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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Y&R Report (December 6, 2014): 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.

Did you enjoy the episode in which a drunken Nick Newman dreamed about facing all the women in his life?  I certainly did.  I called it a Nicholas Newman extravaganza.  Maybe the experience will help Mr. Dimples recognize that his behaviour hasn't been so great and that he's a hypocrite to condemn Sharon so harshly. I wouldn't hold my breath for that to happen, though.

Meanwhile, Nick's sister, Princess Victoria Newman, has named her new baby daughter Katherine (Katie for short) after the late Katherine Chancellor.  That was a good choice, in my opinion.  The big news, however, is that the little girl's father has finally been revealed.  The proud daddy is Billy Boy Abbott, which doesn't sit well with Billy's former father-in-law, The Great Victor Newman.

Victor is once again a fan of Stitch.  However, I don't think Stitch'em-Up realizes what it would be like to have The Big Man as a father-in-law if he should ever marry Victoria.  He doesn't yet understand how controlling Victor can be.  J.T. and Billy sure found that out soon enough.

Now that it has been determined that Billy Boy is Kate's biological father, I certainly hope we don't learn later that Stitch is actually the daddy.  We've already had enough tampering with DNA tests in relation to Summer's paternity.

How do you like Justin Hartley as the new Adam?  He's definitely the male model type - but can he act?  That remains to be seen.  I'll reserve judgment until I see more of him.  However, I'm doubtful he has the acting range and ability of Michael Muhney, the former Adam.

There seems to be a connection between Devon and Gwen, his not-so-pretend girlfriend.  At least Gwen is falling for Devon. Devon doesn't seem to mind Gwen's attention either.  In fact, this charade appears to be backfiring on Hilary.  She's jealous of Gwen already and she's trying to discourage her from becoming too interested in Devon.  Yet, the impact of Neil finding out about Devon and Hilary would be lost if he actually got together with Gwen.

Dylan has an engagement ring for Avery - but will they ever get married?  I don't think so.  I think their relationship is doomed.  Joe Clark will see to that.  The real estate man is very slick and I wouldn't trust him.

Ashley has it bad for Stitch'em-Up.  He's definitely a ladies' man and he doesn't need any love potion perfume to be attracted to her, as we saw on yesterday's episode.  However, I hope Abby doesn't fall for him too.  We don't need another story about a mother and daughter competing for the affections of the same man.  Stitch wouldn't mind the attention though.

Victor Newman just has to stick his nose into everything.  Now he's paying some guy named Tobias to spy on Ashley and to find out about the new product she's developing.


Here are some comments from regular contributor CC from Etobicoke, Ontario:

Phyllis is still the crafty one, isn't she.
She knows what Jack and Kelly are up to and knows exactly what she is doing when she sets those situations up and comes out with the verbal digs.
Jack is just reduced to being a bumbling, stumbling idiot as all this happens to him.

CC also suggests the possibility of a future plot with Nick and Adam falling for the same woman . . . again

There's no doubt, CC, that Phyllis is crafty.  However, I'm still trying to figure out her end game.  Does she really want Jack or is she just setting him that he'll end up with neither her nor Kelly?  Phyllis is quite vindictive and I doubt she'll let Jack get away with what he's done.  She has already made him squirm by requesting Kelly as their wedding planner, but I don't think that's good enough for Phyllis.

Your are absolutely right, CC, that Jack has been reduced to, as you put it so eloquently, "a bumbling, stumbling idiot"  As I pointed out in my last Y&R Report, Jellyfish Jack has been behaving like a spineless wimp.

As for the possibility of Nick and Adam falling for the same woman . . . again, I'm not so sure. Nick will probably become involved with Sage, once he finds her and thanks her for rescuing him from the bear trap, but Adam's mind is on Chelsea right now.  He may eventually become involved with Sage, but it doesn't look that way to me right now.

Nick is finished with Sharon for the time being, but don't rule out the possibility that they will get together . . . again sometime in the future.  The Genoa City merry-go-round keeps turning and turning.

I also heard from Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario:

Fifi says that she enjoyed the "touching scene" between Phyllis and Michael at the Katherine Chancellor Park. 

Y and R honours friendships over time.
Also, I think the actress who plays Chelsea looked better with her natural darker brown hair.
I am also impressed with the way they are developing the relationship between Kevin and Mariah.

Well, Fifi, I have to agree with you about Chelsea's hair.  She definitely looks better with her natural brown hair.  Speaking of hair colour, what do you think of Supergirl Summer's as a brunette?  I think the Supergirl looks more attractive with blond hair.

As for Mariah and Kevin, I am also impressed with they way her relationship with Kevin is developing gradually.  It will take a while, but they will eventually get together.  By the way, I like Mariah more than I used to, especially since she's started to look upon Sharon as her mother.


Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters) has suffered a devastating loss.  His 24-year old son, Julian St. John, passed away on November 23, 2014..  Julian, an artist, took his own life after a long battle with severe depression and addiction.  He would have turned 25 on December 5th.

Julian's mother is Kristoff' St. John's ex-wife, Mia St. John, a professional boxer. She has vowed to continue to promote mental health issues.

That's all for now.  I would like to remind you that the next Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, December 20, 2014.  I'm looking forward to all the Christmas happenings in Genoa City.  

- Joanne

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Whatever happened to Erin Murphy (Tabitha on Bewitched)?

People still recognize me all the time! Bewitched is one of the few television shows that has never been off the air. We filmed in the 60s and 70s and we’ve been on TV ever since. I think the small amount of fame that I have is definitely a blessing. I’ve had wonderful travel and work opportunities because of being an actress on a popular TV show and people love the show, so they’re always pleasant when they approach.

