Saturday, August 17, 2019

Y&R Report (August:17, 2019): The Latest on the Young and the Restless


Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance. 

Hasn't Chelsea always been Adam Newman's true love.  Well, at least she was when Justin Hartley played the role.  Now that Mark Grossman is the new evil Adam, she's just a mean's to an end.  He doesn't mind using Chelsea to get what he wants.  He's doing the same with Sharon.  He's using her too.

In the previews, viewers saw Adam propose to Sharon.  He knows if he marries her, he'll have a better chance of winning custody of his two sons if he can convince the judge that he can provide them with a mother figure and a stable home.  Sharon would be a fool to take the bait and marry Adam.  I wouldn't put it past Adam, though, to coerce or blackmail her into it.  However, as I keep pointing out, isn't Adam still technically still married to Chelsea?  Athough, Chelsea believed Adam was dead, she never divorced him, which means her marriage to Calvin was invalid.       

Adam is obsessed with getting custody of both his biological sons.  Is it about love for his sons or is it about control?  I believe it's the latter.  Adam has become a control freak like his father, Victor.  He really isn't trying to do what's best for his sons.  Yes, he does have a right to share custody of Connor with Chelsea.  After all, Connor remembers Adam and misses spending time with him  The young boy needs a father figure in his life.  Chelsea, to her credit, is being reasonable. She is willing to let Adam be a father to Connor.  However, that isn't good enough for Adam.  He wants full custody of the child.  He would tear Connor away from his mother and involve him in a nasty custody battle.  How would that benefit Connor?

As for Christian, Adam has only confused the child by telling him that he is his real father.  Christian is too young to understand.  He only knows that Nick has been a father too him and has always been there for him.

Chelsea's mother, Anita, is a piece of work.  I knew there was some fraud involved with Calvin's money.  Chelsea never should have signed anything.  She finally clued in when her mother turned down a million dollars.  She knew something was fishy then because Anita has never been known to refuse money.

I am pleased that  Eileen Davidson making so many appearances lately as Ashley Abbott.  She has been around so often that I've wondered if she had decided to return to Y&R.  Now that Ashley's company and Jabot have merged, is A,A. coming home to Genoa City?   That doesn't appear to be the case, at least not just yet.  Ashley's staying in Paris for the time being.  However, she did say that her family would be seeing a lot more of her.

Well, Kyle and Lola made it through their wedding ceremony, but there are dark clouds on the horizon.  Thee are so many clouds that this couple is as doomed as Romeo and Juliet.  Where do I start?  Well, first of all, Kyle is keeping a big New York secret from Lola involving a young blonde named Zoe Hardisty (Anna Grace Barlow).  That's never a good way to begin a marriage and Lola will not be thrilled about it.  Secondly, Theo is determined to undermine the couple's happiness.  Summer seems to be behaving herself at the moment, but that could change.  Surprisingly, Lola invited the Snowflake to the nuptials and she was very upset when the couple took their vows.  She obviously still has feelings for Kyle.  Thirdly, Lola's parents are going to be thrown into the mix.  They will cause stress for Lola and interfere in the newlywed's affairs.                                                                                                                                                                         
Where oh where is Candy Cane Ashby (Daniel Goddard)?  The whispering Australian has not appeared on the show since Traci Abbott informed him she only wanted to be friends with him.  There doesn't seem to be much storyline for him right now.  I wonder if he has any future on the show or if the writers have cooked up anything for him.


 Website says a reliable source has confirmed that Mishael Morgan is back on Y&R.  Is it really true?

According to Soap Dirt, a reliable source has confirmed tha Mishael Morgan (Hilary) will be returning to The Young and the Restless.  I can't tell you how reliable the source is, but it claims that she has signed a three-year deal with Y&R.  Apparently, there's no confirmation about whether she'll play her Hilary character.  Although Hilary is supposedly dead, Y&R's writers should have no trouble dreaming up some cockamamie explanation for her being alive.  I know most fans would love to see her back in her original role, even though all these soap opera "returns from the dead" are becoming far too common and somewhat ridiculous. However, having said that, I know that most fans would prefer her in her Hilary role.  I really hope that they don't bring her back as Hilary's long-lost twin or some other character.

