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Soap World Shares Their Sorrow On The Passing Of Florence Henderson

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

The entertainment world is a little less brighter today following the news on Thanksgiving evening that America’s mom Florence Henderson, best known and beloved for her role as Carol Brady on the 70’s sitcom, The Brady Bunch, had passed away at age 82.

Henderson died of heart failure at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles surrounded by her children and loved ones.  Her manager, Kayla Pressman said that her death was unexpected.  Henderson had not been sick and earlier this week, she attended a taping of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars to cheer on Maureen McCormick, who played her TV daughter Marcia Brady.

For decades and revivals of The Brady Bunch, she was the mom we all wished we had, and even Florence herself had noted on a TV interview: “I created the kind of mother that I wished I’d had, and I think everyone longs for.”  Florence’s enduring career started with her first big break in 1951 when she was offered a starring role in the musical Oklahoma!  Her voice carried her to a successful Broadway career, and eventually she began landing high-profile television gigs. In 1959 she was on set as the first NBC “Today Girl”, and in 1962, she became the first woman to guest host the Tonight Show. 

Over the last 24 hours, the soap opera world has been shocked and saddened with the news of Henderson’s passing.  Here are a just a sampling of some of the stars and more who took to social media to share their grief.

Y&R’s Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) and husband Ed Scott (B&B producer) : “We will miss our good friend  FlorenceHenderson. So charming and gracious and funny. RIP Flo. Xo”

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

DAYS Bill Hayes (Doug): “Deeply saddened to learn that my sweet friend Florence Henderson passed away. Yes, Florence Henderson and I worked together a lot, 1954, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962. We had a terrific act. You’d have loved it! For three years, Florence and I did all the commercials for Oldsmobile. They were musical and FUN!!!”

B&B’s Sean Kanan (Deacon): “Florence Henderson helped raise my generation. When I finally met her she was such a warm person. She will be so missed.”

OLTL’s Robin Strasser (Ex-Dorian): “Florence Henderson Was at ‘DWTS’ Days Before She Died  …A true hottie-She didn’t “sit it out” Brava RIP”

GH’s Kathleen Gati (Liesl): “My heart is broken! Grew up watching & loving #RIP FlorenceHenderson @ItsFloHenderson @TODAYshow Sending love to her family, friends & fans.”

NATAS (Daytime Emmys): “NATAS would like to extend our condolences to the family of Florence Henderson. We have lost one of the truly great entertainers. From Broadway to films and Daytime to Primetime, Florence was not only America’s Favorite TV Mom, but television royalty as the first Today Show Girl on NBC to her own Daytime talk show and, of course, the iconic role of Mrs. Brady on The Brady Bunch as well as being one of the first women to have her career recognized by The Smithsonian in DC as a ‘Legendary Lady of Stage and Screen.’ Florence will miss you tremendously!”

Susan Olsen (Guest starred on Y&R and played Cindy Brady on The Brady Bunch): “Of course we are all devastated by the loss of our TV Mom, but four magnificent human beings are proof that Florence was a wonderful mother in real life. It is for them that my heart is aching.”

Knots Landing’s Donna Mills (Ex-Abby): “Today we lost one of my most favorite people and closest friends. You were such a fiery light in my life and you will be so greatly missed. Forever in our hearts rest peacefully dear Flo.”

On-Air On-Soaps heart goes out to all of Florence’s family, and in particular, her wonderful daughter, Barbara Chase, who all of us in daytime have had the pleasure of knowing and working with in her position at the Television Academy.

Now, share your condolences, remembrances and thoughts on the passing of Florence Henderson in the comment section below.

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It’s very sad and shocking. I just saw her in the DWTS audience.

RIP Flo

Years ago, in a special edition of “Soap Opera Digest,” I read that Florence Henderson had been a fan of “Days of Our Lives.”

Florence and Bill Hayes (Doug Williams, DAYS) were billed as “The Singing Sweethearts” in singing tours. Their partnership began with a series of Oldsmobile commercials. Here is one commercial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THcjUHOFBfI

4ever DAYS…loved your link. What a classic find, ( the jingle aka The Music Man…so you say you got trouble…) thanks!

This is such sad news, especially to everyone old enough to remember when “The Brady Bunch” was on ABC every Friday night. It is sad to think we just recently saw her in the audience of “Dancing With the Stars,” looking beautiful as ever. There have been so many celebrity deaths (Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Natalie Cole) and ones that impact the soap world (Claire Labine, Agnes Nixon, Larkin Malloy).

