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The Jess Walton, Doug Davidson, and Tricia Cast Interview – The Young and the Restless

Courtesy/CBS

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto/CBS

This week on The Young and the Restless, friends and loved ones of Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper) gather together for a remembrance on the 1-year anniversary of the passing of the Grand Dame of Genoa City!  And as we know in story thus far, Katherine left specific instructions of how she wanted her party/celebration that honors her in the hands of her long-time friend and often times foe, Jill (Jess Walton)!  For the special episodes, which will begin airing on Tuesday and Wednesday, Y&R brought back fan favorite Tricia Cast (Nina) who notices during the celebration that there seems to be trouble in paradise between Paul (Doug Davidson) and her bff and his wife, Christine (Lauralee Bell). In addition, actor Michael Fairman (Murphy) makes a return when Murphy has been given his own set of instructions from Mrs C., and that doesn’t sit well with Jill!

But with this being the 1-year anniversary marking the death of the character of Katherine Chancellor, it has also been a year and a few months since the passing of the iconic and beloved Jeanne Cooper, who died in May of 2013.  How are her co-stars and Y&R family dealing with the loss a year later of this remarkable woman and talent?  On-Air On-Soaps talked with three cast members who have each shared a long-standing unique and profound relationship with Jeanne: Jess Walton, Doug Davidson, and Tricia Cast.

In this very special tribute interview, Jess, Doug, and Tricia share what it has been like at the studio without Jeanne, some of their favorite personal stories that are, for anyone that knew her, or are fans of hers, quintessential Jeanne!  Plus, the trio weighs-in on if they feel the number one soap has done a good job at keeping Katherine Chancellor in story enough, and they give us a preview of what is happening with their characters on the day of the gathering at Chancellor Park.

There isn’t a day that goes by for many that knew and loved Jeanne that don’t miss her panache, humor, graciousness, often cantankerous nature … and how she loved, in her own way, all of us.  For anyone who was lucky enough to be able to spend some time with this woman, she left an indelible mark, as well as on the millions of fans of The Young and the Restless.  This one’s for you, Jeanne!

MICHAEL:

The three of you were so close with Jeanne Cooper, personally and professionally.  What has it been like for each you, a year or so later, coming to the studio and realizing she is not there?  Do you still feel her presence with you?

JESS:

Courtesy/CBS

I kind of feel like, “The joke’s over. Where are you?”  It’s really dawning on me personally, that it’s becoming more and more real all the time.  I so miss her energy in scenes.  Whenever you would walk on to the stage with Jeanne everything came alive in a way it doesn’t without her.

TRICIA:

I am not there at Y&R all the time, and when I was there filming these episodes it was really apparent that she wasn’t there anymore.  I think she is there in spirit.  We all laugh about her and talk about her, but you can’t walk into her open door dressing room anymore and get cursed at!  (Laughs)  It’s kind of empty.

DOUG:

I have to remind myself she is in a different form, in a different place, and when that happens I am saddened.  I think her spirit must spend a lot of time around Y&R, because I feel her presence, and what she would say if she were here.  It’s almost like she is speaking silently inside of my head.  There are aspects of it like with Jess, where you feel, “My gosh, I guess she is not coming back.”

JESS:

You just reminded me that she gave us so much power of personality, and the staying power of it, and the fact that she is still there, and she is so much a part of everything.   I wonder if that’s why it’s not even more painful?  She filled us up so much, didn’t she? … More than an average person would.

DOUG:

I didn’t see her everyday, even when she was here.  There would be long periods of time, but I would still feel her presence in her heart and soul, and that hasn’t changed.  She had a huge aura that radiated beyond her physical being even when she was alive. 

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

For me, I so remember an interview I did years ago with Jess and Jeanne.  I came to Jeanne’s dressing room, and sat on the floor and chatted with the two of you.  I remember Jeanne saying to me, “Come in, dear” or “Come in, love”, and giving me a kiss.   And just being there with Jess and Jeanne, and seeing how remarkable the two of you were together, and the banter, and the fun they had with each other, was truly special.  Jeanne’s presence was always so welcoming.  It’s weird now when I do visit the set, and still expecting to see her there.

DOUG:

Once in a while the link is posted of that comedic video they did with Jeanne and Jess in the dressing room to me.  It is just so “both of you.”  It’s amazing to watch.  And it’s a moment frozen now for eternity.  You can look at it over and over again.  Jeanne has the audio version of her memoir, Not Young, Still Restless, and I have not been able to bring myself to listen to it.

JESS:

I have listened to it, Doug!  It’s exactly like she’s right there!  It’s like she is back with us.

DOUG:

Yes, there is a sample of it on Amazon.com, and I said to myself, “I am not ready for that yet.”

JESS:

I can’t think of anyone who was uncomfortable with this woman.  She made everybody feel like she had known you forever.  She would bust your balls on anything at all.  What a heavenly creature she was, and devilish.

DOUG:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

And then she would disrespect everyone to their face from the highest echelon of CBS and Sony … and for some reason no one took offense to it at all.  And, she was spot on with her comments! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Tricia, you actually stayed with Jeanne at her house?

