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Susan Lucci Chats On The Emotional All My Children Reunion, Her Home And Family Hosting Stint & Pine Valley Memories!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

This week, All My Children icon, Susan Lucci  (Ex-Erica Kane) appeared as the special guest co-host on the Hallmark Channel’s morning show, Home and Family (weekdays 10PMEST/9AMCST).  Susan joined hosts Mark Steines and Debbie Matenopoulos for an event-filled week that featured plenty of laughter, memories, and tears.

At the centerpiece of Lucci’s guest host stint was the opportunity for her, and several of the most recognized faces in Pine Valley to gather together for a special reunion episode that aired on Thursday.  Special guests included: Peter Bergman, Kim Delaney, Lawrence Lau, Eden Riegel, Kathleen Noone, Eva LaRue, John Callahan, Cameron Mathison, Michael E. Knight, and Jill Larson.

Toward the end of the special two-hour AMC reunion broadcast, Lucci & her longtime AMC pals were reduced to tears while paying homage to the series creator Agnes Nixon, who passed away last year.  But then, the Home and Family producers gave the viewers, and Susan, and the cast, a very special moment, which featured a segment paying tribute to their AMC colleagues who have passed away, which included:  Frances “Fra” Heflin, Ruth Warrick, Louis Edmonds, Kay Campbell, Mary Fickett, Lee Chamberlin, Larkin Malloy, Matthew Cowles, James Mitchell, David Canary, and Eileen Herlie.

Following the taping, Susan revealed she will be appearing at this year’s Daytime Emmys where the annual awards ceremonies are set to honor Agnes Nixon.  On Friday, Susan finished up her hosting gig having her daughter, former soap star Liza Huber (Ex-Gwen), as one of the special guests on Friday’s episode.

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Susan immediately following Thursday’s heartfelt AMC reunion to get her thoughts on the emotional episode, the cancellation of Devious Maids, if she would host her own daytime talk show, and those amazing Pine Valley memories as the one and only Erica Kane, and more.  Here is what the incomparable Lucci had to say.

What was it like seeing everybody here today on the set of Home and Family, and then seeing the In-Memoriam clip package with so many of your colleagues who had passed away?  I watched you as the cameras rolled, and I could just see how emotional it was for you.  What did you think of all of this?

Courtesy/Hallmark Channel

SUSAN:  Well, it was emotional.  We have all never been together in the same place at the same time.  We have run into each other individually over the years, but for all of us to be together really washed over me with a flood of emotions, and I can definitely say that we are a family.

Watching you as this all went down, I could see how much this all means to you.  And all of us – those onstage, those in attendance – would go right back to that magical place that was Pine Valley.

SUSAN:  I feel like if we did All My Children again, it would all still be there.  Each person, individually and collectively was fantastic to be around, and to work with.  We spent a lot of time together.  We were in the trenches together for a long, long time. This was just spectacular to have this reunion.

When Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad) surprised you during one of the segments on the reunion episode, was that a shocker to you that he was there?  Did you even know, or have a hint, that he might show up?

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

SUSAN:   No!  I did not know!  You know, Jill Larson’s (Ex-Opal) name was on the list as originally coming, and then she wasn’t here.  So I was going, “Where’s Jill?  Where’s Jill?”  They told me she couldn’t make it so everyone lied really well. (Laughs)  I, myself, personally thought Michael Knight’s name is not on the list, but Michael did not always go to every event in New York that we did at All My Children, and everyone does their own thing. But, I never thought Michael would be here!  First of all, it’s a huge honor that Michael showed up and did this, but I could tell it meant a lot to him, too.  I could see how touched he was.   He was looking at his life here, and that is how it feels for me, because it was my whole adult life up until five years ago.  When they showed the In-Memoriam tribute, even the thought of it had me in tears.  Seeing David Canary (Adam/Stuart), Agnes Nixon (Creator, All My Children), Fra Heflin (Mona) and Ruth Warrick (Phoebe), Jimmy Mitchell (Palmer) and Eileen Herlie (Myrtle), and on and on as each person came up, everything comes back to you in a flash.  I had memories of each person.  It was incredible.

