Monday, July 8, 2019

Whatever happened Maude's Walter (Billy Macy)?

Bill Macy is best known for his role on Maude, a popular sitcom that aired on CBS from 1972 to 1978.  The show was a spin-off of All in the Family with Beatrice Arthur starring as Edith Bunker's outspoken liberal cousin, Maude Findlay.  For six seasons, Bill portrayed Maude's long-suffering fourth husband, Walter Findlay.

After Maude ended, Bea Arthur starred in another hit comedy series, The Golden Girls, along with Betty White and Rue McClanahan. The Golden Girls ran on NBC from 1985 to 1992.  Bea died of lung cancer.on April 25, 2009 at the age of 86.  Bill, however, is still with us at 97.

Bill was born Wolf Martin Garber in Revere, Massachusetts on May 18, 1922, the son of Mollie (née Friedopfer) and Michael Garber, a manufacturer.  Bill was raised in Brooklyn, New York and attended Samuel J. Tilden High School in Brooklyn's East Flashbush district.  He worked as a taxi driver before pursuing an acting career.  That's probably why he portrayed a cab driver in a 1966 episode of the daytime soap, The Edge of Night.

In 1969, Bill appeared in an episode of the crime drama N.Y.P.D. entitled "The Attacker" (Season 2, Episode 16, Air Date: February 4, 1969).  Then came his big break.  He was cast in two 1972 episodes of All in the Family.  In the first episode, "Archie Sees a Mugging" (Season 2, Episode 18, Air Date: January 29, 1972), he played a uniformed police officer.  In the second episode, entitled "Maude" (Season 2, Episode 24, Air Date: March 11, 1972), he played Walter Findlay for the first time.  In the episode, Archie and Edith Bunker travel to upstate New York to attend the wedding of cousin Maude's daughter, Carol. 

Maude was the perfect foil for Archie Bunker and his conservative views.  She espoused liberal causes.  She was a staunch Democrat and a feminist.  When Bea Arthur's Maude was spun off into a CBS series of her own, Bill found himself on a hit show.  The series was created by All in the Family producers Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin.  In an interview for the Archive of American Television (now called An Oral History of Television), Lear recalled how he first discovered Bill Macy in an off-Broadway play.  He couldn't remember the name of the play, but he has never forgotten how Bill was choking on a chicken bone.

Maude and Walter Findlay lived in suburban Tuckahoe, Westchester County, New York, where Walter owned Findlay's Friendly Appliances, a household appliance store.  Also living with the couple were Carol Trainor (Adrienne Barbeau), Maude's divorced daughter from her second marriage, and Carol's son, Philip.  Philip Traynor was played by Brian Morrison for the first five seasons and by Kraig Metzinger for the show's final season.  Conrad Bain, who later starred as Phillip Drummond on Diff'rent Strokes, played Dr. Arthur Harmon, the Findlay's sarcastic Republican neighbour.  Arthur was another foil for Maude.

Below is a 1973 photo of Bill Macy and Beatrice Arthur in a scene from Maude.

According to a May 1979 article by Marilyn Beck, Bill complained that he was cut off from Bea Arthur and the rest of the cast when Maude ended.  In the article, he is quoted as saying, "For six years - for six solid years - we saw each other more than we saw our real families.  Then the show closed and it was like a guillotine - snap, sever.  That was it!  Now go figure that out.  I haven't spoken to Bea since - and I certainly wouldn't be presumptuous enough to call her because I respect her privacy and she is a private person.  And it's not only Bea.  I haven't seen or spoken to Conrad Bain, Adrienne Barbeau - none of the cast - since the end of Maude.

After Maude was cancelled, Bill did some stage work in Seattle, Washington and Long Beach, California and he completed a role in the Steve Martin film, The Jerk, a comedy directed by Carl Reiner.  He also appeared on numerous TV series.  In 1979,  he had a recurring role as Louis Harper in four episodes of Hanging In.  He guest-starred in episodes of Hotel (1983), St. Elsewhere (1994), The Love Boat (1984, 1986),  L.A. Law (two 1986 episodes), The Facts of Life (1988), Highway to Heaven (1985, 1988), Murder, She Wrote (1986, 1989), Matlock (1991), Columbo (1993), Diagnosis Murder (1994), NYPD Blue (1995), Chicago Hope (1996)  Bill had a role in two 1996 episodes of Seinfeld as Herb, one of the residents of Del Boca Vista, the Florida retirement home where Jerry Seinfeld's parents resided.

In the 2000s, Bill appeared in episodes of such shows as Touched by an Angel (2000), LAX (2004),
and ER (2004).  He played an aging gambler in a 2006 episode of Las Vegas and Whiskey Pete in a 2007 episode of My Name Is Earl.  According to IMDb, his last television credit is a 2010 episode of Hawthorne entitled "No Exit" (Season 2, Episode 10, Air Date: August 24,2010), in which he played Mr. Rickles.  He retired from acting in 2011.

