Thursday, June 25, 2020

'Our World": The First Global TV Broadcast Was a Big Deal in 1967

"Multinational and democratic, Our World represented the birth of what media maven Marshall McLuhan dubbed in its Canadian introduction, "the gobal village."  He believed that simultaneity enabled by this technology would create empathy and mutual responsibility between people and cultures."

- Judy Wittes Schlack
From 50 Years On, Remembering The "Our World" Broadcast And What it Means Today
WBUR Cognoscenti, June 26, 2017

Before Live Aid, there was Our World.  Unlike the 1985 televised concert in support of Ethiopian famine victims, Our World was not a humanitarian fundraising venture.  It was a cultural phenomenon, not just a musical event.  No segment of Our World was broadcast from a large stadium filled with thousands of people.

From our vantage point in the 21st century, a live, worldwide satellite program does not seem very awe-inspiring, but it was a very big deal back in 1967. Our World was the first live global broadcast and it was quite an event when it happened 53 years ago today, on June 25, 1967.  The show was  considered a technical marvel and it was broadcast to an audience of more than 350 million people across five continents. As Ringo Starr of the Beatles said years later, "It's a standard thing that people do now, but then, when we did it, it was a first.  That was exciting - we were doing a lot of firsts."

Our World was the brainchild of BBC producer Aubrey Singer and it took ten months to organize the entire project.  The BBC promoted Our World with these words: "For the first time ever, linking five continents and bringing man face to face with mankind.  In places as far apart as Canberra and Cape Kennedy, Moscow and Montreal, Samarkand and Söderfors, Takamatsu and Tunis."

Our World was a two-and-a half hour TV extravaganza in black and white.  It featured creative artists from 19 nations.  They appeared in separate segments representing their native countries.  Renowned Spanish painter Pablo Picasso appeared on the broadcast, as did American born Greek opera singer Maria Callas.  Canada's contribution featured a CBC TV interview with Marshall McLuhan in a control room in Toronto.  Later segments were broadcast from a ranch in Ghost Lake, Alberta and a beach in Vancouver's Point Grey district.

 Each country used its own announcers, and interpreters offered voice over a translations when the original sound differed from that country's native language.  Fourteen countries took part in the production of the show.  All segments of Our World were required to be live, and use of videotape or film was prohibited.  The opening credits were complemented by an Our World theme song, performed by the Vienna Boys Choir in 22 different languages.

To understand the motivation behind Our World, it's important to understand the tenor of the times.  Although Our World was broadcast during the height of the Vietnam War, it was intended to be an apolitical event.  No politician or head of state was allowed to participate.  Unfortunately, just four days before the broadcast, the Eastern bloc countries, following the lead of the Soviet Union, pulled out of the broadcast.  This was to protest the Western response to the recent Six-Day Arab-Israeli War (June 5-10, 1967).

The U.S. contribution to Our World included a segment about a New Jersey conference between American president Lyndon Johnson and Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin, but the two politicians were not shown to viewers.  The house where the conference took place was televised instead.

In an effort to send out a positive message, the Beatles performed  a new song called "All  You Need is Love" from a crowded Studio Two at the Abbey Road Studios in London.  John Lennon had written the song especially for the occasion and the Beatles agreed to perform it as representatives of the United Kingdom.  The Fab Four invited other British singers and musicians to the event, including Eric Clapton, members of the Rolling Stones and Marianne Faithful.

The Beatles at a press conference for Our World

The Beatles performing "All You Need is Love" on Our World

SOURCES: WBUR Cognoscenti, "50 Years On, Remembering The 'Our World' Broadcast  And What it Means Today,"by Judy Wittes SchlackJune 26, 2017; The Beatles Bible website (www.beatles; Wikipedia

- Joanne

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Y&R Report (June 20, 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. 

Hi fans,

Well, the Y&R throwback episodes continue during this pandemic, but probably not for too much longer.  The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has recommended that TV and movie production be allowed to resume this month, although not without the approval of local health officials, and not without strict adherence to safety measures and guidelines.

The Bold and the Beautiful resumed production earlier this week at Television City Studios in Los Angeles., although filming has been temporarily halted until producers adjust testing procedures.  The show's executive producer and head writer, Bradley Bell (son of Y&R creators Bill and Lee Philip Bell and brother of Lauralee Bell (the Cricketmeister herself), has announced that B&B will use a combination of stand-ins and blow-up dolls for the love scenes.  According to Bell, scripts fell flat without romantic scenes.  B&B is Y&R's sister soap.  If it has already begun production, can Y&R be far behind?  I think not. Be patient and enjoy the old episodes for a bit longer.

Bradley Bell

We've just had "Wedding Week" on Y&R and we enjoyed some of the show's most memorable (and not so memorable) nuptials - Sharon and Nick's 1996 wedding, Danny and Cricket's 1990 wedding in Hawaii, Malcolm and Olivia's 1997 wedding, Phyllis and Nick's 2006 wedding, and another of Victor and Nikki's weddings in 2013.  I'm disappointed that Michael and Lauren's wedding hasn't been aired yet.  There's still time for it to be shown before production of Y&R resumes.

