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Y&R 45 INTERVIEW: Janice Lynde and Jaime Lyn Bauer Reflect On Portraying The Brooks Sisters, Their Storylines, On-Screen Loves, & The Ups and Downs Of Being Soap-Famous!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

When The Young and the Restless make its unforgettable debut on CBS back on March 26, 1973, daytime audiences would soon be deeply entrenched in the perils, the loves, and the betrayals of two sisters from the wealthy Brooks clan – Leslie and Lorie Brooks.  Played to perfection by Janice Lynde (Leslie) and Jaime Lyn Bauer (Lorie), “sibling rivalry” was given a whole new name.

Leslie was the talented concert pianist, who found it difficult to open up, while her sister Lorie was more out-going and ruthless, determined to never play second fiddle.  These two were seemingly always in love with the same men, and Lorie even drove her sister to a mental breakdown, making Y&R must-see drama.

As part of Y&R’s 45 year anniversary celebration, Lynde and Bauer were asked back to the series to reprise their signature soap roles.  Janice had left the soap in 1977, while Jaime had stayed with the show through 1982, with a few reprisals along the way in 1984 and 2002.  In this candid, touching, and often humorous chat, the two powerhouse actress talk about what it was like being front and center on a new soap opera that took off like a rocket, shared some fond memories and backstage tidbits, reflected of their triumphs and struggles, gave us the real deal on their former leading men, including John McCook (Ex-Lance, Y&R, now Eric, B&B), plus how the late Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) impacted their lives and more.

What a treat it was to walk down memory lane with these two, who were a main part of the reason, we all fell in love with Y&R in the first place.  #YR45 begins for us here with this chat with Janice and Jaime.  

At the beginning of Y&R, you got cast as Leslie and Lorie Brooks.  How did you land the parts in the first place? What happened that led you to Genoa City?

Photo: CBS

JANICE:   I was cast in New York.  John Conboy (original executive producer, Y&R) flew me out on a Saturday, and Sunday morning at 2am, we made a deal.  Bob Fosse kept saying, “No, no.  You can’t do this.  Ask for more money!”  They had already started taping with someone else in the role, but I started on a Monday and taped five shows.  So it was all a whirlwind.

Were you like, “What did I get myself into?” (Laughs)

JANICE:  It’s terrible to admit it, but I had never had seen a soap.  I came up through classical music the opera, and theatre.  I had never watched television that much.  It was my first experience even seeing one, and it was thrilling.

JAIME:   For me, it was kind of wild.  I was coming out of a casting director’s office and it’s my third week in the business! I am walking down the hall and this other casting director says, “Would you come in here and read this? It’s not really anything.”  It was for The Young and the Restless, but he would not admit it was for the show.  So I read for him and I leave, and don’t think anything of it.  Now, I had already been cast to play this android sidekick for Gene Rodenberry’s show.  At that point, Universal had offered me one of the last player contracts, and then Y&R came about and I interviewed with John Conboy.  I had been a model, previously, He wanted me to do a screen test, and then I had a choice between three years on a soap, or seven years at Universal.  So I said to myself, “I will do the three years, because nobody watches the soaps so they would pay me to act and I would learn.”  The first six months of the show I was a wreck.  It was live to tape; you could not make it a mistake.

Courtesy/CBS

JANICE:  I was so awaiting her casting, because John kept teasing me with “You are going to have a sister, and then Leslie will have a breakdown…”

JAIME:   Instead, I was the one having the breakdown … (Laughs)

JANICE:  When Jaime came on the show, she was so gifted and lovely, but she hadn’t done a lot.  I use to take her home!  She would follow me up Laurel Canyon and I would make pasta, and I would say, “I’m going to make pasta, and we are going to rehearse.” That is how we worked out our scenes the first couple of months.

Everyone hated Lorie.  However, she was one of the first soap opera characters to go from ‘throw-something-at-the-TV-hated’ to a beloved heroine!  And along the way, poor Leslie suffered that mental breakdown, thanks to Lorie!

JANICE:  They did the story of her breakdown so well.  I’m very proud of it, because I went into a locked ward in LA and I did research, and I made notes.  The cast of women were extraordinary.

Photo: CBS

Both your characters seemed to have a penchant for falling in love with the same man.  Let’s start with Brad Eliot, played by Tom Hallick.  How was Tom to work with?

JANICE:  He was heaven to work with, easy to work with, and really solid.

JAIME:  He always had his lines down.

Lorie wanted Brad all to herself!

JANICE:  Lorie told Leslie that Brad wanted her, which destroyed me! (Laughs)

JAIME:  Well, of course, everyone wanted me! (Laughs)  Don’t be ridiculous. (Laughs)  Leslie was so insecure that she couldn’t believe the guy wanted her.  She was a child prodigy, but socially inept!  She did not know how beautiful and talented she was, and that she was the true rose.  But you got to give it to Lorie, because she was the second child, and the second child always has the rough times.

Photo: CBS

After Tom Hallick, the two of you worked in romantic storylines with the Prentiss brothers, Lance (John McCook) and Lucas (Tom Ligon).  How were those two to work with?

JANICE:  I worked with John first, and fell in love with John.

JAIME:  He was hard not to love!

JANICE:  At one point, I was in discussions about doing TV specials, and what the format would be like, and then John came on the show.  I did several scenes with him where Lance was running around the world following Leslie at every concert.  John is a great musician and so funny, so we were thinking about doing these specials together.

Courtesy/CBS

JAIME:   I loved both Tom and John and they were so different as people.  I remember a funny scene with Tom.  I am pregnant, and they are taping pencils on the floor because my belly is so big, and I can’t see my mark. Tom is supposed to pull me in his arms and kiss me passionately.  I said to him, “You need to feel my stomach,” and he pulls me to him with this big embrace, and bounces off me, and screams! (Laughs) We had to do the scene over again, obviously. (Laughs)

When you think back to your time on Y&R, what were some of your favorite scenes?

