Saturday, August 18, 2018

Y&R Report (August 18, 2018): 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.

When Hilary died, I had a great deal of sympathy for Devon.  Yes, he is grieving and he is angry, but does he have to take everything out on Lily?  She feels bad enough and she has to live with what she's done for the rest of her life.  Lily has confessed to the police.  She has taken responsibility for her careless actions.  Why is she beating herself up?  She practically expects to get a 20 year sentence, despite having Michael Baldwin as her lawyer.  What kind of lawyer is Michael if he can't get the sentence reduced or community service and probation for her.  She has no criminal record.

Victoria and Nikki are basking in the glory of being Genoa City's "power couple.  They are so rich and powerful that they have hired Dr. Nate as their personal physician.  They don't have to wait in line to get a family doctor and I'm sure they have medical insurance, unlike millions of Americans.

Nick has spent so much time trying to distance himself from his ruthless father, Victor Newman.  The irony is that he is becoming more and more like "The Moustache."  He even gave his own daughter, Summer, a huge amount of money to keep quiet about his tryst with Phyllis.  That's outright bribery.  Sadly, Nick Newman has fallen to the level of his father.  Nick told Summer he was disgusted with himself, as he should be.  Yet he still offered her the bribe.

As for Snowflake, I have little doubt she'll succeed in her conquest of Billy.  He is weak-willed and undisciplined.  I'm surprised he's held out this long.  Once he learns of Phyllis' infidelity with Nick, he'll go straight to Summer.  Summer will get what she wants, but she may live to regret it.

Who is this mysterious new character in town - Rey?  He resembles Billy a bit and he's somehow linked to J.T. Hellstrom.  He's really out to cause trouble for the Newman family and their associates..  Rey seems to be investigating people linked to J.T,. but we do not know if he is on the right side or the wrong side of the law. He has a bulletin board with J.T.'s photo in the middle, surrounded by photos of the Newmans and others involved with J.T.

What's going on with Neil Winters and Ashley Abbott?  First they agreed to remain friends.  Then Neil began dancing with her and romancing her again.  Now it seems that Ashley is giving him the cold shoulder.  When he phoned her, she abruptly dismissed him and told him she was busy with work.  That's the way she treated Ravi. It looks as though she doesn't want any strong attachments right now.  Business comes first with her and everything else is secondary.


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:

Here are some comments from CC in Etobicoke, Ontario in response to a previous poll question about the most annoying characters on Y&R.  The characters listed in the poll were Shauna, Abby, Arturo, Kyle, Charlie, Summer and Tessa.

These characters, except for Abby and Kyle, have shallow purposes in the plots that have created for them.  They are not particularly strong actors and add nothing to the drama of the show that is sustainable.  Actually, you can throw Abby and Kyle back into the mix.  Kyle needs to his his mojo back, put Summer in her place and assert himself to be legitimately successful instead of trying to get ahead the sleazy, easy way.  Abby is just wishy-washy, neither a smart and capable businesswoman, nor a good judge of men.

I agree with you that Kyle should stand up to Summer.  With everyone else, he is very aggressive and pushy.  With Summer, it's different.  He's the one who melts in the presence of Snowflake.  He allows her to manipulate him and to does her bidding.

Kyle is very impatient, as you point out, and refuses to wait for advancement.  He wants business success and he wants it now.  He refuses to wait his turn.  He doesn't want to take the time to climb the ladder. of success.  He wants to go right to the top rung, while skipping all the other rungs, even if it means being sleazy and underhanded.  He even dug up Philip Chancellor's grave.  When it comes to Summer, however, Kyle becomes a big blob of jelly.  She wraps her little finger around him and has him right where she wants him.

It's a shame because Kyle is smart and talented.  He could go far if he (to use your words) if he asserted himself legitimately."  He also has to stop fawning over Summer.  She just uses him.

Abby is not the sharpest knife in the drawer and you are also absolutely right about Abby's judgement of men. She has a tendency to get involved with the wrong ones.  Just look at her track record - Daniel Romalotti, Austin Travers (Summer's husband), Dr. Stitch, Zach (criminal, ran a sex ring), Scott (boyfriend of Sharon).  Wow!  Abby really knows how to pick them.  At least Arturo doesn't have a girlfriend or a wife (although we can never be too sure of that.

Jordi Vilasuso joins Y&R cast as the mysterious Rey

Jordi Vilasuso is the newest mystery man in Genoa City.  The 37-year-old Cuban-American is a native of Miami, Florida.  He is best known for his role as Tony Santos on Guiding Light from 2000 to 2003. He won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Daytime Series for his portrayal of Tony. Y&R is Jordi's  fourth soap.  He also played Griffin Castillo on All My Children and Dario Hernandez on Days of Our Lives.

Jordi has been married to actress Kaitline Riley since August 25, 2012 and they have two children.


Sharon and Nick are about to tie the knot for a second time.  However, I wouldn't give their second try much chance of success.  They are both keeping huge secrets from each other.  Nick doesn't know about Sharon's part in the J.T. fiasco.  Sharon doesn't know about Nick and Phyllis.  So, the marriage might not even happen.  What do you think, fans?  Respond to the poll below and let me know if you think the wedding will happen.

Do you think the wedding of Sharon and Nick will take place?

Yes, all the secrets will come out after the wedding.
No, Sharon will find out about Nick and Phyllis.
I'm not sure.
Please Specify:

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, September 1, 2018.