Soap characters cannot stay with their true loves.  There has to be conflict and problems.  That is the essence of soaps and that's why soap couples can not stay married or be happy together.  It's the reason why characters often break up with  their true loves and then remarry them.   I think Nick Newman's true love has always been and will always be Sharon.  Yes, he is attracted to Phyllis and to her craziness and zany behaviour.  However, that is not where his heart really is.  As for Jack Abbott, his true love is Phyllis.  Since they broke up, he has not had a solid relationship with any woman.

at the moment, he's not dating anyone.  In a Soap Central interview, Peter Bergman, Jack's portrayer, stated that Phyllis "is the one that he'll spend his life trying to get over."

Of course, Nikki and Victor belong together.  In the old episodes, even when Victor was with Ashley, he couldn't get Nikki out of his mind.  It's not surprising that not one of the couples in the classic wedding episodes, except for Victor and Nikki, are currently together, although V and N have had several break-ups, divorces and remarriages in-between.  Sharon and Nick managed to last for ten years, which is pretty good run for a soap marriage.  Malcolm and Olivia's marriage had no chance because Olivia woke up dreaming about marrying Neil on her wedding day to Malcolm.  Nick and Phyllis' 2006 wedding in a cowboy bar was not exactly elegant, nor was it classy.  However, it may have appealed to some people who are tired of fancy and formal soap weddings.

It was interesting to see John McCook (Eric Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful) as a guest at Nikki and Victor's 2013 wedding.  Longtime Y&R viewers will remember that McCook once played wealthy businessman Lance Prentiss on Y&R. and that Lance married both Lorie and Leslie Brooks.

We are now into a week of Y&R Emmy-winning performances, which is very appropriate since the Daytime Emmys will be awarded this coming Friday.  I've already watched the first episode of Emmy Week on Global TV.  Beth Maitland (Traci Abbott) introduces the 1984 episode for which she won a Daytime Emmy.  In the episode, Danny and Cricket (Lauralee Bell) rescue a despondent Traci from a suicide attempt.  It is one of Lauralee's early appearances on the show..  She was born in 1968 and she was only about 15 or 16 at the time.

The other episodes this week consist of the following:

A 1997 episode involving Victor Newman's relationship with Hope and Adam (Eric Braeden received his only Daytime Emmy for his performance as Victor in this episode); a 2006 episode in which Devon (Byrton James) struggles with his hearing loss (Byrton James won an Outstanding Young Actor Emmy for his work in this episode); a 1991 episode in which Jack Abbott makes a confession regarding his marriage to Nikki (Peter Bergman won his second consecutive Daytime Emmy in the Lead Actor category for his performance as Jack in this episode; a 1999 episode in which Sharon (Sharon Case) and Nick (Joshua Morrow) obtain custody of Cassie. (Camryn Grimes became the youngest winner in the Daytime Emmys acting category for her portrayal of Cassie in this episode).

I have a suggestion for a future Y&R theme week.  Many different types of celebrities have appeared on the show, but what if we had a week of episodes devoted to well-known singers.  Here is  a list of some prominent singers and musicians who have appeared on The Young and the Restless through the years.

* Lionel Richie
* Jewel
* Smokey Robinson
* Enrique Iglesias
* Little Richard
* Katy Perry
* Aaron Neville
* Il Divo


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:

I received an interesting response to last week's Readers' Poll's question, which was "Do you think the writing and pacing of Y&R were better in the past?: This response came from an anonymous Y&R viewer who chose the "Other" category rather than the options that I had set out.  The writer made the following comments:

All media have changed in the last 50 years, so it was to be expected.  They are writing for today's audience and the new reality, which may not appeal to the longtime fans.  A combination of styles, plotlines and pacing would be best.

I would like to thank the anonymous reader for helping me see the issue from another perspective, since I am a longtime viewer.  Your point is well taken, although I wish you had spelled out what you consider to be the "new reality."  I do understand that tastes change and that different generations think differently, but I believe good writing will always be good writing.  I really like your compromise idea that "a combination of styles, plotlines and pacing would be best."  Having said all that, I still have a desire to view some Y&R episodes from 1973 to 1983.  I realize that the early episodes were only a half hour long, but two episodes could be shown during the hour time slot.


Fans, are you getting tired of watching throwback episodes of old shows?  Are you eager for new episodes to start up again, or are you content to watch the old episodes for now?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Are you eager to watch new episodes of Y&R?

Very. I'm getting tired of the old episodes.
I would like to watch new episodes, but I can wait. I'm in no hurry.
Not at all. I enjoy the old episodes and I could watch them for a long time to come.
I don't know.
Created with Poll Maker

That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, July 4, 2020.  Also, don't forget that the Daytime Emmys will air on CBS on Friday, June 26 at 8 p.m.  Take care and stay well everybody.  To my Canadian readers: Happy Canada Day on July 1st.

- Joanne

Monday, June 15, 2020

Keeping Up with Kathy Garver (Cissy on "Family Affair")

The whole character of Cissy was probably 80 percent of me anyway.  My style of acting, my way of looking at acting . . . I think you can't be anybody except for who you are.  You can put on a character and you can change your hair and change your wardrobe, and change the way you speak.  However, your heart and your spirit, always a major thing . . . In my estimation, you can't be anybody except for the spirit that your are.  So Cissy, never left me.