- Erin Murphy
Interview with Douglas Cobb
In The Guardian Liberty Voice, May 6, 2014

Can you believe that Erin Murphy, who portrayed little Tabitha Stephens on Bewitched, is 50 years old now?  It's true.  Unlike many former child stars, however, the actress does not look upon her years on Bewitched as a negative experience.  In a November 15, 1999 article in People magazine, she is quoted as saying, "Being a child star was a positive thing.  I have such good memories from doing the show."

Erin Margaret Murphy was born on June 17, 1964 in Encino, California, an affluent neigbourhood in the Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.  She is the daughter of Dan Murphy, a financial investor who died in 1992, and his wife Stephanie, a homemaker.

Not long after her first birthday, Erin was featured in a detergent commercial with none other than former U.S. president Ronald Reagan. As a child, she appeared in numerous ads, sometimes competing with the likes of Jodie Foster and Helen Hunt for a part.  In 1966, prior to her second birthday, she began portraying baby Tabitha on the hit television comedy Bewitched, starring Elizabeth Montgomery as the loveable nose-twitching witch, Samantha, and Dick York as her befuddled advertising executive husband, Darrin Stephens.

Bewitched debuted in 1964, but Tabitha was born during the show's second season in an episode entitled "And Then There Were Three."  The episode aired on January 13, 1966.  Baby Tabitha was originally played by Cynthia Black, Heidi and Laura Gentry, and Tamar and Julie Young.

At the beginning of third season of Bewitched, Erin Murphy and her fraternal twin sister, Diane, began sharing the role of Tabitha.  They first appeared in an episode entitled "Nobody's Perfect," which aired on September 15, 1966.  As time passed, the twins began to resemble each other less.  As a result, Erin eventually took over the role of the irrepressible child witch.  In that 1999 article in People, Diane denied that there was any sibling rivalry between her and her twin sister because "they had a lot of structure at home."

Erin Murphy (left) and sister Diane 

Erin is one of the few regular Bewitched cast member still alive  Her TV mother, Elizabeth Montgomery, died of colon cancer on May 18, 1995 at the age of 62.  The first Darrin, Dick York, died on February 20, 1992 of complications from emphysema.  He left Bewitched after season five due to severe back pain and addiction to painkillers.  From season six until the show went off the air in 1972, Dick Sargent played the role of Darrin Stephens. Sargent died of prostate cancer on July 8, 1994 at the age of 64.

Erin had a close relationship with Agnes Moorehead, who played Endora, Samantha's mother and Tabitha's grandmother.  Agnes died of uterine cancer in Rochester, Minnesota on April 30, 1974.  She was 74 at the time of her passing.

Erin as Tabitha with Agnes Moorehead as Endora

In an interview with Carl Amari on the website Reminisce, here is how Erin replied when asked to name her favourite actor on Bewitched:

I loved them all, but my favourite was Agnes Moorehead.  She was nothing like people may think. Everyone thought she was scary, but she wasn't scary at all.  To me, she was like a grandma.  I loved visiting her dressing room, which was all purple.  She was smart and funny and would draw me little cartoons.  I just loved her so much.  She was such a colourful and amazing person.

Paul Lynde, who portrayed Endora's brother,Uncle Arthur, passed away on January 10, 1982.  He was found dead at his home in Beverly Hills, California, and the coroner ruled the death a heart attack.  Lynde was 55 years old.

Maurice Evans, the English actor who played Samantha's father Maurice, died of heart failure on March 12, 1989.  He was 87.

Marion Lorne, who played sweet, confused Aunt Clara, Lorne died of a heart attack on May 9, 1968 at the age of 84.  Her death, at the age of 84, came just before production of the show's fifth season.

Aunt Clara with Tabitha

David White, who portrayed Darrin's boss, Larry Tate, died of a heart attack on November 27, 1990. He was 74.

Alice Pearce, who played nosy neighbour Gladys Kravitz, died of ovarian cancer on March 3, 1966, towards the end of the show's second season.  Pearce was diagnosed with cancer before the show began and was only 48 when she passed away.  Her replacement on the show, Sandra Gould, died of a stroke at the age of 82, on July 20, 1999.

George Tobias, who portrayed Gladys' long-suffering husband, Abner Kravitz, died of bladder cancer on February 27, 1980.  He was 78 years old.

Bernard Fox, the British actor who played Dr. Bombay from 1967 to 1972 is still living at the age of 87.

Alice Ghostley, who appeared in 15 episodes as the nanny/maid Esmeralda between 1969 and 1972, passed away on September 21, 1977 at the age of 83.

Mabel Albertson, who played Darrin's mother, Phyllis Stephens, died of Alzheimer's disease on September 28, 1982.  She was 81.

Twins Greg and David Lawrence portrayed Tabitha's younger brother, Adam Stephens, from 1970 to 1972.  Adam, who did not have magical powers, was born on an episode that aired on October 16, 1969.  The episode was entitled "And Something Makes Four."  He was only shown as an infant that season, and the baby who portrayed him was uncredited.

The twins who played Adam Stephens

Below is a picture of the brothers as they appeared on a talk show hosted by Vicki Lawrence.  David (left) is now known as David Mandal-Bloch.and Greg is now Greg Mandal.  They claim to be the sons of the late actor Tony Curtis, but Curtis never acknowledged them.  "Mandal" is their adoptive family's name.

In her interview with Carl Amari, Erin explained why she believes Bewitched has remained so popular after all these years.  She made the following comment:

If something is done well, whether it’s television, music or radio, it holds up over time. The show was well-written, we had a really great cast and director, and it was a high-quality production. I think it’s still funny today, and people still love it.

Although a mere eight years old when Bewitched ended, Erin Murphy took a hiatus from acting and lived a life away from show business.  She busied herself with such activities as being a Girl Scout and a cheerleader.  Then she attended San Diego State University for two years.