Bill Macy has been married twice.  His first wife was Judith Janus, but he has been married to actress Samantha Harper since 1975.  Samantha portrayed Sandy in the 1985 film Torchlight and an occupational therapist in the 1977 drama/fantasy film I Never Promised You a Rose Garden..  She appeared as Mrs. L.W. in a 1980 episode of the sitcom Mork and Mindy entitled "Invasion of the  Snatchers" (Season 2, Episode 25, Air Date: March 20, 1980) and as Lois in a 1986 episode of Hill Street Blues entitled "I Come on My Knees) (Season 7, Episode 5, Air Date: November 6, 1986).

Samantha Harper (undated)

Bill and Samantha co-starred in the 1972 film version of the controversial off-Broadway nude comedy revue, Oh! Calcutta!.  Bill was an original cast member of the long-running revue. 

More recent photo of Bill Macy


* Bill's wife, Samantha, appeared in three episodes of Maude, two in 1973 ("Maude and the Medical Profession," and "The Office Party," and one in 1975 ("The Christmas Party.").

* Conrad Bain passed away on January 14, 2013, following a stroke.  He died three weeks before his 90th birthday.

Conrad Bain

* Adrienne Barbeau (born June 11, 1945) is now 74 years old.  In 2013, Adrienne Barbeau made a guest appearance as Alice Noone on Sons of Anarchy, an FX series.  She appeared in the sixth season of the series in an episode called "Sweet and Vaded."  Adrienne has been divorced twice and is a mother of three.

2011 photo of Adrienne Barbeau

SOURCES: IMDb; Wikipedia; St. Petersburg Times, "Bill Macy: silence from 'Maude' clan," by Marilyn Beck; information, "Bill Macy Biography, Age, Wife, Movies and TV Shows"

- Joanne

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Y&R Report (July 6, 2019): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

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

Chelsea has returned to Genoa City with a new husband, an older Southern gentleman named Calvin.  Calvin didn't stay around long.  He just dropped dead suddenly.  Something is rotten in the state of Wisconsin, I think.  Did he really die of natural causes or was he murdered?

A point I'd like to make is that Chelsea is still legally married to Adam.  She never divorced him.  However, she's not guilty of bigamy because Adam was presumed dead.  Also, Chelsea's relationship with Calvin was weird.  When she was leaving Society with him, she looked back at Nick as if she were pleading for help.  I wonder if she was forced to marry him for some reason.

Adam declared that he will stop at nothing to reunite himself with Chelsea and Connor.  Could he be behind Calvin's untimely death? 

I see big trouble ahead for Kyle and Lola, if they even manage to get married.  Theo is throwing a bachelor party for Kyle and that could be disastrous given Theo's reckless ways.

I enjoyed the 4th of July carnival scenes.  They were great summer fun.


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

My email address:

Here are come email comments from regular Y&R viewer, CC in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Hi Joanne, 

Eric Braeden does not seem to be well these days.  He doesn't move much in any of his scenes, little getting up or sitting down.  When he does walk, it appears to be very gingerly.  Something tells me that the upcoming storyline about his participation in an experimental treatment trial may be a way to write in his upcoming real life treatment for whatever is ailing him.  Given that he wrote about his athletic successes in his book, it wouldn't surprise me if the wear and tear on his body has caught up with him.  Perhaps something like knee replacement is on the horizon for him.

It's a soap opera, so anything goes . . . but funny we didn't meet Lola's mother when Lola was on her death bed.  She does not fit the image I had of a woman who was abandoned by her cheating husband to raise her three children on her own.  Truthfully, Rey looks like he could be older than his mother.

Are Chelsea, her mother and her new husband, Calvin, involved in a new con game?  She and Calvin are definitely not a love match.  Nick is suspicious.  Once Adam gets up to speed on this, maybe Nick and Adam will work together to blow it all up.  

What are your thoughts on this?

Well, CC, I definitely agree with you that Eric Braeden hasn't look well lately, although he's appeared healthier in more recent episodes.  His character is suffering from a rare blood disease and is not supposed to appear healthy.  Eric is a good actor and I think he wants to give a realistic portrayal of Victor Newman's illness.  Now that Victor has been undergoing treatment, he is supposed to look better.

Remember, though, that Eric is 78 years old.  He is not as spry as he once was, he can still pound that punching bag.

Yes, Lola's mother, Celeste, should have been at her side when she had the liver transplant.  I guess the writers somehow overlooked it and they never thought astute viewers like you would pick up on it.

I certainly agree that Eva LaRue looks too young to be Rae's mother.  In the May 25, 2019 edition of Y&R Report (prior to Eva's first appearance on Y&R), here is what I wrote based on photos I had seen of her: "I wonder if they are going to use makeup to age Eva because she appears far too young to be the mother of Rey, Arturo and Lola - especially Rey.  Maybe Celeste was just a teenager when she gave birth to her eldest.  Eva was actually born on December 27, 1966, which makes her 52 years old.  She doesn't look her age."  I have since looked up the age of Jordi Vilasuso, who plays Rey.  Jordi was born on June 15, 1981, which makes him 38 years old.  That means he's only 14 years younger than the woman who portrays his mother.  Was Celeste only 14 when she gave birth to Rae?  I don't think so.

