
wheres the captivation
wheres the ACTING ?

Sonny – Jason – Finn – Franco – Michael

is letting go of womenfolk , a double standard ?

give the woman the shaft ?

Finn is just as bad if not worse. I’ve always said Hayden had the better chance of the two.

wouldn’t it have been something to see her paired with Curtis.. as the new suersleuths HOT about town. REPLACING – even worse… Jason and Sam. they have got to go

I do not care what happens to Sam. when did she get a lobotomy?

Billy Miller is stuck in a handsome body. his eyes need to glisten and dance.

Franco… so what? I no longer care… when their is a whole other cast that is better.

Michael and Nelle… gawd how dull. another case where perhaps Nelle could do better

Arent’ sonny and carly acting staid and lackey ?… their “courtship” pre divorce ? so spelled out with no reason to want them ?

I loved Rebecca Buddig with Josh Duhamel.

GH – NEEDS – some serious overhaul

can’t wait till September.. when Shelley Passante is the next to go… I’d throw in Frank Valentini

Dullard all around

this is a lot of cache to turn out the rest of the cast

FIRE

Steve
Steve

Patrick

Jean Passanante is leaving, but Shelly Altman has signed new contract to remain as head writer.

Hopefully Steve Burton returning will be the jolt this show needs.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

And did you read that Jill F Phelps (bite my tongue) is returning also???!!!!

Steve
Steve

@ Nancy dillingham

Hell hasn’t frozen over yet. I think you’re safe from that happening.

JFP cannot handle the reduced budgets that go with daytime tv these days. Burton’s deal will not be as lucrative as his Y&R. He’s still expensive, so more cast cuts are to come

Celia
Celia

Yes, Patrick. You struck a chord with me. When Curtis and Hayden were sort of a ‘team’, they sooo connected.
I commented on it….but, at the risk of sounding repetitious, the twists and turns occurred.
The worst for me? Curtis and Jordan. He is so sexy and she is soooo…..

Patrick
Patrick

I completely agree about Curtis and Jordan.

since Jordan is never really written for.. outside of the police commish
even scenes with TJ are few . which I think could have really fleshed out her character… that TJ the actor is one busy guy… for good reason. I like his character and acting.

so.. for that reason.. i’d prefer Jordan be with Andre… they both have no life outside their jobs.. so why not put them together.. that way it’s still a couple .. who are married to their jobs.

because… Curtis is a hottie .. and should not be wasted.. if they can’t even write for Jordan. now what to do with him… if Hayden is off the show? now we have no choice but to accept Curtis and Jordan. blah blah blah waste!

Celia
Celia

Yeah, Patrick. Andre and Jordan can bore each other to sleep. That’s all they do in the boudoir, anyway. All work and no play.
Andre grates as much as Sam. Similar monotone inflection to their voices, except that Andre doesn’t mumble.

Then, there’s Carly. Do as I say and not as I do. Joss has more sense than Carly and Sonny put together.
Sorry, off topic ….but, I almost chocked laughing just a couple of minutes ago, watching GH…..Sonny getting out of a life of crime?……disengaging from the mob? I don’t know much on the subject, but it can’t be that simple. The only way, I suspect, is if he is witness for the prosecution, trying to nab a ‘high-up’ mob lord.
Maybe, that’s a good way of getting rid of him….get a new identity on the moon.

Lili
Lili

I agree. “Hayden” is a much stronger character than “Finn” is. They could’ve done much better by her. Liked her pairing with Nicholas, but with Finn it was just luke-warm . I too LOVED Rebecca’s pairing with Josh Duhamel as the much loved AMC super-couple “Leo and Greenlee”. It’s difficult to capture that level of chemistry more than once. So now that Rebecca is freed up from her contract, maybe someone will be smart enough to cast both her and Josh in a film/TV show/movie together. God knows their die-hard fans are still waiting for that to happen! Rebecca is far too underrated as an actress. She deserves and has earned so much better than this. I hope some smart casting director is listening!

Celia
Celia

Yes, Lili….the movie title should be: “Leo and Greenlee”…..no body was found, so, Leo is still alive somewhere. LOL.

Lou Piikes
Lou Piikes

TPTB should have just left Hayden Barnes in a coma. Bringing her back and making her Liz’s sister was a waste of time.

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

She’d make a fine Sarah Horton on DAYS!

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Maggie needs her daughter!!!!

dante williams
dante williams

I wholly agree with and love that idea:) Maggie needs her real child on the show, not some character shoved in that they made look like a saint (like Daniel, ugggh.) Then they gave her some imposter pretending to be her daughter? It’s time for her real child to return. Maggie deserves her whole family around her and to be happy, especially since she’s always giving of herself to others.

Patrick
Patrick

this would add so much credibility as Maggie … “Mother Horton” deserves her own family. let’s get her that pariah of a daughter to wreak havoc on st. Maggie and Salem

Celia
Celia

Yeees, 4ever. Good one!!

