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Friday, February 12, 2016

The real names of 30 television stars





1,  Alan Alda (M*A*S*H) was born Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo in New York City on January 28, 1936.  He is the son of stage and film actor Robert Alda (1914-1986).  Robert Alda was born Alphonso Giuseppe Giovanni Roberto D'Abruzzo.

2.  Tim Allen (Home Improvement) was born Timothy Allen Dick in Denver Colorado on June 13, 1953.

3.  Desi Arnaz (I Love Lucywas born Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III was born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba on March 2, 1917.  His father, Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y Alberni II (1894-1973), was the mayor of Santiago de Cuba (Cuba's second largest city after Havana) from 1923 to 1932.

4.  Jack Benny (The Jack Benny Program) was born Benjamin Kubelsky in Chicago, Illinois on February 14, 1894.  He died December 26, 1974.  Benny originally toured as a violinist in vaudeville under his real name. When another violinist, Jan Kubelík (1880-1940), complained that their names were too similar, he called himself Ben Benny (or Ben K. Benny or Ben K. Bennie).  Later, under legal pressure from American jazz violinist Ben Bernie, he changed his name again, this time adopting the moniker "Jack."

There are apparently two stories about how Benny chose "Jack."  The first story holds that he named himself after Jack Osterman, a Vaudeville comedian whom he admired.  The second one holds that he took the name Jack because it is "the sailor's nickname."  During his time in the Navy in World War I, sailors called each other "Jack."


Jack Benny






















5.  Perry Como (The Perry Como Show) was born Pierino Ronald Como in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania on May 18, 1912.  He died on May 12, 2001.

6.  Mike Connors (Mannix) was born  Kreker J. Ohanian in Fresno, California on August 15, 1925. In an interview in Eye on Science Fiction: 20 Interviews with Classic  SF and Horror Filmmakers (2003), Connors stated that he was renamed by Hollywood talent agent Henry Wilson. Wilson thought that "Ohanian" was too close to the name of actor George O'Hanlon and came up with the name "Touch Connors."  Connors' nickname is "Touch."  It comes from his college days as an athlete at UCLA where he was teased by his teammates about having a soft touch.  The actor was billed as "Touch Connors" until 1957 whereupon he changed his professional name to Michael Connors.

7.  Tony Danza (Taxi, Who's the Boss?) was born Antonio Salvatore Iadanza in Brooklyn, New York on April 21, 1951.

8.  Doris Day (The Doris Day Show) was born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 3, 1922 or April 3, 1924 (the year of her birth has been disputed).  Doris reportedly adopted the stage name "Doris Day" at the suggestion of orchestra leader Barney Rapp.  Rapp apparently felt that "Kappelhoff" was too long for a marquee and had high regard for the way Doris sang "Day After Day."

9.  Patty Duke (The Patty Duke Show) was born Anna Marie Duke was born on December 14, 1946 in Elmhurst, Queens, New York. When she was eight years old, her care was turned over to talent managers John and Ethel Ross.  Ethel Ross changed Anna's first name to "Patty," after child star Patty McCormack.

10.  Linda Evans (The Big ValleyDynasty) was born Linda Evenstad in Hartford, Connecticut on November 18, 1942.


Linda Evans

11.  Tina Fey (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock) was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey was born in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Philadelphia) on May 18, 1970.

12.  John Forsythe (Bachelor Father, Dynasty) was born Jacob Lincoln Freund on January 29, 1918 in Penns Grove, New Jersey.  He died on April 1, 2010 at the age of 92.


John Forsythe in 1958

13.  Michael J. Fox (Family Tieswas born Michael Andrew Fox in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on June 9, 1961.  When Fox made his U.S. television debut in the TV film Letters from Frank, he was credited under the name "Michael Fox."  He then registered with the Screen Actors Guild, only to learn that a veteran American character actor named Michael Fox (1921-1996) had already registered under the same name.  Thus, he had to come up with a new moniker.  He did not want to use his second name, "Andrew," nor did he wish to be called "Michael A. Fox."  Finally, he decided to use the middle initial "J" as a tribute to actor Michael J. Pollard.

14.  Redd Foxx (Sanford and Son) was born Jon Elroy Sanford in St. Louis, Missouri on December 9, 1922.  He died on October 11, 1991.  Foxx was nicknamed "Chicago Redd" due to his reddish hair and ruddy complexion.  His surname was taken baseball great Jimmie Foxx.  The character he played on Sanford and Son was Fred Sanford, his father's name.  He bad an older brother, Fred G. Sanford, Jr.


Redd Foxx

15.  Lorne Greene (Bonanza, Battlestar Galactica) was born Lyon Himan Green was borne in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on February 12, 1915.  He died on September 11, 1987.  Greene's mother called him "Chaim" and his school report cards referred to him as "Hyman."  His daughter, Linda Greene Bennett, the author of My Father's Voice: The Biography of Lorne Greene (2004), stated in her book that it is unknown when he began using "Lorne" or when he added an "e" to Green.

16.  Whoopi Goldberg (The View) was born Caryn Elaine Johnson on November 13, 1955 in New York City.  Her stage name was taken from a "whoopi cushion" becauset "If you get a little gassy, you've got to let it go. So people used to say to me, 'You're like a whoopee cushion.'"  "Goldberg? is a last name she chose in order to be regarded more seriously.

17.  Lee Majors (The Big Valley, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Fall Guy) was born Harvey Lee Yeary was born in Wyandotte, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit), on April 23, 1939.  He chose the stage name "Majors" in honour of Johnny Majors, a football player and coach for the University of Tennessee.



