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Ryan Phillippe On His Groundbreaking Role As OLTL’s Billy Douglas 25 Years Later: "I’m Proud That That’s Something I Can Say Was A Part Of My Career."

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

One of the most memorable social issue storylines in the history of One Life to Live and daytime television occurred in 1992-1993 when the show brought in the teen-aged character of Billy Douglas, who turned out to be gay.  The actor who portrayed Billy was none other than motion picture star Ryan Phillippe in his then first professional acting role.

The tapestry of the gay storyline on OLTL also featured Billy’s relationship with a priest which was put into question, and that dove-tailed into the AIDS quilt appearing on the series, when it became part of a heart-wrenching storyline.

Promoting his new film, “Wish Upon”, Ryan chatted with TooFab,  where he discussed his role in Llanview some 25 years ago: “I remember the fan mail that we would get, my mother and I would get, from gay teenagers or from parents of gay teenagers who found a way in to relate to or talk to their child through the show.”

Ryan spoke to the power of the TV medium and how can impact people’s lives: “It can make people think differently or see a different side of something and I do remember and appreciating that — even back then when I was only a teenager myself.”

The talented star admits that at the time he did not have a full understanding of what playing Billy Douglas meant at the time, but he does so now: “In terms of like the larger view, I didn’t have a full understanding of how important it could have been. But I’m proud to have done it, I’m proud that that’s something I can say was a part of my career.”

Watch Ryan talk OLTL and the Billy Douglas storyline after the jump. Then let us know if it was one of the best social issues stories ever told on soaps in the comment section below!

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Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

I have very fond memories of the Billy Douglas story. The story was told very sensitively and courageously. Ryan and the entire cast did a terrific job. As always, our beloved One Life to Live informed and generated thought while keeping us entertained. I miss One Life to Live every day.

Iakovos
Guest
Iakovos

OH, I miss OLTL too, especially when the series delved into social issue stories. Agnes Nixon created such wonderful programs that served as platforms for entertainment and discussion. They say this is a golden age of television but it seems daytime drama is being left out. Only four soaps left on the air. Shouldn’t the genre be enjoying a revival with all this opportunity for original programming on broadcast, cavle, and streaming services?

Jamesj75
Guest
Jamesj75

So happy that this snippet of the interview has been posted here!

My admiration for Ryan Phillippe has been further cemented… The gay teen storyline was a major groundbreaking, influential effort; it was an incredible experience. Over the years, OLTL broke ground on occasion and, needless to say, had some terrific storylines and characters. This was one of the show’s finest hours. I am so thrilled I was exposed to, and affected by, it…

Steve
Guest
Steve

As a gay man in his 20s at the time, I was proud that OLTL had the storyline.

I seem to recall the original idea was for Joey Bucanhan to be gay. The writers got Agnes’ blessing, but the network wasn’t ready for a legacy character to be gay. The compromise was the introduction of Billy.

Other than the dull theme song, the Linda Gottleib years on OLTL were darn good.

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

You are so right. That theme song was a tremendous let down after the wonderful Tour of Llanview.
“Here’s what to do when you don’t find the rainbow’s end, this time……”

Chad Graeber
Guest
Chad Graeber

The Linda Gottlieb/Michael Malone/Josh Griffith years of OLTL (1991-1995?) were truly some of THE best years of soap storytelling. I was just remarking on Daytime Confidential site how engrossing, engaging, and energizing was the writing during that era, from the Billy Douglas coming out to priest Andrew Carpenter story to Viki’s growing attraction to Andrew’s father General Carpenter and the break-up of her marriage to Clint (who became a bigot at the time in response to Billy) to the introduction of Marty Saybrooke and her eventual gangrape at the hands of Todd Manning, who only later was revealed to be… Read more »

Alan
Guest
Alan

Not really a fan of the storyline but then I wasn’t a fan of either of Michael Malone’s stints as headwriter. I preferred the coming out stories of AMC’s Bianca, DOOL’s Will, ATWT’s Luke, and OLTL’s Oliver. The best social issue storylines in my opinion are: GL’s Roger/Holly marital rape trial; GH’s Stone dies from AIDS; ATWT’s Margo pulls the plug on Casey; GH’s Monica’s breast cancer; AMC’s Cindy contracts AIDS; OLTL’s Shane is bullied; AMC’s Mark’s drug intervention; AMC’s Michael Delaney reveals he is gay to his students and nearly loses his job; GL’s Holly learns her baby has… Read more »

dmr
Guest
dmr

Alan, all of those storylines you mentioned were executed with heart and soul. They were told with such love and sensitivity. They were not rushed, and they were topics that so many of us could relate to, even if they did not hit our homes, per say. They were real, adult topics that we could relate to because perhaps our friends, family, neighbors, dealt with these issues, and because they were the focus on news programs and in society. I miss the days when daytime television focused on real, human element storylines. Both AMC and GH did an astounding portrayal… Read more »

Kevin C
Guest
Kevin C

Alan and dmr, oh how I so agree with both of you and I so miss those days…That is what great soaps/daytime & night time drama’s are all about.