Justin
Justin

Mixed feelings about this because she was a Webber/Hardy and I was hoping the show was wanting to get back to it’s hospital roots. I wasn’t that fond of the character, but she’s a talented actress, and what now happens to the rumors that her father Jeff might be recast.

Gloria
Gloria

Very sorry to see her go. She has a lot of talent that the writers didn’t tap into.

Buddy Lee
Buddy Lee

Well, then it was rather stupid to have the whole s/l with Her Mother, Heather, and Liz revealing that Hayden was Jeff Webber’s biological Daughter…
But, since I never knew her before she came to MY “GH” no big deal to Me that she is leaving…
I had stopped watching “AMC” back in 1993, so Her leaving doesn’t really bother Me… I just wonder if Michael Easton will be leaving also??? I mean HIM I DO care about, having seen him play about 1,000 different characters, between “PC” “OLTL” and “GH” lol…

jenny
jenny

My bet is with the rumors swirling of Michael Easton leaving to go back to Days of Our Lives is that Finn and Hayden will leave town to raise their baby elsewhere. I was never that big on their storyline anyway so oh well.

Joel
Joel

BAD MOVE, GH!! I love Rebecca and Hayden, and was looking forward to Finn and Hayden progressing, and seeing more growth of Hayden’s relationship with her sister, Elizabeth. I like characters like them, Ned, Olivia, etc… ones that deserve more focus outside of the Sonny and Carly and Michael and Nelle worlds. STUPID, STUPID!

Lin Herz
Lin Herz

This makes me mad. at First I did not like the character, but she has changed and now I like her. Why get rid of her? Idiots!!

Maureen Lynch
Maureen Lynch

Isn’t Michael Easton leaving to go back to Days? Waste of talent not giving her a stronger story line.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

When was he on DOOL?

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

He played Tanner Scofield on DAYS from 1991-1992. Tanner was paired with Molly Brinker, the mountain girl (Shannon Sturges).

Shay
Shay

Eons ago, Nancy, like the early ’90’s????…Easton played Tanner Scofield. I think that was his first soap role, at least as far as those that I recall.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Disney-ABC Television Group just made a big mistake by letting Rebecca Budig go. There was so much potential for the character of Hayden that they barely explored half-way through her four-year deal. I am hopeful that Days of Our Lives or The Young and the Restless might rectify this mistake, and bring her on one of those serials, because Rebecca is an immense talent!

Celia
Celia

I’d love that, Scott. I share your sentiments…..but, look at what happened to Melissa Archer…..or, Michael Knight etc.
Oustanding actors and, so loved…..It was a mockery.
Who’s to say the same would not happen to RB. Such a volatile industry!!

Timmm
Timmm

RB could play Chelsea’s older sister she never knew she had. RB and Nick would be awesome!

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Truthfully, Celia, that had to do with the characters themselves, not the actors. Melissa Archer was perfectly cast in the role of Serena, but, in truth, the writing fell down the tubes for the character and she changed in a complete 180 turn. As for Michael E. Knight, he was written as a short-term character, and should’ve never been given the chance to spread wings.

Celia
Celia

You are absolutely right, Scott.
I think, in a round-about-way, I was trying to make that point.
The writing for Melissa was pitiful. By the end of the idiocy of her ‘story’ ! She was suffocating. Pathetic.
Shame on the writers.

Mari
Mari

I really miss Melissa on daytime. I

Eileen Hargis
Eileen Hargis

It sucks, as usual!

Ric
Ric

It’s about time! Her character was forced on us and the shows history was completely rewritten for her, that ibeing said oh happy day!

Dar
Dar

I am not happy about it as she is a fantastic actress… She is finally getting a family with Finn & her sister Liz & the boys & they just let her go.. These writers are ridiculous & they should be fired !!! I heard they are getting rid of people so they could afford to pay Steve Burton when he returns… Just a rumor but it is starting to make sense…

Shelly
Shelly

Keep her…she does outstanding scenes, loved some of her comedic stuff like with her nephew’s.

Celia
Celia

Yes, I agree, Shelly. Not only would Hayden bring comic relief, but a significant storyline could be had, in the form of her as a new mother.
From her scene with Curtis, she had some trepidation …..asking herself if she had the stuff it takes to be a good mother . Considering she has still not connected with her baby, I think I’d be interested in following how both Hayden and Finn would tackle the issue.
This is a true-to-life problem. A great missed opportunity in exploring her mental state. Too bad.

Cathleen Kennedy
Cathleen Kennedy

Another asshole move by ABC to get rid of this character

Jacqueline
Jacqueline

Sad this is happening. She’s very talented, and it’s a shame that couldn’t have given her a better role.

Frank
Frank

I absolutely love Rebecca Budig as Hayden. I have enjoyed her chemistry with Nikolas, Curtis and Finn. I hope they would reconsider letting Rebecca go and keep her in Port Charles. There is so much more story to explore with her character and her relationship with Elizabeth. Sad to see her go.

