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News & Gossip from the mid-1980s per The Soaps of Yesterday


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18 hours ago, zanereed said:

 

Agreed. 100%. However, I think that Peter Simon leaving the show was a surprise, which is why they had to come up with a recast so quickly. If Simon had stayed on, I'm pretty sure Kobe would have recast Mike. The reason being was that Mike was already being weaved into a semi-front burner storyline via a love triangle with Lillian and Alexandra, the ramifications of which were supposed to have spilled over into the budding Beth/Lujack romance. Allegedly Don Stewart had not been an easy person to work with, going back years on the show. However, his popularity was so high with viewers that it was tolerated. For example, Mike Bauer had not been in any long-term romantic relationship since Leslie Bauer died in 1976! Apparently Stewart was never happy with who he was paired with (with perhaps the exception of Trish Lewis, but Stewart thought Trish was essentially too young for Mike).

 

When Pam Long came on as head writer, she *wanted* to write for Mike, which is why she positioned him in the center of the triangle. I guess Don and Bev didn't get along very well, so once again Stewart was resistant to the storyline. That must have been the last straw for Kobe, so she fired him around August of 1984. Looking back, Mike was on quite a bit over the spring and summer of 1984. I believe his last major appearance was at the Founders Day Celebration? I think the original plan was that Mike would be with Alex when the Dreaming Death/Susan Piper/Brandon Spaulding is alive in Barbados storyline reached its conclusion in late 1984, but those plans were scrapped, along with anything else tied to Lillian/Alexandra/Beth/Lujack.

I heard that Don wanted to always have a younger actress as his romance and thought Bev was too old. Too bad his ego got in the way and it makes sense that Kobe would recast Mike but didn't as she had to recast Ed. Too bad as I always thought Alex/Mike would have been very interesting and have no clue why they didn't recast him later leading up to Berneau coming back. They could have brought both a recast Mike and Hope back for Bert's funeral and had months to set them up with Mike/Alex and Hope/Ross for Alan to return. Instead we got Jesse/Simon, with Alex obsessing over those bores, Calla with Ross, and endless Kyle and boring Maeve!

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, will81 said:

He was credited right up to late May 1986 and Nancy M. Reichardt took over the next week.

I also read that he mentored Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman.   As much as I joke about his bitchy tone, it is remarkable the impact that he had on the genre of soap journalism.  Film journalism, pop music fandom, and primetime TV reporting often speak of their respective subjects with reverence, but soap journalism strikes an intriguing balance between sarcasm and promotion.  Both Lynda and JMR write with a sense of investment in the ongoing evolution of daytime that seem unique to writing about soaps in particular, and it is easy to find their influence in discussions likes the ones we read on these boards.

Edited by j swift
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21 hours ago, j swift said:

Reading the 1984 recaps got me thinking about how members of this board would react to iconic moments from the period.

 

DAYS - Bo rescuing Hope from her wedding to Larry Welch on his motorcycle to the pop song "Holding Out for a Hero" was so much fun, but 2021 soap fans would commiserate about the fact Doug and Julie couldn't attend the party because they left due a contract dispute.

 

GL - Josh Lewis being motivated to recover from paralysis by Bert Bauer after her amputation was inspirational, but 2021 soap fans would quibble that both of the long term actors who played her sons Mike and Ed were missing from Springfield when Bert returned.

 

ATWT - Betsy and Steve's wedding was a ratings bonanza for the show, but 2021 fans would find fault in how long it took for them to get together, only to be torn apart weeks later when Meg Ryan left the show.

 

It is not that 2021 fans are more opinionated per se, it just made me nostalgic for a time when fans had no more information than what was on screen, and could still be genuinely surprised, moved, or excited by the scenes of the day.

 

 

I think the difference is the audience was larger and so the fans like many of us on this board that view these shows as a genre that has been maligned are the only voices left.  Back then the audience was larger and so their feedback and commentary about their shows was different.  Because I guarantee there were fans back then that noticed and complained about what you posted.  But if that was less than 1/5th of your audience, why put so much focus or attention towards that segment of your audience?


As someone that lurked a long time on soap boards before I became more active, you can see the trajectory here.  When this board started there were many more participating members, the shows had more going on, there were more of them, and the commentary wasn’t always dominated by the things you mentioned.


 

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Speaking of Cleveland's own Lynda Hirsch, here's video of her from January 1982 on the late, great program The Morning Exchange - which aired on our ABC affiliate WEWS Channel 5 from 1972-1999. Because the distance from CLE to NYC is so minimal, stars from East Coast ABC soaps often dropped in for interviews.