JAIME:  One of the dramatic ones for me was a scene that I did with the actor who played our father, Robert Colbert (Stuart Brooks).  He had started putting Lorie down, and Lorie started responding back.  It got really ugly between us.  I sat down afterwards and people came up to me and went, “Oh, my Gosh. That was brilliant.”  I was sitting on a bench, and I was shaking uncontrollably, and I am like, “Where did that come from? “ One of the funnier scenes, because we were doing live tape, was with John McCook (Ex-Lance, B&B, now Eric B&B).  We were jumping on this bed together, but we had no idea that it was actually two beds, and they separated, and the two of us went down right in the middle of it, and we just had to go with it. The two of us just started laughing and joking.

Photo: CBS

JANICE:  I would say … I did love the story of Leslie being in the mental institution.  I thought it would bring awareness, help some people, and not be such a stigma anymore.  There were so many interesting things within that.

JAIME:  Even though it’s nice doing comedic stuff, and John McCook was very funny, truly for actresses that are more serious, the best parts are playing the complex characters. You have to do the research, you have to think, and you have to study people all of the time. John McCook took me into the control room one day and he ran a tape of something I just had done, and he said, “See that! That was really sexy!”  I said, “What?” He said, “What were you thinking when you did that?”  Of course, I didn’t know.

Wait … but, Lorie was the sexy one!

JAIME:  But you know what I used to do?  I used to go to Hugh Hefner’s on Friday night’s because he had free meals there.  I was watching people on the stairs, and that is how I learned how to play Lorie.  I also knew watched this woman I knew just turn it on a dime with this sexual energy toward either a young man, or a very old man. So between her, and Hefner’s, that is how I developed Lorie.

Can you recall some of the fans reactions you received, or were on the other end of, if people would see you at personal appearances, or, out and about, or, via fan mail? Back then, there was no such thing as social media for everyone to let out their opinions and feelings.

Photo: CBS

JAIME:  I remember driving down Sunset Blvd one night and we were in a convertible, and another convertible is next to us, and they start shouting at me, “Oh, my God!  It’s Lorie! It’s Lorie. We hate you!”  Then they go, “No, no, no. We love hating you!”   There was another time where I was shooting a movie of the week with Leslie Nielsen, and he saved me.  I was sitting in the lobby in a building in Century City waiting to be called to set.  This woman comes up to me in the lobby and she literally puts her hand around my throat.  She must have just watched me on TV in her room upstairs.  Leslie helped me get her off of me.  People hated me, but it was a compliment.  What was so amazing for me as a human being is that I never knew what sexy was?

JANICE:  I don’t buy that for one second! (Laughs)  For me, I had amazing reactions.  I was at a dinner one night and Dean Martin came up to me and said, “You are my favorite actress and singer.”  He then asked me to open for him in his nightclub act, and we became very close friends. Then, in either second or third year of Y&R, because we were all seen internationally there was this incident.  I was in the Sistine Chapel and trying to get away from it all, and needed a vacation.  All of a sudden I this place where you take a vow of silence before you enter it, someone yells, “Leslie!” Then everyone was crowding around me, and then the Vatican guard grabbed me and helped me out of the chapel. But then I was told the Pope wanted to meet me, and we did!   The scariest one was at the Farmer’s Market near CBS and these three women came up to me and said, “What are you doing out?  What can we do for you?  You need care!”  I swear, if they knew where to take me they would have taken me to some mental institution!”

In the mid 70’s, the most compelling story on the soaps was centered around Leslie and Lorie, and the other two Brooks sisters, Chris (Trish Stewart) and Peggy (Pam Peters).  But Jaime, what I want to know is … what did you think of K.T. Stevens (Vanessa) when Vanessa was always wearing that veil over half of her face? (Laughs)  I always wanted to just yank it off of her!  I know Vanessa’s  face was supposedly disfigured from a fire, but I didn’t understand why she was always wearing it! (Laughs)

Photo: CBS

JAIME:  Vanessa was really evil, but K.T. Stevens on her own was so sweet, loving, and supporting. Vanessa killed herself and blamed it on Lorie! Sometimes, I wanted to rip her veil off so bad, too! (Laughs)

Y&R always had the most beautiful cast, along with the exceptional writing, the singing, and the production values that set the bar high after it debuted in 1973.

JAIME:  We were one of the first soaps to also do important topics for the times.  We did storylines on: breast cancer, rape, and mental illness.

Janice, at one point did you decide to leave Y&R?

JANICE:  There was never time to have a vacation, and I was working so hard without a break.  If not for that, I would have stayed a long, long time.  Bill Bell (Y&R co-creator, and head writer) and John Conboy were great to work with, and were great about letting us out to do other projects, but the show was garnering a lot of ratings so the hours just became insane for me.

JAIME:   And remember in those days, daytime shows paid for primetime.  So we were so important to the network that we were not given a break.  I walked illegally, because I thought I just have to escape.  I got on a plane to Hawaii and I stayed at a girlfriend’s house there for two weeks.  I came back to Y&R and had a meeting. I said in my negotiations that I do want all the women to have their own dressing rooms, and this is before AFTRA had any strength at all as a union.

Jaime, what happened when you decided to exit Y&R?

Photo: CBS

JAIME:  I couldn’t take it anymore.  I am nine years in, and the only reason anyone replaced me was when I was on maternity leave and having babies. When I came back I was working five or six days a week, and had kids at home.  At one point, I could not even think of my own name, and I got scared.  I went to them and said, “I need you to put a ceiling on the number of episodes I work a week, unless it’s a big storyline.”   We were just so successful at the time that they couldn’t do it, and so I left.  Then, Bill Bell, God bless him, because I had said to him and John (in tears), “please don’t make me feel guilty’:, did something so unbelievably touching.   What Bill didn’t tell me was that he fired everyone to do with the Brooks’, and in our entire storyline, because I was his favorite character.  I think that was because I was named after his daughter, Lauralee, and he couldn’t envision the show without the character, so he had to change it and make it a whole new show. I will thank him forever for that, because if I had known I would have stayed.   I loved Bill and John, and I would have done anything that I could for them.