Mischel's two children are still quite young and this could just be speculation.  Stay tuned to see if this is really true.  Nothing has been officially confirmed.


* Jay Montevalso is playing the role of Adrian Rosales, the wayward father of Rae, Arturo and Lola.  Jason Canela is back as Arturo Rosales, at least for his sister's wedding.  Just when viewers thought they might be seeing less of the Rosales clan when Arturo and Mia returned to Miami, the family is front and centre on the show right now.

* Judah Mackey has been cast as Connor Newman.  I have been impressed with Judah's performance as Connor so far.  He seems to be a good child actor.  I hope he stays in Genoa City.

* Elizabeth Hendrickson will be returning in more episodes as Chloe Mitchell.

*  Lauren Woodland will make another appearance as lawyer Brittany Hodges on Tuesday, August 27 on CBS (Monday, August 28 on Global TV in Canada).


Melissa Ordway (Abby)
Sean Dominic (Dr. Nate)

Dr. Nathan Hastings is dedicated to the medical profession.  Spoiled wealthy socialite Abby Newman is concentrating on making her restaurant, "Society," a success.  The couple seems to be at different places in their lives.  Nate has bought Cane and Lily's house and is ready to settle down.  Abby has a history of choosing the wrong men.  Her relationship record includes a failed marriage to another doctor, Stitch, a disastrous relationship with Arturo and other unfortunate affairs.  To be fair, Abby has made it abundantly clear to Nate that she is not ready to make a commitment.  Yet, Nate wants to continue seeing her.  Is he the right guy at the wrong time?  Does this couple have any chance?  Fans. what do you think?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Do Abby and Nate have any chance of making their relationship work?

Yes. Dr. Nate is the most stable guy Abby's been with. She just needs time.
No, those two are on different pages and in different stages of their lives.
Maybe, but Nate isn't going to wait forever. He may turn to Elena because they share a medical background.
Please Specify:

Readers, I would appreciate your feedback

If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name. 

My email address:

That's all for now.  Please don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, August 31, 2019.

- Joanne

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Whatever happened to Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster)?

"I've been trying to hit home runs all my life.  Now I'm going to hit a few singles and doubles."

- Butch Patrick
People Magazine, July 1989

Eddie Munster was quite a kid.  Portrayed by child actor Butch Patrick, Eddie was a pointy-eared werewolf boy on the 1960s TV  sitcom, The Munsters.  Eddie even had a pet dragon named Spot.  "They put makeup on me, and that was the character," Butch told People magazine in 1989.  He made 35 shows a season for two years, an average of $600 a show.  "I was like the mascot of Universal Studios.  I used the back lot as my private little entertainment center."

When The Munsters ended, Butch continued working, guest-starring on series such as Adam-12 and The Monkees.  Still, he never again attained the success and recognition that his stint on The Munsters brought him.

Butch Patrick was born Patrick Alan Lilley in Inglewood, California on August 2, 1953.  Butch's parents divorced soon after his birth and his mother, Patty, raised him as a single mother. When Butch was about 7 years old, he accompanied his little sister to a photo shoot with Hollywood photographer
Amos Carr. They were introduced to talent agent Mary Grady (mother of Don Grady of My Three Sons and Lani O'Grady of Eight is Enough), who was planning to open a child agency  Photos were taken of both children and placed in Carr's Hollywood Blvd. studio.

The photos of Butch were noticed by someone (most likely a producer), who contacted Grady.  She submitted Butch's name for interviews for movie parts, guest spots on television and roles in TV commercials.  His third interview was for a Kellogg's Cornflakes commercial in which he played a little child who couldn't quite read the back of the cereal box.  According to IMDb, Patty and Butch's agent, Mary Grady, created Butch's stage name by combining his nickname, "Butch", with his real first name.

In 1962, when Butch was eight, Patty married major league baseball player Ken Hunt of the Los Angles Angels,  Ken adopted the child actor, who had already established himself as a child actor in movies and on television.