Shelly
Shelly

Yes.

su0000
su0000

quote;
”Budig’s departure has all to do with a storyline-dictated decision and nothing else.”

GH’s stories are pathetically lame and boring.
To fire any actor because of a story (that most likely will stink) is a bad thing.

It should be Jean And Shelly and FV to be let go not an actor because of one of their lame stories.

Rhonda
Rhonda

I agree, Suoo. But isn’t either Jean or Shelly retiring?

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

su, “let’s have lunch”–we’re agreeing a LOT lately, aren’t we?? 🙂

Ladydye
Ladydye

I think this stinks, when she first came nobody liked her role, but now that we all like her you get rid or her stupid, stupid

Ladydye
Ladydye

Why get rid of the good ones

Shelly
Shelly

Agree!

Daisy Day
Daisy Day

It sucks. I’ve been a fan since GL. Big mistake, GH.

Lee (Phyllis)
Lee (Phyllis)

I did hear Michael Easton was leaving, I think he is a great actor but not given good enough storyline, I hope he stays…. but that doesn’t mean Rebecca (Hayden) has to leave, she and Liz are just becoming sisters/friends. Liz needs some women/family members in her life, everyone needs a “sister”. Rebecca is such a good actress..GH just needs some good writers to come with a solution .

Catherine Climpson
Catherine Climpson

I think that it is terrible they they are letting Rebecca Budig go. Why? That storyline with Finn and the baby has so much potential. I was hoping that they would get married before the baby came and I think that they can make really good parents; now that he is off the drugs. I don’t think that Hayden has enough confidence, but with a lot of love; this would have been a great storyline.

GHLOVERSINCE1964
GHLOVERSINCE1964

She’s a great actress. Sorry to see her go. Rather it be Sam ( not a good actress) Shame that they made Hayden a member of a legacy family, moved her into the Q mansion and now she’s out. I had high hopes for a return to GH glory. It’s not Hayden that’s bringing down the ratings…the mob and Jasam storylines are a snooze – boring and over done. Also, Jordan is boring- the friendship between Hayden and Curtis was really interesting. I’m not a Finn fan so maybe they can ride off into the sunset together and we can get Nic back, the real Jason and Morgan ???? Bring back the Weber father with a new family, his daughter Sarah so we can have a hospital based/family drama again. I hear the Franco character is coming back- pair him with Nina and give Liz a normal man- they are so mismatched- Griffin for now and a weird triangle with the Old Jason if he comes back and the Jake character. Of course, Sam will have screen time but that will be a small price to pay for some interesting character interaction for a change.

dmr
dmr

I am not a fan of Sam’s either. I agree, the mobbed up theatrics are what is dragging down the show. Although, I have to admit, the show is not as dark and depressing as it used to be. A few years ago, it was beyond dreadful to watch. Now, at least, we have some humor..at times (like in Ava, Scotty, and Lucy scenes, Ned scenes, too).

rebecca1
rebecca1

I like Sam…and I think Kelly’s actually a good actress. She’s not the loudest kid on the block…but then again Marlon Brando mumbled his way into stardom!

Kelly’s performance these days as the confused, desperate, nervous “victim” of whatever’s going on with her has been quite convincing. She kinda eases into things…never over-the-top…subtle but effective. She can be gentle (like when she’s comforting one of her sisters), supportive, angry, sexy, snotty…and she just conveys without seeming contrived. That’s my take, anyway. I think she usually comes off quite believable…no melodrama…. The latest episodes with Billy comforting her…the two of them just seem like the real deal together.

GHLOVERSINCE1964
GHLOVERSINCE1964

I disagree. Actresses who continually tug at their hair as a way to express emotion are pulling from a very limited toolbox. I don’t see the variety of expression that you have noted. Often, an interpretation of range emanates from a person’s feelings about the story or actress rather than their actual performance or ability- similar to how a parent views their child’s performance. Kelly is a one-note performer and she is lucky this is overlooked by her fans- , but the ratings prove we, as a viewing audience, may not be so lucky. This character focus, along with the mob storyline, have dragged down the ratings of a once great show. Hospital based and family driven stories acted by those with range bring up the show. Sorry to see the Hayden character go- she was an example of a terrific actress- not a fan favorite but skilled in her profession.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hi GHLOVERSINCE 1964.

And…we disagree. Your explanation: “an interpretation of range emanates from a person’s feelings about the story or actress rather than their actual performance or ability- similar to how a parent views their child’s performance.” I don’t have any allegiance to Kelly Monaco one way or the other. LOL…I’m not a Twitter chick who gets into Twitter wars…I simply think she’s a good actress. If I DIDN’T think she was a good actress I wouldn’t be able to get into her part of the story because I’d be watching it with a critical eye and the fourth wall would be broken for me.