You were so close to the late Agnes Nixon.  You attended her funeral as many that follow you saw a few touching photos on your social media accounts, and you will be attending this year’s Daytime Emmys to honor her.  Agnes touched so many people’s lives.  I always tell the story, how I truly believe that as a young boy who had a hard time in grade school, if it wasn’t for All My Children and One Life to Live, I don’t know how I would have gotten through.  So many people have been so profoundly touched and connected by what she created.

Courtesy/PaleyCenterforMedia

SUSAN:  That is true, and of course, I was there at Agnes’ funeral.  And what you say, it does seem to hold true today how her work touched so many lives.  Many professional men and women who were at a crossroads and didn’t think they could do it, or they wondered if they’d do it, they would think, “I wonder what Erica Kane would do.”  And they would say, “Yes!  She would do it”  That is still just amazing, and so touching to me.

How was your co-hosting gig this week on Home and Family?  Is this a preview to perhaps someday hosting your own daytime talk show? 

SUSAN:  It has been spectacular!  You know, when they asked me to do this for a whole week … I have never done this before.  I may have hosted, or guest-hosted on a show for a day.  I thought this is an opportunity now for me to see what kind of work this is.  I have had the most remarkable time.  I mean, the best time!  And again, it’s so important to be in the right hands.  This group is spectacular, and warm, and everybody is on the same page. Woody Fraser (Creator, Home and Family) has put together an ensemble cast much like when it was on All My Children, and you know the difference.  The bar is set very high if you come from All My Children, and you don’t know if you are going to find anything close to it.  On that note I will say, Devious Maids was a fantastic experience, as is this, so I am very lucky indeed.

Devious Maids was cancelled, but it was handled much more diplomatically than the way you, and the cast were told that All My Children was being canned by ABC.  How did you feel having to now leave Devious Maids, and the role of Genevieve Delatour behind you?

Courtesy/Hallmark Channel

SUSAN:  We knew the show was good, and we had a worldwide audience.  I had a wonderful experience, and again, we were in good hands with Marc Cherry’s writing, and it was such a good group that they had put together.  We always felt it was a great show. We had a love fest filming Devious Maids in Atlanta.

Behind-the-scenes last year, your daughter Liza and then you, came forward publicly about your grandson Brendan’s diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy.  How did that decision all come about?

SUSAN:  Yes, we did go public with it, but it was something that I thought was Liza’s story to tell when she is ready, and if she is ready.  If she had chosen not to, that would be her choice, too.  I had been working with Cerebral Palsy quietly in New York, but nobody knew it, because it was not my story to tell.  Liza came with me to one of their wonderful events, and she made the decision she wants to tell the story for a number of reasons.  It’s been a wonderful thing. Liza and I have talked about it, and that there isn’t a lot written about Cerebral Palsy.  So we thought this is a chance to shine a light on Cerebral Palsy, and inform people who are going through this that they are not alone.  It’s very important to let Brendan know how very proud we are of him, because he is so spectacular.  What we didn’t know about this was how much light would come back.  Liza has received so many phone calls, emails, texts, videos, that it has opened up a whole community to her.

Courtesy/Hallmark Channel

Finally, when I was backstage with Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria) and others watching the monitor, when they showed you as Erica Kane supermodel in that All My Children clip package, everyone was in awe all over again, and how fun that was to see!  What did you think when you were watching Erica’s modeling days again?

SUSAN:   I loved seeing all of them!  For me, it was a dream come true.  I’m 5‘2” on a good day, Michael!   I’m not 6’3”. (Laughs)  So to get to model on All My Children was so much fun!

What were your thoughts on the Home and Family All My Children reunion episode? Did you missing seeing La Lucci as Erica Kane and Pine Valley even more? Should the show be resurrected?  What did you think of Susan as a co-host? What was your favorite part of the reunion broadcast, and her comments in our interview? Share your thoughts in the comment below.