She MATTERED!

Wow this is so sad, Florence was a classy sassy lady. Loved her on the Brady Bunch. RIP my dear lady.

R.I.P. FLORENCE HENDERSON

Florence Henderson was an icon, may she rest in peace.

I always admired how energetic and alive she was well into her 80s. So sad to hear this news.

So sad to hear she passed away, awesome lady, I saw her in Illinois @ one of her outings, she was a breath of fresh air, couldn’t go a week without watching her on Brady Bunch, what a great mom she was on the show, will miss her smiling face, prayers to her family

…a lovely lady, indeed. RIP

Beautiful, hard-working, faith-based (which she shared in her memoir), joyfully talented, she seemed as if she’d be with us forever–her vibrant nurturing spirit surrounds us, always. #LovelyLady

Flo was a great actress I always watch the Brady Bunch you will be missed RIP

I’m sad but she will live on forever as carol Brady and people will discover that show and love her as their fave tv mom and how great is that?

OH, MY GOD!!!!! I am VERY, VERY SHOCKED AND EVEN MORE SADDENED by the sudden death of Florence Henderson!!!!! She was such an A+ CLASS ACT ALL THE WAY!!!!! I was such a BIG FAN of Miss Florence. You will be TRULY MISSED, Miss Florence. Rest In Peace.

Amen.

Like many people I was shocked to hear of Florence Henderson’s passing. She was such a youthful, pretty woman and so very alive! Saddened to hear it…I can see her smiling face/apple cheeks…

Our beloved TV mom is gone. Who will remind us not to play ball in the house? Bless the Henderson family.

Florence Henderson’s life truly was “the story of a lovely lady!” She will be missed….

My generation lost one of the best TV moms one could ever hope for – RIP, Ms. Henderson and thank you.

Ms. Henderson should have been a bigger celebrity. She had more talent than most. The early 50s Florence was chosen lead in “Oklahoma ‘ the musical by great Rogers and Hammerstein. Her voice was operatic but also comical and theatrical. God bless you and your family.

I hope they dim the theater lights on Broadway for her soon.

Days Of Our Lives

Jason Cook Recalls Landing His Soap Roles as DAYS Shawn-Douglas Brady and GH’s Matt Hunter

Daytime fans remember Jason Cook when he became wildly-popular as Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and Bo’s (Peter Reckell) son, Shawn-Douglas Brady on Days of our Lives from 1999-2006. He later made a brief return in the role in 2015 for the series 50th anniversary.

After departing DAYS, Cook was offered a role on General Hospital as Dr. Matt Hunter, the younger brother to Dr. Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson) from 2008-2012. However, during his time on the soaps, and after, Cook has been focusing on his behind the scenes roles and passion as writer and a director of feature films.

Last week, the Michael Fairman Channel welcomed Jason, along with two of the stars of his latest film, Four for Fun, Brytni Sarpy (Elena, Y&R) and Jacob Young (ex-AMC, B&B, GH). During the conversation, Cook revealed his continued admiration for the soap medium and the actors who work in it, and how it came to pass that he landed his parts on Days of our Lives, and then on General Hospital.

Photo: JPI

Cook spoke on becoming the on-screen son of soap opera’s most iconic couples, Bo and Hope: “I auditioned for Fran Bascom. She was the Days of our Lives casting director at the time. I was never a great auditioner, I don’t think. She made me feel really comfortable. I remember that screen test. And then, I remember when I got the part, I was actually working at a company at a desk job. I got the call at work and I just screamed, and at the time I didn’t quit my job. But then, I got that contract when I was 19-years-old and it totally changed my life.”

Photo: JPI

But, was Jason aware how key to the show being Bo and Hope’s son would be? “Yeah, my older sister was a fan of the show. She definitely let me know that I better not mess it up, because I was gonna ruin her favorite couple,” he shared. “I remember she printed out the family tree and it looked like a physics diagram. It was so complicated. A lot of detailed work went into it. But, I was excited.”

After being a known entity with a large fan following, eventually Cook made his way to a new role on General Hospital. Jason explained, “GH was fun. That was a situation where Brian Frons (ex-ABC Daytime President) brought me over there. I just told him I didn’t want to be like or want to do Shawn. He’s like, ‘Well, what do you wanna do?’ I said, ‘How can I screw things up around here and shake things up?'”