Erin Murphy's Facebook photo

In 1994, Erin attempted to revive her career by doing the talk show circuit with other child stars such as Danny Bonaduce of The Partridge Family and Gary Coleman of Diff'rent Strokes.  However. as she told People magazine, it was not a good experience.  In comparison to the troubled Bonaduce and Coleman, Erin was highlighted as the child star who managed to avoid their problems.  She soon discovered that she "didn't want to be the poster child for good child stars."

Erin Murrhy has been married three times, divorced twice, and is the mother of six sons.  She wed her first husband, Terry Rogers, on November 4, 1984, when she was just 20 years old.  Rogers, 40, owned a wood-flooring compnay.  The couple left California and moved to Tucson, Ariizona.  In Arizona, Erin worked as a stunt double, a karaoke club hostess and a makeup artist.  She and Rogers had two sons: Jason (born 1985) and Grant (born 1988).  Their marriage, however. did not last, and they divorced in 1989.

After her divorce, Erin returned to California with her two young boys.  In 1993, she married her second husband, Eric Eden, a rock musician, and the pair settled in Newark, Delaware. That marriage lasted until 1998 and produced one son, Clark (born 1995).

Erin has been married to her third husband, Darren Dunckel, since May of 1998. They met in a bar on St. Patrick's Day and tied the knot two months later. Coincidentally, he has the same first name (although spelled differently) as her television father, Darrin Stephens. Strangely enough, Dunckel told People magazine that his sister teased him when he was a kid by calling him "Durwood," the name Endora used to put down her son-in-law, Darrin,

Darren Dunckel

Darren and Erin

Dunckel, a financial executive, has been CEO at Atomic Paintball Inc. since 2012.  He and Erin are the parents of three sons: Dylan (born 1999), Parker and Carson.  Their son Parker has autism and Erin is devoted to autism-related charities.


Erin has her own company, Erin Murphy Knits, which offers handknit Eco friendly alpaca wear. The alpacas are raised on her 10 acre (4.04 heactare) Tranquil Veranda (TV) Ranch in Santa Clarita, California.  Since becoming Erin's home, TV Ranch has hosted made-for-TV movies. television commercials and photo shoots.

Erin never planned to become an alpaca rancher.  She acquired alpacas as "pet therapy" to help her son, Parker, develop language skills.  “My son is autistic, and the alpaca is the perfect animal for him,” Erin declared in an August, 2013 article in the Santa Clarita Valley Signal.
The alpaca is a calm and docile, she told the Signal.  

Erin also pointed out the benefits of alpaca fibre. “It’s soft, fireproof, waterproof and doesn’t contain lanolin like wool - so people aren’t allergic,” she stated.

It is interesting to note that Erin's TV, grandmother, Agnes Moorhead, enjoyed knitting.  In the Signal article, Erin reminisced about how Agnes would knit on the set.of Bewitched.  "I thought it was only a hobby for grandmothers," she remarked.  “But it’s become really popular to knit on set, even with the young actors.”

Alpaca ranching suits Erin's needs.  She was looking for, a business that utilizes 100 percent renewable resources and supports the local economy. Her alpaca knitwear is also used to raise funds to promote autism awareness.

Erin and her alpacas

- Joanne

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Y&R Report (November 22, 2014): : 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.

Well, fans, are you enjoying the November sweeps?  Victoria has finally had her baby - in the janitor's room in the Jabot parking garage.  The Princess gave birth in dramatic fashion with the help of the two prospective fathers - Billy Boy and Stich 'em Up.  What strange births they have on Y&R! No one seems to be able to get to a hospital.  Summer was born in an elevator at Jabot with the help of Jack Abbott. Delia was born when Chloe was at the Abbott cabin and there was no time to take her to a hospital.  She was delivered at the cabin by Billy Boy Abbot, Lily Winers and Sugar Cane Ashby.  If you remember, Traci Abbott didn't have time to get to the hospital either when she gave birth to her daughter Colleen. It was her then-husband Brad Carlton who delivered Colleen.

I'm not surprised that Victoria had a baby girl.  There are already two baby boys on the show, Connor and Johnny.  The Princess is the mother of two sons, Reed and Johnny.  So it's time she had a daughter.  It'also time to find out who the father of the sweet little child is (I hope the little one is not contaminated by that precious Newman blood).  Grandpa Victor is certainly thrilled about the birth because he has another grandchild to control and lavish money upon.  He was already planning her life in the hospital room with Victoria and I'm sure she'll soon have her own horse at the ranch.

Jack Abbott, thy name is WIMP!  Is any character on The Young and the Restless as spineless as Smilin' Jack?  In his dilemma over Phyllis and Kelly, he has shown absolutely no backbone.  He has delayed and hemmed and hawed, while being dishonest with both women.  Is it any wonder he has egg all over his face?  If he can get out of this one, he's a better escape artist than Harry Houdini.

Right now, it appears that Kelly is out in the cold and that Phyllis is the winner of the Spineless Sweepstakes.  The redhead certainly has the upper hand.  However, Phyllis may be setting Jellyfish Jack up for a fall in order to get revenge.  Since coming out of her coma, she has been extremely vindictive. Perhaps this is all part of scheme on Phyllis' part to punish Jack.  Maybe she'll dump him in the end and he will be left alone and humiliated.

Don't underestimate Kelly either.  She may have a voice as sweet as honey, but that doesn't mean she'll sit back and allow Phyllis to walk all over her.  She may not be that easily intimidated by Phyllis's tactics.

In situations such as this, Jack would normally receive some sage advice from the ghost of his late father, John Abbott,, played by Jerry Douglas.  Jerry, however, has not made any appearances on the show lately. Does this mean that John Abbott given up the ghost?