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Rapids
Guest
Rapids

Susan is most lovely but when she guest hosted Live with Regis she was quite guarded in her conversation. It sounds like she opened up a little bit after this reunion.
The show is not going to be resurrected so it is not a matter of what we say on a message board. The show was great back in the day but it needs to Rest In Peace.

P. McMahon
Guest
P. McMahon

My favorite part was the tribute to Agnes Nixon and the video homage to the AMC performers who are no longer with us. It is amazing to me how many years those “Pine Valley residents’ entertained me and were part of my daily life. And I miss them still especially favorites like Eileen Herlie and Frances Heflin.

Ray
Guest
Ray

Has there ever been anyone more graceful than Susan Lucci? I am always amazed at her level of fame and success that she continues to be so humble, kind and a beautiful soul. To the new generation of actors: take note. This is the way it should be done.

Susan: It has always been on my bucket list to meet you. Several friends that have had that opportunity have said they have been left with meeting someone so special. They also said you have a royalty-like persona that is so wonderful. For that, thank you.

Jamesj75
Guest
Jamesj75

You nailed it, Ray! Thank you, Friend! 🙂

jaybird369
Guest
jaybird369

James…EXACTLY!!! To me, Susan has ALWAYS BEEN AN A+ CLASS ACT…AND ALWAYS WILL BE!!! Yes.

Have a good one, Brother.

Tony
Guest
Tony

Susan Lucci is a classy, sassy lady. Wow Susan turned 70 years old, she looks great for her age.

Celia
Guest
Celia

She does, doesn’t she, Tony? Amazingly, she still looks great in swimwear. That’s a big feat for an ‘older’ woman to pull off, as the skin loses elasticity…..what we see is NOT plastic surgery. It’s genetic….natural!! She’s one of those ‘forever young’ kind of woman.

Tony
Guest
Tony

She is a natural beauty Celia, Susan looks terrific for her age with no face lifts. She is a wonderful actress too,. I miss Erica on AMC. I have always had a crush on Susan Lucci, but she is happilly married and I am too young for her. I am 29 years old.

John Gordon
Guest
John Gordon

Well…in all due respect….I doubt that Susan Lucci, whom I adore, hasn’t had anything “done”. But whatever it is, it’s great work that’s for sure.

Celia
Guest
Celia

LOL, Tony…no worries. You and I are about the same age, and I’ve always had a crush on Sean Connery, and I’m married. Admiring beauty is akin to admiring a piece of art: never goes out of style, at any age. Nothing wrong with looking or appreciating …..
But, yeah, La Lucci e’ bellissima. And, that hair!!! She always had beautiful, rich hair.

loveafternoon
Guest
loveafternoon

Susan Lucci has always been most gracious, it is a beautiful thing that she is more open than ever. What a quality week, a quality reunion to represent the gold that AMC was, including the cream of the crop actors. To see them together reminds that there is a chance to resurrect, perhaps in a new way. And if Ms. Lucci wishes to host a show again, in any form, she is considered a friend to many viewers. This week and how you have enriched it by your reporting on it, Michael is not only a milestone but foreshadows some… Read more »

Gail
Guest
Gail

I missed it

beacon
Guest
beacon

It’s a shame they couldn’t do one of these for OLTL. I always feel like it was left in AMC and GH’s shadow and never given any acknowledgement.

David
Guest
David

True. But then again, AMC and GH are really the only soaps in history that have achieved mainstream popularity. Not even the highest rated soap opera, Y&R, has been enriched in pop culture as has been AMC and GH.

Pretty much anyone born before the 1990s, soap fans and non-soap fans alike, have heard about AMC and GH.

Charday
Guest
Charday

I liked the segments (on Friday) where they showed the Dancing with the Stars team doing her hair/makep-up. Also, the lady who does her costumes showed how they “bead-up” the dancing costumes.

Cathy
Guest
Cathy

I laughed. I cried. Now, all over again, I miss AMC.

