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Re JC

I wonder how she felt about going from being one of the 'Queens of Daytime' and making that move to OLTL ,stepping into a front burner story and then by the early 80's seeing Pat slowly diminished in story importance and given a low key exit.

Then returning to AW where she formally reigned supreme and given virtually no story, leaving after a year and doing a short stint on Loving.

Maybe she was fine with it all...but understandable if there was some resentment there.

PS On a shallow note, I don't think she did herself any favors by going with that short haircut.

Image result for jacquie courtney

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I may not know WTF I'm talking about as a later viewer, but based on the information and available episodes I often got the impression Stuart, etc. banked on making Jacquie Courtney and Pat the leading lady of the show for awhile. She got major failed stories post-Reinholt, and was tried with both Buchanan studs before they finally let Clint and Viki make it official, while Viki's time seemed to wax and wane for a year or two there. Erika's own commentary about this period has been respectful but muted. She did once say she knew she had job security once Joe Stuart left - as did the show's major interest in Jacquie Courtney.

 

I have nothing against JC - she's lovely in everything I've seen of her, including her OLTL stuff. But Pat ain't Viki Lord.

Edited by Vee

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Despite it all, I do think Stuart was perhaps the best EP the show ever had. That period with Gordon Russell as HW is the most interesting era of the show for me. 

 

JC - They really did try to make her happen, but seemed other female leads were just more popular with the show's audience at the time. Did ABC knowingly fire her because they knew they were going to bring Paul Rauch in? 

Edited by BetterForgotten

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3 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

Re JC

I wonder how she felt about going from being one of the 'Queens of Daytime' and making that move to OLTL ,stepping into a front burner story and then by the early 80's seeing Pat slowly diminished in story importance and given a low key exit.

Then returning to AW where she formally reigned supreme and given virtually no story, leaving after a year and doing a short stint on Loving.

Maybe she was fine with it all...but understandable if there was some resentment there.

PS On a shallow note, I don't think she did herself any favors by going with that short haircut.

Image result for jacquie courtney

 

It must have been degrading.Pat Kendall just did not have much on-screen chemistry with Clint Buchanan; they came across better as friends. There were sparks between Pat and Bo, but Robert Woods has admitted that he did not much care for Jacquie Courtney, and I've always wondered if their characters' very viable romantic storyline was squashed because the actor did not want to work with JC. The actors cast as Adam Brewster and (the final) Tony Lord were both duds, so there were two more potential leading men for Courtney down the drain. (John Mansfield as Adam was particularly awful, both fugly and abrasive on-screen, while  Chip Lucia as Tony was so wildly miscast it's a miracle he passed the hiring process.) Ironically, there was chemistry to burn between JC and Tom Fuccello, who played her character's ex-husband Paul Kendall. The two ignited sparks on-screen and through the dialogue, particularly during Pat's tepid, failing romance with Adam Brewster, it started to look like Pat and Paul would rekindle their relationship, but then...nothing.

 

In 1983, the year she was dropped from the show, Pat was still prominent in the story. The plan was to have her get involved with Michael Zaslow's David Renauldi (which would have been wonderful, IMHO, because they looked great on-screen together and their verbal banter really clicked) when all of a sudden, ABC dropped Courtney's contract and announced they "had no more storyline" for the actress. That was bogus, of course, because she was already IN a new, potentially major storyline with a popular and charismatic actor. So why the network really chose to eliminate her from the show, we will never know.

 

When she returned to AW on NBC, TPTB were enthusiastic about how she was going to help raise the ratings again and how Alice was going to have an important impact on Bay City. Headwriter Gary Tomlin, however, later admitted that he knew almost nothing about the character of Alice or her background, and could not/did not write anything for her to do. The show cropped her hair off (at one point she had an ugly Mia Farrow-Rosemary's Baby look) and gave her the most hideous wardrobe. It was painful to watch. As her year back in bay City wore on, there were a few scenes that suggested the writers had finally looked into Alice's history with Rachel, but little was done to capitalize on it. With no leading man, no storyline, and a dreadful, unappealing "look" thanks to unfortunate hair and wardrobe choices, Alice's return to AW was bound to fail, and fail it did. Big time. I blame Tomlin most for this, however. When a major, beloved character/actress returns to the show that made her famous, it's the writer's damned job to research her history. Imagine Susan Lucci returning to AMC after an extended break and new writers waving their hands in a dismissive manner and announcing, "Erica Kane? I know nothing about her; can't think of what I'll do with her. I'll put her in some scenes here or there but won't/can't promise more than that. I want to concentrate on writing for Devon Shepherd!" It was ridiculous. REAL writers like Douglas Marland, Claire Labine, Harding Lemay and Pat Falken Smith always studied the hell out of the shows they took over. That's why they were so often successful. Of course, the hair and wardrobe people should have been shot too, LOL.

