Recently in March 2014

B&B's Wagner CALLS THE HEART

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There's new romance brewing on Hallmark Channel's period drama WHEN CALLS THE HEART: Jack Wagner (ex-Frisco, GENERAL HOSPITAL) has joined the cast as Mountie Forensic Investigator Bill Avery, and he's bringing the heat! First introduced in last week's episode, Avery arrived on horseback to find out the truth about the deadly explosion in Coal Valley that killed many of the locals, including the husband and son of Abigail Stanton (played by EDGE OF NIGHT's Lori Loughlin, Jody). Might Wagner's character help the shaky widow find her footing? Behind the scenes, it was the other way around. "Lori's an old friend, and a terrific actress," Wagner confides of his scene partner and pal on the Vancouver set. "I play golf with her husband and we've run in the same circles for years."

In "Prelude To A Kiss," the season finale airing Saturday, March 29, at 9:00 p.m. EST, Wagner's character will be back to further pursue Abigail while at the same time, delving deeper into the dangerous mystery. "My character gets beat up while he's at the crime scene by some masked men," Wagner reveals. "So it unfolds to be a real good versus evil situation."

With the fate of the town, as well as Abigail's family name, on the line, the evidence that Avery has collected becomes all-important. Who will triumph? Abigail pins her hope on the visiting Circuit Judge Jedidiah Black (James Brolin), but will she be able to continue living in the small town — let alone find love again — in the aftermath? "They leave the show with cliffhangers," Wagner says of the possibility of his return. "So hopefully Hallmark will pick it up for a second season!"

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Y&R And GL Star Gets Gone!

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While awaiting the birth of his first child this year, Jeff Branson (ex-Ronan, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS; Shane, GUIDING LIGHT) has been keeping himself plenty busy! This weekend, he'll turn up on Lifetime in the thriller, Zoe Gone. "It's about Jennifer, a 16-year-old girl who has a baby (Zoe) with the support of her boyfriend, but the pressure is too much for him and he runs away," Branson offers. "Her mother is a divorcée who's got a boyfriend, which is where I come in. He's the guy who wanted the woman, but not necessarily the child, but took on the role of helping to raise her anyway. But when his gal becomes a grandmother, that wasn't in his plan. There are some moments of him not understanding and lashing out a bit."

The teenager's struggle to acclimate to motherhood and the drama that entails is further complicated by an unexpected twist: Baby Zoe goes missing! "That kicks in the young lady's maternal instincts," Branson relates. "Then the storyline becomes about finding the baby and [Jennifer] proving to herself the mother that she can be."

While Branson is reluctant to give away much more, he did want to praise the film's young star, Sammi Hanratty. "She knew exactly what she wanted to do with the role, and she ran with it right from the beginning!" he enthuses. "I think [the problem of] high school girls having babies and not knowing what to do or not having the support that they thought they would is a relevant topic. The soap fans will relate to it."

Zoe Gone premieres on Saturday, March 29, at 8 p.m. EST on Lifetime. Then you can keep an eye out for Branson's upcoming guest appearances on TNT's PERCEPTION and CBS' NCIS.

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Co-Stars Remember Rebhorn

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James Rebhorn portrayed one of GUIDING LIGHT's most evil villains, but the women who played Bradley's battered wife and step-daughter, Tina Sloan (Lillian) and Judi Evans (Beth), have nothing but fond memories for the actor, who passed away on Friday following a long battle with skin cancer.

"He was too young -- far, far too young," a saddened Sloan tells Soaps In Depth. "He was such a joy to work with and we all loved him, as evil as he was as he portrayed Bradley Raines. Beneath, he was gentle and kind and always professional."

Sloan adds that Rebhorn may have portrayed a monster, but it was exceptionally emotional to watch when Bradley raped Beth in October of 1983. "It was the hardest thing to see him do that scene as he was destroyed that he had to play it," she recalls. "He had two daughters at home whom he adored, but as a consummate professional, he did the most superb performance of destroying Beth."

Thirty hears later, Sloan and her co-stars still get a chuckle when recalling one of Bradley and Lillian's tumultuous scenes. "He had a line we all loved as it was part of the show -- no matter what happened, he'd say 'It's your fault, Lillian! Shut up and get me a beer!' Grant Alexander (Phillip), Judi, Michael O'Leary (Rick) and I would laugh so hard we couldn't reply and Jim would just smile and say the line again. To this day, Grant and I do "the line" when we are together. When Grant and I went to see Jim in a play a few years back, we said "the line" and he chimed in with that great smile.

