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Robin Strasser chats on her One Life to Live exit as Dorian!

Courtesy/ABC

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

It is no secret, after reading listening and/or reading various radio and online interviews that Daytime Emmy winner, Robin Strasser (Dorian) has had a lot to say about the cancellation of her beloved One Life to Live and her upcoming on-screen exit from the series which is coming up next week.

Nelson Branco caught up with Strasser and shared this report with On-Air On-Soaps about the legendary soap actresses thoughts of what went down behind the scenes that precipitated her early exit out of Llanview and much more.

FOG OVER LLANVIEW – OLTL prepares its final voyage without its reigning diva, Robin Strasser

It’s not easy being a soap fan these days. Or for that matter a soap superstar. Just like a juicy plot twist on one of your favorite soaps, daytime-TV fans were dealt yet another harsh and stunning blow when one of the network’s biggest stars, Robin Strasser, announced she was leaving OLTL a whopping five months before the finale. — a month after ABC shockingly axed two of its beloved, Emmy-winning venerable soap operas, All My Children and One Life To Live.

In May, the disappointed soap legend announced on her titular Twitter account, @robinstrasser that she was leaving early due to upcoming back surgery, which would consequently put her out of commission during the show’s final months of taping.

Immediately, cynical pundits and fans worried and speculated that the Emmy-winning actress was being punished for speaking out against ABC’s controversial decision to cancel two of its iconic soap operas on the same day last April. Did she quit? Or was she fired? Just like any good soap – there’s always more to the story, er, melodrama.

The soap diva, who has been toiling on and off as uber soap bitch Dr. Dorian Cramer Lord since 1979, reveals the truth. “I learned I had to have back surgery [again] back in March,” she recalls. “I was told One Life would grant me the time off for a medical emergency — but it would impact my vacation pay. I was aghast. I had to ask my lawyers: ‘Did [they] really put that in writing?’”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

In 2004, the 66 year-old former Passions character actress and Another World siren underwent her first back surgery but returning to work  a mere “ten days later may be one of the reasons why I think my [chronic back pain] hasn’t been resolved– especially with the heels Dorian wears!”

This time around, the proactive actor asked for the right amount of time off so she could recuperate properly and finally nip her back problem in the bud. According to her notes, the native New Yorker was supposed to take her “medical/vacation leave” around August 19, which seemed like a no-brainer for the team player, who has taken more than her share of pay cuts over the past decade, since “the show is dark most of the time during the [summer season].”

However, according to Robin, executive producer Frank Valentini insisted she take her medical leave permanently on July 1 since the series was being canceled and the show runners were planning to bring back old favorites and write out existing characters anyway.  “It was disappointing,” Robin sighs. “It is what it is.”  Making matters worse, a few weeks later ABC informed Robin that her last day had been moved up a week earlier to June 24! It would appear that ABC nudged Robin out early — just like it did with its two soaps, a plan she theorizes has been in motion for a long time.

And she puts the blame squarely on ABC’s Daytime President Brian Frons’s shoulders. “For the record, I believe that ever since Brian Frons got his job as our president, he never liked nor understood the appeal of continuing scripted drama,” she continues. “He’s probably progenitor that all audiences are all ADD because he is ADD himself He’s [also] very selective about actor/character ‘types’ because not a lot can hold his attention, especially when you’re dealing with a multi-generational tapestry. He simply doesn’t understand or love the genre like millions of us do.”

With news that a new online network headed by new upstart company, Prospect Park, has seemingly saved AMC and One Life, Strasser is pessimistically optimistic about ABC’s intentions. In fact, some argue the online venture is simply a smoke screen to silence the deafening fan rallies and protests that prompted sponsor, Hoover, to pull its entire advertising from the entire alphabet network. But she has hope: “Hey, maybe this is the first step, ala the man on the moon, for a new venue to tell stories. But they are going to have to change the math in how people are paid and the structure, especially when you consider [various] unions are involved.”

Regardless of what transpires Robin doesn’t regret siding with the mobilized fans intent on saving the genre, especially since, “I’m no longer a member of the cast — and direct action against me is not possible. The pernicious blacklist is always available.”

Courtesy/ABC

La Strasser’s swan song as one of the most memorable soap bitches (and the original Dr. Evil) will air August 25 on One Life.  How does Robin sign off? Apparently, Dorian leaves to become a politician in Washington, but will David tag along as First Hunk?  However, we hear there are other key scenes and moments to look forward to as well.

But, let’s hope Dorian returns before January for a final scene opposite the love of her life, Viki.

– by Nelson Branco

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Lew
Guest
Lew

Robin Strasser is a hot ticket!!!!