Lee Majors







18.  Jerry Mathers (Leave it to Beaver) was born Gerald Patrick Mathers in Sioux City, Iowa on June 2, 1948.

19.  Bob Newhart (The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart) was born George Robert Newhart in Oak Park, Illinois on September 5, 1929.







20.  Tony Randall (The Odd Couple) was born Arthur Leonard Rosenberg in Tulsa, Oklahoma on February 26, 1920.  He died on May 17, 2004.

21.  Donna Reed (The Donna Reed Showwas born Donna Belle Mullenger on January 27, 1921 in Denison, Iowa.  She died on January 14, 1986.  In 1941, Donna signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  She made her motion picture debut in The Get-Away billed as "Donna Adams,"  However, it wasn't long before MGM changed her name to "Donna Reed."

22.  Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) was born Jerome Allen Seinfeld in Brooklyn, New York on April 29, 1954.

23.  Dinah Shore (The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Dinah Shore Show) was born Frances Rose Shore in Winchester, Tennessee on February 29, 1916.  She died on February 24, 1994.  At many of her auditions for orchestras and radio shows, Shore sang the song "Dinah."  A disc jockey named Martin Block could not recall her name and referred to her the "Dinah girl."  The name caught on and became her stage name.


Dianh Shore

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24.  Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) was born Willard Carroll Smith, Jr.on September 25, 1968 in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

25.  Jean Stapleton (All in the Family) was born Jeanne Murray in New York City on January 19, 1923.  She died on May 31, 2103.  Her father was Joseph E. Murray  Her mother was Marie A. Stapleton, an opera singer.  Jean took her mother's last name as her professional name.

26.  Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz was born in New York City on November 28, 1962.



Jon Stewart


27.  Danny Thomas (Make Room for Daddy) was born Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz.to Lebanese immigrants in Deerfield, Michigan on January 6, 1912.  He died on February 6, 1991. Thomas originally began performing under an Anglicized version of his birth name, Amos Jacobs Kairouz.  He later changed his name to "Danny Thomas," after two of his brothers.

28.  Marlo Thomas (That Girl) is the daughter of Danny Thomas and his wife, singer Rose Marie Mantell (born Rose Marie Cassaniti).  She was born Margaret Julia Thomas in Detroit Michigan on November 21, 1937.  She became known as "Marlo" due to her childhood mispronunciation of the name "Margaret."
Marlo Thomas

29.  Vivian Vance (I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show) was born Vivian Roberta Jones in Cherryvale, Kansas on July 26, 1909.  She passed away on August 17, 1979.  Vivian changed her surname to "Vance" after folklorist Vance Randolph, a drama teacher who helped her with her technique.

30.  Flip Wilson (The Flip Wilson Show) was born Clerow Wilson, Jr. in Jersey City, New Jersey on December 8, 1933.  He died on  November 28, 1998.  When he was in the Air Force, his fellow serviceman gave him the nickname "Flip," because he entertained them with :flipped out" stories, jokes ando colourful array of dialects.



- Joanne

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Y&R Report (January 30, 2016): 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, we have learned more about the mysterious Dr Sandy Anderson, but her identity has still not been revealed.  We know that she has been married and that "Anderson" is her married name. We also know that she was hurt very badly in the past. It's obvious that she is somehow connected with Nick Newman, but we don't know how she was involved in the swimming pool accident when Nick was a teenager.

I just hope that when Dr. Anderson is finally unmasked, we will not be disappointed.  I hope the evil doctor's identity will be intriguing and surprising.  Many of us, including myself, were disappointed with the outcome of the cabin murder mystery.  It was quite obvious that Detective Harding and Marco were the culprits.  This time, I'm counting on the writers to come up with something better.

I must say that Elizabeth Bogush, who portrays Dr. Anderson, is doing a fine job in the role.  She is very convincing. Her baby-switching storyline is too far-fetched, but that's the fault of the writers. I am still very impressed with the way Bogush has made her character so real in the midst of such an unrealistic storyline.

In the last edition of Y&R Report, I remarked that Victor sincerely loves his family, but that he loves money and power more.  He has proven over and over again that he will not hesitate to endanger Newman lives for the sake of his business interests and his bank account.  Phyllis said it best when she remarked, "There are two things that Victor loves - family and money - and not in that order." There was also an interesting exchange between Nick and Dylan.

Nick:  Family trumps any law.

Dylan: You know who you sound like?

Nick: 
In this case he would be right.

Nick has been the one Newman offspring who has at least tried to keep his distance from Victor's underhanded activities. but some of his father's personality has rubbed off on him.

Here's just one reason why Victor Newman is the biggest hypocrite on the show.  When Paul told hm about Dylan being a police detective, Victor made some comment about how Paul got his son a job. What a laugh!  As if Victor hasn't done the same thing for his offspring.  He's given them all cushy jobs at Newman Enterprises.

As long as Y&R characters continue to keep secrets (and we know that's always going to happen on a soap), there will be marital discard and breakups.  Here's what I see happening to Genoa City's most prominent couples:   Nick will not be able to forgive Sage for not informing him that Adam is the father of Christian/Sully. When Dylan learns that Sharon did not tell him about her miscarriage, he will be devastated.  If you are an Adam and Chelsea fan, enjoy their togetherness, because it isn't going to last.  Chelsea will never accept that Adan didn't tell her he is the father of Christian/Sully. Sharon will turn to Nick when Dylan rejects her.  Nick will be receptive because he will no longer want Sage in his life.  A distraught Dylan will find comfort from Chelsea and Sage will connect with Adam.  Musical chairs, anyone?

