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‘Ryan’s Hope’ Favorite Michael Levin Dead at 90

Photo: ABC

The heartbreaking news of the passing of beloved soap opera stars continues.  Now comes word that Michael Levin, who played the fiery ace reporter with a heart of gold, Jack Fenelli, on Ryan’s Hope has passed away.

Levin died on January 6th at the age of 90 at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, New York.  Michael’s son, Jason Levin told The Hollywood Reporter of his father’s death.

What made Michael so endearing to Ryan’s Hope fans was not only his exceptional performances as Jack, but that he was with the show from the very beginning, and all the way to its end – a total of 13 years.  Ryan’s Hope aired on ABC from July of 1975 to its final episode on January 13th, 1989.

According to IMDb. Levin appeared in 1,074 episodes and only Helen Gallagher (ex-Maeve), Bernie Barrow (ex-Johnny) and Nancy Addison (ex-Jillian) appeared more often.

Michael was nominated three years in a row for the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Daytime Drama Series at the Daytime Emmys from 1978-80.

Photo: ABC


Along with Kate Mulgrew (ex-Mary), Levin was part of Ryan’s Hope first and most prominent and memorable supercouple of Mary and Jack.  In a highly-awaited soap wedding back in 1976, Jack and Mary tied the knot on location at St. Benedict the Moor Church on Manhattan’s West Side.

Year later, in the final episode of Ryan’s Hope, Jack remarried Leigh Kirkland played by Felicity LaFortune.  In fact, Kate Mulgrew returned for the series finale as the ghost of Mary in a voice-over, speaking to Jack from heaven.


Throughout his career, Levin appeared on two other soap operas, As the World Turns in the role of John Eldridge and All My Children as Dr. Tim Gould.  Michael also appeared on the Broadway stage including three plays in 197o’s: Tennessee Williams’ Camino Real with Al Pacino, Sam Shepard’s Operation Sidewinder with Garrett Morris, and Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Woman of Setzuan with Colleen Dewhurst.

Photo: ABC

Levin is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, sons Jason and Aaron, and grandchildren Veronica and Nico.

Share your remembrances and condolences for one of the finest actors to grace the daytime screens, Michael Levin, via the comment section. But first, check out Mary and Jack’s wedding and the final episode of ‘Ryan’s Hope’ below.

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Ironic that I was just watching an episode of Ryan’s Hope that featured his character. Rest-in-peace.

Remembering this very special actor who made us all feel special every time we watched an episode of Ryan’s Hope. I remembered taking a vacation day from work so I could say goodbye to this series final episode. Michael Levin forever in the hearts of his fans. Praying for his family.

Ryan’s Hope was a special daytime drama. I loved that New York City feel. Wonderful, and much credit for that goes to Mr. Levin.

I was not a regular Ryan’s Hope viewer but saw episodes from time to time. I always taught he was great as Jack. He and Kate Mulgrew were unforgettable together. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

Thank you Mr. Levin for sharing your wonderful talent with all of us. May you rest in peace.

My heart is . I only watch Ryan’s Hope because of Michael Levin. Praying for his family. He will never be forgotten.

Loved his performance on Ryan’s Hope.

I wish you wouldn’t use click bait words like “heartbreaking”, “tragic”, “devastating” etc when an elderly person dies of natural causes. Of course it is sad when anyone passes away, but when a person has led a full and productive life, and now they are at peace, that is not tragic or heartbreaking. Many of these people were suffering or ill for prolonged periods of time. Many times it is a blessing. By all accounts, a person who lives until the age of 90 and then passes away leaving a legacy and a family is a a very heartwarming thing.

I am not trying to diminish anyone’s sadness, or tears. These actors are real people with family and friends who are in mourning. They do not need to be reminded how tragic and sad and heartbreaking the death is. They are living it.

I wish you would write your pieces more like a newspaper obituary. They tend to write their pieces as more a celebration of the person’s life. They remind us of their family members, their life accomplishments, and what they loved. They don’t dwell on the negative, or reinforce heartbreak or misery. Sometimes with the word or stylistic choices you use when an actor passes away, it feels like you want to emotionally force people into focusing on the sadness and death, rather than the positive and the life.

I love your site, and I hope you take this in the spirit it is intended. As viewers, we don’t know these actors personally. We know characters they portrayed, which are fictitious and not real. They entertained us for a time. We have our memories of them, and that is how we will remember them. Thanks for listening.

What you said was wonderful, thoughtful and true. Being 90 myself, I feel the same way. Why can’t we just be happy they led a good life if that was true and let it be a blessing ,if it wasn’t. Birth and death are facts of life to celebrate and grieve, not all the drama given when it’s over.

He was so solid as Jack on Ryan’s Hope and a darn good actor with charisma and sex appeal.

Breaking News

‘The Price is Right’ Decks the Halls with Five Holiday-Themed Primetime Episodes & Pet Rescue & Adoption Week on Daytime

Talk about getting into the holiday spirit! The Price is Right is set to air five brand new holiday-themed episodes airing in December on primetime, plus the daytime version will also have a special week. Host Drew Carey will preside over the game show proceedings!

Daytime’s The Price is Right holiday week (Dec 18-Dec 22) will feature animal trainer, author and host of CBS’ Lucky Dog Reunions, Brandon McMillan, and Robert Valandra, nephew of legendary host Bob Barker, who both bring along some furry friends up for adoption. The week concludes with ‘Price is Right’ model Amber Lancaster, an advocate of animal adoption, and some adorable dogs who need a home for the holidays.