Nicholas Newman is really turning me off.  He's so self-righteous!  Who is he to judge with his track record?  Hasn't Sharon suffered enough?  Hasn't she paid a steep price for her actions?  Why does self-centred Nick have to rub more salt in her wounds by seeking sole custody of Faith?  It seems to me that Nick is being extremely vindictive and that he is displaying behaviour worthy of his father, the ruthless Victor Newman.

At least Mariah and Noah have displayed some sympathy for Sharon.  Although Sharon is far from perfect, she does try to be a good mother to her children, and Faith is far too young to be cut off from her.  Good for Noah too for standing up for his mother when Supergirl Summer was criticizing her. As if Supergirl's mom has been a paragon of virtue!

Please say it ain't so!  It's beginning to look more and more like Michael Baldwin is going to die. Given executive producer Jill Farren Phelps' penchant for killing off veteran characters, it's likely that Michael will soon be leaving this mortal coil - unless there is going to be some twist in the plot.  That seems unlikely, though. The writers probably want to free up Lauren for future romantic entanglements. The rumours about Christian LeBlanc leaving the show have been flying for quite a while now.  There has been an online fan petition to keep him on the show since early October.  If you are interested, here is the link.

Christian LeBlanc is a fine actor and a Daytime Emmy winner. So is Billy Miller (ex-Billy Abbott), but Y&R didn't keep him on the show.  If LeBlanc departs, he may join Billy and Michelle Stafford (ex-Phyllis Newman) on General Hospital. GH may scoop him up fast to add to their growing pantheon of former Y&R greats.  Michael Muhney (ex-Adam Newman) is waiting in the wings too.

Victor Newman crosses the bounds of decency over and over.  Yet so many people tell him he's right. He had some nerve to waltz into a hospital room and upset a person who had just suffered an heart attack and had undergone bypass surgery. Yet that's exactly what he did to Maureen!  Maureen, of course, should never have locked the pregnant Princess Victoria in the janitor's room.  However, to scold and threaten an ill woman is unconscionable.  It's also classic Victor Newmann.

Victor could have caused Maureen to die.  In the real world, a nurse would have stepped in to stop The Big Man from harassing a sick patient.  Nikki, by the way, was almost as bad.  Why didn't she tell The Black Knight to ease up on the unfortunate woman?  Why didn't she tell Victor that his reprimands could wait until Maureen was in better health.  As for Stitch'em Up's mommy, she's in for a really rough time.  Victor's parting words were, "I'll be your worst nightmare."  I have no doubt that he will.


Good news for fans of Steve Burton (Dylan McAvoy).  The actor has signed a new contract with the Y&R and has extended his stay on the show for another year. Burton joined the cast of The Young and the Restless in 2013.

I'm pleased that he's sticking around Genoa City because I want to see how the conflict between Avery's ex, Joe Clark, and Dylan plays out.  It's a David and Goliath situation, with Dylan as the underdog.


Summer is no longer a blonde.  Supergirl has changed her hair colour.  It's now a reddish brown shade now, closer to Gina Tognoni's (Phyllis) colour.  Is she trying to look more like her television mother?


In my last Y&R Report, I mentioned that I was planning to see Doug Davidson (Paul Williams) On November 9th at the National Women's Show here in Toronto.  I was there and it was a pleasure to be in Doug's company.  Regular readers know that I joke about his character, Paul Williams, quite frequently, often referring to him as "Clueless"  However, Doug is a great guy and very down to earth.  By the way, someone in the audience asked him if he prefers playing Paul as Genoa's City's police chief rather than as a private eye.  Doug answered that he prefers portraying Paul as police chief because he likes to wear a badge.

A native of California, Doug was born in Glendale on October 24, 1954.  He has been married to actress Cindy Fisher since 1984.  The two met in the early 1980s when Cindy played Dana in the "cult" storyline.

Doug and Cindy have two 20-something children, daughter Calyssa and son Caden. When asked about his personal life, Doug expressed disappointment that he was unable to spend much time with them.  Calyssa, he said, lives in England while Caden, whom he has not seen for two years, resides in Taipei, Taiwan.

Doug has portrayed Paul Williams since 1978 and is the longest-serving member of the current cast. Although he is happy with his job, he regrets that it does not provide him with much flexibility for taking time off.


Do you think Michael Baldwin will die?
Type your answers here
Yes. they are setting us up for his death.
Yes. due to executive producer Jill Farren Phelp's reputation for killing off veteran characters.
No, they just want us to think he's going to die.
Don't know
poll generator

That's all for now.  Here's a reminder that the next edition of Y&R Report will be posted in this space on Saturday, December 6, 2014.

- Joanne

Friday, November 14, 2014

TV Trivia For You #4: How Whitney Houston was offered a role on the Cosby Show and more

Here is the fourth installment of  TV Triva For You from TV Banter .  The first installment appeared on this blog  on June 14, 2012.  The second installment appeared on February 6, 2013 and the third appeared on June 30, 2014.


Whitney Houston circa 1985

DID YOU KNOW that Whitney Houston turned down a lead role on The Cosby Show? The singer, who died on February 11, 2012, was offered the role of Sondra Huxtable, the eldest daughter on the hit comedy series. Soon after Houston's tragic death, Jay Sandrich, the man who directed the first three season of the show, revealed that she auditioned for the role back in the early 1980s.  In an interview with the Daily Mail, Sandrich described how, after getting the job, Houston turned it down to pursue a fledgling music career.

So we gather in this room and there are kids fro New York and Los Angelses and they are all signing their contract, and this girl who we brought from New York said "I can't sign this contract."

And I said "Why?"  She said, "Well, I want to be a singer . . . I can't be in every show . . . I have to be in every tour."