Blake
Guest
Blake

How stupid to keep her off when she can still work. I don’t know if it has to do with her complaining to the press that she was never written well the past year.
Regardless, hopefully they’ll bring her back before the end, and not just for a day or so.

Vikki
Guest
Vikki

Maybe Prospect Park will bring back her and Kelly, I think we are being robbed of the Kelly/Joey love story. She gets shot, he decides he loves her and thats all we get

mike
Guest
mike

The people behind Prospect Park seem very savy, they will bring her back.

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

Love you Robin! Wish you the best on your recovery. (One of the Hardest things to deal with, back pain) Thank for you and I pray that they do bring you back for the end!

Med
Guest
Med

Robin Strasser , a dynamite actress, who-deserves her own show; maybe picking up on her most recent “Dorian” OLTL storyline involving her senatorial appointment.

cher62
Guest
cher62

Much love to Robin for giving her all to the show and her fans for DECADES! Firstly, I hope she finds relief with her back pain. I appreciate her showing up and giving 200 percent despite the pain that she must have been in while performing. I really hope that she takes the time to take care of herself. Nothing is more important than health. And here’s a SHOUT OUT to Prospect Park. Robin has a ton of fans who are loyal and devoted to her, particularly in the role od Dorian Lord. Reaching out to her, is the same… Read more »

CINDY CLARK
Guest
CINDY CLARK

Please PP bring her back,she ,Vikki,Clint,Bo and Nora are the hear of One Life To Live.Thanks–We love you Robin!

anne
Guest
anne

I for one, will be contacting PP to beg them to bring Robin back permanently (if they could GET her back). Dorian, played by Robin is central to OLTL and Dorian and David are as important, and beloved as Vicki, John, Blair, Todd etc. There is money to be made by PP and more money to be made by fans=sponsors by hiring Robin!!

Edie
Guest
Edie

Robin, thanks for all the wonderful Dorian years. You made her character unforgettable.

Brian
Guest
Brian

We Love You Robin–Bless You! 🙂

todd
Guest
todd

Senators do not spend every minute in DC. They do come home. Just saying

kathleen johnson
Guest
kathleen johnson

thank you so much robin for the many years of playing dorian i have been watching for over 30 years i love dorian she is free spirited and loves her family and will do anything for them you will be missed i feel like i am losing a good friend we miss you already i wish you luck in your future

maureen devoe
Guest
maureen devoe

Robin, I am in shock thought this was just a part of the show you leaving to be a Senator. But as Vicki is saying good bye to you I decided to ask Google. Still can’t believe it. I will miss you so much you have been such a good character and such a great Actress. I will remember you in my prayers for your back surgery.Hope all goes well. When you feel better I hope you will come back and rejoin the cast. I can not believe after all these years they cancel As The World Turns, One life… Read more »

RICKIE
Guest
RICKIE

Robin will be back! She’s simply one of those actresses you follow. I remember one of her first scenes on “One Life to Live” at Llanfair with the wonderful Eileen Letchworth (who was then playing Gwendolyn Abbott, filling in for Joan Copeland). I knew from that point forward, the role would be all hers (and I actually liked both Nancy Pinkerton and Claire Malis). I even watched her on “All My Children,” although her character — Dr. Christina Karras –was never fully developed. She was concerned for Anne Martin’s sanity, yet she herself was being haunted by the ghost of… Read more »

Elaine Smith
Guest
Elaine Smith

Is Jane Badler and the name Kim Delaney the same person? Thanks

Barbara t loves One life to live
Guest
Barbara t loves One life to live

NO Jane Badler use to play, I believe Dorians sister on OLTL and she played Diana in V, Kim Delaney was on AMC As Jenny Tadds sister that died. Very different people.

General Hospital

GH’s Nancy Lee Grahn Shares Excerpt From Her Upcoming Memoir

In celebration of beginning her 27th year as Alexis Davis on General Hospital, two-time Daytime Emmy-winner, Nancy Lee Grahn, decided to mark the occasion by revealing to her longtime fans an excerpt from her upcoming memoir due out in 2023.

Taking to her official Facebook page, Nancy shared the excerpt starting with contained some of the back-history of her soap opera alter-ego : “I play the role of Alexis Davis. I am a public defender, prosecutor, personnel injury, civil, malpractice, tax and family attorney. I am the bastard child of Mikos Cassadine who died after being thrown into his own weather machine which he designed to freeze the world. My mother, Kristen Bergman was a famous opera singer whose throat was slit by my father’s wife, Helena. Unhappy with the turn of events, I hurled my frail 75 year old stepmother off a five hundred foot parapet slamming her onto jagged rock only for her to walk away unscathed. Even more determined, I shoved her off a thousand foot cliff into the frigid subzero ocean, Helena not only survived unscathed, she apparently scaled 1000 feet up the cliff and continued to wreak havoc on Port Charles.”