Patricio
Guest
Patricio

What a great memory you have Al! I do remember many of those stories and yes they were groudbreaking!

GemmaG
Guest
GemmaG

Nice! Ryan Phillippe went on to have a great career and it is great that he remembers his start. He is sooooo good looking! OLTL had many new young actors as well as provocative and educational storylines. GH is no where near as good, although they have double the cast. If I remember correctly, when Billy Douglas came out his father was terrible to him (RP did an amazing job in this role too). Marty Saybrooke then started a rumor about Andrew, the priest, because she had a crush on him, and that almost got Andrew thrown in jail. Queer… Read more »

News

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS 2021: ‘This Is Us’ Leads TV Nominations, ‘The View’ Lands Daytime Talk Show Nod

On Wednesday, NBC and E! announced the nominations for the 2021 People’s Choice Awards, and NBC’s This Is Us led the television field with six nominations followed by four each for: Grey’s AnatomyLaw & Order: SVULokiOuter BanksTed Lasso and WandaVision.

Fan voting is now on-going through Wednesday, November 17 at 11:59 pm ET.  To cast your ballot, you can vote on online here or via Twitter.

Photo: ABC

The awards presentation is set for Tuesday, December 7 at 9/8c live from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California to air on NBC.

In addition, the controversial daytime talk show, The View landed a nomination for the Daytime Talk Show category, and reality-competition series, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Dancing with the Stars are up against each other in the Competition Show category.

You can check out some of the TV nominations below.  The People’s Choice Awards also hands out trophies to favorite films and music of the year.

Show of 2021

Cobra Kai
Grey’s Anatomy
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Loki
Saturday Night Live
The Bachelor
This Is Us
WandaVision

Drama Show of 2021

Outer Banks
9-1-1
Cobra Kai
Grey’s Anatomy
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
The Equalizer
The Walking Dead
This Is Us

Competition Show of 2021

America’s Got Talent
American Idol
Dancing With The Stars
RuPaul’s Drag Race
The Bachelor
The Bachelorette
The Masked Singer
The Voice

Daytime Talk Show of 2021

Good Morning America
Live with Kelly and Ryan
Red Table Talk
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
The Kelly Clarkson Show
The View
The Wendy Williams Show
TODAY

Male TV Star of 2021

Anthony Mackie, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Chase Stokes, Outer Banks
Dwayne Johnson, Young Rock
Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live
Norman Reedus, The Walking Dead
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Tom Hiddleston, Loki

Female TV Star of 2021

Angela Bassett, 9-1-1
Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision
Ellen Pompeo, Grey’s Anatomy
Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision
Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Queen Latifah, The Equalizer
Yara Shahidi, Grown-ish

Drama TV Star of 2021

Norman Reedus, The Walking Dead
Angela Bassett, 9-1-1
Chase Stokes, Outer Banks
Ellen Pompeo, Grey’s Anatomy
Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Queen Latifah, The Equalizer
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Competition Contestant of 2021

Cody Rigsby, Dancing With the Stars
Gottmik, RuPaul’s Drag Race
JoJo, The Masked Singer
JoJo Siwa, Dancing With the Stars
Katie Thurston, The Bachelorette
Matt James, The Bachelor
Symone, RuPaul’s Drag Race
Wiz Khalifa, The Masked Singer

Make sure to check out all the nominations here.

So, who are you rooting for This is Us? The View? DWTS? None of the above? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Breaking News

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Emily O’Brien Previews Her Directorial Debut and Short Film ‘Too Close’

She’s an actress, a voice-over talent, writer, and now she can add director to her impressive resumeDays of our Lives star Emily O’Brien (Gwen) has shared over the last 24 hours a preview clip of her short film, Too Close.

Emily stated via her Instagram account: “Here’s a peek at the trailer for my short film entitled Too Close– I am so fortunate to have made this with my beloved team alongside me. My vision couldn’t have been brought to life without any of you, I am truly touched by your tenacity & genuine love for creativity!”  O’Brien shared the hashtags: #directorialdebut #filmmaking #periodpiece #cinema #womeninfilm
#writeyourownstory #vintagefilm

Photo: IMDb

You can check out the teaser for the film below which centers on the story of a young man and woman in the 1950’s examining what it means when two people in a relationship are considered to be too close.

Let us know if you are intrigued by the preview, and would like to see Emily’s short film via the comment section below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Emily O’Brien (@emroya)

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

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