During the 1960s, Butch Patrick appeared on some of the most popular television series at the time.  In 1963, he had a recurring role as Greg Howard in seven episodes of The Real McCoys.  He also guest-starred in episodes of Death Valley Days (1963), My Favorite Martian (1963), Bonanza (1963), Rawhide (1964), Mister Ed (1963, 1964), Gunsmoke (1964, 1967), I Dream of Jeannie (1966, 1967), The Monkees (1967), Family Affair (1968) and Marcus Welby, M.D (1969).  In 1968 and 1969, Butch had a recurring role as Gordon Dearing on My Three Sons. (He portrayed a character named Elmore Crocker in his final appearance on My Three Sons in a 1971 episode entitled "Ernie Drives" (Season 11. Episode 18, Air Date (January 30, 1971).

Butch Patrick as a child
Ken Hunt had shoulder problems throughout the 1963 major league baseball season and the Los Angles Angeles sold his rights to the Washington Senators.  He and Patty and Butch relocated to Washington, D.C.  However, when Butch won a major role on The Munsters, they had to fly the 11-year-old to Los Angeles every week.  Ken decided not to play baseball in 1965 and returned to Los Angeles.

Although, Butch was a successful child actor, it was his role in The Munsters that really brought him fame.  The Munsters aired on CBS from 1964 until 1966 and featured a family of benign monsters.  The series was produced by Bob Mosher and Joe Connelly, the creators of Leave it to Beaver.  It starred Fred Gwynne as the Frankenstein-like Herman Munster, Yvonne De Carlo as his vampire wife, Lily, Al Lewis as Lily's father, a vampire grandpa, Beverly Owen as Marilyn, Herman and Lily's beautiful teenage niece (later replaced by Pat Priest), and Butch Patrick as their werewolf son, Edward "Eddie" Wolfgang Munster.  Eddie had a werewolf doll named Wolf Wolf.

Eddie Munster with Wolf Wolf doll

Butcch portrayed Eddie Munster in every episode of the original series except for the pilot.  In the pilot episode, Happy Derman plsyed Eddie.

Below is a 1964 publicity photo of the cast of The Munsters.  Seated from left are Butch Patrick (Eddie), Yvonne De Carlo (Lily), Fred Gwynne (Herman).  Standing: Beverly Owen (Marilyn) and Al Lewis (Grandpa).

From 1971 until 1972, Butch Patrick starred in the Saturday morning children's series, Lidsville, opposite veteran character actor Charles Nelson Reilly.  Butch portrayed Mark, a teenage boy lost in a peculiar psychedelic land of walking, talking, musical hats.  The fantasy series, which aired on the ABC network, combined conventional actors along with performers in full mascot costumes.  Below is a photo of  the teenage Butch promoting the September 11, 1971 premiere of Lidsville.

Butch was embarrassed about appearing on Lidsville, but he was attracted to the money he was offered, eventually amounting to $30,000 for 10 days' work.  "I wasn't thrilled by the work," he admitted to People magazine,"but then I decided that most of my friends wouldn't be up on a Saturday morning to see me."  Butch spent his Lidsville money on cars, drugs and more drugs.  He made his first drug purchase at the age of 16.

At 16, Butch also "became disenchanted" with the entertainment business. He went to Brazil to make a film called The Sandpit General which he thought would make him a major movie star, but the film was never released.  He told LA Beat that "the problem was, I went to Btazil when I was sixteen.  I didn't have a teacher or a parent . . . my sister says - I left as Richie Cunningham and came back three months later as John Lennon."

In the 1970s, Butch Patrick appeared in episodes of such TV series as The Smith Family (1971, 1972), Lucas Tanner (1974) and Ironside (1974).  In 1975, Butch took a break from acting to work with Ken, who owned a card club in Gardena, California.  He later performed odd jobs such as waxing cars and selling Christmas trees.

During those years and for many years after, Butch lead the kind of troubled life not uncommon to former child stars.  He had a run-ins with law and became a drug addict.  In 1973, he was charged with carrying a switchblade knife, in 1979 for possessing or selling a controlled substance and in 1981 for gambling.  All three incidents occurred in California.