Diane
Guest
Diane

I liked watching all my children soap opera every day. I wish they would bring back the soap opera’s again

Kathyj
Guest
Kathyj

Great reunion great to see Susan lucci now and years ago what a beautiful lady inside and out she has so much class and to see the film of all who have passed was hard but shevgot through it she is a champion so emotional to say the least beautiful tribute

John Gordon
Guest
John Gordon

I wish the show were back on even in an abbreviated format –

Johnny Grant
Guest
Johnny Grant

There are rumors floating around the Internet that NETFLIX may be interested in doing a re-launch of ALL MY CHILDREN – of course, they are not confirmed officially, but one never knows – anything is possible.

fginaspy
Guest
fginaspy

I made her Apple Cake recipe for my book group. It is a keeper. A very simple cake recipe with apples and sugar/cinnamon topping. I found the same recipe online with chocolate chips for a variation. I am impressed with Ms. Lucci. She comes across genuine and sincere. As for Ericka Kane I wasn’t a fan.

Tivette
Guest
Tivette

LOVED IT ALL…La Lucci is one class act and the whole reunion was unforgettable! I, too, wish they would do a reunion show for OLTL. Maybe if we all wrote in…

All My Children

‘Strahan, Sara and Keke’ Canceled by ABC; Show Aired In Timeslot That Once Housed ‘All My Children’

No matter a network tries to do, replacing All My Children, which ran for 41 years on ABC has remained as everyone that follows the world of daytime drama knows, problematic.  Now come word via Page Six that Strahan, Sara and Keke has been canceled.

The show hosted by Michael Strahan, Sara Haines and Keke Palmer if you recall, replaced the foodie show, The Chew which ran for seven seasons and was the first show to air in the timeslot that belonged for over four decades to All My Children. 

Back in March of this year, Strahan, Sara and Keke took a break to make way for ABC’s News  Pandemic: What You Need to Know, a daily coronavirus report anchored by Amy Robach, Dr. Jen Ashton and sometimes TJ Holmes.

However, because the show did well in that two-week experimental run it morphed into GMA 3: What You Need to Know.  The new version of the show also talked about hot topics in the current news cycle, as well.

ABC’s Catherine McKenzie began producing the “GMA3” show four months ago and the network officially announced her as Executive Producer of the program on Thursday.

While ABC has yet to officially announce Strahan, Sara and Keke is over, a spokesperson told Page Six: “We’re proud of our teams at ‘SSK’ and ‘GMA3’ and how quickly they transitioned to producing a daily show to give people the news and information they need during an unprecedented pandemic, and conversations continue about how the show will evolve in the months ahead.”

It appears that Strahan, Sara and Keke won’t be returning; the future as many of their staff have transitioned over to ‘GMA 3’ with producers from ABC News Live, (the streaming division), helmed by McKenzie.

As for the futures of Strahan, Haines and Palmer; Strahan will continues to host Good Morning America, and they are all actively under contract with the network.

So, what do you think of  ‘Strahan, Sara and Kek’e being replaced by ‘GMA 3: What You  Need to Know’?  How long do you think that show will last in the timeslot once taken up by residents of Pine Valley? Comment below.

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All My Children

Eva LaRue Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination, And Opens Up About The Loss Of John Callahan

For Eva LaRue, the past two months have been some of the most emotionally gut-wrenching and challenging of her life, following the passing of her ex-husband, father of her child, and dearest friend, John Callahan (Ex-Edmund, All My Children). The outpouring of support she has received not only from her former AMC cast mates, but the soap world in general illustrates just how dear Eva is to all of us, and how many people had special memories of their time with John.

