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Steve Burton Back To Work At GH!

Photo: GH Twitter

On Monday, the official General Hospital social media accounts announced that two-time Daytime Emmy winner Steve Burton has reported back to work at the ABC daytime drama series.

Burton, who previously played the role of Jason Morgan before his decision to leave the series after 22 years, and then sign with The Young and the Restless for the last four years, is back in Port Charles.

Now, just who will he be revealed to be playing when the story unfolds in the coming months?

GH Twitter teased: “You guys aren’t even ready for what’s to come. @1SteveBurton #GH #BackToWork,” is how the show captioned the pic..

So, excited to hear Steve is back in the house, and soon will be seen in upcoming episodes of GH? ? Comment below!

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Jimh
Jimh

But Julian is the real Jason Morgan…cant wait for Sonny’s reaction-lol

Tomas Torquemada
Tomas Torquemada

ROFL

Fun fact: Sonny is the real Heather!

Jimh
Jimh

Get him a BLT NOW!!!!-lol

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Ava is the real Julian! (once she gets his face after the surgery!) hahaha! Then Julian (the real Jason ala jimh) will have to get his original face back…ala Steve Burton…and Billy, who is the real AJ…well, if Sean’s not coming back…Billy can keep his own face!

Jimh
Jimh

and Carly is really Ava-lol

Steve
Steve

Guess this means we’ll have to wait 4-6 weeks before he shows up on screen.

On Monday’s episode, Miller (in his scenes with Sam) had his styled very much like Burton’s. I’m assuming those were shot after the July hiatus. In his scenes with Julian, his hair was the way it’s been all year (which were probably shot in June, just before WdV’s contract break started.

Kevin
Kevin

That same thought crossed my mind, as well: his hair reminded me of the old Jason, wondered if it was to play into the upcoming storyline – or just playing with my mind, LOL!

Soaphound
Soaphound

I caught the hair switch also and can only say, “Stop cutting that gorgeous hair so Short! Leave the crew cut look to SB.”

Jimh
Jimh

Ok Micheal Fairman…i seen your music video…now you and Kathleen Gati(GHs Dr.Liesel ) must do a duet’-I Got You Babe!’…for the Nurses Ball 2018!!!…all fans gotta agree-sign here!!!

Shay
Shay

A duet between Dr. O. and Mr. Fairman??? Oh, I like it, jimh…the possibilities are endless!!!! “I Got You Babe” is just the start…..

rose
rose

Absolutely Jimh…Sign me up!!! Also what a great idea to have MF at the Nurses Ball.

Sly
Sly

I agree.

I would love to see Michael Fairman perform at the GH Nurses Ball.

Pass it on…

Jimh
Jimh

Steve Burton’s new doctor character is also connected to the return of Nicholos Cassidine(played by the actor-forgot his name-who replaced Tyler)…he is the doctor who has been treating him!!!

Jimh
Jimh

Nick Stable

rose
rose

Jimh..Like this way of getting Nik back…I really liked Nik Stabile, especially with Ava.

jeanine girard
jeanine girard

That’s the only scenario with SB coming back that I could be OK with. If it were to mean Nick Stabile coming back on the canvass, bring SB on for a very short arc. Then he can move on to Days, LOL!

dmr
dmr

I would love for Steve Burton to be playing a doctor! That would bring another doctor on the canvas at General HOSPITAL, and that would solidify his past as a Quartermaine, while in medical school (before the accident).

Dawn D
Dawn D

ITA!!

Tim
Tim

Actually there have been 3 actors to play Nicholas,Tyler,Nick Stable and Tyler’s first replacement Colton Scott aka Stephen Martines.

Aria
Aria

It will be the same doctor who gave valentine his makeover and the same one that eventually Ava will also use to make her all pretty again.

Aizlyn
Aizlyn

I’m beyond thrilled that he’s back. What I worry about is the writers to give him a good storyline with a real payoff.

Karen Clark
Karen Clark

The announcement comes on the anniversary of the NOP. Hope it’s a good sign!

Mark Y
Mark Y

NOP?

Karen Clark
Karen Clark

NOP , stormy night Liz climbed 40 flights to Jason’s ph. The night Jake was conceived. (night of passion)

MB
MB

“Now, just who will he be revealed to be playing when the story unfolds in the coming months?”