- Joanne

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The real names of 30 television stars #2

On February 2, 2016, I posted a list of the real names of 30 televisions stars.  Today I posted a list of 30 more.

1,  JASON ALEXANDER (Seinfeld) was born Jay Scott Greenspan on September 23, 1959 in Newark, New Jersey, USA.  He is the son of Alexander B. Greenspan, whose first name he used to create his stage name.

Jason Alexander

2.  ED ASNER (The Mary Tyler Moore ShowLou Grant) was born Yitzhak Edward Asner on November 15, 1929 in Kansas City Missouri.  Ed's  parents immigrated from Russia and he was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family.  Ed was president of the American Screen Actor's Guild from 1981 to 1985.

3.  ROBERT BLAKE (Baretta) was born Michael James Gubitosi on September 18, 1933 in Nutley, New Jersey.  As a child actor, he was known as "Mickey Gubitosi."   In 1942, while a member of the Our Gang cast, he acquired the stage name "Bobby Blake.  He was not billed as "Robert Blake" until 1956.

4.  SHIRLEY BOOTH (Hazel) was born Marjory Ford on August 30, 1898 in New York City. In the 1905 New York state census, she was listed as Thelma Booth Ford. From 1961 to 1966, Shirley portrayed the busybody but well-meaning maid, Hazel Burke.  Shirley passed away on October 16  1992.  She was 94 years old at the time of her death.

Shirley Booth as Hazel in 1962

5.  JOEY BISHOP (The Joey Bishop Show) was born Joseph Abraham Gottlieb on February 3, 1918.  He was born in The Bronx, New York to Polish-Jewish immigrant parents.  From 1961 to 1965, Joey starred in his own television comedy series, The Joey Bishop Show.  He later hosted a late night talk show, also called The Joey Bishop Show.  A young Regis Philbin was his sidekick.  Joey passed away on October 17, 2007 at the age of 89.

Joey Bishop in 1967

6.  JAMES BROLIN (Marcus Welby, M.D, Hotel, Life in Pieces) was born Craig Kenneth Bruderlin on July 18, 1940  in Los Angeles California.  He has been married to Barbra Streisand since July 1, 1998 and is the father of actor Josh Brolin.

7.  MICHAEL CONSTANTINE (Room 222) was born Gus Efstratiou on May 22, 1927 in Reading, Pennsylvaia.  He is the son of Greek immigrants.  He played the role of principal Seymour Kaufman in the high school comedy drama Room 222, which ran from 1969 to 1974.

8.  DONNA DOUGLAS  {The Beverly Hillbillies) was born Doris Ione Smith on September 26, 1932 in Pride, Eat Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, USA.  She played the role of Elly May Clamppett on The Beverly Hillbillies from from 1962 to 1971.  Donna died of pancreatic cancer on January 1, 2015.  She was 82 years old.

Donna Douglas in 1967

9.  BUDDY EBSEN  (The Beverly HillbilliesBarnaby Jones) was born Christian Ludolf Ebsen, Jr. on April 2, 1908 in Belleville, Illinois.  He died in California on July 6, 2003.  He was 95 years old at the time of his passing.

10.  BARBARA EDEN  (I Dream of Jeannie) (Harper Valley PTA) was born Barbara Jean Morehead on August 23, 1931 in Tucson, Arizona, USA.

11.  WILL FERRELL (Saturday Night Live) was born John William Ferrell on July 16, 1967 in Irvine, California, USA.  In the 1990s, he established himself as a comic actor when he became a member of the cast of the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.

12.  JAMES GARNER (Maverick, The Rockford Files) was born James Scott Bumgarner on April 7, 1928 in Norman, Oklahoma, USA.  He died on July 19, 2014 at the age of 86.

13.  BRAD GARRETT (Everybody Loves Raymond, 'Til Death) was born as Brad H. Gerstenfeld in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California on April 14, 1960.  Brad played Raymond's police officer brother, Robert Barone, on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond (1996-2005) and Eddie Stark on 'Til Death (2006-2010).

14,  DON GRADY (The Mickey Mouse ClubMy Three Sons) was born Don Louis Agrati on June 8, 1944 in San Diego, California, USA.  In 1957, Don began his television career as one the Mickey Mouse Mouseketeers.  He then played middle brother Robbie Douglas on the long-running sitcom My Three Sons (1960-1972).  Don died of bone cancer on June 27, 2012 at the age of 68.

Don Grady

15,  STEVE HARVEY (Family Feud) was born Broderick Stephen Harvey on January 17, 1957 in Welch, West Virginia, USA.

16.  KEVIN JAMES (The King of Queens, Kevin Can Wait) was born Kevin George Knipfing on April 26, 1965 in Mineola, New York, United States.

17.  DAVID JANSSEN (The Fugitive) was born David Harold Meyer on March 27, 1931 in Naponee, Nebraska, USA. His parents divorced in 1935 and his mother later married Eugene Janssen,  David used his stepfather's surname when he entered show business.  On February 13, 1980, David Janssen died after suffering a heart attack.  He was 48 years old at the time of his passing.

