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The Kim Zimmer Interview – Guiding Light Finale

Kim ZimmerAs the light fades this week on Guiding Light, I waited to post this interview with the most acclaimed actress in the shows 57-year television history, Kim Zimmer.  As Reva Shayne since 1983, Zimmer’s bravura performances have nabbed her four Daytime Emmys and a place in soap opera history as one of the most iconic, recognizable, and important actresses ever in the genre.

On-Air On-Soaps salutes the wonderful interview recently posted by Nelson Branco of TV Guide Canada, and all the coverage given to Kim around the web and in print over the last few weeks.
Just of note: a few quotes of this interview ran in my Soapside: Advocate column on September 4th but the rest was held back until now. I hope you enjoy Kim’s outspoken and honest comments, and will listen to the audio feature of our conversation held right after the Guiding Light Tribute rehearsal at the Daytime Emmys.

One final time, here is my last “GL” Kim Zimmer interview. I know there will be more features in our future, especially in lieu of the news that she is writing her memoirs about her time on Guiding Light.  But, you never know where Kim might pop up next.  Read below and find out her thoughts on this matter and getting closure in Springfield.

Listen to the audio:

[display_podcast]

MICHAEL:

So, what did you think being up there on the stage for the tribute during rehearsal?

KIM:

It was fun. We did this once before for our 50th Anniversary.  The curtain came up and then we were gone.

MICHAEL:

daytimeemmys1.jpgShuffled off to Buffalo?

KIM:

Exactly!  In a way it’s a
little embarrassing, but its fun being on that stage and seeing everyone in the audience.  It’s emotional
to see the faces of all these actors I have known for many years. I am sure there will be tears.  Everyone is looking at his or her future.  Who knows how many soaps we will have left at this time next year?

MICHAEL:

It’s sad!

KIM:

It’s very sad. I was talking to “OLTL’s” executive producer Frank Valentini on the airplane yesterday.  I did pitch him coming back to One Life to Live, where I played Echo. I said, “I won’t sign a contract, but I’ll work cheap if you work me five days a week!” (She laughs.) But I also said, “Who is in more trouble, you or All My Children?”  And Frank said, “Oh, we are not in trouble.  Our show has had better ratings than them for the last five years.”  I was like, “Ok, hang tough boy, hang tough.” (She laughs)

MICHAEL:

How did you feel when you wrapped your last “GL” episode?

KIM:

I had a moment of, Thank God its over, because it’s been hard.  I was never a fan of the new format and production module, and trying to generate story was tough.  Thank God for Olivia and Natalia!  It was the only love story we had on the show, because every one of the other characters on the show seemed to hate each other, and it was nasty.  I think that is one of the reasons that story was so well received by people in the Bible belt, and everyone across the board.  It was because it was a love story. We were thirsty for something like that.  It was nice to have Grant Aleksander (Phillip) back.  I am just sad that I am not going to get to work with my two grown on-screen sons!

double_photo5.jpgMICHAEL:

Because those two on-screen sons (Branson and Pelphrey) are exceptional actors, and finally they got it right. Damn it!

KIM:

I know, I know, and the dynamics between Tom and Jeff is so wonderful.
I was so hopeful we were going to get to play with that some more, and that makes me sad.  I really was looking forward to the day Josh and Reva would ride off into the sunset together, only to see Jeffrey come back from the other direction.  That would have been an interesting dynamic, too.

MICHAEL:

Did you feel disappointed in the end, on how it wrapped up for you as Reva?

KIM:

Well, I was sad that they never brought a Marah back.  I don’t know why that never happened and that kind of pissed me off.  They could never really figure out which one they wanted to bring back, because each one had a different job on the show.  You could bring Lindsey McKeon back, but you could not bring Kimberly J. Brown back, because she would not have worked with Bradley.  It’s just weird.
So, I think that is why they avoided the whole thing.  I think the fans will like the last episode.  I think 60 percent of my fans will be happy and I think 40 percent won’t be. (She laughs).