While mourning the loss of Callahan along with their daughter, Kaya, there was some heartwarming and re-affirming news that any actress would love to hear. Eva was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for her work as Celeste Rosales on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, and she is great company as her former AMC co-star Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad) is also nominated along with her for his work on General Hospital.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit our country and world hard, but through it All My Children virtual reunions emerged as fans were engaged by the content, transported to happier times that brought them back to familiar faces in Pine Valley in which Eva participated along with her good friends, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and so many more, thanks to the EW. com weeklong event which concluded on Friday.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Eva in this very candid, at times heartbreaking, and open conversation where she shares details into the final days of her beloved John, her last moments with him, and how she tried to plan a memorial in his honor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For so many of us, 2020 has certainly seen more lows then highs, but in the end for Eva, to receive a nomination now (an award she was last nominated for back in 1997 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Dr Maria Santos on All My Children) couldn’t have come at a better time. Here now is our conversation with Eva.

Photo: JPI

I’ve been thinking so much about you.  I’m glad we could do this, and in the midst of the tragedy of losing John Callahan, and then receiving a Daytime Emmy nomination.  What was your reaction when you learned you were nominated in a category with none other than your former AMC castmate and good friend, Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad, AMC, now Martin, GH)?

EVA:  Oh, I know!  He’s the first person I texted!  I was like, “Congratulations, Michael!  Did you ever in a million years think that you and I would be in the same category of anything?”  Then I said, “And when you win this, can I just borrow it for the weekend just to dress it up and take pictures with it… just want to borrow it, just babysit the trophy for a weekend, please?” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What did you end up submitting that landed you the nomination for your role as Celeste on Y&R?

EVA: I submitted a scene with Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I have been friends for 30 years, if not more, and in all that time we had never worked together.  I met him when I was married to John O’Hurley (Ex- Dr. James Grainger) because John was over at The Young and the Restless at the time.  I went to a Christmas party with John to Peter and Mariellen’s house, and do you know who else was there?  Lisa Rinna (Ex-Billie, Days), and it was before she had gotten Days of Our Lives. She was dating Peter Barton (Ex-Scott Grainger, Y&R) at the time. We both ended up on soaps at the same time.  So, I submitted a scene with Peter, who is amazing, warm and open and such a great actor. Then I submitted a scene with my on-screen daughter Sasha Calle (Lola, Y&R) – I love that girl, and another one with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) who has also been my great friend for a couple of decades. The other scene I put on my reel was with me and Jordi Vilasuso (Rey, Y&R) who I also adore.  He is awesome and such a sweetheart.  I only had two months worth of material to draw upon.  So, I just submitted the scenes that I liked the best, and they all were within story, and all made sense.

Photo: Getty Images

Where is Celeste supposed to be now?

EVA:  She went back to Florida, and that was that. I would never say never to anything, but it was always supposed to be a short stint, and it was great.

So not only is it you and Michael E. Knight, but Jeffery Vincent Parise, Chrishell Stause, and Elissa Kapneck. This Guest Performer category is loaded!

EVA:  I know! I know and love, Chrishell (Ex-Amanda) because we worked together on All My Children, too, right before I left, and she is a doll.  She just might be the sweetest, kindest, girl on the planet.  She literally might be the sweetest person who ever lived!  I don’t know the other two nominees personally.  So, I’m excited for them too.  It’s such a diverse category.  It’s just really fun to be nominated with all of them.

Photo: Hallmark Channel

You were nominated before, though, for your work as Maria on All My Chldren during the emotional baby switch storyline; working opposite Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica) for a lot in it.

EVA:  Yes.  I was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for All My Children, and I was nominated for Best Original Song.  I wrote a song when Maria came ‘back from the dead’ to All My Children, with a producer friend of mine from Miami Sound Machine.

Photo: Live with Kelly Ryan

So, you’ve been doing all of these All My Children virtual reunions, which is so interesting that in this pandemic, people are looking for content, and they dip back into these beloved shows.  Was it fun doing the EW.com Santos Family reunion with everybody?