18.  TOM JONES (This is Tom Jones) was born Thomas John Woodward in Glamorgan. South Wales on June 7. 1940.  In the 1960s, his manager, Gordon Mills, gave him the stage name "Tom Jones" after a popular Oscar-winning 1963 film of the same name.  From 1969 to 1971, the Welsh singer hosted a variety TV series entitled This is Tom Jones.  The show featured guest stars such as Ella Fitzgerald, Cher, Dusty Springfield, Stevie Wonder, Peter Sellers Mary Hopkin, Bob Hope, Liza Minnelli, Janis Joplin and The 5th Dimension.

Tom Jones

19.  TED KNIGHT (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Too Close for Comfort) was born Tade.  usz Wwladyslaw Konopka on December 7, 1923.  He was born to Polish-American parents in Terryville, Connecticut.  Ted died of colorectal cancer on August 26, 1986.  He was 62 years old.

20.  DON KNOTTS (The Andy Griffith Show, Three's Company) was born Jesse Donald Knotts was born July 21, 1924 in Morgantown, West Virginia, USA.  He passed away on February 24, 2006 at the age of 81, due to complications from lung cancer.

21.  JAY LENO (The Jay Leno Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno) was born James Douglas Muir Leno on April 28, 1950 in New Rochelle, New York.  His mother, Catherine, was Scottish-born and her maiden name was "Muir"  His father, Angelo, was the son of Italian immigrants.

22.  ROY ROGERS (The Roy Rogers Show) was born Leonard Franklin Slye in Cincinnati, Ohio on November 5, 1911.  He was known as the "King of the Cowboys."  The popular Western star appeared in over 100 movies and in many radio and television episodes of The Roy Rogers Show, often with his wife, Dale Evans.  He acquired the stage name "Roy Rogers" during his film career in the late 1930s.  When  Gene Autry, the original "Singing Cowboy,"  demanded more money for his work, there was a competition for a new "Singing Cowboy."  Leonard Slye won the competition and Republic Pictures changed his name to Roy Rogers, using the surname of cowboy humourist Will Rogers.  Roy Rogers died on July 6, 1998 at the age of 86.

23.  ISABEL SANFORD (All in the Family, The Jeffersons) was born Eloise Gwendolyn Sanford on August 29, 1917 in New York City.  When she played the role of the maid Tillie Binks in the 1967 film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, she was credited as "Isabell Sanford."  Norman Lear noticed her and cast her as Louise Jefferson on All in the Family.  She and her TV husband, Sherman Hemsley (George Jefferson) became so popular that Lear spun the character off into their own weekly series, The Jeffersons The Jeffersons ran for 11 seasons.  Isabel died on July 9, 2004 at the age of 86.

Isabel Sanford

24.  MARTIN SHEEN (The West Wing) was born Ramón Gerard Antonio Estévez in Dayton, Ohio, USA.  He is the son of a Spanish-born father and an Irish-born mother.  From 1999 until 2006, Sheen portrayed U,S. President Josiah Bartlett on the TV drama The West Wing.  He adopted the stage name Martin Sheen by combining the names of the CBS casting director, Robert Dale Martin, and the televangelist Catholic archbishop, Fulton J. Sheen.

In a 2003 interview with Actors Studio, Sheen stated, "Whenever I would call for an appointment, and I would give my name, there was always that hesitation and when I'd get there, it was always gone.  So I thought, I got enough problems getting an acting job, so I invented Martin Sheen.  It's still Estévez officially.  I never changed it officially.  I never will.  It's on my driver's license and passport and everything.  I started using Sheen.  I gave it a try, and before I knew it, I started making a living with it and then it was too late.  In fact, one of my great regrets is that I didn't keep my name as it was given to me.  I knew it bothered my dad."

Martin Sheen in The West Wing
25.  INGER STEVENS (The Farmer's Daughter) was born Ingrid Stensland in Stockholm, Sweden on October 18, 1934.  She died from a drug-related overdose on April 30, 1970.  At the time of her passing, she was 35 years old.

26.  SUZANNE SOMERS (Three's Company, Step by Step) was born Suzanne Marie Mahoney on October 16, 1946 in San Bruno, California.  She is best known for her roles as Chrissy Snow on Three's Company and Carol Foster Lambert on Step by Step.

27.  LILY TOMLIN (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Grace and Frankie) was born Mary Jean Tomlin on September 1, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan.  She is known for her portrayal of Ernestine, the telephone operator, on Laugh-In.  She currently co-stars with Jane Fonda in the Netflix web TV series Grace and Frankie.

28.  ALEX TREBEK  (Jeopardy!) was born George Alexander Trebek on July 22, 1940 in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.  His father was a Ukrainian immigrant and his mother was a Franco-Ontarian.  He began his television career in Canada and appeared on the CBC.  He then hosted game shows in the United States.  He has hosted Jeopardy! since 1984.

29.  BURT WARD (Batman) was born Bert John Gervis Jr. on July 6, 1945 in Los Angeles, California.  At 19 years old,, he won the role of Robin the Boy Wonder in the Batman series that aired from 1966 to 1968.  He also adopted the name "Burt Ward."  Feeling that the soft G in "Gervis" was difficult to pronounce, he used his mother's maiden name, which was "Ward."  He also changed the spelling of his first name to "Burt" to add "punch."

Burt Ward as Robin

30.  ADAM WEST (Batman) was born William West Anderson on September 19, 1928 in  Walla Walla Washington, USA.  From 1966 to 1968, he portrayed Batman and his alter ego, millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne.  Adam West died on June 9, 2017 at the age of 88.

NOTE: To view my original list of 30 names, click on the link below.

- Joanne

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Y&R Report (August 4, 2018): 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.