 

2 hours ago, Vee said:

I may not know WTF I'm talking about as a later viewer, but based on the information and available episodes I often got the impression Stuart, etc. banked on making Jacquie Courtney and Pat the leading lady of the show for awhile. She got major failed stories post-Reinholt, and was tried with both Buchanan studs before they finally let Clint and Viki make it official, while Viki's time seemed to wax and wane for a year or two there. Erika's own commentary about this period has been respectful but muted. She did once say she knew she had job security once Joe Stuart left - as did the show's major interest in Jacquie Courtney.

 

I have nothing against JC - she's lovely in everything I've seen of her, including her OLTL stuff. But Pat ain't Viki Lord.

 

It was widely said that Stuart wanted his muse, Courtney, to win an Emmy, and he devised the "evil twin" storyline for her in hopes of attaining that goal. In the Jeff Giles book, Slezak admits that Stuart was "very fond of Jacqueline Courtney" (LOL) and "put her front and center," which meant that Slezak had less to do. She says she did not mind at the time because she was okay with having extra days off. As a longtime viewer, I was fine with new character like Pat coming aboard and SHARING the spotlight. I just did not want them to replace the established, popular characters like Viki and Carla. For the most part, Viki continued to hold her place as the show's crown jewel during Courtney's tenure, so I did not mind seeing Pat Kendall having major stories to play as well. My reasoning was, the more hugely-popular characters on a show, the better for the ratings. I was thrilled to have strong female characters like Viki, Carla, Dorian, Pat, and Karen Wolek all in Llanview at the same time. We were treated to some marvelous acting back then!

 

1 hour ago, BetterForgotten said:

Despite it all, I do think Stuart was perhaps the best EP the show ever had. That period with Gordon Russell as HW is the most interesting era of the show for me. 

 

JC - They really did try to make her happen, but seemed other female leads were just more popular with the show's audience at the time. Did ABC knowingly fire her because they knew they were going to bring Paul Rauch in? 

 

I do agree that the show was on fire during Stuart's reign, even though he made some poor choices as EP. Viki's murder trial is a legendary plot, one of the best in soaps' history. I personally think that JC DID "happen," she was hugely popular on the show, which made the network's dropping her contract all the more baffling. She was let go a while before Paul Rauch arrived as EP, but I always wondered if ABC had already had him in mind as a possible hire when they decided to axe Courtney.

Edited by vetsoapfan

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RSW has kind of talked out of both sides of his mouth about Courtney. He's alluded to her being high maintenance, etc. a few times, but I believe it was either in Jeff Giles' book or when she passed that he called her welcoming and kind to him as a newcomer to soaps. Either way, he was classy.

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Thanks for your comments vetsoapfan.

 

I agree re AW

OK, Gary Tomlin was not familiar with JC, but surely others at AW and P&G should have informed him about her importance to the show. Apart from hair and wardrobe JC was still an attractive woman and viable leading lady.

Thinking back to that time, what stories and characters could Alice have been involved in?

Did they acknowledge her past with Mac?

 

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And the ironic thing about JC and her return to AW was that there was a ratings increase when she returned, yet the show still insisted on doing nothing for the character.  When you have a charismatic star like JC, I can understand perhaps not putting effort into writing for her (because you figure people are just happy to watch them so why work hard to make the audience like them)...but at the same time, because viewers like a performer, they want that performer to be given something meaty.  Its almost a catch 22.

 

The late 70s of OLTL reads like a goldmine of performers both Male and female.  If only I were born before that period...alas.

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4 hours ago, Vee said:

RSW has kind of talked out of both sides of his mouth about Courtney. He's alluded to her being high maintenance, etc. a few times, but I believe it was either in Jeff Giles' book or when she passed that he called her welcoming and kind to him as a newcomer to soaps. Either way, he was classy.

 

He did an interview once, years ago, in which he came out and admitted specifically, "To tell you the truth, I didn't much care for her." He did not elaborate as to why, but his negative sentiment made me curious because he did say she had been welcoming and supportive towards him when he first joined the show.  After she passed away, he also related some gentle anecdotes about Courtney to the press, including one about how she used to write key words of dialogue onto her fingers in order to help her memorize her scripts. To torment her, Phil Carey (Asa) would wet his hands and then grab and shake JC's palms during taping in order to smear the ink and make her lose her key words. Carey sounded like quite the character, LOL.

 

2 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

Thanks for your comments vetsoapfan.

 

I agree re AW

OK, Gary Tomlin was not familiar with JC, but surely others at AW and P&G should have informed him about her importance to the show. Apart from hair and wardrobe JC was still an attractive woman and viable leading lady.

Thinking back to that time, what stories and characters could Alice have been involved in?