There was another tremendous actress when you started at Y&R, the incomparable and iconic, Jeanne Cooper (Katherine).  What was your relationship like with Jeanne?

JAIME:  Jeanne was a second mom to me.  The first play I did was Plaza Suite, and we were in the same play together, and it was a touring company.  I went to the director before we opened on opening night and I said, “I think you made a mistake.  I don’t think I can do this. I don’t think I’m funny.”  He goes, “Nope.  I haven’t made a mistake. You will be just fine.”  Well, I cried for two hours the day of opening night, because I was terrified.  But it was Jeanne Cooper who stood there, and had her arms around me saying, “You’re going to be fine.  You will see.”  My cue came and she is standing there, and she literally shoved me onto the stage.  Jeanne was an amazing, sweet, incredible woman and at a time I was dating her son, so I was over at ber house a lot of the time, so we were tight.

Courtesy/CBS

JANICE:   Jeanne was the cast mom.  It was such a joy, because we were all very collaborative. There were times I was given a script late on one day and had to do a big song and dance the next; like this one in Lance’s apartment, where he dares Leslie to come out of her shell so she can perform at this party. (Laughs)  I said to Jeanne, “How am I going to do this?  There is not even the staircase, or full set to work with up yet.” She said, “I have an event, but I will meet you at midnight.” We got Bob Fosse on speaker phone, because the number was “If You Could See Me Now” from Sweet Charity, and between Jeanne and Bob, and me, running up the stairs and landing on top of the piano, we got it figured out.  But Jeanne would do things like that. She would do anything for the work.  She was a great friend, and a brilliant talent, and had some demons, but she conquered them.

How did it come about that you are returning to Y&R on-air this week as part of their 45th anniversary episodes?

Photo: CBS

JAIME:  I was laying on the beach in Cancun, and I get a call.  I go, “What?  Who? The Young and the Restless? You want me to return for their anniversary? Sure … just let me know. “

JANICE:  I got a call while I was in a ballet class in New York.  I was at the ballet bar, and I get a call from my agent.  So, I thought I should go out in the hall and take this.   I ran out and I said, “Really?”  My agent said, “How do you feel about that?”  I said, “Absolutely, would love to do it.   It’s a reunion!”  But honestly, I didn’t believe it was going to happen, because I had gotten a lot of calls over the past years and decades and we could not work it out, for one reason or the other.  This time we did, and I was so excited to be back.

Did you think Y&R would have lasted this long, from when it began?

JAIME:   I am not surprised at that at all.  It has been number-one overall for a reason. The writing has been quite good.  They still have that great look and that great lightning.

What would you want to say to Y&R as it celebrates its 45th anniversary?

Courtesy/CBS

JANICE:  “You are the tops!  And 45 more …”

JAIME:  “45 more that would be brilliant … than we can actually show up at 90!” (Laughs)

So, what were your favorite memories and storylines of The Brooks sisters? Are you glad Y&R asked Janice and Jaime back for the anniversary episodes?  What did you think about Janice and Jaime recalling the beginning years of Y&R? Share your thoughts via the comment section below!

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Michael (not Fairman)MarieShayModiane Recent comment authors
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su0000
su0000

That was 1973 — the Brook Sisters..
I wasn’t yet born.
But– I’m looking forward to seeing them it will be interesting and even fun to go that far back..

Celia
Celia

Same here, SuzieQ…But, I am very familiar with all these characters….my Gran is a great storyteller—I feel as if I had been there 45 years ago watching with her…..looking forward “seeing” them again. LOL.
Aside: through all this, I must give praise to Marla, again….WOW!!!!…. gets better and better.
Dina’s disdain with Ashley is soooo pungent but a revelation at the same time. She resents her daughter because she’s a constant reminder, subconsciously, of what she did to John…..
It would be the greatest twist and sweet irony if Jack were the Pro’s son. HaHa….

Celia
Celia

PS…or, Jack is the issue of another affair. OOOOUUU-LALA!!!! Are any of Dina’s children John’s, su??

su0000
su0000

I am the one and only (both sides of family) that ever watched a soap..
ahaa I’m virgin soap family ..

Shay
Shay

Looks like Traci is going to be the only genuine article Abbott to spring from John’s loins and Dina’s womb, CeeCeeGirl! How ironic is that? From the beginning, this girl was always the awkward, odd child out, constantly paling in comparison to her handsome older brother Jack and glamorous big sis Ashley, and now both are apparently not even real Abbotts…what an identity crisis, eh???

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

What a wonderful interview, Michael. So happy to see original veterans, such as Janice Lynde and Jaime Lyn Bauer back in Genoa City. What a beautiful way to celebrate The Young and the Restless‘ 45th anniversary! I’m hoping this might lead to more appearances, though, I don’t know if these two are the ones who might be making further appearances past the anniversary. Hearing them speak about their time on the soap, and even Bauer’s words about her asking to leave, were powerful. They helped change the face of daytime during a time when daytime was most powerful.

Patrick
Patrick

OMG: I feel for Jaime Lyn Bauer… she had two predicaments… CLOSE TO HER HEART. maintain her STAR reign… or go home to her children.

this is why I feel for women… who make the sacrifice.

for the heck of it…. I wonder how long she coulda woulda shoulda stayed … past her original 9 years. she committed to 6 more years past her 3 year contract.

“… We were just so successful at the time that they couldn’t do it, and so I left. ”

that’s a lot of tears … heart mind and soul ripped torn and tattered. The love of a mother…. hats off and salute.

I LOVE THIS WOMAN… only know … her work @DAYS of OUR LIVES. ALL the proof you need… she came back… conquered.. persevered.. and is loved that much more.

TAKEN from Wiki : “The one time Miss Phoenix beauty contest winner is best known for her two long-running soap roles: Lorie Brooks on The Young and the Restless, which she played from 1973 to 1982 with reprises in 1984 and 2002, and Dr. Laura Spencer Horton on Days of Our Lives.[1] The character of Laura, previously played by Susan Flannery and Rosemary Forsyth (among others), had not been seen in 13 years. She played Laura from 1993 to 1999 with reprises in 2003, 2010 and 2013.”