Sabrina Le Beauf was cast as Sondra instead, and the character did not appear on the show until the middle of the first season. It is interesting to note that Le Beauf (born March 21, 1958) is only 10 years younger than Phylicia Rashad (born June 19, 1948), who portrayed her television mother, Clair Huxtable

Sabrina Le Beauf

When The Cosby Show finished its run in 1992, Le Beauf took a break from acting to pursue a career in interior decorating.  In 1993, she appeared as Ensign Giusti in a two-part episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled "Gambit." - Part 1:(Season 7. Episode 4, Air Date: October 9, 1993) and Part 2 (Season 7, Episode 5, Air Date: October 16, 1993).  From 2004 to 2005, she provided the voice for Norma Bindlebeep in 24 episodes of Fatherhood, an animated series co-created by Bill Cosby.


DID YOU KNOW that Jane Withers, the actress who played Josephine the Plumber in commercials for Comet, portrayed Shirley Temple's nemesis in the 1934 movie Bright Eyes? It's true,!  Not only that, but her character was actually mean to sweet Shirley. I mean, really! Who could be mean to that cute, curly-haired child?

In Bright Eyes, Shirley Temple played Shirley Blake, the daughter of the wealthy Smythe family's maid. Jane played Joy Smythe, the nasty,outspoken daughter of the well-to-do Smythes.  Joy tormented Shirley, even telling her that there is no Santa Claus because "my psychoanalyst told me." Nevertheless, Jane and Shirley became good friends off screen.

Jane Withers and Shirley Temple in Bright Eyes (1934)

Recently, while watching a DVD of the second season of Hart to Hart, I heard a familiar voice. I recognized it immediately as that of Josephine the Plumber. After looking at the screen carefully, I realized that the woman was undeniably the actress who played Josephine.  In that Hart to Hart episode, entitled "Murder in the Saddle" (Season 2, Episode 12, Air Date: February 24, 1981), she portrayed Roxy McGuane, a cowgirl who looked after the Hart ranch.

At the time, I didn't know the name of the actress who played perky Josephine.  After doing a little research, I discovered that Jane was a child actor who began her career at the age of three.  She starred in her own radio show, "Aunt Sally's Kiddie Club," and was known by listeners as "Dixie's Dainty Dewdrop."  Her role in Bright Eyes was her first big break, although she was concerned that the public would turn against her for being mean to Shirley Temple in the film.

Her fear was unfounded as she continued to be cast as a child star in such movies as Patty O'Day (1935), Little Miss Nobody (1936) and The Holly Terror (1937).  As an adult, she appeared in Danger Street (1947), Giant (1956) and Captain Newman M.D. (1963).  In the classic film Giant, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean, Jane played the role of Vashti, a friend of Taylor's character, Leslie,

Jane Withers in 1944

During the 1960s, Jane guest-starred on a number of television series such as Pete and Gladys (1962), Bachelor Father (1962), The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1963), Summer Playhouse (1964) and two episodes of The Munsters - "Pike's Pique" (Season 1, Episode 5, Air Date October 22, 1964) and "Grandpa's Lost Wife" (Season 2, Episode 20, Air Date: February 3, 1966).

Beginning in the 1960s until well into the 1970s, Jane Withers appeared in countless television commercials for Comet Cleanser.  Dressed in white overalls, she portrayed Josephine the Plumber and dished out friendly advice on removing stubborn stains from sinks and bathtubs, always extolling the virtues of Comet. Josephine was unusual for her time because she defied the stereotype of male plumbers.  TRIVIA NOTE: Withers was chosen for the part over many other actresses, including Ann B. Davis (Alice from The Brady Bunch).

Jane played the role of Helen Drummond in a 1975 television movie entitled All Together Now, about four orphaned children who have a month to demonstrate that they can remain together as a family without adult guidance.  She appeared on The Love Boat in 1980 and Hart to Hart in 1981.

During the the 1990s, Jane had a role in two episodes of the mystery series Murder She Wrote - "Who Killed J.B. Fletcher?" (1991) and "Ship of Thieves" (1993).  She also appeared in a 1995 episode of Amazing Grace, a short-lived series starring Patty Duke.

Jane was born April 12, 1926 in Atlanta, Georgia.  She is now 88 years old.  On September 20, 1947, she wed a wealthy Texas oilman named William P. Moss and retired from acting for several years. The couple raised three children - William, Wendy and Randy, but their marriage ended in divorce.

Jane Withers remarried in 1955, this time to Kenneth Errair, a member of a singing quartet called The Four Freshmen. They had two offspring - Ken and Kendall.   She was widowed on June 14, 1968 when Errair,died in a plane crash.


DID YOU KNOW that John Astin (Gomez on The Addams Family) took over the role of The Riddler on the 1960s Batman series?

Most of us remember the late Frank Gorshin as The Riddler on the series.  In 1967, however, Gorshin became embroiled in a contract dispute with the show.  It was Astin who replaced him in the The Riddler for two episodes during the dispute.  The episodes are "Batman's Anniversary" (Season 2, Episode 45, Air Date: February 8, 1967) and "A Riddling Controversy" (Season 2, Episode 46. Air Date February 9, 1967).

From 1964 to 1966, Astin starred as the moustachioed, cigar-chomping Gomez Addams, the patriarch of the ghoulish Addams family.  It was this role, opposite Carolyn Jones, as his TV wife, Morticia, that brought him fame and recognition.  By the way, Jones, who passed away from colon cancer in 1983, also played a villain on the Batman series.  She played Marsha, Queen of Diamonds in 1966 and 1967 (Perhaps you remember how the wicked Marsha almost succeeded in blackmailing the Caped Crusader into marrying her).

Carolyn Jones and John Astin as Morticia and Gomez Addams

Carolyn Jones as Marsha, Quenn of Diamonds

John Astin is the former husband of Academy Award-winning actress Patty Duke.  He and Duke wed on August 5, 1972 and divorced in 1985.  Astin, now 84 years old, has been married to his third wife, Valerie Ann Sandobal,since 1989.

- Joanne

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Y&R Report (November 8, 2014): 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.