TRICIA:

I did, and she was just a darling.  Jeanne opened up her house to me and let me be who I was.  I was not always terribly social.  So she would let me go hide in whatever room in the house, and sleep in the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on.  Then, I would creep out of my room, and we would laugh at the silliness on the television, or she would just go on with stories that were fascinating about old Hollywood and her old times, and her as child and her upbringing.  I really feel very grateful for that special time I had with her, and if I would tell her that it was very nice of her to open up her home to me, she would curse at me again! (Laughs)  I would say to her, “Thank you so much Jeanne for having me,” and she would say, “Shut up!” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Jess, after a year or so later, where do you sit with that final scene between Katherine and Jill, where Katherine goes up the stairs and says “goodnight” to Jill?  Do you think: “I can’t believe that was my last scene with her!”  Or, do you think: “I am so glad I have that on tape between us!”

JESS:

It was so magical that we even had that scene, because nobody knew that would be her final scene …

PAUL:

Courtesy/CBS

Oh, she knew! (Laughs)

JESS:

She was getting weaker and weaker, and it was magical. You are right.  I was reminded of it when we did those scenes for the memorial this time.  I was reminded when Katherine married Murphy (Michael Fairman).  He had given her a tiny, tiny ring, and after a while Jeanne got really tired of it and missed her diamonds, so she would put these huge rings over it.  And I am reminded of it because Colin (Tristan Rogers) gave Jill this little band, which kind of looks like stainless steel, and now I am kind of tempted to do the same thing Jeanne did! (Laughs)  She used to make funny remarks about Murphy all the time.  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Doug, you were so close to Jeanne in real-life, but as for your character of Paul Williams, he was more ancillary in the life of Katherine Chancellor.  As an actor, do you feel that proved difficult during last year’s very emotional memorial episode honoring Katherine?

DOUG:

Paul certainly was not as close to Kay, as Doug was to Jeanne, which was part of the difficulties playing those scenes. You had to tell Doug to shut up and have Paul just be respectful.  Corbin Bersen (Jeanne Cooper’s son, who plays Father Todd on Y&R) was there and he brought part of her ashes to put in the urn.  I mean, so much of it was for me: “Is this real?” Or: “Is this the play?”  That was a hard line to draw that day.

TRICIA:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

There was a lot to draw on that day.

DOUG:

There was so much energy, and it was on the heels of the other show we put together, where the cast sat around and talked about Jeanne.  And, that was only after a few months after she died.  So, it was pretty raw in all of her hearts.

MICHAEL:

How do the three of you feel the writers have done keeping Katherine Chancellor alive in story?  We have had a few stories coming out of Katherine’s passing.  Do you feel Y&R has kept her enough front and center in people’s minds?

JESS:

It’s not difficult to do.  They have kept her alive with his music box story, but the fans still talk about her all the time.  When I said earlier what a true gift she was to all of us, it’s impossible to ever forget her.  It’s almost impossible to believe she is on another plane, and she is in the minds of the fans every day, like I am talking hundreds of thousands of people!  So, her vibration still lives on so strongly.

MICHAEL:

So now leading up to this week’s 1-year anniversary of Katherine’s death, she has written letters again from the great beyond? (Laughs)

JESS:

Courtesy/CBS

She has written letters to be delivered at this time.  Colin and Jill had been off on their honeymoon and it’s very, very emotional for Jill to see Katherine’s handwriting, to hear the voice out of the cosmos, and it’s very amusing how she gives all of these specific instructions for her party.  It’s fabulous, and it has all those emotions that are mixed in with Jeanne.  She was the sweetest lady in the world, and then she would make you almost want to strangle her! (Laughs)  The letter was very much her.  I am so glad the show is keeping her alive in that way.  It’s going to be a fabulous episode.  And, to see Tricia there is great, and Michael Fairman back, who plays Murphy, was wonderful.

MICHAEL:

And then I hear Nina returns to be part of the remembrance, and she is not too happy to see that Paul and Christine (Lauralee Bell) are having marital issues, ( Last year at this time, Paul and Christine got married at Katherine’s memorial service) due to the attention Paul is giving hapless Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott)!

TRICIA:

The nerve of him!  Not cool!  Nina sees that Paul is not exactly pining for Christine at the moment.  All he can do is watch Nikki, and true it’s out of concern for her, but still it doesn’t sit well with Nina. This is: 1) her best friend Christine: 2) that marriage was supposed to last forever, and for Nina she is saying to herself, “If it wasn’t me you chose to spend your life with, than darn it, it better be my best friend!”  It’s a tough moment for Nina.  I think she actually channels Mrs. Chancellor a little bit, and tells him “what’s what!”

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS Photo Credit: JPI

So Nina wants to help Christine, even though Paul dumped Nina to be with her bff?  That’s awfully nice of her! (Laughs)

TRICIA:

Yes.  She wants to help Christine, and since Paul dumped Nina she is thinking, “You better be there for my girlfriend!”

MICHAEL:

So Doug, what is going on here?  Paul is clearly drawn to Nikki because of the revelation that they now share a child together in Dylan (Steve Burton), and all that has happened.

DOUG:

I don’t know if that’s exactly the case. Nikki has a lot of stuff going on in her life right now.  I think as with any friend, at least from Paul’s perspective is that she is pretty needy right now.  She has been batted around by Ian Ward (Ray Wise) and she has these health issues, and she is not handling the little bumps in the road so well.  She actually looks pretty doggone fragile.  I think Paul just wants to make sure that she is OK.   I think Paul loves Nikki, but I don’t think it’s the kind of love that everyone else seems to be worried about.

TRICIA:

You’re lying to yourself! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/Pinterest

Doug, what did you think when they made Dylan, Paul’s biological son?  Did you like it … or were you like, “Where is this coming from?