Could some obscure doctor in Genoa City, Wisconsin have discovered a treatment that cures brain tumours?  If so, then Dr. Simon Neville is a genius and he should win the Nobel prize for medicine.


VIEWER FORUM

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:  jmadden16@yahoo.ca

Maria from New York has an interesting theory.  She thinks that Billy will discover that Noah was the one who ran him over in the parking garage.  Billy Boy will use his knowledge of the hit and run as leverage against Victor.  He will inform Moneybags that he will go to the police if he is not given control of the computer deal.  Would Victor give in to Billy's demands in order to protect his grandson?

Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario thinks that Patty Williams will be the first to discover Dr. Anderson's real identity - provided she returns from France.  Remember that Ian Ward thanked Patty Cakes for her "tender care" and gave her a one-way ticket to Paris to show his gratitude to her for saving his life in the Newman Tower fire.  As far as we know, Patty is somewhere in Paris, presumably living under an assumed name.  (Let's not ask how she obtained a passport or how she got past airport security). Brother Pauly hasn't mentioned his sister lately.  I know he has a very busy job as Genoa City's bumbling police chief, but you'd think he'd be concerned about his sister's whereabouts.  I'm sure she'll surface again at some time.  We haven't seen the last of Clueless Paul's troubled younger sibling.

Another regular Y&R viewer, Helen from Scarborough, has a fascinating theory about the identity of Swiss computer geek, Natalie.  Helen thinks that Natalie could be the long-lost daughter of Nicholas Newman and Dr. Sandy Anderson.  Remember that Nick went to a boarding school in Switzerland and Natalie mentioned to Victor that she grew up in a Swiss orphanage.  If turns out to be Nick's daughter, she'd be Victor's granddaughter and half-sister to Noah and Faith and Summer.  The only thing Helen has been unable to figure out is why Nick wouldn't recognize Dr. Anderson.  Perhaps she's had plastic surgery.  I hope that's not the case because we've had enough plastic surgery storylines.

I don't think it's a case of Nick forgetting about his youthful dalliance because Dr. Anderson has never seemed concerned that he would recognize her.  Also, how does Helen's theory link up with the swimming pool accident?  Nevertheless, even if Helen is way off base, there is probably a connection between Natalie and one of the characters in Geona City.  It's unlikely that the writers would have brought up the fact that Natalie was raise in an orphanage for no reason at all.



CAST NEWS

Jason Thompson to be a new father



This is an exciting time for Jason Thompson, a Canadian actor who was born in St. Albert. Alberta. He recently made his debut on The Young and the Restless as the new Billy Abbott and he is going to be a first-time dad.  Jason and his wife, Paloma Jonas, are expecting a child.  It has been speculated that the due date is around May.

Paloma Jonas is a model from Sydney, Australia.  She is the co-founder of Valentine NYC, a photography and interview blog.  The couple wed on a beach in San Pancho, Mexico on April 5, 2015.


Jason Thompson and Paloma Jonas at their wedding in Mexico

Chris McKenna (ex-Detective Mark Harding) joins cast of The Bold and the Beautiful



Chris McKenna, who played nasty Detective Mark Harding on Y&R, has joined the cast of Y&R's sister soap, The Bold and the Beautiful.  Mark Harding was a minor character and he was not a likable guy, so fans were not too disappointed when his character was killed off.  Perhaps Chris will play a more sympathetic character on The Bold and the Beautiful.  Here's hoping B&B will provide a better outlet for his acting talents.


Jessica Collins (ex-Avery) gives birth to baby girl



Jessica Collins (ex-Avery Bailey Clark on The Young and the Restless) gave birth to a healthy baby girl on January 23, 2016.  It is the 44-year-old actress's first child.  Collins and her partner, Michael Cooney, have named their daughter Jenna Kate Collins Cooney.


Y&R REPORT READER'S POLL

Who is the most vicious villain on Y&R?

Victor Newman
Dr. Anderson
Marco Annicelli
Ian Ward
Phyllis
Other
Please Specify:
facebook poll



That's all for now.  NOTE:  THERE WILL NOT BE A Y&R REPORT IN THIS SPACE ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13TH AS I WILL BE ON VACATION.  PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE NEXT EDITION WILL APPEAR ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2016. Valentine's Day and the February sweeps should be fun.  


- Joanne

Monday, January 25, 2016

Tony Dow (Wally Cleaver): The Beaver's older brother is a man of many talents

 


Gee, Beave!  Your big brother, Wally, is 70 years old now.  Does he still hang out with that creepy Eddie Haskell?  Remember when he worked at the soda fountain and the teenage girls exclaimed, "Wally Cleaver!  Wally Cleaver!" as he served them ice cream and sodas.  He was quite the heartthrob then.  Well, let's see what kind of junk he's up to these days. . . .


Anthony Lee "Tony" Dow was born in Hollywood, California on April 13, 1945.  He is the son of Jobn Stevens, a designer and general contractor, and Muriel Virginia Dow (née Montrose) (1906-2001), a stunt woman in Westerns and actress Clara Bow's movie double.  Muriel was one of the first females to perform stunts in Hollywood films.