In November of 1990, Butch was charged with robbing the driver of a limousine in Illinois.  He pleaded not guilty to the charges in December of 1990.  However, in August of 1991, he was found guilty of aggravated battery but acquitted of robbery. He was placed on 30 months probation, fined and sentenced to community service.  He was also ordered to complete a drug and alcohol program.

In 2002, Butch hosted five episodes of a TV series called Macabre Theatre which showed campy and classic horror kits by "Ivonna Cadaver."  It also featured skits by "Ivonna Cadaver," Butch in spooky locations.and Goth trivia.

In July of 2010, Butch announced his engagement to former Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader Donna McCall, a longtime fan of The Munsters.   In early November of that year, the couple broke up.  Soon after, Butch checked into rehab centre in New Jersey for treatment after 40-year addiction to drugs and alcohol.  He checked himself out of the facility but nearly overdosed days later.  He then entered a rehab facility in Orange County, California.

In September of 2016, Butch Patrick married Leila Murray in Macon, Missouri.  The couple exchanged vows at the historic Macon Roundhouse before about 90 guests.  Leila told People magazine that she first met Butch at an event through their mutual friend, automobile designer George Barris.  The pair reconnected in 2016 while Butch was on tour in Florida with his Munster Koach and Dragula Tribute Cars.

Butch and Leila in 2016  PHOTO ATTRIBUTION: Leila Lily

Buch has been sober for a while now and is very busy travelling and touring, especially at Halloween.  "The Halloween industry," he told Parade, "over the past 40 or 50 years has turned into a six-week window of trick-or-treating and haunted attractions."  Butch is happy to spend much of that time on the road.  It seems he has beaten his demons by embracing his past, not by running away from it.


* In 1963, Butch Patrick played a boy named Johnny Mercer during the first season of the daytime soap opera General Hospital.

* Butch's stepfather, the late Ken Hunt, was a professional baseball player from 1959 until 1964.  Ken, a boyhood friend of Roger Maris, played outfield in six major league seasons for three teams - the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators.  In April of 1966, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs and  assigned to their minor league team in Tacoma, Washington.  He did not play well in Tacoma and decided to retire.

When his baseball career ended, Ken found work in the aerospace industry.  He and Patty divorced, but he remained in closed contact with Butch.  On October 18, 1969, Ken married Sherry Konklin, a woman he met while working at an aerospace plant.  They had three children, a daughter, Kerry Lynn and two sons, Steve and Chris.  Ken Hunt died of a heart attack on June 8, 1997 at the age of 62.

Ken and Butch in the dugout of the Washington Senators.

Ken was a member of the Actor's Guild and appeared in a 1965 baseball-themed episode of The Munsters entitled "Herman the Rookie" (Season 1, Episode 29, Air Date: (April 8, 1965).  He portrayed a baseball catcher who was afraid of Herman Munster.  It is interesting to note that baseball legend Leo Durocher appeared as himself in the episode.

* Butch portrayed Eddie Munster in the 1966 feature film Munster, Go Home!.

* Butch has a diamond-studded ring with the initials "PL" on it, signifying  his real name, Patrick Lilley.  It was given to him when he had a kidney removed.

* Butch learned to play bass guitar.  In 1983, he formed a formed a pop-rock band called Eddie & The Monsters.  The band had a single titled "Whatever Happened to Eddie?," set to the tune of  The Munsters theme."  The group also recorded a song entitled "Little Monsters.'

* In May of 2011, Butch revealed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.  He stated that he had caught the disease early and was optimistic about his prognosis.