- Kathy Garver
Fox News interview with Stephanie Nolasco, March 14, 2019

Kathy Garver was born Kathleen Marie Garver on December 13, 1945 in Long Beach, California.  She is the daughter of Rosemary (née Schmoker) and Hayes Garver, and the youngest of four children, including her sister Beverly and her two brothers, Hayes Jr. and Lance.  Kathy's parents were originally from Oklahoma and her three siblings were born there.  Her mother, Rosemary, a registered nurse, met Hayes Garver, an architect, at the Oklahoma City medical center.  When Hayes was admitted to hospital for an appendectomy, Rosemary was the nurse assigned to his care.  They wed in Oklahoma City in 1933.

In the mid-1940s, there were few employment opportunities for Kathy's father in Oklahoma. He was, however, able to find work at the Naval Shipyard in Long Beach, California.  So, the Garver family packed up and migrated to Southern California.  Hayes eventually secured a job as a construction inspector and Rosemary found a nursing position at a Long Beach hospital.  There was a also new addition to the family when Kathy was born in December of 1945.

Kathy Garver's mother encouraged her to be an entertainer.  In her autobiography, Surviving Cissy: My Family Affair Of Life In Hollywood, Kathy writes that Rosemary was convinced that her daughter would be the next Shirley Temple.  Accordingly, her parents enrolled her in classes at Meglin Studios in Hollywoods and she began dancing and singing at the age of three.  When she was ten years old, she appeared in the 1955 film I'll Cry Tomorrow, starring Susan Hayward.  It was just a tiny, uncredited role, and she played a child at an audition.

In 1960, Kathy enrolled at Pacific High School at San Bernardino, California.  She graduated from Pacific High in 1966 and then entered the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she majored in speech and drama.  In 1970, she graduated from UCLA.

Before achieving television stardom on Family Affair, Kathy appeared in such classic movies as Night of the Hunter.(1955) and in Cecil B. DeMille's Biblical epic, The Ten Commandments (1956).  Kathy had a small, uncredited child role in Night of the Hunter, an American thriller starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish, and directed by Academy Award winner Charles Laughton.  In the The Ten Commandments, Kathy played one of the young slave girls.  Her part in The Ten Commandments was originally intended to be a very small one.  However, she made such impression on DeMille, the film's director, that he had some special scenes added to highlight her talents.

Kathy Garver as slave girl in Ten Commandments

Prior to her breakthrough on Family Affair, Kathy appeared in episodes of many television shows during the 1960s such as The Rifleman (1961), Mr. Novak (1964), The Bing Crosby Show (1965), Daniel Boone (1965), Ben Casey (1966), The Patty Duke Show (1966) and Death Valley Days (1965, 1966).  In 1965, Kathy guest-starred as Tracey Richards in four consecutive episodes of Dr. Kildare (Season 5, Episodes 20-23, Air Dates: November 16, 1965, November 22, 1965, November 23, 1965, November 29, 1965).

In 1966, while still a freshman at UCLA, Kathy auditioned for the role of Catherine "Cissy," Davis, the eldest of the three siblings on a new sitcom called Family Affair.  Family Affair was a hit with audiences and aired on CBS from 1966 to 1971.  The show chronicled the life of well-to-do bachelor engineer Bill Davis (Brian Keith), who raised his brother's three orphaned children in his upscale New York apartment, with the help of his English manservant, Mr. Giles French (Sebastian Cabot).

Kathy portrayed teenager Cissy, while Anissa Jones and Johnny Whitaker played her younger twin siblings, Buffy and Jody. While "Uncle Bill" was overseeing construction sites, or wining and dining women, his proper English valet, Mr. French , took charge of the household and tended to the needs of the children.  When the show began, Cissy was supposed to be 15 years, but Kathy was over 18 at the time.  However, since she was regarded as an adult, she was permitted to work longer hours.

Below is a photo of the Family Affair cast in 1967.  Kathy Garver is bottom left, with Brian Keith (centre), Sebastian Cabot (back), Johnny Whitaker and Anissa Jones.

Family Affair was cancelled by CBS  in 1971.  In a 2019 interview with Fox News, Kathy was asked what caused the cancellation.  She replied, "I think there was a change in the times.  We'd been on for five years.  Then in the early '70s, they were going toward a more realistic kind of show.  Our sitcom was dramedy and they wanted something like All in the Family instead of Family Affair."

After Family Affair ended its five-season run, Kathy starred in an Israeli musical theatre version of the show.  Fir the role, she was obliged to learn Hebrew phonetically.  She also made guest appearances in such television series as Adam-12 (1971).  However, her focus was more on stage and voice acting.  Kathy is an accomplished voice artist.  Her voice characterizations can be heard in cartoons, commercials, and audio books.  From 1981 to 1983, she voiced Firestar (Angelica "Angel" Jones), a fictional mutant superhero appearing in Marvel Comics, in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends TV show.  In 1986, she voiced Pepper in Chuck NorrisKarate Kommandos.

Kathy Garver is currently starring in the comedy web series, Aunt Cissy.  It's a follow-up of the life of Family Affair's Cissy Davis.  We learn that Cissy made it big as an actress in New York City.  She has relocated to Los Angeles and is now about to retire and lead an adventurous new life with her film producer fiancé, Robert (Keith Coogan.).  Who should show up at her door but her twin niece and nephew, and they need a place to live.  The show also stars Susan Anton as Cissy's arch-nemesis and Kate Linder of The Young and the Restless as her offbeat agent. 