As a young boy, Tony Dow was a skilled athlete who won numerous swimming and diving awards. He was a Junior Olympics diving champion.  In 1957, however, his life change irrevocably when he was selected for the part of the older brother, Wallace "Wally" Cleaver, in a new television sitcom called Leave it to Beaver.  The series debuted on CBS on October 4, 1957 and it chronicled the everyday foibles of the Cleaver family of Mayfield, U.S.A.

Tony had had very little acting experience when he was given the role of Wally.  Jerry Mathers, who played Wally's little brother. Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver, stated on his website that "Tony's only acting job prior to Leave it To Beaver was a pilot for a television similar to Tarzan where he played the "Boy" character."  Tony did not portray Wally in the original pilot for Leave it to Beaver, which was entitled "It's a Small World."


Tony Dow and Jerry Mathers (Beaver)




Of his experience on Leave it to Beaver, Dow told Audrey T. Hingley in an interview for Boomer magazine that it was "a fun time, a good show and unique in that it looked at the world through a child’s point of view,”  He said that “Jerry (Mathers) was amazing. That first year all the shows were from kids’ experiences.”

Today Leave it to Beaver is regarded as classic television and has come to represent an idealized, whitebread version of family life in the late 1950s and early 1960s that never really existed for much of the population.  Nevertheless, the show reflects the attitudes and social mores of that era.  It is also quite entertaining and genuinely funny.

Leave it to Beaver was created by writers Joe Connelly (1917-2003) and Bob Mosher.(1915-1972), who later produced The Munsters.  According to Dennis McLellan's February 14, 2003 obituary for Connelly in the Los Angeles Times, "Connelly's 14-year-old son, Jay, served as the model for Beaver's older brother, Wally; and Connelly's 8-year-old son, Ricky, was the inspiration for Beaver -the nickname of one of Connelly's merchant marine shipmates."  Perennial troublemaker Eddie Haskell and pudgy Larry Mondello, wrote McLellan, were inspired by friends of Jay and Ricky Connelly.

Jerry Mathers made the following statement to the L.A. Times about Connelly and Mosher's contribution to Leave it to Beaver: "I think the show is part of the Golden Age of television and because of Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher.  All the cast members feel very lucky to have had such great, inspired writers.  That's what makes it part of television history.  It wasn't the actors; it was definitely the writers."

After six seasons and 234 episodes, Leave It to Beaver went off the air in 1963.  The show remained popular, but Jerry and Tony had left childhood behind and Wally Cleaver was preparing to go off to college. It was the natural time to finish off the series.

Tony Dow was 18 years old when Beaver ended its run.  After the show ceased production, he continued his acting career with guest roles on popular American television series such as Dr. Kildare (1963) and My Three Sons (1964).  From 1965 to 1966, he played the role of Chet on the soap opera Never Too Young.  Set in Malibu, Never Too Young was unique in that it was the first American soap geared specifically to a teen audience.  Tony also served in the National Guard for three years, from 1965 to 1968,

In 1971, the actor, then in his mid-twenties, appeared in episodes of Love American Style and The Mod Squad.  He played a character named Frank Parks in a Mod Squad episode entitled "The Sands of Anger" (Season 4, Episoode 7, Air Date: October 26, 1971).  In 1972, he played a motorcycle rider in an episode of Emergency! called "Brushfire" (Season 1, Episode 4, Air Date: February 19, 1972).

From 1974 to 1975, Tony was a regular on the daytime soap General Hospital.  He played the role of Ross Janelle, a police office investigating the murder of a character named Phil Brewer.  In 1977, he portrayed Mason in an episode of the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries entitled "The Creatures Who Came on Sunday" (Season 2, Episode 7, Air Date: October 30, 1977).

In the 1980s, Tony continued to make guest appearances on TV shows.  In 1983, he appeared in Qunicy, M.E. and Knight Rider.  In 1987, he had roles in episodes of Mike Hammer and Murder, She Wrote.  He also played a role in a 1989 episode of Charles in Charge.  He had not, however, finished portraying his signature character, Wally Cleaver, yet.

Dow reprised his role as Wally Cleaver in the 1983 television movie Still the Beaver, as did Barbara Billingsley (June Cleaver), Ken Osmond (Eddie Haskell) and Frank Bank (Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford).  The movie reunites the Cleaver family, except for patriarch Ward, who is deceased.. Wally, now a hotshot lawyer, is happily married to Mary Ellen Rogers.  Beaver, on the other hand, must put his life in order after his wife leaves him.  He decides to make a fresh start by returning to his hometown of Mayfield where he plans to raise his two sons (with the help of his widowed mother, June). As for smarmy Eddie Haskell, he is a local contractor who operates his own business, the Haskell Construction Co.

Below is a photography of the Still the Beaver cast - Left to Right: Ken Osmond, Tony, Barbara Billingsley and Jerry Mathers.  They were all members of the original cast of Leave it to Beaver. Hugh Beaumont, who played Ward Cleaver, the father of the family, passed away on May 14, 1982. Barbara Billingsley died in 2010 at the age of 94.


Still the Beaver 1983

Still the Beaver aired on CBS on March 19, 1983.  In 1984, it was picked up as a series by the Disney Channel.  The show only survived for one season on Disney, but was revived  by TBS in 1986 as The New Leave it to Beaver.  In the revival series, which lasted until 1989, Eddie Haskell and his wife Gert are the parents of two sons, Freddie and Edward Jr., played by Ken Osmond's real-life sons, Eric and Christian respectively.

