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THE MICHAEL FAIRMAN INTERVIEW – THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

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Many “On-Air On-Soaps” fans have emailed me and written to me, asking, “When I am going to do an interview with Michael Fairman, who plays Katherine’s new beau Murphy, on “The Young and the Restless”? Also, many fans have asked me, “Are you related to “Y&R’s” Michael Fairman?” Well, in an interview that has been almost 40 years in the making, the two ‘soap opera’ Michael Fairman’s finally meet up face to face in this very profound interview. There is more to this story and our connection than meets the eye. Read the transcript below for all the details and what’s coming up on “Y&R” and more! Without further adieu, Fairman interviews Fairman!

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

So you and I share a very interesting past and connection. You changed your last name to Fairman, and actually called my parents when I was growing up to ask permission.
Tell me in your own words what happened?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I became Michael Fairman officially in Milwaukee, Wisconsin around 1967. I looked through the phone book and wanted to find a “Fairman” to see if it was alright to use the name. I happened to call Michael Fairman’s dad. I said, “Mr. Fairman you are not going to believe this conversation, but my name is ‘so and so’, and I would like to change my name to Michael Fairman, and I would like your permission to be a Fairman.” Well, I guess it turned out he had a son named Michael Fairman.

MICHAEL:

It was interesting. I was 9-years-old at the time. I was sitting at the dinner table with my parents and the phone rang. I knew this man called and asked my dad if he could change his name to Fairman. My dad goes, “Sure!” Little did he realize I was going to go into show business on my own, let alone end up in soap operas! And now, every time people would see your name on a soap or episodic shows, they would ask me if I was on that particular show, and I would say, “No.”

fairman-fairman.jpgY&R FAIRMAN:

…And the real Michael Fairman went into show business, and he can’t use his name now after all these years! I feel bad. How am I going to make retribution?

MICHAEL:

You have done soaps such as “Ryan’s Hope” and “General Hospital” and now “Y&R”. Let’s start with “Ryan’s Hope”. How did that come about?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I was on a soap opera called “Love of Life” where I played the power behind the Mayor. He was a nefarious guy. Paul Mayer and Claire Labine wrote that soap opera. When they were doing that soap opera they were creating a new soap called “Ryan’s Hope”. One day Claire called me in her office and said, “How would you like to be on a new soap with a new character called, “Nick Szabo”? He was Hungarian Mafioso, and Julie Barr (Ex- Brooke, “AMC” and Ex- Reenie, “RH”) was my daughter. The whole concept of my character was that he would be in continual conflict with the Ryan’s, especially Frank Ryan. I would be his nemesis, and then Julia Barr, as my daughter, would have my character, Nick, wrapped around her finger.

MICHAEL:

How was working with Daytime Emmy winner Julia Barr?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Julia was wonderful. It was a very interesting concept for soaps at the time. The Ryan’s were working-class people and they had a bar in Manhattan. Then, they had the Mafioso story, which was me, and then there were the doctors, and the newspaperman, Jack Fenelli. So it was real people, not the pretty boys and girls that they have usually on soaps.

NickSzabo.jpgMICHAEL:

What happened to Nick?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

He went away to Las Vegas, never to return after the first year. I was going to be a staple on the show, but an executive took over ABC Daytime and decided he did not want a Mafioso storyline, so I was let go.

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MICHAEL:

Interesting, since now there is Mafioso galore over at “GH”! Now onto “Y&R,” and your audition with thee Jeanne Cooper (Katherine): How did it come about?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I was asked, “Do you want to audition for a soap?” I said, “Why not?” And I looked Jeannie up on IMDB on the website. I had never seen her on “Y&R”, sorry to say, and she had just won an Emmy! I knew she was Corbin Bernsen’s mom. I had worked with him several times on LA LAW, so I decided to audition. When I got there Jeanne was so warm and accommodating, and so accessible. This was beyond. We were at the edge of the table, and on the three other sides of the table were the executives and the casting directors, and we just had a ball. My agent had said, “There has to be chemistry.” So we made chemistry. I did not hear anything for a couple days, and I got a call saying the chemistry was great, and that they liked me. When I came into work the first day, they all said kind things, and it worked out. As I work with Jeanne, she continually tells me how good we get along. It’s like a match made in heaven.