Hilary has gone out in a blaze of glory.  Given that Mishael Morgan had announced her departure from the show, there was little doubt that Hilary would survive.  The tragic nature of her death was played up to the utmost degree.  I have to admit, I've never seen anyone drink champagne in an ICU before.

I am not a fan of Shauna.  Her character is annoying and she is a troublemaker. By running away, Shauna set off the chain of events that led to Hilary's death, yet she had the nerve to put all the blame on Lily. She also confronted Lily at the worst possible time and she disrupted Hilary's funeral.

In the first place, however, Cane was wrong to hide the truth about Lily running the red light.  He was trying to protect Lily, but he  only made the situation worse for her.  Of course, Lily was very careless. Of course, she shouldn't have allowed herself to get so distracted that she ran through a red light; but she didn't do it purposely. She didn't murder Hilary. Why would she have risked her own life?  Why would she have risked son Charlie's life, as he was also in the car?  Why does Shauna have to play the blame game anyway?  Hilary's death was a tragic accident, caused by negligence.  Hilary called it an "accident" herself.  Devon shouldn't play the blame game either.  However, his anger is understandable since he is grieving.

I am disappointed that Mischael Morgan has left the show, although I am glad that another actress will not be playing the role of Hilary.  Since Mishael is pregnant in real life, I wonder how she felt when she had to portray Hilary losing her baby.

I'm curious as to what will happen to "The Hilary Hour" and GC Buzz.  Mariah can't fill Hilary's shoes as host of the shoe.  Hilary had the right personality for the show.  As Jack declared at her funeral, "Hilary was made for television."  However, Devon wants Mariah to host the show for now.

That scene at Top of the Tower with Nikki, Princess Victoria and Snowflake Summer grovelling over Victor Newman made me nauseated  It was sickening the way they bowed down at  King Victor's feet.  After all that grovel, I needed some Gravol for my sick stomach.

Things are going too well for Arturo and Abby.  There has to be a complication.  Dr. Nate is single and unattached.  I wonder if he'll take a shine to Abby?  I don't think he's met her yet.  The Newmans and Abbotts are very impressed by social status.  Abby may like the idea that he's a doctor.  On the other hand, maybe she's had enough of doctors after her bad experience with Dr. Stitch.  Here's who I think is more likely to become involved with Dr. Nate.  According to Soap CentralY&R has put out a casting call for the role of "Candace," a single 30-something African-American woman.  "Candace" is an executive from Chicago with a background in science, so she'll probably show up at the hospital.


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:

Here are some comments from Carly in Barrhaven, Ontario.

The Y&R writers have a weird imagination.  I thought Nick wearing the J.T. mask was so stupid.  I like Nick and Phyllis together so I would not have a problem with her trying to get him back.  
As for Jack's father, that is a mystery.  But at some point, I thought it could be Mr. (Stuart) Brooks.  

I am not disappointed that Hilary is leaving the show.  Her character was so irritating.  But I am disappointed that Ashley is leaving.  I would imagine they will replace her character.

Yes, Carly, I think they could have resolved the J.T. mystery in a better way.  As for Nick and Phyllis, I have to disagree with you there.  I like Nick and Sharon better together and I am not a fan of Phyllis.  I find her nosy and bossy.

The identity of Jack's biological is still a mystery.  It's been on the backburner for a while due to Hilary's accident and death.  However, I think it's going to be front and centre again soon.  I don't think that the late Stuart Brooks was his father.  It wouldn't have much impact on the storyline.

We also disagree about Hilary.  I liked her and I am disappointed about Mishael Morgan left the show.  However, we agree about Ashley (Eileen Davidson).  I too am disappointed that Eileen is leaving the show.

I also received the following email from Rosie in Richmond Hill:

How about the action on Y&R!  Hilary's last scenes were quite emotional and Kleenex-worthy.  Poor Lily, though.  She is going to be raked over the coals.  I get the feeling that Shauna will be the new Hilary in town.  Charlie had better watch out as she provides emotional support to Devon.  Summer is the queen of shamefulness.   I'm sure that Nick and Phyllis will "twist" again in the near future.  I think Phyllis mentioned she had to go to Chicago . . . watch Nick end up there as well for some Dark Horse business!

Yes, Rosie, Hilary's death was definitely a Grade A tear jerker and Lily is being raked over the coals.  I think Shauna may become more like Summer than Hilary.  She may provide "emotional support" for Devon, the way shameless Snowflake is doing with Billy Boy.  Devon has already asked her to stay at the condo with him.  It funny how he puts all the blame for Hilary's death on Lily and ignores Shauna's part in it.

Kyle spilled the beans to Summer about Phyllis and another man.  Snowflake doesn't know the identity of the other man yet. but she will.  You can bet she'll take advantage of the information to get what she wants - Billy Boy.  By the way, Summer just used Kyle.  She pushed him away once she found out the information she wanted.

As for Nick and Phyllis, I think you are absolutely right.  Those two will not stay away from each other.  Things can't go perfectly for Nick and Sharon because Y&R is a soap.  There has to be conflict.  Nick has a cheating heart and he will not resist the temptation of Phyllis.  He will eventually regret it, but it will be too late.  He'll lose his chance with Sharon again.  I think Nick is headed for a big fall, both personally and professionally.  Victor will get the better of him, as he always does.