During the late 1980s and the 1990s, Tony began spending time behind the camera.  As a director, producer, teleplay writer and visual effects supervisor, he has an impressive number of credits.  His directorial credits include five episodes of Still the Beaver (1988-1989), six episodes of Harry and the Hendersons (1991-1992), 12 episodes of Coach (1990-1997), five episodes of Babylon 5 (1997-1998), 3 episodes of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1997-1998) and a 1999 episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine entitled "Field of Fire" (Season 7, Episode 13, Air Date: February 10, 1999).  He also directed a 2000 TV movie called Child Stars: Their Stories.  Child Stars: Their Stories was created by Dow, his wife, Lauren Shulkind, and Melissa Gilbert of Little House on the Prairie fame.

Tony has produced two television movies: The Adventures of Captain Zoom from Outer Space (1995) and It Came from Outer Space II (1996).  He was the visual effects supervisor for four episodes of television series Babylon 5 (1996) and the visual effects producer for two TV movies: Doctor Who (1996) and The Adventures of Captain Zoom from Outer Space (1995).

Despite his accomplishments, life hasn't always been easy for Tony Dow.  He has battled depression and is a two time cancer survivor.  He overcame a bout of prostrate cancer and more recently faced a rare gallbladder cancer. Tony developed clinical depression while in his twenties.  It came on gradually, he told the Chicago Tribune in 1993.  "I wasn't aware of what it was, but I wasn't feeling so great.  I was crotchety and grumpy and became more and more irritable, and had a poor attitude toward things. One day I couldn't get out of bed, couldn't go to work, couldn't do anything.  There's this kind of self-absorbing feeling of worthlessness, of hopelessness.  It's like a spiral.  The more you think about it, the worse it gets."

Tony Dow has been married twice.  He wed Carol Marie Theresa Marlow on June 14, 1969 and they are the parents of a son, Christopher Dow, born March 26, 1973.  The couple eventually divorced and Tony has been married to Lauren Shulkind, a mosaic artist, since June 16, 1980.  The Internet Movie Data Base (IMDb.com) states that they have one child (neither a name nor a birth date is provided).

Tony and Lauren met in Kansas City in the late 1978, while "she was working for an advertising agency looking for an 'all-American guy' to star in a McDonald's commercial." according to an October 15, 2010 Reuters news article entitled "Tony Dow: Sculpting a Life After Leave it to Beaver."  Dow and Jerry Mathers were touring in a dinner theatre production of So Long, Stanley at the time.


Tony Dow and wife Lauren in 2010

These days, Tony Dow concentrates on his work as an artist.  He is an award-winning sculptor and an accomplished painter.  One of his bronze sculptures, "Unarmed Warrior." was displayed at the 2008 Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, an annual art exhibition in Paris, presented by the Louvre.  He was one of two American sculptors whose work was chosen by the jury.
.
In a profile in the The Crafts Report by Stephanie Ferguson, Dow admits that he is fortunate that he doesn't have to regard sculpting as a means of making a living or a career.  "It's driven by my inspiration and a need to be creative." he declares.  "My wife,  Lauren, says that sculpting is my passion, my form of meditation,"

Dow told ABC News that he was too busy to devote a large amount of his time to sculpting while he was heavily involved in the entertainment business.  He now spends hours on end in his workshop, tinkering with bronze and wood, at the woodland retreat he and his wife share in Los Angeles County's Topanga Canyon.




Like his father, Tony is also a contractor and is interested in architecture design.  In 1974, according to People magazine, he established his own construction company, with a crew of five men.  When he found contractors too expensive, he and his business partner began doing the physical labour themselves.  They built luxury condominiums.  "The painting and sculpting definitely helped me envision what I wanted to build," he tells Stuart Millar in article entitled "Hollywood Handyman" in This Old House.


- Joanne

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Y&R Report (January 16, 2016): 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.


It's still very early in the New Year, but here is how things are shaping up in Genoa City. 2016 began in a very dramatic fashion with Billy knocking on death's door and Jack having to make the excruciating decision about whether to take him off life support.  Billy wasn't going to die, though, because Jason Thompson has taken over the role from Burgess Jenkins.  He's done a good job so far, I think,  His initial scenes on the show looked very promising and I noticed a bit of a glint in his eye (shades of Billy Miller). However, I'm still going to reserve judgment until I see more of him.

Kevin Fisher made a deal with the devil.  Believing that Billy was going to die, Kevin unwisely sold his Internet business idea to Victor Newman.  He will eternally regret that decision and he will rue the day he became beholden to "The Moustache."  Victor patronizes Kevin  and treats him like a child.  He even called him a smart "boy" when the deal was sealed.  That unholy deal is going to create even more animosity between Victor and Billy.  Victoria, as usual, will be caught between her daddy and Billy. She doesn't seem to realize that her father has ruined all her relationships with men.

The two biggest hypocrites on the show are Neil Winters and Victor Newman.  Victor, of course, always justifies his dirty deeds with the excuse that he has to protect his family and his business. Although he really does love his family, he loves money and power more.  Neil professes to be a decent and moral man, but he is neither. He didn''t show any restraint or self-discipline where Hilary was concerned.  He put himself at the beck and call of his former wife/daughter-law, making himself open to temptation.  Hilary was right when she stated that Neil wanted it to happen.

Neil took advantage of Hilary's vulnerability due to her brain injury.  He betrayed Devon even after Devon had forgiven him for his misdeeds.  Neil should be serving a prison sentence right now.   He's not behind bars, thanks to his son.  What a way to show his gratitude to Devon!  No wonder poor Mattie and Charlie are confused about the marital status of their Grandpa Neil, their Uncle Devon and their Grandma/Aunt Hilary.

