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‘Soap’ and ‘Who’s The Boss?’ Star Katherine Helmond Dead At 89

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

One of the most beloved and respected actresses, Katherine Helmond, has died due to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 89.   Helmond, who was one of the leads on ABC’s Soap in the role of Jessica Tate back in the late 70’s from 1977-1981, and a role in which she won a Golden Globe, died this past Saturday in her Los Angeles residence, according to Manfred Westphal, chief marketing and communications officer for APA.

Katherine was also best-known to TV audiences for her role in Who’s The Boss? from 1984 -1992 as Judith Light’s firecracker of a mother, Mona Robinson.  The actress also won a Supporting Actress Golden Globe for that role in 1989.  She also received four consecutive Best Actress Emmy Award nominations for Soap and back-to-back noms for Who’s the Boss?

David Christian, Helmond’s husband of 57 years shared in a statement: “She was the love of my life. We spent 57 beautiful, wonderful, loving years together, which I will treasure forever. I’ve been with Katherine since I was 19 years old. The night she died, I saw that the moon was exactly half-full, just as I am now … half of what I’ve been my entire adult life.”

Photo: ABC

Photo: ABC

Many former co-stars have taken to social media to share their grief and remembrances upon the heartbreaking news of Katherine’s passing including:

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Billy Crystal:  “KatherineHelmond was a remarkable actress and a huge influence on me during our @Soap years. I learned so much about acting from her and I’ll never forget her wit, her laugh and her comforting spirit.”

Judith Light:  “Katherine Helmond was an inspiration to me and so many others Her grace, talent and humor will be deeply missed She is in my heart forever.”

Tony Danza: “We all lost a national treasure today. No words can measure my love.”

Helmond is survived not only by her husband; but her half-sister, Alice Parry; and many nephews and nieces.  A memorial service is being planned for family and friends to celebrate her life and career and her career spanned five decades with numerous memorable work on the stage, film, and television.

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Violet LemmCarolBlakeSteveJimh Recent comment authors
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Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

Thank you Ms. Helmond for sharing your remarkable talent and grace with us. Bless you always. May you rest in peace.

Jimh
Jimh

Soap..Who The Boss and Everybody Loves Raymond…watched her in all of Them and in the mini series Pearl(Harbor)…she was great in everything she has done….and sorely missed!

Steve
Steve

Here’s hoping she found a brand new life around the bend. RIP

Blake
Blake

Nooooo! I’ve always loved Katherine Helmond. I watched the Soap and Who’s The Boss reruns with my grandmother, I especially loved her as Mona on WTB. She broke the sterotype of the grandmother not being sexy and in control of her life.

I also loved her in movies such as Overboard and The Lady In White. She wonderful playing the snobby, rich bitch in Overboard. I never get tired of Overboard and she’s one of the main reasons why. And she played so scary (yet misunderstood) in The Lady In White.

Such a versatile and talented actress, she will be missed. Love and prayers to her and her loved ones. At least she has made her transition to the other side!

Carol
Carol

So sorry to hear this.I loved her work.She was so funny in Soap.Matter of fact Antenna tv is showing reruns of soap if you like to catch Katherine on there she was so funny.May she rest in peace.God Bless her and her family

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

She will be missed, but I thank her for all the wonderful moments she gave us, as WTB, and her time on SOAP.Poor Mickey Mouse. Do you suppose he knew? RIP Katherine, and prayers to her loved ones.

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Constance Towers Returns To GH As Helena Cassadine … But Just How Does She Appear?

Now, any General Hospital fan knows that if there is skullduggery and evil going down, Helena Cassadine (whether dead or alive) is usually somehow involved when it comes to the lives of certain people in Port Charles.

And … some major storyline news from TV Line reveals that on next Monday’s August 19th episode of the ABC soap opera, Constance Towers reprises her role as the evil one herself … Helena!

Apparently, look for Helena to appear in a flashback with none other than Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and about Drew Cain’s time in Afghanistan.  That scene might hold a key to just what Shiloh wants now that he has implanted Drew’s memories into Franco (Roget Howath), thanks to Dr. Cabot’s work.  But could what is revealed also relate to the story that will see Billy Miller (Drew) exit the canvas later this month? Stay tuned.

Viewers last saw Helena alive in story until November of 2016, but then she was part of Jake’s hallucinations that were a part of the chimera storyline that climaxed at the Nurses’ Ball back in May of 2017.

So what do you think Helena’s presence in a flashback will reveal? And, who is ultimately having that flashback? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Daytime Emmys To Merge Younger Actor & Actress Category Into One As Gender-Inclusive Categories Are On The Rise

The upcoming 47th annual Daytime Emmys are already making some changes to key categories and specifically this one that affects daytime drama performers.  Word from Variety is that NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is going to announce that they are combining the Younger Actor and Actress categories into one gender-neutral category

Not only will the Younger performer category be gender-inclusive, but network soap performances will be combined with digital drama series performances for the category.  Previously, for this past Daytime Emmys, NATAS had changed the Guest Performer in a Drama Series to be gender-inclusive.

This category was initially created in 1985 when it was called the Outstanding Ingenue and then from there tweaked into Outstanding Juvenile Female and Male, and more recently that morphed into the Younger Actor and Actress categories.

Photo: JPI

Former GH star Hayley Erin (Ex-Kiki) and former DAYS star, Kyle Pettis (Ex-Theo) will now be the last female and male to win the two separate categories with this new move for 2020.

Fans of film and TV have noticed that on several award shows on MTV: their Movie and TV Awards and their VMA’s, there are several gender-inclusive categories, as well as the Television Critics Association Awards who for instance doles out Outstanding Individual Achievement in Drama in comedy.

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So, what do you think of the change; that there will now be one Younger performer category at the Daytime Emmys? Comment below.

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Breaking News

GH Writer Change: Shelly Altman Retires; Dan O’Connor Named Co-Head Writer Alongside Chris Van Etten

The word is out that General Hospital’s co-head scribe, Shelly Altman has decided to retire from the rigors of writing a daytime drama series and is leaving the ABC soap opera.  Most recently, Altman had been in charge of the writing of the show along with c0-head writer, Chris Van Etten.

With Altman retiring, GH has named former breakdown writer, Dan O’Connor as the new co-head writer of the series who will work with Van Etten.

According to TV Insider’s report, Shelly’s last day with the characters in Port Charles is this coming Friday, August 2nd.   Viewers can expect to see her stories to continue to play out for the coming months.   In lieu of Altman’s departure, O’Conner was promoted within the writing team and GH ranks.

In a statement, General Hospital’s executive producer, Frank Valentini said on his new co-head writing duo:  “These two understand the canvas and the characters. They also bring creativity, passion and commitment to the show’s history and its future.”

And for Altman’s years on GH, Valentini added: “Shelly, thank you for years of complex, emotional, intriguing story that ranged from suspense to heartbreak to laugh out loud funny, and everything in-between. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.”

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Altman had been with the GH writing team since 2011 and eventually was promoted to head writer.  She is a two-time Daytime Emmy winner. and a two-time WGA Award winner throughout her soap opera writing career.   As for Chris and Dan, they have been with GH also since 2011 and before that together on the writing team at One Life to Live.

So, what are your thoughts on Shelly’s exit and Dan and Chris crafting the stories for Port Charles? Comment below.

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