Well, folks, are you really surprised that Nick and Sharon's Halloween wedding never happened?  I didn't think so.  It's been quite obvious that those two would not get married.  Their dream of uniting their family has turned into a nightmare.  As Victor would say, "It ain't gonna happen."

Poor Sharon!  Her life is collapsing all around her.  Everyone has turned away from her, even her beloved Nick. So much for his promise that no secret could change how he felt about her.  So much for his vows that that their relationship could withstand any deep, dark revelation.  He didn't even try to understand her side of the story. It didn't matter to him that she was mentally ill with bipolar disorder.  He just abandoned her and put up a wall, just as he did when Cassie died.

Nick's reaction was par for the course where he's concerned.  I wasn't one bit surprised.  The problem with that guy is that he is all dimples and no backbone. He's spineless.  He could see that Phyllis was bullying and tormenting Sharon and he didn't even tell her to stop.  She was ready to push Sharon down the stairs.

As for Nick's decision to have Faith live with him, that was really a cruel blow to the woman he so recently professed to love.  Sharon has made plenty of mistakes, but so have Mr. Dimples and the vicious Red Head.  Not only that, but they don't have bipolar disorder.

Phyllis was determined to get her revenge, and she got it!  Yet, who is she to be so judgmental of Sharon?  Remember when she tried to run over Paul and Christine a.k.a Cricket?  Remember how she broke up the marriage of the Cricketmeister and Danny Romalotti?  Remember how her affair with Nick broke his 10-year marriage to Sharon?  I don't remember Sharon intending to kill anyone, and she's never interfered with anyone's marriage.  As for Nick, I don't recall him becoming an outcast when he dumped Sharon and left his family for Phyllis.

Fiery Phyllis is on the warpath.  Kelly and Jack will be the next to feel her wrath. They had better watch out!  After discovering Kelly's photo in Jack's desk drawer, she is on the verge of discovering the truth about them.  Foolish Jack waited too long to be honest with Phyllis.  Now, because of his dithering and procrastination, he and Kelly will have to face her anger and vengeance.  We all know what they say about a woman scorned.  Well, that goes double for Phyllis.

As usual, Victor comes out smelling like a rose.  For the Black Knight, it's mission accomplished. He has achieved everything he set out to do.  He has succeeded in breaking up Nicholas and Sharon. In addition, he has the satisfaction of knowing that  Supergirl Summer has Newman blood flowing in her veins and that she is not tainted by Abbott blood.  As an added bonus, his arch-enemy, Jack Abbott, has really messed up with Phyllis and is heartbroken that he is not Supergirl's biological father.

I don't feel too bad for Summer.  She's happy that Nick the Jerk is her daddy.  In Nick's eyes, Sharon's worst offence was to upset Summer's life - even though she has been nothing but kind and supportive to Supergirl.  Remember that touching scene when Nick hugged his daughter and proclaimed, "No one is going to take my Supergirl away from me again."

I think there is a good chance that Jack Abbott's son, Kyle, will soon return to Genoa City.  Here's why.  Kyle was devastated when he learned that Summer is his half-sister.  He was quite smitten with Supergirl, Now that Jack phoned  him that Summer is actually Nick's biological daughter, and not his blood relative, he may leave New York and return to Genoa City.  That would definitely create problems for Supergirl's marriage to Austin.


Carly from Barrhaven, Ontario saw Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) at the Ottawa National Women's show on October 26, 2014.  She sent me an email about the event.  Here is what she wrote:

I went to see Melody Thomas Scott at the Women's Show yesterday.  She looked great & one of the questions posed to her is how she continues to look so good & using Renee Zellweger (who has had her face changed drastically & not for the better) as an example.  She just said that if she did not feel happy about something she would make changes but so far she feels good about herself & also said how much she loves to eat.  I was hoping someone would ask about all the cast members who have left especially Michael Muhney (ex-Adam) but no one did.  She was asked questions about acting with Eric Braeden (Victor) & basically she said that he is who he is & if he wants to get off the set he pretends to get a phone call on his cell which he does constantly in the storylines & they let him do funny.  Lilana Novakovich (the woman who makes arrangements for soap stars to appear in Canada) was with her & they are good friends.   They auctioned off a bunch of vintage photos with the proceeds going to Ovarian Cancer.  

Carly also mentioned that Melody & Lilana arrived at 630 a.m. on a Sunday morning and the first thing they did was visit the War Memorial in Ottawa.  It was just days after the tragic shooting of a Canadian soldier there on the morning of October 22nd.  Thanks for sharing your information with us, Carly.


Another new character is coming to Genoa City.  Nadine Nicole, who portrayed Shari on The Bold and the Beautiful, will take on the recurring role of Gwen.  It seems as if her character has a split personality.  In a report in Soap Opera Digest, Gwen is described as conservative accountant at Jabot Cosmetics who who becomes an entirely different person at night.

Nicole, who is from Detroit, Michigan, has made appearances on several prime time shows including CSI and The Protector, will show up on The Young and the Restless on December 3 on CBS and December 2 on Global TV in Canada.

Nadine Nicole


Actor Doug Davidson, who portrays Clueless himself (Genoa City police chief Paul Williams), will be appearing on the main stage at the National Women's Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre at 1:30 P.M. tomorrow, Sunday November 9th.  I am planning to be there.  Doug has a great sense of humour.  I've seen him in person a few times.

National Women's Show

Toronto, Ontario

November 7-9, 2014
Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Show Hours
Friday, November 7, 2014, 11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday, November 8, 2014, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday, November 9, 2014, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Bring a friend & have some fun!

1:30 p.m.
Doug Davidson,
who stars as Paul
discusses life on

Doug Davidson

Doug Davidson, who stars as Paul Williams from The Young & the Restless, LIVE on Main Stage!

