Some soap fans need to cut their faves a little slack.

Julie Marie Berman (Lulu) is allowed to quit GH after eight years (and two Emmy Awards) to try other things at the tender age of 29. She does not “owe” GH fans anything other than the good work she has already delivered. Marcy Rylan (Abby) is free to leave Y&R – where she did not have a contract – to replace Berman’s contract role on GH. That sounds like a good financial decision for a young mom with two kids. Brandon Barash (Johnny, GH) hasn’t worked much lately and deserves to spread his muscular wings, too.

The same goes for actors who have not signed up for the reboots of AMC and OLTL. If Michael Knight doesn’t want to relocate from LA to Connecticut right now, he doesn’t have to. He already sold his New York apartment and moved 3,000 miles once for AMC, and we all know how that worked out. To paraphrase Field of Dreams, once AMC builds it, maybe he will come.

I saw some very harsh comments on the Internet about Kristen Alderson “owing” it to OLTL to quit GH and join the new Llanview. No. The people she owes her loyalty to are her current bosses at GH – Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati – who nurtured her all those years at OLTL and then brought her over and gave her a frontburner storyline on GH. Why would she quit a full-time job she loves to work five weeks on, five weeks off on a half-hour show? She already relocated 3,000 miles, too. Moving is hard!

Think about your first job. Did you feel obligated to spend the rest of your life with that employer? Some people do feel that way, and that’s great. We would not have the strong connection to Susan Lucci, Erika Slezak, Melody Thomas Scott, Eric Braeden, Kristian Alfonso, etc. that we do if those actors had left. Others, like Knight, Anthony Geary and Deidre Hall, were able to leave and come back. But I don’t begrudge the Josh Duhamels of the world for making it big outside of soaps. And I know you don’t either.

Soap actors feel like family to us because they are in our homes every day. And most of them are very accessible, especially now with Twitter. But they are still regular people with day jobs who have the right to make the same quality-of-life decisions that all of us are allowed to make.

I mean… What would you be reading right now if I had never left the Chicago Tribune?!

45 Responses to TAINTED DREAMS: Actors Are People, Too

  • marcia says:

    Well, the Tribune’s loss was our gain.

    I miss the in-depth interviews that you used to do in WEEKLY. One column per issue is Carolyn-deficient for me. I totally agree with everything you said. I would love to see Michael Knight come back as Tad, but it’s his life and his decision. Relocating from coast to coast would do me in; I’m sort of a packrat. I had all the issues from 1981 or 1982 onj but I think my naughty son got rid of them when we moved. I would still reach in the box and pull one out to read it sometimes.

  • Maureen says:

    Right on!!

  • SaveOurSuds says:

    Thank you for this article! I wish JMB well in her future adventures. I really enjoy the film she did for Lifetime and really look forward to see what else she does. I always love when I watching a movie or show and one of my favorite soap stars pops up on the screen.

    I think Ms. Rylan is a great choice for the new Lulu. She is talented, experienced, and likable. It would have have been an insult if GH would have recast Lulu with an actress of lesser talent than JMB and I am glad that has not happened. I am excited to see ER take on the role.

    As for the fans that have been giving KA (and ME and RH) a hard time regarding the Prospect Park/OLTL/GH pickle, I think it’s rude especially when we don’t know the whole situation ourselves. These actors are people and are not owned by anyone. They have the right to make the decisions that best suit them, their families, etc.

    OLTL has always had a great menagerie of characters. If Starr, John, and Todd are not on OLTL, there will still be plenty of reasons for me to watch. OLTL has Vicki, Clint, Natalie, Blair, Tea, David, Dorian, etc.

  • Ann Marie Blon says:

    I don’t mind that Julie left, But the fact that we hardly saw Dante and Lulu these last three months was crappy as can be. I just can’t understand why we couldn’t see more of Dante and Lulu these last three months. We saw more of Steves Jason in his last months then we saw of Julies Lulu in her last months in the role. I hope Julie can win one more emmy.

  • Lindsay says:

    You are a hypocrite ! When Genie Francis and Debbie Morgan were on the Y & R , you said they were ABC actors and shouldn’t soap hop. You also criticized Y&r for having too many ABC actors and said Y&R was in recognizable . You didn’t show Genie Francis the same respect. She was excellent onY&R and had every right to be there!!