On May 3, 1981, Kathy married David Travis, a business executive.  The couple met while playing tennis in Palm Springs, California and they have a son named Reid Garver Travis.  Reid was born in San Francisco on January 20, 1991.

Below is a 2009 Christmas card photo of Kathy with husband, David, and son, Reid.

On August 28, 1976, 18-year-old Anissa Jones, who played blonde-haired, pig-tailed Buffy on Family Affair, died of a lethal drug overdose, after partying in Oceanside, California.  Her death was later ruled accidental.  Kathy told  Fox News that she hadn't coped well with Anissa's passing.  She said that she had attended Anissa's 18th birthday party and Anissa's mother had said, "Kathy, I wish you'd spend more time with Anissa because I really think she's in with a bad group of people."  Unfortunately, Kathy was scheduled to leave for the East Coas the next day for a six-week run in a production of My Fair Lady.  About three weeks later, she received news of Anissa's tragic death.

On August 23, 1977, Sebastian Cabot died of a stoke in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  He was 59 years old.  His character, Mr. French, was a traditional "gentleman's gentleman," who wore a bowler hat and carried an umbrella.

Johnny Whitaker played Cissy's curly-haired, red-headed younger brother, Jody.  Born December 13, 1959, Johnny is now 60 years old.  As an adult, he became addicted to drugs and alcohol.  His family held an intervention and he agreed to join a 12-step program, later becoming a drug councillor.  In 2016 and 2017, Johnny appeared on Amazon Prime's reboot of his early 1970s children's series, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.  He also appeared in a 2019 episode of a TV comedy called The MissAdventures of Camp Elaine.

Kathy's television uncle and acting mentor, Brian Keith, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Malibu, California home on June 24, 1997, just two months after the suicide of his daughter, Daisy.  During the latter part of his life, Brian had battled emphysema and lung cancer. despite having quit smoking.

Brian Keith

There has been so much ill fortune among the Family Affair cast that some have deemed the show cursed.  Kathy, who has led quite a stable life an has fared much better than the rest of the Family Affair cast, unequivocally rejects the notion of a curse.  "I don't think there'a any curse," she told Fox News.  "But if one can put something in a single word or a single sentence, that I think explains the unexplainable to many people."

Kathy Garver


* In 2009, Kathy co-authored The Family Affair Cookbook with Geoffrey Mark.  In September of 2015, Kathy's autobiography, entitled Surviving Cissy: My Family Affair Of Life In Hollywood, was published by Amazon Books.  It has a forward by Patty Duke.

* Kathy is a motivational speaker and one of the topics of her prestnations is 'The Power of Perservrance."

SOURCES:     Kathy Garver Biography (; Fox News, "'Family Affair star talks 'Surviving Cissy,' seeing Anissa Jones for the last time and alleged sitcom curse," by Stephanie Nolasco, March 14, 2019; Surviving Cissy: My Family Affair Of Life In Hollywood, by Kathy Garver. Amazon Books, 2015; Broadway World, "New Series AUNT CISSY Set To Premiere April 2020," by Broadway World News Desk, May 3, 2020; Wikipedia, Internet Movie Database (

- Joanne

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Y&R Report (June 6, 2020): 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. 

Hi fans,

We continue to watch throwback episodes in the wake of this COVID-19 pandemic  There is still no word yet as to when Y&R production will resume and when new episodes will be aired.  This past week we viewed epic Abbott family episodes.  I really enjoyed the wedding of Brad and Traci.  I had forgotten that it was actually a remarriage, that they had been married once before.  It was great fun watching Dina and Jill compete for the attention of John Abbott at the wedding.  Victor Newman was the best man and he had a smirk on his face during the entire ceremony.  I don't know why.

Brad Carlton (Don Diamont) was certainly the Casnova of Genoa City.  He was involved with almost every woman in town at one time or another, including Ashley, Traci, Sharon, Nikki and Cassandra.  Am I missing anyone?  Oh yes, he had a crazed ex-wife named Lisa Mansfield.  During his second marriage to Traci, Lisa held him captive and locked him in a cage.

This week is "Romance Week" on Y&R.  I've already seen the first episode on Global TV..  Amelia Heinle (Victoria Newman) provides the introduction.  The first episode, from 1986, features Victor Newman romancing  Ashley Abbott with expensive jewellery and a yacht.  As usual with Victor, it's always the promise of a fantasy life.  Meanwhile, his then-estranged wife Nikki is being romanced at the upscale Colonnade Room. by his brother Matt, Nikki's brother-in-law, which seems rather icky to me.  We also view scenes of a young Lauren and Paul, when they were together, along with Steven Ford, former U.S, president Gerald Ford's son, who played Paul's friend and detective partner Andy Richards.  Steven was a regular member of the Y&R cast in the 1980s and returned briefly from 2002 to 2003).  Susan Seaforth Hayes, known for her role as Julie Williams on Days of our Lives, also appears in this episode as Joanna Manning, Lauren's mother.  Joanna encourages John Abbott to get plastic surgery so that he will discover the fountain of youth.

Steven Ford as Andy Richards

As "Romance Week' continues, we will see Nick take Sharon on a romantic getaway to a faraway land (2001), Michael Baldwin propose to Lauren (2005), Chloe express her love for Kevin (2010) and Lily and Cane's wedding in Provence, France. (2012).