Nikki is so starved for attention from the preoccupied Victor that she is pretending to be having an affair with Neil to make him jealous. Neil himself warned her that she is playing with fire.  This will not turn out well for Nikki or Neil.

Marisa may be a beautiful woman, but Noah Newman needs to distance himself from her as soon as possible. She has never been upfront with him and she is toxic.  As Mariah has pointed out, Marisa is a serial liar.  She was the girlfriend of a drug lord and she conveniently neglected to tell Noah that she was married and, oh yes, she had a daughter too.  Those are some pretty big sins of omission, don't you think?  Noah is so smitten with Marisa, that he wants to think the best of her.  Mariah, on the other hand, sees her more clearly.  She knows Marisa is bad news and will continually hurt her brother.

I can't for the life of me understand why the writers refuse to give Noah some backbone. Just because he's a decent guy, doesn't mean he has to behave like a spineless wimp all the time.  He's not naturally deceitful like Victor and Adam.  He wanted to go to the police and admit he was the one who hit Billy.  Yet he allowed Marisa and Victor to talk him out of it.  He wanted to do the right thing, but he just couldn't stand up to Grandpa and "girlfriend."  If he were wise, he'd leave Marisa to Luca Santori and wish them well.

Although far from perfect, Mariah is not a hypocrite.  She has a lot of character flaws, but at least she doesn't pretend to be someone she's not.  She's not sanctimonious.  It's obvious that Mariah cares deeply for Kevin, but is trying to avoid having a serious relationship with him.  She is afraid of getting hurt.  She's also jealous of Natalie, the Swiss computer geek.  Natalie, played by Mara McCaffery, made her first appearance on the show and, like Mariah, I wasn't impressed.  I find her somewhat cartoonish.

Paul Williams should know better!  What kind of a police chief is he?  I couldn't believe the way Clueless and Son just burst into Billy's hospital room to pepper him questions about the car that hit him.  Billy, of course, was in no condition to respond.  I don't blame Victoria for being upset.  It was not the finest example of police work.  Paul and Dylan could have caused Billy to have a setback.


CAST NEWS


Jared Breeze makes his debut as Max on Y&R


Jared Breeze

Young Jared Breeze has made his debut on The Young and the Restless as Son of Stitch.  He's joined the cast in the recurring role of Max Rayburn, whose father, Dr. Ben "Stitch" Rayburn (Sean Carrigan) has just wed Abby Newman (Melissa Ordway).

Jared, a native of Southern California, has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel  Live and many television commercials.  He also had a role in Cooties (2015), an independent horror comedy film.  He then played the title role in The Boy (2015), a horror film directed by Craig Macnell.

Max Rayburn's arrival in Genoa City will present many challenges and difficulties for newlyweds Stitch and Abby.  The child is confused and frightened.  His mother has just died.  He doesn't know his father that well and he has a new, young stepmother.  Abby is inexperienced with children and doesn't know how to handle a scared little boy to whom she is a stranger.  

Hey, given the way characters age so quickly on daytime soaps, don't be surprised if Max and and Faith have a romance in a few years.  Remember, folks, you read it here first.


VIEWER FORUM

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:  jmadden16@yahoo.ca


I received some comments from longtime viewer, Elba.  She wrote the following:

Please try to find out if Dr. Sandy Anderson is a relative of the young girl who was supposedly hurt in the diving accident at the Newman ranch.  These never-ending storylines (and there are dozens) really need closure.  The majority of viewers, I am sure, DO NOT want anymore absurd kidnapping, baby snatching, DNA baloney, silky sex scenes and family members marrying and divorcing each other so frequently.  We need elegance and class on Y&R, which is what the soap is really supposed to be about!  Bring back people to live at the Chancellor mansion!  This elegance has long been gone since the passing of our beloved Jeanne Cooper (Mrs. C.), but the writers can have some other classy (not nouveau riche) family move in (someone from the past maybe could be recast) and interact with the Newman and Abbott clans.  The set could probably be updated a bit, but it would certainly provide some fresh ideas rather than the boring ones we are seeing now. Just saying . . .

I still think it would be good for Sharon to return to Nick after all this mess (with the baby and Dr. Anderson) is over.  He has always been her shining knight no matter what, and they, along with Victor and Nikki, are the "it" couple on Y&R.

I wish I knew the real identity of Dr. Anderson, but only the writers know for sure.  They are keeping it a closely guarded secret.  It seems logical that the wicked therapist is a relative of the girl involved in the diving accident, perhaps her sister.  If she is the accident victim herself, why doesn't Nick recognize her?  Has she had plastic surgery and has her paralysis been miraculously cured?  I just hope that's not the case.

Yes, Elba, I wholeheartedly agree with you that some fresh storylines are needed.  We've certainly had enough of kidnappings, baby snatching, look-alikes, plastic surgery makeovers etc.  I also agree that Y&R could use some elegance and class.  I too miss Mrs Chancellor.  She was one of a kind, but she's not coming back and she can't be replaced.  The Chancellor mansion is just not the same without her.

I have thought of one way way to add elegance to the show.  Now that Top of the Tower has reopened, the writers should create a classy and intriguing new character,  The character would be a female singer, not from Genoa City, who is hired to entertain there   Why not build a storyline around her and the happenings at the restaurant?

As for Nick and Sharon, I think they will end up back together at some point.  They seem to be a popular pairing and there are many who would like to see them reunite.