MICHAEL:

When you saw the end story, were you OK with it?

KIM:

I am very much OK with it.

MICHAEL:

But this whole experience had been like a long mourning process for the fans and the cast. There have been multiple parties and tributes and tons of press.  Will you be happy when it’s finally over and you can move on?

KIM:

I will be happy when September 18th is over and the last air show has been on, because we can’t really move on.  We were all laughing on the last day. Rob Bogue (Mallet) and I were laughing with our on-going scenario. “Has your phone rung? Because I taped my last scene. Have you gotten the call from “Y&R”?  They said they were going to call.”  So, we were all kind of waiting for phone calls thinking, “OK, we are done.  We are available.” (She laughs)

kim_crying1.jpgMICHAEL:

You are so recognizable and iconic as Reva.  Do you think the producers will be able to see the forest from the trees and let you play something else on the soaps?

KIM:

I think it would be very narrow-minded of the executive producers of the shows, if they were to say, “She can’t do anything else.” …Unless, like a “Y&R” or “B&B” brought Reva in, because Reva is not connected to anything really. I would love to play a new character, like a Sally Spectra on “B&B”.  That would be a gas, but I could never replace Darlene Conley. (Ex-Sally)

MICHAEL:

But you really want to play a new character!

KIM:

I said my dream would be to do the same character on all the shows in disguise.  I dye my hair, put contacts in, and always have a different accent on all the shows.  On the last one it would be revealed I was the same character on all those shows.  Three months here and there. You need a little activity on a storyline… bring her in.  Wouldn’t that be a gas?

MICHAEL:

That is pretty brilliant!

bradley_kim1.jpgKIM:

I know.  I have not pitched it to anybody… get busy!

MICHAEL:

If you were to, in a few years, sum up Reva Shayne what would you say? “Reva was…..?”

KIM:

Reva was love.  She loved like no one else.

MICHAEL:

Passionately!

KIM:

Yeah, that is what I would say.  I agree.

MICHAEL:

When you look back, how did being on Guiding Light impact you?

KIM:

Oh, well, the dignitaries I got to meet and the athletes and actors…. I am not saying that is what it was about.  I had three children while I was on the show.  I had a job that enabled me the opportunity to be there for their athletic events and take pictures of them for their proms.  I did not have to pack a suitcase to go somewhere else to film a movie.  It was the perfect job to have to raise a family.

MICHAEL:

What did you feel about many who say Kim Zimmer’s Reva was the focus of Guiding Light?

zimmer_newman_pretty.jpgKIM:

No, I don’t feel that way.  Maybe in the beginning, but in the last five years we have really become an ensemble, which was hard for me to swallow, but I think that is what made our show good.  I know the show focused a lot of story on my character, but I never felt like the lighthouse of Guiding Light, not me.
Other people made me feel that way,
but I never thought I was The Guiding Light. I think that is why our show was so successful.  We had the nicest place to work, because we were family and there was no backstage backstabbing.
If we had a problem with somebody we all said it to his or her face.  We would bring it up. You put your shit out on the table and you dealt with it!

MICHAEL:

You must look back and pinch yourself knowing you won four Emmys and were the most lauded actress in the history of “GL”.  Where are your much-deserved four Daytime Emmys sitting?

KIM:

It is wonderful!  My Emmys are sitting on top of a cabinet of my living room.  And, I have my Soap Opera Digest awards, and the ones that looked like Emmys and looked like a Globe.

MICHAEL:

jim_zimmer_main1.jpgThe Soap Opera Update Awards?

KIM:

Yes, and they are a mess!  Those were fun awards and everyone was so drunk at those events.  It wasn’t timed.  Those Soap Opera Update awards are so tarnished and so disgusting.  I look at those awards and they make me laugh. (She laughs)

MICHAEL:

I can’t believe next time I speak with you it won’t be for a Guiding Light interview!

KIM:

I know, it will be weird, but we will
always have plenty to talk about.
Trust me!