It's not just a matter of Eva's age, though.  As you pointed out, CC, she doesn't fit the image of a woman who was abandoned by her cheating husband and raised three children on her own.  Eva is a California model and looks like one.  She doesn't resemble an impoverished Hispanic woman who struggled to support her family.and endured hard times.  At least, that's the impression her children gave of her.  You wouldn't expect her to be able to afford designer clothes.

Eva LaRue was enormously popular in her longtime role as Maria Santos on All My ChildrenY&R seems to have miscast.her as Celeste.  Yet,  there may be an important reason why she was chosen for the role.  Celeste finds Jack Abbott very attractive.  There may be a romance in the offing for those two.  Since Jack usually dates model types, Eva fits the image in that respect.

As for Calvin, I thought he was trouble with a capital T.  However, he didn't stay around very long.  He suddenly ended up dead.  You are right that he and Chelsea were not a love match.  In fact, Chelsea didn't seem to know him that well at all.  She was surprised and shocked that he wanted to let Adam have custody of Connor.  I also wonder about the whole setup because Chelsea's mother, Anita, was involved and Anita is a conwoman.


Gordon Thomson headed to Y&R

Canadian Gordon Thomson, who has a long history of appearing on soaps, has been cast as a new character on Y&R.  He will play the role of Daryl Tulane, who has a connection to Chelsea.  Gordon is probably best known his portrayal of Adam Carrington on Dynasty from 1982 to 1989.  He also played Artistotle Bennedict White on Ryan's Hope in 1981, and Mason Capwell on Santa Barbara form 1990 to 1993.  In 2000, he appeared as FBI Special Agent Hal Freeman on Passions.  In 2009, he played the part of Walter on Days of Our Lives.

Jessica Collins hints that she may return to Y&R as Avery Bailey Clark

Jessica Collins has teased fans that she has reprised one of her most popular characters and will reveal the details soon.  Naturally that has aroused speculation that she will return to Y&R as lawyer Avery Bailey Clark, the sister of Phyllis Summers.  They way actors have returned to the show lately, that could very well happen.  If it does happen, it will certainly affect the lives of Phyllis and Nick.  Phyllis, now being played by Michelle Stafford again, has not mentioned her sister for a long time.  Nick and Avery were once an item.  They almost got married, but she didn't show up for the ceremony.


Tyler Johnson

Fans, how do you like Theo Vanderway (Tyler Johnson), Summer's new boyfriend?  Do you have a positive or negative impression of him?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Are you impressed with Theo Vanderway (Tyler Johnson)?

Yes, he's a good actor. I like him and he adds something to the show.
No, he doesn't impress me at all.
I can take him or leave him.
I need to see more of him before making up my mind.
Please Specify:

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, July 20, 2019.

- Joanne

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Internet TV Digest #12


This is the 12th of an occasional feature on TV Banter called Internet TV Digest.  Internet TV Digest contains recent news, information and discussion about online television.

Internet TV Digest

What's coming to Netflix?

New seasons of some of Netflix's most popular shows are set to premiere in July of 2019.  These include Stranger Things, Queer Eye and Orange is the New BlackStranger Things returns for a third season on July 4th.  The fourth season of Queer Eye is coming on July 19tth and the seventh and final season of Orange is the New Black will debut on July 19th.  Since this will be the last season for the prison docudrama, some of the cast may be released or killed.

* The 11th season of Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee will begin on July 19th.  Jerry''s guests will include Jamie Foxx, Matthew Broderick, Ricky Gervais, Seth Rogen and Eddie Murphy.

* The Great Hack, the 2019 Nexis documentary about the effects of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January.  It will be released on July 24th.

* Workin' Moms, the series about Toronto mothers who return to their jobs after maternity leave, will return for a second season on July 25th in the United States.  Three seasons have already been aired in Canada.  Also on July 25th, Netfix will present The Great Hack.  

* The first season of the science fiction web television series. Another Life, is scheduled to premiere on July 25th.  It follows an astronaut and space crew on a mission to investigate the origins of an alien artifact.

Note: Season 3 of Glow will not be released until August.  The woman wrestlers will find themselves in Las Vegas.

What's coming to Amazon Prime?

Starting at the beginning of July, Amazon will release some new content.  The 2019 drama, Under the Silver Lake, arrives on July 1st.  The film stars Andrew Garfield and it is the story of a man who encounters a mysterious woman.  She disappears and he searches all over Los Angeles for her.

Season 4 of All Or Nothing begins on July 19.  On July 26th, the much-anticipated series, The Boys, will make its debut.  It presents a world controlled by superheroes.  A group of vigilantes oppose them.  The Boys is very violent and not appropriate for younger viewers.  Season 3 of another Amazon Original series, Dino Dana, also premieres on July 26th.