Here's an email from regular Y&R viewer, Carly from Barrhaven, Ontario:

Not sure about the new Billy, too soon to tell but I did a lot of fast forwarding of his out of body experience last night.  I find it very depressing.  I watch a soap opera to be entertained not to be depressed.   

I think Ashley and Dr. Neville make a good match.  What do you think?

I wish they would get rid of Neil Winters.   He really gets on my nerves.

I wonder what happened to Adam and who kidnapped him??



Yes, Carly, it is too early to form any clear impression on Jason Thompson's performance in the role of Billy. Although my initial reaction was positive, I need to see more.

Yes, I also think Ashley and Dr. Neville make a good match.  I also think he's going to be a hero and save her life.

Although I'm not a great fan of Neil Winters, his character is needed for storyline purposes.  So, no, I wouldn't get rid of him.



 Y&R READER'S POLL




Evil Dr. Anderson, played by Elizabeth Bogush, definitely has an agenda.  The dastardly doctor is obviously out for revenge on Nick Newman.  Someone in Genoa City will discover her real identity. Whom do you think it will be?


Who will be the first to uncover Dr. Anderson's true identity?

Sharon
Mariah
Sage
Nick
Dylan
Other
Please Specify:
Poll Maker


That's all for now.  The next edition of Y&R Report will appear on TV Banter on Saturday, January 30, 2016.  I am looking forward to watching more of Jason Thompson's portrayal of Billy Abbott.  I know that Billy Miller was superb in the role, but he's on General Hospital now and will not be returning to Y&R anytime soon.


- Joanne

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Y&R Report (January 2, 2016): 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.

The residents of Genoa City have rung in a New Year and here are my hopes and suggestions for Y&R in 2016.

*  The Young and the Restless could use a character who sings.  The show needs someone like Gina or Danny Romalotti or Brock to perform at the Genoa City Athletic Club or the Top of the Tower.

*  Please!  Please!  No more storylines about look-alikes or long-lost twins or switching babies!  Are you listening Charles Pratt and company?  I know that's a tall order, but surely you can come up with some fresh ideas

*  For once, just once, have Victor Newman take responsibility for his actions and own up to his misdeeds.  Why do the writers think he has to come out on top every single time?

*  Kyle and Summer should break up.  They have no chemistry.  Not one of the actors who have portrayed Kyle has been popular with viewers..  Lachlan Buchanan, the current Kyle has been downgraded to recurring status.  Let's face it.  The character is a bust. Why not have Jack send Kyle back to New York for a long term business project.  Then Summer can get involved in a new storyline and find another boyfriend.

*  It's about time the writers created a good storyline for Jill.

*  Bring back Ian Ward from time to time.  Ray Wise, the actor who portrays Ward does a tremendous job in the role.


Victor Newman dished out some advice about marriage at Stitch and Abby's wedding. He's the father of the bride, but isn't it just a little bit twisted that a man who has been married about ten times should be giving advice on the subject of matrimony?  Then again, he's more than qualified to speak about what can go wrong in a marriage.


VIEWER FORUM


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:  jmadden16@yahoo.ca


Regular contributor, Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario predicts that some harm will come to Noah Newman.  Noah's controlling grandfather, Victor, stated that nothing bad will happen to Noah.  Fifi thinks that ol' Moneybags will be devastated when he is unable to protect his grandson from the Santori clan.  He always claims that his number one priority is to protect his family.  Ironically, he does just the opposite by exposing them to dangerous situations.


CC from Etobicoke, Ontario has sent me some New Year's food for thought and has raised some interesting questions.

Y & R: Lots of food for thought in 2016
The wedding was tastefully done, but I did not care much for Abby's dress.
Ben seems to be trying hard to convince himself that he loves Abby enough to have married her.  Will the whole stepchild thing become a major storyline in the future?
Nikki did not look her best.
Are one shouldered and off the shoulder dresses the new rage?
Summer really doesn't fit in with the other glamorous Newman's and Abbot's. They need to recast this role if/or before they give her another major storyline.
Has anyone warmed up to the strange Dr. Neville?
Is it my imagination or is Sharon's face verging on too puffy with botox or some other de-wrinkling substance.
Who will live in the tack house next now that Nick has moved into the condo with Sage?
Or will Nick be going back there sooner than we think?
If Sharon isn't stable enough to have full custody of Faith how can she be trusted with a newborn?
In the real world that would likely be under supervision of children's services.
Did I miss something or what happened to the Judge/Victor/etc. storyline? I guess it died with Adam being released.
When Billy wakes up after being assaulted he will have a new face, either with injuries as the cause, or not.
Again Adam appears to be playing both sides of the coin.
I'm not sure yet if it is part of Victor's big plot to take down the Santori's or if he is using that to once again go after his father.
One thing that will likely happen from it all is that Noah will get caught in the crossfire of it all.
So many loose-ended, poorly written story lines.  Producers and writers seem to be taking the viewers for simpletons.
This needs to change if the show is to survive 

Wow!  You have certainly given me some food for thought, CC.  I must say, it's quite delicious.  So, let's start with the appetizer.  Yes, the wedding of Dr. Stitch and Abby was tastefully done.  It was a refreshing change from so many quickie, spur of the moment weddings on the show.  Stitch does seem like a bit of a reluctant groom.  He obviously still has a thing for Ashley.  As for Stitch's son, Max, I think he may appear at some point in order to cause problems for Dr. Stitch.