DOUG:

I think a little of both.  I think the long-term story that we have they spent quite a while building is certainly interesting.  And, it was interesting coming on the heels of Paul having lost one son, and then it’s not like I can teach Dylan (Steve Burton) how to ride a bike, or play ball.  He is a grown man.  So, that is a very odd position to be in, and for Dylan as well.  I think that part is interesting, and to have to figure out what’s next is also interesting.  I think that requires the writers to consider the possibilities, and not just jump to the lowest common denominator.  I mean, Paul and Dylan do care about each other, but now it’s just blood related, so it’s a little bit different.

MICHAEL:

Can viewers expect an emotional and touching show when Y&R marks the 1-year anniversary of Katherine’s passing this week?

DOUG:

I think it’s more story-related this time, and the fact that she has more letters is pretty interesting!  Katherine has us turn inside for our feelings, and that is kind of interesting that even in life on this planet, she is assisting in the lives of the people in Genoa City.

MICHAEL:

So we know Jill got a letter this time from Katherine, but does everyone else get a letter by the time the gathering happens?

JESS:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

No, we don’t all get a letter, but Murphy reads her words to all of us and her instructions about something.  What is very interesting about it is it psychologically makes you feel like she is there talking to you.  It really does.  It’s like she is still alive, and talking to them. They really use her voice, or how the character of Katherine would speak in the letter, and the language that she would use.  It’s a device that works.

MICHAEL:

How was it to film those episodes this time?  Was it emotional for you?

JESS:

It was emotional when I was reading Katherine’s letter in the Chancellor living room … that was very emotional for me.

DOUG:

I think every time we get together as a group, it’s hard not to feel her presence and remember her.  And, the characters that are involved in this particular episode are probably the people in real life that knew Jeanne the best.  So, it’s hard to not talk about her and not feel her.

MICHAEL:

Will Katherine send Jill off on another goose chase … ala “The Music Box Mystery”?

JESS:

Courtesy/CBS

I have no idea, Michael, because the “Music Box” is still going strong!

MICHAEL:

I thought that was going to be wrapped-up! (Laughs)

JESS:

Yeah I did too, and it’s still going strong … and there you go. (Laughs)

DOUG:

I was surprised.  Y&R has re-signed the music box!  It has its own dressing room now! (Laughs)

JESS:

It has a special slot on the prop box! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Who has Jeanne’s dressing room now at the studio?

DOUG:

Courtesy/DougDavidsonTwitter

It’s Daniel Goddard’s (Cane) dressing room.  He gets it when he’s there taping.  If he’s not there, whoever is working, and in that day, might get it.

JESS:

But it will always be Jeanne’s dressing room.

DOUG:

When Corbin was in, he was in her dressing room, which was harder for him than he expected.

MICHAEL:

So Tricia, you just come back for a few episodes?

TRICIA:

Yes, and I am very happy that they called me in for this.  It was great chance to see everybody and laugh, play, and act. What a gift!

MICHAEL:

Fans are always excited when you come back to the show.

DOUG:

Maybe, she can come back to the show and rag on somebody else next time!  (Laughs)

JESS:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

You could come back and stay in Katherine Chancellor’s house with us!  And maybe then Chance (John Driscoll) could come back.  It would be great!

TRICIA:

It would be.  A house full of us would be good!

DOUG:

A house full of people that really don’t like each other! (Laughs)

TRICIA:

What better soap opera!

MICHAEL:

Can each of you share a story or little nugget about Jeanne?  We have all had such fond memories of time we shared with her.  I know it’s hard to single out one thing, but what comes to mind?

TRICIA:

There are so many, but there would be times we would sit together an eat ice cream and poke fun at Dancing with the Stars, or whatever show was on.  I just remember watching it at the time and just laughing.  Jeanne’s laugh was so infectious.  I loved making her laugh!  That was amazing.  If I could get a chuckle out of Jeanne my day was made!

DOUG:

I think what happens to me now is the Chancellor Mansion set is usually stored in a visible location on the way to the CBS commissary, if it’s not up.  I have her voice in my head and part of the sorrow has lessened.  I don’t think there is a day for me that goes by, in or out of the studio, where I don’t hear her saying something to me, or have a memory, and for me it’s just knowing that she is still around.

JESS:

Photo Credit: CBS

I was just reminded recently, because somebody brought this up on Twitter, that there was this segment that I think Entertainment Tonight had done years and years ago … like in the 80’s!  And, it was Jeanne and I on stage, and it was around the time Barbara Crampton was on Y&R as Leanna Love, and Jill was trying to think of something to call her.  And she called her: “Bubble butt”, and they wouldn’t let me say, “Bubble butt.”  So I just came out with “Fish head”, and Jeanne loved, “Fish head”.  And I kept going; “I can’t say ‘Fish head’… it doesn’t make any sense.”  And Jeanne was going, “Please!  Please say ‘Fish head’”. (Laughs)  And if you go on Twitter you can find it, but it was a perfect example of how we used to sit in the dressing rooms, back in the day when we both smoked for hours.  Jeanne’s set was up last in the afternoon, so we had hours to kill.  We would go over every bit of comedic material, and we would sacrifice our characters to work up to a punch line for the other one. (Laughs)  We would make ourselves look foolish, so the other one could have their moment.  It was the most beautiful partnership, and it didn’t even make me so sad, but what it left me with was wonderment that I didn’t even appreciate more at the time of what a wonderful combination of people we were, whose intention was the same, which was to make the story great, and to make the duo of Katherine and Jill interesting and entertaining.  We loved the comedy of Jill and Katherine.

