Monday, April 30, 2018

Happy 92nd Birthday, Cloris Leachman!

Cloris Leachman turns 92 years old today.  She was born in Des Moines, Iowa, USA on April 30, 1926.  The actress and comedian is probably best known for her portrayal of Phyllis Lindstrom, Mary Richards' busybody landlord on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  Phyllis was married to a dermatologist named Lars, whom viewers never saw on screen.  Their young daughter, Bess, was played by Lisa Gerritsen.  As Phyllis, Cloris appeared in 37 episodes of the show's 168 episodes, including the final episode in 1977.

Cloris as Phyllis, 1974

From 1975 until 1977, Cloris starred in a spin-of Mary Tyler Moore's show, with the eponymous title of Phyllis.  The series chronicled the life of Phyllis Lindsrom as she moved back to her hometown of San Francisco after the sudden death of husband Lars.  The newly-widowed Phyllis tried to make a new life for herself and her teenage daughter, Bess, still played by Lisa Gerritsen.  Phyllis and Bess moved in with Lars' mother, Audrey (Jane Rose), and Audrey's second husband, Judge Jonathan Dexter (Henry Jones) and Phyllis found employment as the assistant to the CEO of a photography studio.

 Lisa Gerritsen as Bess in 1974 with Cloris as Phyllis

Cloris Leachman has a long history on television, going back to the medium's earliest days.  In 1947, she appeared int the drama Carnegie Hall, in an uncredited role as a dancing nightclub patron  Many people think of June Lockhart as the mother on the long-running Lassie series. However, Cloris played matriarch Ruth Martin on the show from 1957 to 1959, before June Lockhart took over the role.

Cloris married Hollywood impresario George Englund in 1953.  They divorced in 1979 and Englund married for a second time in 1980, to Bonnie Graves.  He died on September 14, 2017 at the age of 91, following complications from a fall.  The producer, director and screenwriter was known for such films as The Ugly American (1963) and The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968).

Cloris with George Englund, c. 1972

Cloris and George were married for 27 years and they had five children, four sons and a daughter: Bryan, Morgan, Adam, Dinah and George. Their eldest son, Bryan Englund (born June 21, 1955), was found dead under mysterious circumstances at a Manhattan YMCA on February 25, 1986.  The struggling actor, known for The Prowler (1981), High Anxiety (1977) and Crazy Mama (1975) was only 30 years old at the time of his passing and reports differ as to the cause of his death.  Some say he died of an overdose of ulcer medication, others from a cocaine overdose.  United Press International (UPI) reported that police officers found two bottles of prescription ulcer medication nearby.  According to UPI, a spokesman for the New York City Police Department said that police did not suspect foul play.  Results of an autopsy performed on February 16, 1986 were inconclusive, but New York City's Medical Examiner, Dr. Elliot Gross, stated that officials planned further chemical testing,

Adam England (born October 4, 1953) is an actor, primarily known for his work in the films Out of the Dark ((1988), Lady Avenger (1988) and Mortuary Academy (1988). He also appeared in a 1987 episode of It's Garry Shandling's Show.

George Englund, Jr. (born May 21, 1957) is a production manager and composer. (At the suggestion of George Sr., he became Cloris' manager, according to a April 19 2010 article by Barbara Turnbull in the Toronto Star.  "I've never been cared for so much and so brilliantly in all my life as he's been caring for me," Cloris is quoted as saying in the Star article.

Morgan Englund (born August 25, 1963) portrayed Dylan Lewis in six episodes of the daytime drama Guiding Light during.  His last appearance on the soap was in 2009.

Cloris Leachman, 2015  Photo Attribution:

Cloris Leachman's prolific acting career has spanned more than seven decades.  She is the recipient of eight Primetime Emmys and the winner of an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as unhappy housewife Ruth Popper in the film The Last Picture Show (1971).


* From 2001 to 2006, Cloris had the recurring role of Ida on Malolm in the Middle, for which she won two Primetime Emmys.

* In 2008, at the age of 82, Cloris appeared as a contestant on the seventh season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars.  She was paired with ballroom dancer Corky Ballas,

* Cloris is an animal rights activist.  She is a vegetarian and a staunch supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

* Cloris co-wrote her autobiography with ex-husband George Englund.  It is titled Cloris: My Autobiography and was published in 2009

- Joanne

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Cloris Leachman passed away on January 27, 2021 at the age of 94.  She died in her sleep at her home in Encinitas, California.  The cause of her death was a stroke and there were reports that COVID-19 was a contributing factor.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Y&R Report (April 28, 2018): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

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

My, my, my!  What have they done to the unfortunate J.T.'s body?  Four women - Nikki, Victoria, Sharon and Phyllis - have buried Chancellor Park.  Although J.T. behaved deplorably and Nikki did not intend to kill him, this female quartet is in a heap of trouble.  Of course, J.T.'s life never should have come to such a horrible conclusion.  It's a grave situation (forgive the silly pun).  Will Jeffrey Todd Hellstrom ever rest in peace?

