Thursday, February 04, 2010

Days' Longtime Matriarch, Frances Reid, Dies at 95

(from The Examiner)

Longtime member of the Days of our Lives family, Frances Reid, who has played the role of Alice Horton since 1965, passed away yesterday. She was 95.

UPDATE Statement from Ken Corday: "This is a very sad day, indeed; not only for me personally, but for the Days of Our Lives family and the entire Hollywood community. From day one until she taped her last scene, Frances epitomized the past, present and future of the show. Frances was truly one of a kind. Her class cannot be matched and her shoes cannot be filled … We will miss her all the rest of our days.”

Frances was born on December 9, 1914 in Wichita Falls, Kansas. She grew up in Berkley, California. Her first acting job was a small role in the movie Man-Proof in 1938. She performed in several Broadway plays before landing the title role in the CBS version of the radio soap opera Portia Faces Life in 1944. She portrayed Alice Horton since the debut of Days of our Lives on November 8, 1965. Though her last airdate was in December of 2007, the role of Alice was never recast.

Frances was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Supporting Actress in 1979 and for Lead Actress in 1987. She was awarded a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. The year before that, she was inducted into the Television Academy’s archives. She also won the Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Actress in a Mature Role four times.

“Greg Meng called me this morning to tell me of the loss of our darling Frances Reid,” said longtime co-star Deidre Hall on Twitter. “She was loved, revered, and will be remembered.”

“(Frances) was a great lady whom I feel honored to have known… the heart and soul of Days of our Lives,” said Nadia Bjorlin, who plays Chloe, on Twitter.

Indeed, Frances Reid will always be known as the matriarch of Days. Her kind, powerful performance as Alice Horton will never be forgotten and she will live on in the heart of Days fans everywhere.

Interview Outtakes, Part 5

Charles Shaughnessy (ex-Shane, Days of Our Lives): The streets of Hollywood are littered with people shattered by broken dreams. If you hadn’t been so set on some point in the future and had just been there in the present and seen what opportunities are in front of you — if you could see what was there right then and there, I think you’d have a lot less disappointment and frustration.

Peter Bergman (Jack, The Young and the Restless): For the first time, Jack is realizing that he is now head of the family. It’s going to be the longer story-line arc over the next couple of years — Jack taking his seat as head of the family.

Rena Sofer (ex-Lois, General Hospital): I intend to understand that you really can’t change your children’s mind on who they are going to choose (as a love interest). If you try to get involved in those choices, you might get kicked out of their life. Unless that choice is truly a dangerous choice, even then, you want to be there in case your child falls down. You don’t want to be so disconnected that he or she can’t come to you because there is too much water under the bridge. As a parent, it’s my job to guide and not my job to control. But it’s hard because I like to be in control.”

Robert Newman (ex-Josh, Guiding Light): Ellen Wheeler really understood this need for me to go away and do theater. It’s very easy to write a character out for a month: Josh went away on a business trip. And then you come back very refreshed having been challenged in a different way. It would give me more energy to move forward with Joshua. Other producers didn’t like the idea of me going away, but Ellen was very good with that, I think because she had been an actress for so long.

I rehearsed Sessions almost exclusively on my own, because the cast wasn’t really available, and the times they were available, I was doing Guiding Light. Once the show opened, I had this commute from hell. I live about 50 miles north of Manhattan; Peapack, New Jersey, where we shot all the location stuff for GL, is about 100 miles west of where I live. So I would do that drive at 5 a.m., shoot GL all day, and then drive another 45 miles or so into the city from there, and either shoot more stuff in the studio for GL or do Sessions, and then come back home around midnight, and then repeat the next day and the next day.

Sherri Shepherd (The View): My cast (of Sherri) is a dream come true. They cast Malcolm Jamal Warner as my husband, and he’s gorgeous. Initially, when they first said Malcolm Jamal Warner, all I could think was, this is Theo from The Cosby Show. Then he walked in the room and his voice is deep and he’s been lifting weights, and I realized, this isn’t Theo from The Cosby Show anymore. He is absolutely gorgeous. Michael Boatman from Spin City plays my son’s pediatrician, and we kind of have been dating a little bit. They keep bringing me these gorgeous guys on the set, and they have my character playing the field.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Interview (OLTL): Tika Sumpter Hopes Layla Finds True Love, Peace

Tika Sumpter, the beautiful young actress who originated the role of Layla Williamson on “One Life to Live” back in 2005, was used to playing a supporting role. Now that Layla has some front-burner storyline action going on, Tika couldn’t be happier to show off her acting chops.

Daytime Dial: Have you enjoyed watching your character change and develop through the years?
Tika Sumpter: I really like it. I’m glad now they gave me this storyline, and people can see different sides of Layla, other than just the supporter. It was good to see raw emotion and just a different side of her. Colleagues were coming up to me and saying, ‘Wow, this is great.’ I got the chance to show people I can do this, I can handle this.

DD: Layla was instrumental in getting Fish to come out of the closet — take me through how Layla felt when she first found out, because she was falling for him before she knew he was gay.
TS: Layla is a hopeless romantic and she was always getting into these dead-end relationships, and she finally got with someone she thought she could have a genuine relationship with. When she found out Fish lied to her, she didn’t want to believe it. It rocked her. It made her not want to open up. It made her feel very vulnerable. There is always that scary place where you feel like it’s gonna get messed up somehow, no matter how good it is. It literally, physically hurts her every time she thinks about it. She is still going to give love a chance, but in the back of her mind, she might not want to give everything at this moment.

DD: At first, it was hard for Layla to get together with Cristian because of Evangeline. What changed for her to allow her to accept her feelings for Cristian?
TS: She’s always seen the good qualities in Cristian. He was there for her in her time of sorrow and pain. With all those mixed emotions and feelings, she gave in to him. She always had a secret longing for that kind of man: manly and authoritative, but he has a sweetness about him and a vulnerability.

DD: What do you like best about Layla and about playing her?
TS: I love her ability to not only be tough, but to also be vulnerable at the same time. Nobody likes to be taken advantage of, but she tries not to allow herself to be a victim. She’s not afraid, even though she has been hurt over and over again. She keeps getting up; she’s a strong girl.

DD: What do you hope for Layla and her future?
TS: I want her to be successful in any career that she chooses, but hopefully she’ll go back to acting and singing. I hope she gets some kind of peace from her mother. Her mother always places Evangeline on a pedestal and kind of looks down on Layla. I hope she finds some peace with that, as well as find peace with her dad passing.

DD: Snoop Dogg is coming back in February. That must be a lot of fun when he’s on.
TS: He’s my homey. He’s pretty amazing. He is so chill and relaxed and easy to work with. He’s just a good guy and supersweet.

DD: You just filmed “Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming.” Can you tell me about your character?
TS: I play a girl named Nikki. She’s a law student and comes from a really good family. She’s a strong girl and really, really smart, but she has her insecurities. Basically she is the girlfriend of the main character, and there’s a little love triangle thing going on.

DD: Do you get to dance in the movie?
TS: I had to learn how to step for the film, and it was really hard at first. But I learned it, I did it and filmed it, and I was superexcited. I can’t believe I did it, because it is VERY hard. It’s a really good workout too!