“Days of our Lives” stars Freddie Smith (Sonny Kiriakis) and Shawn Christian (Daniel Jonas) have a lot to celebrate. In addition to surpassing their Kickstarter page donation goal for their new web comedy project, “Addicts Anonymous,” a new star has joined the cast: “Full House” alum, Lori Loughlin!
Loughlin, who’s also known for her roles on “The Edge of Night,” “Summerland,” and the new “90210,” will play Smith’s character’s mother (opposite Christian, who will portray Smith’s character’s dad) if the project is made.
Check out the “Addicts Anonymous” Kickstarter page for more information and to find out how you can help create the potential web series, which also stars comedy veterans Matt Walsh (“Veep,” “Ted,” “The Hangover,” “Old School”) and Jerry Lambert (“Shameless,” Family Guy,” “Bad Teacher”), and former “DAYS” beauty Molly Burnett (ex-Melanie Kiriakis).
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Original “One Life to Live” cast member Doris Belack passed away Monday of natural causes in Manhattan. Belack potrayed Anna Wolek Craig on the show from 1968-77. She was 85 years old.
Belack had a lengthy television and film career spanning nearly 50 years. Her first TV appearance was in 1951 in the series “Treasury Men in Action.” Four years later she performed alongside Sidney Poitier on the record “Poetry of the Negro,” which was produced by her husband of 65 years, Philip Rose (who passed away on May 31).
In the early 1960s, Belack appeared in “East Side/West Side,” and later guest starred in two episodes of “The Patty Duke Show.” She joined the cast of the new soap “One Life to Live” when it premiered in July 1968, playing Anna Wolek, a member of daytime’s first Polish-American middle class family. Belack would stay with the show until 1977, at which time the role of Anna was recast with Kathleen Maguire from 1977-78, and Phyllis Behar from 1978-82, when the Anna was written off the show. In 1970, Belack made a guest appearance as Anna on “All My Children.” Other soap roles included “Another World,” “The Edge of Night,” and “The Doctors.”
After leaving “One Life to Live,” Belack appeared in an episode of “Barney Miller” as Fish’s wife Bernice, Libby Levine in the 1977 feature film “Looking Up,” which also starred her former “OLTL” co-star and onscreen sister-in-law Marilyn Chris, ex-Wanda Wolek.
Following roles in TV movies “The Last Tenant,” The Jilting of Granny Weatherall,” and “The Black Marble” (again alongside Chris), s”We’re Fighting Back” and “Hanky Panky,” she landed one of her most memorable film roles, playing soap opera producer Rita Marshall in “Tootsie.” Around the same time, she had a starring role on the short-lived CBS comedy series “Baker’s Dozen.”
Through the 1980s, Belack’s career continued to flourish with parts in the films “The Cradle Will Fall,” “Sessions,” “The Hearst and Davis Affair,” “Almost Partners,” “*batteries not included,” “She-Devil,” “Fast Forward,” “Hostage,” “Splash, Too,” and “The Luckiest Man in the World.” She also guest starred in numerous television series, including “Family Ties,” “The Cosby Show,” “Cagney and Lacey,” “Remington Steele,” “The Golden Girls,” “Mr. Belvedere,” “Off the Rack,” “Scarecrow and Mrs. King,” “Mary,” “Emerald Point N.A.S.,” “Hometown,” “The Equalizer,” “Baby Boom,” and “Anything But Love.”
Belack stayed action in television and film even into the 1990s, starring in the short-lived ABC primetime series “Laurie Hill,” and equally brief CBS comedy “Family Album.” She also co-starred as Dr. Catherine Tomsky in the 1991 Bill Murray feature film “What About Bob?,” and as Dr. Roberts in 1994′s “Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult.” Other film appearances include “Opportunity Knocks,” “Absolute Strangers,” “What’s Your Sign?,” “Krippendorf’s Tribe,” “The Odd Couple II,” and “Fail Safe.” Belack also guest-starred in a number of TV series during the ’90s including “Mathnet,” “Lifestories: Families in Crisis,” “Picket Fences,” “Chicago Hope,” “Ellen,” “Public Morals,” “Prince Street,” “Dellaventura,” “Touched By an Angel,” “Cosby,” and “New York Undercover.”
In 1999, she provided the voices of Mayor Tippi Dink and teacher Ms. Wingo in “Doug’s 1st Movie,” after having voiced the characters throughout the animated series’ television run. Also, between 1990 and 2001, she played Judge Margaret Barry in ten episodes of “Law & Order” and two episodes of “Law & Order: SVU” from 2000-01.
Other TV and film credits include the short film “The Lovers” and the television series “Now & Again,” “Madigan Men,” and “Everwood.” Belack’s last television appearance was in a 2003 episode of “Sex and the City,” and her final film roles were in “Prime” (2005), which starred Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep; “Delirious” (2006 ), starring Steve Buscemi, and “Arranged” (2008).
Belack was also voiced characters in the video games “True Crime: New York City” and “Grand Theft Auto IV,” where she voiced the character of Maureen McReary. And between 1960 and 1990 she appeared on stage in productions of “The Cemetery Club,” “Cheaters,” “The Trip Back Down,” “Bad Habits,” “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” “The Ninety Day Mistress,” “Nathan Weinstein, Mystic, Connecticut,” “The Heroine,” and “Semi-Detached.”