Actually, I wasn't the least bit surprised that the writers killed off J.T.  I didn't think that Thad Luckinbill's return to the show would be a lengthy one because of his career as a movie producer.  Here's what I don't quite understand about the way J.T. died.  Why did the writers reveal that J.T. was getting treatment from a cardiologist for a heart problem caused by an electrocution he suffered years ago?  What was the purpose of that?  What relevance did it have to the storyline?  Did the writers originally intend to have him die from a heart attack and then change their minds.  Whatever the reason, that was sloppy writing unless it ties in with something we will come to light in the future, after his body undergoes and autopsy.  Perhaps we'll learn that the fireplace poker wasn't the real cause of death.  Maybe he actually did have a fatal heart attack and collapsed at the same time Nikki hit him.

Is Phyllis delusional?  Does she really think the "girl's night" dirty little secret won't be uncovered (another silly pun)?  Too many people want to find J.T.  Nick and Victor are both fiercely determined to locate him.  Clueless Genoa City Police Chief Paul Williams is also seeking the dead man, but as usual, he won't be the one to discover the truth.  Then, there's Sharon. She's a bundle of nerves and she's just about ready to burst at the seams.  How long before she talks?  How are Phyllis and the others going to prevent her from letting the cat out of the bag?  Someone is going to crack under the pressure.  If it's not Sharon, my money's on Princess Victoria.  The Princess is deeply guilt-ridden and anxious.

Victor Newman is in a weakened state right now and he has difficulty speaking.  Nevertheless, he was alert enough to recognize that something is going on between Nikki and Arturo.  That means Arturo is not in a good position right now.  He is caught between two women - Nikki and Abby.  Now Victor will be keeping an eye on him.  He has already warned Nikki that if Arturo isn't fired from the housing project, there will be trouble.  We all know how jealous and possessive "The Black Knight" can be, especially where Nikki is concerned.  Arturo is going to have to watch his step.

It was good to see Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John) back in Genoa City.  Kristoff St. John went through an extremely difficult time and Y&R viewers really gave him a lot of support.  He thanked thanked fans for being an "inspiration" during his ordeal.

As for Kristoff's character, Neil, I'm glad that he's setting some boundaries for Devon.  I think Devon became a little too big for his britches during Neil's absence.  He's had too much power for too long.  It's gone to his head. He needs to be taken down a notch.  There's obviously much more attraction between Devon and Hilary than Devon and Simone.  It'a just that things can't go too smoothly between the two.  Simone is around to create conflict in their relationship.

Jack Abbott has fired Helen Wallace as Jabot's chief chemist due to her relationship with Victor.  So, who is creating and testing new products for the company?  I think Ashley will be in the lab again eventually.  As for Jack, he's going to be absolutely devastated when he discovers he's not John Abbott's biological son.  So much of his identity involves being an Abbott.  It's a shame having the Abbott blood means so much to him and that he can't be satisfied that John Abbott regarded him as his son in every way.

The mystery of Jack's biological father is intriguing and I'm certain Y&R will keep viewers guessing for a long time.  I have heard some suggestions that Victor may be the one and that his recent "date night" and dance with Dina was a foreshadowing.  The writers may have that in mind because Jack and Victor have been lifelong enemies.  I hope that it doesn't turn out that way. I don't want Victor and Jack to be father and son.


Say Farewell to Reed (Tristan Lake Leabu)

Tristan Lake Leabu

It looks like it's goodbye to Reed Hellstrom.  The writers decided to get rid of him quickly by sending him off to boarding school in New Hampshire.  He's leaving town without knowing what really happened to his father.  He doesn't know that J.T. is dead and that he'll never see him again.

Tristan Lake Leabu, the actor who plays Reed, is on his way out, even though he has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the category of Outstanding Younger Leading Actor in a Drama Series.  The teenage musician sang and played the guitar on Y&R and performed in the opening musical number at last year's Daytime Emmys.

Leabu, 18, joined the cast of The Young and the Restless in January of 2017, so his tenure on the show hasn't been very long.  Head writer Mal Young has made a habit of abruptly writing characters out of storylines.  It wasn't too long ago that  Reed's cousin Noah (Robert Adamson), suddenly decided to take off for India.  Lauren's son, Scott Grainger, also left town after both Sharon and Abby dumped him.  However, some of those characters may return in the future.  So, maybe Reed will come back to Genoa City in a few years.  He'll know what really happened to his father and he'll probably be quite angry with his mother and his grandmother.  Will his personality change as drastically as Kyle's did?