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MICHAEL:

You knew Michelle Stafford (Phyllis), though, and got the low down on Jeanne from her, right?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I talked to Michelle Stafford and she said, “Oh, you are going to love working with Jeanne Cooper.” Michelle Stafford and I go back to before she got “Y&R”. We were in acting class together. Michelle is a dynamite actress. We all thought she would do really well in feature films, but she has done very well in soaps, which she loves. She told me everyone loves working with Jeanne.

MICHAEL:

So, what do you think is at the core of Murphy, on “Y&R”?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

What was in the script is: he was married and his wife died, and he was kind of lonely. So he would go down to the diner and visit Marge, Pearl, and Joe Jr. He is a low maintenance guy who eeks out a living by running a bait and tackle shop. He lives in his trailer. He lets life go by day-by-day, enjoying it and enjoying fishing, and he’s not really very ambitious. Murphy is enjoying his golden years, and once he meets Marge, or who he thinks is Marge, he becomes very protective, and his purpose becomes more active. Life takes on another dimension for him with Marge. Then when Marge turns into Katherine, he finds qualities in Katherine that are attractive to him in a different way. There is a scene where he says, “You could shoot the breeze with Marge, but you could really talk to Katherine.” Katherine is a much more dimensional person than Marge. He liked Marge to pal around with, but I think he could have a real relationship with Katherine.

another-michael.jpgMICHAEL:

Does Murphy feel she is unattainable or does she intimidate him, since Katherine is, after all, “The Duchess”?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Murphy is not intimated by it. But he doesn’t really feel he can fit in. I am a little reluctant to think that I could fit in, although I still care about her. But, as far as taken into her life, I don’t think realistically, he could fit in, and I think it would be awkward for him.

MICHAEL:

Are we finally going to have some DNA testing?!

Y&R FAIRMAN:

She is going to have the DNA. Her  memory has been coming back in bits and pieces, and I believe she is Katherine. Now we have the ring that she pawned, and the pawnbroker has figured out it was Katherine who turned over the ring, and that’s a big plus.

MICHAEL:

How did Murphy feel about Marge?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

He already determined Marge was dead, and it was sad for him. The fact that here is Katherine, sort of mitigates that.

MICHAEL:

Will we soon find out about the DNA results?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

The DNA test results will come soon and she will know she is Katherine. We are already playing a scene where I know she has to go back to Genoa City. It’s kind of bittersweet. She says I can fit in, and I say, “Probably not.” Things will happen that will put things off for a while, in terms of their separation.

MICHAEL:

They will be separated?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

They will and they won’t.

cooperjoes.jpgMICHAEL:

Tell me about working with Jeanne?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

She is very improvisational. In fact, she will be talking to me and I don’t know she is doing the script. It’s such a reality in terms of the character, and we are able to improvise. It’s just that circumstance where two actors are so comfortable with each other and their characters can say or do most anything and it works. In a short time we have reached a level of comfortableness. And she has said, and I have said to her a number of times, “God, I really love working with you.” (and she goes) “And I really love working with you,” and we do. We enjoy it, and we high five each other after every scene. We are the fastest in our scenes of anyone on the set, and we get through our scenes in record time.

MICHAEL:

What about your idea to do a play with Jeanne?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

There is a possibility of doing a play. I had an idea since we play cards on the show, why don’t we look at the play, “The Gin Game”. It won the Pulitzer Prize in the late 70’s. Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke, Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn, and Charles Durning and Julie Harris performed it. So I approached the idea to Jeanne and she wanted to read it. So this week I am bringing the play for her to read, and if she can make the time, maybe we could do it ourselves.

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MICHAEL:

If you were writing the show, what would you love to see happen in the Murphy/Katherine storyline?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Since I am her protector and care about her, and probably even in love with her, it would be great if she then says, “Why don’t you come to Genoa City and take part in my business? I will give you a job or I will give you a position.” Murphy could then be her eyes and ears, and he agrees to do that. Everyone else thinks he is after her money. They all get kind of nasty with him and they try to prove she is insane for trying to do that. So now he has to protect her.

MICHAEL:

So he would kill for her?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Well, he’s already said that.