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:

This week I spoke to longtime Y&R viewer, Helen in Scarborough, Ontario, who thinks the writing and the pacing of the show were better in the past.  As an example of poor writing, Helen cites the numerous times Billy and Amanda met in bars and restaurants and repeated the same conversation over and over about Billy being misunderstood and judged by everyone but Amanda.

I tend to agree with Helen.  I have to admit that I've been enjoying the older throwback episodes rather than the more recent ones.  It may be because I remember too much of the recent ones and they are too clear in my mind.  I also realize that I'm a longtime viewer and others may not be interested in seeing characters that they don't recognize and who are no longer on the show.  I have certainly forgotten some of the characters from the past and some of the old storylines.  Still, it's fun to see some of the old characters again and to view some of the current ones in their younger days.  The old episodes can also provide fans who haven't been watching the show for long time with a sense of Y&R's history and the history of its characters.


Justin Hartley (ex-Adam Newman)is dating Sofia Pernas (ex-Marisa Sierras)

Sofia Pernas

Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause in happier days

It's a triangle worthy of a soap opera storyline, but it's happening in real life.  This is Us star Justin Hartley, ex-Adam Newman on The Young and the Restless, is reportedly dating Spanish-Moroccan-American actress Sofia Pernas, who portrayed Marisa Sierras on Y&R.  Sofia, 30, was born in Morocco.  When she was five years old, her family immigrated to the United States and settled in California.

Sofia now plays Lexi Vaziri on the CBS action series Blood & Treasure.  On Y&R, Sofia'a character, Marisa, was the ex-girlfriend of drug lord Marco Annicelli.  She was also the estranged wife of Luca Santori (Miles Gaston Villanueva), a wealthy Spaniard with whom she had a daughter.  She eventually became involved with Noah Newman.  Marisa and Noah fled the country when Noah accidentally backed over Billy Abbott in a parking garage.  When they returned, Noah went on trial and was given probation.  He proposed to Marisa and they planned to marry as soon as she divorced Luca.  However, it never worked out between them.

Justin Hartley portrayed Adam Newman form 2014 to 2016, leaving the show for prime time stardom in the hit show This is Us.  Justin met Sofia in 2014 when she joined Y&R's cast, but her character's involvement in his storyline was minimal (Marisa had misgivings when Luca joined forces with Adam to bring down their powerful fathers).

Last November, Justin, 43, filed for divorce from his wife Chrishell Stause, 38, citing irreconcilable differences.  The two were married in October 2017, after about four years together.  Chishell is now the host of Selling Sunset, a Netflix reality show..  From May to August of 2016, Chrishell portrayed  Bethany Bryant on Y&R.  

Chrishell told Entertainment Tonight that she loves Justin.  "Hopefully, we can get to a place where, one day, we will look back at this and laugh.  I don't know, hopefully.  It's very unfortunate and relationships are hard," she said.

Justin recently injured himself and underwent arm surgery on May 28.  Sofia dropped him off at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute, where he had his surgery, and picked him several hours later.  He was later spotted wearing an arm cast.

Loren Lott (ex-Ana Hamilton) runs from police gunfire during George Floyd protest

Loren Lott, who played Devon's sister, Ana Hamilton, from 2018-2019 on The Young and the Restless, ran from police gunfire in the midst of a peaceful George Floyd protest in Los Angeles.  Lorna is shown in videos holding a sign and encouraging fellow protesters.  She is later seen running from what appear to be rubber bullets (rubber or rubber-coated projectiles which are used to control riots or disperse protesters).  The actress can be heard screaming and shouting, "They're shooting at us."  Fortunately, Lorna was not harmed and has chronicled her experiences on Instagram.

Loren also a attended a protest with her former Y&R castmates Bryton James (Devon) and Brytni Sarpy (Elena Dawson).  Brytni plays Devon's girlfriend on the show and Bryton is dating her in real life.

Loren Lott currently plays the role of Rika on OWN's (Oprah Winfrey Network) Cherish the Day.


We've been watching old episodes for a while now, during this pandemic.  Do you think the writing and pacing were better in the older episode, fans?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Do you think the writing and pacing of Y&R were better in the past.

Yes, definitely. There's no comparison. The writing and pacing have gone downhill.
Yes, but only a bit.
No, not at all. I prefer the more recent episodes.
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Created with PollMaker

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition off Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, June 20, 2020Also, don't forget that the Daytime Emmys will air on CBS on Friday, June 26 at 8 p.m.  Take care and stay well everybody.

- Joanne

Monday, June 1, 2020

The Life and Tragic Death of Pete Duel

"Peter Ellstrom Duel died the same way he had acted - with passion and precision and in the shadow of his grim, stubborn judgment.  He turned his back on a life that he'd found inadequate as an alternative to death.  It was fitting - tragically fitting - that he'd gained fame as the star of a television series called Alias Smith and Jones because Peter Duel was an alias in real life too.  Changing his name from Deuel to Duel hadn't helped much."

- Richard Moorris, Motion Picture, April 1972

"l am searching for a meaningful life outside my work."

- Pete Duel
From his letter to a judge, June 1971

Pete Duel died in 1971, almost 50 years ago.  His acting career was cut short by his tragic death and he left us at far too young an age.  Nevertheless, Pete's life and legacy continue to attract interest nearly five decades after his tragic passing.  He was a talented yet tormented human being, an urbane man of high intellect, consumed with passion for his profession.