Most soap opera stars don't have a great deal of job security, do they?  They can be written out at the whim of the writers. unless they have clout and a great of viewer support.  Soap veterans and fan favourites such as Eric Braeden


Kyle Abbott, played by Michael Mealor,  is back in Genoa City, but this time he has an edge to him.  He's scheming and ambitious and far more forceful (I guess he underwent a personality transplant in New York or maybe a surgeon inserted a chip on his shoulder).  If he still has anything left of his softer side, we haven't seen it yet.  Having said all that, I really think Michael Mealor is by far the best actor who has played the role of Kyle.  What do you think, fans?  Do you have a positive or negative impression of Jack's prodigal son?  Let me know by responding to the poll below.

What is your impression of the new Kyle (Michael Mealor)

He's a good actor but Kyle isn't likeable. He's too devious.
I really like him. He's a good actor and he's made the Kyle character much more interesting.
I don't like him because he's changed Kyle's personality too much.
It's too early to tell. I need more time to get used to him and to see all sides of his personality.
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Created with Survey Maker


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

My email address:

That's all for now.  The Daytime Emmy Awards will take place tomorrow, Sunday, April 29.  You can watch the event online.  Also, get ready for the May Sweeps.  There should be lots of excitement on Y&R.  

Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, May 12, 2018.  

- Joanne

Friday, April 27, 2018

R.I.P. Kristin Harmon Nelson dead at 72

According to daughter Tracy Nelson's Facebook page, Kristin Harmon Nelson died on April 27, 2018.  Tracy wrote: "My mother, Kristin Harmon Nelson, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last night.  Love and light are welcome."

Sharon "Kristin" Harmon was born on June 25, 1945 to football star Tom Harmon and his wife, actress Elyse Knox.  Kristin was the older sister of actress/ model Kelly Harmon and actor Mark Harmon.  She was an actress, artist and author.  In 1963, Kris married singer/actor Rick Nelson, They divorced in 1982 and Rick died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1985.  Below is a 1964 publicity photo of Kris and Rick when they appeared in The Adventure of Ozzie and Harriet

Kris and Rick had four children:  daughter Tracy, and sons Matthew and Gunnar, and Sam.

Kris was 72 years of age at the time of her death.  I posted an article about Kristin Harmon Nelson's life back in 2011.  If you would like to read it, click on the link below.

- Joanne

EDITOR'S UPDATE (April 29, 2018):  As of this writing, Kristin's death has not been reported on Wikipedia..  Back on February 28, 2017, reported that Kris had recently been in the intensive care unit of Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, where she's lived and worked as an artist.  According to the website, she was "stricken with pneumonia, which turned into the potentially lethal staph infection MRSA.

EDITOR'S UPDATE (May 1, 2018) - Kristin's death date has been added to Wikipedia.

Here is what daughter Tracy wrote on her Facebook page on May 1.

"I want to talk about my Mom, who passed on Friday (April 27, 2018) of a heart attack in the night.  Just thoughts straight from my brain and I apologize for any babbliness this morning before coffee and a hard night of dreaming.  
A force.  A reckoning.  Artist first, always.  Anarchist, bohemian.  Hurricane Kris.  No one could blow the house down like she could.  And no one could make something out of nothing like she could.
Sharon Kristin Harmon who as a wee and gorgeous blue eyed child had fiercely decided she was NOT to be Sharon.- call me Kristen, or nothing at all, thank you very much, the end."

Monday, April 16, 2018

Whatever happened to the cast of WKRP in Cincinnati?

WKRP in Cincinnati was an American situation comedy that aired on the CBS television network from 1978 to 1982.  The show chronicled all the mishaps and misfortunes of the staff of a fictional radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio.  WKRP had been in financial difficulty for years, prompting its new program director,, Andy Travis (Gary Sandy), to transform it from a an easy listening station to a Top 40 rock 'n' roll station.

The series was created by the late Hugh Wilson (1943-2018) and was based on his experiences as an advertising salesperson at Top 40 radio station WQXI in Atlanta, Georgia.  The show premiered on Septmeber 18, 1978.  It ended its run on April 21, 1982 after four seasons and 88 episodes.  During its four-year run, WKRP in Cincinnati had a strong following among younger viewers and disc jockeys.  It has remained popular in syndication around the world.


The show had an ensemble cast, which featured the following actors:

Gary Sandy (Andy Travis)

- Gary Sandy was born on December 25, 1945 in Dayton, Ohio, USA.  Gary played program director Andy Travis on WKRP in Cincinnati  After the show went off he air, he appeared in episodes of such TV series as L.A. Law (1989), Murder, She Wrote (1985 and 1989), F.B.I: The Untold Stories (1991), The Young Riders (1992), Diagnosis Murder (1999). Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1999)  and Martial Law (2000).