EVA:  Oh yeah, it was really, really fun.  I only saw in the big picture everybody else’s photo who was a part of it, and the people who I actually do hang out with the most, and see the most, and talk to the most, are Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), and Sydney Penny (Ex-Julia).  I don’t see Sydney as much, but I do see her probably once every two years at least, but Sarah Michelle Geller (ExKendall) I see all the time and talk to all the time.  Kelly, Mark, and Sarah are the ones who walked me through that first week when John Callahan passed.  They literally were on the phone with me, the three of them, almost every day, but I got beautiful outreach, from what seemed like everyone.  This is when no matter how many years have passed since you have been in daytime, that the daytime family as a group – there used to be fifteen shows, now there are four – and people have bounced around and they are on other shows- – but the entire soap opera community reached out,   I cannot even tell you how much that meant to me.  It was overwhelming, and it was really, spectacularly beautiful.

Photo: JPI

I hope it was some solace to you knowing how much people loved John, and also that they love and care so deeply for you.

EVA:  I mean, people who did not even work with John reached out.  Every soap was represented by getting a hold of me, sending a text or a phone call, or if they didn’t have my personal information, they tweeted, or whatever it was… literally from every reach of soapdom.  It was amazing.

And your relationship with John was amazing with all of the ups and downs you went through; that you remained such dear friends.

EVA:  We remained really great friends all the way.

Photo: JPI

I so remember when the two of you first got together and it was this storybook real life soap couple romance.  John was always so sweet to me.  I was so, so sad, and you know, my heart just broke for you.

EVA:  I think it was just such a shock.  I don’t think anybody, and even Kaya were talking about it, because she graduated this week, and her dad is not here.  We’re not having a graduation, because of COVID-19, which sucks on top of it, but we were just kind of talking through the feelings of it.  She said, “You know what’s weird?  I guess I never pictured dad getting old, and I always wondered why, and now I know.”  When I would get on John about his heart or his health, he used to always say, ‘Oh, don’t worry Evala, (he always called me “Evala”).  I’m going to be here.  I’m going to be here a long time.  I’m fine.  I’m going to be here to walk Kaya down the aisle and see her kids and all that.  Stop worrying,” Every time he said it to me, something in my gut said, “I don’t think he is.  I don’t think he is,” but I always just dismissed that.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think John wouldn’t make it to her high school graduation.  He was only 66.

Photo: JPI

I had heard you ended up running to Palm Springs to be near John.  I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

EVA:  The only good thing about this pandemic is that we had been shut down for only two weeks at that point.  Kaya and I got in the car.  John had some heart procedures the day before, on a Thursday.  I called him in the morning before he went in for the procedure.  I said, “Call me as soon as you get out of there.  Call me as soon as you come-to again, and you’re good,” and he said, “Okay, I will.”  I said, “I’m going to send Kaya out to you on Friday for the weekend, just so you have somebody to hang out and watch you, and I might come out too,” And then, I said, “Maybe, I’ll come down too in case you are feeling weak, just to watch out for you for the weekend.”   So, he called me after the procedure.   I said, “I cannot believe they sent you home! You just had some major heart stuff done.”  He said, “Oh no, they said I’m fine.  It was just run-of-the-mill heart stuff, angiogram…”  I was like, “Are you sure?”  He said, “Yeah, I’m fine.  I’m just tired.  I’m going to go to sleep.”  I said, “Do you want me to send Kaya out tonight?” and he was like, “No, no, no.  Send her tomorrow.”  So, in the morning, I called him at 9:00am.  No answer.  I texted him.  He always texted me like Johnny on the spot, and then texts me immediately back.  So, I call him again at 10.  Nothing.  His best friend calls me about a half-hour later, “Hey, I talked to John at about 8:00 this morning.  He said he was feeling really, really shitty and was going to go back to the hospital, and then, I texted him again at like 8:30 to just tell him something, and he hasn’t texted me back, and he always texts me immediately back.”  I said, “Oh my, God, I’ve been trying to get a hold of him for two hours; he hasn’t texted me back,”   I said, “You know what, I’ll call you back.”  So, I called his friend who lives down the street from John, and I said, “Go to his house, please right this second, knock on the door, jump the fence, knock on his bedroom, he might be asleep, I don’t know.”  So, he gets there, nobody is answering.  I said, “Break into the house please.  So, he did, and John was collapsed in the bathroom.  They called the paramedics, and as soon as they called me back and said, “John is unresponsive in the bathroom,” Kaya and I threw everything in the car, and what usually takes us two and a half hours without traffic, we made it down there from Los Angeles in an hour and forty-five minutes.

