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Guiding Light

THE KIM ZIMMER INTERVIEW – GUIDING LIGHT

kim_zimmer_main.jpg

Guiding Light has been cancelled, and will air its last CBS episode on September 18th.

This new interview with four-time Daytime Emmy winner Kim Zimmer was conducted less than 15 hours before the official announcement. Since then, Kim Zimmer has released a statement to the press stating: “This is it for our little family as we know it and love it, and I’m in mourning! It’s been a GREAT ride, though!”

But this week on upcoming episodes of Guiding Light, Reva is about to have some major complications to her already serious medical condition that could spell trouble with a capitol “T”. Kim and I chatted about the state of soaps…how she would like to see her run on Guiding Light end if she were to leave when her contract expires at the end of June, or if she were there for its network conclusion…plus, the Daytime Emmy ratings mess…and of course, her thoughts on her two leading men, Robert Newman and Bradley Cole.

I hate to think this is the last Kim Zimmer interview as Reva Shayne.  Enough said. Read on for Kim’s take on the many issues of the day in soap opera, and what’s ahead for one of soap’s most celebrated female heroines.

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

Reva has finally given birth on air! So, was it a relief to finally get rid of the padding?

reva_baby.jpgKIM:

I loved having the baby bump because it’s been 19 years since I had my last kid. It was really fun to put the pad on and have someplace to rest your arms. All those things you do when you are really pregnant come back to you. Like, I use to rub my belly all the time, and when I watch the show I would find Reva doing the same thing. I would feel for kicks, and it’s just bizarre! (She laughs)

MICHAEL:

It has been a tough road for Reva while carrying the baby. At one point, didn’t one of her doctors tell her she would have to abort the baby?

KIM:

Reva had another doctor say that they have to abort the baby because they have to treat this leukemia with extreme measures and radiation. She said, “No. I will just wait till I have this baby until I have any treatments.” Her feeling is that this has been a miracle baby for her and Jeffrey because neither one of them was there for their children’s lives. So, she wants to have this baby and see it through its first couple of months. She truly believes she can kick this cancer’s butt, as well. She names the baby Colin, after her first oncologist who saved her life.

MICHAEL:

So, baby Colin goes home but Reva doesn’t… and that is so sad!

KIM:

They tell me they have to start the treatments immediately because I cannot be exposed to the baby, because the baby has not been immunized. They don’t want to take any chances of having any allergy or infection that the baby might pass on to me. Originally, I thought they were afraid the baby would get sick from my cancer, but that wasn’t the case. The thing was, they did not want Reva to catch anything from the baby.

MICHAEL:

Is Reva in peril here?

reva_chemo.jpgKIM:

They start the chemo and the radiation in extreme levels, and something dramatic happens that results in Reva taking a turn for the worse in a matter of days after she had the baby. It’s like a day! Something happens that forces Reva to take drastic measures that literally make the situation with her cancer dire. She gets an infection and has to be in a sterile room again, like before with her breast cancer, when they were stripping her of all of her immunities. Now, she is in a sterile room. So, she really can’t see the baby, but Jeffrey brings in this webcam so she can watch the baby at home, and it’s really sweet.

MICHAEL:

Oh, my God! Are we are going to need hankies?

KIM:

Can you imagine Reva being separated from one of her kids?

MICHAEL:

No! I am already crying.

KIM:

It’s not an easy moment, but Jeffrey is very good at bringing the baby to the window so that Reva can see the baby.

MICHAEL:

Where is Josh in all this?

josh_bad.jpgKIM:

Josh is lurking, but Josh is involved in this situation that results in Reva taking a turn for the worse, as well. He kind of does something close to heroic and stupid all at the same time. I cannot tell you what it is because I am really trying to keep it as a surprise. There are so few surprises in daytime anymore.

MICHAEL:

How do you really feel about the state of daytime now from when you started? It certainly has hit a new low like we have never seen.

KIM:

I think it’s obvious, and everyone is well aware of the fact, it ain’t the same! The production values have had to be reduced, and they don’t have the money to spend on these shows anymore. They don’t do the elaborate location shoots anymore. I can really only talk about our show, and that the stories have had to change to accommodate the way we shoot our show now. You can’t do those fabulous cloning stories or walking through the portrait stories anymore, because we are targeting a more realistic show. Even with all those bizarre storylines we used to do on Guiding Light, we had such damn good actors on the show, and we made those ridiculous storylines work.