Sam’s story hasn’t brought down ratings. From all I read, she has a lot of fans so if anything she’s one of the contributing factors keeping it afloat. I’m not saying she’s central, but she’s certainly not one of the problems. She’s not a mob-centric character..as a matter of fact she’s tried to lead Jason away from that life…and she barely interacts with Sonny. Her stories have been mostly with her family.

I like that character. I think Kelly’s a good actress. She plays it real. I’m not colored by any profound love for the woman. To each his/her own.

Pam
Pam

doesn’t matter what we think or say, the producers will do what they want anyway. personally I think it’s a big mistake, and i’ll miss getting to watch her character evolve into motherhood.

sylvia godwin
sylvia godwin

I hate this. If they keep letting the good ones go there won’t be anything worth watching. Get rid of some of that bunch that is tied to Sonny!

Leah Lauer
Leah Lauer

What a Shame! I Mean whats going to Happen with Her Storyline? with the Baby and all!
Sorry shes leaving but Wish her Luck in whatever She dose

Celia
Celia

I know, Leah. There could have been a cogent story in the making—as you say, “with the baby and all”.
Rebecca B is a true thespian. She wasn’t even given a chance. Many on these boards have, basically, said the same thing….a good actress, put in questionably stupid situations.
I could name a few characters who could be put to bed for good. Sam, for one.
My opinion: Kelly Monaco is not a skilled actress; a big title for a mediocre performer, at best.

Kaytee
Kaytee

I am really disappointed that she is leaving! I love her as an actress and I liked her with Dr. Finn. I hate to see her go but they had better not take a Michael Easton from us! We worked too hard to get him back!!!
I would love to see more OLTL and AMC people on GH.
Bad move again ABC- not happy at all.

Pam Press
Pam Press

should have put her with Curtissaw chemistry there. What a waste of a talented actress. Go to Days of our Lives:)))))

ALLISON
ALLISON

THIS SUCKS !!! IF THE RETIREMENT OF JEAN PASSASSANTE IS GOING TO SCREW UP ALL THE GOOD STORYLINES, THEN YOU MIGHT AS WELL END THE SHOW. THIS IS THE SECOND BAD NEWS I’VE HEARD ABOUT GH IN TWO DAYS. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WRITERS ??? I LOVE FINN AND HAYDEN TOGETHER !! I WAS REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THEM AND THE BABY AND BEING TOGETHER AND ALL THE DRAMA THAT COMES WITH IT. INSTEAD YOU GIVE US THIS STUPID AUNT STELLA/CURTIS/JORDAN BULLSHIT AND STUFF I’D JUST AS SOON FAST FORWARD THROUGH. THIS IS NOT A GOOD SIGN WRITERS !!! BETTER STAY ON YOUR GAME CUZ THIS SUCKS !!!!

Hazel
Hazel

Yup, I totally agree. I’m also FF through the Stella BS. They’re dragging out a story that was resolved a year ago. The coupling of Jordan and Curtis is HOT. Then again, he’d be hot with a lump of coal. LOL

I also think it’s a huge mistake to let Hayden go. Rebecca Buddig is a tremendous actress. I’m really going to miss her.

I have no idea what’s going on with GH. I’ll never stop watching (I watched since Luke/Laura adventures), but I’m not happy now with this development. I was liking the sister and family relationships growing between Hayden and Elizabeth. Enough with the Sonny and Carly reunited for the bazillionth time. Bring back Jax, he has class and decency. He and Carly are HOT.

I also love Nelle and Michael, and I think they’re good together. There’s plenty of angst there with Carly too, although I think they should eventually get along since they’re (sort of) family.

So, I digress. Sorry about RB leaving, think it’s a waste and a mistake. Good luck Rebecca I’ll miss you!

Patrick
Patrick

“…Curtis is HOT. Then again, he’d be hot with a lump of coal. ”

FUN’ny ! Laugh out loud

TRUE

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

“HOT” is the WORD!

Celia
Celia

Oh, yeah….Curtis is sooo hot, he can instantly cause a forest fire.
But, with all due respect, I don’t find Jordan as the typically, worshipped, “femme fatale”. I always maintained that the best judge of a woman is another woman.
I suppose I must be blind to Jordan’s “charms”. I, also, do not see the passion emanating from this actress, regardless of how sexy Curtis is. One cannot just smack her and say, “c’mon, act sexy”.
Sensuality cannot be acquired. One either has it, or not. It’s innate.
Right now, in my opinion, the most devastatingly hot male on soaps IS Curtis….the female IS Hilary (Y&R). Imagine those two together! The scene would sizzle and explode!!

Crystal
Crystal

That is stupid why even have her pregnant and all that this is getting stupid too many different things going on and just fire her so damn stupid

JK
JK

Really good actress given one crap story line after another……firing her is a mistake…many others should go……They have not given her a good story since the beginning! Good luck Rebecca!!!!