If he isn’t Jason Morgan, there’s no point to his return. Steve is Jason, Billy isn’t. Steve on canvas as a different character and Billy running around trying to be Jason? That will be a disaster.

Jimh
Jimh

I hope neither one is Jason…

davlestev1
davlestev1

After the way Ron Carlivati publicly treated Sean Kanaan (AJ) I don’t care one way or the other. I’ll always add my viewing percentage to the ratings but he could have stayed gone as far as I’m concerned. He does NOT define GH!!

dmr
dmr

It seems as though there are a lot of people who like Billy Miller as Jason with Sam (I have no preference, since I am not a fan of Monotone Sam). It would be funny to see if Steve Burton is finally paired with Rebecca Herbst. Jason and Elizabeth have always had a strong following. Again, I don’t really have a preference. I find Elizabeth dull and boring. I would like Steve Burton to return as a doctor. That would give a shout-out to his Quartermaine roots. Jason Quartermaine went to medical school before the accident. I actually like Steve Burton. I just grew tired of the mobcentric storylines, and Sonny, Carly, Jason and Sam on every day, practically.

Melissa
Melissa

To answer your question if I am excited that Steve Burton is back? Nope.

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

Is there any way Susan Moore had another child? I can’t figure this one out so this would be the only guess i can give.

Steve
Steve

Since it’s been a few months, I’ll post my wishful storyline here.

Susan could have had twins as Heather alluded to when it was believed Franco was the twin. Steve Burton would come back as the child who was born and grew up as Jason Quartermaine. Shortly after the car accident with a drunken AJ, Jason Q was switched with his birth twin. When this guy awoke from his coma, he had no memories of his previous life nor those of Jason Q. This twin didn’t relate to the quirks and demands of being a Quartermaine — thus creating Jason Morgan, whose face was reconstructed (Billy Miller) after Ava run into him in yet another car accident.

Burton returns as JQ who has been either held or in a coma for over 20 years. Miller is JM who is the father of both of Sam’s kids. Burton would connect with Monica and Ned as the only family he remembered. In my wildest dreams, he would detest Sonny for what he did to AJ.

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

Hey, you—now that Ron is long gone from writing for GH, do you think you could take over the post as head writer? I love the way you think and I bet you could spin some good stories!!! You had me with the story you just pitched to me!!!

Timmm
Timmm

I love this idea Steve but this writing team could NEVER pull this brilliant idea off!

Aria
Aria

They tried to pass Franco off as his twin but they are only second. Cousins I think so who knows .

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

I had to think strongly on that one because my mind is going on me. I remembered that Heather and Scotty are Franco’s parents. Gotta be a case of turning 51 in a few days!!!

Steve
Steve

Thanks James and Timmm. I also have game changing storylines for Maurice Bernard and Chad Duell as well.

su0000
su0000

I see Steve as a deserter..
and he lied about leaving to be with family but went to Y&R.
I could careless that he back or whom he will be.
If it were my house I’d tell him to get out.

for those that are happy he is back, enjoy .. I hope you won’t be disappointed..

robbie
robbie

Su, I think this the first time I have agreed with one your posts wholeheartedly

dmr
dmr

His character, Dylan, over at The Young and the Restless, was so boring…very robotic.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

su0000, you expressed specifically how I feel! Thank you!

Susan
Susan

I agree with you 100% and hope that this does not mess things up for Jason aka Billy Miller I love Billy Miller in the role as Jason just my opinion though

su0000
su0000

I’m more excited about this, than Steve’s return;

Actor Wayne Knight, known for his role as Seinfeld’s postal service worker, Newman, is heading to The Young and the Restless.
Wednesday, September 20, and Thursday, September 21.
Now, that will be fun and interesting..
Hello Newwwman !!!

Timmm
Timmm

You mean HELLO VICTOR NEWMAN!

Rhonda
Rhonda

Suoo! I did not know that!
Hello Newman indeed! You just know they’re going to have him say that to Victor

Alan
Alan

GH can’t develop a storyline for Genie Francis in over a year but they manage to find one for Steve Burton the second he says he wants to come back?