MICHAEL:

There are some heavy hitters in this cast. I don’t know if it would have worked this long without the caliber of cast that your show has.

KIM:

We have had such success with our casting directors over the years. Since 1983, I can count on one hand the “clunkers” they may have hired. I am talking about day players and contract players. And they weren’t really “clunkers”. They were just not the caliber of our ensemble cast and did not fit into our ensemble, which is why they did not last.

MICHAEL:

Do you think at the end of the end, when you wrap up Reva, she should end up with Josh?

reva_jeff_happy.jpgKIM:

This is a touchy thing. I am so lucky to have the Reva/Jeffrey fans that are just as powerful as the Reva/Josh fans. I think the show has succeeded in making both couplings worthy of the attention in both regards. Reva and Jeffrey are a more adult relationship and deal with each other on a different level than Reva and Josh. Reva knew she could get Josh to do whatever she wanted by enticing him into bed, or sexually, or with her sense of humor, and Josh was a sucker for that. I think something awful would have to happen for Reva and Josh to be thrown back into a married relationship.

MICHAEL:

Or, maybe a tease or nod to the fans, that they would be together at the very end. You know we touched upon this in
Orlando, but I have been getting a lot of
emails saying, “We do not get to see Kim
as much anymore!” What can we say to
those fans as to why we don’t get to see
you as much anymore? You are the star
of the show!

KIM:

I don’t know. I mean, do you think it’s because Reva and Josh aren’t together? If I truly thought we could get another four million fans back to the show if they put Reva and Josh back together, I would be begging them for that. I think we could maybe tap into a fan base that left the show. I know there are a lot of Josh and Reva fans out there, and I am a Josh and Reva fan. I have loved Reva and Jeffrey as well, only because it was a different thing for me to play, and for Bradley to play, and for Robert to play. I don’t want to say, “Yes, I want to see Josh and Reva back together.” I would never do that to Bradley, because I have really enjoyed working with him as much as I have enjoyed working with Robert. I am just one damn lucky woman to have two strong leading men that I love dearly, both of them.

MICHAEL:

Is the question then about budget as to why you are not on as much?

jeff_reva_hospital.jpgKIM:

In all honesty, I wish I could say it was the budget. I think we have talked about this before. There are ways to make this work so that you can develop a story where Josh and Reva or Reva and Jeffrey were on three or four days a week by scheduling better, or by rethinking the way they tell story. I kiddingly refer to it as the Tony Geary contract, and of course, that hit the websites last week. There is truth to that though, and there are ways to have me on for three weeks, and not have me on for a month or two, but at least you could tell a deep involved story but with seeing characters more often. I mean, in three weeks I was on three times. I have seen myself on the air shows twice, and that’s why this past week I am on five days a week.

MICHAEL:

Which we love!

KIM:

And I love it, too!

MICHAEL:

If you were playing the last beat of Reva’s story, since your contract is up in June before Guiding Light’s final air show in September, will you be sad?

KIM:

I would be sad, only because it’s not the way I want to see this character go away with the way this has been. The Reva character has been a vital force in daytime television since 1983, and it’s not a character I want to see piddle itself away. I think the character deserves better than that. I love being a grandmother, and it’s not the Eileen Fulton thing where I won’t be a grandmother. I love being a grandmother and a mother, but that’s not all Reva is to be on this show.

MICHAEL:

Where are your four Daytime Emmys?

KIM:

They are on top of a wardrobe in my living room.

MICHAEL:

So when you pass those, do you pinch yourself and go, “How cool?”

robert_newman.jpgKIM:

Oh, yeah, and each one of them represents a portion of Reva’s life that I am extremely proud of. I never thought I would win an Emmy with that menopause story, but damn it, I did not win it, we won it! To this day, I feel that Robert Newman is the best leading man any woman could ever dream of having, because every woman he has ever worked with has been nominated for an Emmy award. And Robert’s never won, and it’s time!

MICHAEL:

What do you think of the whole Daytime Emmy debacle this year?

KIM:

I have said for the last five years, that I would love to see the Daytime Emmys go back to when it was an industry people event, and we all went back to the Waldorf Astoria or the New York Sheraton, and sat at round tables. It used to be like the People’s Choice Awards or the Golden Globes, and it aired in daytime, where it should air. The show was under produced, and it was a celebration of what we do everyday instead of an over produced nighttime television show. I remember one year, I was shocked when they had presenters who were all daytime people, yes, but were all on nighttime shows. It was terrible!