Regular Y&R viewer, Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario, almost fell over laughing at one particular scene on the show.  It was the scene where Jack burst into a discussion between Billy, Nick and Phyllis.with the question, "Is this a meeting of all the exes of Phyllis?  They were all wearing sunglasses and Billy and Nick were trying to conceal bruises they received due to their their fight.  Fifi thought Jack's comment was hilarious.  I also thought so.

Jason Canela (Arturo) is now on contract

Good news for fans of Jason Canela, who plays building contractor Arturo Rosales.has been placed on contract on Y&R.  On social media, Jason wrote: "I'm proud and honored to officially be a full time member of the Young & Restless family."

I wish Jason well, but I am not a fan.  Arturo is not a favourite character of mine.

Jordi Vilasuso will join Y&R cast as mystery man

Jordi Vilasuso will join the cast of The Young and the Restless.  The Cuban-American actor will play a mysterious stranger named Rey.  Jordi has appeared on other soaps such as Day of our Lives and All My Children.  Will his character compete with Arturo for Abby's affection.

Jordi is scheduled to make his Y&R debut on August 17th CBS (August 16th on Global-TV in Canada).


Is there a certain character on Y&R who really bugs you.  Here's your chance to vent, fans.  Respond to the poll below and let me know which character really annoys you.

Which of these Y&R characters do you find the most annoying?

Please Specify:
Created with PollMaker

That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, August 18, 2018.  

- Joanne

Sunday, July 22, 2018

You wanted to know . . . about Rusty Stevens (Larry Mondello from Leave it to Beaver)


I received an email from reader Peter P. who wanted to know what happened to Rusty Stevens, the child star who appeared on Leave it to Beaver from 1957 until 1960.  

Rusty Stevens played Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver's best friend, Larry Mondello, on the classic television series Leave it to Beaver.  Larry was Beaver's classmate at Grant Avenue Grammar School.  He was a pudgy kid, constantly munching on apples and candy bars.  He would often lead Beaver into mischief and then run off, leaving Beaver to face the music alone.  He would always come up with some excuse such as, "I've got to go home now, Beaver."

Rusty as Larry, with apple

Rusty left "Leave it to Beaver" in 1960.  It has been reported that Rusty's father took a job out of state and that his family moved from Burbank, California to Philadelphia.  However, Barbara Billingsley, who played "June Cleaver," shed a different light on Rusty's departure,  In a July 2000 interview with the Archive of American television, Barbara stated, "We all loved Rusty so much.  He was so good in that role.  And, unfortunately they had to let him go . . . Because his mother was such a pain."   She went on to say that his overbearing mother would go to the producer's office and make demands.

Robert "Rusty" Stevens was born in Boston, Massachusetts on December 25, 1948 (some sources say November 25).  He began acting after moving with his parents to Burbank.  From 1957 until 1960, Rusty appeared as Larry Mondello in 67 of Leave it to Beaver's 235 episodes (68 if you include the last episode in which he appeared in flashback.  His first appearance occurred in an episode entitled "Beaver's Crush" (Season 1, Episode 8, Air Date: November 22, 1957).  Larry was not too bright and he didn't have an ideal home life.  His father was always out of town and never around to give him any guidance.  His harried mother, Margaret Mondello (Madge Blake), was full of anxiety from having to deal with Larry alone.

During the early 1960s, after his departure from Leave it to Beaver, Rusty made guest-appearances on TV series such as Angel (1960)National Velvet (1961) My Three Sons (1962), Perry Mason (1962), Wagon Train (1963) and The Rifleman (1963).

Below is a photo of Rusty in a 1963 episode of The Rifleman entitled "Hostages to Fortune" (Season 5, Episode 18, Air Date: February 4, 1963).  He played a boy named Melvin in the episode.

After his appearance on The Rifleman, Rusty seemed to drop out of sight.  In fact, he kept such a low profile that, according to, the creators of Still the Beaver (1983) hired a detective to locate him.  They wanted him to reprise his Larry Mondello role for the CBS TV reunion movie, twenty years after the original show went off the air.  home was located and his wife, Theresa (or Teresa) Marinelli, came to the door.  When the detective inquired as to whether this was the residence of the former child star, Theresa thought he had the wrong house.  She apparently did not know about his past as Larry Mondello,  I find that story very difficult to believe.  If true, it reveals quite a lot about Rusty.  How could he not tell his wife about being a child star?  Even if he didn't tell her, wouldn't she have learned about her husband's past as a child actor from someone else?

Rusty agreed to reprise his Larry Mondello role in Still the Beaver, which aired on March 19, 1983.  He also portrayed Larry in two episodes of the follow-up series, The New Leave it to Beaver.  The episodes are "Inside Eddie Haskell" (Season 4, Episode 7, Air Date:  November 13, 1988) and "Dads and Grads: Part 2" (Season 4, Episode 26, Air Date: June 4, 1989).

Here is a photo of Rusty in a clip from the 1980s.

According to Gary Clothier ("Mr. Know-It-All") in The Star Democrat, an Easton, Maryland newspaper, as of early 2000, Rusty was an insurance salesman in New Jersey. states that he was an "Insurance salesman in New Jersey [2001].