Photo: JPI

I don’t know how you made it down there in one piece. Thank, God!

EVA:  I drove so fast, like literally broke all land speed records and thank God because we got there just in time.  He was in emergency.  He hadn’t been put up in ICU yet, where we wouldn’t have been able to see him.  They weren’t going to let us in the hospital.  Thank God the person answering the door was an All My Children fan.  She was the one saying, “Sorry, no one is allowed in the hospital, no one can come in,” and I was like, “No, no, no, my ex-husband just came in.”  She said, “Was it Edmund?” and I said, “Yes, it was Edmund!”  She said, “Okay, follow me.”  Thank God for All My Children.  Thank God.  So, we followed this woman secretly, and we get to spend a half-hour with him in Emergency.  He was already on life-support, totally unresponsive, but we got to play John his favorite music, we got to just sit there and hold his hand and talk to him, and tell him how much we loved him.  Sarah Michelle Gellar called right when we were in the hospital in Emergency, and she said, “Put the phone by his ear,” so I put the phone by his ear, and she talked to John too, and she told him how much she loved him.  She used to always call him “GP”, which was short of grandpa, because she came on the show when she was 15, and she didn’t have a dad, and John acted like a dad to her – but she used to always call him “grandpa”, and he hated “grandpa”, so he was like, “You can call me “GP”, but not grandpa,” so she always called him GP.  I just put the phone by John’s ear, and what was crazy is that when she talked to him, his feet started twitching.  He started moving his feet.  Then, when Kaya was talking to him about Yankee season, he started moving his feet.  We were kind of hopeful that something was changing for the better.  We had about a half-hour with him, and then, they took him up to ICU, and then, we knew we couldn’t see him again.  They called us later that night that he had passed.

Photo: JPI

I am just so thankful that you got to see John one last time.

EVA:  I thank God every day that we got to say goodbye, because if we hadn’t gotten there in time to say goodbye, I just don’t know.

It’s very rare that a couple after a divorce, who have a child, and went from romance to dear friends, end up maintaining that relationship so many years later in their lives.  I know so many people who were together at one point in their lives, for years, and they don’t even talk to each other now.

EVA:  Well, you know, like any divorce, the first four years afterwards were super contentious but then, by year five, we kind of had this major breakthrough, and from then on, he was one of my closest friends, and one of the things we always kept alive for each other was we loved to  dance together. We fell in love, I think, dancing because originally our characters on AMC met at this country-western bar, and we had to take country line dancing lessons on the show.  They hired a choreographer for us so that during those scenes where we were falling in love, we would actually be able to do a two-step! So, we went out and practiced at Denim and Diamonds, which was a big country-western place in New York City at the time.  We used to go out with a whole group of us.  It was me, and Teresa Blake (Ex-Gloria) and Kelly Ripa, and her boyfriend at the time, Winsor Harmon (Ex-Del), sometimes Walt Willey (Ex-Jack); we just had a whole crew of us who would go out country dancing.  John and I also loved singing together.  He had the most amazing gravely kind of rockstar voice, but his real talent was harmonizing.  He could harmonize to anything.  So, when he would come over, we would sit in the kitchen and sing, and sing, and sing until the late hours because that’s what we loved to do, and that’s what he loved to do.  That’s one of my favorite last memories of us.  He was just over the month before, and Kaya’s bedroom is near the kitchen, so she came out and was like, “Can you two shut up?”  It was like two in the morning and we were still singing in the kitchen. (Laughs)  John was my dear friend and my confidant.

Photo: ABC

Were you able to have some kind of service during this stay-at-home pandemic we are all dealing with, in order to mourn the loss of John?