 

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3 hours ago, j swift said:

I also read that he mentored Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman.   As much as I joke about his bitchy tone, it is remarkable the impact that he had on the genre of soap journalism.  Film journalism, pop music fandom, and primetime TV reporting often speak of their respective subjects with reverence, but soap journalism strikes an intriguing balance between sarcasm and promotion.  Both Lynda and JMR write with a sense of investment in the ongoing evolution of daytime that seem unique to writing about soaps in particular, and it is easy to find their influence in discussions likes the ones we read on these boards.

It is interesting to read JMR in Daily TV Serials. He does seem to be one of the first to really take the medium seriously, but yes, as you say with a bit of bite. Though I feel his scarcasm developed more over the course of the column and wasn't as present in the magazine. His attitude is part journalist, part fan.

 

Lynda is pretty similar to her Soap Bubble Magazine days (the few issues I have read). I also wish Bryna Laub had started a syndicated column when DSN folded in 1978. It is amazing how many soap mags popped up in the 70's and how many collapsed by the end of the decade. 

 

I really wish we hadn't lost JMR. It would have been great to read his thoughts on 90's (and beyond) soaps, especially JER's DOOL and Passions. Nancy M. Reichardt is great but seems all business, which is fine, but I kinda miss JMR's more invested tone. He is both adoring and frustrated by soaps, which is what we all often are with our shows. 

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Posted (edited)

@amybrickwallace Thanks for that video. Lynda is great, but I am shocked she was still watching all the shows pretty much by herself. I have never been able to figure out if her recaps are straight Mon - Fri. Pretty sure up to 1984 they were not, which is why I gave two different possible dates for her soap recaps on the blog. 

 

I also tried contacting her to see if she had any daily soap notes and synopsis in her archives that she would be willing to share, but never heard back. Not that I expected a response

Edited by will81
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4 hours ago, Mitch said:

I heard that Don wanted to always have a younger actress as his romance and thought Bev was too old. Too bad his ego got in the way and it makes sense that Kobe would recast Mike but didn't as she had to recast Ed. Too bad as I always thought Alex/Mike would have been very interesting and have no clue why they didn't recast him later leading up to Berneau coming back. They could have brought both a recast Mike and Hope back for Bert's funeral and had months to set them up with Mike/Alex and Hope/Ross for Alan to return. Instead we got Jesse/Simon, with Alex obsessing over those bores, Calla with Ross, and endless Kyle and boring Maeve!

I wonder if Guiding Light ever considered bringing Gary Pilar back as Mike since be played the role from 1963–1965.

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3 minutes ago, amybrickwallace said:

I was working in a movie theater in late 1999 when one of my customers was Lynda!! She was very gracious and signed an autograph for me. No, I don't remember what movie she went to see.

Nice, yeah she seems like a nice person and someone who would be great to sit and have a chat with. I am amazed she can keep all the details of all the shows in her head and respond so effortlessly to questions, even if they were possibly given to her ahead of time. 

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There was a fire at her apartment building complex in suburban Cleveland a few years ago. It was nothing major - quickly contained with no major damage- but one of the local stations interviewed some of the tenants on the news. One of them was Lynda. She was identified by name, but just as a tenant - not as a writer or the soap lady.

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On 3/13/2021 at 11:43 AM, Mitch said:

I heard that Don wanted to always have a younger actress as his romance and thought Bev was too old. Too bad his ego got in the way and it makes sense that Kobe would recast Mike but didn't as she had to recast Ed. Too bad as I always thought Alex/Mike would have been very interesting and have no clue why they didn't recast him later leading up to Berneau coming back. They could have brought both a recast Mike and Hope back for Bert's funeral and had months to set them up with Mike/Alex and Hope/Ross for Alan to return. Instead we got Jesse/Simon, with Alex obsessing over those bores, Calla with Ross, and endless Kyle and boring Maeve!

 

I heard the same thing, which was why I was confused about his take on Rebecca Hollen (Trish Lewis), as he apparently considered her too young?!!? Unless Stewart no longer wanted to work much on the show, I don't know why he would turn down a front burner storyline which was supposed to have kept Mike in focus for most of 1984 and 1985, and probably beyond that had Stewart still been in the role when Bernau returned in 1986.

