Category: Daytime Emmys


A Celebration of Guiding Light: Part One

August 23rd, 2009 — 4:30pm

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a soap opera buff. I’ve joined soap fan clubs (and even started one) and attended the Daytime Emmy Awards many times.

Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of attending “Good-bye to Guiding Light, 72 Years Young” at the Paley Center for Media.

Still Shining: “Guiding Light” cast members Ellen Dolan, Grant Aleksander, Liz Keifer and Kurt McKinney at Wednesday night’s tribute

The longest-running program in broadcast history, “Guiding Light” takes its final bow on September 18th. Several GL cast members and 100+ fans were on hand for an engaging panel discussion about the show and its lasting contribution to television.

Participating in the conversation were four-time Emmy winner Kim Zimmer (Reva), Grant Aleksander (Phillip), Bradley Cole (Jeffrey), Elizabeth Keifer (Blake), Michael O’Leary (Rick), head writer Jill Lorie Hurst and executive producer Ellen Wheeler.

GL exec producer Ellen Wheeler and me

After a retrospective video montage, moderator and Paley Center curator Ron Simon asked the panelists about their experiences on GL. Everyone spoke with great candor and heartfelt feeling, expressing what it’s meant to be part of such a beloved show.

“I’ve always bragged that I’ve met five generations of Guiding Light viewers. This is our little heirloom that gets passed down from generation to generation,” said Zimmer, who’s played Reva on and off for 26 years.

GL’s multi-generational appeal and unparalleled knack for integrating cast members of all ages was one of the main topics of the night.

Head writer Hurst shared that she came to “Guiding Light” as someone who’d watched the show from the age of 3 with her mother and grandmothers.

When asked about the 80’s — widely considered to be the heyday of soaps — everyone agreed it was a magical time.

“It was great–big hair, big earrings, big shoulder pads,” Zimmer quipped. “There was nothing they wouldn’t spend money on,” she added, speaking fondly of lavish location shoots that were a lot less common during the 90’s.

“We didn’t know we were arriving for the pinnacle,” said Aleksander, who joined GL in the 80’s. “It was the Great Gatsby of our medium.”

Up next…mingling with the GL cast and a look at the role of fate in romance.

| Daytime Emmys, daytime soaps, Ellen Wheeler, Grant Aleksander, Guiding Light, Kim Zimmer, Paley Center for Media, The Great Gatsby

A Celebration of Guiding Light: Part One

August 23rd, 2009 — 11:30am

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a soap opera buff. I’ve joined soap fan clubs (and even started one) and attended the Daytime Emmy Awards many times.

Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of attending “Good-bye to Guiding Light, 72 Years Young” at the Paley Center for Media.

Still Shining: “Guiding Light” cast members Ellen Dolan, Grant Aleksander, Liz Keifer and Kurt McKinney at Wednesday night’s tribute

The longest-running program in broadcast history, “Guiding Light” takes its final bow on September 18th. Several GL cast members and 100+ fans were on hand for an engaging panel discussion about the show and its lasting contribution to television.

Participating in the conversation were four-time Emmy winner Kim Zimmer (Reva), Grant Aleksander (Phillip), Bradley Cole (Jeffrey), Elizabeth Keifer (Blake), Michael O’Leary (Rick), head writer Jill Lorie Hurst and executive producer Ellen Wheeler.

GL exec producer Ellen Wheeler and me

After a retrospective video montage, moderator and Paley Center curator Ron Simon asked the panelists about their experiences on GL. Everyone spoke with great candor and heartfelt feeling, expressing what it’s meant to be part of such a beloved show.

“I’ve always bragged that I’ve met five generations of Guiding Light viewers. This is our little heirloom that gets passed down from generation to generation,” said Zimmer, who’s played Reva on and off for 26 years.

GL’s multi-generational appeal and unparalleled knack for integrating cast members of all ages was one of the main topics of the night.

Head writer Hurst shared that she came to “Guiding Light” as someone who’d watched the show from the age of 3 with her mother and grandmothers.

When asked about the 80’s — widely considered to be the heyday of soaps — everyone agreed it was a magical time.

“It was great–big hair, big earrings, big shoulder pads,” Zimmer quipped. “There was nothing they wouldn’t spend money on,” she added, speaking fondly of lavish location shoots that were a lot less common during the 90’s.