Unbelievable.

Mark Y
Mark Y

Excellent point.

dmr
dmr

Genie’s “storyline” has been as insipid Lulu’s sounding board. Laura must wish for deafness. I know that I do whenever Lulu is on screen.

Rhonda
Rhonda

Me too! Lulu gets on my last nerve and is not worthy of being Laura’s daughter let alone being allowed to upstage her all the time/
I so miss Julia Berman.

Suzie rm
Suzie rm

Exactly. I’m about done.

I have a sickening feeling she will be gone at the end of her contract.

Timmm
Timmm

Send her back to Y&R, they know how to write for her and Cane needs his mom right now!

Tomas Torquemada
Tomas Torquemada

PREACH, my brother. PREACH!

Timmm
Timmm

Just like Luke, he was always more interesting and easier to write for. IF Genie were to become the Godmother of PC and take Sonny down, she has a chance, other than something that ridiculous, her days have past her by because of her character, not her age. Maura and Nancy have done quite well.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Don’t care. Not interested.

Timmm
Timmm

Close minded are you?

Tomas Torquemada
Tomas Torquemada

I hope they blast through the two Jason’s in less than two weeks. Oh well. November Sweeps reveal here we come.

Timmm
Timmm

This writing crew doesnt blast through anything and THEN once they get to the end it leaves the viewers asking WHAT?

Mollie
Mollie

I agree. He has to be Jason. What is the point of SB playing another character? Nope….though he may *portray* a different character at first and the story eventually reveals that he is Jason.

Satan
Satan

The real Stone Cold is back. Bet your soul on it!

Kevin O.
Kevin O.

Whoopty-frickin-doo. If this is TPTB’s plan to save “GH,” might as well say our goodbyes now.

jeanine girard
jeanine girard

He could be Dylan McElvoy’s witness protection identify, starting over his ‘new life’ (again)!!

Mo
Mo

Just kinda confused why he left Y&R and then back to doing a soap.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Ughh…

jaybird369
jaybird369

James…my thoughts exactly, Brother!!!!!

Timmm
Timmm

Ah, the planets are realigned, welcome back Steve! I am not a fan of Billy Miller’s Jason BUT I do think Steve should play a different character AND I bet Steve would also like a different challenge. I like him being the real Julian Jerome BUT he may be too young AND I couldnt and wouldnt want to see him locking lips with Alexis! BUT, the real Julian wouldnt have a current relationship with Alexis. BUT Steve would be Sam’s father and that wouldnt fly! I bet one thing is for sure, him and Maurice are boys so it has to be a character that is connected to Sonny Boy! Maybe a whole new character that is coming to PC to take over the crime scene? Either way, theses writers are not cable of handling strong characters. LOOK OUT!

Rhonda
Rhonda

Timm, I pretty much agree with you.
I love Billy Miller but think he was completely miscast as Jason. He should have been some long lost Q.
The way I look at Miller is the same way I look at Roger Howarth who was also miscast and what followed was writing unworthy of his talents.
I am a fan of both Billy’s and Roger’s but I am afraid when they are on the screen I am not paying much attention

Shay
Shay

@Timmm…..I honestly fail to see why so many have their knickers in a twist over Steve Burton’s return to GH….at least there is some sense of mystery and intrigue over who he will portray, and given that he is originally a GH actor simply coming back to the home roost, I find this overblown brouhaha regarding him to be really rather pointless. Before having a collective hissyfit, shouldn’t we see what his storyline is all about? I realize GH has a truly deplorable recent track record on such matters, but I’m willing to take a wait-and-see-attitude before automatically giving his upcoming Port Charles arrival a thumbs-down. As for his connection to “Sonny Boy” and, by extension, Carly? If it were to prove non-existent this time around, I would give brownie points to the writers on that basis alone!

kmayne
kmayne

Burton basically left GH for Y&R to follow his favorite producer Phelps. When she was dismissed some speculated that Burton would leave Y&R when his contract was up. And here we are……GH has some great actors on the canvas that they could not seem to do anything with and yet they bring back Burton and let go Budig to help offset the cost of having Burton back.

I hope that Miller does not loose his part on GH a few weeks into Burton return.