MICHAEL:

He knows he is in love with her?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I have a line where he says, “I am really going to miss you.” He knows. He is not easily open with his emotions, but you know it’s there. I think if push came to shove, he would tell her in a certain circumstance.

MICHAEL:

What do you think Katherine feels for Murphy?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I think she cares about him very much. I think she is almost there on that. I don’t think a man has treated her the way Murphy has, or given her the kind of care that he has. From the first time when he thought she was Marge, and now as Katherine, it has just intensified. He does not care she is a billionaire; it has no affect on him. It’s about the person for him, and I hope it stays that way.

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MICHAEL:

What are some scenes or moments you have loved thus far, that you did on “Y&R”?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

There was one time when Katherine went to the mansion, and she recognized the picture of (Victor) Newman and her daughter, and at that moment Murphy realized she was Katherine and that Marge was dead. That was kind of a rich scene for both of us. Because I was equally affected by Marge’s death, and now here is someone I was assuming was Marge is now someone totally different. Another one was on Christmas Eve. The carolers came and they gave me a sprig of mistletoe. She said, “Are you going to stand there or are you going to hang it up?” I go, “Ok. I will hang it up.” Then she went under it and I kissed her. That was the first kiss. I have kissed her subsequently.

MICHAEL:

Is she a good kisser?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Well, it’s not intense yet. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

Do you watch your performances back after you have taped them?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I prefer not to for this reason: I have in my mind what I have done, and how it actually played out. If I need critique, I have people who will critique for me. But for myself, I don’t like to watch it in order to correct it. I feel so good about doing this, that I don’t want to see things that destroy that. I don’t want that. I have such a great time that doing that would affect me. The feedback I am getting on the show from executive producer, Paul Rauch, and supervising producer, Anthony Morina, and from Jeanne Cooper, is all complimentary. Since it’s an ongoing role, I don’t like that to interfere with my process for the role.

MICHAEL:

Now on “GH” you played another bad guy! Who did you work with the most over in Port Charles?

Y&R FAIRMAN

I worked mostly with Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Vanessa Marcil (Ex-Brenda). They are both great and terrific actors. I was Sonny’s mentor and a bad guy, and he killed me. I was Jewish mafia this time. I was named Harry Singer.

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WithSlezak-2.jpgMICHAEL:

I was with Erika Slezak at ABC Super Soap weekend this past November, and she asked me if I was related to the Michael Fairman that was in the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre with her. I of course, said, “No, that’s the other Michael Fairman”. How was working with Erika?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Erika and I met in Milwaukee in 1965, and we were part of that company for four seasons. She and I were leading actors of the Milwaukee Repertory. Erika was wonderful! We did plays like, “Hedda Gabbler” and “Skin of our Teeth”. She left and went back to New York and eventually, “One Life to Live”.

MICHAEL:

OK, now let’s do a few comparisons. Born?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Bronx, 1934

MICHAEL:

Milwaukee 1961… Favorite color?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Blue…

MICHAEL:

…Blue… Zodiac sign?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Pisces

MICHAEL:

Capricorn… Hobbies?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Photography, working out…

MICHAEL:

…. Working out and music. Married?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Married and have a child from this marriage who is 14, and a son who is in New York who is 42.

MICHAEL:

I am single, single and single with no children, maybe a dog soon…Favorite actor?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Marlon Brandon, and I love Spencer Tracy!

MICHAEL:

Robert DeNiro… Favorite Actress?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Cate Blanchett..

MICHAEL:

Current crop of actors: who do you enjoy?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I loved Johnny Depp in “Finding Neverland”. It was amazing, as are many things he has done…”Edward Scissorhands” and “Gilbert Grape”. I like European actors, too, like Christian Bale and Clive Owen, who is also just super.

HillStreetb.jpgMICHAEL:

When you were on the nighttime hit series, “Hill Street Blues”, that’s when I got a lot of phone calls asking me if I was on the show!

Y&R FAIRMAN:

I had a run on there. I played an interesting character: this smarmy councilman who was this nasty guy who put the screws to Captain Furillo. He abused his power, and one night when he was drunk he killed someone, and that was the end of him. Throughout my career, I have played hard, tough, no-nonsense guys. On, “Cagney and Lacey”, I was inspector of police and they used to call me, “The pig”!