@DAYS NEEDS to bring Laura back… seeing as how her granddaughter ABS is using grandma Laura as one of 3 identities. HELP my Abs. Jaime Lyn as Laura always brought a warm familial vibe to all her foundlings…. when she had to… rear itself… she rose and culled from whatever it took…. and knowing her “fragile” state even then… made us , the audience cheer her on that much more… we cared about Laura.

it’s nice to salute you Ms. Bauer.

Shay
Shay

Jaime Lyn was one of daytime’s most quintessential soap goddesses! So sleek, slim, statuesque and drop-dead gorgeous in all of her designer finery! Her character was of a time and place when women each had their own highly-distinct looks, not the cookie-cutter botoxed features that we see today….how I miss those golden days when the soaps were an endless parade of exquisitely original beauties decked out in the latest and greatest fashions! What a feast for the eyes they were! Welcome back, Lorie Brooks!

Kevin C
Kevin C

I have yet to read the interview but I am so excited to have them back and wish they were back permanently for I loved Y&R from the beginning till 2006…I started watching again when Sally and Kay returned as headwriter and story consultant…I started to stop watching once Sally and Kay left but decided to stick with it through the 45th anniversary and I haven’t been impressed Mals writing until this past week and not I am interested in where it goes from here…

Kevin C
Kevin C

I failed to mention that I have the conversation on a cassette tape of when Leslie was asking Lorie to help her unlock the key to her past for Leslie didn’t know what happened to her for losing her memory….such a wonderful and very well acted storyline and oh how I miss those days…

Kevin C
Kevin C

I just finished reading the interview, LOVED IT and again how I miss these two beautiful ladies on this show…I loved all the storylines with Lorie and Leslie, they were all great…but the two that really come to mind is of course the sister rivalry and the Lorie and Vanessa storyline with Vanessa staging her own death and setting the stage to make it look like Lorie pushing Vanessa over the balcony, CRAZY WONDERFUL storyline…I remember Vanessa yelling, STOP LORIE, STOP and Vanessa KEPT on saying this LOUDLY and Lorie was wondering what on earth was going on with Vanessa and trying to calm her down and then Vanessa jumps off the balcony and Lorie is so distraught, it was SHOCKING and LOVED the DRAMA and then the trial and then Lucas blaming Lorie at Vanessa’s funeral…Lucas looking and screaming at Lorie, saying to Lorie, look Lorie, LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO MY MOTHER…with the dramatic and beautiful background music going, SO GUT WRENCHING and so miss these days of GREAT SOAP WRITING where you didn’t want to miss a DAY…

diane
diane

I was 11 when the show started and I would watch it at my sisters house when I was out of school, which was a lot!! I will always remember the Brooks family and Jill’s family. They are Y&R to me.

Michael
Michael

The show was such a gem in the 70’s and so forward-thinking. I note the ladies mention the lighting – it was so flattering compared to other shows of the time. And the cast was already an attractive group! And Leslie-Lorie-Lance-Lucas – the Alliterative Quadrangle! Easy to poke fun at – but a riveting story, thanks to the actors. Looking forward to seeing this week’s reunion!

Mo
Mo

Didn’t watch then. I have seen Jamie on Days so I’m familiar with her, but not on Y&R.

Looking forward to seeing them and what brings them to town.

Marilyn
Marilyn

I was 9 when Y&R started and I remember it vividly still. I was so bummed when the Brooks family was gone that I stopped watching. I started again for a bit when Lily and Daniel were together and Cassie died. Still a great show though not one I regularly watch. What a blast from the past though. Great interview1

vinman
vinman

GREATNESS @Y/R….LESLIE,LORIE,CHRIS&AMY BROOKS…ALSO MR.&MRS.BROOKS;along with the FOSTER’S and PRENTICE BROTHERS LANCE&LUCAS…mother Vanessa.Brad,Sally and Robert.And the DUCHESS MRS.C…JEANNE COOPER.#@Y&RHAPPY45.

Max
Max

I was about 15 when they went on the air and was so impressed by the production values. It was the first Hollywood daytime drama I watched. I loved the Brooks family and now I know why they were written out. Thanks for the interview, Michael. I was thrilled when Janice Lynde showed up on my favorite soap One Life To Live. One other thing that I enjoyed on early Y&R was the use of music and songs. If I recall, Leslie’s song was “If A Picture Paints A Thousand Words”, loved when they used the song “Bless The Beasts And The Children” I think it was played for the character of Chris. So many good memories of the first 20 years of this show.

Kevin C
Kevin C

Hey Max, you are right on with the music and the song that Leslie sing, a Bread song, IF…and I loved when the played Bless the Beast and the Children…and like you said such good/great memories of the first 20 years of Y&R…

Farhan
Farhan

It’s so great to have the Brooks sisters back again! I remember their rivalry over men and when Dennis Cole played Lance. Vanessa hated Laurie and I remember when she jumped off the balcony to her death and made it look like Laurie pushed her. A definite jaw dropping moment for that show. I also loved the episodes featuring Leslie’s concerts. Incredible moments. It would be nice to have Y and R revisit some of the history with these old characters again including the Fosters. Its great to have them back and I hope to see more of them in the near future! Happy 45th Y and R!

Ron
Ron

THANK YOU FOR THE INTERVIEW! It was great to read what a couple of the original cast members thought of the show, their characters, and the trend they set for daytime programming.

My favorite Brookes family storyline was Jennifer Brookes’ breat cancer– the reaction of Stuart, how each daughter struggled with it, and the beautiful and agonizing depiction given by the actress who played their mother… as Kevin and Max noted in earlier posts, THE MUSIC brought the great acting and the great dialogue together.

Also, loved the courtroom scenes regarding Lorie being accused of Vanessa’s death– great drama, especially when she was found innocent– her lawyer was great and she played the role to perfection… again, the MUSIC made it all pop!

