Matthew Ashford (ex-Tom, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Stephen, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Jack, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) and actress/teacher Lana Buss are expecting their second child in November. "It's gonna be a girl," he reveals to Soaps In Depth. The new addition will join big brother Henry (2) and Ashford's daughters, Grace and Emma, with his former wife, Christina Saffran.
In the upcoming film, A Million Happy Nows, Crystal Chappell (Olivia, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Carly, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) stars as Lainey Allen, a popular soap opera actress, who exits her daytime drama after finding out she has early-onset Alzheimer's disease. She and her publicist/partner Eva, played by Jessica Leccia (Natalia, GL) move to a beach house overlooking the Pacific Ocean as the couple deals with the devastating diagnosis. Chappell, who also serves as a producer on the project, says the film's soap opera scenes were shot late last year at her old stomping grounds the DAYS studios in Burbank!
"First, we were going to build a soap opera studio in another studio, but I told [DAYS' co-executive producer] Greg Meng about this film and that I needed a studio," the Emmy-winning actress/producer tells Soaps In Depth. Another co-executive producer of DAYS, Albert Alarr, directed the film, and was helpful in securing the studio space, too. "It was totally fun shooting there," Chappell declares. "Everyone was so accommodating. We could have shot it elsewhere, but filming at DAYS gave us an authentic vibe."
A Million Happy Nows both sheds a light on Alzheimer's and tells the love story of how Lainey and Eva deal with this tragic twist of fate, which, it turns out Lainey knew there was a 50/50 chance of happening. The film's cast is jam-packed with familiar faces from the soap opera world including Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie, DAYS; ex-Joanna, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS), Robert Gant (David, Y&R), Hillary B. Smith (ex-Stacy, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL; Margo, AS THE WORLD TURNS), and Michael Corbett (ex-David, Y&R).
"We needed someone to play Lainey's rival and someone suggested Susan," says Chappell. "I reached out to her and she said yes. We did some good old soapy catfight scenes that you'll see. It was so much fun. She is so talented."
As a fan of GL's "Otalia" storyline, the film's writer, Marisa Calin, specifically wrote the movie with Chappell and Leccia in mind. "That's really flattering," notes Chappell. "It's important to not only bring more awareness to this disease, but to also show that it can [afflict] same sex couples."
Stay tuned for an upcoming feature on Chappell in the magazine for more on the project, but In the meantime, you can check out a preview of the film here.
Music superstar Dolly Parton is producing a TV movie for NBC based on her life called Coat Of Many Colors, and revealed today on THE TODAY SHOW that she has selected Alyvia Alyn Lind (Faith, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS) to play herself as a child in the film!
Parton's 1971 song tells the story of how her mother stitched rags together into a coat for her daughter telling the biblical story of Joseph and his Coat Of Many Colors. But when the excited girl shows off her new coat at school, her classmates make fun of her for wearing rags.
Luckily, because Y&R uses both Lind and Mckenna Grace as Nick and Sharon's daughter, Grace can easily fill in while Lind is off shooting with Parton. When an airdate is announced for Coat Of Many Colors, we'll let you know. But in the meantime, you can watch Parton surprise the 7-year-old actress with the news in the video below!
In the whimsical new Internet drama, WINTERTHORNE (premiering Thursday, August 27) star Martha Madison (ex-Belle, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) is set to find herself in some truly sticky situations -- and they don't come from the sweet treats that her powerful clan makes. "The family [and its business] is run by its women, and they've reached a crossroads," explains creator Michael Caruso (DEVANITY), who also plays Madison's husband, Victor, in the show. "Martha's complicated character, Miranda, is taking over, and we'll see over the course of four episodes where she started from and some of the good and not-so-good choices she's made in order to control her family."
Look for Madison to turn in the kind of dark performances that match her gothic wardrobe and to play opposite fellow soap veterans Kevin Spirtas (ex-Craig, DAYS), GENERAL HOSPITAL's Kirsten Storms (Maxie) and Kathleen Gati (Obrecht), Linda Gray (ex-Priscilla, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL), Gordon Thompson (DYNASTY), and John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex, ONE LIFE TO LIVE).
For more on the new series, check out Madison's Catching Up feature in the new issue of CBS Soaps In Depth, on sale now. For more on the unique production, which used 5,000 marshmallows in a scene, pick up the issue that's on sale beginning Monday, August 17, for exclusive, behind the scenes photos!
What is beauty? THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL's Jennifer Gareis (Donna) thinks it has very little to do with waistlines and wrinkle creams and much more to do with inner peace. The actress has found just that in recent years after becoming a mother to 5-year-old Gavin and 3-year-old Sophia, two cuties who have thrown their mama's beauty regimen on its ear!
"When you're a mom, you don't have time to think about any of that stuff," she chuckles. "I think when you're younger especially being an actor there's a lot of focus on looks, but it's not so important to me anymore."
Catch up with Gareis as she chats about how motherhood has changed her for the better in the latest issue of Soaps In Depth, on sale now!
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 want to see Steffy with Liam or Wyatt?
THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS: Is Cane and Lily's marriage doomed?
Please note that the cut-off date for your votes to be counted will be Thursday, July 16. 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:
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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.
Tamara Braun (ex-Carly, GENERAL HOSPITAL) will reprise her role of DAYS OF OUR LIVES Mob princess Ava Vitali later this year. TV Insider's Michael Logan broke the news that the actress, who won a Daytime Emmy for her portrayal in 2009, has already begun taping and will return to the screen on December 9. Braun also briefly appeared on DAYS as Nicole's sister, Taylor, in 2011 when she assumed the role from fellow GH alum Natalia Livingston (ex-Emily), and was ALL MY CHILDREN's Reese.
Sal Stowers -- who played Angie and Jesse's daughter, Cassandra, on The OnLine Network reboot of ALL MY CHILDREN -- has joined the cast of DAYS OF OUR LIVES in a contract role.
"So beyond excited and honored to announce that I have joined the Emmy-winning cast of Days Of Our Lives!" the actress, who won the ninth cycle of AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL, shared on social media. "My episodes will start airing this September."
Who do you think Stowers will be paired with in Salem? Share your theories in the comments below!
Having been living in Miami with his parents, Kristen and Tony, in recent years THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL's Zende returned to L.A. on Monday, June 29. Actor Rome Flynn says his alter ego will make a cautious foray into the family business when he applies for an internship at Forrester Creations. Though he's connected to the company's top brass, he'll be reluctant to name-drop on his first day in town.
"He's one of those guys that likes to get it done without using the clout of his name," Flynn explains. "I'd describe him as reserved. He speaks when he needs to. It's not that he doesn't have opinions, but he knows when not to talk. He's definitely wise beyond his years."
Eric's grandson gained a preternatural wisdom and maturity as a result of being orphaned in Africa when AIDS claimed the lives of his biological parents. Flynn agrees that the character's early history (prior to his adoption by Kristen and Tony at age 10) makes him more introspective than many of his outspoken relatives. "There's still a lot of pain there," he says of his childhood. "It's still very present on his mind."
Congratulations are in order for AS THE WORLD TURNS stars Terri Conn (Katie) and husband Austin Peck (Brad), who are expecting their second child together! Peck posted a photo to his Twitter page of Conn's belly well on its way and wrote: "She's cookin' all right... and almost ready!"
The new baby will join the couple's daughter, Keira, as well as Conn's daughter, Julia, and Peck's sons, Aidan and Roman. Best wishes to the whole family!