Debbie Graham
Debbie Graham

So upset that Rebecca Budig is being let go. She is a really good actress and I was excited about her and Finns baby. Likewise wanted a good storyline with her and Liz as sisters. I have been watching GH forever but now not because it is exciting and good I watch just out of habit. It has been so boring. They keep getting rid of their good actors. So stupid to let Hayden and Finn leave when there story was finally getting somewhere. These writers have no vision or talent Fire the WRITERS!

Ray
Ray

I have loved her since “AMC.” I have always thought she would be a great addition to “B&B.” Best of luck to a great actress,

Phil
Phil

Happy this does not make me! I love Hayden! My only hope here is that she will show up on DAYS soon! However, perhaps this is a ploy to have her return in a few months as Greenlee… not sure of the spelling! I never watched AMC! If this is happening to make room for the one more Steve Burton to return this is a shame! Billy Miller is killing it as Jason! I think they should have paired her with Curtis too. I am sorry but Jordan and Curtis pale in comparison to Sean and Jordan! They should have brought him back for Jordan! Especially with that new lady in town… shame shame shame!

dmr
dmr

Hi, Phil, I have seen a few comments on this blog about Steve Burton returning to General Hospital. Has this been confirmed? Just a rumor? Either way, it is a shame because (most) viewers are tired of the mob theatrics being played out over the past decade(+). How many times has Sonny attempted to leave the mob? It’s just a repeated, tired storyline.

Marie
Marie

Should be letting Sam go or Liz….why her when she finally has a good storyline ?

Dan
Dan

I have no problem with this. The character of Hayden never connected with me, despite the many ways they tried to shoe horn her into various stories, including rewriting history and making her Elizabeth’s sister. No disrespect to Rebecca, I’m sure she’s a nice person. But she doesn’t do anything for me as an actress. I never watched AMC, so I had no feeling about her one way or the other before this role.

Everyone is always complaining about how bloated the GH cast is, here is an unnecessary character that didn’t connect with the audience, and they’re cutting their losses. I can think of a lot more if they ever decide to clean house. Another new character they tried to shove down people’s throats, some of them work, some of them don’t. This one didn’t work. Best of luck to you, Rebecca.

Jessie
Jessie

Agree with your comments.

Timmm
Timmm

Keep cutting!

Shay
Shay

Yes, Timmmbo! I’d like to undo at least the past three years…maybe even a bit more…of casting and storyline failures that have made GH the currently unrecognizable mess it has become. I dearly enjoyed the 50th anniversary year of this show, but it quickly went downhill after that with all the unbearable newbies and ill-fitting “vet gets” from other soaps. It’s time for a total reset to reverse the mistakes of the past and restore GH to its former glory!

Jimmy
Jimmy

Nina, Franco, Amy, Nathan, Stella, Andre and Valerie can all go too!

Celia
Celia

Awwwww, Jii-mmy!!!!!….not Ni-ina;, not Naa-than….LOL. You wound me. Double LOL.

rebecca1
rebecca1

I like them all and think each has great potential except for Aunit Stella. Totally unnecessary character.

LOL. I LOVED Andre’s dance scene with Anna.

Deelo
Deelo

poor decision – two great actors not giving enough storyline to sustain the characters – was looking forward to the baby addition to their relationship and how they would handle the baby with their baggage…poor move on part of GH – none of the characters have storylines that are very comfortable watching

Sue
Sue

That is a bad decision on GH’s part. She has been doing a great job.

Pat L Brooks
Pat L Brooks

I’m very sad to see her go. They could have had a good story line.

Carol B
Carol B

Bad idea!!! So much more story line left to tell! I love her character!!!!

Breaking News

GH’s Maurice Benard Takes On Role Of John Gotti In Upcoming Lifetime Movie

Who better to use their mobster experience playing the iconic role of Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital, and put it to good use, when taking on the role of a real-life mobster than Daytime Emmy winner, Maurice Benard?

As revealed over the past weekend, Maurice Benard is hard at work filming a Lifetime Movie based on the life of Victoria Gotti called “The Victoria Gotti Story”.

Sharing the news via his social media, Benard expressed: “Thank you lifetime and everyone involved 4 a Beautiful opportunity.”

Recently, John Travolta played the notorious New York mobster in the movie Gotti released earlier this year.

The infamous Gotti, had a wife and a daughter both named Victoria.  So as to which point of view the film is focusing on is yet to be released.

So what do you think of the casting of Maurice as John Gotti? Intrigued to see the Lifetime Movie when it debuts? Comment below

Continue Reading

General Hospital

General Hospital’s Max Gail Opens Up On Portraying Mike’s Battle With Alzheimer’s & Making A Difference In People’s Lives

“What happens the day I wake up, and you guys are the strangers,” says Mike to his son, Sonny and his wife Carly (Laura Wright). “I left you before to my everlasting regret, but it’s going to happen. I’d do anything if I didn’t have to do it again, but it’s going to happen – one way or the other.  At least this way I could leave some good feelings, instead of disappearing before your eyes.”  Those words were said during a gut-wrenching scene on Friday’s episode of General Hospital, as Mike tries to come to terms with his deteriorating mental state in his battle with Alzheimer’s, and the hard realization that he may be better off in a care facility, instead of at his son’s home.  These scenes, as all the scenes in this storyline, have been exquisitely played by Max Gail (Mike) and Maurice Benard (Sonny).