Hope the new writing regime respects the efforts of those original cast members and pays homage to them throughout the year! Would love to see others return for a brief stay.

beacon
beacon

They should bring Lorie back permanently and give us a new generation of Brooks characters. Surely Lorie has kids?

Mo
Mo

I didn’t think much of Janice’s acting yesterday. A little blah. Maybe she has been out of practice.

I didn’t know all the history with the Brooks and Jill so it was nice to get to find out. I thought, Jill sure likes wealthy older men and then Billy said it! Yes!

Karen R
Karen R

I was watching back then, loved the Brooks family and the Fosters. Jill, her mom and brothers. Been watching it throuout the years And it is still my favorite.

Judith
Judith

I miss the Brooks family.

dmr
dmr

I am not familiar with the past storyline; and although I found the scene to be funny, I also found it to be awkward. I’m not a “Jill” fan, so I wasn’t too keen on this, but it was funny and “catish.”

Mo
Mo

I thought it was a bit awkward too. The two sisters sitting at the bar and then Jill. It looked weird.

diane
diane

I was hoping they would share more of the 45 year old history through flashbacks this week!! I was also hoping to see the Brooks sisters for more then 2 whole minutes!!! The other storylines can wait till next week!

Marie
Marie

I don’t remember this Leslie. I remember the one with the dark hair and the porcelain complexion. That said, this was a great interview.

Jess Walton still drives me up the wall. I’ve always thought she was a terrible Jill – she’s always so miserable. Being a villain should be fun! At least the other Jill thought it was.

Michael (not Fairman)
Michael (not Fairman)

That was Victoria Mallory, Marie. She took over the role when Janice Lynde left and played it for four or five years. I liked her a lot; probably one of Y&R’s best recasts.

Interviews

Jordi Vilasuso Previews His New Role Of Rey On The Young and the Restless

He’s played a young man growing up in a Mafioso family, a well-respected doctor, and a brother with a questionable past and future during his daytime career, but now Jordi Vilasuso takes on a mysterious new role on the top-rated The Young and the Restless, who we only know thus far by the name of “Rey”.

When Vilasuso debuts on tomorrow’s Friday, August 16th episode of the CBS daytime drama series, viewers will start to see just how his new character unveils itself, while we get to see one of our favorites back in action.

From his roles on Guiding Light, All My Children, Days of our Lives and his primetime and movie roles, Jordi brings his unique charm, acting chops, and sex-appeal to every role he plays.

Michael Fairman TV chatted it up with Jordi for this tease of what’s to come when he hits Genoa City, what it has been like working with his new co-stars, nabbing this sought-after role, and reflecting back on the journey that got him here.  Check out what he shared below.

When the news broke that you were coming to Y&R, fans of the genre were really excited.  I thought it was a great testament to you.

JORDI:  It’s great.  I mean, the way that the show has announced me and has been pushing me… from the promo that was just released this week, to my discussions with Mal Young ((EP and head writer, Y&R).  Everybody has just been asking me if I’m good, and the network is really responding to my work.  Because, you never know, right?  You put it out there, but when you get that feedback, it’s like, “Okay.  I’m doing the right thing here.”  There’s been a lot of reassurance, which is always great for people to get in a workplace.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you feel pressure now to deliver to Mal and to the audience?

JORDI:  Of course.  I always do.  What do they say?  Innocence is bliss?  Naiveté is bliss?  I didn’t know what the hell I was doing when I first walked on to Guiding Light!  It’s such a great place to be in as a young kid.  I was just like, “I’m an actor.  I’m going to create a character…”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

And you won an Emmy!

JORDI:  And I won an Emmy … and then it’s “I’m going to go be a star, and I’m going to be in a pilot.”  I signed with a huge agency, and it was fantastic, and then reality sets in.  You get a couple of notches on your belt, and you get kicked in the ass a bit.  You learn, and then you crawl out of there, and you gain a lot of character doing that.  Really, in the last couple of years I’ve seen there are reasons for all of this stuff.  The lens that I’m looking through now is that of a father.  I just want to give them tools that can help them deal with life.  If they want to become actors, awesome.  Go for it.  I will support them.  Whatever it is they want to do, there are going to be ups and downs, and that’s all part of the journey.  For me, I think God has been molding me into the kind of man that I’ve always aspired to be.  .

From the Y&R promo this week, it looks like Rey is looking into what happened to J.T. (Thad Luckinbill)? 

JORDI:  Yes.  That has been revealed in the promo.  Rey is getting to know the heavyweights in town, and asking a lot of questions.

Speaking of heavyweights, what was it like working with Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) for the first time?

JORDI:  It was cool.  There was a little bit of that being in “awe” of him.  I never worked with him, but I always saw him on the cover of magazines.  I heard he’s very warm and open with other actors, which I got.  Playing with him on set, he kind of goes off the page a bit, which is fun.  After talking to him for about a minute, I felt like, “Okay, I get who this guy is.”  He’s very professional.

Will your new character be connected to anyone in Genoa City?

JORDI:  You never know.  It’s a soap!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I would assume if you’re on the number one soap, Rey might have a lover interest.  Who would you like to be in a romantic story with, if they should write it?

JORDI:  All of the women! (Laughs)  All of them have so much to offer from Tracy E. Bregman (Lauren), to Sharon Case (Sharon), to Melissa Ordway (Abby).  I know I may be a little bit cryptic, but I have to say, everybody has been extremely lovely to work with.

What can you say about the character in a broad stroke?

JORDI:  I think Rey knows what he wants.   He is very serious about his work, and he has a lot of ways of working through different situations.  Whether it’s a smile or knowing something about you that you may have not known… he may bring you into his orbit in that way.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

He’s a mind reader!?  (Laughs) 

JORDI:  He can really read people, I think!  He’s very adaptable.  He can be put in any situation and have a conversation with anyone.  From Victor Newman, to Sharon, to Michael… he can talk to whoever is thought of as having the most status.  He has that knack.

Is Rey street smart, or intelligent smart?

