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Y&R's Eileen Davidson chats on Sex, Murder & Soaps in new novel!

Courtesy/CBS

Courtesy/CBS

Nelson Branco recently spoke with the The Young and the Restless multi-talented Eileen Davidson (Ashley) to discuss her new novel, Swinging In The Rain, the state of the soap industry and more.  Branco wanted to send us this piece and share the story with On-Air On-Soaps and its readers.

SEX AND MURDER SHE WROTE

-Eileen Davidson’s latest sudsy mystery novel, Swinging In The Rain, sings a new tune-

When it rains, it pours: Not only is Young and the Restless superstar Eileen Davidson finally sizzling on the front burner as the sexy and enduring (and often times stubborn) heroine, Ashley Abbott, but one of the world’s most beautiful women has also just released a fourth installment of her guilty pleasure soap opera-inspired mystery series, Swinging In The Rain, and recently finished filming a movie!

Whew – it’s a lonely life! Her imaginary character, star of The Bare and the Brazen, Alexis Peterson, is too busy solving murder mysteries to be enjoying the Davidson’s kick-ass success. But hey, at least Alexis is diversifying her career, which is a necessity these days in these depressing economic times. Forget pimps – it’s hard out there for a soap star these days from cancellations, pay-cut disputes, plot-driven stories, and Daytime Emmy Award controversies.

“She might be dead in the next book,” laughs Davidson. “We’ll have to see! There’s always a lot to write about in the soap world. Once I finish a book, I always go, ‘I should have put this in!’ This industry is an endless well of material! You know – you hear stories!”  So what sudsy happenings can we expect this time around? In story 411, “something happens to Alexis’s ex-husband,” and the soap sleuthing diva finds herself unexpectedly thrown into the sensual world of swinging. “The [arc] is a reflection of what happened to me in my own life when I heard swinging was still going on,” she explains.  “I was like, ‘You got to be kidding me!’ I mean, I’ve been around the block, but I was still surprised. I did a lot of research on the book, which was kind of fun. It’s not the main storyline in the book but it all does come to a head.” Spill, Eileen: exactly what kind of research did Davidson find herself immersed in? “

I was at Scott Bailey’s birthday party. How random is that? A woman came up to me and announced she was a fan of my books,” she recalls. “After telling her I was planning my fourth book and how I was hoping to use the swinging sex culture as a backdrop, she said her friend owned one of the top swinging clubs in LA. We met and I interviewed her. All the details in the book came from what she told me. There’s a lot of things I didn’t use because this isn’t a X-rated book; it’s PG, so I had to tone it down. And just to be a cornball, I thought I’d set the book during El Nino, hence the title of the book.”

Tempted to see the inner workings of this world up-close and personal, Davidson even accepted an invitation to attend a real-life swing night, but chickened out. “I wasn’t going to participate and just watch, but I ended up not making it.”

That sound you hear is the world of tabloids sighing.

Davidson’s fourth book is a special endeavor since she self-published the book. “Large publishers don’t promote their authors unless you’re a John Grisham,” Davidson points out. “We’ll see how self-publishing works. I sort of wrapped up the series in case but we’ll see how it goes. I have to tell you it was super easy. Go to createspace.com and amazon.com and they walk you through everything. It’s not easier than having your own publisher, of course, because the publisher does everything for you but they take all your profits. We saw nothing from what we made from the previous books, so self-publishing lets you keep almost all the profits.”

In the soap world, profits are few and far between. With soaps getting canceled, Davidson worked the new industry realities into her latest tome. “There’s a lot more truthiness this time around,” she says. “Cancellations, budget cuts, no more location shoots, that kind of stuff.”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Despite its number-one status, not everyone is confident about Y&R’s future — especially with the news of All My Children and One Life To Live’s double cancellations (they will, however, live online). “It rocked our world,” Davidson reports. “People think Y&R will be the last man standing but who knows? We’re all vulnerable. Nothing lasts forever. It’s more of a question of how long we will air. But I do believe we’ll be the last soap standing.”