"He was talented and wonderful and he will be missed by everyone who ever knew him," she concludes. "I feel blessed I played his wife for a few years and, as everyone, send my great sympathy to his real wife and daughters."

Like Sloan, Evans warmly remembers Rebhorn as being "the total opposite of the character. James was such a gentle, sweet man -- that's the proof of what a great actor he was," she tells In Depth. "He could be the funniest, silliest man. I was so blessed to work with him. My first experience [in television] was having Tina and James as parents! You don't get better than that. I learned about dedication to acting through James. He and Larry Gates [who played H.B.] had us rolling in the aisles in the makeup room. They did rap before it was rap. James was always sensitive. He hated having to do what he had to do!"

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James Rebhorn Passes

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Actor James Rebhorn died on Friday, March 21, at the age of 65. Rebhorn was a well-known character actor who appeared in films such as Independence Day and Scent Of A Woman as well as TV series like WHITE COLLAR and HOMELAND. But he is best known to daytime fans as AS THE WORLD TURNS' Henry Lange and GUIDING LIGHT's Bradley Raines.

"I am deeply... profoundly saddened to hear of the death of my friend and colleague Jim Rebhorn," Robert Newman (Josh, GL) posted to Facebook. "We first crossed paths in 1984 when he joined the cast of GL to play — as he often did, totally against type — the role of a brutal, abusive stepfather. Jim was, of course, the nicest man on the planet. Rest well, Jim. You've earned it. Too soon. Too soon by far."

GL's Grant Aleksander (Phillip) shares, "Jim was a wonderful man and a fantastic actor. So sad that he is gone way too soon."

Brooke Sunny Moriber, who played a young Angel on ATWT posted to Facebook: "James may have been the nicest man I have ever worked with. My heart aches that he is no longer with us. He was just the nicest guy you could ever cast as a villain. I remember him actually shaking because it was so difficult for him to embody such an evil character."

Michael O'Leary (Rick, GL), says, "Jim was a man of immense class and dignity. He was a consummate professional, and a gentleman. And I was just in awe of his talent. I'll miss him dearly."

Rebhorn's death comes after a long battle with skin cancer. Our condolences go out to his friends and family, including his wife, Rebecca, and two daughters. You can read the actor's New York Times obituary here. The actor also penned his own obituary during his final days, which was posted by his New Jersey church and can be read here.

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Cast Your Vote #14

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*** VOTING HAS CLOSED FOR THIS ROUND ***

Once again, it's time to express your opinions for our Readers' Poll. In the comments section for this article, please respond to the question, and feel free to explain your answer, but remember that any comments here may be considered for publication in the magazine. Any extra comments you have that have nothing to do with this week's poll question should be directed to the Message Boards section of our Web site!

THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL: Do you prefer Ridge with Katie or Brooke?

THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS: Can Billy and Victoria's marriage be salvaged?

Please note that the cut-off date for your votes to be counted will be Thursday, March 27. And please, only one vote per person!

To vote on your favorite actor, actress and couple currently appearing on a CBS soap, please mail your choices to:

CBS Readers' Poll
c/o Soaps In Depth
270 Sylvan Ave.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632

Multiple mail-in votes during the same voting period will not be counted, so don't waste our time, your time, or the postage!

VOTES FOR ACTORS, ACTRESSES AND COUPLES CAST IN THE COMMENTS TO THIS ARTICLE WILL NOT BE COUNTED.

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Larson Talks Y&R And First Kiss!

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Jill Larson (Opal, ALL MY CHILDREN) is returning to soaps for a two-day stint on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS beginning Monday, April 14. The actress will play Connie, a stage manager who'll try to keep things running smoothly during Chelsea's fashion show. The gig reunites her with Pine Valley pals Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea, Y&R; Annie, AMC) and Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe, Y&R; Frankie, AMC).

"Connie's in the middle of all the action," Larson tells Soaps In Depth. "It's a real fun role and when it came along, I said, 'Oh, yeah!' I'm in touch with [Y&R headwriter] Jean Passanante via E-mail, so maybe that's what triggered the idea."

Larson's getting buzz not only for her upcoming Y&R gig, but also for her appearance in the short film First Kiss, which was directed by Tatia Pilieva. Larson was one of 20 artists cast in the indie project, which captures a series of first kisses among strangers.

"I met a man who was working for the clothing company [providing outfits for the film]," Larson recalls. "We got to talking, and I kept looking around wondering who did they call in for me to kiss? Then, I realized it was him! It was very sweet."