JORDI:  I would say both.  I think Rey grew up very quickly, and I think a lot of that is street smart.  I wouldn’t say he is an intellectual philosopher.  I would say he leans more towards street smart for sure.

Were you informed on what the long term trajectory of your storyline would be on Y&R? Other actors on the show have talked about how Mal Young tells them where the character is going, so it better prepares them when they are doing their scenes.

JORDI:  Yes.  I found out on a Tuesday that I got the job, and I was asked to come in on Wednesday to wardrobe, and start work on Thursday, and I did four shows that week.  I sat down with Mal for an hour.  I had only met him at the screentest and there were a lot of heavyweights there up for this part.  He told me about his history, where Rey came from.  He showed me what he was doing on the show, how he was trying to change things, and some really exciting things that he was doing.  Mal was an open book, and then he did break down what he saw as the next couple of months for my character would be, which I fell in love with. I was like, “Yes! This is so cool.  This is a meaty story.  This has roots in a lot of things that I can pull from, that I am passionate about, and that are meaningful   I felt in a sense, that it was collaborative.  Even though he is steering the ship, he was interested in what I had to say as well and very open to questions.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

How does Rey stack up against your other daytime characters: GL’s Tony Santos, DAYS Dario, and AMC’s Griffin?

JORDI:  Man, it’s so funny, because somebody actually had sent me some clips of Tony the other day, and I was like, “Oh my God, that was crazy long ago!  Look at the clothes!  It was so mafioso,” but it was so cool and so fun.  There only will ever be one Tony Santos.  Then you go to Griffin Castillo who was a doctor and just starting to open up to Kendall (Alicia Minshew) and get that whole romance kicking on All My Children.  And as for DAYS Dario… God bless Dario … that poor guy.  What can I tell you about Dario?  He just couldn’t seem to make it work in Salem.  He couldn’t find his way, so he said, “You know what?  I’m going to run away!”  So, he just ran away, and who knows maybe he’s in Mexico running from the law, where I guess he resides now.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

You were recently at the All My Children and One Life to Live reunion event.   What did the fans say when you got to inform them that you were coming on to The Young and the Restless?

JORDI:  They were so happy for me.  There was a lot of joy and a lot of happiness.  That was the one thing that I got from it.  I think they get what the business that we are in, which I really appreciate.  It’s such a hustle.  You wait for that other gig to come down, and when you get it, it’s a great moment to share.  They get it.  A lot of that empathy was shared from the fans, and I really, really appreciated that.

Your former AMC co-star Rebecca Budig (Ex-Greenlee) was there, too.  How was it seeing her again?

JORDI: I did see her, but just for a second!  I think she was so caught up with seeing everyone. She’s beautiful!  She hasn’t aged.

When do you think viewers will know what Rey is up to in Genoa City?

JORDI:  Sooner rather than later.  We have very good pacing for his entry on to the canvas.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

We are wondering if Rey might be an adversary to Nick.  Did you know Joshua Morrow (Nick Newman) before you came to Y&R?

JORDI: I wonder of Rey and Nick will be nemeses too!  But no, I didn’t know Joshua.   He’s such a dude’s dude.  From the get go, he said, “Do not look at me when you’re on set, and are you ready for my breakfast order?”  (Laughs)  I kind of bowed down and said, “You know, you’ve been on this show for twenty years.  Are you a vegetarian, or can I throw some ham in your omelet?”  (Laughs)

So, are you excited to see what goes down when Jordi debuts tomorrow on The Young and the Restless?  Do you hope Rey is on the right side of the law? Which woman in Genoa City do you think would make a good romantic pairing for the guy? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

Executive Producer Frank Valentini Talks Returns, Exits, And Previews The Drama This Fall On General Hospital

Surprise returns, a wedding, a heartbreaking social issue storyline, romance, and heavy drama are all ahead this fall on General Hospital.

Executive Producer Frank Valentini sat down with Michael Fairman TV during the ABC TCA 2018 Summer Press Tour All-Star Reception to answer our rapid fire questions throughout the bustle of the industry event.

Valentini previewed what’s ahead in and around Port Charles for several characters and duos as the summer comes to a close, and a new season marks new beginnings.  He also addressed the recent cast exits that have seen fan favorites departing the ABC daytime drama series.

Now, as viewers will witness this week, there is some major distress ahead for several key characters that will play out over the next few months.

Here’s what the showrunner had to say about some hot topics that fans have been buzzing about, and more below.

Genie Francis (Laura) is coming back to the show, after all the uproar and demand for her to return.   You said there will be major story for her when she is back.  Is that true?

Photo: ABC

FRANK:  Yes, and we are very excited that she is coming back.  And yes, we have actually two big stories for Genie, and there is a little bit of overlap in them. When she comes back she jumps right into the big story, and the audience will know what the story is when they see her return. 

Chloe Lanier (Chloe) just wrapped up an incredible run on the show.  How do you feel about her departure from GH?  Did you know she was only planning on staying for a few years? 

FRANK:  We all knew that it was for a limited time. Nelle has sort of wreaked havoc on anyone she possibly could, and left in a big way and helped kick-off another big story with some other fan favorites including: Michael (Chad), Lucas (Ryan Carnes) and Brad (Parry Shen), and Bobbie (Jackie Zeman) and Carly (Laura Wright), and the Corinthos family.  So, that’s another fun thing to look forward to.  Chloe is just a tremendous young actress.  We all remember her from the 52nd anniversary episode, which was the Luke (Tony Geary) episode, which revealed the origin story. Chloe just really stood out to us, and we brought her back.  Everyone loved working with her and she is a great friend. 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Did you have any trepidation about doing another baby switch storyline?

FRANK:  Never, never!   This one has a twist on a double twist.  It’s a triple-axel! It will be gut-wrenching, for sure.

Then, Dominic Zamprogna (Ex-Dante) left GH.  How do you feel about him deciding to leave the show?