Hulu CEO, Randy Freer, says to expect more original content

Randy Freer
On June 18th, 2019, Hulu CEO, Randy Freer, appeared on CNBC's Squawk Box.  He spoke about his company's revenue growth and the "streaming wars."  Freer claimed that with Walt Disney Company in control of Hulu, "investment in original programming will increase significantly."  "We are going to invest more and more upstream and find the best stories and the best creators to make shows for the company," Freer stated.  However, Hulu representatives later made it clear that that the investments would more about refocusing the company's resources, rather than spending a great deal more money.

Disney has also discussed bundling its ESPN+ programming and its soon-to-be-launched Disney+ streaming service with Hulu, but has not revealed the cost of  this bundle or when it would be available.  Disney+ is scheduled to make its debut on November 12, 2019.

With 148 million subscribers and a worth of $157 billion, Netflix is the world's leading streamer.  and it doesn't have ads.  Thank goodness!  However, Hulu, now under Disney control, does have ads and they are very lucrative.

SOURCES: CNBC, June 18, 2019, The New York Times, April 16, 2019

Netflix loses The Office

Netflix is losing a very popular show and it's all due to the streaming battles.  More television and movie makers are launching their own streaming services and taking back their own programming.  That's what has happened in the case of The Office.  Beginning in January 2021, the series will be shown on the NBC streaming service in the United States.  In a tweet posted June 25, 2019, Netflix stated that it was "sad that NBC has decided to take The Office back for its own streaming platform - but members can binge watch the show to their hearts' content ad-free on Netflix until January 2021."

Although Netflix has been spotlighting its original shows and movies, previously televised shows remain popular with viewers.  According to Nielsen ratings, The Office was the most watched show on Netflix in 2018.  That's why this is not good news for the streaming giant.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBCUniversal, the parent company of producers Universal TV, is paying $500 million to pull the hit series away from Netflix.

Disney was actually the first to hit Netflix when it revealed in 2017 that it would remove its movie library for Disney+.

SOURCES: The Associated Press, June 26, 2019, The Hollywood Reporter, June 26, 2019

- Joanne

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Y&R Report (June 22, 2019): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

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

In his latest incarnation, Adam Newman has really gone over to the dark side.  He has become so evil and immoral that Sharon is disgusted with him and Victor has kicked him off the Newman property.  That doesn't make it easy for Mark Grossman, the new Adam, to win any popularity contests with fans.  It's difficult to muster any sympathy for Victor's prodigal son.  He has bullied Kevin and he wants to take Christian away from Nick, the only father he has ever known.

In Adam's defence, though, his siblings and Billy shut him out and never gave him much of a chance, especially Billy Boy.  They continually refer to him as Delia's killer.  Adam did not intend to kill Delia.  Her death was an accident and wouldn't have happened if Billy hadn't left her unattended in the car while he went to buy some ice  cream.  Adam should have gone to the police and told them what happened.  He should have owned up to what he did.  Instead, he tried to hide it.  Still, he does not deserve all the blame for Delia's death.  Billy shares much of the responsibility, but he puts all the blame on Adam in order to assuage his own guilt.

Adam is very resourceful.  He somehow always survives.  He got control of Dark Horse, Nick's company, and he managed to buy Neil's penthouse from Dr. Nate.  So, he has a place to live now that he can't stay on the Newman ranch.  Adam has many enemies, but he manipulates his way around them.  Now he has formed an unholy alliance with Phyllis.

Princess Victoria Newman is on cloud nine.  She is now the CEO of Newman Enterprises while daddy Victor takes a break to deal with his health issues.  However, Victoria's triumph could be short-lived.  Here's what I think might happen.  As Y&R viewers know, Victor Newman has a rare blood disease called PNH.  PNH can be treated with a bone marrow transplant from someone of similar genetic background.  Adam, of course, would be the best donor, but he may refuse to save his father's life unless Victor makes him CEO of Newman Enterprise.  That puts Adam in the catbird seat and leaves Victoria out in the cold.

That was quite a scene between Victor and Nick.  The Great Victor Newman actually admitted that he was wrong when he tried to win custody of Christian from Nick.  He even apologized to his son, who was so touched that there were tears in his eyes.  That was quite an admission from Victor because "The Moustache" is not the type of man who likes to admit his mistakes and very rarely does.  This was a an exceptional move on his part.  Nick couldn't believe his ears.

It's so good to see Doug Davidson back on Y&R.  I'm also pleased that Melissa Claire Egan is reprising her role as Chelsea Lawson and that Greg Rikaart is back as Kevin Fisher.  As for Michelle Stafford's return as Phyllis, I'm also pleased about that.  Gina Tognoni was really good and I will miss her.  It's just that Michelle plays Phyllis like no other.  Fans really appreciate the familiar faces, but I think that's enough for now.  There are rumours that Billy Miller is going to return as Billy Abbott.  I really enjoyed Billy Miller in the role, but I've gotten used to Jason Thompson's portrayal of Billy.


Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson is back again)

It's not surprising that Elizabeth Hendrickson is returning as Chloe Mitchell again, given head writer Josh Griffith's penchant for bringing back familiar characters.  Elizabeth was last seen on The Young and the Restless back in February of 2017.  She's been playing the role of Margaux Dawson on General Hospital, but recently left GH.