The anonymous author of a website called Rewind Back in Time wrote a January 16, 2007 article entitled "Whatever Happened to Robert "Rusty" Stevens from Leave it to Beaver?" The post was updated in October, 2014.  According to the author's research, "Rusty has apparently worked in some or all of the following fields: advertising, insurance salesman and/or real estate."  There is a March 28, 2008 comment on that website from someone who thought  Rusty "now works at the Home Depot in Egg Harbor Township in Egg Harbor, New Jersey" and claims to know a couple of people who work there with him."  There are many such comments about sightings of the mysterious Rusty.  They are dubious and unconfirmed.  There are also comments from two people who said they went to school with Rusty (at Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School in Burbank, California and David Starr Jordan Junior High School, also in Burbank).  The one who claimed to have attended elementary school with Rusty, wrote about losing contact with him when he moved to a private school for acting.  The one who claimed to have attended junior high with Rusty told a story about how he showed up for school one day with green hair, which was considered radical in the early 1960s.


* Rusty continues to keep a low profile. He hasn't given any interviews and he avoids the limelight like the plague.  To find more up-date-material on him, I would have to hire a detective.  So, I do not know  if he and his wife, Theresa (or Teresa), are still together.

* Madge Blake, who played Larry's long-suffering mother, died on February 19, 1969 after suffering a heart attack.  She was 69 at the time of her passing.  Madge also played Aunt Harriet Cooper in the 1966-1968 Batman series.

Madge Blake and Rusty Stevens
* Leave it to Beaver ended its run in 1963, three years after Rusty left the show.  He was replaced by Stephen Talbot, who portrayed Beaver's new best friend, Gilbert.  I sometimes wonder about what adventures Beaver and Larry would have had if Rusty had stayed on the show and played Larry in his early teenage years.  In my opinion, Rusty's portrayal of Larry was more authentic and honest than that any other character on the show.


Since you are a very private person, I doubt that you will answer the following request.  However, I will still ask anyway.  Many Leave it to Beaver fans would enjoy reading a message from you to set the record straight about yourself.  There is so much misinformation and speculation.   

If you are reading this and feel so inclined, please email me and I will post your message on my website.  I don't expect you to reply, but I will be surprised and delighted if you do.  An email from you would be much appreciated by myself and many others. 

- Joanne

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Y&R Report (July 21, 2018): The Latest on The Young and 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.

In dramatic fashion, the phantom J.T. was unmasked as Nicholas Newman.  We are seeing a new Nick now.  He is focused and fiercely determined.  I think it's wonderful that someone has dared to stand up to the Great Victor Newman.  However, I think Nick went too far.  He was out of bounds.  He employed tactics worthy of Victor himself.  He decided to become like Victor in order to bring Victor down.  He went down to Victor's level.. He was only concerned about the end results, not the means he used to achieve those ends.  I also think he's over-confident.  Victor is not going to take this sitting down.  He'll fight back with all the weapons at his disposal.  I'm afraid that Nick is in for rude awakening.

Sharon, of course, was not amused by Nick's tactics.  She thinks he acted too much like his father.  She concerned about the ethics of his behaviour. but she's also concerned about the fact that J.T. is truly dead.  If J.T. had survived, Sharon and her three co-conspirators (Phyllis, Nikki and Victoria) would have been off the hook.  Still, Sharon isn't as devious as Phyllis.  Yes, she has done some awful things.  However, she has a much sweeter disposition than Phyllis.  Phyllis is attracted to "bad boy" behaviour.  She likes Nick's new aggressiveness and his ambitiousness. She told him that sometimes the end justifies the means. As for their secret tryst, it won't stay a secret for long.

Nick lacks judgement.  Why did he just assume that Sharon called off their engagement without speaking to her first?  I also think that Nick enjoyed Phyllis' approval of his actions, whereas Sharon questioned his conduct.  Sharon told him that she didn't know him anymore.  Nick was disappointed that she wasn't thrilled about what he had done.  He felt misunderstood.  Phyllis stroked his ego.  Sharon didn't.

Now that Billy Boy seems to have had enough of Phyllis, her secret tryst with Nick may not be enough for her.  She may go after him full force. She will definitely come between Nick and Sharon.  It will be interesting to see Summer's reaction to the breakup between her mother and Billy.  I think she'll take Billy's side over Phyllis' side, especially when she learns about her mother's little fling with Nick.  She will accuse Phyllis of not being understanding enough of Billy's gambling addiction.  She will say that Phyllis' infidelity was worse than Billy's poker playing.

Philip Chancellor is not Jack Abbott's biological father.  The DNA doesn't match.  So who is Jack's daddy?  I think there are two possibilities.  Maybe John Abbott is Jack Abbott's biological father.  Maybe Dina, in her confusion, has mixed everything up.  It could be that Traci is the one who is not John's biological child.  The other possibility is that Jack's father is Albert Miller, the father of Victor Newman.  That would make Jack and Victor brothers.

Did you think Hilary had died without seeing Devon?  For some reason, the writers made it appear that she did.  I'm glad, however, that Devon got back in time. Now they'll get married before Hilary dies.  Lily is really going to be in hot water when Devon and the police learn she went through a red light.

Hilary recently had a secret meeting with a man named Mark.  What was that all about?  She is hiding something and it will be revealed after her death.  It must have some significance to the storyline. It will probably affect Devon.  Remember that Mariah and Tessa saw her with Mark.

Fans will really miss Eileen Davidson when she leaves Y&R in September.  What will happen to Ashley Abbott once Eileen goes?  I hope that she is not replaced by another actress.  I would like to see Ashley move to New York.  She's lived in the Big Apple before and her sister Traci is there,  The two of them could make occasional visits to Genoa City.