MICHAEL:

Jess, you have to pinch yourself when you look at the legacy you have left with Jeanne!  Those classic fights between Katherine and Jill are the best!  The hose scene, the cake fight, the attic, I could go on!  When I was culling clips for the 40th Annual Daytime Emmys clip package on classic soap catfights, I watched so many of those moments and just laughed out loud!

JESS:

Courtesy/CBS

Remember the hose in the face?  I came at her with that hose and I just sprayed it in her face … and it was just awful! (Laughs)  What I did to that poor woman? (Laughs) Oh God, it was so much fun.  I wish I could relive some of those days.

MICHAEL:

That’s the thing; Jeanne was so much fun, a vibrant lady, exceptional!

JESS:

She was so much fun, and it was always fun with her and we would drive over the hill together to come to work at CBS.  Because most of our scenes were together, we would meet up on Laurel Canyon and we would drive along to the studio waving to each other!  Her in her seafoam jaguar, and I was in a Volvo wagon, and I would always pass her! (Laughs)  She loved that! (Laughs)  Jeanne was incredible.

 

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TraceySallyDE fanwilBarbara from Atlanta Recent comment authors
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Gloria Zimmerman
Guest
Gloria Zimmerman

Thank you for this lovely conversation between these wonderful Y&R actors! One would think a person would get used to the fact Jeanne is gone but she isn’t ! This week is proof of that .a year has passed already but when you scratch the surface of the story lines Jeanne keeps popping up as though she were rehearsing for her scenes …. People let us never forget this dynamo wrapped up in a beautiful smile !keep looking up and Jeanne don’t forget us the loyal fans… Farewell lovely Lady 🙂

Liza
Guest
Liza

It’ so nice to hear all the stories about Jeanne. Thanks for a heartwarming interview. I only wish Y&R would do the same with Katherine Chancellor’s story. I hated that Katherine Chancellor’s memorial turned into Christine & Paul’s wedding. Now it sounds like the 1 year anniversary is about Paul & Christine’s relationship. Who cares? I’d love to see some flashbacks of Katherine Chancellor intertwined with the future of Kay and Jill’s long story which began back in 1973. Shouldn’t Kay’s anniversary episode be about her relationships, her estate, and her company? She has 40 years of flashbacks and story… Read more »

LOu
Guest
LOu

I agree. Chancellor industries should have been left to Jill, not Victor. And I agree with your comment about the roles of women being diminished. They have become sniveling little women from the 50’s, not the powerful women of 2014.

Barbara from Atlanta
Guest
Barbara from Atlanta

I agree as well. I’m disappointed in how the show has used Katherine’s death. Everything seems unoriginal: I’m not sure where the music box storyline is going but it really seems to me to be a knockoff of the “red swan” storyline that was used on Another World when the actor who played Mac Cory died suddenly. Also, Chancellor Park seems like a copy of Horton Square on Days that is suppose to honor Tom and Alice Horton. Of all the ways that the show could remember the Duchess, a park would be the LAST thing that would come to… Read more »

DE fan
Guest
DE fan

very well put!!!

Sally
Guest
Sally

Yes, I am also SO sick of that park!!!

Jess Walton
Guest
Jess Walton

Michael, what a wonderful interview……you are so good at what you do! You really bring all your subjects to life! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

jaybird369
Guest
jaybird369

Jess…I totally agree. I TOTALLY ENJOYED reading the interview!!!!! I LOVE to read, period!!!!! Thank you…Jess, Doug and Tricia. And, yes…Michael Fairman is so good at what he does!!!!! Thank you, Mr. Fairman. And Mr. Fairman…your website TRULY ROCKS!!!!! Thank you.

Take care, Jess. XOXOXOXOXO

MBmomof3
Guest
MBmomof3

Thank you, your cast mates, and Mr. Fairman for a lovely interview!

alistaircrane
Guest
alistaircrane

Nina needs to be back full time!

Lois
Guest
Lois

I really miss Jeanne- it always feels like something special is missing….RIP Jeanne

Jake
Guest
Jake

Its time to make Nina the new Katherine Chancellor. She should have gotten the mansion so she could but heads with Jill Abbott.

bernie tauer
Guest
bernie tauer

I miss her she was a great lady

bernie tauer
Guest
bernie tauer

An a great actress

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

Katherine shouldve had a half sister and it should be Mamie Johnson who was the Abbots housekeeper…Jill was Johns wife and she and Mamie didnt get along…Mamies neice was Dru so she also has ties to the Winters family…Mamie could return to town as half owner of the Chancelor estate and be in constant conflict with Jill like Katherine and Jill were for years…just a thought!!!

DE fan
Guest
DE fan

Such a fab idea. You should write for them! 🙂

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Guest
Scott (ATWT Fan)

The death is Jeanne and Katherine still lives on with the show, and the struggle everyone has in their every day lives. And I feel like this one-year tribute to the both of them is really going to be a great remembrance of what an extraordinary woman Ms. Cooper was, and what a tremendous and bold character Katherine was too! Mrs. C, we miss you!

kalamaty
Guest
kalamaty

THanks for sharing this wonderful interview! Wonderful to read their personal accounts!

Sam
Guest
Sam

Enjoyed the interview piece. Been a Y&R viewer for 30 years. Truly miss Mrs. C. RIP.