 

By the way, I liked Alex and Mike, as well! I loved the scene when Mike took The Baroness on a helicopter ride, and Bev was just looking expressive and amazed at it the whole time. I think that one is still up on YT. I wonder why they didn't eventually recast Mike and Hope, as well. I suppose part of the reason was that Long never bothered (or wanted?) to acknowledge Charita's death, as Bert's death was finally announced on air a few months after Long had left in January of 1986. I could never figure out why it took so long for the show to acknowledge Bert's passing...?

On 3/13/2021 at 3:53 PM, Efulton said:

I wonder if Guiding Light ever considered bringing Gary Pilar back as Mike since be played the role from 1963–1965.

 

That's a good question. I assume Pillar was still acting in the mid-1980's...?

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6 minutes ago, zanereed said:

I could never figure out why it took so long for the show to acknowledge Bert's passing...?

Kobe gave a bullshit statement that they wanted to keep Bert alive as long as GL was on the air...so Rick could pick up the phone and say, "Grandma, I have a problem." So yea, it was b.s. and then the funeral they gave poor Bert...(and yes, Jesse and Simon had to be on those episodes too to make it even worse!)

 

 

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On 3/15/2021 at 1:10 PM, Mitch said:

Kobe gave a bullshit statement that they wanted to keep Bert alive as long as GL was on the air...so Rick could pick up the phone and say, "Grandma, I have a problem." So yea, it was b.s. and then the funeral they gave poor Bert...(and yes, Jesse and Simon had to be on those episodes too to make it even worse!)

 

 

 

I think Kobe played too fast and loose with minimizing the Bauer family in 1983 and 1984. Someone told me that Kobe (and maybe even Long?) felt that as long as they had Bert Bauer as their tentpole, legacy character, everyone else was expendable to a certain extent. However, as people have noted over in the GL discussion thread, Charita never let on how sick she was, so it was shocking (to say the least) when Kobe learned that she passed away. Meaning, there was no back up plan for anyone to replace Charita, and TPTB certainly weren't going to bother researching into history to bring in Meta, for example, to help replace Bert. I can remember throughout 1985 (when I wasn't paying much attention to the show at all) reading that fans were wondering why the show wasn't going to honor Charita by having Bert also pass away. I'd love to know the inquiry letters the show received that year concerning it.

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26 minutes ago, zanereed said:

 

I think Kobe played too fast and loose with minimizing the Bauer family in 1983 and 1984. Someone told me that Kobe (and maybe even Long?) felt that as long as they had Bert Bauer as their tentpole, legacy character, everyone else was expendable to a certain extent. However, as people have noted over in the GL discussion thread, Charita never let on how sick she was, so it was shocking (to say the least) when Kobe learned that she passed away. Meaning, there was no back up plan for anyone to replace Charita, and TPTB certainly weren't going to bother researching into history to bring in Meta, for example, to help replace Bert. I can remember throughout 1985 (when I wasn't paying much attention to the show at all) reading that fans were wondering why the show wasn't going to honor Charita by having Bert also pass away. I'd love to know the inquiry letters the show received that year concerning it.

I had lost interest in GL by the time Charita passed way, but my mom was still a big fan. I recall reading an article in one of mom's soap magazines around the summer of 1985 where there was talk of possibly recasting the role of Bert. I think they even dropped the names of a few actresses who were being considered. A year after they allowed Bert to die, there were talks with Mary Stuart about joining GL as Hannah Bauer. This was when Sheri Anderson was head writer. Years later, Mary talked about that in a soap mag interview. I'm not sure who Hannah was supposed to be. Perhaps she was meant to be the mother of Johnny, Lacey, and Todd (who was slated to be played by Frank Dicopolous until Pam Long dropped Todd and created Frank Cooper).

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On 3/12/2021 at 4:18 PM, j swift said:

Reading the 1984 recaps got me thinking about how members of this board would react to iconic moments from the period.

 

GL - Josh Lewis being motivated to recover from paralysis by Bert Bauer after her amputation was inspirational, but 2021 soap fans would quibble that both of the long term actors who played her sons Mike and Ed were missing from Springfield when Bert returned.

 

 

Well, both Peter Simon and Don Stewart were still on the show when Bert was recovering from her amputation. In fact, I think Stewart appeared in the same episode where Bert tells Josh how precious life is. The scene was Mike arriving for Bert's therapy session when Bert took her first steps towards Mike, and Bert commenting on how, not so long ago, she was on the other end, with Mike taking his first steps towards Bert. It was a fantastic scene from Charita.

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