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Days Of Our Lives

Soap Opera Producer and Director Wes Kenney Passes Away: DAYS Susan Seaforth Hayes Relates Sorrow & His Accomplishments

Courtesy/TVarchive

Courtesy/TVarchive/NBC

Another one of soap opera greats behind the scenes has passed away.  Fans have learned of the passing of H. Wes Kenney, a seven time Daytime Emmy winner known best for his work on NBC’s Days of our Lives.  Throughout his career, Kenney would also work on The Young and the Restless, General Hospital, and The Doctors.

Kenney died of cardiac arrest on Tuesday of this week at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. He was 89 years old.  Wes had related on the love of his job during an interview with the Archive of American Television: “I  love people. I love actors. I love doing the dramatic shows.  So that’s how I’d like to be remembered, working with terrific people, great talented people.”

And one of those actors who Kenney worked with time and time again was the one and only Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie Williams) of Days of our Lives.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

On the news of his passing, Seaforth Hayes took to Twitter and shared these sentiments and her sorrow:  “Just heard the sad news that Days Producer/Director Wes Kenney went to his rest yesterday. Wes was SO important to DOOL and our lives! My relationship to Wes Kenney goes back to the mid-50s when he was in NYC directing a TV series called MY TRUE STORY. We did one together! Wes Kenney was an Emmy Award winner who directed hundreds of Days episodes in the 60s and 70s. He directed Doug’s first appearance. Wes Kenney was not only talented, he was an energetic, creative, loving man. He was one of the 16 people at our wedding; to us he’s an icon! Wes Kenney produced the first Doug/Julie wedding (in 1976); Al Rabin was the Director. Wes asked us to use our own wedding vows. Wes Kenney produced the wonderful DOOL Variety Show; Al Rabin directed, Ann Marcus was the Head Writer, Jack Bunch staged the numbers..”

Kenney is survived by his wife, actress Heather North Kenney; sons Wesley and Kevin; daughters Nina and Kara; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Share your thoughts on the passing of Wes Kenney below and Susan Seaforth Hayes’ tweets honoring his memory and his importance below!

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jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Another sad loss from soaps golden area…condalances to his family…NOTE: Heather North was the first Sandy Horton, daughter of Tommy and Kitty Horton, grandaughter of Tom and Alice, on Days back in the 60s and was also the voice of Daphne in the scooby doo cartoon series for many years!!!

Gmbenet
Guest
Gmbenet

My condolences to the family of Wes Kenney and to the Days of our lives family regarding the death of Wes. I am a long time fan of Days dating back to 1966. So many of the episodes I enjoyed during the 1960s and 1970s were because of Wes Kenney. So I guess at least part of his legacy are fans of Days who enjoyed the show during his time there and are still watching today.

Bart
Guest
Bart

H. Wesley Kenney was also the staff director for the 1974-1975 fifth season of ALL IN THE FAMILY.

PatF
Guest
PatF

He was absolutely fantastic on YR in the 80’s. Loved his vision.

Erick
Guest
Erick

R.I.P. Wes Kenney. He was also GH’s Executive Producer from 1987-89, and interim head writer during the writers’ strike in 1988. During his tenure, classic stories and episodes included the Duke/Anna/Jerome story, the Ned/Monica affair, Robin held by Grant Putnam’s dog Satan, the Frisco/Felicia/Colton triangle (my favorite at the time), interracial couple Tom & Simone, the classic/infamous Dragon Bone adventure, and who can forget Sean and Tiffany’s wedding (youtube that one if you haven’t seen it!)?

davlestev1
Guest
davlestev1

When you watch soaps properly there are ALWAYS writers and producers you followed even in the pre-VCR days. You missed another show to watch a person you loved switch to a show you never thought of watching…AND GOT HOOKED…R.I.P. WESKENNEY…you got BILLBELL with you now to talk over all the wonderful memories.

Sandy Brower
Guest
Sandy Brower

Wes Kenney will surely be missed by all the people on all the soaps he worked on. He sounds like he was an amazing man. I will keep him and his family but especially him in my prayers.

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Abe Goes to the Light While John Faces Off with MarDevil

Monday’s highly-anticipated episode of Days of our Lives did not disappoint. In fact, we think that this episode should be a strong contender for DAYS to consider for one of their Outstanding Drama Series submissions for next year’s Daytime Emmys.  Why? It has it all – emotional heart with Abe’s journey to and from the light, touching flashbacks, a great performance by James Reynolds, and some special effects and editing during the John (Drake Hogesytn) vs. MarDevil scenes, which also gave us a delicious performance by Deidre Hall.

At the start of the episode, Abe has flatlined after being shot as Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) tries to revive him, but they are losing him.  As this is going on, Paulina (Jackée Harry), Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) and Eli (Lamon Archey) are gathered at the hospital awaiting news on Abe’s condition.  Later, Eli decides to go find out what is happening with Abe, and gets the shock of his life when he walks in on Abe flatlining, while Kayla tells him that Abe is gone.  Eli implores her to try to bring him back. He tells the others they are working on trying to save Abe, as Julie and Paulina bond, and later, Lani must call Theo and Brandon to let them know about Abe’s condition.

Photo: JPI

Julie reminisces about Abe, and how they have known each other for 40 years, our wink-wink that this is James Reynolds’ 40th anniversary episode.   Then, we see Abe has gone to the light wearing a white sweater and who should he see but his beloved late wife, Lexie.  No, it’s not Renee Jones, but an actress who delivers Lexie’s lines, since it had been previously reported that Jones was unavailable for the episode.  In scenes with the replacement Lexie, Reynolds showed us why he is an MVP of DAYS.  He acted up a storm and brought the emotion regardless of who was standing there.