In 2001, Gary played Terrence Kelly on the daytime soap The Young and the Restless.  He also played the role of Dr, Douglas "Doc" Hamilton in the 2004 TV movie A  Place Called Home, the story of a Southern Belle (played by Ann-Margaret), who is living her later years in a huge, crumbling country estate.  In recent years,he has been winning awards for live radio dramas and appearing in theatrical productions.

Gary was married to actress Laura Soltis from 1989 to 1995.  Laura is best know for the films Black Sash (2003), Hiccups (2010) and Step Up All In (2014).

Gordon Jump (Arthur Carlson)

 - Gordon Jump was born on April 1, 1932 in Dayton, Ohio, USA,  He died on September 22, 2003 at the age of 71,  Gordon portrayed station manager Arthur "Big Guy" Carlson on WKRP in Cincinnati  He also played the inept "Chief of Police Tinkler" in the sitcom Soap.   In 1989, he took over the role of the "Maytag Man" in commercials for Maytag appliances.  In the 1990s, he starred in a short-lived revival of WKRP, entitled The New WKRP in Cincinnati.  In the final season of Seinfeld, he portrayed George Costanza's boss  at a playground equipment company in two episodes of the series.

Gordon was married three times and divorced twice.  His first marriage (1954 to 1962) was to Olinda Dorothea Mathilda Kandt.  His second marriage was to Anna F. Inge (1963 to 1992) and they had one child.  On December 15, 1993, he wed for the third time, to Betty Sue McKeever.  They had one child and the marriage lasted until his death in 2003.

Howard Hesseman (Johnny Fever) 

- Howard Hesseman was born in Lebanon, Oregon, USA on February 27, 1940.  He portrayed disc jockey Johnny "Dr" Fever on WKRP in Cincinnati.  He went on to play Captain Pete Lassard in the 1985 comedy film Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment.  From 1986 to 1990, he played high school teacher Charlie Moore on the American TV sitcom Head of the Class.  He also portrayed Sam Royer, the man who married Ann Romano (Bonnie Franklin) on One Day at a Time.

Howard was married to Catherine Maison from 1965 to 1974.  The union ended in divorce and he has been married to French-born actress Caroline Ducrocq since July 22, 1989.

Loni Anderson (Jennifer Marlowe)

- Loni Kaye Anderson was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 5, 1946.  She played receptionist Jennifer Marlowe on WKRP in Cincinnati.  Her role on WKRP earned her three Golden Globe Award nominations and two Emmy Award nominations.  During the 1980 summer hiatus, Loni walked out of the sitcom due to a salary dispute.  While she was re-negotiating her contract, Loni starred as Jayne Mansfield in the CBS made-for-television movie The Jayne Mansfield Story.  Her co-star was Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played Jayne's husband, bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay.  The film aired on October 29, 1980.

After the salary dispute was resolved, Loni returned to WKPR in Cincinnati and remained with the series until its cancellation in 1982.  In the 1984-85 television season,, she starred with "Wonder Woman" Lynda Carter in the NBC crime drama Partners in Crime. The series was cancelled after only 13 episodes.

From the mid-to-late 1980, Loni's acting career waned.  She appeared in television versions of Hollywood film classics such as Letter to Three Wives (1985), with Michele Lee and Sorry, Wrong Number (1989), alongside Patrick Macnee and Hal Holbrook and Coins in the Fountain (an update of the 1954 film Three Coins in the Fountain).  However, she received favourable reviews for her performance as comic actress Thelma Todd in the 1991 TV movie White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd.  In 1991, she also reprised her role as Jennefer Marlowe in two episodes of The New WKPR in Cincinnati.

In 1993, Loni joined the cast of the NBC sitcom Nurses, which was in its third season.  She portrayed hospital administrator Casey MacAffee.  However, the show, which was suffering from low ratings, was cancelled soon after Loni's arrival.  During the 1990s, Loni made guest appearances on such shows as Burke's Law (1994) Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1997) Clueless (1998) and V.I.P. (1999).  She also played the role of Teri Carson in three 1996 episodes of Melrose Place.

From 2003 to 2004, Loni starred as as Mandi Mullet-Heidecker in 13 episodes of the short-lived series The Mullets.  In 2006, she played Kiki Spelling in eight episodes of So Notorious, a parody of the life of Tori Spelling.  Since 2016, she has starred as Frances in the Internet series My Sister is Gay, about a middle-aged gay man whose sister, Amanda (Wendy Michaels) is having difficulty dealing with her brother's homosexuality.  Loni plays their vampy mother.

Loni Anderson has been married four times and divorced three times.  Her first marriage was to Bruce Hasselberg (1964 to 1966).  Her second marriage was to Ross Bicknell (1973 to 1981).  From 1988 to 1993, she was married to actor Burt Reynolds.  Reynolds was her third husband.  The two starred in the comedy film Stoker Ace (1983), which was a critical and box office flop.

