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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.

All My Children

All My Children Alums to Appear in E!’s New Series, ‘Reunion Road Trip’

All My Children is having a bit of a renaissance of late. First with the previously announced primetime series in development, Pine Valley, and now a new series on E! Entertainment Television.

Coming up on the June 10th episode, which kicks-off the new show, Reunion Road Trip, several of your favorites from AMC are part of the first episode.

Look for Rebecca Budig (Ex-Greenlee), Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria), Cameron Mathison (Ex-Ryan), and Jacob Young (Ex-JR) along with Alicia Minshew (Ex- Debbi Morgan (Ex-Angie), Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), and Darnell Williams (Ex-Jesse), to appear.

According to EW.com, who broke the news, viewers can look for Budig, LaRue, Mathison, Young, to come together at an exclusive Hollywood mansion to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary where they get some surprise visitors in the form of Minshew, Morgan, Ripa, and Williams.

Reunion Road Trip airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT with other episodes to feature the former casts of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, A Different World and Scrubs.

So, looking forward to seeing the Pine Valley crew on Reunion Road Trip? Comment below.

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GL Alum Kimberly J. Brown Joins the Cast of General Hospital

Another daytime favorite is coming to General Hospital.  This time its Kimberly J. Brown (Ex-Marah) of Guiding Light fame.  She last appeared on the soaps during her from 1993-1998 and then a brief return in 2006

According to Soap Opera Digest, she will make her GH debut next week in a mystery role.

Kimberly worked with two GH powerhouse actresses during her tine on Guiding Light. 

She noted to SOD about her time in Springfield: Cynthia Watros (Nina, GH, Ex-Annie Dutton, GL) was my stepmom for a bit, and Laura Wright (Carly, Ex- Cassie, GL) played my aunt.”

Brown has appeared in numerous primetime television shows and motion pictures over the last few decades.

Now the question becomes, who will Kimberly play on GH? Share your theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital and ‘H.R. Pufnstuf’s’ Billie Hayes Dead at 96

She was one-of-a-kind, and now actress Billie Hayes has passed away at the age of 96.  Hayes’ family announced her death from natural causes on April 29th at Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

Hayes was best-known for her unforgettable role as Witchiepoo on the 1969-70 Saturday morning live-action children’s classic H.R. Pufnstuf from Sid and Marty Kroft.

However, daytime fans will remember that then General Hospital executive producer, Gloria Monty, hired Hayes to play the recurring role of the street-smart international spy, Brighton O’Reilly, back in the 80’s series hey day.

GH’s Tristan Rogers (Robert Scorpio) took to Twitter to mourn the loss of Hayes on Monday sharing; “My dear wonderful Billie Hayes has died. Sadly I only got to work with her on GH but it was a magical relationship. Right away Gloria Monty saw something unique and ran with it. I cannot tell you how her passing saddens me.”

Photo:ABC

In story, Brighton O’Reilly was shot and killed by Victor Cassadine back in 1981. Billie told Soap Opera Digest back in 2003 about her time as an agent on GH, and her exit from the series: “I asked Gloria why she killed me off, and Gloria said, ‘To tell you the truth, Billie, we really hemmed and hawed at it. But I decided to do it for selfish reasons. I knew if I killed O’Reilly there’d be such an abundance of sympathy and love for Scorpio that his stock would go up. And he’s my new leading man!’ I understand why Gloria knocked me off, but I would have loved to have gone on with it because I feel it could have been developed into a fascinating character.”

Photo: JPI

Sid and Marty Kroft also took to Twitter and expressed:  “Margaret Hamilton (Wizard of Oz) once told us that Billie Hayes was “one of the best witches ever” We couldn’t agree more. Rest in Peace dear friend.”

Billie’s career spanned decades including Broadway, television, motion pictures and voice-over work. In addition, she founded the Los Angeles-based animal rescue nonprofit organization Pet Hope, a cause she had championed since adopting a puppy abandoned in the basement of Broadway’s St. James Theatre during the run of Lil’ Abner in which she was featured in the role of Mammy Yokum.

Share your remembrances of Billie Hayes and your condolences for her family and loved ones via the comment section below.

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