You ask if anyone has warmed up to Dr. Simon Neville.  Well, the doc is certainly quite eccentric and not immediately likable.  Notice that he is generally referred to as "Neville" or "Dr. Neville." The only one I have heard using his first name, "Simon," is Ashley. However, I think that there is more than meets the eye with this character and I find him intriguing.  I realize his methods are highly unorthodox and that he hasn't exactly been a paragon of virtue.  Still, my guess is that he will turn out to be much more than just an oddball scientist.  I wouldn't be surprised if he shows himself to be a decent guy and saves Ashley's life.  I also predict that she will eventually fall in love with him.  By the way, there was a glimpse of his lighter side when he disguised himself as a florist in order to read Hilary's charts at the hospital.`

Simon Neville is out of control and needs to be reigned in.  At the same time, he seems to have a brilliant mind and could be of great service in his field of medicine.  His problem is that he uses the ends to justify the means.  Ashley could be just the person to help him modify his excesses.  They have the potential to be a great couple.  Since Stitch has feelings for Ashley, that could pit him against Nevville in a doctor versus doctor scenario.

It is not your imagination that Sharon's face is puffy with botox or some other substance. It's so unfortunate that she's done that to herself.

You wonder who will move into the tack house now that Nick is living in the condo with Sage. Hmmm . . . .Perhaps Dr. Sandy Anderson is looking for a new place to live so that she can keep an eye on the Newman family.  She certainly doesn't want Nick and Sage together, does she?  Well, she won't have to worry about that too much longer.  I don't think Nick will stay in that penthouse condo with Sage once Sully is identified as Christian and he learns that Adam is Christian's father.  I think Nick will return to the tack house sooner than we think, unless he and Sharon get back together again. If that happens (and I think it will eventually), Nick will move into the house on the ranch that he shared with Sharon in happier days.

No, you didn't miss anything regarding the Victor and judge storyline.  It sort of petered out when Adam did not receive a prison sentence.  It seems they didn't have anywhere to go with it.

As for Billy or any other character getting a new face through cosmetic surgery, I hope there will be no more of that for a long, long time.  When a new actor takes over the role of a character, it shouldn't mean the character has to undergo plastic surgery.  Viewers understand that another actor has taken over the role.

I'm not sure whether Adam's playing both sides of the coin.  He may just be pretending to be in league with Luca Santori.  Either way, he's playing with fire and he's going to get burned.  As 2016 begins, the immediate future does not bode well for him.  He's going to face retribution from either Victor or the Santori family.  His recklessness and deceit are probably going to cost him his marriage to Chesea.  He just can't come clean with her.  When she discovers that Sully is really Christian and that Adam, not Nick, is Christian's father, she will be through with him for keeping another secret from her.

Yes, I agree that Noah will get caught in the crossfire in Victor's war against the Santori family. That should cause Victor Newman to regret his actions.  After all, he continually claims that everything he does is to protest his family.  I don't expect Victor to own up, though.  As usual, the writers will have him blame someone else if harm should come to his grandson.

Yes, CC, there are too many loose ends and poorly written storylines.  Sometimes the writers just take too long to tie up a plotline.  By the time they get around to it the viewers don't care anymore. They've already lost interest.  Here are a some cases in point.  The writers made a very smart move when they had Esther leave her job at the Chancellor mansion.  She found employment at Dylan's coffeehouse, but hasn't been seen in weeks.  Why hasn't Dylan mentioned her?  Why haven't the writer's developed a storyline for her involving her new job.  Then there were the cabin murders of Austin and Courtney.  The writers built up a lot of suspense and viewer interest.  Yet when Detective Mark Harding and Marco were revealed as the guilty parties, it was a letdown.  There was no surprising twist or shock.  What about Michael's cancer?  I really didn't like that storyline, but why can't they just mention that the cancer's in remission and he's feeling much better.  Also, what happened to Patty Williams?  They are taking far too long to reveal the whereabouts of Patty Cakes and her kitty cat.


Helen from Scarborough, Ontario would like to try some of that green concoction that
Ashley and Dr. Neville were drinking.



CAST NEWS



Scott Elrod (ex-Joe Clark) is engaged


Scott and Vanessa - Christmas engagement

It was a very Merry Christmas for Scott Elrod, who recently left his role as wicked Joe Clark on The Young and the Restless.  The actor announced his engagement to girlfriend Vanessa Vazart.  The couple is also expecting a child. Scott's wicked Y&R character was recently hauled off to jail.  Soap Opera Digest confirmed that the actor won't be returning to the show.  Don't worry about Scott, though.  He has joined the cast of ABC's Grey's Anatomy for Season 12 and will play an army doctor when the show returns with new episodes on February 11th.

Michelle Stafford in new film


Michelle Stafford in scene from Durant's Never Closes

Michelle Stafford (Ex-Phyllis Summers Newman) appears in a new film called Durant's Never Closes. She plays the love interest of restaurateur Jack Durant (Tom Sizemore). The film will premiere at the Renaissance Phoenix Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona on January 21, 2016.  It's theatrical realease will be on January 22nd.  It's about a classic Phoenix steakhouse and was shot entirely in Arizona.



Y&R REPORT READER'S POLL

What would you like to happen on Y&R in 2016?

I would like a humbled Victor to admit his mistakes. It's about time someone brought him down.
I hope Sharon and Nick get back together. They make a great couple.
The show needs some big changes and better storylines.
It would be great if the next Billy (Jason Thompson) does a fantastic job in the role. No one can replace Billy Miller, but he's not coming back - at least right now.
I don't know.
Other
Please Specify:
Poll Maker

That's all for now.  The next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, January 16, 2016,