Loretta Singleton
Guest
Loretta Singleton

Wow this was so good to read and I remember her last scene when Jill was about to help her and she threw up her hand and then started up the stairs and Jill ask do you need some help going up the stairs and Ms C look up and say I can manage turn around and say good night I knew when she walk up those stairs that was the last time we would see Ms C. I can see her now pointing her finger and telling you how she feels love this Lady and all The Casts of… Read more »

Robert Clark
Guest
Robert Clark

Thank you all for remembering a woman who was and is such apart of my childhood and life. I starting watching Y/R with my Grandmother. When I watch it and see Ms.C. it brings back memories of my childhood. I know Y/R has a special Angel looking after the cast, crew and it’s fans. Thanks for the memories.

Tami Ply
Guest
Tami Ply

I have been a Y&R fan since day one! Jeanne Cooper has always been my absolute favorite! I miss her soooo much! And just as everyone else,…I cherish all the memories and awesome scenes that she made epic! Wish she was still with us! She will forever be a part of the Young and Restless! Love you and miss you Jeanne!!!

Eva Watson
Guest
Eva Watson

Love Y&R. Miss Ms C. The people are so real. Good storie. Great writers.

damien
Guest
damien

don t understand why we have kelly and a recasted phyllis who will never last( lets be honest) when we can just have nina back full time on our screens!! a character who everyone cares about with plenty of storyline potential, history and a amazing actress portraying her! baffles the mind…

Barbara from Atlanta
Guest
Barbara from Atlanta

AMEN

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

Timeless beauty never fades; the blooms of youth my whither and fall to winter’s touch of cold death, but the vibrant promise of spring lingers in slumber yet.

Iakovos
Guest
Iakovos

This is a gift, Michael Fairman. Thank you for this interview. The conversation reminds me of the Y&R I loved and I miss now.

mary
Guest
mary

I have watched Y&R since day one. I record it every day. I felt like I lost a member of the family when Mrs. C past away. I miss her wit, charm. She could make you laugh, cry, and cuss right along with her. There was never a dull moment when she was in a scene. I was so afraid they were going to try to replace her when she died. It would of been a disaster. You could never replace her. She was one of a kind and I am so glad that I got to watch her for… Read more »

Carol
Guest
Carol

I miss Jeanne Cooper. What a Great Lady. Thank you for the
Memories. Keep the rest of actors on show, so it stays alive.

Deb
Guest
Deb

I loved reading this article and thanks for sharing. It’s great that the Y&R had the 1 year celebration of her passing on the show. I remember watching it when she told Jill goodnight for the last time. Jill asked her if she needed any help and Katherine turned around and snipped at her no I can manage(I believe this was her words). Katherine then finished up the stairs. Katherine will be missed by all.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

I dont know why things can be so obvious but never done. Katherine and Jill had a bitter sweet relationship. Katherine is dead. You have to bring someone in that Jill can spar with now. Katherine could have had a long lost son [Corbin] or daughter come into town looking for their inheritance. Giving Victor control of Chancellor would make good business sense but one, who does benefit from it and two, story line wise, Victor has no competition now. I would have liked to see someone challenge Victor. Even Tucker, bring the original Tucker back and have him and… Read more »

Liza
Guest
Liza

I like the original Tucker too. William Russ’s Tucker had oodles of chemistry with Jill and could give Colin some competition. The only problem is MAB went too far with the Tucker character, he became unappealing…gross really. Maybe nuOldTucker could have had a brain tumor?

DE fan
Guest
DE fan

the 1st tucker with the white hair and overweight was too old looking for her, but had a hell of a lot more charm

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

This was a great interview, thanks for sharing!

MBmomof3
Guest
MBmomof3

Great interview to honor a great lady. Clearly she is loved and missed by all who knew her and her multitude of fans.

She is one-of-a-kind and will never truly be gone. She is immortal through her body of work and the legacy she left on the lives of those she touched.

wil
Guest
wil

I have watched this show for most of its running.. I have always enjoyed the part of Nina, played by Tricia Cast.. I was so glad to see her character brought back after the death of Jeannie Cooper.. and also to have her back for the memorial.. It would be great to see her back on the show again, and living in the Chancellor Estate.. I am sure that Katherine Chancellor would have wanted it that way..

Tracey
Guest
Tracey

Thank you for the interview. Jeanne Cooper was a treasure. I miss her.

Interviews

Y&R’s Executive Producer Anthony Morina Talks On Daytime Emmy Drama Series Win For Neil’s Memorial & Honoring Kristoff St. John

Last Friday night, The Young and the Restless was named the Outstanding Drama Series at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards broadcast on CBS. The show won on the strength of their submissions, which centered on the death of Neil Winters; including when the residents of Genoa City find out of his passing, and the subsequent heartbreaking memorial service in his honor.

However, what made those hours of television unlike anything seldom seen; were not only was Genoa City saying goodbye to Neil, but the cast was saying their goodbyes to their beloved friend and colleague, Kristoff St. John (Neil) who had passed away suddenly back in February of 2019.

Y&R’s executive producer, Anthony (Tony) Morina accepted the award for the top-rated CBS Daytime drama during the Emmy telecast, which now makes Morina a five-time Daytime Emmy winner himself!

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Tony on the series emotional Emmy win, and what it meant for him to win the gold for these incredibly moving and special episodes that were at its epicenter paying tribute to Kristoff in the best way the soap opera could. Here’s what Tony shared on the Y&R Drama Series victory and more.