“We didn’t know we were arriving for the pinnacle,” said Aleksander, who joined GL in the 80’s. “It was the Great Gatsby of our medium.”

Up next…mingling with the GL cast and a look at the role of fate in romance.

| Daytime Emmys, daytime soaps, Ellen Wheeler, Grant Aleksander, Guiding Light, Kim Zimmer, Paley Center for Media, The Great Gatsby

Inside The GLAAD Awards

April 1st, 2009 — 11:52pm

Saturday night, I attended the 20th annual GLAAD Media Awards, recognizing excellence in representations of the LGBT community.

Held at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square, the two hour plus ceremony included nominees in film, television, documentary and journalism — and featured celebrities from each of those realms.

The evening kicked off with presenters and former “Law & Order” co-stars S. Epatha Merkerson and Chris “Mr. Big” Noth.

Former “Law & Order” co-stars S. Epatha Merkerson and Chris Noth

As I mentioned on Sunday, I managed to catch Chris just as he was leaving and get a picture with him. My heart was racing as I told him I “really, really, really, really” appreciated it. At 53, the man still has what it takes to make this single gal swoon.

After my Big encounter, I returned to my seat in the balcony of the Marquis’ Broadway Ballroom.

Actress Judith Light introduced a moving montage of historical figures in the LGBT movement, from Brandon Teena and Matthew Shepard to Harvey Milk and Ellen DeGeneres. Among the additional star-studded presenters were actress/singer Vanessa Williams…

Vanessa Williams received a very warm reception from the crowd

…Her “Ugly Betty” co-stars Ana Ortiz and Michael Urie…

Ana Ortiz and Michael Urie presented People En Español with the GLAAD Award for outstanding Spanish Language magazine

…and “Gray’s Anatomy” star T.R. Knight. Special Recognition Awards were given to Suze Orman and Phil Donahue, while MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann was recognized for his segment and criticizing California’s passage of Proposition 8.

MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann received thunderous applause

As I watched the GLAAD winners take to the stage, I couldn’t help thinking about past award galas I’ve attended at the Marquis.

Back in 1990, I watched my good friend A Martinez win a Daytime Emmy for Best Actor for his work on NBC’s “Santa Barbara.” Just a few years ago in 2007, I enjoyed the recognition of my peers as well, picking up (along with my Quinn & Co. colleagues) the HSMAI Adrian Award for Best Travel PR Campaign of the year.

Yes, it’s definitely an honor to be nominated. But, as Kate Winslet said after picking up her long-awaited Oscar — winning is a lot better!

| A Martinez, Adrian Awards, Chris Noth, Daytime Emmys, GLAAD Media Awards, HSMAI, Keith Olbermann, Marriott Marquis, Oscar winners, Proposition 8, Quinn and Company, Suze Orman, YouTube

Inside The GLAAD Awards

April 1st, 2009 — 6:52pm

Saturday night, I attended the 20th annual GLAAD Media Awards, recognizing excellence in representations of the LGBT community.

Held at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square, the two hour plus ceremony included nominees in film, television, documentary and journalism — and featured celebrities from each of those realms.

The evening kicked off with presenters and former “Law & Order” co-stars S. Epatha Merkerson and Chris “Mr. Big” Noth.

Former “Law & Order” co-stars S. Epatha Merkerson and Chris Noth

As I mentioned on Sunday, I managed to catch Chris just as he was leaving and get a picture with him. My heart was racing as I told him I “really, really, really, really” appreciated it. At 53, the man still has what it takes to make this single gal swoon.

After my Big encounter, I returned to my seat in the balcony of the Marquis’ Broadway Ballroom.

Actress Judith Light introduced a moving montage of historical figures in the LGBT movement, from Brandon Teena and Matthew Shepard to Harvey Milk and Ellen DeGeneres. Among the additional star-studded presenters were actress/singer Vanessa Williams…

Vanessa Williams received a very warm reception from the crowd

…Her “Ugly Betty” co-stars Ana Ortiz and Michael Urie…

Ana Ortiz and Michael Urie presented People En Español with the GLAAD Award for outstanding Spanish Language magazine

…and “Gray’s Anatomy” star T.R. Knight. Special Recognition Awards were given to Suze Orman and Phil Donahue, while MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann was recognized for his segment and criticizing California’s passage of Proposition 8.

MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann received thunderous applause

As I watched the GLAAD winners take to the stage, I couldn’t help thinking about past award galas I’ve attended at the Marquis.

Back in 1990, I watched my good friend A Martinez win a Daytime Emmy for Best Actor for his work on NBC’s “Santa Barbara.” Just a few years ago in 2007, I enjoyed the recognition of my peers as well, picking up (along with my Quinn & Co. colleagues) the HSMAI Adrian Award for Best Travel PR Campaign of the year.

Yes, it’s definitely an honor to be nominated. But, as Kate Winslet said after picking up her long-awaited Oscar — winning is a lot better!

| A Martinez, Adrian Awards, Chris Noth, Daytime Emmys, GLAAD Media Awards, HSMAI, Keith Olbermann, Marriott Marquis, Oscar winners, Proposition 8, Quinn and Company, Suze Orman, YouTube

The Magician And The Soap Star

January 4th, 2009 — 12:28am

When you live in New York, you invariably find yourself crossing paths with colorful characters — often when you least expect to. Yesterday, I encountered two such characters, at varying ends of the celebrity spectrum.

I was lost in thought about everything I have to do before my Australia trip on Friday when a male voice called out–

“Smile — the snow’s not that bad.”

Welcoming the interruption, I looked up to find that the voice belonged to an adorable magician named Daniel. Newly transplanted from Reno, Nevada, Daniel hopes to make it big here in the Big Apple. He demonstrated a few card and coin tricks and then asked me about graduating from college and starting my career, implying that both were recent events.

Upon informing Daniel that I’m just a few weeks away from turning 35, he seemed genuinely surprised. It may have been part of his shtick, but the line achieved his original intent — it made me smile.

Later, a visit to the ladies’ room at trendy Koi restaurant in Bryant Park had me standing behind Emmy-nominated soap star Tamara Braun (Reese on ABC’s “All My Children”).

The First Time I Met Tamara: At The Daytime Emmy Awards in NYC, May 2004

I told Tamara I’ve been a fan of hers since her breakout role as Carly on “General Hospital.” I learned she’s a Chicago native and, like me, prefers New Yorkers over Angelinos (she was based in L.A. during her GH stint). Still, she’ll be departing her current soap gig in April in search of something that resonates more with her.

Tamara isn’t the only daytimer I’ve run into lately. Last month, I ended up sitting next to one of her colleagues, actor Darnell Williams (AMC’s Jesse), during a crosstown bus ride.

Like I said, you never know who you’re going to run into in the Big Apple. That’s why I’ve made it one of my new year’s resolutions to keep my eyes wide open. I don’t want to miss any celeb sightings or, of course, any glance-worthy bachelors.

| All My Children, celeb sightings, Darnell Williams, Daytime Emmys, General Hospital, magic tricks, Tamara Braun

The Magician And The Soap Star

January 3rd, 2009 — 7:28pm

When you live in New York, you invariably find yourself crossing paths with colorful characters — often when you least expect to. Yesterday, I encountered two such characters, at varying ends of the celebrity spectrum.

I was lost in thought about everything I have to do before my Australia trip on Friday when a male voice called out–

“Smile — the snow’s not that bad.”

Welcoming the interruption, I looked up to find that the voice belonged to an adorable magician named Daniel. Newly transplanted from Reno, Nevada, Daniel hopes to make it big here in the Big Apple. He demonstrated a few card and coin tricks and then asked me about graduating from college and starting my career, implying that both were recent events.

Upon informing Daniel that I’m just a few weeks away from turning 35, he seemed genuinely surprised. It may have been part of his shtick, but the line achieved his original intent — it made me smile.

Later, a visit to the ladies’ room at trendy Koi restaurant in Bryant Park had me standing behind Emmy-nominated soap star Tamara Braun (Reese on ABC’s “All My Children”).

The First Time I Met Tamara: At The Daytime Emmy Awards in NYC, May 2004

I told Tamara I’ve been a fan of hers since her breakout role as Carly on “General Hospital.” I learned she’s a Chicago native and, like me, prefers New Yorkers over Angelinos (she was based in L.A. during her GH stint). Still, she’ll be departing her current soap gig in April in search of something that resonates more with her.