EVA:  It’s been so crazy.  We couldn’t even have a funeral.  That’s what made it all the more heartbreaking.  There were less than twenty of us, and we just got on a Zoom call and memorialized John.   I thought we were going to do a big Zoom memorial, but it seemed so overwhelming and so impersonal, it just was rubbing us wrong in every way.  Every way we were looking at it, we were like, “Oh my, God, we just can’t.”  We wanted to invite everybody he had ever worked with, and we were like, “No, we want to do that when everything can open back up again, and invite every person, and have a party” because John was always the life of every party.  Maybe we can do that in the fall or next year.  I kept trying to write something for the small memorial we did do for three days.  I kept coming back to this one song, because John was always the consummate bartender, too.  I sang a song that Bette Midler sang on the very last episode of Johnny Carson.  It was “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” and it’s about a bartender who has got a big personality and a lot to say.   I changed some of the words around a bit just to reflect who John was, and so, I ended up singing for it instead of speaking.  We always talked about that last episode of Carson; how stunningly emotional it was when Bette sang that song to kind of sing Johnny off for of all of his years on the air.  So, that’s what I did and because we loved to sing together, it just made sense.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

I do think you touched upon something, earlier, too.  I don’t think any other genre would have that kind of unbridled camaraderie.  It’s such a family, like you said.  I don’t think you would find that quite like this; certainly in show business. 

EVA:  I really don’t think you can. Even though there is always a good amount of competition in the soaps as well; between the soaps it’s like they are any sports team, but there is always a level of respect, love, and familial connection within the community.  I think that is why they have stood the test of time.  I really do think that is what hooks our audience, that is what keeps them there after all of these years, even though unfortunately the genre is antiquated looking, there is something about it that is nostalgic, familial, and comfortable for people.

Photo: JPI

Every time I talk about All My Children, why do you think everybody go ga-ga for it, when it’s been off the air for several years now?

EVA:  It speaks to people’s childhoods.  It speaks to how we grew up.  You can’t undo nostalgia.  You can’t.  It’s in the way we grew up, the things we loved, the things that we scheduled our lives around, the people we fell in love with on the shows that we watched, who we cared about and loved their storylines. I grew up watching All My Children, General Hospital, and Days of Our Lives.

It must have been a spectacular moment for you when you realized you were actually in Pine Valley and a member of the cast of All My Children then?

EVA:  It was amazing.  I was a fan when I got the show.  I was a straight up fan.  I fangirled walking through that dressing room hallway for the first time! I was trying to keep it in check, but you know … (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

So, in closing, you would say, “Thrilled to be nominated”?

EVA:  Yes.  So fun.  It has really been a rollercoaster of a couple of months here.  That nomination was literally the bright, shining spot in all of this.

So, happy to hear Eva is in the running for a Daytime Emmy? Were you moved by Eva’s sentiments she shared on her relationship with the late John Callahan? Do you miss Pine Valley’s Dr. Maria Santos? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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All My Children

All My Children Reunion with Josh Duhamel, Ricky Paull Goldin, Cameron Mathison and More; Later Debbi Morgan Live

It’s a big finale of the weeklong virtual celebration of the iconic All My Children.  On tap today in EW’s series to benefit Feeding America during the COVID-19, some major names from the history of Pine Valley and who had story with each other participating in the chat, premiering at 10 a. m. EST.

Taking part in the walk down memory lane are none other than Josh Duhamel (Ex-Leo), Ricky Paull Goldin (Ex-Jake), Chrishell Stause (Ex-Amanda), Cameron Mathison (Ex-Ryan), Rebecca Budig (Ex-Greenelee) and Melissa Claire Egan (Ex-Annie).

But that’s not all folks! Daytime Emmy winner, Debbi Morgan will participate in a live virtual chat with EW.com today beginning at 3 p.m. EST/12 p. m. PST.  Now will be your chance to hear from the one and only Angie Hubbard from the beloved ABC daytime drama series.

Over the week, EW.com has posted other virtual conversations with notables from Pine Valley, you can check them out here.

So, will you be checking out today’s one-two punch of AMC favorites? Comment below.

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B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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