Chloe is unbalanced.  She hates Adam and is determined to make him pay for the loss of her daughter, Delia.  So, Adam is going to have to be careful.  His enemies lurk everywhere.


Daniel Goddard (Cane Ashby)

Beth Maitland (Traci Abbptt)

It's about time that Traci Abbott had a little romance in her life, but is Cane Ashby the right guy for her?  Maybe, but I have my doubts. It's a gamble. Candy Cane can be charming and it's understandable why Traci has fallen for him.  Still, he is just getting over a painful divorce from Lily and he is lonely and vulnerable.  Is he just using Traci to fill a void in his life because Lily has rejected him?  Would he go back to Lily if she changed her mind?  Is he only seeing Traci on the rebound?  Would he let Traci down the way he let Lily down?  Has he finally overcome his weaknesses.  Is Cane worth the risk?  Would do you think, fans?  Reply to my poll below and let me know.

Do you think Cane and Traci are a good match?

Yes. They are sweet together and Cane has learned from his mistakes.
No. They don't have enough in common and he's on the rebound from Lily.
Maybe. Time will tell.
I don't know.
Please Specify:

Readers, I would appreciate your feedback.  Please let me know what you think about the show.

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

My email address:

That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, July 6, 2019.



Have some great summer fun!

- Joanne

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Family of Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos

L to Right: Mark, Kelly with Joaquin and Michael

Lola Grace Consuelos, the only daughter of Kelly Ripa amd Mark Consuelos, graduated from high school on June 13, 2019.  Lola, who was born on June 16, 2001, celebrates her 18th birthday today.  Kelly and Mark also have two sons, 22-year-old Michael Joseph (born June 2, 1997) and 16-year-old Joaquin Antonio (born February 25, 2003).  Lola is set attend New York University in the fall, where brother Michael is majoring in film and television production. (He has interned for Blumhouse Productions in Los Angeles).

New Jersey native Kelly Ripa, born October 2, 1970, is a dancer, actress and talk show host.  Kelly joined the cast of the daytime soap All My Children as Haley Vaughan in 1990. It was her first major acting role.  Kelly's husband, Mark Consuelos was born in Zaragoza, Sapin on March 30, 1971, the youngest of the the three children of a Mexican father and an Italian mother.  He grew up in Lebanon, Illinois and Tampa, Florida.   In 1994, he graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in marketing.  While living in Illinois, Mark appeared in a production of Hello, Dolly! at the Looking Glass Lebanon.

Kelly met Mark met on the set of All My Children in 1995 when he screen-tested with her for a part o n the soap.  Mark was cast as Mateo Santos, and the two had a real-life romance.  In 2018, Kelly told Radio Andy host Bruce Bozzi that she knew Mark was "the one" before she even met him in person.  "I knew when I saw his photograph," Kelly declared.

The couple eloped to Las Vegas and tied the knot on May 1, 1996.  Three children followed.  Oldest son Michael resembles his father so much that he plays the younger version of Mark's character (wealthy and villainous Hiram Lodge) on the CW drama Riverdale, which is loosely based on the Archie comics.

On February 5, 2001, just before giving birth to Lola, Kelly replaced Kathie Lee Gifford on the syndicated morning talk show Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.  In January of 2011, Regis Philbin announced his retirement on Live with Regis and Kelly, after a 28-year-run on the show.  Regis was replaced by former football star Michael Strahan and the show was renamed Live With Kelly and Michael.

In April of 2016, Strahan suddenly announced that he was leaving Live to be a co-host on Good Morning America.  It was an awkward situation and there were also kinds of rumours about his relationship with Kelly.  Strahan later told People magazine that he and Kelly "didn't really communicate that much" before he left Live.  "The most disappointing thing," he stated, "was that I was painted as the bad guy"  "I don't want people to see me as 'Oh, he just ran out, just left them there.'  That's just not true."

After a year-long search for Strahan's replacement, it was announced that Kelly's new co-host would be Ryan Seacrest of American Idol fame.  On May 1, 2017, Seacrest began co-hosting Live with Kelly and Ryan on a permanent basis.


* From 2003 to 2006, Kelly Ripa and Faith Ford starred in the ABC sitcom Hope and Faith.  Faith Ford portrayed Hope Shanowski, a mother of three in the Cleveland suburb of Glen Falls, Ohio.  Kelly played her younger sister, Faith Fairfield, a self-centred soap opera star whose character was killed off, prompting her to move in with Hope and her family in Ohio.

* Michael Consuelos did voice characterization for two popular American animated series: Duck Dodgers in 2004 and Go, Diego Go! in 2006 and  2007.  He launched his acting with his portrayal of Mike in the 2012 film The Bensonhurst Spelling Bee.  He was the assistant producer of three 2018 episodes of the family situation comedy, The Goldbergs.  In 2018, the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour announced that Michael would play the role of the teen version of Mark's Riverdale character, Hiram Lodge, in a flashback episode.