MICHAEL:

Does that come easy?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

Yeah. (He laughs) Nasty is fun… the nastier the better. A character who is bad does not think he is bad. The less you play bad, the less you are. But I like Murphy on “Y&R”. He is tough, compassionate, and not a pushover. He was tough on Marge.

MICHAEL:

Did you always know you wanted to go into acting?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

No. Entertainment was the furthest thing from my mind. It was not until I was in the Air Force that I was interested in acting. I was over in Japan, and someone talked me into being in a theater group, but not as an actor. I wanted to get involved because I had a lot of time on my hands. I liked carpentry and I would build scenery for them on the Air Force base just outside of Tokyo. They talked me into being in a play. I was in three or four plays. I loved being on the stage, and loved what happened after getting all the accolades, and the work was fun for me. I got out of the Air Force, and at that point I went back to NYU. I did not find that was very helpful for me. So I studied with Lee Strasburg, and I did not find that helpful. Then, I studied with Uta Hagen, which was helpful. Then, I went to do Shakespeare in Oregon. I did Shakespeare for four seasons, and became adept at classical plays. Then in 1961, I continued to study with Uta Hagen and then worked professionally. I was not finding a whole lot of work in New York, so my wife, who was an actress at that time, and I both got accepted at the Milwaukee Rep.

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MICHAEL:

So, is that when you decided to change your name?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

It was a little bit before that, because my name was being misspelled in a derogatory way, and it was an ethnic sounding name. So I thought it would be limiting for me. I wanted to keep the MF initials so I found Michael Fairman and I thought it sounded nice. My name was ‘Fuchs’ and my first name was Milton. I used to get kidded as a child because Milton Berle was big at the time and he was known as “Uncle Milty”, and I was called that and I did not like either name. So I changed it to Michael Fuchs. When I started working in Oregon, they would misspell my name in the programs. So I said, “Enough of this”. So when I got to Milwaukee, I legally changed it to Michael Fairman. Milton Fuchs no longer exists.

fairman-headshot.jpgMICHAEL:

Well, I think Michael Fairman sounds ethnic, and I have lived it with since I was born! (He laughs)…In closing Mr. Fairman, if we were to tease fans of “Y&R”, what can we say is on the horizon for Murphy and Katherine?

Y&R FAIRMAN:

A complication of the plot! Here is what I can say: all may seem well with Katherine, and she may be going on the path towards Genoa City and her life. All may seem light and happy, and she is going back to renew her relationships with her old life… but that might not be… and look for Murphy on a white horse.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Susan Seaforth Hayes Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination For Julie and Doug’s Emotional Storyline

When you think Days of our Lives, what would it be without the legendary Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie) and her real-life and on-screen husband, Bill Hayes (Doug Williams)?

This past Emmy season, the beloved duo got a chance to shine, when they were put through a ‘heartbreaking’ predicament – Julie’s heart gives out, she is in need of a transplant, and things take a turn for the worse.

What would life be like for Doug without his Julie? How would she say goodbye to him? Fans clearly felt the sentiments overflowing from this real-life duo capturing the essence of their characters in such a raw and realistic way. So much so, that Susan landed a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actress category for her work.

Already a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient along with her husband, Bill back in 2018, will Susan finally get an award for her acting for her decades of beautiful work on the long-running NBC soap opera? Fans will need to tune-in to CBS on Friday, June 26th to find out with the virtual presentation of the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  But for now, here is our conversation with Susan.

Photo: NATAS

Congratulations on your Supporting Actress nomination.  You have been racking up a lot of these recently, having been nominated in the same category two years ago, and also receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award along with your husband, Bill Hayes at the 45th annual Daytime Emmys in 2018.

SUSAN:  It’s really nice to be nominated, because I’ve had a few gap years.  I’ve had, what? 25 gap years between the recent nominations.

What scenes did you ultimately chose that landed you the nomination?

SUSAN:  I submitted when Julie dies.  I submitted the farewell montage scenes with Bill Hayes, and they were very moving to us… and we’ll see.  I did not submit anything snappy, or bitchy, or hysterical.  I’ve lost against hysterical every time.  Comedy has never worked.  So, I am going to try the heart and soul of soup opera: not bitchiness, but loss.