 

However, longtime viewers got a wonderful surprise when flashback clips of scenes between Renee Jones and Reynolds were shown and they were some major moments in the history of Abe and Lexie’s relationship including: the moment when Abe learns Lexie’s pregnant, the moment when he is disgusted by Lexie’s betrayal when he learned of her involvement in the Zack baby switch storyline, and what she did to Bo and Hope, all because she was desperate for a child. Later, it’s the five-hankie moment of when Lexie, who was dying from a brain tumor, passes away in Abe’s arms.

After all the flashbacks, Lexie tells Abe he needs to go back and not to come with her to heaven. He has children, and people who love him and need him. Eventually, he says his goodbyes to Lexie and returns to the present, just as Kayla is about to call his time of death in the hospital room. All of a sudden, Abe’s heart begins to beat.

Photo: JPI

Kayla brings Julie, Eli, Lani, and Paulina the news that Abe will need surgery, but he will make it.  Then, Paulina and Lani make their way to see him. In another emotional moment, they tell him how much they love him (Paulina looks worried about her lie being exposed that Lani is not really Abe’s bio-daughter).  As the episode comes to its conclusion, we see the back of Lexie making sure Abe is safe and sound among the living, while signifying she is watching over him.

And if that was not enough, this episode also picked up where John had confronted MarDevil in the church, letting Satan knows he is on to him and that he is not going to win … he is going to get Marlena back.  Satan drives home the point that Marlena belongs to him now.  John is mortified as the cross on the church wall turns upside down. Later to show off his prowess and control, MarDevil turns the holy water blood red. As the scene progresses, MarDevil is jumping all over the church and showing up in different spots.

Photo: JPI

John then gets the lowdown on how Satan struck a deal with Marlena to let Doug (Bill Hayes) live if she let him in.  That is followed, by some of the back-story of Marlena’s first possession over 25 years ago, and why it happened when she was alone and very distraught.  MarDevil even goes on to say that he tried once before to regain control of Marlena during the Salem Serial Killer storyline, but it did not work out that time, because all the victims turned out to be alive.  MarDevil brings up Stefano and how he had made Marlena believe John was dead which left her vulnerable.  He goes on to relate that Doug was the gateway for Marlena’s re-possession.

Photo: JPI

MarDevil tells John what she did with Doug by committing him and how she wanted to kill Julie. John knows that Marlena can hear him and tries to bring her back, but as the devil struggles with that, ultimately, he wins and begins to show his strength to John tossing him around the church, where he is eventually is knocked unconscious and then dragged to, we don’t know where, by the MarDevil!

Throughout the scenes, Deidre Hall looked like she was having so much fun playing the devilish one in this campy storyline revisited.

So, what did you think of James Reynolds performance and his 40th anniversary episode? What was your favorite moment? Are you glad John knows for certain now that Marlena is once again possessed? Share your thoughts via the comment section 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.

 

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

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Days Of Our Lives

Jensen Ackles Shares Heartfelt Message on Death of ‘Rust’ DP Halyna Hutchins: “This Has Been a Tragedy of Epic Proportions”

Former Days of our Lives and Supernatural star, Jensen Ackles (Ex-Eric and Ex-Dean)  took to his Instagram over the weekend to pay tribute to cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins who was tragically killed in New Mexico, on the set of the film Rust in which Ackles co-starred with Alec Baldwin and Frances Fisher. Baldwin is also one of the producers of the film.

Last Thursday, in the initial investigation reports surfaced that Baldwin discharged a “prop gun” leading to the death of Hutchins and injuring director, Joel Souza.  Since that time it has been reported that Baldwin was told by the assistant director, David Halls, that the weapon was a “cold gun” meaning not loaded with live rounds following its preparation by the film set’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez.  But in his affidavit statement, Halls says he was unaware that the prop gun contained live rounds when it was given to Baldwin for his scene.

The scene Baldwin was rehearsing was inside a church building at the Bonanza Creek Ranch. In new affidavit’s, it was noted that Baldwin was ‘cross drawing’ the weapon and pointing the gun towards the camera lens.

Photo: Getty

A grief-stricken Ackles shared:  “I’m not even sure where to start.  This has been a tragedy of epic proportions that we are all still processing. Earlier last week I felt compelled to tell Halyna just how awesome I thought she was. I told her how incredible I thought her camera shots were and just how exciting it was to watch her and her team work. Truly. She laughed and said thank you and gave me a hug. I’ll forever be thankful we had that moment.  She had a spunk and passion that infected the entire crew from the top down. She was an inspiration. My heart and prayers go out to Halyna’s husband, son and the rest of her family. There just aren’t enough words to express what an immense loss this is. She will be incredibly missed by all of us who knew and admired her.”

Since Hutchins’ death, a video also surfaced of Ackles discussing his concerns for gun safety on the set of Rust at a Supernatural convention in Colorado prior to the tragedy.

Jensen told the crowd: “I’ve got a 6 a.m. call tomorrow to have a big shoot-out. They had me pick my gun. They were like, ‘Alright, what gun would you like?’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know?’ and the armorer was like, ‘Do you have gun experience?’ I was like, ‘A little.’ And she’s like, ‘OK, well, this is how you load it, this is how we check it and make sure it’s safe. “So she’s like, ‘OK, I’m gonna put some blanks in there and I want you to just go and fire off a couple rounds towards the hill.’ And I was like, ‘OK.’ So I put the belt on, I put the gun there, and I walked out and she’s like, ‘Just make sure that you know, you pull the hammer all the way back and you aim at your target.’ And I was like, ‘OK, I got it.’  The footage was originally on You Tube, but now has been taken down.

The investigation remains and open and active on what occurred on the set of Rust, according to the Santa Fe New Mexico Sheriff’s office.

So, what do you think about Jensen’s tribute in the wake of the Rust tragedy? Comment below.

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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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