All My Children

All My Children and Guiding Light Vet, Gil Rogers Passes Away

Gil Rogers, who played one of the all-time most dastardly villains in soaps on All My Children and was the on-screen father to the one and only Reva Shayne (Kim Zimmer) on Guiding Light, has died at age 87.

News came via his daughter, Amanda Rogers on her Facebook page, relating that Gil passed away on March 2nd.

The actor had played Tad (Michael E. Knight) and Jenny’s (Kim Delaney) father, Ray Gardner on All My Children from 1977-1978 making multiple appearance though 2001, then later as Hawk Shayne on Guiding Light from 1985-1992 making multiple appearance through 2009.

Gil also appeared on Another World, Search for Tomorrow and The Doctors.

In her post, Amanda wrote: “Gil Rogers died this morning. As you all know, my dad was awesome. He was my best friend, confidant, mentor and just an awesome dad. He came to pick me and  Charlotte Whitaker Zdanowski up at clubs at 2AM in our teens to keep us safe, and drank bourbon with me every day since moving out here 2 years ago. He was welcoming and kind, funny and gregarious, a shameless flirt and a fierce protector. He loved his dinners with grandkids and endured animated movies and discussions about pokemon. And I miss him so terribly already. He died in his sleep, without pain or fear. I am so grateful to have had such a great father and to have spent these past 2 years with him every day.”

Check out this vintage scene below from All My Children where Ray played by Rogers blows up the Martin house.

Now share your remembrances of Gil’s performances and along with condolences for his family in the comment section.

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Guiding Light

Cicely Tyson Recalls Her Time On ‘Guiding Light’ & Her Mother’s Obsession With Soaps In Final Interview on ‘Live with Kelly & Ryan’

The world is mourning the loss of legendary actress Cicely Tyson who died on Thursday at the age of 96.   On Wednesday, Tyson had taped what would be the final interview of her life with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest for the morning show, Live with Kelly and Ryan.

Today on Friday, the show aired Tyson’s interview which was filled with so many moments made all the more poignant by her passing yesterday.

As soap fans know, Cicely was the first black actress to appear on the soaps, and on Guiding Light, back in 1966 in the role of Martha Frazier.  The character was married to Dr. Jim Frazier played first by Billy Dee Williams and then James Earl Jones.  Tyson’s role was eventually taken over by Ruby Dee.

 

During her interview with Kelly and Ryan, the hosts asked the Oscar-nominated actress and icon, best known for her roles in Sounder, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Roots, and A Trip to Bountiful about her time on Guiding Light.  Cicely revealed that her mother was a huge fan of Guiding Light and the daytime soaps, and was obsessed with the characters and what was going to happen next.  As it turns out, according to the interview, Tyson’s mother’s favorite role of her daughter was Martha on Guiding Light.

Watch the clip from the interview below.

Then, share your remembrances on the extraordinary work of Cicely Tyson via the comment section below.

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Guiding Light

Guiding Light Alum, Michelle Forbes, Lands Role In ABC Hit Drama, ‘Big Sky’

David E, Kelley’s new drama, Big Sky has been a captivating hit series for ABC in its freshmen offering.  Former One Life to Live star, Ryan Phillippe (Ex-Billy Douglas), who was one of the leads of the series, was seemingly killed-off early on and the show has had more shocking twists and turns in the crime thriller.

For those who don’t know, Big Sky, follows private detective Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) and ex-cop Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick) who join forces to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana. But when they discover that these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area, they must race against the clock to stop the killer before another woman is taken. After a winter break, Big Sky returned with new episodes this week.

Now, another soap alum has been added to the cast in the back-half of the first season.  Enter Michelle Forbes (Ex-Sonia/Solita, Guiding Light).  Michelle will take on the role of a mother named Margaret.

According to Deadline on Forbes’ Margaret: “She seems to be the picture-perfect ranch wife who knows her place, likes to bake and loves all of her children equally, but scratch the surface and there’s real steel beneath.”

So excited to see Michelle on Big Sky? Did you love her as Sonia/Solita on Guiding Light? Comment below.

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