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Stephen Markle, One Life to Live’s Mel Hayes, Passes Away At Age 73

Courtesy/IMDB

In sad news for One Life to Live fans that Michael Fairman TV recently learned, the talented Stephen Markle, who played Mel Hayes, passed away late year.  Markle died at his home in Los Angeles on November 6, 2018, following complications of long-term Parkinson’s disease. He was 73-years-old.

Markle’s on-screen partnership with Robin Strasser (Dorian) was one-of-a-kind and these actors made Mel and Dorian one of the best duos on daytime.  In story, the character of Mel first came to Llanview in April 1997, and became close friends with Viki Davidson (Erika Slezak) then ultimately fell in love with and married Dorian Lord (Robin Strasser).  Dorian never forgave Viki for Mel’s death, after he took Viki’s seat on a flight that crashed in January 1999.  The character made a return to the show briefly in 2010.

Michael Fairman TV reached out to Robin Strasser to share her remembrances on working with Stephen. Robin expressed: “It’s hard for me to believe that Stephen Markle’s  passionate energy has past.  I can’t help smiling when I think about him, because all my memories of working with him are filled with dash, zip, and joy.  He LOVED acting, had so much respect for it!  He’d played Shakespeare & the Classics – he always came to work in the morning with enthusiasm – he’d speed walked to the set! I love how Dorian met Mel. He was in a bar- quite drunk-when Dorian walked past-Mel dizzily fell down knocking Dorian to the ground with him–end of scene. What a great “meet cute”:)  I’m blessed to have been his acting partner and friend.”

Photo: ABC

A public memorial service will be held for Markle on Sunday, June 9, 2019, at First Christian Church of North Hollywood, California at 4390 Colfax Ave., at 1:30 p.m., followed by a private reception.

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A fan tribute page, for fans of Stephen Markle, has been created on Facebook and you can visit it here.

Now take a look at this scene from One Life to Live with Mel and Dorian’s below.  Then check out an entire playlist of OLTL scenes featuring Markle and Strasser here.

Share your thoughts and remembrances on Stephen Markle via the comment section below.

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Llanviewer717Richard DannerMichael (not Fairman) Recent comment authors
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Michael (not Fairman)
Michael (not Fairman)

I always thought that among Jill Farren Phelps’ (many) misdeeds when she was at the helm of One Life to Live, killing off Mel was the biggest and dumbest. Stephen Markle and Robin Strasser were magic together, and given that Mel and Dorian weren’t exactly perfectly matched, I thought there was tons of story for them. I am so sorry to hear of his passing.

Richard Danner
Richard Danner

OMG one of the greats. I LOVED Mel & Dorian. Parkinsons is an AWFUL disease. May he RIP. So sad. Prayers to Robin Strasser and his family.

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

I am so very sorry to read this news. He was terrific in the role of Mel. I remember so many of the wonderful scenes between Dorian and Mel. I particularly loved the story that explored Dorian’s past and uncovered the emotional abuse she experienced in childhood. Both he and Robin Strasser did outstanding work during that storyline. I was so sorry when he left One Life to Live. I loved it the times Mel’s spirit popped up to guide Dorian.

Thank you Mr. Markle for sharing your wonderful talent with us. May you rest in peace.

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Angelica McDaniel OUT as CBS Head of Daytime As Network Restructures

There has been a swift turn in the CBS Daytime hierarchy.  In news this evening, CBS Head of Daytime Angelica McDaniel has exited the network and her position, following a restructuring which dissolved her position.

According to Deadline:  McDaniel’s position is being eliminated as the network is folding the daytime team into the Current Programming department headed by Amy Reisenbach.”  Angelica had been with the company for nine years.

Reportedly, McDaniel’s last day at CBS was today.  The move by CBS now makes it similar to how ABC handles their soap opera, General Hospital as it is overseen by Vicki Dummer. who oversees all scripted series for the day-pa

Kelly Kahl, President of CBS Entertainment said in a stateement: “Angelica McDaniel championed our daytime series line up with creativity, passion and energy and broke new ground by helping launch the Network’s first daytime talk show in years while respecting the long history and tradition of the dramas and game shows. We appreciate her many contributions and wish her well on her next endeavors.”