Peter Ellstrom Deuel was born on February 24, 1940 in Rochester, New York.  Pete was the eldest of the three surviving children of Dr. Ellsworth Shaut "Bob ' Deuel and his wife Lillian Marcella Deuel (née Ellstrom), a Swedish American from Altoona, Pennsylvania.  Pete had a younger brother, Geoffrey Jacob (born 1943) and a sister named Pamela,(born 1944).  A fourth child, a baby girl named Jennifer, was born on September 12,1952, but died the next morning. 

Dr. Deuel was a physician in the small town of Penfield, New York, just outside of Rochester.  His medical office was located in the family's Penfield home and he was assisted by his wife, Lillian, who was a nurse.  The Deuel family certainly had a background in medicine.  Pete's father, grandfather, great-grandfather and two cousins were all doctors.  There was good reason for Pete to follow the family tradition, but he was pulled in another direction and ultimately chose a different career path.

Peter Deuel attended Penfield High School, where he graduated in 1957.  As a teenager, Pete aspired to be a pilot.  His originally planned was to join the United States Air Force as soon as he was old enough.  When he reached the age of 17, he went to the Air Force Recruitment Office to enlist for pilot training but was promptly rejected due to his eyesight.  He had 20/30 vision.  He later wore  reading glasses while not acting.

In the fall of 1957, Pete entered St, Lawrence University in Canton, New York, majoring in Liberal Arts.  In December, he returned to Penfield for the Christmas break.  One night, near the end of vacation, Pete and a friend drove in a snowstorm.  They were involved in a head-on collusion and Pete was thrown through the passenger side of the windshield.  He suffered head injuries, facial cuts and almost severed his tongue.  His wounds were so severe that he spent a month in the hospital, followed by a period of recovery on crutches at the home of his parents.

While attending St. Lawrence University, Pete became involved in college theatrical productions such as Tennessee Williams' The Rose Tattoo, in which he played the lead.  Pete's parents witnessed his Rose Tattoo performance and Dr. Deuel agreed that his son should to go to New York City to pursue an acting career.  In 1966, Pete expressed his feelings about the acting profession to TV Photo Story.  He said, "I love acting.  But to me, it'a a profession, not a game.  If that cuts into the glamorous part of the profession, it's okay with me.  The show comes first."

In 1960, Pete moved to the Big Apple, where he lived humbly in a YMCA, cleaning hallways and bathrooms to pay his rent.  He was accepted into a two-year program at the American Theatre Wing, which he completed in 1962.  At the American Theatre Wing, Pete studied many aspects of stage acting, including Shakespearean drama, speech, elocution, dancing and fencing.  He performed in summer theatre and in an off-Broadway production of Electra at the Player's Theatre in Greenwich Village.  He also made an appearance on the highly respected CBS television show, The Armstrong Circle Theatre.

In the summer of 1963, Pete moved to West Hollywood, California, after touring with the National Road Company's production of the 1961 Broadway comedy Take Her, She's Mine.  That same year, he made his acting debut on a television series as Josh Drake in an episode of the college drama Channing.  He followed that with guest appearances on such series as Combat! (1964), Gomer Pyle, USMC (1964), The Fugitive (1965) and 12 O'Clock High (1964, 1965).

Pete's first big breakthrough on TV was a recurring role on the short-lived comedy series Gidget, starring Sally Field in her first television part.. Pete played John Cooper, Gidget's brother-in-law, a slow-witted but endearing psychology student.  The show only lasted for one season of 32 episodes, from 1965 to 1966.  Pete appeared in 23 of those episodes.

"Pete Deuel is very different from the serious image he projects as the stuffy, psychology-spouting brother-in-law on ABC-TV's Gidget," wrote Brenda Marshall in a May 1966 TV Radio Mirror article.  "He's tall, dark, and handsome.  He has enchanting dimples when he smiles.  He's a carefree, eligible bachelor who enjoys sports, discotheque dancing, beer, exploring the rough countryside in his land cruiser - and going around barefoot!" gushed Marshall.

After just one season, ABC cancelled Gidget due to low ratings.   The show's ratings improved during the summer when teens were out of school, but ABC felt it was too late to renew the series.  The network decided to  developed a new series for Sally Field instead.  That series was The Flying Nun, which ran from 1967 to 1970.  As for her feelings about Pete, in a 2007 interview, Sally described him as a "tremendously gifted actor."  She said that she "never knew how troubled he was" and that he always treated her like a big brother, which she hated.

Pete with Sally Field on Gidget

Below is a photo of Pete Betty Conner who played Gidget's sister, Anne, and the wife of Pete's character, John Cooper.

After Gidget ended, Pete landed a starring role in another sitcom, Love on a Rooftop, opposite Judy Carne.  Love on a Rooftop is set in San Francisco.  It follows the fortunes of newlyweds David and Julie Willis (Duel and Carne), who move into a rooftop apartment.  Impressionist Rich Little portrayed their eccentric neighbour.  This series lasted one season, from 1966 to 1967, and Pete appeared in all 30 episodes.