Iakovos
Iakovos

Is it too much to ask that we accept Mr. Burton as a popular actor in the GH universe, and he returns to the cast in a new role or as a recast in a legacy role long written off the canvas (Tommy Baldwin, Steven Lars Webber). I, for one, cannot stomach more mystery, plastic surgery, resurrection stiff. Any more only serves to make the whole enterprise seem foolish. That all said, I am sure the desired end game for current fans is he is Jason returned but what does that mean for nuJason and all those who believed it was him. It is all too much lately. One more thing… I liked Mr. Burton as Dylan on Y&R and I thought his work in the last year was very good. Dylan as Paul and Nikki’s son provided a vital tonal and moral counterpoint to the rest of the Newmans who, thanks Victor, always seem sour and unhappy.

Scott5
Scott5

I’ll pass.

Patrick
Patrick

“…You guys aren’t even ready for what’s to come. ”

Steve Burton, Indeed

this is so charged and replete with : all hands on… no holds barred … any thing goes

1. first and foremost… I’d like to give ALL posters a high 5 SALUTE

this site IS General Hospital. LOL

my mind truly draws blanks on the current state of OUR beloved GH

of course their are glimpses of GH. Liz , Monica , Bobbi , Mac, Kevin, Laura, Felicia

there is a long history. Your posts knock me out with your recall.

whew – this is teary eyed

OK I’ve gone over the edge on my constant dullard (s) . why is asking for BALANCE of the whole cast so trying.

I feel insulted by his marquee… is there something we posters have forgotten . yeah, i’m going to slide in their… and stand with the audience.

i’m not even mad that he is returning. i’m also, not even the least bit interested. if it turns out this is far more than we imagined… then I will step up to the plate. Steve Burton is generating his self worth with his proclamation

“You guys aren’t even ready for what’s to come. ”

barf. thank you @Shay for the bags

I draw blanks and well up with emotion at the state of affairs @GH

I watched Valentin and Charlotte having lunch when Ava comes in with Kiki and Griffin

I am really enjoying this storyline. I hope this connection with Valentin Ava and Griffin and Charlotte and Kiki… get a nice long run with this stuff.

that’s about it.

what can Steve Burton acting skill be so far out their that we will never be ready?

OH let me put out their that the NEW Doctor as played by James DePaiva. is some sexy isn’t he

caught me off guard that he asked the commish (Jordan) for a movie and drink. Woah

MORE PLEASE… of his presence and move.

long and short of just how invaluable – we – are as the audience… TPTB will never not “hear” from me.

so bring it on

Steve Burton the messiah cometh

Shay
Shay

Hah, you’re welcome, Patrick! .Hopefully, they won’t be required for this storyline….LOL.

dmr
dmr

On the fence, as I like Steve Burton. Not a fan of the Carson/Monotone Jasam Show everyday, however. I loved Vanessa Marcil, and I thought her return back in 2010 was written very poorly, and the acting was terrible (and I was a die hard fan in the 90’s). Hopefully, Steve’s return will not be disappointing, like Vanessa’s, and like a sequel to a really, really great movie. We shall see…

Fanny
Fanny

Beyond THRILLED ‼️‼️‼️‼️

Jimmy
Jimmy

Just to establish a timeline, Steve’s return was announced in June when Jean P was still with the show, so that means she helped create the story and helped write his re-introduction to the canvas. But now that he’s officially back at work, and she has been replaced by Chris Van Etten, anything written from now on is “Crelly” material. Hopefully the material is consistent given the writer swap.

He probably won’t be back on canvas until late-September with how the show tapes about 6 weeks ahead of air. As for who he’ll play, I’ve said before that I can’t see him as anyone but the real Jason. I think Billy Miller is a brainwashed someone (my hope is A.J.) who was made to believe he’s Jason, while the real Jason was being kept on Cassadine Island or some clinic somewhere.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Well u know jimh…dare I say it…Alexis is the real Carly!

Josh
Josh

I pray I’m wrong but with all this talk about Nik lately, is this show stupid enough to have Steve playing Nik who has been made to look like the old Jason??

k/kay
k/kay

He is Jason I have not watched in a while but I did read the dialogue from the last two days obvious that e is Jason . I never thought Billy really fit Jason I liked him better as Jake Doe. I told you guys MB was going to get Steve back and he did .