SOURCES: People magazine, "Once a Little Munster, Buch Patrick Grew Up to Battle Scarier Demons", by Tim Allis and David Lustig. July 10, 1989;  The Los Angeles Beat, "The Life and Mind of Butch Patrick: A Riveting Reality of Resilience. Resourcefulness and Resolve," by Jennifer K. Hugus, May 5, 2014;  The Daily Mail, "Eddie Munster actor checks into rehab after being dumped by girlfriend'" November 12, 2010;  "Yikes Alert:Eddie Munster Overdoses On Drugs, Back in Rehab;" Gabe Delahaye, November 30, 2010; Bismarch Tribune, "Injuries Dogged Ken Hunt during his baseball career," by Curt Eriksmoen, September 5, 2010; People magazine, "The Munsters Butch Patrick Marries Leila Murray," by Blake Bakkila and Brittany King, September 11, 2016; Parade; "Butch Patrick Celebrates Halloween and The Munsters,," by Dr. Nancy Berk; October 12, 2018;  Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), "Ken Hunt," by Terry Bohn;, "Butch Patrick;,; Wikipedia; IMDb

- Joanne

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Survey says . . . Family Feud is coming to Canada

Gerry Dee
Family Feud is one of my favourite game shows, my all-time favourite being Jeopardy!.  So, I am delighted that the Feud is coming to Canada this fall, and I'm not talking about the Steve Harvey version.  The popular TV game show will soon be airing on the CBC.  Family Feud Canada will be hosted by comedian Gerry Dee,, who starred in the CBC's Mr. D.  Auditions are being held in 16 cities across the country. According to Molly Middleton, the show's senior producer.  "We come to all these cities and see people in person and do kind of like a mock game play and put people through a test," Middleton stated in an article on the CBC's website.  

Would-be contestants can not just line up for an auditionThe CBC is searching for lively and energetic people and families of five are requested to apply online by submitting 3-to-5 minute videos.  If the producers are impressed, they will invite you to meet them in person.  The contestants will not be limited to those who live in Canada's most populous cites.

,Although families selected after the in-person auditions will go to Toronto for a taping, Middlleton stressed ithat "we don't want people in the farthest reaches to feel excluded."  That's why all travel expenses will be covered for the five-person families.  That's why there will be in-person interviews, for example, in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories on September 7, 2019.

"Families" do not have to be blood-related.  Participants must be 18 years of age or older as of September 1, 2019.  Those directly related to a CBC employee are not eligible to be a contestant on the show.


* Family Feud was created by Mark Goodson.(1915-1992, a U.S. television producer who specialized in game shoes.  Two families compete to name the most popular responses to survey questions in order to win cash and prizes.

* Family Feud premiered in the United States on July 12, 1976.on ABC.  It has also aired on CBS and . in syndication.  The late Richard Dawson hosted the show from 1976 to 1985 and again from 1994 to 1995.  Ray Combs, also deceased, followed from 1988 to 1994.  Louie Anderson hosted a new version of the show from  1999 to 2002 and he was replaced by Richard Karn from 2002 until 2006.  John O'Hurley was the fifth host from 2006 to 2010.  The sixth and current host of Family Feud is Steve Harvey, who succeeded O'Hurley in 2010.

Richard Dawson

Ray Combs (1988)

Steve Harvey

- Joanne

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Y&R Report (August 3, 2019): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance. 

Rey has dumped Sharon, probably for good.  It doesn't seem likely that he's going to relent and come running back to her anytime soon.  It's not surprising that Sharon sympathizes with Adam.  He has a way of pushing her buttons.  He takes advantage of her tendency to champion the underdog.  In her eyes, Adam is the underdog and that the whole world is against him  She is his only ally, his only defender.

Rey realizes that Sharon has been increasingly drawn to Adam.  After what he endured during his marriage to Mia, I don't blame him for not wanting to go through it again with Sharon.  The more everyone turns against Adam, the more Sharon will be support and defend him.  According to an online spoiler, she will "give in to temptation" where Adam is concerned.  Not surprisingly, she didn't waste much time pining over Rey, but then Sharon has never been one to  resist temptation and  men whose last name is Newman.

By the way, isn't Adam still technically married to Chelsea?  He was presumed dead but he and Chelsea never divorced.  Why has nobody mentioned that?  Also, Chelsea was left $5 million dollars in her late "husband" Calvin's will.  There must be something fishy about that money, especially if her con woman mother, Anita, is involved.  No wonder Chelsea had a feeling that something wasn't right.  Still, she signed the document without even reading it.  Nick didn't even stop her from being so careless.  He didn't remind her to read it first before signing it.