Pete with Judy Carne in Love on a Rooftop

In July of 1967, Pete signed a seven-year contract with Universal Studios.  He filmed three feature films for Universal, none of which made much impact at the box office.  He also appeared in guest roles in episodes of such series as The F.B.I. (1967), Ironside (1968), The Virginian (1968, 1969), The Interns (1970), The Young Lawyers (1970), The Bold Ones: The Lawyers (1970) , Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969, 1971), The Psychiatrist (1970, 1971) and The Name of the Game (1978, 1971).  He did, however, have starring roles in two TV movies: How to Steal an Airplane (1971), an adventure story, and The Scarecrow (1972).a drama/fantasy.

Pete's performances in two episodes of The Virginian "The Good-Hearted Bad Man" and "The Price of Love" made an impression and demonstrated his suitability for Western roles.  This led to the role for which he is most remembered, the role for which he finally achieved television stardom.  In 1971, Pete was cast as outlaw Hannibal Heyes (alias Joshua Smith) in Alias Smith and Jones, a lighthearted Western with similarities to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  His co-star was Ben Murphy, who played fellow outlaw Jed "Kid" Curry (alias Thaddeus Jones).  The premise of the show is that the two robbers are offered an amnesty by the governor, provided they stay out of trouble with the law for a year and that they don't reveal what they are doing.  Thus, they hide their true identities and become Smith and Jones.

Below  is a 1971 photo of Pete Duel as Heyes in Alias Smith and Jones.

On October 24, 1970, Pete Duel was involved in a serious car crash in Hollywood and two people were injured in the accident.  Pete was arrested on suspicion of driving under influence and hit and run, although the hit and run charge was later dismissed. On June 21, 1971, Pete appeared before the Santa Monica Superior Court and pleaded guilty to drunk driving resulting in an accident.. He received a prison sentence and a $1,000 fine, which was waived.  His driver's licence was suspended  but he avoided going to prison by promising the judge that he would stop drinking.  It was a promise he was unable to keep, as hard as he tried.  Although Pete was in and out of Alcoholics Anonymous, he was unable to maintain his sobriety.

In August of 1971, Pete was overwhelmed by the pressures of work and he collapsed from exhaustion on the set of Alias Smith and Jones.  He was sent home by studio ambulance but returned to work the next morning.  In November of 1971, Pete was greatly disappointed when he received a telegram notifying him that he hadn't been chosen for a seat on the board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild.  He had campaigned for the position because of his desire to improve working conditions for actors.  As if to highlight his sense of failure, he framed the telegram and hung it on the wall.

On the surface, Pete didn't have much reason to be depressed.  He was a handsome, talented actor who starred in a popular television series.  He also had a 29-year-old girlfriend named Dianne Ray.  Pete had met Dianne while appearing in an episode of The Psychiatrist, starring Roy Thinnes,   She had been a production assistant for The Psychiatrist, a segment of the NBC series, Four in One.

Pete Duel with Dianne Ray

Below the surface, however, Pete was a deeply troubled person and he struggled with demons that caused him great agony, one of them being his drinking problem.  In fact, an autopsy showed that Pete had consumed a large amount of alcohol prior to his death on December 31, 1971.  In the early morning hours of that final day of the year, Pete Duel was found dead in his home in the Hollywood Hills from a seemingly self-inflicted gunshot to his head."

It has not been unequivocally proven that the shot was self-inflicted. However, the crime lab report revealed that the gun muzzle had been less than an inch (2.54 centimetres) from Pete's ear when the shot was fired.  Los Angeles Police Detective Sergeant Paul Estrada, who was assigned to case, stated the following: "It's doubtful that somebody else could get that close to him while he was standing there with a gun to his head." .

On the evening of December 30, 1971, according to the official report from the L.A. Police Department, Pete was driven home from the set of Alias Smith and Jones by Harold Frizzell, his stand-in and "man Friday."(Pete's driver's licence had suspended indefinitely due to his drunk driving charge).  The two men entered Pete's house and they were joined by Dianne who had arrived earlier.

The trio watched an episode of Alas Smith and Jones on Pete's portable television until Frizzell left.. Frizzell later said that Pete did not like the episode and called it "trash."  In Paul Green's book, Pete Duel: A Biography, however, Frizzell is quoted as saying that Dianne was in the bedroom while he and Pete watched Alias Smith and Jones together.  He recalled that Dianne was still in the bedroom when he left.  According Green's account, Dianne contradicted Frizzell's version of the sequence of events.  She claimed that she never saw Frizzell that fateful night and that she was the one who watched Alias Smith and Jones with Pete.  She is quoted as saying, "Peter was fidgety and nervous and obnoxious, but you wouldn't call him in a bad mood.  Peter was in the other mind alcoholics get when they drink too much."

Dianne told Sergeant Estrada and his colleagues that after Frizzell's departure, Pete drank heavily.  He changed channels to a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game and a tired Dianne eventually went to to sleep in the only bedroom in the small home.  Meanwhile, Pete stayed up and watched the game alone for a while.  Sometime after midnight, he entered the bedroom naked and casually retrieved a package with the gun from a dresser (Dianne may have thought it was a forgotten Christmas present).  She caught a glimpse of him while she stood in the hallway of an adjacent room.  He was carrying a revolver in his hand and he told her "I'll see you later." as he went into the living room.