FRANK:  I love Dominic.  In fact, we just had dinner together a few weeks ago.  He is a great actor, but he wanted to try some other stuff.   We wish him all the best.  And you never know … the door is always open. 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Fans on social media have been commenting how the Drew/Sam/Jason triangle featuring: Billy Miller, Kelly Monaco ,and Steve Burton had started, and then was just kind of dropped and has not been playing out on-air.  Have you made the decision to not play that triangle?

FRANK:  No, we are definitely playing it.  There are many iterations:  Drew and Sam are connected through their children, and their love, and the history that they have.  And as well, Jason and Drew being brothers, and that Jason and Sam have their own history, as well.  There’s way more to come! 

Fans have commented, “What happened to this story?”

FRANK:   It’s a big show with a big cast.  Everyone takes a turn stepping forward, and then stepping back.

Courtesy/ABC

You brought on Elizabeth Hendrickson (Margaux) as a potential love interest for Drew?

FRANK:  Yes, and I knew her work from All My Children and The Young and the Restless, and she is a phenomenal actress and we are really lucky to have her.  Margaux has got the flash drive with Drew’s memories on it and that is an important piece of information to have.

Peter August aka Henrik Faison (Wes Ramsey) is still on the canvas.  Is your plan to have Peter create more havoc in Port Charles?

FRANK:  Wes Ramsey is a phenomenal actor.  I think he did a phenomenal job when Peter was kidnapped and tied-up.  It’s not easy to be in scenes where you are tied-up for almost four weeks, and to act, and to stay present in the stage of being a hostage.  I just though he knocked it out of the park  He is Robin’s (Kimberly McCullough) brother, he is Anna’s (Finola Hughes) son and with whatever is going to happen with Maxie, they are connected.  He is Maxie’s brother-in-law and baby James’ uncle.  There is a lot of story there.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Finola Hughes is back after taking some time-off.  Now, Anna and Finn’s (Michael Easton) relationship will be further explored as they now fight a common enemy.  What can you share about this duo?

FRANK:  Finola had a mini-vacation. She is incredibly hard-working, and we try to make sure actors’ have enough time in their personal life to have fun, and go on vacations, and be with their family. This was something we were able to work out story-wise.  But also, Hamilton will be involved with his family and there is some story there and also as you see, when Finola came back we launched into a big story with them.  There is so much to explore in their relationship. For Anna, she has only had two great loves in her life, Duke (Ian Buchanan) and Robert (Tristan Rogers).  So for her to open up her heart to someone else is a big deal, and we will explore that as well, and what that means.

Michelle Stafford (Nina) has been delivering in scene after scene as the grieving sister, following the death of her brother, detective Nathan West.  What is in store for her Nina and her relationship, Valentin (James Patrick Stuart)?

FRANK:  Valentin and Nina are separated right now, and that is never going to sit well with Valentin.  He is going to do everything in his power to try and win her back.  That will not only be fun to watch, but it will be interesting and full of twists, as well.

Courtesy/ABC

Chase (Josh Swickard) and Maxie seems like they could make for an interesting pairing. Will you explore that at this point?

FRANK:  There is a lot of potential with Maxie, but I don’t think Maxie is ready to be in a relationship.  She has tons of story with Lulu (Emme Rylan), and as well with her parents, and there will be lots of other fun things going on with her, but I don’t see a romance right now being front and center in her life.

Daytime Emmy winner, Lexi Ainsworth (Krstina) is coming back to GH.  Fans had been calling for her return.  Why the decision now to bring her on to the canvas?

FRANK:  We love Lexi!  Her parents are two of the most important people on the show, Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn).  It just seemed like a no-brainer, and she was available. We have a really fun story for her, as well.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, there is no Parker (Ashley Jones) in Kristina’s life, right now?

FRANK:  We will see as we go along, and we will uncover the truth about that relationship, as well. 

You brought one of the finest actresses in Tamara Braun back to GH.   Do you plan on utilizing her more … and will Kim be driving story?

FRANK:  Kim is going to have a very big story this fall.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What can you share on the future of Julian (William deVry) and Alexis?

FRANK:  They will be part of the Kim story as well, and their own story.  Alexis is going to be involved in different stories that will culminate in a story of her own, as well

Patricia Bethune was great as Nurse Mary Pat as Carly’s nemesis at Ferncliff.   She is an amazing character actress.  Did you plan on keeping her around as long as you have?

FRANK:  She is just a great actress and we really lucked out.  She played the balance of very deadly serious and dangerous, and also with a sardonic and sarcastic sort of comedic bent to it.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Let’s talk Liz (Rebecca Herbst) and Franco (Roger Howarth).  Is there a wedding? And if so, will it go off without a hitch?

FRANK:   There is a wedding coming in the fall.  And how could a wedding between Liz and Franco be anything but explosive and hilarious?  How funny was Roger Howarth in the remote scenes where they save Carly at Ferncliff, and he is sitting in the car and he says, “You knocked over my art supplies.”  I mean, that is pretty great stuff. 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

You recently had OLTL fan favorite Patrick J. Gibbons (Ex-Sam Manning) on GH, in role of Wyatt … the scout who tripped upon Peter being held hostage in the cabin.   How was it working with him again after your time together in Llanview?

FRANK:  Patrick and his family are very good friends of mine, who I have always had a connection with. When the writers came up with the part of Wyatt, I thought Patrick would be perfect for it.  He was wonderful.   Patrick has the right amount of innocence. He has grown so much as an actor, and he is still only 11.  I thought he was phenomenal. He played the wonder and the dedication to the scouts and trying to figure it out in fear of Obrecht (Kathleen Gati).   I thought he did such a nice job,   He is a lovely kid.  I was so happy to reconnect with him.

You have recast Vinessa Antoine’s role of Jordan Ashford with Briana Nicole Henry. Vinessa has gone on to be the series lead in the upcoming Canadian TV drama, Diggstown.  Isn’t it always hard to recast a role?