On May 17, 2008, Loni wed her current husband, singer Bob Flick, a founding member of the 1960s folk group The Brothers Four.  Loni has two children, a daughter, Deidre Hoffman, from her marriage to Bruce Hasselberg.  She also has a son, Quinton Anderson Reynolds (born August 31,1988, whom she adopted with Burt Reynolds.  Deidre was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009.

Loni Anderson and Bob Flick

Tim Reid (Venus Flytrap)

- Tim Reid was born in Norfolk, Virginia, USA on December 19, 1944.  Tim played the role of hip radio disc jockey Venus Flytrap on WKRP in Cincinnati.  From 1983 to 1987, he portrayed Marcel "Uptown" Brown on Simon & Simon.  He also appeared as Ray Campbell on Sister, Sister from 1994 to 1999 and William Bennett on That '70s Show.

During the 1987-1988 television season, Reid starred in a short-lived comedy-drama series called Frank's Place.  The show is set in New Orleans and chronicles the life of Frank Parrish (Tim Reid), an affluent African-American professor at Brown University in Rhode Island, who inherits a small Creole restaurant in New Orleans.

Frank's Place was created by Hugh Wilson.  Wilson and Reid were the show's executive producers.  CBS changed the time slot of the series many times and it failed to find a larger audience.  It was cancelled after one season.

Tim Reid.has been married twice.  He married Rita Ann Sykes in 1966.  They had two children, Timothy Jr. (born  1968) and Toni Reid (born 1971).  However, the marriage did not last and they divorced in 1980.  On December 4, 1982, Tim married actress Daphne Maxwell, who played Vivian Banks on the NBC comedy The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  She and Tim owned and operated New Millennium Studios in Petersburg, Virginia, one of the largest independent film studios outside of Hollywood, until 2014.

Jan Smithers (Bailey Quarters)

- Jan Smithers was born in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California on July 3, 1949.  She played news broadcaster Bailey Quarters.  According to Michael B. Kessel, author of America's Favorite Radio Station: WKRP in Cincinnati, the character of Baiiley Qurarters was based on Charters Smith, the wife of the show's creator, Hugh Wilson.

Jan Smithers has been married and divorced twice.  Her first husband was Kip Whitman, to whom she was married from 1971 to 1972.  Her second husband was actor James Brolin. to whom she was married from 1986 to 1995.  Jan was stepmother to Brolin's sons from a previous marriage and she and Brolin have a daughter named Molly.

Richard Sanders (Les Nessman)

- Richard Sanders was born on August 23, 1940 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA.  He played WKRP's quirky, pompous news director, Les Nessman, on WKRP in Cincinnati.  He is an actor and screenwriter.

In the early 1990s, Sanders reprised his role as Les Nessman and joined WKRP in Cincinnati castmates Gordon Jump and Frank Bonner in The New WKRP in Cincinnati.  After the original series ended in 1982, he guest-starred on numerous television series including Gloria (1982), It Takes Two (1983), Alice (1983), Goodnight, Beantown (1983), Simon & Simon (1984), Newhart (1984), Who's the Boss? (1985), Married . . . with Children (1987), Night Court (1989), Growing Pains (1986 and 1989), Charles in Charge (1990). Coach (1990), Designing Women (1990), Unhappily Ever After (1997), The Fugitive (2001).  He also  played Mr. Stanton in the 2002 TV mini-series Rose Red.  a mystery thriller about a group of people with psychic powers who are invited to spend a night in a haunted house.

Richard is Sanders is married to television script supervisor Marilynn Marko Sanders.

Frank Bonner (Herbert "Herb" Tarlek)

- Frank Bonner was born on February 28, 1942 in Little Rock Arkansas, USA.  He played sales manager Herb Tarlek on WKRP in Cincinnati.

After WKRP, Frank played the role of Henry "Buck" O'Connell in three 1985 episodes of the popular adventure series Scarecrow and Mrs. King, starring Kate Jackson and Bruce Boxleitner. He aappeared in two episodes of  Night Court, one in 1985 and the other in 1986.  He also guest-starred on Punky Brewster (1986) and Murder, She Wrote (1986).  

From 1988 until 1990, Frank had a recurring role as Father Robert Hargis in 22 episodes of the family comedy Just the Ten of Us.  From 1991 to 1993, he reprised his role as Herb Tariek in The New WKRP in Cincinnati.  He appeared as Ed Harrington in four of episodes of Saved by the Bell: The New Class and as Mr. Spalding in one 1997 episode of the same series.

Frank Bonner has been married five times and divorced four times.  His third wife was American playwright, theatre director and and actor Lillian Garrett-Groag, to whom he was married from 1977 to 1980.  His current wife is Gayle Hardage, whom he wed in 2006.