Minutes later, Dianne heard the sound of a gunshot and discovered Pete Duel's body in the living room near the Christmas tree, a .38 revolver by his side.  The bullet had torn through Pete's head and had shattered window at the front of the house.  A frantic Diane called Hollywood police.  Sergeant Estrada confirmed that she was given a lie detector test and that her statements "proved valid."  There was some initial speculation that foul play may have been involved, but Pete's death was officially ruled a suicide.

Pete Duel was only 31 years old at the time of his passing.  Police stated that according Pete's friends and family, the actor was distraught about his drinking problem.  They also revealed that they had found a second bullet when searching Pete's home, a bullet that was about a week old.  The gun that Pete had used to kill himself had also been used to shoot a hole in the framed telegram he had received about not being elected to the board of the Screen Actors Guild

At the time of his suicide, Pete Deuel had been worried about the future of Alias Smith and Jones.  The daily grind of filming a weekly television series was difficult for him.  He hadn't been  satisfied with the show's scripts and his relationship with co-star Ben Murphy had soured.  Pete was replaced on the series by Roger Davis who had served as its narrator.  Alias Smith and Jones, however, was unable to survive the loss of Pete and it was cancelled by ABC in 1973.

Pete had also been depressed about the death of his maternal grandmother, with whom he was very close.  He had threatened to quit Alias Smith and Jones in the summer of 1971 because he was refused a few days leave to visit her.  He was finally allowed to take a leave from the show.  Pete's sister Pamela stated that "Pete had bought my grandmother and grandfather a large screen television so they could watch him on TV.  Sadly grandmother Ellstrom was very ill and passed away in Altoona (Pennsylvania) of heart failure that summer.  Peter went back to see her and paid for all her oxygen before she died."

Although we will never fully know what went on in Pete Duel's head, the title of a September 1971 article about the actor in Motion Picture, probably best summed up Pete's state of mind.  It was published before Pete's death and it reads "He Carries The World On His Shoulders." That might as  well have been Pete's epitaph.


* Pete Duel had epilepsy, which was brought on by the head injuries he sustained in that late 1950s car accident in which he was thrown through the passenger side of a windshield.  Pete took the medications that were available back in the 1960s, namely Phenobarbital and Dilantin.   Both were only partly effective.  He found it difficult to tolerate their side effects, so he did not take them regularly, which caused him to suffer from debilitating withdrawal symptoms.  Dilantin, in particular, may have contributed to Pete's depression and suicide.

* According to Everett Aaker, author of Television Western Players, 1960-1975: A Biographical Dictionary, Pete altered the spelling of his name and became professionally known as "Pete Duel" in May of 1969, while shooting the film Generation.  Pete's agent had apparently asked him to change it to something simpler.  Here's how Pete explained his name change according to a 1971 quote on IMDb:  "It all came to a change about a year and a half ago.  I'm not conventional in my habits.  I had personal problems that made me feel it was time to try something new.  Then there was the matter of simplicity.  People were always saying 'Peter Who?' or Peter O'Toole.  There were too many questions.  I first took the 'e' out of  Deuel and then said to myself, 'Why not take the 'r' out of Peter and make that a four-letter word, too, to balance the other."

Universal Studios' official explanation for Pete's name change was that "it's easier."  However, according to a 1972 article by Stephen Lewis in Movie World, "it is a fact that the name change came after Pete lunched with numerologist Guerin Moore and was advised that his original name was unlucky."  It is interesting to note that Pete did mention balancing his first and last names with four letters each.  All of the other members of Pete's family, including his brother Geoffrey, an actor, continued to call themselves "Deuel."

* Pete, a Democrat, opposed the Vietnam War.  During the 1968 U.S. presidential election, he campaigned for Senator Eugene McCarthy, an anti-war candidate for the Democratic nomination.  He attended the Democratic National Convention in Chicago that year and witnessed the riots and the brutal clashes between protesters and police.  According to  Pete, witnessing those events proved traumatic and his mental health was adversely affected.

* Pete was an ardent environmentalist and ecologist.  He was very disturbed about pollution.

* On Janauary 2, 1972, a memorial service was held for Pete Duel at the Hindu--Christian Self-Realization Temple in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California, where Pete's manager was a member.  An estimated 1,000 friends and fans were in attendance and Dianne read a poem written by Pete titled "Love.."  Pete's body was then flown to Penfield, New York where a funeral service was held at Penfield Baptist Church prior to burial.

Pete was survived by both his parents.  His mother, Lillian, died in Arizona in March of 1986 at the age of 70 or 71.  His father, Dr. Ellswoth "Bob" Deuel passed away in Florida on Dec. 11, 2013 at the age of 99.  Pete and his parents are buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Penfield, along with baby Jennifer Deuel.

SOURCES TV Radio Mirror, "Gidget's Brotherly Brother-in-Law," by Brenda Marshall, May 1966; Nostalgia Central (, "The Pete Duel Story;" Television Western Players, 1960-1975: A Biographical Dictionary, Everett Aaker, McFarland & Company, 2007;  Motion Picture, "Exclusive! The True Story Behind Pete Duel's Death," by Richard Morris, April 1972; TV Photo Story, "Duel in the Sun," October 1966; Pageant, "Why Pete Duel Blew His Brains Out," by Fenton Bresler, January 1975, Pete Duel: A Biography, by Paul Green, McFarland & Company, 2015; Wikipedia; Internet Movie Database (

- Joanne