FRANK:  It’s always hard to recast and we never take it lightly.  We always want to make sure we bring in somebody good.  Curtis (Donnell Turner) and Jordan are in a position in their story where it’s important to keep them on the canvas, and write –off the character of Jordan for a frivolous reason. We would not want to do that to the audience.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

The Alzheimer’s storyline is one of the important social and medical issues of our time to shed a light on.  Through Max Gail’s (Mike) performances, it has resonated so much to the audience.  Do you plan on continuing taking the viewers through the most difficult and tragic moments in the journey of someone who cannot escape this illness, and the toll it takes on its loved ones?

FRANK:  I think that Max Gail, like Vernee Watson (Stella), took us by surprise at how amazing they are. The Alzheimer’s story is very near and dear to all of our hearts.  We want to tell it in a way that is very realistic, but to also emphasis the hope and the family connection, and the love that is that family. Sometimes in the face of tragedy, it brings out the best in human beings.  There is something very uplifting about that, even though we are telling a very sad story.  Mike realizes that this family loves him, even though he has made mistakes. There is a tremendous amount of forgiveness and a tremendous amount of empathy and sympathy, and reconciliation in moving forward.  I think the relationship between Max and Sonny is played beautifully by Max and Maurice Benard.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What is ahead for Ava Jerome (Maura West), now that the secret is out that the man she thought she could trust and who loved her, Griffin Munro (Matt Cohen) slept with her daughter, Kiki (Hayley Erin)?

FRANK:  Ava explodes over the next couple of weeks and has a major, major story. Maura West has never been better!

Photo Credit: JPI Studips

What is ahead now for Carly?  She holds the clue that there has been a switcheroo at Ferncliff involving her “therapist” Kevin Collins (Jon Lindstrom).  Will she be the one to figure it out? 

FRANK:  Carly will definitely be dealing with the repercussions from Ferncliff, and also some family situations, and also something big coming up with Sonny. She will also be helping Michael through his difficult time, because she is a good mother.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, what story are you looking forward to seeing play out?  Are you excited for the return of Genie Francis? What did you think about the EP’s thoughts on the departures, the returns, and the plans for the characters in Port Charles this fall? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Val Chmerkovskiy Talks On Judging DWTS Juniors & How GH’s Kelly Monaco Changed His Career!

When ABC’s Dancing with the Stars: Juniors premiere with a two-hour series premiere on October 7th, three notables will be behind the desk judging the competition as celebrity kids battle it out, and show their dance moves along with the pros they are paired with.

The show has cast: “DWTS: Athletes” champion and Olympic figure skater, Adam Rippon; professional dancer, Emmy-winning choreographer Mandy Moore, whose credits include “DWTS,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and “La La Land,” and professional dancer and “DTWS” pro Val Chmerkovskiy. to critique the competition.

This week at the ABC Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour All-Star Cocktail Reception, Michael Fairman TV caught up with Val to ask him about flipping the scenario, where this time he is a judge and not in the competition on the ballroom dance flooor, how he hopes to impact the kids in the running for the Mirror Ball Junior Trophy, and of course, for General Hospital fans, recalling his most memorable season and dance partner, Kelly Monaco.

As viewers remember, the duo lit up the dance floor when Kelly returned to the show (she won the 1st season) in 2012 for season 15.  That was the “All-Stars” season where she was paired with Val.  They took home third place.  Their friendship and chemistry was always much talked about, but it was Kelly who has had a great impact on Val as he notes below.  Here is what he had to share about his new gig and his time in the ballroom with Ms. Monaco!

How do you feel about being in the judges’ chair for the first time?

VAL:  I feel a great deal of responsibility.  I will be honest with these kids, and treat them with respect, and give them feedback that will better give them the ability to not just become better dancers, but better people.

At what age did you start dancing?

VAL:  I started dancing at 7-years-old against my will.  My brother, Maksim, started first.  We moved with my parents to America when I was 8.  They just didn’t have time to drive us to different places.  They were like, “Look, we’re going to work, so you go with your brother.” So, I started tagging along and it changed my life.  I thank my parents every day for that.

Courtesy/ABC

Between yourself, Adam Rippon and Mandy Moore, do you see yourself as the one being the critically hard judge on the kids?

VAL:  I think the approach to this is a little different.  Those that are judging are very passionate about the opportunity, and the last thing we want to do is patronize the kids, as well.  We want to tell them the truth.  I think people got it wrong with trying to shelter kids from honesty.  You can shelter them from dishonesty and brutally, but you can be honest with them.  Ultimately, my job is to give them constructive criticism. That is what I will do, and am currently doing,

With all the amount of seasons you have been on Dancing with the Stars, is it difficult to keep it fresh in the choreography and come up with new routines for partner, after partner?

VAL: Yes!  It is difficult. There are many times you to fall back into redundant type of choices, but ultimately that individual is that that new palette and new color that I get to paint with. So, every time I get a new dance partner, that partner provides me with all the inspiration I need to come up with something fresh.

Courtesy/ABC

What is your takeaway from your season dancing with General Hospital’s Kelly Monaco (Sam)?

VAL:  My takeaway is that she broke me into the mainstream.  She was my breakout season of Dancing with the Stars.  Kelly taught me a lot.  It was my third season on the show and I was really fresh to this industry and this town.  She always told me to, “Know your audience” and to know who you are talking to and you will always know the right thing to say.

Kelly is such a hard-worker and she really gave it a 110% in the competition with you learning the dance steps and battling it out with the other couples.  She’s a fighter who always perseveres. 

VAL:  She is from Philly and I am from New York.  I think there was that east coast connection between us.   Kelly is an incredible person.  We are great friends, and she taught me a lot, and I also in return, through dance, and through this show, was able to change her life in a lot of ways as well.

So, what did you think about the sentiments shared by Val on his former dance partner, GH’s Kelly Monaco? What do you think about the concept of DWTS: Juniors? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Monday night who will Becca choose … Blake or Garrett in the season finale of The Bachelorette? Watch the emotional season finale promo and then make sure to vote as to who you think will win Becca’s heart! Leave A Comment

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Chloe Lanier as Nelle

General Hospital

Airdates: 7-30- 8/3 2018

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