* WKRP in Cincinnati earned 10 Emmy Award nominations, including three for Outstanding Comedy Series.

* Loni Anderson recently appeared on the MeTV network to promote the WKRP in Cincinnati television series and other classic TV shows.

- Joanne

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Y&R Report (April 14, 2018): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

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

As my mother would say, J.T. Hellstrom (Thad Luckinbill) had more nerve than Dick Tracy.  After doing some horrible deeds, he acted as if nothing had happened.  J.T. always had an edge but he had never been violent or an abuser.  I just don't buy the explanation that he had a lot of disappointments and failures in his life or that he had to get back at Victor for Colleen's death.  Hey, maybe he has an evil twin brother.  (After all, Thad Luckinbill has an identical twin brother in real life named Trent Luckinbill).  Has the evil twin kidnapped the real J.T. and hidden him somewhere?  Just kidding!

I am not surprised that J.T. died after Nikki hit him with a poker in order to protect Victoria.  I have always felt that Thad Luckinbill, who played J.T. was only back temporarily.  He will probably return to his successful career producing movies with his twin brother.

Phyllis really caused more problems when she encouraged everyone to cover up what happened.  Then she talked about hiding the body.  They can't hide something like that forever and they will eventually have to face the music.  She's leading everyone astray.  Paul and Christine (a.k.a. The Cricketmeister) will be even harder on Nikki, Victoria, Phyllis and Sharon when they find out about the cover-up.

I think head writer Mal Young and his assistant writers have altered the personalities of too many characters.  Kyle is the latest example.  He was never so smug and overly self-confident.  Kyle was never so slick before.  I like to call him Mr. Smarmy.

So, we now know the identity of the mysterious dark-haired woman who was seen visiting Victor in his hospital room.  She's Helen Wallace, the chemist Jack hired to replace Ashley at Jabot.  Apparently, she is also Victor's mistress.  That's another thing that has just come out of the blue.

It's obvious that the writers don't want to reunite Nick and Sharon just yet.  That's why Phyllis is so adamantly opposed to Nick staying at Sharon's.  Out of the blue, it seems that Phyllis hasn't completely gotten over Nick, even though she claims to be deliriously happy with Billy Boy Abbott.  What's going on there?  Billy has already noticed Phyllis' bond with Nick.  How much will he tolerate and will he go back to Victoria if he breaks up with Phyllis?  Victoria is obviously finished with J.T. and she will attract much sympathy over her ordeal.

It seems that the writers don't know what to do about Phyllis and Billy.  They are too happy, so there has to be some conflict.  That's why she's suddenly developed unresolved feelings for Nick.  Actually, Phyllis has been getting on my nerves lately because she has been such a busybody, interfering with Chloe and with Sharon.

JUST ASKING . . . Why wasn't there a police guard in front of Victor Newman's room right from the beginning.  Wouldn't you expect the police protection for a billionaire who had been attacked and had many enemies?  How was the hotel in Hawaii able to inform Paul Williams that J.T. had flown back to Genoa City?  Do hotels know when and where their guests have book a flight?

Kate Linder (Esther) always emphasizes that if enough Y&R fans want something, CBS will listen.  She is right.  Many fans were upset when the previews were removed in favour of flashbacks from previous episodes.  I noticed that on Fridays's show on CBS (Thursday on Global TV in Canada), there was a preview of  "Next week on The Young and the Restless."  Let your voices be heard, fans.


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

My email address:

Here is an email I received from regular contributor CC in Etobicoke:

Hi Joanne

I have a few comments concerns and questions for you. 

- I am very impressed by the way the new producers, writers etc. have storylines moving along to resolution more quickly. 

- I am not too sure about how I feel about the actor who is playing Kyle, but I am quite taken by the way they have developed his new character.  He will be a real villainous force to deal with as things go along.  charming and sooooo sinister.  Maybe Victor is his father, but then his mother (Diane Jenkins) was a pretty nasty lady back in the day.

- Makeup aside, Victor (Eric Braeden) is not looking well.  He is not aging well and perhaps his vices are catching up to him.  TOO MUCH TEQUILA!

- Sad what they have done to Nikki's character.  However, I believe it may not be just what it appears to be.  Maybe they will come up with some kind of scenario where she and Victor and/or Paul? or someone else set things up to achieve some end.  Her devotion to Victor on his deathbed isn't enough to redeem her from the black mark of her relationship with Arturo.  And now Victor has hooked up with the scientist hired to replace Ashley.  Very Sad.  

- How did J.T. end up being such a monster?  I don't remember him being so mean when he was a teenager and when he was first married to Victoria.  Where does Victoria go from here . . .?

- Looking forward to seeing what the outcome is for Hilary and Devon?