McDaniel oversaw The Young and the Restless (who’s ratings have been on a decline of late) and The Bold and the Beautiful for the network.  She also was responsible for championing The Talk to daytime television.  Angelica was promoted over a short period of time by industry standards to her position after her accomplishments.

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So, what do you think about the departure of Angelica McDaniel from CBS Daytime? And what it means for the future of the CBS soaps now that they will fall under the auspices of Current Programming department? Comment below.

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GMA’s Lara Spencer Says, “I Screwed Up” As She Apologizes For Insensitive Prince George Ballet Joke

After a major backlash, Good Morning America‘s Lara Spencer apologized Monday morning on-air during the ABC morning show, over comments she made last week over now six-year-old Prince George taking ballet classes.

In her apology, Spencer told GMA viewers: “I screwed up.  The comment I made about dance was insensitive, it was stupid, and I am deeply sorry.”

Several key figures in the dance community spoke out following her remarks, and Spencer herself also spoke to them over the last few days telling viewers: “I have listened, I have learned about the bravery it takes for a young boy to pursue a career in dance.”

From there, a previously recorded group interview Spencer conducted with three male dancers; Robbie Fairchild (Cats), Travis Wall (So You Think You Can Dance) and Fabrice Calmels (Joffrey Ballet), was shown as each expressed their personal journey and often the humiliation they felt as young boys when they were laughed at and made fun of because of dance.

All of this was kicked off by Spencer making a comment during the Thursday ‘Pop News’ segment on GMA, in which she talked about Prince George’s  “curriculum”.

Lara said in her commentary: “In addition to the usual first- and second-grade things like math, science and history, the future King of England will be putting down the Play-Doh to take on religious studies, computer programming, poetry and ballet, among other things.” She then paused which gave way to chortles in the audience and went on to say: “Prince William says Prince George absolutely loves ballet. I have news for you, Prince William: We’ll see how long that lasts. I mean, he might! He might end up … Between the religious studies and the computer programming, I just want to go back to the Play-Doh!”

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From Debbie Allen, to Rosie O’Donnell, to the wife of the late great dancer Gene Kelly, these women were among those who took swift action commenting on Lara’s remarks and how she mocked ballet.  Outside the GMA studios Monday morning were hundreds of male dancers doing their ballet moves, as well.

So, what do you think of Spencer’s remarks and her apology? Comment below. But first watch the segment and what went down this morning on GMA.

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Breaking News

Dancing with the Stars Season 28 Cast Revealed: From The Bachelorette’s Hannah Brown to Ex-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer

This morning on ABC’s Good Morning America the celebrity line-up was announced for the upcoming fall season and 28th edition of Dancing with the Stars.  Within the list of competitors are: The Bachelorette, Hannah Brown, former Dawson’s Creek star, James Van Der Beek, and even disgraced White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, and the “Uptown Girl” herself, supermodel Christie Brinkley 

In addition to the above celebs, showing their best ballroom dance moves will also be: Queer Eye‘s Karamo Brown, The Office‘s Kate Flannery and Kenan & Kel‘s Kel Mitchell, plus The Supremes’ Mary Wilson, Fifth Harmony’s Ally Brooke, and American Idol Season 10 runner-up  and now country/pop star, Lauren Alaina.

As for the former pro athletes in the cast; those slots belong to: former NFL linebacker of the Baltimore Ravens, Ray Lewis, and former NBA player (and former hubby to Khloe Kardashian) Lamar Odom.

On the pro dancer side, this season will mark the return of Peta Murgatroyd who last competed three seasons ago, as well as newcomers Daniella Karagach and Pasha Pashkov. In addition, the cast will include the steps of: Brandon Armstrong, Lindsay Arnold, Alan Bersten, Cheryl Burke, Witney Carson, Val Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Jenna Johnson, Keo Motsepe, Gleb Savchenko and Emma Slater.

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This season viewers will not learn of the celebrity/pro pairings till the night of the premiere.

All the moves kick-off on Monday night, September 26th at 8PMEST/7PMCST on ABC.

So, what do you think of the new cast of DWTS? Who do you think on paper stands the best chance of being a top contender for the Mirror Ball Trophy? Weigh-in below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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