Meet Doug Davidson:
Celebrating 35 years in the role, Doug Davidson, who stars as Paul Williams, joined the cast of The Young and the Restless in May 1978. Nominated for his first Daytime Emmy in 2003, Doug picked up additional nods in 2011 Best Supporting Actor and in 2010 & won the EMMY in 2013 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Daytime Drama.

By the way, Amelia Heinle (Victoria Newman) has just finished visiting our fair city. She was here to attended some charity events.  Amelia had been scheduled to appear at the National Women's Show too, but cancelled out.



You know, you and Paul should start a club - the "I'm Worried About Nikki Society." I'm sure there'd be standing room only.


Is Nick treating Sharon too harshly?
Yes, definitely. Nick is behaving like a jerk. After all, he promised that no secret would destroy their relationship.
Yes, Sharon's bipolar condition caused her to behave that way,
No, Sharon deserves what's coming to her. She's hurt a lot of people. It's payback time.
Don't know.
Poll Maker

Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will be published on Saturday, November 22, 2014.

- Joanne 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Y&R Report (October 25, 2014): 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.

Of course Ian Ward is alive!  Was there really any doubt that the Slippery Snake is still with us?  Is there any question that he will outwit Clueless Paul and the Genoa City Police?  Clueless may have imprisoned the despicable cult leader, but he'll be on the loose again soon.  Ward is just too smart for the feckless police chief.  It may take the power of The Big Man, Victor Newman, to finally bring him down. That will not be an easy task, however, even for The Moustache.

Hooray!  Ashley's finally back from New York.  The Abbott family is reunited and it feels so good! Photos and graphics of Eileen Davidson are once again gracing the opening credits of the show.  Not only is A,A, back, but her secret new fragrance just happens to be a love potion.  Now you understand, fans, that it was absolutely necessary for Ashley to test that fragrance on Stitch.  After all, she had to find out if it really worked.  It was just business, she explained to her spoiled daughter, Abby.  She and Jabot Cosmetics had invested a lot in the product and, of course, Stitch was the perfect choice for the experiment.

The perfume smelled awful, but it was alluring.  Stitch, naturally, found it irresistible and couldn't control himself.  He was completely overpowered by the ingredients in the fragrance.  He just had to kiss Ashley! Well, we're not buying that, are we, fans?  Although A.A. continues to deny it, there is an attraction there for sure, and it's going to be fun watching how it plays out.  To complicate matters, daughter Abby has a thing for Stitch too. What is it about that guy?

As for Princess Victoria Newman, I wish she'd hurry up and give birth.  It seems as if her pregnancy has lasted longer than nine months.  Do viewers really care anymore if the father is Billy or Stitch? The Princess was the one who insisted on divorcing Billy Boy, so why did she appear so distraught when he told her he was planning to move into Chelsea's place?  Before making a decision on her marriage, she should have at least waited to find out the paternity of her child.

Victoria is certainly one busy woman.  When she isn't riled up about Billy and Chelsea, she spends her time eavesdropping on loverboy Stitch (a.k.a. Ben Rayburn or Russell) and his boss, Ashley Abbott. Speaking of spies, where has Adam been lately?  We haven't seen him watching Billy Boy and Chelsea, with the secret surveillance camera  he put above baby Connor's crib.  Could it be that the new Adam is soon to appear on screen?  The answer is yes.

Viewers won't have to wait much longer because Justin Hartley is scheduled to make his Y&R debut as Adam on Wednesday, November 5 on CBS (Tuesday, November 4 on Global TV in Canada). Here's the scoop concerning the long-missing son of ruthless businessman Victor Newman and the late Hope Adams, the virtuous blind farm woman who raised him.

Justin Hartley told TV Guide that Chelsea will discover the camera in her baby son's room.  Unable to spy on his family any longer, and upset about Billy moving into the penthouse, Adam will be driven out of hiding.  His face will be altered by plastic surgery.

I've been impressed with Gina Tognoni's performance as Phyllis so far.  It isn't easy to step into role vacated by an actress as popular and accomplished as Michelle Stafford.  Gina has just begun to sink her teeth into the role because her character was lying in the hospital bed in a coma for so long.  Now she's starting to show what she can do.

Phyllis is a real barracuda lady.  I'm starting to feel sorry for Sharon and Kelly because they are going to have face the wrath of the (somewhat?) redhead.  The two blondes should form an alliance because the barracuda is going to attack them..Sharon will definitely need a friend in her time of need, as will Kelly.  When her secret comes out, Sharon will become the town pariah.  Everyone will condemn her for changing the results of Summer's paternity test, and she'll also be blamed for Phyllis' fall down the stairs.

Kelly, at least, will have Jack Abbott.  I don't think Phyllis will remain with Jack once she discovers the truth about him and Kelly.  Sharon, on the other hand, will eventually need to find a new man in her life. Although Nick has sworn up and down that no secret could ever tear them apart, don't believe it for a minute.  Hey, how about Sharon and Avery's ex, Joe Clark?   It might be refreshing to see her with someone who isn't a Newman or an Abbott.  What about Avery's current flame, Dylan McAvoy?  Sharon was the first person Dylan met when he arrived in Genoa City and they seemed to get along well.  Unfortunately, however, Dylan is Nikki's son and Nick's half-brother.  He has a strong connection to the Newmans.

I must say, Geona City's resident troublemaker Mariah, sure loves to get Summer's goat.  There's nothing Cassie's evil twin likes better than to tease and upset Supergirl.  By the way, I sense that Mariah is starting to fall for Supergirl's hubby, Austin.


CC. from Etobicoke, Ontario has been thinking about Nikki's storyline.  She has come questions and comments about Mrs. Newman.