Ashley is currently COO of Jabot and Billy is sending her to Berlin on business.  I don't think she'll stay there, though.  I also don't think that Billy will remain CEO.  I think he's going to crash personally and professionally.  Eventually, Jack will regain his position as CEO.  I know he's agreed to join Nick's new company, Dark Horse, but I don't think Dark Horse will succeed.  Victor will see to that.


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:

Here are some comments from regular contributor CC in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Shocked and surprised to see Nick play the J.T. trick on his father.  It is about time he put Victor in his place.  However, I fear the revenge that Victor will bring to him.

Neil and Ashley had a short fling some years ago but it went nowhere.  Now it seems that it is passe - too little, too late.

Hillary is making it pretty plain that she has a strong attraction to Dr. Nate, but Devon seems to have his blinders on

Between nasty Summer, Lily and Cane, Ashley and Neil, and who really is Jack's father, the fun of watching is quickly fading.

I definitely agree that it's about time someone put Victor Newman in his place, CC.  However, Nick should be careful that he doesn't become too much like Victor in the process.  I also think that Nick is about to face the formidable wrath of The Moustache.  Although Victor is in a weakened state, due to his fight with J.T., he is still very powerful and determined.  He is like a wounded beast, fighting for his territory.  Newman Enterprises is his empire and he will protect it fiercely.  It isn't easy to topple an emperor.  Nick may think he's winning, but he hasn't faced Victor's revenge. He's going to be hit by everything his father can throw at him.  I expect Victor to come out on top, as usual.

Back in 2010, Ashley and Neil dated after being friends for years.  Their breakup was amicable as Neil decided to focus on his family and get his life together.  Ashley then became involved with Tucker McCall.

Now, Eileen Davidson is set to leave her role as Ashley.  I wonder why head writer Mal Young had Ashley and Neil briefly rekindle their romance and then suddenly decide they were better off as friends  This was not good writing and it was confusing to viewers.

Y&R fan, Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario, pointed out a glaring inconsistency on Y&R.  Sharon and Nikki were absolutely horrified when they saw Nick disguised as J.T.  Yet, not long after, Sharon opened the door to her house without a worry in the world.  She wasn't frightened that the caller was J.T  She didn't even ask the visitor for his or her identity.  She just opened the door nonchalantly.  It turned out to be Phyllis.

Another Y&R fan, Rosie in Richmond Hill, Ontario, was right on the money when she suspected that Nick was behind the "return of J.T.  She wrote the following:

What are your thoughts on J.T.'s return?  Is it really J.T., or is it someone who looks like him (or is it the real J.T. and the one that was abusing Victoria an imposter)??  I somehow think Nick may be involved in this potential twist as he is determined to get back at Victor.

Mishael Morgan (Hilary Curtis) expecting second child

On July 15th, her 32nd birthday, Mishael Morgan made a joyous announcement on social media.  She confirmed that she is pregnant with her second child, a girl.  She wrote: "Best birthday present ever!  My official reveal that YES I am pregnant!  And guess what . . . it's a girl!!!"

To the disappointment of many fans, Mishael has just left Y&R.  Since her character, Hilary, is pregnant on the show, many viewers speculated that she was having a baby in real life.  When I wrote my last Y&R Report post (July 2nd), Michael had not yet made her announcement.  Now I can confirm that the viewers were right.

The new baby will be a little sister for Niam, whom Mishael and her husbant, Navid Ali, had in August of 2015.



Nick Newman is determined to stand up to his ruthless father.  Are you impressed by the way Nick's behaviour?  He impersonated J.T., Hellstrom and made everyone believe that J.T. was alive.  In the process, he frightened Nikki, Sharon and Victoria.  He obtained Victor'a medical records and harmed his father's company.  He asked family members to choose between staying with Newman Enterprises or joining his new company, Dark Horse.  Let me know what you think of the new Nick.

Do you like the way Nick is acting?

Yes. I agree with what he's done. It's about time someone stood up to Victor.
He's right to stand up to Victor, but he's gone too far.
No, I think he's becoming ruthless, just like his father.
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Created with Poll Maker

That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday August 4, 2018.

- Joanne

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Y&R Report (July 7, 2018): 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.

He's alive! (maybe) Yes, fans, it looks as if J.T. Hellstrom is on the loose.  He may have survived his own burial and is lurking in the shadows.  Still, I'm not convinced he's really alive and  kicking.  Was the man in the hoodie really J.T. or was it some kind of trick or optical illusion.  Is Victor Neman behind it?  Why did Victor take so long to show up at the Newman ranch when Nikki was frantically trying to warn him about J.T.?  Is someone purposely trying to scare Nikki and Sharon?  The writers are going to keep us guessing for a while.

By the way, where is Clueless Paul Williams?  It seems that everyone in Genoa City knows that J.T. has been sighted and that someone has been using his credit card.  Why isn't the GC Police Chief on the case?  No wonder so many people tell him he isn't doing his job.

Does Y&R head writer Mal Young have some weird obsession with graves and burials?  This past week, viewers saw the spectacle of Kyle Abbott trying to dig up Phillip Chancellor's grave.  We've already seen J.T.'s burial in Chancellor Park. He may have been buried alive.

I still don't think Phillip Chancellor is Jack Abbott's biological father.  We'll find out soon, courtesy of Kyle, who managed to procure a piece of bone from the grave.  The DNA will be tested and I suspect it will not match Jack's.