Photo: JPI

Congratulations on your Outstanding Drama Series win. The episodes that you submitted were at every level, so gut-wrenching, sincere, and beautiful.  What did you think about the process that you went through to make these right for Kristoff and the character of Neil?

TONY:  Occasionally, when you are in this business, as you know, you work so hard to achieve certain things, sometimes you think you’re achieving something, and you’re not, and sometimes something shows up that surprises the heck out of you, and this was kind of it for me.  But what didn’t surprise me, of course, were the actors’ ability, the director’s ability, and the crews’ ability, and for these episodes it was at such a high level.  Sometimes there is an emotional element, or an otherworldliness thing that takes over.

Photo: CBS

Yes, because it was all so real and raw; in that we were watching the characters who loved Neil Winters mourn him, but we were also watching all the actors who loved their co-star.

TONY: When everybody was in that church set and were giving their eulogies, it felt like everybody was so behind each other, and everybody just cared for each other so much because they cared so much for Kristoff.  All the eulogies that people were doing were a page and a half to two pages.  They were really long, but you could feel the emotional tension, and you could feel how people just felt.  Kristoff was a very unique special person, who ended up going through some rough times, but he really was beloved.  Sometimes you love people, and sometimes you say somebody is beloved.  Whenever you saw him, he put a smile on your face.  He made you feel like he really cared about you.  Those shows came together really out of this feeling of love.  We did two whole shows that day.  We did that whole show and the show that came after it.  I don’t know how many hours of a day it was, but people had so much emotion attached to it that those shows really kind of took over themselves with everybody just trusting and letting go and supporting each other.  I got a text from Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R) saying how it was one of the greatest experiences he’d ever had in terms of how it all came together.  Those shows just meant a lot to us, and I really felt that if we didn’t win, I’d be perfectly fine with that, because I was just so glad that we were able to do these episodes, and people got to see it.

Photo: JPI

At what point did you decide, “We are going with this to submit for the Emmy!”

TONY:  I actually knew that day.  I think, I actually said to Josh Griffith (head writer and Co-EP Y&R), “This is going to be our Emmy show … or one of our Emmy shows.”  The other show when everybody finds out Neil died was an incredibly powerful show to me too, but I knew that day when we shot the funeral that you rarely see that kind of rawness.  When you get into this business, and you want to become an actor, it’s tough, but you know that in the end what you want is to get into a position where you can share who you are as a person in an artistic way.  I think the Neil memorial gave people a way to say, “This is why I do this because I get to really share myself, and I get to express how passionate I am and how much I care about other people.”

Photo: JPI

Shemar Moore (Ex-Malcolm) came back to honor his dear friend and on-screen Y&R brother.  How was it having him on set with you to share this experience?

TONY:  Shemar was amazing.  He was there until the bitter end of our tape day.  He could not have been kinder and more supportive of everybody, and really laid out his emotions, and it was like that with everybody.  I would say this was the the most amazing experience I have ever had.

What do you think Kristoff would say?  I think he would be very proud that you gave Neil a real proper sendoff.

TONY:  Absolutely.  I also think Kristoff, would have thought that Neil deserved it, and would have loved it, a, it’s an interesting question because you have got to say to yourself, “Does Kristoff feel he deserves it?” As a character, he’d definitely feel he deserved it.  He was a part of that community.  He was a part of Genoa City.  Those were his friends and his family.  Would Kristoff feel he deserves that?  I don’t know if he would have felt he deserved it, but I know he would have loved knowing how much people cared for him.  I think that would have meant the world to him.  I really do.

Photo: CBS

I loved your acceptance speech.  I thought it was one of the better ones of Emmy night. 

TONY:  Thanks so much.  Matt Kane (publicist, Y&R) has been amazing.   He gave me a lot of guidance on where to go, and my wife, Sally (Sussman Morina) really helped write the speech because the rules were you’ve got 30 seconds.  I really believe in the notion that when you have an opportunity to speak in front of people about something, it has some meaning to you and to other people.  I think you have to put thought into it because how many opportunities do you get in life to share about yourself and how you feel about people?  So, I really appreciate you saying that.

Photo: CBS

What did you think of your Y&R actors: Bryton James’ (Devon) and Jason Thompson’s (Billy) major Emmy victories?

TONY:  Well, personally, I am enormous fans of both people.  I like when nice, good people have nice things happen to them, and you know them.  First off, I was so happy for Bryton because I know he and Kristoff were close, and I know he was deeply affected, as Christel Khalil (Lily, Y&R) was, as everybody was, but they were like family.  I love Bryton personally, and he laid his heart out there.  As for Jason Thompson, people think the world of him, and I think he is an unbelievable actor.  I taught for years, and I have worked with a lot of actors, and I think Jason has such control of his work.  I’m impressed by him.  I’m just as impressed by who Jason is.  I think he’s deserved it other times too, and this was his first win; which must be very special for him.

Photo: deCazotteFacebookPage

During the In-Memoriam tribute on the Emmy broadcast, former producer, Lisa de Cazotte was also featured.  What can you say about your time working with her at Y&R and over your career?