Photo: JPI

From that conversation things began to formulate. Cook revealed, “We started talking about the TV series House. I think in soaps, there’s an assumption if you’re going on a show that everybody wants to be the hero. I was like, ‘I don’t want to (be). I want to screw everything up.’ And then, they wrote it in that Matt Hunter burns the hospital down within like six months. I was like really proud about that. The other part that I loved about that character is that Matt, and his older brother Patrick (Jason Thompson), were both neurosurgeons. And if you (an actor) resigned your contract (with the show) you go to Patrick, you see Patrick. And if you don’t resign your contract, you see my character, because my character was going to kill you every time.”

For more on the interview, make sure to check out the replay of the livestream conversation below with Jason, Brytni Sarpy and Jacob Young.  Now let us know, did you enjoy Jason as Shawn-D and Matt on GH? Do you hope someday he might return on-screen to the soaps? Let us know in the comment section.

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All My Children

EXCLUSIVE: Jacob Young, Joan Collins and Nadia Bjorlin to Prague to Film ‘Murder Between Friends’

On Thursday night during the Michael Fairman Channel’s livestream interview centering around Jason Cook’s (ex-Shawn, DAYS and ex-Matt, GH) latest movie Four For Fun which stars Brytni Sarpy (Elena, Y&R) and Jacob Young (ex-JR, AMC, ex-Rick, B&B and ex-Lucky, GH), revealed another upcoming film project with some very familiar faces.

Jacob Young shared an exclusive that he is set to direct, produce and star in a Agatha Christie-like murder mystery feature film aptly tiled Murder Between Friends.

Speaking on the upcoming project, Jacob said, “I’m flying at the end of the March to Prague to direct, produce and star in a film with Joan Collins (ex-Dynasty). Nadia Bjorlin (ex-Chloe, Days of our Lives) is in it, and Toby Alexander Smith from Eastenders (ex-Gray Atkins). Plus, a couple of my Broadway friends and a very well known Czech actress (Hana Vagnerova).”

Photo: BBC

According to Jacob, the production start date is April 1st. He added on the premise of the film, “It’s very Agatha Christie sort of ‘Knives Out’ without having a hundred million dollars to shoot it, but still will be a lovely film nonetheless.” Young said the plan is to finish all principal photography by April 17th.

Photo: JPI

IMDb has more on the film. It shared that former All My Children star Trent Garrett (ex-Asher Pike) is listed as co-directing the feature. Mark Rozzano is listed as writer of Murder Between Friends.

So, what do you think about this upcoming feature from Jacob that will feature Joan Collins, Nadia Bjorlin et al? Share your thoughts in the comment section. 

Then below, check out the full livestream conversation with Jason Cook, Brytni Sarpy and Jacob Young on ‘Four For Fun’ and their notable soap roles.

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Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives Star Blake Berris Chats On the Everett Lynch/Bobby Stein Mystery, Working with His New Co-Stars, and the Last Christmas Episode with Bill Hayes

On Days of our Lives, the return of Blake Berris is making for some very intriguing drama, with the audience guessing just which way the story will go.

When Berris arrived back on Days of our Lives, after previously playing Nick Fallon, he was taking on the new role of Everett Lynch, who has a past with Stephanie Johnson (Abigail Klein) and Jada Hunter (Elia Cantu). Only, as it has been revealed, the past he had with Jada was under the name “Bobby Stein,” who from what we can tell was far from a nice guy.

Blake visited the Michael Fairman Channel for a livestream interview this week, where fans in the live chat were weighing-on what could be the truth about the guy – is he a split personality suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder? Did the accident that cost him a year of his life in a coma, never happen? Recently, someone set fire to the beloved Horton house. Fans are suspecting it would have been “Bobby” who is working for Clyde Weston (James Read). Others believe that Everett/Bobby could actually be Clyde’s son. With upcoming therapy sessions with Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) about to start, things are about to get more juicy in Salem.

Photo: JPI

Here are just a few excerpts from our conversation with Blake on a myriad of Everett/Bobby subjects. Make sure to check out the full interview for more.

Did you know that they were going to make Everett Lynch a Jewish character? This is only the second time in the history of the show that they have even had a Jewish character on the canvas. Didn’t they reveal this at the Horton family Christmas episode?

BLAKE: No, they never asked me. I am half-Jewish on my dad’s side. There was never like, ‘You’re Jewish, right? We can call you Jewish on the show?’ At the Horton Christmas, “They made a real point of it, yeah.”