When Max Gail arrived on the GH canvas as the recast Mike Corbin in a role made soap-famous by Ron Hale, viewers did not know what to initially expect.  What they did know was that Max is an accomplished actor with a body of work from primetime dramas and comedies, film, and the stage, and that if he is coming to GH, he must be coming on board for something major.  Before GH, suffice to say, Gail is most remembered for his role as “Wojo” on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller that aired from 1975-1982.

In story on GH, Mike, who abandoned Sonny as a child, once again re-enters his son’s life, but soon we learn that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and that the soap is tackling a story that is an important medical, social, and familial issue of our time.

Gail has been a revelation in this role.  A clear frontrunner for an Emmy, playing the facets, the levels, the characteristics, and the heartbreak of a person who is slowly losing everything they know near and dear to them, as in the end they are ultimately stripped of their dignity from this most horrific of diseases.

On a personal note, and as part of this conversation with Max, it was important for him and for me to share, that I lost my mother at the end of April of this year to Alzheimer’s.  So his work hits close to home, this story hits close to home, as it has also resonated for many viewers who have shared their stories on social media and when Max makes personal appearances.

Here now is this very special interview for Michael Fairman TV with an actor whom we can all agree is touching all of our lives.

You’re portraying a person suffering from Alzheimer’s and play the progression of the disease.  Do you feel pressure as an actor to get it right for those who have loved ones, or person’s afflicted with it?

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  It’s more like an urge, or a calling to find some kind of truth in it that I can connect with.  One of the things I’m inclined towards showing is someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia often just drifts off somewhere else.  “Where am I going?”  This has happened to me many times in life.  For instance, when I was a youngster, I can remember getting in my car, and I’d driven a long way from some party or something like that, and I’d been drinking, and I didn’t remember it.  I knew I’d gotten home somehow.  So, it’s not out of my realm.  I’ve learned that there are no set behaviors really… other than that it usually ends up being really difficult for caretakers, and seemingly really painful for many, if not most people suffering with Alzheimer’s, and losing connection and losing the ability to just function.  We are kind of on the cusp of that in story at GH.  I think it was originally proposed that I would play the part for just a few months, and to give me an out if it wasn’t working.  Maybe, there was a placeholder idea to ship Mike off to a home or something, but the storyline has touched so many people that it has been continuing.

The story has been so effective.  You’ve done such an amazing job, and the fans love Mike and what you’re doing with the character, and they’re on board on this journey.  It’ll be interesting to see how far they will take this with Mike.  Will we actually see him not being able to communicate anymore?  How far will the writers go to show the horrific aspects of Alzheimer’s? 

MAX:  I’m not sure.  You know, I’ve had times where I’ve got the scene, I get the writers, and I get the heart of it.  Other times, I find where that transition is from where Mike is lucid and clear, and other times what that state of mind is and that switch is, and what that is in behaviors and energy level.  I think there’s an ongoing downturn for Mike, and for me as an actor finding something in the moment and finding how it works with things that he does remember.  They’re trying to find a place for Mike within all of the interwoven drama of General Hospital.  I, frankly, had no idea how complex the range of storylines was.  Mike doesn’t really have control over his story.  I don’t want that as an actor.  Mike has some intentions that are really important to him.  I’m trying to find that balance where there are times when he has a pathetic, very sad remorse about what he has missed.  I think that underlies his feelings for his son, who he never could quite reach, because of his own failings as a father.  Sonny’s formative experiences growing up were then with his abusive stepdad.  Finding all of that is really important to do in a way that doesn’t make Mike just this sweet older man with Alzheimer’s.   It’s a wonderful challenge to be presented with.

Courtesy/CBS

You brought up that Mike is seemingly very sweet in his demeanor now.  My mother, who I shared with you died a few months ago from Alzheimer’s was a strong-willed, feisty woman.  As the disease took hold of her, she became very sweet.   She became almost childlike.  The fire had gone out of her eyes.  You knew she didn’t know who you were, and so, all of that, as you know is so tough to witness as her son.  In terms of Mike and his ultimate care, everyone says they love him and want what is best for him, but that he needs to be taken care of because he gets confused, doesn’t know where he is sometimes. etc.  Sonny has been grappling with putting him in a care facility to be looked after, or to keep him with the Corinthos family under their roof.  However, Mike has come to a realization that he may need to be in facility all on his own, and doesn’t want to burden his son by living with him anymore.  That was a poignant moment, and another one of the best scenes has been when Mike couldn’t remember that Sonny was his own son. 