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Todd Howarth’s Franco could be the real Jason. Burton could be Jason’s twin. Billy could be the real Franco! LOL…one guy had amnesia, the other had a tumor and neither had all their memores. Could be the epitome of Helena’s mind fu…errr…game!

patty
patty

Sorry, not looking forward to. yet another, Jason return, enough !!!! What I am excited about is Kristina and Parker, Carly the Mob Queen, Ava’s repaired face, and hopefully, a Hayden return !!!! All of which are SOMETHING NEW !!!!!!

Breaking News

GH’s Maurice Benard Takes On Role Of John Gotti In Upcoming Lifetime Movie

Who better to use their mobster experience playing the iconic role of Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital, and put it to good use, when taking on the role of a real-life mobster than Daytime Emmy winner, Maurice Benard?

As revealed over the past weekend, Maurice Benard is hard at work filming a Lifetime Movie based on the life of Victoria Gotti called “The Victoria Gotti Story”.

Sharing the news via his social media, Benard expressed: “Thank you lifetime and everyone involved 4 a Beautiful opportunity.”

Recently, John Travolta played the notorious New York mobster in the movie Gotti released earlier this year.

The infamous Gotti, had a wife and a daughter both named Victoria.  So as to which point of view the film is focusing on is yet to be released.

So what do you think of the casting of Maurice as John Gotti? Intrigued to see the Lifetime Movie when it debuts? Comment below

Continue Reading

General Hospital

General Hospital’s Max Gail Opens Up On Portraying Mike’s Battle With Alzheimer’s & Making A Difference In People’s Lives

“What happens the day I wake up, and you guys are the strangers,” says Mike to his son, Sonny and his wife Carly (Laura Wright). “I left you before to my everlasting regret, but it’s going to happen. I’d do anything if I didn’t have to do it again, but it’s going to happen – one way or the other.  At least this way I could leave some good feelings, instead of disappearing before your eyes.”  Those words were said during a gut-wrenching scene on Friday’s episode of General Hospital, as Mike tries to come to terms with his deteriorating mental state in his battle with Alzheimer’s, and the hard realization that he may be better off in a care facility, instead of at his son’s home.  These scenes, as all the scenes in this storyline, have been exquisitely played by Max Gail (Mike) and Maurice Benard (Sonny).

When Max Gail arrived on the GH canvas as the recast Mike Corbin in a role made soap-famous by Ron Hale, viewers did not know what to initially expect.  What they did know was that Max is an accomplished actor with a body of work from primetime dramas and comedies, film, and the stage, and that if he is coming to GH, he must be coming on board for something major.  Before GH, suffice to say, Gail is most remembered for his role as “Wojo” on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller that aired from 1975-1982.

In story on GH, Mike, who abandoned Sonny as a child, once again re-enters his son’s life, but soon we learn that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and that the soap is tackling a story that is an important medical, social, and familial issue of our time.

Gail has been a revelation in this role.  A clear frontrunner for an Emmy, playing the facets, the levels, the characteristics, and the heartbreak of a person who is slowly losing everything they know near and dear to them, as in the end they are ultimately stripped of their dignity from this most horrific of diseases.

On a personal note, and as part of this conversation with Max, it was important for him and for me to share, that I lost my mother at the end of April of this year to Alzheimer’s.  So his work hits close to home, this story hits close to home, as it has also resonated for many viewers who have shared their stories on social media and when Max makes personal appearances.

Here now is this very special interview for Michael Fairman TV with an actor whom we can all agree is touching all of our lives.

You’re portraying a person suffering from Alzheimer’s and play the progression of the disease.  Do you feel pressure as an actor to get it right for those who have loved ones, or person’s afflicted with it?