MICHAEL:

I hated that. It’s not what the fans want to see. There is a disconnect with what the networks think the fans want to see. The Daytime Emmys could pull in better ratings, I feel, if they would just give the fans some stars from the soaps they may want to see be the presenters.

KIM:

Which is my point. They should have stayed in daytime and never moved the awards to nighttime.

kim_jeff.jpgMICHAEL:

Jeff Branson has been so wonderful as your on-screen son Shayne. I thought, “What great casting that was after all those many recasts!”

KIM:

Yeah, they finally got that right! Oh, my God, I know.

MICHAEL:

So here you are in scenes with him. When did the light go on for you, “This is finally
working this time?”

KIM:

Ikim_zimmer_redpretty.jpg knew his work from All My Children and I tune into all the shows when I can. I thought he was a terrific actor. I was excited to hear his name was in the running. It came down to Jeff and the other kids’ work from All My Children who I knew also, Colin Egglesfield, who I liked a lot, but did not think he was right for Shayne. But, when it was down to Jeff and Colin, I thought, ”I hope they go with Jeff because he looked like Robert. He looks like a grown up version of my real-life son, Jake, and not to mention he is a fun, good, solid actor and that fits well into our ensemble of actors on our show.”

MICHAEL:

Did you do any research for any part of the cancer storyline and all that they heaped upon Reva… leukemia, pregnancy, breast cancer, etc? I think you told me you made it Reva’s journey.

KIM:

I did. I think the first time I read, when I went through the breast cancer storyline the first time, I read “Cancer for Dummies” and “Coping with Cancer for Dummies”. They are those yellow books, and they have them for every subject possible. It was a layman’s book, and kind of the ABC’s of cancer. That was very helpful for me as an actress because it didn’t give me specifics. It gave me guidelines, and I did more talking to people who I knew who had gone through breast cancer. I had them tell me what their experiences were, and they were all completely different. So, I just made it Reva’s journey, whether it was right or wrong, and I did not want it to come from a book.

Guiding Light

Guiding Light’s Robert Newman Pays Tribute to the Brilliance of Lisa Brown

On Sunday, longtime Guiding Light mainstay, Robert Newman (Ex-Josh Lewis), shared a heartfelt message on his Facebook page on the death of his former co-star, Lisa Brown (Ex-Nola Reardon).

As previously reported, Brown passed away earlier this week at the age of 67 from cancer. She portrayed the beloved role of Nola on the CBS soap opera from 1980-1985 and was front and center in many stories which featured Nola’s antics, fantasies, and of course, her love affair with Quint, the late Michael Tylo.

In his message on Brown’s death, Robert Newman expressed: “I was greatly saddened to hear of the sudden death of the great Lisa Brown. When I first joined the show in 1981, Lisa was pretty much the center of everything. A real whirlwind. Her work with the late Michael Tylo was fantastic. I particularly have fond memories of Nola’s fantasies …Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, etc. I don’t think I was ever a part of those fantasies, but I remember watching them being taped in the studio and she was just amazing.”

Newman goes on to say: “One of my fondest Lisa memories, however, was sitting in the audience at the Winter Garden Theater in NYC watching Lisa head up the cast of 42nd Street with Lee Roy Reams in 1981 or so. It was one of those times when you see a colleague that you know from one genre, Daytime Drama, in an entirely different genre, Musical Comedy, and you are completely surprised and blown away. Again, she was just fantastic in the role and I as a fellow musical comedy performer, I had great, great respect for her. Below is a clip from a television performance of her as Peggy in 42nd Street. Her death at such a young age is a great loss to the daytime community. Love and prayers to her family and friends.”

Michael Fairman TV also shares below the video posted by Robert below, which reminds us of just how multi-talented Lisa was for her fans, the audience, and to all that knew her. On a personal note: “Lisa always performed at the ‘Night of the Daytime Stars’ benefit for AMFAR in New York City during the AIDS pandemic that I created and produced.  It was the annual event held the night before the Daytime Emmys, and she was always willing to lend her support and talents to help others in need.”

Share your thoughts on Robert Newman’s remembrance of Lisa Brown via the comment section.