It''s hard to have much empathy for Kyle.  He's far too ambitious for his own good.  There is a better side to him, but he hasn't been showing it much lately.  I thought he sincerely wanted to help Jack find out the truth about his paternity.  Now it seems his only concern is his own advancement in the business world.  He dug Phillp's grave because he hopes to have a high position at Chancellor Industries.  All he cares about is climbing the corporate ladder as fast as he can.  He is not willing to work his way up and learn the ropes.

Is Scott Grainger coming back Genoa City?  There are signs that his return is imminent.  An article Scott wrote about J.T., was given prominence.  Scott, played by Daniel Hall, was written out of the show.  Sharon dumped him after he two-timed her with Abby., Abby also dumped him.  For the moment, she's blissfully happy with Arturo.  The return of Scott would really complicate matters and create conflict, especially if Abby has lingering romantic feelings for him.  It has not been conformed that Daniel Hall is returning to Y&R, but I wouldn't be surprised if he does.

Daniel Hall

Billy Abbott has given into temptation again.  He just can't resist the lure of a poker game.  He is an addict.  He has to quit cold turkey.  Once he starts gambling, he can't stop.  Summer has taken full advantage of his addiction.  Still, Billy didn't put up much of a fight and he didn't seek help or advice.  He chose to cover for Summer.  Billy Boy has already lost the Jabot yacht.  Expect him to lose Phyllis next.  She won't put up with his irresponsible behaviour.


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:

Here are some comments from regular contributor CC in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Summer is one of the worst characters to have ever landed in Genoa City.  They have made her into a very extreme version of every parent's worst nightmare of a daughter.  They matured her very quickly in the worst ways.  She will not be a good role model for Faith.  

The pool scene was disgusting, as was the strip poker scene with Billy and Phyllis.  I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

In today's episode, Hilary definitely looked like she is pregnant in real life.  Now that she and Devon have reconciled and declared their love again, it feels like a dark cloud is looming on the horizon.  Her days on the show are numbered.

I also do not care for the character o Shauna, Charlie's teenage match.  They are not well-suited.

So much sleaze is unnecessary.  Phyllis and Billy are desperate to hang on to something that isn't there anymore.  Summer will take advantage of that to do her damage.  What is Summer's reason for wanting to break up Phyllis and Billy?  I don't recall either of them doing anything to her that should push her into being so vengeful.  Like I said when she first arrived, I hope she doesn't stay past the summer.  

Do you think that the Hilary character will die in a deadly car crash?

Summer isn't my favourite Y&R character, but she doesn't bother me as much as she bothers you.  I'm not quite sure if it's the fictional Summer who annoys you or Hunter King, the actress, who plays her.  Maybe both of them annoy you. Either way, Summer sure rubs you the wrong way.  You ask about her reason for trying to breaking up Phyllis and Billy.  I don't think she resents Phyllis for any specific reason.  Snowflake is obviously unhappy with her life and takes delight in causing trouble.

I agree with you, CC, that there is a cloud hanging over Devon and Hilary, especially since Mishael Morgan, who plays Hilary, is leaving the show.  When a couple is too happy on a soap, expect the bubble to burst.  According to Internet spoilers, Hilary will have a severe car accident.

In real life, Mishael and her husband, Navid, are the parents of a son, Niam, born August 9, 2015.  As far as I know, there has been know announcement that she is expecting another child.


Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbot) is leaving Y&R

There is some disappointing news for Y&R fans.  Eileen Davidson, who won a Daytime Emmy this year for her role as Ashley Abbott on The Young and the Restless, is leaving the show.  On June 20th, Eileen confirmed on Twitter that she will be leaving in order to spend more time with her family.  She is married to actor Vince Van Patten since 2003 and has a son, Jesse Thomas Van Patten, born May 20, 2003.

Eileen has been playing the role of Ashley Abbott on and off since 1982.  It is not known yet whether the role of Ashley will be recast.  I hope not because it is Eileen's signature role.  It will be much better if Ashley joins her sister, Traci, in New York.  This will leave the door open for her to make appearances on the show now and then.

Brooks Darnell joins the cast as Nate Hastings

The son of Dr. Olivia Barber and the late Nathan Hastings has returned to Genoa City.  He's all grown up.  He's a doctor too, and he's secretly treating Victor Newman for a hidden medical issue. We have also learned that he had a girlfriend who died.

Brooks Darnell, a newcomer to soaps, portrays Dr. Nate Hastings Jr.  Previously he starred in the Shadowhunters series as Charlie Cooper.  Brooks was named after baseball great Brooks Robinson.  He put his acting career on hold while attending pre-med school on a football scholarship.  After a sports injury, he returned to acting.

Brooks' character,Nate Hastings, is staying with Neil Winters, who was married to his late aunt, Drucilla (Olivia's sister,).  He's living right across the hall from busybody Hilary Curtis, who seems fascinated by him. Hilary is determined to find as much information she can about Nate (a.k.a. Dr. Shirtless).


Well fans, do you think J.T. Hellstrom is really alive?  Let me know what you think by responding to the poll below.

Do you think J.T. is really alive?

Yes, was't really dead when they buried him.
No, someone is playing tricks and making it seem as if he's alive.
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Created with Quiz Creator

That's all for now.  I hope you're enjoying the summer.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, July 21, 2018.

- Joanne