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  It’s more like an urge, or a calling to find some kind of truth in it that I can connect with.  One of the things I’m inclined towards showing is someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia often just drifts off somewhere else.  “Where am I going?”  This has happened to me many times in life.  For instance, when I was a youngster, I can remember getting in my car, and I’d driven a long way from some party or something like that, and I’d been drinking, and I didn’t remember it.  I knew I’d gotten home somehow.  So, it’s not out of my realm.  I’ve learned that there are no set behaviors really… other than that it usually ends up being really difficult for caretakers, and seemingly really painful for many, if not most people suffering with Alzheimer’s, and losing connection and losing the ability to just function.  We are kind of on the cusp of that in story at GH.  I think it was originally proposed that I would play the part for just a few months, and to give me an out if it wasn’t working.  Maybe, there was a placeholder idea to ship Mike off to a home or something, but the storyline has touched so many people that it has been continuing.

The story has been so effective.  You’ve done such an amazing job, and the fans love Mike and what you’re doing with the character, and they’re on board on this journey.  It’ll be interesting to see how far they will take this with Mike.  Will we actually see him not being able to communicate anymore?  How far will the writers go to show the horrific aspects of Alzheimer’s? 

MAX:  I’m not sure.  You know, I’ve had times where I’ve got the scene, I get the writers, and I get the heart of it.  Other times, I find where that transition is from where Mike is lucid and clear, and other times what that state of mind is and that switch is, and what that is in behaviors and energy level.  I think there’s an ongoing downturn for Mike, and for me as an actor finding something in the moment and finding how it works with things that he does remember.  They’re trying to find a place for Mike within all of the interwoven drama of General Hospital.  I, frankly, had no idea how complex the range of storylines was.  Mike doesn’t really have control over his story.  I don’t want that as an actor.  Mike has some intentions that are really important to him.  I’m trying to find that balance where there are times when he has a pathetic, very sad remorse about what he has missed.  I think that underlies his feelings for his son, who he never could quite reach, because of his own failings as a father.  Sonny’s formative experiences growing up were then with his abusive stepdad.  Finding all of that is really important to do in a way that doesn’t make Mike just this sweet older man with Alzheimer’s.   It’s a wonderful challenge to be presented with.

Courtesy/CBS

You brought up that Mike is seemingly very sweet in his demeanor now.  My mother, who I shared with you died a few months ago from Alzheimer’s was a strong-willed, feisty woman.  As the disease took hold of her, she became very sweet.   She became almost childlike.  The fire had gone out of her eyes.  You knew she didn’t know who you were, and so, all of that, as you know is so tough to witness as her son.  In terms of Mike and his ultimate care, everyone says they love him and want what is best for him, but that he needs to be taken care of because he gets confused, doesn’t know where he is sometimes. etc.  Sonny has been grappling with putting him in a care facility to be looked after, or to keep him with the Corinthos family under their roof.  However, Mike has come to a realization that he may need to be in facility all on his own, and doesn’t want to burden his son by living with him anymore.  That was a poignant moment, and another one of the best scenes has been when Mike couldn’t remember that Sonny was his own son. 

MAX:  Right and he doesn’t know if he’s around friends or around enemies.  This can be true of Alzheimer’s patients.

I had that happen with my mother when she came out to Los Angeles to see me for the last time.  She was out of her element, she was confused, and she broke down and cried in the hotel room.  She asked my father, “Why did you bring me here?” and he told her, “We came to see our son.”  It was heartbreaking.   Later, she had a moment of clarity and realized more of what was going on.  I think it’s those in-and -out moments that you portray so well on-screen.  I feel that they are very realistic to what I, and others, have experienced.

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  I appreciate that and sharing that with me, because you never know as an actor.  That place of “Where am I?  What is this?” makes me think of that “Summer Wind” moment from the Nurses’ Ball when it wasn’t just, “I’m embarrassed.  I don’t remember the words.”  It was, “I don’t know where the f**k I am.  I thought there was a band there, but there’s not.”  So, in a way, I just had to be there on this big soundstage and just feel this big space around me.  I could barely see that there were people out there.  It’s kind of a terrifying thing to a lot of people, but I think Mike has something in him that makes him want to be okay with all of this.  He doesn’t have to freak out and get accusatory.

Courtesy/ABC

What has it been like working with Maurice Benard as your on-screen son?  Do you watch back your scenes together and ever go, “Oh, that was great!?”

