Tuesday, February 3, 2009

FLASHBACK: Daytime Death, Transfiguration 1979 - Fans Protest OLTL & GH Decisions

Daytime Death, Transfiguration

By Jon-Michael Reed
Los Angeles Times
October 9, 1979

NEW YORK - Protests are coming into this column regarding the screen "deaths" of the characters of Joe Reilly (Lee Patterson) on ONE LIFE TO LIVE and Peter Taylor (Craig Huebing) on GENERAL HOSPITAL.

There is never an official reason why longtime, popular characters such as Joe and Peter were axed, except the standard statement that "the writers wanted to go in other directions with the soap story."

Joe's death gives his wife a story change for future romances, while Peter's death wraps up a plot contrivance that has been hanging in midair for more than two years.

Lee Patterson got revenge by signing up on a rival network and soap, ANOTHER WORLD, even before his screen death on ONE LIFE TO LIVE. His fans can follow his new characterization as Dr. Kevin Cooke on ANOTHER WORLD beginning the middle of this month.

Craig Huebing's immediate plans include taking a long vacation to enjoy his mania for camping, hiking and mountaineering. His exit from GENERAL HOSPITAL leaves one less member of the show's remaining veterans. John Beradino and Emily McLaughlin (Steve and Jessie) are original cast members from the show's 1963 debut. Rachel Ames (Audrey) joined a year later, while Peter Hansen (Lee) followed in 1965. Huebing's GENERAL HOSPITAL days date back to 1966.

SHORT TAKES: Robert Clary, the bouncy Frenchman who portrays Robert LeClair on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, is glowing in the aftermath of a well-received musical tour through Australia. DAYS is extremely popular down under, and members of the DAYS cast are virtually making Australia a second home. Susan and Bill Hayes (Julie and Doug) and Patty Weaver (Trish) are others from the soap who have enjoyed multiple engagements to sell-out audiences in the land of the Kangaroo and koala.

Talk show host Dick Cavett makes a two-day guest apparances on ALL MY CHILDREN this week, playing himself as the special guest at Erica's disco club opening. Cavett agreed to do the soaper after interviewing the show's creator and head writer, Agnes Nixon, on his syndicated program.

Twelve daytime stars from AS THE WORLD TURNS, THE EDGE OF NIGHT, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, GENERAL HOSPITAL and DAYS OF OUR LIVES will appear at Knott's Berry Farm, Nov. 10-13, during the park's annual Pioneer Days festival. The performers will entertain, show film clips from their favorite scenes and participate in question-and-answer sessions with Joyce Becker, the organizer of the event.

New York City's Circle Repertory Company will be staging a new production of "Hamlet," beginning Nov. 28, that will costar Douglass Watson as Claudius and Kathleen Widdoes as Queen Gertrude. Doug and Kathleen are better known to daytime audiences as Mac Cory and Rose Perrini on ANOTHER WORLD.

Meanwhile, Dorothy Lyman (Gwen Frame) is producing and costarring with her ANOTHER WORLD castmate Maeve Kinkead (Angie Frame) in the upcoming off-Broadway play, "A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talkin'." Interestingly, Dorothy and Maeve are bitter rivals on the soap, while off-screen they share a stag-acting passion and are good friends.

Filling in the romantic shoes of exciting actor John Mansfield (Adam Brewster on ONE LIFE TO LIVE) is soap opera newcomer Clint Ritchie as Clint Buchanan on the ABC serial. The character is slated to be invovled in a love triangle with rivaling sisters Pat and Maggie.

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