A new actor is playing the role of Christian Newman because the writers decided to age the character.  They obviously wanted an older Christian for the custody battle storyline.  It's too bad they couldn't have allowed the previous Christian to age naturally.  He is so sweet.  I miss him.

Kyle and Lola may be very lovey-dovey, but I can't see their relationship lasting much longer.  Their romance is doomed for two reasons.  Firstly, this is a soap and they can't live happily ever after.  Secondly, Kyle has not been completely honest with Lola.  He did not tell her the whole story about what happened in New York. What he did in the Big Apple will come back to haunt him.  What happened in New York will definitely not stay in New York.  Theo will see to that.  Kyle's New York buddy is nothing but trouble.  Although he denies it, he would be as pleased as punch if Kyle and Lola broke up.

When Lola learns the truth, she will not be a happy camper, to say the least.  If she finds out before the wedding ceremony or during the ceremony (as sometimes happens in a soap), the star-crossed lovers may not even get married.  However, I think she'll find out soon after the wedding.

Loren Lott (Ana Hamilton) leaves Y&R

Loren Lott, who played Devon's sister, Ana Hamilton, has been let go from The Young and the Restless.  She was told that the powers-that-be didn't know what to do with her storyline.  The actress admitted that she was "a little bummed at first that they wanted to spend their budget increasing other people's storylines."

Loren, a former American Idol contestant, has wrapped up her last day on the set of the show and will move on.  Taking to YouTube, she said "I have learned so much and I have had so much fun.  I've  received thousands of hugs and kisses and several 'dream come true' moments."

Billy Miller leaves General Hospital.  Is he headed for Y&R again?

Three-time Daytime Emmy winner Billy Miller has left his role as Drew Cain on General Hospital.  Does that mean he's going to reprise his role as Billy Abbott on Y&R?  It's very possible, especially after Michelle Stafford's return as Phyllis.  If I were Jason Thompson, the current Billy, I'd be looking over my shoulder.  Jason must be thinking about what happened to Gina Tognoni.


As mentioned in the last edition of Y&R Report, Catherine Bach will return as Chelsea's mother, Anita Lawson, on August 8th (CBS) and August 7 (Global TV in Canada).  She will be accompanied by Connor Newman, the son of Chelsea and Adam.  Judah Mackey has been cast in the role of Connor and you can bet he will have grown up quite a bit since we last saw him.

Elizabeth Hendrickson will be appearing in more episodes as Chloe Mitchell.

A mysterious new character is coming to Genoa City.  Her name is Zoe Hardisty and she will be played by Alabama native Anna Grace Barlow.  According to Soap Opera Digest, Zoe is scheduled for a small number of episodes and "will share a surprising connection with a member of Genoa City's jet-set."   Could it be Kyle?  Was he involved with her during his wild New York days?  Watch out, Lola!

Anna Grace Barlow


If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name. 

My email address:

Regular Y&R viewer Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario thinks that if Billy Abbott (Jason Thompson) is hospitalized with a breakdown over Delia, another actor may be playing the role of Billy when he returns form treatment.  That actor would be Billy Miller, who recently left General Hospital.  Billy Miller is very popular and many fans want him back on Y&R.


Well fans, over to you. What's your verdict?  Do you want Billy Miller to return to The Young and the Restless or are you happy with Jason Thompson in the role?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Do you want Billy Miller to come back to Y&R?

Yes, he was fantastic as Billy Abbott. I've missed him.
No, I'm happy with Jason Thompson now. I've gotten used to him.
I don't know. They are both good actors.
Please Specify:

That's all for now.  Don't miss the next edition of Y&R Report in this space on Saturday, August 17, 2019.