A joint public memorial for both Belack and Rose will be held on Monday, October 17, at Noon ET at the Ambassador Theater in New York City.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — When Rex (John-Paul Lavoisier) and Natalie (Melissa Archer) arrive in Kentucky at the Spotted Pony Strip Club later this week, fans may recognize the face of the man tending bar behind the counter. A.C. Weary, the husband of Kim Zimmer, who returned to the role of Echo Di Savoy last October after a nearly thirty year absence from the show, has been cast in the recurring role of Theo, the club’s manager. But don’t expect husband and wife to be sharing screen time anytime soon, however.
Weary first airs on Friday, August 19, when he gets the wrong impression about the Buchanan heiress and has a run-in with the young Mr. Balsom. But that’s not all, look for Theo to also have a Buchanan ex-wife on the payroll of his shady establishment.
This is not Weary’s first stint on “One Life to Live.” In 1978 (and again briefly in 1983) he played Dick Grant, the producer of Pat Ashley’s (played by the late Jacqueline Courtney) TV talk show “The View on Llanview,” whom she turned to after learning of her new husband Adam Brewster’s (John Mansfield) shady financial dealings. In true soap fashion, the personable Dick became obsessed with Pat, going as far as kidnapping her as well as her twin sister Maggie (also played by Courtney).
In addition to “OLTL,” he has also directed episodes of “Another World” and appeared as a paramedic on “Ryan’s Hope” in 1978 and as Gary Shaw in “The Edge of Night” in 1984. Other television credits include appearances on “L.A. Law,” “Jake and the Fatman,” and “Father Dowling Mysteries.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — It was June 8 when newly appointed “General Hospital” head writer Garin Wolf previewed to TV Guide Magazine‘s Michael Logan that “sometimes they come back” in reference to what fans can expect from his tenure as the shows top scribe. Since then word broke that Leslie Charleson would be returning to the soap as Dr. Monica Quartermaine nearly a year after being placed on recurring status, but never seen or used since. Also expected to return in recurring capacities are Tyler Christopher (Nikolas Cassadine) and Ingo Rademacher (Jasper ‘Jax’ Jacks), who were both fired while under the Robert Guza Jr. dictated writing regime. Also showing their face for a lengthier stay than originally thought, and in a recurring capacity, is Constance Towers whose Helena Cassadine is finding herself a new boy toy after many years of lacking a 3 dimensional personality, the return of Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) and more Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Elliott).
“I want to make this a nice, easy transition. I want to bring balance to the show. I’m very big on secrets and romance and triangles. I’m a child of [Charles] Dickens and Doug Marland. I love “Dexter” and “Desperate Housewives.” I’m very eclectic. I love to combine a lot of different things, which is what’s great about soap operas. I love multi-generational stories,” said Wolf of what viewers could expect from him directly as a longtime fan of the medium himself. Regarding “GH” specifically, Wolf made it clear that “this is an amazing cast and I want to use everybody. I want to mix it up and bring back the entertainment. I want to bring back the reality to the characters’ lives. If you’re a cop, what is your life really like? Even in the most outrageous storyline, there must be some kind of identifiable emotion. I don’t care if we’re talking about a mobster or a plumber — you have to watch and say, ‘I know how he feels. I’ve been there.’ And we really need romance. For me, that’s all about yearning and obstacles. You have to know who you are rooting for and rooting against. I want to bring back villainy — dishy villainy, fun villainy, dangerous villainy. This is going to date me. My earliest soap opera memory is having a crush on Ann Flood on ‘The Edge of Night‘ when I was 7 years old. And I went from there to ‘Dark Shadows.’ Growing up, comic books were soap operas for me.”
All the fun and excitement fans have been hearing about from stars of the drama series, including Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis), who has been very vocal on Twitter, kicks off on Tuesday, July 26, when Wolf penned episodes begin airing on ABC. Almost immediately fans can expect love, romance, fights for survival, passion, courtship, reconciliations, introductions, jealousy and even a touch of “Cougar Town” (think early episodes from the shows first season) to hit their screens. In response to what she knows of Wolf’s material, Grahn shared on her Twitter page ” “It’s going to be all about women. This team loves them. That’s not to say we’ll all be saints, but it’ll be about us. The pace will be picking up. The actors have worked with him [Wolf] before and they are all happy.”
Sources tell Soap Opera Network that with all returning cast members and the creative changes hitting “General Hospital,” you should expect to hear that those returning actors will be not be offered contracts. “All of these actors are being kept on recurring in an attempt to keep costs down in order to keep the show on the air,” said a source. The same also holds true for other daytime soaps as well. “This is a trend we can expect to see more of, not just on ‘GH,’ but in daytime in general,” our source continued. “It’s been headed this way for a long time,” a daytime star told Soap Opera Network requesting anonymity during Emmy weekend earlier this month. “We’re going to see less and less contracts and more people on recurring basis. Unfortunately this is the way its been headed and in order for daytime to survive, this is the way it has to be.”
The cost cutting idea is one that makes the most sense when you think about it. You’re not guaranteed to have to pay people who aren’t being used, so the big gamble will be either risk losing key players to current storylines or lose millions of dollars on stars you don’t use, only to see your show canceled due to budget constraints. In order to avoid this all together, it is also likely we will see actors continuiously picked up for cycles as they are used and then being dropped before the next cycle kicks in.