Tamara isn’t the only daytimer I’ve run into lately. Last month, I ended up sitting next to one of her colleagues, actor Darnell Williams (AMC’s Jesse), during a crosstown bus ride.

Like I said, you never know who you’re going to run into in the Big Apple. That’s why I’ve made it one of my new year’s resolutions to keep my eyes wide open. I don’t want to miss any celeb sightings or, of course, any glance-worthy bachelors.

| All My Children, celeb sightings, Darnell Williams, Daytime Emmys, General Hospital, magic tricks, Tamara Braun

An A-mazing Friday Night

November 18th, 2008 — 12:26am

Friday night, I had the unexpected pleasure of catching up with my good friend, actor A Martinez. A was in town for his second recurring stint on ABC’s “One Life to Live.”

A Martinez as villainous Ray Montez in a scene from ABC-TV’s “One Life to Live”

As I mentioned in August, A and I became friends when we met at the Daytime Emmy Awards back in 1988, during his heyday as the heroic lead character on another soap opera, NBC’s “Santa Barbara.” Over the course of the last two decades, we’ve shared many memorable meals together and Friday was no exception.

A and I had dinner at Coppola’s on the Upper West Side. A cozy, moderately-priced bistro, Coppola’s has been serving up brick oven pizza and homestyle Italian fare for nearly 20 years.

Coppola’s West: A cozy slice of Italian charm on NYC’s Upper West Side

While I savored roasted tilapia over paglia e fieno pasta complemented by a glass of Chardonnay, A enjoyed chicken Milanese and we shared a sinfully rich chocolate cake for dessert.

Our conversation covered everything from this year’s historic presidential election and Obama’s brilliant use of the Internet in engaging Americans of all ages, to coping with the departure of a beloved co-worker. I told A about my PR colleague and dear friend, Morty, whose upcoming exit will leave an enormous void in my workday. A empathized, having gone through the same experience when his “Santa Barbara” leading lady of seven years left the show several months before he did.

After we hugged each other goodbye, I was surprised to check the time and discover that four and a half hours had gone by. That’s the wonderful thing about good friends — you can always pick up right where you left off.

Be sure to catch A when he turns up on OLTL again as villainous Ray Montez. His scenes are slated to air at the end of December.

| 2008 presidential election, A Martinez, coping with a co-worker's departure, Coppola's West, Daytime Emmys, Obama, OLTL, One Life to Live, Santa Barbara, Upper West Side

An A-mazing Friday Night

November 17th, 2008 — 7:26pm

Friday night, I had the unexpected pleasure of catching up with my good friend, actor A Martinez. A was in town for his second recurring stint on ABC’s “One Life to Live.”

A Martinez as villainous Ray Montez in a scene from ABC-TV’s “One Life to Live”

As I mentioned in August, A and I became friends when we met at the Daytime Emmy Awards back in 1988, during his heyday as the heroic lead character on another soap opera, NBC’s “Santa Barbara.” Over the course of the last two decades, we’ve shared many memorable meals together and Friday was no exception.

A and I had dinner at Coppola’s on the Upper West Side. A cozy, moderately-priced bistro, Coppola’s has been serving up brick oven pizza and homestyle Italian fare for nearly 20 years.

Coppola’s West: A cozy slice of Italian charm on NYC’s Upper West Side

While I savored roasted tilapia over paglia e fieno pasta complemented by a glass of Chardonnay, A enjoyed chicken Milanese and we shared a sinfully rich chocolate cake for dessert.

Our conversation covered everything from this year’s historic presidential election and Obama’s brilliant use of the Internet in engaging Americans of all ages, to coping with the departure of a beloved co-worker. I told A about my PR colleague and dear friend, Morty, whose upcoming exit will leave an enormous void in my workday. A empathized, having gone through the same experience when his “Santa Barbara” leading lady of seven years left the show several months before he did.

After we hugged each other goodbye, I was surprised to check the time and discover that four and a half hours had gone by. That’s the wonderful thing about good friends — you can always pick up right where you left off.

Be sure to catch A when he turns up on OLTL again as villainous Ray Montez. His scenes are slated to air at the end of December.

| 2008 presidential election, A Martinez, coping with a co-worker's departure, Coppola's West, Daytime Emmys, Obama, OLTL, One Life to Live, Santa Barbara, Upper West Side

An A-mazing Afternoon

August 27th, 2008 — 12:46am

Sunday, I had brunch with my dear friend of 17 years Marilyn, in town from Ohio. It was a very special afternoon for us, because we were joined by our mutual friend, actor A Martinez and his family.