MAX:  Yes, there have been a lot of those!  There are some scenes that are so emotionally focused, and we get a lot of delight in each other.  He has been playing this character in this situation for so long, so it’s just kind of in him.  Maurice has presence.  I think when I went in to read for the part of Mike, I had gone through pilot season and had gone in for some interesting pilots.  I didn’t feel like I was really connecting in the readings, because most things are by tape these days, anyway.  When this part came up, a soap hadn’t really been on my radar.  I knew I’d be going in to read with the actor, so I said, “Okay,” and I looked at the material, and then I checked out Maurice on IMDB.  One of the things that got my interest was that he has been diagnosed and takes medication to deal with bipolar disorder, and that’s become a part of his life, and it’s become part of his character.  I thought, “Wow, that’s really interesting.  This is a survivor, and he’s risen to something that takes a certain kind of balance and courage.”  I watched some clips, and when I went in for the reading of this kind of an amalgamation scene of what the story elements were going to be, I felt like we connected before we’d even started the dialogue.

Well, Maurice certainly loves working with you! He has been very supportive and vocal about that.

MAX:  It’s mutual.  We can take really little simple moments, and we can find something deeper in it, and it doesn’t have to be an, ‘I’m going to start crying now’ moment.  Although, I would love for Mike to have a moment of self-observation where he goes, “Gee.  I cry a lot more than I used to.”  I think there are people who are like that, and it’s okay for certain people to cry, and for other people it is not.

Courtesy/ABC

There was a part of my mom that knew something was wrong.  She’d go, “Why am I crying?  I don’t know why I’m crying.”  She got confused as to why she was feeling that.  She couldn’t connect it all, and at times she kept saying, “I don’t understand.  I don’t understand.”  Those were the things she would try to express.

MAX:  I have a feeling that Mike has those moments too, but he finds a way for it to be okay.  There may be a point where someone with Alzheimer’s can’t pull it off anymore, but how we find those and those specifics, I don’t know.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Working on a classic sitcom such as Barney Miller is vastly different than working on a daytime soap opera.  While now being at GH, have you found any commonality within the experience?

MAX:  If I can take a moment and reflect on Barney Miller, because it was a great experience and one that I found was not so easy to find again over the years.  One of the things that really resonates is that when we started shooting the studio audience laughed too easily.  We would end up retaking the scenes.  Sometimes, we didn’t have the end of the show written, because they tended to let certain things start to show up in the earlier parts of the script.  Danny Arnold who was the writer, creator and producer of Barney Miller would always take over the way Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) does in a way … looking to be respectful of the director, but still seeing things on his own.  Frank has a really wonderful eye.  He’s much more connected into the overall storylines, the motivations that went into the writing, and what he sees in the moment.  I always welcome him on the set because the directors, who have a range of talents and sensibilities, are tasked with coming up with a whole lot of shots to cover, a whole lot of tricky angles, and all of that.

Courtesy/ABC

Vernee Watson has been amazing as Stella, who is also Mike’s social worker.  Does Mike have romantic feelings toward Stella?

MAX:  Vernee is wonderful.  I didn’t know Vernee had been on the show when I came on board.  She won an Emmy, and I’m not surprised.   She is so present and so specific, and she’s very bright and gets what all of these elements are, and so, I think they have a connection.  For whatever ways Mike has lived in his like, there isn’t some strange, exotic draw that she is black, and Mike is white.  I like that because both my first and late wife, and my second wife, with whom I’ve had children (and we’ve been separated for awhile, but have a great relationship) are African-American.  So, in my world that is not a big deal.   I think there’s an affinity there between Mike and Stella.  You know, he’s alive.  He’s old, but he’s not dead.  There’s an ease with women he likes.  I think there are a whole lot of reasons for them to not get involved.  One is just professional, and she’s a social worker.  We just shot something where I say something to somebody else about, “back when I still had all my marbles,” you know, he’s in another stage of life, which many people go into gracefully, while many don’t.

 

What do you think about how Mike knows about who was buried at Charlie’s Pub?  He was trying to keep the truth about Charlie Delaney from coming out, which turned into a gas leak that blew up the bar!  This storyline ties in to Sonny’s mobster dealings as well.