Mark and Michael Consuelos at Teen Choice Awards

* When Lola Consuelos was asked in an interview about her father's role on Riverdale, she remarked that her father is finally in a show that she actually watches.

* Michael Consuelos appeared on the November 7, 2018 episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan.  When co-host Ryan Seacrest asked him if there is anything he can get away with at home without his mother finding out.  Michael quipped, "I can get away with something but she'll always find out . . . I'll come home from school (college) and my mom would be like, "Is there anything that you want to tell me about?"  And I'd confess everything, even stuff she didn't know about, so she wouldn't find out everything immediately."

* In November of 2018, Joaquin Consuelos shared a pork tenderloin recipe on Live with Kelly and Ryan.

* Kelly had a guest-starring role in an episode of Riverdale earlier this year.  She played the mysterious Mrs. Mulwray, alleged mistress of Hiram Lodge, husband Mark's character.  According to Entertainment Weekly, the CW Network described Mr.. Mulwray as "a beautful, icy, femme fatale who finds herself embroiled in a conspiracy much bigger than she initially thought.

* Kelly and Mark's youngest son Joaquin, whom Kelly often refers to as her "newborn," has dyslexia and dysgraphia (inability to write coherently).  In 2017, Kelly became emotional on the air over Joaquin's learning struggles.  She told Ryan Seacrest how she "broke down crying" after her son's teacher said he we was doing great and getting good grades.

* On October 12, 2015, Kelly Ripa, accompanied by her family, was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

* In 2016, Kelly and Mark celebrated their 20th anniversary with a vacation to Turks and Caicos.  Kelly revealed on Live! that she wore her wedding dress and that it still fits.


IMDb and Wikipedia

- Joanne

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Whatever happened to Mr. T?

Mr. T is an imposing figure.  He'll always be known for his distinctive hairstyle, his mounds of gold jewellery and his tough guy image.  He is an actor, bodyguard, television personality and retired professional wrestler.  Mr. T has engaged in many pursuits and he has lived a very colourful life.

Mr. T was born Lauremce Tureaud in Chicago, Illinois on May 21, 1952, the youngest son of 12 children.  His father, Nathaniel Tureaud, was a minister.  Laurence was child of the ghetto.  He grew up in the housing projects, the now-demolished Robert Taylor Homes, on Chicago's South Side.  His father left when he was five and his mother raised the family on welfare.  Young Laurence attended Dunbar Vocational Career Academy, where he took part in football, wrestling and martial arts.  He won a football scholarship to Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View Texas, but was expelled after his first.year.

Mr. T as a high school senior 1970

After his expulsion from university, Mr. T enlisted in the United States Army and served in the Military Police Corps..  After his his discharge from military service, T tried out for Green Bay Packers of the National Football League but failed to make the team as a result of a knee injury.  He next worked as a bouncer and then as a bodyguard.

In 1980, actor Sylvester Stallone noticed Mr. T as he participated in NBC's "America's Toughest Bouncer" competition, a segment of NBC's Games People Play.  Stallone wanted to use T in his next Rocky sequel, Rocky III.  Although T's Rocky III role was originally intended to consist of just a few lines,, he was eventually cast as Rocky Balboa's primary boxing rival, Clubber Lang.  Mr. T. rose to fame with his performance in the 1982 film.

In a 2016 interview for USA Today with Charlotte Wilder, T declared that Clubber Lang was his favourite role.  "Clubber Lang was it," he proclaimed.  "It was inspiring, because Clubber Lang is basically my entire life story.  He wanted a shot, and people said he wouldn't make it.  I was in awe when they asked me to be in Rocky III, because a couple of years before I had watched Rocky I and II.  So to hear they want me in Rocky III?  Wow.  It was mind boggling."

As Clubber Lang, T had well known catch phrase - "Pity the fool."  On Conan O'Brien's talk show, Mr T explained what he meant by the phrase: "When you pity someone, you're showing them mercy.  I didn't start this pity stuff.  You'll find pity so many times in the Bible and fool so many times, so I put 'em together."

After Rocky III, Mr. T began to make TV appearances.  He played himself in a 1982 episode of Silver Spoons, starring Ricky Schroder. The episode is entitled "Me and Mr. T" (Season 1, Episode 4, Air Date: October 16, 1982).  In the episode, Schroder's character, Ricky Stratton, is bullied at school and his father hires Mr. T to be his bodyguard.

Then Mr. T became a bona fide television star.  From 1983 to 1987, he starred as B.A. (Bad Attitued) Baracus in the NBC action-adventure series, The A-Team.   T's Baracus character was one of four protagonists on the show, a group of men who were wrongly convicted of a crime during the Vietnam War.  They escaped from the Military Police and became soldiers of fortune in Los Angeles, where they used their military training to combat injustice and oppression.

Below is the original A-Team cast photo: From Left to Right: Dirk Benedict, Mr. T (Top row) and George Peppard

Mr. T also appeared in a 1983 episode of Diff'rent Strokes entitled "Mr. T and mr. t" (Season 6, Episode 1, Air Date: October 1, 1983), in which he again portrayed himself.  In the episode, a scene from The A-Team is being shot at the Drummond apartment.  Arnold (Gary Coleman) tries to impress a girl by dressing and acting like Mr. T.