TONY: I’ve known Lisa De Cazotte since Santa Barbara when Paul Rauch (former executive producer) brought her there, and that’s where we first met. Lisa was probably my favorite producer to ever be in the booth with because she let you be yourself, and she let you do your job, and yet, she still had control over the room and the studio.  She was a great touchstone for me, because when you are in this position, you need someone to bounce stuff off of or just say, “Am I really being an idiot here?” because we were old friends, she could say, “Tony, you’re being an idiot.”  (Laughs)  We miss her terribly.  She was really a loved person, and she was just fantastic at what she did.  I just miss her as a friend.

Photo: JPI

And of course, the In-Memoriam featured the late Y&R co-creator, Lee Philip Bell who also passed recently. 

TONY:  Yes, and that’s what was interesting about that speech I gave, because you had to mention those three people: Lee, of course, Kristoff, and Lisa – three truly linchpin important people in daytime drama for many years. Losing all three made it a particularly rough year for The Young and the Restless family.

I also wanted to talk about Eve LaRue (Ex-Celeste Rosales), who had never won a Daytime Emmy but she did for her work on Y&R! She was very emotional and moved by her win as Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series.  What can you say about Eva?

TONY:  She is such a lovely person and she did a great job for us.  I’m just glad for her because I know she had ever won before.

Photo: JPI

One of the clips shown on the Emmy broadcast that Y&R chose for air from Neil’s memorial was Victor’s emotional eulogy; which Eric Braeden delivered so beautifully.   I know how found he was of Kristoff; so it made that on-screen moment all the more heartbreaking. What can you say about Eric?

TONY:  Eric feels as deeply as anybody who I have ever known.  Really, he can come across sometimes as a certain kind of image for people on-screen, but he cares deeply, and is the most supportive actor of every other actor.  Eric has a depth and is a fantastic actor, and he knows how to use his talent.  He actually called me last night and left a message.  He just said, “Hey, I saw you on TV,” and then he just laughed for 5 minutes.  It was really very funny.  He’s not used to seeing me on TV, and so he just laughed.  It was hilarious.

What did you think of Y&R’s win for Outstanding Drama Series knowing they submitted the episodes of Genoa City finding out Neil had passed, and his funeral? Share your thoughts on Tony’s remarks via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Daytime Emmy Winners: Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Scott Clifton & Heather Tom Talk Winning the Gold & Returning to Work at B&B

This week, The Bold and the Beautiful has been airing encore presentation of Daytime Emmy-winning performances from some of the cast over the years as a prelude to tomorrow night’s 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS.

The weeklong Emmy celebration concludes tomorrow with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood’s (Steffy) Emmy-winning performance from last year which won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series prize for the first-time in her daytime career.

Michael Fairman chatted with Jacqui, along with five-time Daytime Emmy-winner and a nominee for Lead Actress again this year, Heather Tom (Katie) and three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Scott Clifton (Liam).  As daytime soap fans know, Heather and Scott hold the distinction of being the only actors to win in all three acting categories: Younger, Supporting and Lead.

In this candid and fun conversation on the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Jacqui, Scott and Heather remember the nights the won Emmy gold, their acceptance speeches, things they wish they would have said, and what it was like waiting for their names to be called, plus taking a stroll down memory lane and remembering when they taped their Emmy-winning performances.

Scott reveals why he chose not to submit himself in Lead Actor this year, even though he has some of the finest performances throughout the Baby Beth baby switch storyline,.

Later the trio talk about The Bold and the Beautiful being the first U.S. soap opera and first U.S. broadcast show back in production following the shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic and how B&B is looking to shoot episodes during the times we live.

Watch the full video interview below.

Then let us know, what was your favorite part of the moments shared by Jacqui, Scott, and Heather in the Emmy conversation?  Do you think Heather might tie Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki, OLTL) tomorrow night with her sixth win in the Lead Actress category?  What do you think of B&B’s return to production following the sentiments shared.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Thaao Penghlis Chats on His Daytime Emmy Nomination & How He Makes Tony DiMera One of a Kind

He has been one of the longstanding cast members of Days of our Lives and certainly of Salem’s notorious DiMera Clan; and while Thaao Penghlis may be off our screens for a time and then comes back again; though the years one thing has been true, he delivers top-notch performances in a way that is uniquely ‘Thaao’.

This year at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards to be broadcast on Friday night, June 26th at 8 p. m. EST, Thaao is vying for the Outstanding Lead Actor prize amongst a formidable group of other daytime favorites.  And this makes it two years in a row that Penghlis has received an Emmy nomination although this time in a different category.

As fans know, Penghlis takes the art of acting seriously, and expects other he works with to bring their A-game, just as he does time and time again; whether it be playing DAYS dashing Tony or the evil Andre or when he portrayed Victor Cassadine on General Hospital.

Michael Fairman TV spoke to Thaao to get his thoughts on: receiving the Emmy recognition and what it means to him what he thought about his nominated scenes, plus what he might be doing at home during the ceremony, and where he hopes Tony DiMera’s future is headed.   Here’s what Thaao shared.

Photo: JPI

Tell me about what scenes you submitted that landed you a Lead Actor Emmy nod!