MAX:  Right and he doesn’t know if he’s around friends or around enemies.  This can be true of Alzheimer’s patients.

I had that happen with my mother when she came out to Los Angeles to see me for the last time.  She was out of her element, she was confused, and she broke down and cried in the hotel room.  She asked my father, “Why did you bring me here?” and he told her, “We came to see our son.”  It was heartbreaking.   Later, she had a moment of clarity and realized more of what was going on.  I think it’s those in-and -out moments that you portray so well on-screen.  I feel that they are very realistic to what I, and others, have experienced.

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  I appreciate that and sharing that with me, because you never know as an actor.  That place of “Where am I?  What is this?” makes me think of that “Summer Wind” moment from the Nurses’ Ball when it wasn’t just, “I’m embarrassed.  I don’t remember the words.”  It was, “I don’t know where the f**k I am.  I thought there was a band there, but there’s not.”  So, in a way, I just had to be there on this big soundstage and just feel this big space around me.  I could barely see that there were people out there.  It’s kind of a terrifying thing to a lot of people, but I think Mike has something in him that makes him want to be okay with all of this.  He doesn’t have to freak out and get accusatory.

Courtesy/ABC

What has it been like working with Maurice Benard as your on-screen son?  Do you watch back your scenes together and ever go, “Oh, that was great!?”

MAX:  Yes, there have been a lot of those!  There are some scenes that are so emotionally focused, and we get a lot of delight in each other.  He has been playing this character in this situation for so long, so it’s just kind of in him.  Maurice has presence.  I think when I went in to read for the part of Mike, I had gone through pilot season and had gone in for some interesting pilots.  I didn’t feel like I was really connecting in the readings, because most things are by tape these days, anyway.  When this part came up, a soap hadn’t really been on my radar.  I knew I’d be going in to read with the actor, so I said, “Okay,” and I looked at the material, and then I checked out Maurice on IMDB.  One of the things that got my interest was that he has been diagnosed and takes medication to deal with bipolar disorder, and that’s become a part of his life, and it’s become part of his character.  I thought, “Wow, that’s really interesting.  This is a survivor, and he’s risen to something that takes a certain kind of balance and courage.”  I watched some clips, and when I went in for the reading of this kind of an amalgamation scene of what the story elements were going to be, I felt like we connected before we’d even started the dialogue.

Well, Maurice certainly loves working with you! He has been very supportive and vocal about that.

MAX:  It’s mutual.  We can take really little simple moments, and we can find something deeper in it, and it doesn’t have to be an, ‘I’m going to start crying now’ moment.  Although, I would love for Mike to have a moment of self-observation where he goes, “Gee.  I cry a lot more than I used to.”  I think there are people who are like that, and it’s okay for certain people to cry, and for other people it is not.

Courtesy/ABC

There was a part of my mom that knew something was wrong.  She’d go, “Why am I crying?  I don’t know why I’m crying.”  She got confused as to why she was feeling that.  She couldn’t connect it all, and at times she kept saying, “I don’t understand.  I don’t understand.”  Those were the things she would try to express.

MAX:  I have a feeling that Mike has those moments too, but he finds a way for it to be okay.  There may be a point where someone with Alzheimer’s can’t pull it off anymore, but how we find those and those specifics, I don’t know.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Working on a classic sitcom such as Barney Miller is vastly different than working on a daytime soap opera.  While now being at GH, have you found any commonality within the experience?

MAX:  If I can take a moment and reflect on Barney Miller, because it was a great experience and one that I found was not so easy to find again over the years.  One of the things that really resonates is that when we started shooting the studio audience laughed too easily.  We would end up retaking the scenes.  Sometimes, we didn’t have the end of the show written, because they tended to let certain things start to show up in the earlier parts of the script.  Danny Arnold who was the writer, creator and producer of Barney Miller would always take over the way Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) does in a way … looking to be respectful of the director, but still seeing things on his own.  Frank has a really wonderful eye.  He’s much more connected into the overall storylines, the motivations that went into the writing, and what he sees in the moment.  I always welcome him on the set because the directors, who have a range of talents and sensibilities, are tasked with coming up with a whole lot of shots to cover, a whole lot of tricky angles, and all of that.

Courtesy/ABC

Vernee Watson has been amazing as Stella, who is also Mike’s social worker.  Does Mike have romantic feelings toward Stella?

MAX:  Vernee is wonderful.  I didn’t know Vernee had been on the show when I came on board.  She won an Emmy, and I’m not surprised.   She is so present and so specific, and she’s very bright and gets what all of these elements are, and so, I think they have a connection.  For whatever ways Mike has lived in his like, there isn’t some strange, exotic draw that she is black, and Mike is white.  I like that because both my first and late wife, and my second wife, with whom I’ve had children (and we’ve been separated for awhile, but have a great relationship) are African-American.  So, in my world that is not a big deal.   I think there’s an affinity there between Mike and Stella.  You know, he’s alive.  He’s old, but he’s not dead.  There’s an ease with women he likes.  I think there are a whole lot of reasons for them to not get involved.  One is just professional, and she’s a social worker.  We just shot something where I say something to somebody else about, “back when I still had all my marbles,” you know, he’s in another stage of life, which many people go into gracefully, while many don’t.