First Kiss has gone viral on the Web. Why? Larson believes it's because the film touches on the universal themes, fears and joys that are related to locking lips. "Sometimes when you kiss someone for the first time, you think, 'Do I like this person?' 'Should I get out now?' 'Are we going upstairs?''Do I like him?' 'Does he like me?' 'What are our children going to look like?'" she muses. "The film resonates with people because of its tenderness. It expresses things that we all feel, but don't have the courage to say anymore."

Watch First Kiss by clicking here!

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THE BAY Characters Confess!

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Chapter 12 of THE BAY doesn't start until Thursday, May 1. However, in the meantime, fans of the Web soap that stars Mary Beth Evans (Sara; Kayla, DAYS OF OUR LIVES), Tristan Rogers (Rex; Colin, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS), Lilly Melgar (Janice; ex-Lily, GENERAL HOSPITAL) and many more daytime favorites can check out THE BAY: CONFESSIONS OF BAY CITY, a "pre-show" for the Internet drama series.

To kick off this new round of CONFESSIONS, the town's notorious villain Steve Jensen — played by Matthew Ashford (ex-Jack, DAYS) — returns to the hot seat and shows us that he is as wicked as ever! Watch Ashford's episode by clicking here, then check out newer ones by Derrell Whitt (Will) and Jade Harlow (Lianna; Sheryl, DAYS) and get ready to tune in for chapter 12 of THE BAY in May!

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GL Baby News!

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Congratulations are in order for Terrell Tilford (Greg, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; David, GUIDING LIGHT) and wife Victoria Platt (Vicky, GL), who are expecting their first child in late August!

For a video message from the actors themselves sharing their joyous news, click here!

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Y&R's New Cameraman

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THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS has cast Matthew Atkinson in the recurring role of Austin, a cameraman working with Avery. The actor has previously appeared in PARENTHOOD, CSI, JANE BY DESIGN, DROP DEAD DIVA and ONE TREE HILL. Y&R has confirmed that the actor is due to start taping this Wednesday, March 19, and is scheduled to appear in multiple episodes. Look for him to first air on Thursday, April 17.

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Kanan Back On B&B!

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Port Charles won't have A.J. Quartermaine to kick around anymore! TV Guide is reporting that Sean Kanan has reached a mutual agreement with GENERAL HOSPITAL executive producer Frank Valentini to step down as A.J., and should last air in April. The actor admits that the lack of a romantic storyline for his character made him feel like A.J. didn't have much of a future on the soap.

Instead, Kanan is going to be returning to THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL to reprise the role of Deacon, the schemer he also brought to sister soap THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS for a time. He will reportedly first air on the CBS sudser on Friday, June 13. Do you think Hope or Brooke will be happy to see him?

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See Carrigan On The Big Screen!

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If you are heading out to the movies this weekend, be sure to check out THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS star Sean Carrigan (Stitch) in Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club! The film stars Nia Long (Kat, GUIDING LIGHT), Amy Smart and Wendi McLendon-Covey (THE GOLDBERGS) as single mothers from different walks of life who create an unlikely support group. "I play Tony, the love interest of Wendi McLendon-Covey," Carrigan tells Soaps In Depth. "She was so much fun! It was a wonderful cast. We had a great time shooting it, and Tyler Perry was amazing!"

The Single Moms Club opens today in theaters nation-wide.

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Hendrickson Confirms Exit!

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After six years on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS, Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe) will be exiting the soap. Rumors have been circulating all week that the actress had decided to not renew her contract, and Hendrickson confirmed the news earlier today on Twitter. The actress joined Y&R in early 2008 following a popular run as ALL MY CHILDREN twins Frankie and Maggie.

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DAYS' Stefano Gets A New Henchman!

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As far as DAYS OF OUR LIVES' Stefano is concerned, "bad" help is good to find. Actor Tom Lind makes his debut in Salem on Thursday, March 13, as Galen, The Phoenix's latest henchman. Watch for the performer to appear in scenes with both Joseph Mascolo (Stefano) and Deidre Hall (Marlena). "It was a lot of fun," says Lind, who reveals that he's not often cast as the heavy. "I was in a hair and makeup chair at DAYS and someone who works there said to me, 'Are you sure you're Galen? You seem too nice to be the bad guy.' So I gave him a scowl!'"

The role was likely named after DAYS' Galen Gering (Rafe), which led to a little confusion on Lind's part. "They called for 'Galen' over the loudspeaker, so I went up to the set and the stage manager said, 'No, sweetie, that's not you. That's the name of one of our actors!'

"Both Deidre and Joe were fantastic," Lind adds. "I actually met Joe in the hallway, and we started chatting before we met on set. He was great, and Deidre asked me to take a 'selfie.' I couldn't have asked for two nicer pros to work with! Both of them were super-sweet!"

