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News for the week of 29-Jun-2015

by Carol Banks Weber

After Tony Geary (Luke) wrapped his final GH scene last week, cast —  including Genie Francis (Laura), Kin Shriner (Scotty), Finola Hughes (Anna), Leslie Charleson (Monica), Kristina Wagner (Felicia), and Lynn Herring (Lucy), crew, and other friends gathered to wish him a fond farewell, prompting the veteran, multi-Emmy-winning actor to tear up. They were all there just for Geary. Executive producer Frank Valentini got other well-wishers like Emma Samms (Holly) and Whoopi Goldberg (Soapdish) to pay tribute, which played out in a video montage that also contained Luke’s greatest hits. EW’s Lynette Rice was there to chronicle the moment for a June 23rd write-up. While Geary made a derogatory remark in jest (?) about Luke and Laura’s infamous 1981 wedding — “It was 33 years ago, people. For Christ’s sake, let it go” — he wrapped up the party with warm parting words full of sentiment and appreciation. “I’m excited to raise the curtain on act 3, to reinvent myself in my new home to pursue whatever opportunity there may be. It’s an exciting prospect to me. They’ve done a wonderful job of wrapping up the character. So this seems like the ideal time to go.”

As Tony Geary (Luke) wraps up his longtime soap role, his on-screen partner Genie Francis (Laura) is just getting restarted. Francis returned to GH and will presumably stick around a little while longer after Geary’s gone. As Francis has told other media outlets, she’s hopeful for a story of her own, with a love interest who is not Luke. In a lengthy June 21st Biography.com interview Sara Bibel conducted, Francis delved into a little more about her reaction to Geary leaving GH, his exit story and her place in it, her favorite (jumping out of that biplane) and least favorite (Lucky dying) stories, dying to do comedy, maybe on Portlandia like another Betty White, and how playing a mother to Jonathan Jackson (Lucky) those many years ago inspired her to do it in real life. When it came to her own children, Francis admitted that she wanted to shield them as much as possible from the show business life, since she herself started off as a child actor on GH. But her daughter caught the acting bug at 14, so… “…I just kept putting it off and putting it off. It was very tricky but I found ways to get around it. I didn’t want her to do it when she was young,” Francis explained. “She is very talented as an actress. She’s even more talented as a writer and a director. She’s very bright and if she wanted to pursue show business at this point, it would be fine with me and I would support her. I just didn’t want her to do it in childhood. My son had absolutely no interest in being in front of the camera. He is intrigued by being behind the camera so it’s possible he may go in that direction.”

The GH casting department is auditioning the next batch of actors for several new roles, including a good-looking spitfire of a white female teen and a very powerful black man in his 30s. Both are contract roles.

Gossip for the week of 29-Jun-2015

by Carol Banks Weber

A birthday tweet GH writer Jean Passanante sent out Friday to actress Rebecca Budig (Hayden; ex-Greenlee, AMC) had many wondering about a coma resurrection in Nikolas’ near future, i.e., “Thanks, Rebecca! It’s so fabulous to write for you again!”

After Daytime Confidential god Jamey Giddens dropped this blind item about a return-from-the-dead June 19, everybody started binging on Elizabeth and Jason’s dead son Jake. “Very soon, one of the four sudsers is going to embark on the most insane return from the dead storyline since that chick with the shrunken head was brought back to life on As The World Turns. I predict many fans will rejoice, while others will threaten to storm the gates. So basically just another day in the Land O' Bubbles.”

Check out SoapHub for my latest GH commentary, “Confetti Time: Prince Nikolas Kicks ELQ’s Michael and Tracy to the Curb,” aka, “How Evil Nikolas Got My Groove Back.” In it, I cheer an explicably evil Nikolas on as long as it means taking the happy away from my two least-favorite characters right now: whiny brat Michael and vicious bitch Tracy. An advanced preview for the impatient among you: “Let’s not even get into the unmitigated joy of watching Michael lose his little, little mind as Nikolas proceeded to forge ahead at ELQ without even breaking a sweat. Just make yourself comfortable on the desk there, Nik, LOL! Despite Michael’s usual browbeating and bullying — the twerp learned from the best now didn’t he? — Nikolas’s calm, cool, badass demeanor never wavered.” It takes SoapHub editors about two full days to review my commentaries before posting them live, after I turn them in Thursday-Friday, fyi.

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