Food for thought...Do you think Nikki's involvement in Chief Clueless Paul's plot to lure out evil Ian will result in a storyline about her continuing downward spiral?
Perhaps she and Maureen (Meredith Baxter) will become the new Thelma and Louise!
Lately MTS (Melody Thomas Scott) herself has been looking like she needs a break from it all.

Well, CC., I honestly don't see that happening.  I think she will quit drinking again, although she will hit a rough patch when Ian inevitably frees himself from prison again.  Nikki is the kind of character who is always in turmoil.  She is a survivor, though.  I can see her having another stint at a rehab facility.  She will return relaxed and refreshed until her next crisis occurs.

I have also noticed that Melody Thomas Scott has looked a wee bit haggard at times.  It may be intentional because Nikki is an alcoholic who has fallen off the wagon again.  She suffers from MS and she is being traumatized by an evil criminal named Ian Ward.  No one would look as fresh as a daisy if they were going through all that.

As for Maureen Russell (Meredith Bexter), she and Nikki will most likely continue to be friends. However, I think Maureen's storyline is going to focus more on her relationship with her son, the no-longer-practising Dr. Stitch, and her daughter, Kelly, who will soon feel the wrath of Phyllis. Although Phyllis recently met Kelly,she still doesn't know about Jack's romance with the honey-voiced blonde. She regards Kelly as the "tramp" who had an affair with Billy Boy Abbott.  When she finds out the whole story, it will not be pretty,  



Another blast from the past is returning to Genoa City.  If you remember the character of Amy Wilson, then you have been watching Y&R for a long time.  The former GC resident hasn't been seen on the show for 18 years, but Julianne Morris (now Julianne Morris Polaha) will reprise the role of Amy next month - just in time for the November sweeps!  Julianne portrayed the dark-haired Amy, a troubled teen, from 1994 until 1996.  Amy was a romantic interest for Nick Newman,before he became enamoured of Sharon Collins.  So, will she still be carrying a torch for the dimpled Nicholas when she returns to town after all those years?

Although Julianne left The Young and the Restless in 1996, she continued to work in daytime television.  From 1998 to 2002, the actress played Greta von Amberg on Days of Our Lives.  On June 7, 2003, she wed actor Kristoffer Plaha, best known for his role as Jason Matthews in the Fox TV series North Shore.  They have three young children: Caleb, 10; Micah, 8; and Jude, 3.


Kevin Fisher had a great line when Stitch accused him of getting him arrested.

KEVIN:  I ain't no snitch, Stitch!

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO . . . .  BRENDA DICKSON (the first actress to play the role of Jill Foster Abbott)?

Longtime Y&R fans will remember Brenda Dickson as the original Jill Foster when the show began in 1973.  A fresh-faced 24-year-old at the time, Brenda initiated the role of the young manicurist from the wrong side of the tracks.  Jill worked diligently to help her two brothers through medical school and law school, eventually finding employment as a paid companion to well-to-do socialite Katherine Chancellor.  The fireworks began when Jill fell in love with the alcoholic Katherine's husband, wealthy industrialist Philip Chancellor.

Dickson left the The Young and the Restless in 1980, but returned in 1983.  In 1987, Dickson was fired from the show, and the situation became very ugly.  The actress launched a $10 million law suit against Columbia Pictures, claiming that she was wrongfully dismissed from Y&R, and asked to be reinstated. In the lawsuit, she alleged that Y&R creator Bill Bell, had had a clandestine affair with her and that he later blacklisted her.

. . .  Bill Bell got his hooks in me.  I was a pawn in a power chess game between the producers of the show.  I brought in ratings, they would fight over me and make it difficult to perform.

- From Brenda Dickson's website

In her 2013 memoir, My True Hollywood Hidden Story, Dickson claimed that Bell damaged her personal and professional life by hiring "Mafia cartel judges and attorneys" to "ruin" her.  She stated that the blacklisting had left her "broke and homeless" and unable to find employment.

Brenda had a reputation showing up late and for being absent due to illness.  It is no secret that there was animosity between her and other members of the Y&R cast.  However, the late Jeanne Cooper, who played Katherine Chancellor, had sympathy and affection for Brenda.

In a July 2012 interview with soap writer Michael Fairman, Jeanne related how she once reprimanded Dickson, telling her that "a professional is on time.  You don't wait around for people.  Being a professional is knowing your craft and knowing your lines!"  According to Jeanne, Dickson responded that she had never been talked to like that before.

Cooper also conformed that Brenda was the butt of jokes around the set and staunchly defended her in the interview.  "There is much more to her life than people know," she said.  "And a lot of pressure was put on Brenda from within the cast, and they will remain nameless at this point, but it was unfair and unkind.  Anybody with that kind of treatment that one would allow themselves to do to another human being . . . that is unforgivable in my book.  I may not like somebody, but I am certainly not going to treat them so horribly."

Brenda Irene Dickson was born in Long Beach, California on February 3, 1949.  She studied acting with famed acting teacher Lee Strasberg and with with Milton Katselas, the director of the Academy Award-winning film Butterflies are Free.  In 1971, she sang and danced in Bob Hope's Christmas Show.

Brenda has been twice married and divorced.  On September 30, 1976, she wed a dentist named Robert Rifkin.  They divorced in 1983.  On Christmas Day, 1997, she married attorney Jan Weinberg. They were divorced in 2006.  In 2007, the actress made headlines when she was arrested for refusing to vacate the apartment she shared with Weinberg.  Dickson contended that she wasn't given a fair divorce hearing.  She stated that the judge failed to grant her alimony and that the condo she owned with her ex-husband should be sold and the assets split between them.

When interviewed by the Honolulu  Advertiser, Brenda accused the judge of leaving her destitute. "He wants me to go on the street and be homeless.  It's utterly and completely outrageous, she told the newspaper."

That's all for now.  The November sweeps should bring plenty of excitement to the show.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, November 8, 2014.

- Joanne