Well CC, you've given me a lot of food for thought.  Here is my response to your comments, concerns and questions:

- Yes, the show has been moving along at a much faster pace and the storylines have been reaching their resolutions much sooner.  That is good up to a point.  Viewers don't want the storylines to drag on forever.  Howevr, I think that some storylines have been concluded too soon and that the endings have just been slapped on.  The Chloe storyline is an example of that.

- You are right about Victor (Eric Braeden) not looking well  I realize that Victor has been in serious condition and he is supposed to look like a man who almost died.  However, even before he fell down the stairs, he looked tired and haggard.  It may be the result of Eric Braeden's lifestyle.  However, I'm more inclined to  think he's starting to show his age.

- I agree with you that it's sad what the writers have done with Nikki's characters.  Mal Young and company should be very careful before messing with longtime characters.  Fans have followed Nikki and Victor for years.

I'm not so sure that the writers can easily undo Nikki's affair with Arturo.  As you pointed out her devotion to the ailing Victor "isn't enough to redeem her from the black mark of her relationship with Arturo.  I don't think that a sophisticated woman like Nikki would go for a guy like Arturo.  To be honest, Arturo doesn't impress me.  I find him rather greasy.  However, I'm not surprised that Abby is attracted to him.  He seems to be more her type.  After all. she became involved with that sleazy Zack.

- How did J.T. end up being such a monster?  The writers decided to make him that way for storyline purposes.  Where does Princess Victoria go from here?  That's a good question.  She's certainly going to need some time to recover from her disastrous reunion with J.T.  She is going to receive much support and empathy from Victor, Nikki and brother Nick.  I expect her to be restored to her lofty position at Jabot as heir to the Newman dynasty (Ashley will probably return to Jabot)  I think that Victoria should wait a while before becoming involved with someone else.  If Billy becomes available. she may go back to him or she may become involved with someone new.

- After all Hilary's determination to become a mother, it would be surprising if she didn't have a baby, wouldn't it?  A baby will not cause Hilary and Devon to live happily ever after.  That's almost impossible in soapland because conflict is needed.  Hilary's character has many sides and Devon is both strongly attracted and deeply repelled by her personality.


Daytime Emmys

Daytime Emmy nominee Eileen Davidson

The Young and the Restless has been nominated for a total 25 Daytime Emmys, along with Days of our LivesGeneral Hospital leads the pack with 26 nominations.  Here are some highlights for Y&R fans

* Y&R has been nominated for Outstanding Drama Series.

Eileen Davidsoon (Ashley) has been nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Peter Bergman has been nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.  He is up against Billy Miller of General Hospital, ex-Billy Abbott on Y&R.

*  Three Y&R cast members have been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.  The three women are Marla Adams (Dina), Camryn Grimes (Mariah) and Mishael Morgan (Hilary).  Marla Adams is definitely the favourite in this category and she should win it.

* Greg Rikaart (Kevin) has been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

* Cait Fairbanks (Tessa) has been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Tristan Lake Leabu (Reed) has been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

* Y&R has also been nominated in the categories of Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team and Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team.

The 45th annual Daytime Emmys will take place on Sunday, April 29, 2018.

Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause to star in movie

Justin and Christell has broken the news that Justin Hartley, ex-Adam Newman on Y&R, is making  a movie with his wife, actress Chishell Stause.  The two were married in October 2017.  If you recall, Chrishell played barmaid Bethany Bryant for a brief time on Y&R.  She also played Jordan Ridgeway on Days of our Lives and Amanda Dillon Martin on All My Children.

Justin, of course, is now a star on the hit prime time show This is Us.  He is missed a great deal by Y&R viewers.  However, fans can see him and Chrishell in a new film called Another Time.  In the film, Justin portrays an investment banker named Eric who takes on a client named Julia (played by Chrishell).  They fall in love, although Julia is engaged to someone else.  The solution?  Eric, who just happens to be a science and math whiz, discovers that time travel may be possible and he plans to go hack to a tine before Julia met the man she is about to marry.

The premiere for Another Time will be held at the Regency Lido Movie Theater in Newport Beach California on April 28, 2018.

CAST NOTE:  Kristoff St. John will return to his role as Neil Winters this week after a leave of absence due to personal problems related to the suicide of his son.  I doubt Neil will be very happy about Devon and Hilary's plan to have a baby.  He will also be shocked to discover what happened to Victor.


Is Nikki guilty in the killing of J.T.?

Yes, she is responsible for his death. She shouldn't have attacked him so quickly.
No, she was protecting her daughter, Victoria. She had no intention of killing him. She didn't expect him to die.
It could be considered justifiable homicide.
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Created with PollMaker

That's all for now.  Don't forget that that next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, April 28, 2018.