Photo: JPI

Can I ask how you got through those scenes with Bill, because it was so touching?  I don’t know how you did it.

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SUSAN:  It was very difficult.  I mean, these are the things that make us so connected to the characters and the show.  This is a place where we can show the public what love means to us, which is everything.

They were beautiful scenes.  Do you remember when you did them, if you felt good about them at the time?

SUSAN:  No… no.  I didn’t know.  Everyone on the set seemed happy.  We are blessed to have feedback from out producers now, and they didn’t say, “I think you can do it better,” and, “Another take,” not that we would have anyway, because there is never time to do another take.

Photo: JPI

How did you find out that you were nominated? 

SUSAN:  One of the producers, Randy Dugan called me, or I wouldn’t have found out for a couple of days,

What are your thoughts on this being a virtual Daytime Emmys ceremony because of COVID-19?  We don’t know anything about will play out yet or what that will look like, but it is back on network TV.

SUSAN:  It’s going to be a wonderful surprise.

So, if they have the shot of the nominees, do you think you’d be dressed in comfortable clothes or more formal?

SUSAN:  Well, I’d certainly wear my best earrings if I were at home, yeah.  If my grandson can arrange us to get on the internet (we have a grandson living on our property, and he’s our live-in techy), we will get dressed up, and sit there, if that’s the way to do it.

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DAYS did very well receiving 22 overall nominations and a lot of your co-stars got nomination as well.

SUSAN:  Yes, an excellent year for nominations for our show.

How many times have you been nominated now? 

SUSAN:  This makes six.

Photo: IMDB

Would it mean a lot to you to get the award?

SUSAN:  The Lifetime Achievement meant a lot.  It wouldn’t be bad to win this year.  I’ll say that.  It would be sweet for the show, since I am now the oldest living cast member of the original family – the original, original.  I’m not the original Julie, but close enough.  So, I think that would be some validation for the longevity of this original storytelling.  People look at the show and say, “Are you part of the DiMera family or the Brady family?”  I say, “I’m part of the Horton family!”

What did your husband Bill say when he found out you were nominated?

SUSAN:  (Yells) Billy, what did you say when you found out I was nominated?

BILL:  Yay!!!

SUSAN:  That’s about right. (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What a guy!

SUSAN:  I know!  What a guy, what a guy, what a guy!

I was really happy to see your name among the other well-deserving nominees.

SUSAN:  I know you are because I know you care.  Who knows what will happen? It isn’t going to ruin our lives you know, one way or another.  But it was very nice to receive this acknowledgment from my peers.

So, are you glad Susan received a nomination for her work in her emotional storyline? Do you think she should finally receive the Emmy for her performances? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Chandler Massey Chats On His Bittersweet Daytime Emmy Nomination

He’s won three Daytime Emmys in the Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series three years in row in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and now Chandler Massey is going for gold for the second time in his career in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series which in a field where he is competing with two co-stars from Days of our Lives among others.

Massey has long been a stand out performer, giving nuanced and emotional portrayals in the angst-ridden life of Will Horton and the love of his life, Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith).

Back in February of this year, DAYS fans learned that Chandler and Freddie had taped their last episodes, and since the NBC soap tapes more than 6 months ahead of air, that the two will still be on the air into the fall.  That has made this moment of recognition for Massey all the more poignant.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Chandler to get his reaction to the news that he is once again a Daytime Emmy nominee, and here’s what he had to say about it all.

Photo: JPI

 

I thought it was great that you received another Emmy nomination.  What do you think?

CHANDLER:  Yeah.  I thought it was pretty great too, actually.   I was surprised.  I wasn’t keeping up on when they were announcing the nominations.   I was thrilled that Wally (Kurth) and Paul (Telfer) also got nominated too in the same category.  So, hopefully, DAYS, has a decent shot to take it home.

What did you end up submitting that ultimately landed you the nomination?

CHANDLER:  I went with some scenes that aired on December 16th of last year (I just looked that up), where Will basically breaks up with Sonny when Sonny comes to visit him in prison.  I liked those because they were sort of subtle.  I just found myself drawn in when I watched it, and it wasn’t big or dramatic, but it felt like two real people sharing their pain.  So, that’s why I chose it.