Having debuted as breakout young soap star during the golden era of daytime serials, does Davidson find it ironic that that no one really understood how great they had it in comparison to Hollywood back in the day– and how quickly it all disappeared?  “It’s so true. I certainly knew how lucky I was back then,” she relays. “I still am. I’m very appreciative. I didn’t see the end of the genre happening this soon. But I never saw my soap career lasting forever, either. Even when I got fired a couple of years ago from Y&R, I even said, ‘I never thought I was playing Ashley until the day I die.’ You can’t take anything personally anymore because all bets are off. Everyone is scrambling. Yes, some decisions may not be right but they are definitely not personal.”

But the soap opera mystery series is not a veiled Davidson biography, which is why her heroine, Alexis, is a brunette. “I didn’t want Alexis to look like me because her story isn’t mine necessarily,” she said.

Davidson just wrapped filming a movie based on the real-life story, Hell and Mr. Fudge, during Emmy weekend in Alabama where is she significantly aged to play a character’s mother. “I got my Kristen and Susan accent back,” she chuckled. “

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Which begs the question: How does one even attempt to age this eternal beauty? “Awww, shut up,” Davidson laughs, before joking, “Yes, I do look in the mirror every day and say, ‘I’m really beautiful.’ I turned 52 recently. I don’t like getting older on TV. But I appreciate the compliments.”

With scripted TV becoming an endangered species, would she ever do a reality-TV series? “I don’t,” she answers matter of fact. “But I shouldn’t say no because then I’ll probably end up doing one. I can’t imagine doing one because whenever I watch like the Real Housewives, which I like a lot, I’m constantly embarrassed for these women. I’m always mortified on so many levels for these people.”

With soap memoirs all the rage, would Davidson ever consider penning her life story?  After all, her marriages over the years could provide a fascinating narrative alone! “There are too many people alive,” she deadpans. “There’s no way! Some people would have to die.”

–  Nelson Branco

Swinging in the Rain is available in Ebook and on hardcover at amazon.com and createspace.com.

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The book looks good, where can I order it. since I live in Europe don’t know if i can get it at the american bookstore here in amsterdam. Please let me know where i can buy a copy.

Cool interview.I liked it.

i don’t know how it’s #1 the writing is awful thank goodness for the women.

I have Diva Las Vegas on iPad via Kindle app though haven’t read it yet. Working on Carolyn Hennesy’s The Secret Life of Damien Spinelli

Look forward to it though.

I’ve always loved Eileen Davidson’s portrayal of Ashley. This chick never gets the kudos she deserves… thanks for featuring this, Michael, and congrats to her on her latest novel!! 🙂

General Hospital

John J. York Returns as General Hospital’s Mac Scorpio and Shares, “Expect The You-Know-What to Hit the Fan”

General Hospital fans were overjoyed when John J. York (Mac Scorpio) revealed he was back on set and taping all-new episodes of the ABC daytime drama series.

The beloved GH star was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and multiple smoldering myeloma, two blood and bone marrow disorders, back in 2022.  Later, he underwent treatment for the cancer in September of 2023, which took him off the show while he went through a blood stem cell transplant and the recovery.

Now, those who have waited for Mac to finally get to the truth – that Cody Bell (Josh Kelly) is his biological son – may finally get their wish!  Speaking with TV Insider on his imminent return (he is back on-screen this coming Wednesday, June 19th), York shared on what’s about to go down, “Expect the you-know-what to hit the fan and let the dust come down and settle where it will, so get ready.”

Photo: ABC

York also prepped viewers that he will look a little different when he first seen back in Port Charles, due to his cancer treatments, “My hair grew back nice. I was not sure how my hair would look because I was bald. Now it’s short, like a military cut.”

Photo: JYorkIG

Speaking on his own health and life, John shared, “With the MDS, if everything goes well with the bone marrow transplant, that should be handled. With the multiple smoldering myeloma, smoldering being the key word, it just kind of stays there in my system. There is a small chance that it could turn into full-blown leukemia at some point, but the goal is for me to die of old age before I die of any kind of blood cancer. I feel fantastic and all the blood tests that I take once a month have all pointed in the direction that things are all going in the right direction, which is really good.”

Photo: ABC

Are you looking forward to the moment that Mac realizes Cody is his son? What do you think his reaction will be as he has been duped all this time? Happy, as we are, that John is back on-screen on GH? Comment below.

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News

One Life to Live Alum Jonathan Groff Wins First Tony Award For ‘Merrily We Roll Along’

Finally, in his third Tony Award nomination, the multi-talented Jonathan Groff, was named the Tony winner in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his work in the Broadway revival of Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along at the 77th annual Tony Awards broadcast on CBS.