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As The World Turns

As the World Turns and Guiding Light Favorite, Lisa Brown, Passes Away at 67

(UPDATED) In just more heartbreaking news in the soap world in 2021, we have lost another beloved performer.  Lisa Brown, who was so noteworthy for her spunky and emotional turns as Guiding Light’s Nola Reardon from 1980-1985, and later as Iva Snyder on As the World Turns from 1986-1994, has died.

Brown passed away this week on November 24th at the age of 67 following a brief illness.  The news came via the As the World Turns Facebook Fan Group and Soap Opera Digest.

This comes just two months later following the death of her former on-screen love interest Michael Tylo (Ex-Quinton, Guiding Light), who passed away in late September.

Those that followed Lisa’s career know she also starred in the Broadway Musical 42nd Street, while still playing Nola each and every day on Guiding Light.

She is survived by her children: James “Buddy” Nielsen, and daughter Victoria from her first husband Tom Nielsen (Ex-Floyd, GL) in addition to her two grandchildren, Penelope Ruiz-Nielsen and Brayden Hopf, and her second husband Brian Neary.

 

Photo: JPI

Brown’s on-screen ATWT daughter, Martha Byrne  (Ex-Lily) simply tweeted, “My heart is broken.”

On Friday, Lisa’s son, Buddy Nielsen, posted a touching tribute to his mother, where he revealed that she passed away due to cancer.

Buddy shared: “My Mom passed away the day before Thanksgiving after a very quick battle with cancer. This all happened really fast and wasn’t expecting it. I’ve been MIA as I’ve been back and forth between LA and NJ as she has been in and out of the hospital the last couple weeks. This dream we live, we are all subject to the suffering, aging and death. It’s not to be morose but to understand that we have finite time and must take care with what we do and how we do it. To be able to be with someone at their last breath is truly beautiful. We must not fear death as without it we would never be born and experience the 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows. Our existence is both small and vast all at the same time. We are tiny but immense. I know she is here but no longer in her physical form, what we do in love we leave in death. My beautiful daughter and unborn son are her legacy.”

Share your condolences to Lisa’s family, and let us know of your remembrances of this wonderful actress who gave us so many memorable moments throughout her career via the comment section below. But first, watch Lisa in some of her classic scenes from ATWT and GL.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Buddy Nielsen (@budthechud)

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Cynthia Watros Sits Down with Maurice Benard on ‘State of Mind’

Om his latest episode of his You Tube series, State of Mind, General Hospital’s Maurice Benard (Sonny Cortinhos) welcomes his co-star Cynthia Watros (Nina Reeves) for a highly-anticipated conversation and episode.

GH fans have watched for months on-air as Nina and an amnesiac Sonny aka “Mike” fell for each other, while everyone in Port Charles thought Sonny was dead, and Nina kept that secret in her vendetta against Carly.

Now, the two powerhouse performers have an intimate chat about Watros’ career highlights, raising twins, and working with each other in their often controversial storyline.

Daytime audiences first saw Watros as Annie Dutton on Guiding Light in which she won a Lead Actress Daytime Emmy – a performance which Benard recalls seeing with Cynthia acting up a storm in scenes on a courtroom witness stand that blew him away.

On her start on soaps, Cynthia shared that: “Soaps are amazing,” because not only do they help you make decisions really quickly, but that as an actor, it also taught her about lighting and finding her mark.

Cynthia related that she had made the heart-wrenching decision to leave New York and the role of GL’s Annie Dutton, because she wanted to go to L.A to work, which eventually landed her the role in the second season of ABC’s hit drama, Lost.

Throughout this State of Mind, Maurice and Cynthia touch on themes of depression, anxiety, and for Watros, raising her two teenaged girls, during this Covid-19 world we have all been living though.

When it came time to discuss working together on GH, Benard expressed that Cynthia has been a “a gem” to work with, after he had initial reservations about the storyline GH was set to tell.

In return, Watros shared that she has loved the storyline adding: “I love the complexity of it and how it’s not neat and clean since that’s how we are as people, we all make mistakes, and we are not all perfect.” And in working in scenes with Maurice, Cynthia expressed that he is “a rock’ who grounds everyone he works with.

Watch the entire conversation between Maurice and Cynthia on the latest State of Mind below. 

Then, let us know if you enjoyed the chat between the two, and if you are rooting for more Nina and Sonny, or are you still Team Carson via the comment section.

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