In 1985, Mr. T became a professional wrestler. He was Hulk Hogan's tag-team partner in the the main event in theWorld Wrestling Federation's first WrestleMania on March 31, 1985 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Muhammad Ali was the referee.

Mr. T with Hulk Hogan

In 1995, Mr. T had a cancer scare when was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma.  He exclaimed to Coping with Cancer magazine, "Can you imagine that?  Cancer with my name on it.  Personalized cancer."  He fought it aggressively and wrote about his experience in a book with author Joyse Brooks, entitled Cancer Saved My Life. Cancer Ain't For No Wimps.  In his book, he stated: "If you don't remind me I have cancer then I won't remember either, "Ibecause I am too busy living.  Mr. T. ain't dyin' and pity the fool who says it."  As of 2017, the book hadn't been published.

You may wonder why Laurence Tureaud decided to give himself the moniker "Mr. T."  Well, at the age of 18, Laurence change his name to Mr. T primarily to gain respect.  Here's how he explained it a 2015 interview for Huffington Post with Bill Bradley: "I changed my name because as a black man growing up in a white society, I watched my father being called 'boy," and he was a preacher.  I watched my brothers coming back from the Marines and Vietnam and being called 'boy.'  I watched enough black men in my family being called 'boy,' so I point to the fact: What does a black man have to do to get his respect as a man?  So, when I became 18, I legally changed my name to Mr. T."

You may also wonder about Mr. T's distinctive mohawk hairstyle.  It's actually the hairdo of African Mandinka warriors and T.also told Bill Bradley that he is not going to change his look anytime soon.  He plans on wearing his mohawk until his hair starts falling out.  "I got a couple more years.  And then when it falls out, I go back to being baldheaded."

Mr. T has three children, two daughters, Lesa and Erica, and a son, T Jr., with ex-wife Phyllis Clark, whom he married circa 1971. One of his daughters, Erica Clark, is a a regular on Chicago's stand-up comedy circuit.  In 2015, Erica told NBC News that  she doesn't really speak to her father more than once or twice a year.  "We're not super close since I moved out," Clark said.  "He wants me to be a nice teacher and get married and have kids.  (My dad) doesn't want me to do entertainment at all so he hasn't come to any of my shows before but he's aware that I do it."

Eroc Clark performing stand-up comedy

A man named Alexander Taylor claims to be Mr. T's son.  In 2013, Taylor filed a 5.4 million lawsuit against T in alleging that he was abandoned by his father and ended up joining a gang and living a life of crime.  According to the lawsuit, Taylor was born to Vanessa Taylor (mother) and Mr. T (father) on May 25, 1988.  Mr. T was accused of  neglecting to provide his alleged son with the necessities of life.  The lawsuit was dropped in 2014 because Alexander failed to pay the $400 for filings and administrative fees to continue the legal action.


* Mr. T was a bodyguard for several stars in the late 1970s to 1980, including boxing greats
Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Leon Spinks, actor Steve McQreen and singers Michael Jackson and Diana Ross.

Mr. T and Muhammad Ali

Mr. T and Michael Jackon in 1985

* Mr. T no longer wears his heavy gold chains.  He stopped wearing them in 2005 after having seen the suffering and losses caused by Hurricane Katrina.  He became a born again Christian and helped in the efforts to clean up after the devastating hurricane.  In his 2016 interview with USA Today, he said he vowed never to wear a chain he owned again because "I felt in would be a sin against God to wear my gold when the people lost everything."  "I remember the bodies floating in the water, and I felt it would be disrespectful and insensitive to people who died, so I said I'd never wear my gold again.  Only gold I have is the gold in my heart," he stated.

* In 2006, Mr. T starred in I Pity the Fool, a reality show on TV Land.

* In 2008, Mr. T sold his "Mr. T Flavonwave Oven" on Shopping TV in the United States.

* In 2015, Mr. T became "Mr. Guaran-T for Fairfield Inn and Suites.  He travelled around the United States, randomly surprising unsuspecting hotel guests and making sure everything was running smoothly.

* In 2017, Mr. T was a contestant on Season 24 of Dancing With the Stars. He told the Chicago Tribune that he had entered the competition to help children with cancer.  He vowed to shave off his trademark mohawk if he won the contest.  T danced alongside Kym Herjavec, an Australian professional ballroom dancer.  They waltzed to "Amazing Grace."  They also danced the Cha Cha to "Theme from the A-Team" and the Paso to "Eye of the Tiger," the theme song from Rocky III.  They were the third couple eliminated from the competition and finished in 10th place.

Mr. T took issue with ABC's Good Morning America for saying he "got booted from Dancing With the Stars. He told GMA co-anchor Michael Strahan, "We didn't get booted off, we gradually eased off.   Nobody going to boot Mr. T off.  As a competitor, we left it on the dance floor, like you're supposed to.  We walked off with grace and style."  When Strahan offered Mr. T a razor, T replied, "But I ddn't win.  If you let me get to that guy who put 'booted' up there on the screen, I'll cut my hair off."