- Joanne

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Update on Valerie Harper

There is some sad news in TVland.  Valerie Harper, television's "Rhoda," is near death, according to her longtime husband, Tony Cacciotti.  Four years after she beat lung cancer in 2009, Valerie was diagnosed with a condition known as leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, which occurs when cancer cells spread into the fluid membrane surrounding the brain.  In 2013, Valerie announced that she had terminal brain cancer and was given given thee to six months to live.  However, she battled bravely and beat the odds, even competing on Dancing with the Stars.

In a July 23, 2019 Facebook post, Cacciotti, 78, revealed that doctors had advised him to move his wife of 32 years to hospice care.  He has refused to do so, promising to keep Valerie, 79, as comfortable as possible during the final days of her life.  Here is what Tony Cacciotti wrote: "I have been told by doctors to put Val in Hospice care and I can't (because of our 40 years of shared commitment to each other) and I won't because of the amazing good deeds she has graced us with while she's been here on earth."

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Valerie and her family.

Note: I posted an earlier article on Valerie Harper on July 28, 2011.  Click the link below to read it.

- Joanne

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

You wanted to know . . . What happened to Mark Stewart (Toby on Mannix)?

Gail Fisher with Mark Stewart in 1970

A reader wanted to know what happened to Mark Stewart, the boy who played Toby, Peggy's (Gail Fisher) son on Mannix.  

From 1968 to 1975, Mark Stewart portrayed Toby Fair in 12 episodes of Mannix, the CBS detective series starring Mike Connors.  When the series made its debut in 1967, Joe Mannix, a Los Angeles private investigator, worked for a detective agency called Intertect.  In the second season, Mannix opened his own detective agency, assisted by his secretary, Peggy Fair (Gail Fisher).  Peggy was the widow of a police officer who was killed in the line of duty, while trying to prevent a burglary.

Mark first appeared as Toby on Mannix in a 1968 episode entitled "The Need of a Friend" (Season 2. Episode 9, Air Date: November 23, 1968).  In the episode, Joe Mannix tries to help a man released from prison after serving 7 years.  It was Mannix who helped send him to prison when he was on his first case.

In a Mannix episode entitled "Medal for a Hero" (Season 3, Episode 14, Air Date: January 3, 1970), police uncover evidence indicating that Peggy's late husband and other police officers were on the take.  Young Toby is devasted by the news, but Mannix claims the boy as his client in an effort to clear his father's name in this case.

Below is a photo of Mark Stewart in an episode of Mannix entitled "Merry-Go-Round for Murder."  It aired on April 5, 1969.

According to IMDb, Mark has no TV or film credits after Mannix.  He seems to have ended his acting career when Mannix went off the air.  There is very little information on him online and "Mark Stewart" is a common name.  Perhaps he wants to remain private.  If that's the cast, I respect his privacy.  If not, I wonder if anyone can provide TV Banter with some information about Mark.  Even better, I invite Mark to send me an email to share with for my readers.


* Mark played the role of Curtis Bishop in a 1970 episode of the TV drama Bracken's World, starring Leslie Nielsen.  The episode is entitled "Will Freddy's Real Father Stand Up?" (Season 2, Episode 13, Air Date: December 11, 1970).

* Gail Fisher died on December 2, 2000 in Los Angeles.  She was 65 years old at the time of her passing and the cause of her death was kidney failure.  Gail was one of the first African-American women to have a leading role in an American television series.  The only other one I can think of right away is Diahnn Carroll who starred in Julia.  She played Julia Baker, a widoed nurse with a young son (her husband was a soldier who died in Vietnam).  Julia was a comedy and it ran from 1968 to 1971, at the same time Gail Fisher appeared in Mannix. 

* Mike Connors passed away on January 26, 2017 at the age of 91.

- Joanne

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Y&R Report (July 20, 2019): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance. 

I have been hearing mixed reactions about the return of Michelle Stafford as Phyllis.  Michelle has been criticized for overacting and being too animated.  Nevertheless, that was quite a scene when Phyllis slammed Christine Williams (aka Cricket) after the Cricketmeister announced that she would not seek re-election as District Attorney.  The red-head declared triumphantly, "The Bug has finally been squashed."

It was good to see Eileen Davidson back as Ashley again.  I really enjoyed her scenes in Paris with Jack.  I hope Eileen will continue to make periodic visits.  She's back this summer to help deal with a threat to Jabot.