Photo: JPI

I remember those.  Those were heartbreaking because he had to get Sonny to let him go.

CHANDLER:  Yes.  He said he has a new prison boyfriend, and that he’s doing really well in prison, so he doesn’t want to be tied down. (Laughs)

You’ve had Freddie Smith as your scene partner for so much of your run on DAYS.  What did he give you in those scenes that helped you, or even further enabled the performance that you gave?

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CHANDLER:  Freddie always gives everything.  He is a consummate professional, so he really commits every time.  I think it is more that we are just so comfortable with each other that we are not afraid, and that there is no hesitation between the two of us, so we just are able to do the work.  We usually know we are there to listen to, and support each other. in the scenes.

Photo: NATAS

Was your entire submission from the prison scenes or did you include something else?

CHANDLER:  It was just that.  I know I could have included something else, but I like to keep it sort of short because I feel like as a judge, I know within a few minutes.  It’s not that I get bored, but it really only takes a scene or two, and then, you’re like, “this is something special.”  You can recognize it pretty quickly.

So, you have won three Daytime Emmys. This is your first nomination in a few years, right?

CHANDLER:  Yeah, I didn’t get nominated the year before.  I had a gap year… to my family’s great shame. (Laughs)  They were not pleased with me.

Photo: JPI

This is your second nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama Series category.

CHANDLER:  Yes. I was nominated in ‘Supporting’ for the first time when I came back to DAYS, and then submitted for “Lead” the next year, didn’t get nominated, and then went back to ‘Supporting’.  I learned my place.  I went back to ‘Supporting’ for this year.  (Laughs)

It’s such a game though, right?  .

CHANDLER:  Yeah, you’ve got to be smart.  I just thought, “What the heck?”  Freddie and I were like, “Maybe there’s a shot that if we pick different categories, we can both get nominated,” but then, after that didn’t work, I said, “Screw that… going back to ‘Supporting”

Now, you’ve been through Emmy night before, and this is obviously going to be a virtual Emmy’s.  Now, if they did a six-shot of all of the nominees, what would you wear?  Would you be dressed up?  Would you be casual?  What would you see yourself doing?

CHANDLER:  That’s a good question. I think maybe… I’ll do a little of both.  I’ll go the middle ground.  I’ll be in my finest bathrobe, a silk bathrobe so it’s casual but also still sort of fancy.

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There you go.  (Laughs)  Is this nomination all the more special for you in that you are no longer working at DAYS? 

CHANDLER:  Oh, totally.  Every year is special, but you know, I’m not on the show anymore, so it’s a nice reminder that the work that I did had an effect on people, and it won’t be forgotten for at least a few more hours.

Photo: JPI

I saw the fan outcry and show of support for you and Freddie, when viewers got wind that you were exiting the series.  It was sad and heartwarming at the same time.  The WilSon fans are so behind you guys.

CHANDLER:  Yeah, if only they knew what horrible people that we were in real life, then they wouldn’t be this way, but thankfully… (Laughs)  Yeah, it’s really nice, but it is sad.  I started in 2009, and that was over 10 years ago, and nothing lasts forever.  I had a really, really great run, and so did Freddie.  I am very satisfied and don’t feel jipped, or like, I was entitled to anything more than I got.

Courtesy/NBC

Obviously, your co-nominees, Wally and Paul you worked with many times.  What can you say about them?

CHANDLER:  I think that both men deserve definitely to get second and third place.  (Laughs)  I have known Wally for a while now.  I love him.  I think his work is phenomenal.  I think he is really, really underrated.  Paul, I don’t know as well, but I think obviously his work speaks for himself.  If only he were physically attractive, I think that would really, really help his career.

Photo: JPI

I know, it’s a shame.

CHANDLER:  Unfortunately, he is kind of schleppy, you know?  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Did Freddie reach out to you after you received the nomination?  

CHANDLER:  Oh yes, he sent a text congratulating me, and we talked about it.  It was nice.  I feel like our stories are so intertwined, the scenes we submit are mostly with each other.  So, it’s really kind of a shared accolade.

So, will you be rooting for Chandler to cap off his career on DAYS with an Emmy win on June 26th during the virtual ceremony on CBS? What did you think of the nominated scenes he submitted? Share your thoughts via the comment section 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.

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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.

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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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