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Watch Soap Life

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Daytime dramas have seen an uptick in ratings, but in recent years have gone through quite a bit of turmoil. And over those years, the documentary Soap Life examined the plight of the American soap opera. Now, Soap Life is being released worldwide today on a host of platforms like iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. The feature features interviews from fans, directors, producers and actors like Rick Hearst (Ric, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Whip, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL), Bobbie Eakes (Krystal, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Macy, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL) and more!

For a preview, you can watch the trailer below!

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Soap Stars Sing!

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You already know that many of your favorite stars have talents that go far beyond their acting abilities, and a half dozen of them are preparing to wow you with their vocal stylings with Soap Stars Sing!

The event will showcase the talent of Anthony Geary (Luke, GENERAL HOSPITAL), Bobbie Eakes (Krystal, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Macy, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL), Ronn Moss (ex-Ridge, B&B), Eden Riegel (Bianca, AMC), Kristen Alderson (Kiki, GH) and Vincent Irizarry (David, AMC), with more talent to be announced as the show grows closer.

Soap Stars Sing will be held on Friday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fred Kavli Theater in Thousand Oaks, CA. Tickets are currently available on-line at varying price points, including a VIP Package that includes a post-show meet-and-greet and photo op with the actors. For more information and to order tickets, visit the show's Web site by clicking here!

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Cast Your Vote #12

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*** VOTING HAS CLOSED FOR THIS ROUND ***

Once again, it's time to express your opinions for our Readers' Poll. In the comments section for this article, please respond to the question, and feel free to explain your answer, but remember that any comments here may be considered for publication in the magazine. Any extra comments you have that have nothing to do with this week's poll question should be directed to the Message Boards section of our Web site!

THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL: Should Bill and Quinn pursue a relationship?

THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS: Do you want to see Nick and Sharon get married again?

Please note that the cut-off date for your votes to be counted will be Wednesday, March 12. And please, only one vote per person!

To vote on your favorite actor, actress and couple currently appearing on a CBS soap, please mail your choices to:

CBS Readers' Poll
c/o Soaps In Depth
270 Sylvan Ave.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632

Multiple mail-in votes during the same voting period will not be counted, so don't waste our time, your time, or the postage!

VOTES FOR ACTORS, ACTRESSES AND COUPLES CAST IN THE COMMENTS TO THIS ARTICLE WILL NOT BE COUNTED.

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Ashley's Back On Y&R!

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THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS fans who were upset to hear that Eileen Davidson's Ashley wouldn't be seen for a while as the actress popped over to DAYS OF OUR LIVES for another stint as Kristen will be happy to know that she's managing to juggle both soaps!

Davidson is heading back into the Y&R studio to tape scenes scheduled to air on Friday, April 18. And because Ashley is going to be attending a family event, it's no surprise that Beth Maitland's Traci will also be appearing! Davidson is also scheduled to appear in another episode airing Monday, April 21, before heading back to work as DAYS' preeminent bad girl!

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McClain & Lindstrom Wed!

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As Soaps In Depth first reported in our issue that went on sale this week, Cady McClain (Kelly, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS; Rosanna, AS THE WORLD TURNS) and Jon Lindstrom (Kevin, GENERAL HOSPITAL; Craig, ATWT) have come forward to publicly announce that they've tied the knot!

The couple became man and wife on Friday, February 14, meaning that Valentine's Day is going to be extra-special from now on! McClain and Lindstrom had a small, intimate ceremony, and in keeping with their low-key attitude, hadn't made a big announcement until now.

Congratulations to the happy couple, and best wishes for the future!

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Daytime Emmy Pre-Noms Announced!

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The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, in cooperation with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, have announced the pre-nominees in the acting categories for the 41st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Due to a rule change, the on-line versions of ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE were able to join GENERAL HOSPITAL, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS and DAYS OF OUR LIVES in the broadcast categories; However, they only scored pre-nominations in the younger performer slots.

An on-line ballot featuring all entrants in each of the six categories were sent to judges who viewed clips of their work before selecting their top ten performers in each category. However, due to ties, Outstanding Lead Actress contains 12 performers and Supporting Actor has 13. The candidates who received the highest number of votes will now advance to the blue ribbon screening round set to begin on Wednesday, March 26. This will determine the final nominees and ultimate winner.

The final list on nominees will be announced on Thursday, May 1, but you can find the full list of all the pre-nominations after the break. Did your favorites make the cut? Who would you vote for?

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