- Joanne

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Whatever happened to Whitey (Stanley Fafara) of Leave it to Beaver?

"My life was a blessing and a curse.  At one time I had money.... There were times when I'd walk around with $16,000 in my pocket."

"Drugs, money women.  I got all of them because I was Whitey."

- Stanley Fafara
Interview with Portland Oregonian reporter Tom Hallman Jr., December 2002

Do you remember that little blond boy on Leave it to Beaver?  His name was Hubert "Whitey" Whitney and he was a school friend of Beaver Cleaver.  Whitey was portrayed by the late Stanley Fafara, who died in 2003 under unfortunate circumstances.  Sadly, Stanley's story is another one of those tragic tales surrounding the lives of child actors.

Stanley Albert Fafara was born in San Francisco, California on September 20, 1949.  His older brother, Lucas "Luke" Fafara II  (known as Tiger Fafara), also appeared on Leave it to Beaver.  He played the bespectacled Tooey Brown, one of Wally Cleaver's  friends in the series.  Both siblings were raised in Studio City, Los Angeles and their mother pushed them into acting at an early age.

In 1957, Stanley's mother brought her sons to an open casting call for a new family sitcom called Leave it to Beaver. Seven-year-old Stanley won the role of Whitey Whitney, one of Beaver's best buddies, while his brother Tiger was cast as Tooey.  Tiger played Tooey in 18 episodes of Leave it to Beaver, from 1957 to 1960.  Stanley, on the other hand, remained for the show's entire six-year run, appearing in 57 episodes.

When the series ended in 1963, Stanley attended North Hollywood High School.  He associated with the pop group Paul Revere and the Raiders and reportedly lived with the band for a while. He also began drinking heavily and using drugs.  At his parents' urging, he moved in with his sister in Jamaica.  He tried to become an artist, but was was unable to stop drinking and using narcotics.

At the age of 22, Stanley returned to Los Angeles where he was married to Rosemary Oswald for a short time.  They divorced after having one child and Stanley hit rock bottom.  He supported himself by dealing drugs and by  the early 1980s, he had begun to burglarize pharmacies  in order to maintain his drug habit.  After his seventh robbery, he was arrested and bailed out by his parents.  However, when he was caught breaking into a pharmacy for the eighth time, he was convicted and sentenced to a year in jail.

After his release from prison, Stanley moved to Portland Oregon with a girlfriend and tried several means of employment.  He supported himself by working as a waiter, a roofer and a janitor but eventually returned to dealing narcotics.  He later became addicted to heroin and was in and out of rehabilitation for many years.

Tom Hallman Jr,, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Portland Oregonian kept in touch with the former child star. Hallman wrote a profile on Stanley Fafara and described him as short and stocky with slicked-back grey hair and a weathered face.  He stated hat Stanley had been clean and sober since entering a Portland detox centre in 1995 and living at a clean-and-sober house for alcoholics and addicts.

 According to Stanley's IMDb biography, he managed to turn his life around and eventually re-established a relationship with the daughter he hadn't seen in two decades.  He helped other addicts and even launched a business designing websites, with some measure of success.

Regrettably, however, Stanley Fafara had already contracted Hepatitis C.  On September 20, 2003, he died of complications from a surgery performed in late August to repair a constricted intestine caused by a hernia.  Stanley passed away in a Portland, Oregon hospital at the age of 54.  According to his obituary by Dennis McLellan of the Los Angeles Times, Stanley "had been living in a single-room occupancy building in Portland's skid row, paying $153 a month for his 12-by-12 room out of his Social Security disability check of $475 a month."  He couldn't work without forfeiting his disability income.

Stanley Fafara in later years

Stanley Fafara is interred at the Redland Pioneer Cemetery in Redland, Oregon.  The parishioners of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church in Portland raised the funds for Stanley's burial.  However, since there was no money for a headstone, the grave remained unmarked for 13 years.  On June 14, 2016, Father Jim Kolb, who had officiated at Stanley's funeral, also officiated at the blessing of his gravestone.

Stanley is survived by a daughter and a grandchild.  He also left a nephew, Dez Fafara of the rock band Coal Chamber, with who he had become close during his recovery.  Dez is the son of Stanley's brother, Tiger.


Stanley's older brother, Lucas "Luke" Fafara, also known as Tiger Fafara, appeared on Leave it to Beaver as Tooey Brown.  Tiger was born January 3, 1945, and is now 73 year old.  After leaving Leave it to Beaver in 1960, Tiger stopped acting professionally.  He returned to acting in 1983 when he reprised his role as Tooey in the TV reunion film Still the Beaver.  He also portrayed Tooey in the follow-up sitcom The New Leave it to Beaver, which aired from 1983 to 1987.

Tiger Fafara as Tooey

Tiger Fafara in 2013  Photo attribution:

- Joanne