 

What do you think about how Mike knows about who was buried at Charlie’s Pub?  He was trying to keep the truth about Charlie Delaney from coming out, which turned into a gas leak that blew up the bar!  This storyline ties in to Sonny’s mobster dealings as well.

MAX:  Well, this is where they put this effort in the storytelling to connect Mike in some way and be intertwined with Sonny.  Of course, it reveals certain things about Mike that he’s never revealed to anybody before.  So, that’s kind of cool.  I think when he knows what and how much sometimes is not clear.  That’s why I started talking about Barney Miller because the other thing was a lot of times when we go together for the table reads, they didn’t have the end of the story.  They had a first draft, maybe. Dan would talk about it, and they’d say, “Next week, the main story is going to be this man in his fifties who is coming to terms with the fact that he is gay,” or whatever those underlying themes may be with the different characters reactions.  So, we knew elements going into it and that sometimes I  didn’t know what the writers are really intending.  In terms of Mike, he’s kind of back and forth in certain moments.  I have to resist the idea that they trap me by just being careless.  I’ve learned that just trying to fix the script often gets you into a place where you “rehearse yourself out of it,” as they say.

Courtesy/GoodDayLA

You appeared on the morning show Good Day LA  a few months back with Laura Wright (Carly), and Maria Shriver, who has founded the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.  What was that like meeting Maria, and helping get the word out about the effects of this disease and the work Maria is doing?

MAX:  It was great to do.  Maria had sent out a tweet that is was wonderful what was going on, on General Hospital.  On Good Day LA, she talked about her work, particularly focusing on the fact that more women are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s than men.  So, then Laura and I sat down and did an interview alongside Maria.  We actually had a nice conversation before.  They did a web interview also as a follow-up.  That was very cool, because Maria is very smart, and I’d never met her, but it was great to see what she was doing.  Whatever we are dealing with in the show is sort of my opportunity in the real world to bring awareness and shed light on the subject.  I’d love to see an ongoing conversation online amongst people who can share their stories with each other.  That’s a lot of what they’re doing.  They’re raising money for research, but people need to be able to talk to each other when you’re a caregiver.  Coming out of the early sixties and early seventies when I was playing a cop on TV, I never was a fanatic activist.  I certainly got the behavior of the Chicago police at a certain time in terms of the energy and conflicts of the time.  There was something to think about, but at the same time, I had opportunities to kind of share that all cops aren’t bad, just look at the show, Barney Miller.

Courtesy/ABC

You were my favorite character on Barney Miller as Detective Wojciehowicz!  I think for many who watched the show you were, too!

MAX:  I think “Wojo” ended up being the heart of the show.

Max, you’re helping people through your beautiful performances including me.  Congratulations on that.   I’ll continue have to have a box of Kleenex handy as I watch how it all unfolds for Mike.

Photo: IMDB

MAX:  Well, I really appreciate your questions.  I’m just planting that seed.  That is really what I would like to do after talking to you and so many people.  That’s something I’d like to put out there.   We each have our own domains and responsibilities and all of it overlaps, and you can kind of get in touch with that; if you just go around the circle and share it, and then go around again.  I’m looking to help people out there in the world who are watching and are looking to share in the conversation.

So, what did you think about the heartbreaking scenes on Friday’s episode of GH between Mike and Sonny?  What have you thought of Max Gail’s performance throughout his GH run?  Have you experienced the loss, or are watching someone you love, or care about slip away from Alzheimer’s?  Share your thoughts via the comment below.

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General Hospital

ABC Names William Burton As The New Head Of Daytime

Over the years there have been several changes to ABC Daytime, and now comes word over the last 24 hours that William Burton has been promoted to Senior VP and Head Of Daytime, Sports and Syndicated Development/Production for ABC.  Burton starts in his new role immediately.

Deadline first reported the executive level move by the network.  Burton had previously been overseeing the business operations of ABC Daytime since earlier this year as SVP Daytime following the departure of former Daytime head Rebecca Campbell.

Courtesy/ABC

Those duties have now been formalized in Burton’s expansive new role,  In terms of General Hospital, the creative aspects from the network are still being handled by ABC head of current programming, Vicki Dummer.  Burton has been behind the business operations of ABC Daytime including the daytime drama.

In addition, Burton will oversee the creation and production of syndicated programming across ABC platforms including the upcoming daytime talk show from Tamron Hall that is in development for a potential debut in the fall of 2019.

So, share your thoughts on Burton being named the new head of Daytime for ABC via the comment section below.

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Video du Jour

This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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