Nancy closed the excerpt with some special acknowledgements: “Always so grateful to have an ongoing contract, my own parking space and people I’ve never met who come up to me regularly and tell me how much younger I look in person. It’s a gift that I have been able to and still get to do what I love to do for such a gloriously long time. I love my job the most because it is the job that gave me the security I needed to greenlight Kate as a single mother, raise her while being able to give her the things I dreamed of giving her, put her through school all the way through college, and will hopefully allow me to spoil my grandchildren. The enormous love & gratitude I have for ABC and Disney for allowing me the privilege of working for them is immeasurable. But the real truth is without the support from all of you, this day would not be what it is. As always, I see you and thank you”

Make sure to read the entire excerpt.  Noe let us know, are you looking forward to what Nancy will share in her upcoming memoir? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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All My Children

Kelly Ripa Talks On Her New Memoir ‘Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories’

Talk show host and All My Children alum, Kelly Ripa (ex-Hayley) is opening up about her life and times in her highly-anticipated memoir available now, Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories.

Ripa chatted exclusively with PEOPLE who got some of intel and dish on what’s included in the book.

Kelly told PEOPLE, when she landed the gig as the new co-host of Live with Regis and Kelly, with the late Regis Philbin back in 2001, she felt like she was “getting shot out of a cannon.”  Ripa was also appearing on All My Children at the same time.

She tells the story of when her agent called with the offer, Ripa was told: “They want you to know who your boss is. It was very ominous, and it did not feel good.”  Her agent also said the show didn’t want her, “bringing an entourage.” She brought two people. “I came with hair and makeup,” Kelly says. “It was not an unusual thing for people on a television show to show up with.”

She added that Regis greeted her with executive producer, Michael Gelman, saying: “Uh-oh, Gelman, it’s got an entourage.” It?!  Kelly expressed that she “felt horrible.  He was probably trying to be funny, but at the same time it felt like a pile-on.”

As for Philbin’s attitude at the time, Kelly shared, “I understand that probably he didn’t want a co-host, but the network wanted me to be the co-host and I didn’t think I should pass up that opportunity. I don’t think it was fair to him. But it was also not fair to me.”

Photo: JPI

The actress-talk show host-producer also talked on her marriage to Mark Consuelos (ex-Mateo), whom she met while both were on All My Children, sharing that they were, “too young to get married! On paper it should not have worked and when it didn’t work, we really worked at it. We fought for our marriage when it would have been easier to quit and throw in the towel.”

According to the book publisher, HarperCollins:  “In ‘Live Wire’, her first book, Kelly shows what really makes her tick. Whether recounting how she and Mark (Consuelos) really met, the level of chauvinism she experienced on set, how Jersey Pride follows her wherever she goes, and many, many moments of utter mortification (whence she proves that you cannot, in fact, die of embarrassment) Kelly always tells it like it is. Ms. Ripa takes no prisoners.”

So, will you be ordering your copy of Kelly’s memoir? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Roark Critchlow on His Return to DAYS and Working With Cady McClain

It’s been 12 years since Roark Critchlow appeared on Days of our Lives as Dr. Mike Horton, the brother of Jennifer Horton Deveraux (Cady McClain). However, fans have been excited to see him back on their screens when the series teased his appearance in the extended fall preview.

Now with Jennifer spiraling downward (now that her pill-popping addiction is back), it seems like a good time for Dr. Mike to return to Salem to help his sis. (And if the promo for this week’s DAYS is any indication, it certainly looks like Jennifer is going to be involved in a car crash and need medical assistance or at least some brotherly love.)

Photo: JPI

Roark initially appeared as Mike back in 1994 and left the soap back in 1999. He returned in 2010 for a few episodes honoring the late Frances Reid (Alice Horton) who was Mike’s grandmother.

In an interview about his return with Soap Opera Digest on newsstands now, Roark talks about working with McClain as Jennifer, when he previously worked with Missy Reeves in the part.

Critchlow expressed on sharing scenes with McClain: “Her character is going through a lot. She and I dropped in really easily, I felt. It was a very nice, natural care for each other. It wasn’t difficult, that’s for sure. Obviously, Missy is a super-duper person. But you don’t compare people. Cady and I chatted. We got on good. In terms of story, I thought we pulled it off nicely as being people who’ve known each other their whole lives.”

Look for Roark to make his DAYS re-emergence on the upcoming October 3rd episode of the Peacock streaming series.

So, looking forward to seeing Roark and Cady sharing scenes together? Share your thoughts in the comment section, but first check out this week’s promo for DAYS below.

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