This get together was nearly two decades in the making. Marilyn and I connected back in 1991 over our shared affection for A and his work on the NBC soap opera “Santa Barbara.” As I blogged last week (http://melissa-singlegalinthecity.blogspot.com/2008/08/brunch-with-one-of-my-heroes.html), A and I became friends after meeting at the 1988 Daytime Emmys. Marilyn too has become good friends with him.

Still, with Marilyn in Ohio, A in California and me in New York, the stars never aligned for all of us to be in the same place at the same time. Serendipity finally smiled upon us on the other day, with an afternoon that was more than worth the wait.

While I had met A’s delightful wife Leslie years ago at the Emmys, this was my first encounter with their children–Cody, 21, Devon, 19, and Ren, 14. All three of them are exceptional–engaging, intelligent people who have inherited their parents’ warmth and compassion, not to mention their father’s acting and musical talents.

Over a three-hour brunch at Arte Café on the Upper West Side–which serves a brioche French Toast with apple cinnamon sauce that is to die for–the free-flowing conversation covered a lot of ground. Devon mentioned her excitement about going to see “Rent” with her siblings, while the rest of the Martinez clan raved so much about “Osage: August County” that I’m going to see it this weekend. Cody shared his poignant take on the artistic struggles of a musician while Ren told us about building homes this summer on a Navajo reservation.

By the time we got around to sharing an assortment of desserts–cheesecake, chocolate mousse, caramel gelato, and passionfruit sorbet–I felt like I had come to know another side of A. Through the years, he has spoken at great length and with great affection for his family. Now I know why.

With hugs all around, we parted outside the restaurant, but not before taking one last picture…

Together At Last: Marilyn, A and me

As Marilyn and I walked away, we marveled over our memorable afternoon. And I felt thankful all over again for the blessing of good friends, including one who just happens to be one of the greatest stars in the galaxy.

| A Martinez, Arte Cafe, Daytime Emmys, Santa Barbara

An A-mazing Afternoon

August 26th, 2008 — 7:46pm

Sunday, I had brunch with my dear friend of 17 years Marilyn, in town from Ohio. It was a very special afternoon for us, because we were joined by our mutual friend, actor A Martinez and his family.

This get together was nearly two decades in the making. Marilyn and I connected back in 1991 over our shared affection for A and his work on the NBC soap opera “Santa Barbara.” As I blogged last week (http://melissa-singlegalinthecity.blogspot.com/2008/08/brunch-with-one-of-my-heroes.html), A and I became friends after meeting at the 1988 Daytime Emmys. Marilyn too has become good friends with him.

Still, with Marilyn in Ohio, A in California and me in New York, the stars never aligned for all of us to be in the same place at the same time. Serendipity finally smiled upon us on the other day, with an afternoon that was more than worth the wait.

While I had met A’s delightful wife Leslie years ago at the Emmys, this was my first encounter with their children–Cody, 21, Devon, 19, and Ren, 14. All three of them are exceptional–engaging, intelligent people who have inherited their parents’ warmth and compassion, not to mention their father’s acting and musical talents.

Over a three-hour brunch at Arte Café on the Upper West Side–which serves a brioche French Toast with apple cinnamon sauce that is to die for–the free-flowing conversation covered a lot of ground. Devon mentioned her excitement about going to see “Rent” with her siblings, while the rest of the Martinez clan raved so much about “Osage: August County” that I’m going to see it this weekend. Cody shared his poignant take on the artistic struggles of a musician while Ren told us about building homes this summer on a Navajo reservation.

By the time we got around to sharing an assortment of desserts–cheesecake, chocolate mousse, caramel gelato, and passionfruit sorbet–I felt like I had come to know another side of A. Through the years, he has spoken at great length and with great affection for his family. Now I know why.

With hugs all around, we parted outside the restaurant, but not before taking one last picture…

Together At Last: Marilyn, A and me

As Marilyn and I walked away, we marveled over our memorable afternoon. And I felt thankful all over again for the blessing of good friends, including one who just happens to be one of the greatest stars in the galaxy.

| A Martinez, Arte Cafe, Daytime Emmys, Santa Barbara

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