THAAO:  Well, the week I came back to DAYS, I had 11 shows, and this material was from one show of three I did one day!  When you think of other actors doing 150 shows, and I did less than 50 this past year, my choice is kind of limited.  So, when I came across these particular scenes, which were with Eric Martsolf (Brady) and with Arianne Zucker (Nicole), what I liked about it is that usually when you see other peoples’ work, its histrionic, it’s great tears, it’s drama – and what I was able to put together had a through line and an arc from beginning to end.  It makes it very logical when somebody is following your story, and you can show a whole ebb that makes sense.  I had some lines that were really difficult to say, like, “Coming back from the dead is not easy.”  When I get lines like that, I throw it away, and because of that, it becomes humorous.  I have to say I work well with Arianne.  She was great.  I found in the past, when I have worked with some actors, they step on your lines.  I found the best way to stop that is I put my hand up, and I say, “Hey!” and everything goes silent.  They go into shock mode, and I say, “I haven’t finished,” and then I go on.  (Laughs)  So, when Kristen as Nicole starts to talk to Tony the way she does, and she says, “You’d better behave…” I thought, “This is a DiMera you are talking to,” so, I just snapped back at her.  I gave her a, “Hey!”  So, she shut up, froze, and I went on.

Photo: JPI

Would you say your reel was more comedic … or both funny and serious?

THAAO:  It is both.  There are subtleties to it.  There is a teacher I know in Australia, and she is very critical.  She said, “I want to see your work.”  I showed it to her, and she wrote back, “Oh my, God.  How did you make those transitions so readily?”  I went, “Oh.  How did I do it?”  I didn’t think of that.  I think it’s an old technique.  It’s called having to do 3 shows in one day, and you had better get your stuff right, and it’s about how do you make a scene work?  There is one director who I did a miniseries with who said to me, “Where did you get your training from?”  I said, “Daytime.”  He said, “My God.  You certainly know how to have a camera follow you,”   Well, the camera has to follow your movement.  So, when I finished a transition, I’d move to another spot, and the camera had to follow me.  So, what happened in the arc of this Emmy-nominated piece is that I took charge and controlled the scene so that it became a scene of lots of transitions. And of course, charm, I did all of what I thought Tony would be.  He is a DiMera.  I have one of those looks. I don’t know where it comes from, maybe it’s as I get older, but I’ve learned how to work the camera where I may slam something first to get your attention, and then the camera comes onto your face, and you’re going, “Oh, what the hell is he thinking?”  So, I can play the dark side quite readily, and yet in my real life, I’m not so bad. (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

You have Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Steve Burton (Jason, GH) also in your category, and these guys who are obviously been soap veterans like yourself.  What do you think about the group you have been nominated with? 

THAAO:  I never worked with Steve Burton, but hear good things.  I know Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan, GH).  He’s a lovely actor.  I have worked with Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R).  He’s a lovely actor.  He is well-trained.  So, it is nice to see that the nominees are all vets.

Right, they are all vets.  It seems like a good group to be with. 

THAAO:  I agree, and I love that the Daytime Emmys are coming back to television.  I think it is an upswing when they think of daytime dying.  I think whoever made this happen is taking on the responsibility of taking daytime back.  It is why people love novellas.  People love the story, they love to follow the characters, and we’ve got fantastic fans.  I mean, what would we do without them?  You can’t sustain the show without them, and you pay a price, you have to know how to entertain them because once they know who you are and what you’re about, they get bored.  So, you have to be ahead of your audience all of the time.  That’s what I have always tried to do with both characters that I’ve played on DAYS

Photo: JPI

They’re doing a virtual ceremony this year.  How do you think you would dress while watching the ceremony?

THAAO:  You don’t wear a tux in your house, do you? So, I’ve invited some people for a celebratory time.  Lauren Koslow (Kate, DAYS) and her husband Nick Schillace (head of make-up, DAYS) and Leann Hunley (Anna, DAYS) are some of my great friends who have been very supportive of me through some tough times this year, and I’ve got a friend who has got  a wonderful restaurant, and he is going to cater it.  Probably it will be a group of 10.  You know, could you imagine being here on your own, in a tuxedo, with a glass of champagne? (Laughs)

I know, kind of awkward! (Laughs)  You’ll put something nice on for the big night, right?

THAAO:  Yes, you know me.  I’m always dressed.  What would you suggest?  Sweatpants on the bottom and a tuxedo jacket!  How about that? (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Now, you have been previously nominated for Daytime Emmys, too!

THAAO:  Yes, and last year I was nominated as well for Outstanding Guest Performer.  So, it’s kind of nice to be back-to-back, and in 2008, I was nominated for Lead Actor when I played the clown in the Tony and Andre storyline.  Thank God, DAYS recently DAYS had James Reynolds (Abe) wining in the Lead Actor category.  I thought, “Wow.”  That was for years and years of good work that he’s done, and also, Greg Vaughan (Eric) wining for Supporting Actor was very nice, but we haven’t had that many wins in the acting categories over the years.

Photo: JPI

DAYS tapes so far ahead of air; that what was once a seemingly major concern has paid off swimmingly during the coronavirus pandemic.  The soap is the only show to have enough episodes in the bank for months ahead when production shut down and enough even when other shows go back into production.  Who would have thought?

THAAO:  We used to think it was ridiculous that DAYS taped eight months ahead, but look at us now! Who would have thought is right?

What would you love to see happen with Tony when DAYS does resume filming new episodes again? 

THAAO:  I’d like to go back and play the head of the DiMera family.  I’ve never been granted that, and I think, at this stage, with the way I worked with Joe Mascolo (Ex-Stefano) it would be nice to see the transition just like Michael Corleone did in Godfather.

So will you be rooting for Thaao to take home the gold as Lead Actor in a Drama Series come Emmy night?  Do you hope DAYS writes Tony into upcoming story, and if so, how would you like to see him on the canvas? 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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