MAX:  Well, this is where they put this effort in the storytelling to connect Mike in some way and be intertwined with Sonny.  Of course, it reveals certain things about Mike that he’s never revealed to anybody before.  So, that’s kind of cool.  I think when he knows what and how much sometimes is not clear.  That’s why I started talking about Barney Miller because the other thing was a lot of times when we go together for the table reads, they didn’t have the end of the story.  They had a first draft, maybe. Dan would talk about it, and they’d say, “Next week, the main story is going to be this man in his fifties who is coming to terms with the fact that he is gay,” or whatever those underlying themes may be with the different characters reactions.  So, we knew elements going into it and that sometimes I  didn’t know what the writers are really intending.  In terms of Mike, he’s kind of back and forth in certain moments.  I have to resist the idea that they trap me by just being careless.  I’ve learned that just trying to fix the script often gets you into a place where you “rehearse yourself out of it,” as they say.

Courtesy/GoodDayLA

You appeared on the morning show Good Day LA  a few months back with Laura Wright (Carly), and Maria Shriver, who has founded the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.  What was that like meeting Maria, and helping get the word out about the effects of this disease and the work Maria is doing?

MAX:  It was great to do.  Maria had sent out a tweet that is was wonderful what was going on, on General Hospital.  On Good Day LA, she talked about her work, particularly focusing on the fact that more women are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s than men.  So, then Laura and I sat down and did an interview alongside Maria.  We actually had a nice conversation before.  They did a web interview also as a follow-up.  That was very cool, because Maria is very smart, and I’d never met her, but it was great to see what she was doing.  Whatever we are dealing with in the show is sort of my opportunity in the real world to bring awareness and shed light on the subject.  I’d love to see an ongoing conversation online amongst people who can share their stories with each other.  That’s a lot of what they’re doing.  They’re raising money for research, but people need to be able to talk to each other when you’re a caregiver.  Coming out of the early sixties and early seventies when I was playing a cop on TV, I never was a fanatic activist.  I certainly got the behavior of the Chicago police at a certain time in terms of the energy and conflicts of the time.  There was something to think about, but at the same time, I had opportunities to kind of share that all cops aren’t bad, just look at the show, Barney Miller.

Courtesy/ABC

You were my favorite character on Barney Miller as Detective Wojciehowicz!  I think for many who watched the show you were, too!

MAX:  I think “Wojo” ended up being the heart of the show.

Max, you’re helping people through your beautiful performances including me.  Congratulations on that.   I’ll continue have to have a box of Kleenex handy as I watch how it all unfolds for Mike.

Photo: IMDB

MAX:  Well, I really appreciate your questions.  I’m just planting that seed.  That is really what I would like to do after talking to you and so many people.  That’s something I’d like to put out there.   We each have our own domains and responsibilities and all of it overlaps, and you can kind of get in touch with that; if you just go around the circle and share it, and then go around again.  I’m looking to help people out there in the world who are watching and are looking to share in the conversation.

So, what did you think about the heartbreaking scenes on Friday’s episode of GH between Mike and Sonny?  What have you thought of Max Gail’s performance throughout his GH run?  Have you experienced the loss, or are watching someone you love, or care about slip away from Alzheimer’s?  Share your thoughts via the comment below.

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General Hospital

ABC Names William Burton As The New Head Of Daytime

Over the years there have been several changes to ABC Daytime, and now comes word over the last 24 hours that William Burton has been promoted to Senior VP and Head Of Daytime, Sports and Syndicated Development/Production for ABC.  Burton starts in his new role immediately.

Deadline first reported the executive level move by the network.  Burton had previously been overseeing the business operations of ABC Daytime since earlier this year as SVP Daytime following the departure of former Daytime head Rebecca Campbell.

Courtesy/ABC

Those duties have now been formalized in Burton’s expansive new role,  In terms of General Hospital, the creative aspects from the network are still being handled by ABC head of current programming, Vicki Dummer.  Burton has been behind the business operations of ABC Daytime including the daytime drama.

In addition, Burton will oversee the creation and production of syndicated programming across ABC platforms including the upcoming daytime talk show from Tamron Hall that is in development for a potential debut in the fall of 2019.

So, share your thoughts on Burton being named the new head of Daytime for ABC via the comment section below.

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Video du Jour

This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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