In one of the hotly contested categories of the night, Groff bested Brody Grant for The Outsiders, Dorian Harewood for The Notebook, Brian d’Arcy James for Days of Wine and Roses, and Oscar and Olivier Award winner Eddie Redmayne for Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club.

Many thought Groff should have won a Tony back in 2007 for his performance in the original Broadway cast of Spring Awakening, but ‘Merrily’ was the ticket to victory.

Photo: CBS

One Life to Live fans may remember Groff played the teenager Henry Mackler back in 2007, in what was to be a long arc of a storyline involving a school shooting, but his role as cut short after 11 episodes, due to the real-life Virginia Tech school shooting in April of 2007.

Delivering the most emotional and heartfelt acceptance speech Tony night, Jonathan began. “I grew up in a house surrounded by cornfields in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I was raised by my parents, Jim and Julie Groff, and my brother David, and the three of them were sitting right there. Thank you for letting me dress up like Mary Poppins when I was three. Thank you for letting me act out scenes from I Love Lucy on my 10th birthday. Thank you for always allowing my freak flag to fly without ever making me feel weird about it.”

He added, “Even if they didn’t always understand me “my family knew the lifesaving power of fanning the flame of a young person’s passions without judgment. I walked through life with an open heart because you let me know that I could. Thank you to all of my teachers back in Pennsylvania, especially Sue Fisher, who told me I could do this for a living.”

Speaking to how Broadway has impacted his life, Groff further teared-up and expressed, “I moved to New York exactly 20 years ago this year and I got a job waiting tables and became a volunteer for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. All I wanted was to be a part of this community. A thank you to everyone involved in Spring Awakening who not only made that dream come true, but also inspired me to come out of the closet when I was 23. I’m now 39 and musical theater is still saving my soul.”

“Maria Friedman, thank you for letting me be your Franklin Shepherd in this production of Merrily and allowing me the chance to accept respect and express both the lightest and darkest parts of myself,” Groff continued. “Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez, you are more than old friends, you are soul mates, and I’m looking forward to watching each other change for the rest of our lives. Thank you to every member of the extraordinary cast for lifting this Merrily into the spiritual stratosphere.”

Photo: CBS

Groff concluded with, “And finally, I just want to say that when I was a kid in Pennsylvania, I used to record the Tony Awards on a VHS tape and watch the performances over and over again. And to actually be able to be a part of making theater in this city and just as much to be able to watch the work of this incredible, incredible community, has been the greatest gift and pleasure of my life. I thank you and thank you so much for this honor.”

So were you happy to see Jonathan Groff win the Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical? What did you think of his acceptance speech?  Watch it below, then Let us know in the comment section.

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General Hospital

Bryan Craig Wishes General Hospital’s Maurice Benard ‘Happy Father’s Day’; Is He Trolling Us … or is This the Ultimate Return Tease?

Sunday is Father’s Day, and it’s the time when many soap stars and celebrities take to social media to give love and shout outs to their dads.

In an another post that got General Hospital fans to take notice, two-time Daytime Emmy-winner Bryan Craig (ex-Morgan Corinthos) dropped a blast from the past photo of himself alongside Maurice Benard (Sonny). Accompanying the photo, Bryan wrote: ‘Happy Father’s Day” Maurice Benard.

The post on X comes on the heels of a previous response by Craig to a post on Frank Valentini’s (executive producer, General Hospital) comment to On the Red Carpet, where he revealed that this summer, “A former cast member is coming back. And I think that the audience will go crazy for HIM.” In response, Craig teased, “Who could it be…”

Photo: ABC

Now on Sunday responses to Craig’s post were met with varied responses from GH fans from “Stop playing with us” to “Now you’re just trolling us, lol. We really need you back right now.”  Still others took it as a potential confirmation that Craig is the mystery man on his way back to General Hospital stating, “I hope you’re going to back to GH!” to “Can’t wait!”

Craig last appeared on GH from 2013-2016 and made a brief return in 2018. Since departing GH, Bryan has appeared in numerous TV and film projects including: Freeform’s Good Trouble and ABC’s Grand Hotel.

So, is Bryan Craig yanking GH viewers chain, or is he slyly teasing us, because he knows he is the one returning to the ABC soap opera? Weigh-in on your theories below.

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