I'm not sure what's going on with Jack Abbott.  It's seems as if they are auditioning various women to see if they have chemistry with him.  The latest one was Mallory, the woman whose father was in the nursing care facility with Dina.  However, she didn't last long.  Before we got much of a chance to see if she suited Jack. her father died and she decided to leave town.  What do the writers have in mind?  Are they ultimately going to involve him with Lauren or is there someone else being cooked up.  I thought he might start a relationship with Celeste (Eva LaRue), but Celeste is back with wayward hubby Adrian Rosales.  Still, that doesn't rule out that she will eventually become involved with Jack.  That may depend on if Celeste returns to Miami or remains in Genoa City.  It seems more likely that a Jack/Lauren affair is in the works, especially now that Michael is getting himself entangled in Adam's web.  It looks like Michael's going to jeopardize his marriage in order to protect Kevin and bring Adam down.  Now that Christine is not running for the position of District Attorney, Michael will run for office because of Adam.  People will think he is being ambitious and selfish.

Speaking of Michael Baldwin (Christian LeBlanc), what has happened to his hair?  It isn't styled right and it's too long.

Victor Newman has stopped treatment for his blood disease, PNH.  He can't stand not being sharp and in control.  I still think he will opt to have a bone marrow transplant and, of course, Adam will be the most suitable donor.  That will certainly give Adam the upper hand and he will use it to his advantage.


Catherine Bach returns as Chelsea's mother

Catherine Bach will be back as Chelsea's mother, con woman Anita Lawson.  She will make an appearance in Genoa City on Thursday, August 8 (CBS), Wednesday, August 7 (Global TV in Canada).  Expect Anita to cause problems for daughter Chelsea, as usual.  Anita is a master of the art of grifting and she always tries to drag Chelsea into her web of dishonesty and fraud.  There is still a great deal we don't know about Chelsea's life after she left Genoa City and how her mother's part in setting up her marriage to Calvin.  Knowing Anita, there had to have been some kind of scam involved.


If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name. 

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I received an email from Carly in Barrhaven, Ontario.  Here are Carly's comments.

My favourite Adam portrayer is still Michael Muhney, although Mark Grossman is a great "evil" actor.  Traci and Cane together is growing on me.  I am very happy that Michelle Stafford is back.  She suits the Phyllis role perfectly.

Yes, Carly.  I liked Michael Muhney too. I think he and Justin Hartley were fantastic as Adam.  I don't like Mark Grossman as much in the role.  It's not so much Grossman's fault as the writers.  They have made Adam cartoonishly evil.  He always wears black and acts like Snidely Whiplash, ready to tie Princess Victoria Newman to the railroad tracks.

I don't know exactly why, but I couldn't get used to Traci and Cane as a couple.  They seem thrown together for plotline purposes.  The writers had to have a story for Candy Cane without Lily and Mattie and Charlie in it.  Traci was due for a little romance in her life.  Voila!  Put them together.  Unfortunately, the mixture doesn't seem quite right.  Maybe that's why the writers had Traci tell him Cane they were only going to be good friends.  The match-up probably didn't get a positive response from viewers.  It could be that some fans don't like a younger man/older woman romance.  In real life Beth Maitland (Traci) is 61 and Daniel Goddard (Cane) is 47.  On the other hand, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) is eight years older than Joshua Morrow (Nick) and there didn't seem to be any problem with that.

It's good to see Michelle Stafford back, but I also miss Gina Tognoni.  However only one of them can play Phyllis at a time.  I like them both and they each have a unique style.


Nick and Chelsea are getting very cozy, aren't they?  How do you feel about that, fans?  Do you think they should become a couple again?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Do you want Nick and Chelsea to reunite?

Yes, they suit each other. They make a good couple.
No, that ship has sailed. Nick and Chelsea should both find someone new.
Maybe, but not right away. Give it some time.
Please Specify:
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That's all for now.  I hope you are having a great summer.   Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, August 3, 2019.  

- Joanne