Mr. T with Kym Herjavec on DWTS

SOURCES:  Huffington Post, "You'll Pity The Fools Who Don't Know These 5 Things about Mr. T," by Bill Bradley, November 13, 2015; USA Today, "Mr. T talks about fighting cancer, playing Clubber Lang, and why he no longer wears his gold chains," by Charlotte Wilder, May 18, 2016; Superfan TV, "The Surprising Inspriration Behind Mr. T's 'I Pity the Fool Catch Phrase," by Stephen Proctor, April 5, 2017; Chicago Tribune, "South Side Native Mr. T insists he wasn't booted off 'Dancing with the Stars,'" by Tracey Swartz, April 11, 2017; NBC, "Mr. T's Daughter Erica Clark Stands Out by Standing Up,," by Scout MacEachron, June 2, 2015; Radio Online, "I Pity The Fool!  Mr T Sued By Alleged Secret Son: You Abandoned Me & I Was Forced To Join A Gang," March 11, 2014; Wikipedia; IMDb

- Joanne

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Y&R Report (June 8, 2019): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

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

'The Great and Powerful Victor Newman has been diagnosed with a rare blood disease called PNH.    However, I am quite optimistic about his chances for survival because I haven't heard that Eric Braeden is planning on leaving the show.  I think Victor will decide to retire, due to his illness.  Then there will be a fight for the Newman throne between Princess Victoria and Adam.  "The Moustache" will, of course, recover but not before a huge battle royale between Adam and his siblings.  Out of curiosity, I looked up PNH to see if it is a real disease or if the writers made it up.  PNS is indeed a real disease and it stands for Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (That's a mouthful!).  As Victor explained to Nikki, with PNS, your immune system attacks red blood cells in your body and breaks them down.

Kyle Abbott and Chef Lola are headed for disaster.  Kyle isn't even divorced from Summer  Snowflake yet and he's already rushing into another marriage.  Hey, maybe Summer will somehow prevent them from tying the knot.

So far, I'm not impressed with Theo.  He seems like a weak character with little substance, although we haven't learned enough about him yet.  Is he really just a good time Charlie and a scatterbrain?  The character appears to be pretty shallow since even the Snowflake has shown substance than he has.

The problem with Mark Grossman's portrayal of Adam Newman is that the character has become too dark and sinister.  It's difficult to sympathize or empathize with Adam No. 4.  Adam has always had rough edges, but beneath the surface, deep wounds and hurts were evident.  Now he seems cruel and amoral.  Phyllis should have been smart enough not to form an alliance with him.  She's so desperate right now that she put her trust in him.

As for Adam's attempt to take Christian away from Nick, I am completely on Nick's side.  Yes, Adam is Christian's biological father, but that doesn't given him the right to remove the child from the only father figure he has ever known.

What's going on with Chelsea?  Did she really remarry.  If so, is the marriage valid since she never divorced Adam.

It's quite obvious now that Jack and Lauren are going to hook up at some point.  Online spoilers reveal that they are going to take a road trip together.  Michael, meanwhile, will have to deal with the return of brother Kevin (Greg Rikaart).  Kevin appeared to have reformed, but now has returned to  dark side.  He even took Phyllis captive and locked her in a basement room.

Devon may have good intentions, but he can be very controlling with his money.  He had no business paying off Elena;s student loans without consulting her.  No wonder she was upset with him.  By the way, how did Devon manage to get Elena's financial and banking information?  OOOPS!  We're not supposed ask that question.

After her disagreement with Devon, Elena ran into Dr. Nate on her way to an interview for a hospital administrative job.  He told her that he knows the person who is going to interview her and will put in a good word for her.  This will likely lead to some involvement between Nate and Elena, especially since they are both in the medical profession.  At the moment, Nate seems smitten with Abby, but that could change. There could be a romantic "quadrangle" between Nate, Elena, Devon and Abby.


Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson) to visit Genoa City on several occasions this summer 

Fans of Eileen Davidson will be delighted that the actress will appear on Y&R on several occasions this summer.  Head writer Josh Griffith told TV Insider that Eileen will be reprising her role as Ashley Abbott and that there "is a threat to Jabot from outside."  Viewers have been speculating that the threat could come from Chelsea Lawson (Melissa Claire Egan), who is due to return to Genoa City after skipping town last year.

It seems that Eileen, doesn't mind making periodic appearances on the show.  Ashley just flies in from Paris whenever she wants to pay a visit to GC or when there's an Abbott family emergency.


As we all know, couples rarely last long in soaps.  Sometimes they continually make up and break up.  Which of Y&R's current couples do you like the best?  Answer the poll below and let me know.

Which current Y&R couple is your favourite?

Lola and Kyle
Nikki and Victor
Victoria and Billy
Michael and Lauren
Sharon and Rey
I don't know.
Please Specify:
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Readers, I would appreciate your feedback

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

My email address:

That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, June 22, 2019.

- Joanne