The Price is Right continues to network television’s #1-rated daytime series and the longest-running game show in television history, broadcast weekdays (11:00 AM-12:00 PM, ET/10:00-11:00 AM, PT).

Photo: JPI

On Primetime, here is the holiday lineup of shows (the week of Dec 4-8):

THE PRICE IS RIGHT AT NIGHT: OFFICE HOLIDAY PARTY (Monday, December 4, 8:00 PM, ET/PT) brings coworkers and colleagues together to cheer each other on as they play for prizes that can be shared and enjoyed by all of their office mates.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT AT NIGHT: BLIND HOLIDATE (Thursday, December 7, 8:00 PM, ET/PT) brings in a matchmaker to pair up an audience full of single, eligible adults, and lucky contestants will meet for the first time when they are called to “Come on down!” and compete together as a team. They play for fabulous cash and prizes, pairs of cars, and maybe they’ll even win a love match!

THE PRICE IS RIGHT AT NIGHT: COLLEGE STUDENTS HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (Friday, December 8 at 8:00 PM ET/PT) welcomes college students home adorned in their best school spirit gear, teamed up with their parents to play for exotic trips, amazing prizes, and cash for college!

Photos: JPI

THE PRICE IS RIGHT AT NIGHT: HOLIDAYS WITH THE FAMILY (Monday, December 18, 8:00 PM, ET/PT). Parents and their young children compete for some of the most desired gifts Santa has in his sleigh. Decorated in their holiday best, families work as a team to win prizes to make their holidays oh so bright!

THE PRICE IS RIGHT AT NIGHT: HOLIDAY HEROES (Tuesday, December 19, 8:00 PM, ET/PT) salutes the military to thank America’s brave heroes for keeping us safe all year round. Active-duty military members in uniform compete for luxury items, including trips to remarkable destinations, $50,000 in cash, and cars!

Of note: Paramount+ Premium subscribers will have access to stream live via the live feed of their local CBS affiliate on the service as well as on demand. Essential-tier subscribers will have access to on-demand the day after the episode airs.

Lots of The Price is Right holiday cheer and pet adoptions coming your way. Will you be watching? Comment below. But first, check out a clip from one of the primetime episodes.

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Breaking News

96th Annual Academy Awards to Start an Hour Earlier, While Jimmy Kimmel Shares, “I Always Dreamed of Hosting the Oscars Exactly Four Times”

In a move to keep viewers not up past their bedtimes, the 2024 Oscars telecast will now begin one hour earlier than usual.  According to news from the Academy on Thursday, the ceremonies will begin at 7 pm ET/4PM PT on March 1o, 2024.

That is an hour shift when the broadcast usually begins at 8 pm ET/5pm PT.  The official pre-show will also begin earlier, at 6:30 p.m. ET.

The 96th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles with nominations being announced on January 23rd.

Photo: ABC

A few weeks ago on November 15th, Jimmy Kimmel was officially named the host of the Oscars for the fourth time. The hosting gig marks the second year in a row for Kimmel. The comedian also hosted in 2017 and 2018.

Kimmel’s wife Molly McNearney will also one again, co-write and executive produce, the telecast.  In a statement on presiding over movies biggest night of the year, Kimmel joked, “I always dreamed of hosting the Oscars exactly four times.”

Photo: JPI

ABC also plans on airing a special episode of their hit comedy Abbott Elementary, immediately following what should be a three-and-a-half hour telecast of the Oscars.

So, what do you think about the time shift with the Oscars starting an hour earlier? Happy about it? Won’t be settled in at that early time slot to sit and watch the show? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Marty Krofft Famed Children’s Show Producer of ‘H.R. Pufnstuf,’ ‘Land of the Lost,’ Dead at 86

Marty Kroftt. who along with his brother Sid, produced many memorable children’s shows throughout his career, including H.R. Pufnstuf and Land of the Lost has passed away at the age of 86..

A family representative told Variety that Krofft died of kidney failure Saturday November 25th in Los Angeles, California.

Krofft was often known as the “King of Saturday Mornings”, and along with his brother, Sid also produced primetime variety shows including Donny and Marie and Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters.

Photo: JPI

At the 45th annual Daytime Emmy Awarda, Marty and Sid were the recipients of the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. The Kroffts also produced Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, The Bugaloos and Lidsville.

The brothers always shared that they came from a line of puppeteers, and Sid, traveled the world as young man performing an elaborate puppet show. The brother’s partnership worked due to Sid was the more on the creative side, while Marty was more on the business side.

Marty said in the book “Pufnstuf & Other Stuff: The Weird and Wonderful World of Sid & Marty Krofft” (1998), written by TV critic, David Martindale, “Sid was always ‘the artist’. He never did have a business sense. So I came in and filled that vacuum.”

Photo: JPI

Krofft’s wife, the former Playboy playmate Christa Speck passed away in 2013. He lived in Los Angeles and is survived by his brothers Sid and Harry; his daughters Deanna Krofft-Pope, Kristina Krofft and Kendra Krofft; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Share your condolences for Marty Krofft via the comment section. But,  first check out our interview with him along with is brother Sid, before they received their Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award at the 45th annual ceremonies below.

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