And now the new ‘character’ is “Bobby Stein” …

BLAKE: “Right, and that suggests more Jewish, and then Lynch must be coming from somewhere else, maybe the mother. I was so curious because I think the show has been historically, I’m gonna say, Catholic more than like Wasps. With the Bradys there’s this sort of Irish influence, and then the DiMeras, that’s Italian. So, we’ve got Catholics sort of on both sides that are dominant. Now I, “represent”.

Photo: JPI

What has it been like working with Abigail Klein?

BLAKE: I think she is extraordinary. We start off sort of frosty, or she’s frosty with me, like she doesn’t want to let me in. And then, for a while things are going really well. I just could not adore Abigail more. She’s such a good actor. I could always rely on her to bring me back into a scene and be there in this emotionally, supportive way.

Photo: JPI

Everett and Chad seemed to be becoming friend-ish, when all went awry when at the PCPD interrogation room, Everett let him know about Elia and Bobby Stein, and Chad let him have it for worming his way back in to Stephanie’s life.

BLAKE: Billy would call us the ‘disgusting brothers’ and that’s a reference from Succession, because all of a sudden they’re just so chummy with each other. It’s like all of a sudden we just had this like ‘Bernstein and Woodward’, sort of dynamic duo. I think that Everett really started to think of Chad as a friend and feels sort of disappointed, and he feels, “Oh, it’s that easy? I just needed to have some other identity and now you’re a fair-weather friend?”‘

Photo: JPI

In recent scenes, Jada sees Bobby Stein for the first time, and we see you and Elia Cantu share scenes with each other for the first time. What is it like working with Elia?

BLAKE: She’s fire, man. She comes in hot and she tells you the way it’s going to be. I think early on, we were trying to suss each other out and the more we worked together, the more comfortable you get with somebody. I think actors do this sometimes with each other; if there’s spice on screen, you like to keep some of what you have on-screen in your (real-life) interactions because it helps … it helps the work.  Eventually, we just sort of wore each other down and we’re like, ‘I actually totally get you, and you’re great.'”

Did you know that they were going to make Everett Lynch a Jewish character? This is only the second time in the history of the show that they have even had a Jewish character and didn’t they reveal this at the Horton family Christmas episode?

BLAKE: No, they never asked me. I am half-Jewish on my dad’s side. There was never like, ‘You’re Jewish, right? We can call you Jewish on the show?’ At the Horton Christmas, “They made a real point of it, yeah.”

And now the new ‘character’ is “Bobby Stein” …

BLAKE: “Right, and that suggests more Jewish, and then Lynch must be coming from somewhere else, maybe the mother. I was so curious because I think the show has been historically, I’m gonna say, Catholic more than like Wasps. With the Bradys there’s this sort of Irish influence, and then the DiMeras, that’s Italian. So we’ve got Catholics sort of on both sides that are dominant. Now I, “represent”.

Photo: JPI

You were on set and in the annual Horton Christmas episode which sadly marked the last for Days of our Lives legendary Bill Hayes, who passed away in January of this year.  What do you recall of that tape day?

BLAKE: It was the Christmas episode when we were watching Susan (Julie) and Bill, say ‘Merry Christmas.’  And there was something about it that just felt like it could be the last time. I mean, it wrecked us all on set. Bill gets so choked up and there was something really profound about the moment. They kiss each other as they have so many times before on the show. It was just beautiful. It felt beautiful to be there for that last Christmas. He’s just such an icon. Every time I’d see him, he was so with it … he knew my name, he knew his lines. What an incredible, incredible man.

Photo: JPI

Fans will get to see Everett in therapy sessions with Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall)? Would you say she is helping the guy?

BLAKE: Deidre’s always making jokes about Marlena, ‘She’s the worst therapist in the world’ (Laughs) I remember in the first therapy session, we almost couldn’t get through the scenes because it’s just so clear that Everett has a litany of very profound psychological issues that he is going to have to work through. He’ll keep coming back. This guy’s gonna pay the bills!

Photo: JPI

Viewers are waiting to see how they mystery of Everett Lynch/Bobby Stein plays out. What can you say as a tease for what’s to come?

BLAKE: As far as a tease, I would say, you have all these characters sort of, trying to wake up the ‘sleeping giant’ in a way. I think it’s safe to say that like if you poke a bear, the bear might wake up.

Watch the livestream chat with Blake in full below.

Now let us know, what do you think is going with Everett/Bobby? What has happened to him in his past? Share your theories in the comment section below, and make sure to catch Days of our Lives next week on Peacock for more to his story.

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