Did they acknowledge her past with Mac?

 

 

Right, JC was only 38 when she returned to AW in 1984, and she still looked great. I think P&G and AW were in such a state of disarray by then that continuity and history were not high on their agenda. In their first scene together after JC's return, Alice and Mac hugged each other warmly and it was clear they were supposed to adore each other. Months later, when Rachel had amnesia, Alice told her that she (Alice) had been engaged to Mac during the time when Mac and Rachel were divorced, so by then at least, the writers had done at least some nominal research into the Alice/Rachel dynamic, but it came off as too little too late. There were no leading men on AW at the time who would have been right for Alice. The show would have needed to create one, but they never bothered. I've always wondered if TPTB had reintroduced the character of Steve Frame, played by David Canary, while JC and VW were both there, how it would have worked. Probably better than trying to pair the dynamic Canary with that bland plank of wood, Linda Borgenson.

 

1 hour ago, Soaplovers said:

And the ironic thing about JC and her return to AW was that there was a ratings increase when she returned, yet the show still insisted on doing nothing for the character.  When you have a charismatic star like JC, I can understand perhaps not putting effort into writing for her (because you figure people are just happy to watch them so why work hard to make the audience like them)...but at the same time, because viewers like a performer, they want that performer to be given something meaty.  Its almost a catch 22.

 

The late 70s of OLTL reads like a goldmine of performers both Male and female.  If only I were born before that period...alas.

 

Viewers are thrilled to see their former favorites back on the shows, yes, but as you say, we want them to DO something. You don't bring Susan Lucci back to AMC, Genie Francis and Tony Geary back to GH, Deidre Hall back to DAYS, etc., and have them sit around in the background and offer other characters advice a few times a month. The actors`mere presence is not enough, the writing has to be there too.

 

OMG, yes, the OLTL of the late 1970s shone so brightly with stars! Erika Slezak, Lee Patterson, Ellen Holly, Al Freeman, Jr., Judith Light, Gerald Anthony, Jacquie Courtney, Michael Storm...it was a remarkable cast back then! I loved it.

Edited by vetsoapfan

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16 minutes ago, vetsoapfan said:

I've always wondered if TPTB had reintroduced the character of Steve Frame, played by David Canary, while JC and VW were both there, how it would have worked.

In the same vein, suppose Jacqueline had gone to All My Children and played Joanna. It would be interesting to see her in the mystery surrounding early Stuart, as well as interacting with Susan Lucci (Alice #1 vs. Rachel #1.5, so to speak).

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Although she didn't state his name, Linda Dano said that Joe Stuart was the first person she thought of when she won her Emmy. When they were discussing her decision to leave One Life, he warned her that she'd never play lead like (unnamed actress; I always assumed Robin though now I'm more inclined to go with Jacqueline). So winning best lead actress was her, "Ha! So there!" moment to Joe.

I'm about to crack into these Ellen Holly videos. My parents met her in a crowded hotel elevator in White Plains, NY (her home, not at all far from PP 2.0's Stamford location, alas) after they moved me into college. They called me and I didn't have my cell phone on me. 😣

 

EH was with her family for an event and my mom said without seeing her at first, she heard the voice and recognized it immediately. My mom had bought me her autobio for my (unfinished) senior project on the tragic mulatto archetype of television and film.

 

Meanwhile, Miss Holly and André Leon Talley frequent the same diner. I wonder if they've ever chatted. I would piss rainbow tears sharing the lunch counter with those two.

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31 minutes ago, danfling said:

I watched Ellen Holly's tapes last night.

 

She mentioned Marion Colon (who was later to appear on One Life to Live).

 

 

And she was the wicked grandmami on GL, I wasn't watching then. 

 

When I was in acting school, I asked my teacher, Eulalie Noble, if she remembered Ellen Holly from their Actors Studio days. Eulalie (who did The Doctors, still trying to find her episodes) said, "Yes, oh yes, she was GOOD." Eulalie had a camptastic scenes with Arlo Guthrie in Alice's Restaurant. My other acting teacher, Joan Potter, was classmates with Agnes Nixon, Paul Lynde, and Charlotte Rae at Northwestern. She's passed, wish I'd asked her about Agnes, she only told me stories about Paul and Charlotte and their early days in New York. Joan and Ellen both did Lear, different productions, with Joe Papp.

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Ellen Holly has a great sense of humor. I found myself laughing at a lot of the things she says like " I cut my hair and ended up looking like Rachel Maddow.

 

Boy did she get screwed by that show and Agnes.

 

Edited by SoapDope

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5 hours ago, SoapDope said:

Ellen Holly has a great sense of humor. I found myself laughing at a lot of the things she says like " I cut my hair and ended up looking like Rachel Maddow.

 

😁 She is still so sharp with great humor, energy, and recall.

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