  • April Ceraso says:

    I have been a loyal AMC, OLTL, GH soap viewer for more than 30 years. I have always intended to write and tell you how much I enjoy your columns. I subscribed to SOD for decades too…just didn’t renew when AMC & OLTL cancelled. You are very talented and accurate in your “opinions”!

  • Dani says:

    I do agree with you and actors have the right to leave and we wish them best. That being said, I think that fans are disappointed. We don’t like to lose our favorites. In the past, some actors have appeared as if soaps are beneath them. That hurts the fans. In the case of the AMC and OLTL actors, no one could or should blame any of them for not returning. It was a unique situation as no other soaps were resurrected like this before.

    With some sadness and a lot of maturity I can say that in the case of characters like Johnny Zacarra and the Steve Weber, sometimes the storyline dictates a change or the character has been exhausted. I’d rather see them go and then maybe, just maybe, come back later on stronger, fresh and into great new storylines.

  • Jolie says:

    I find you kind of bias, and this is not the first time I have seen you print YOUR Opinion and state it as fact. And your facts have been disproved before. You have a lot of nerve talking about AMC & OLTL fans and what they want. When we say we want the characters back that PP has every right too since they own them does not mean that we mean the actors. GH fans are the ones that want both our characters and the actors, And NO we should not have to or be forced by big ol ABC to give up our characters to GH. And speaking of GH you said that KA does not owe any loyalty to her fans from OLTL but she does OWE Loyalty to Frank and Ron? Hmmmmm Really? You just went on a “rant” about actors don’t owe anything to anyone but themselves but KA Owes her loyalty to Frank and Ron…..Personally I could care less if she comes back to play Starr, However GH better make a new character for her cause hell no she should not be allowed to use Starr anymore, even if PP has no story line right now for Starr they could down the road and should not have to go thru all kinds of crud to get the character back. GH fans are the ones that can’t seem to distinguish between the characters and the actors, And fully believe that if the actors stay on GH that they will stay on there as the characters and I don’t think that is going to happen…..If PP is truly smart they won’t allow it either.
    Michael E Knight……you said it is because he does not want to move, Well sorry but this is from a SOD interview done Feb 11th with MEK and this is what he said “With me, personally, it was simply an issue of timing, period,” he states as to why he won’t be present for the debut of the relaunch. “I consider [Executive Producer] Ginger Smith to be, actually, one of my oldest and dearest friends, in that industry and in life. And I had asked her for patience with me because as I like to put it, I didn’t say no, I just said, ‘I can’t do it right now.’ I love the fact that the interest is there and I firmly believe Tad is going to be walking through Pine Valley in short order at some point”…..Nothing was said about him not wanting to move. You act like Moving is some OMG huge thing for actors. Do you know how these ppl move it is called call a moving company have them deliver your stuff to your new apartment or house or what have you. You talk like there are no Apartments anywhere in Conn or NY since you can live in NY and drive to Conn. Point is you should not state your opinion as fact, and you really should not talk about what ALL OLTL fans want!

  • Tom says:

    Absolutely! However they can not expect us to follow where ever they go. Many people are fans of M.E.K. as Tad Martin. Many are fans of Erica Kane. As much as I worship Roger Howarth as Todd Manning I did not follow him when he was playing other soap roles. I was happy to start watching GH because the Llanview 3 were playing the OLTL roles, but would not have had they been playing new roles. I find I’m most loyal to the actors who are loyal to the shows that made them stars.

  • Troy Turner says:


    You are spot-on with your comments, but I think it goes deeper than that. People that aren’t happy with storylines, etc take to the Internet to advance their own agenda as if they were the love children of Agnes, Irma Phillips, and/or Roy Winsor, and then threaten to quit watching if they don’t get their way TOMORROW. To me, those are the “fans” that are the problem

  • MomsThoughts says:

    I really enjoy seeing actors morph into new characters! I also love being able to say to my kids “I knew them when….” I remember Jesse McCartney, Amanda Seyfried, Josh Duhamel (in the black leather pants! omg who could forget) Eva LaRue, Kelly Ripa, etc…. so many big names started at “my” show! 🙂

  • dielee says:

    Her fans understand she wanted to spread her wings and try other things but how they handle her exit was so wrong because she deserved more. Wish TPTB would of gave her a story to her talents and not a visible character on GH. Love JMB and wish her the best she will never be forgotten she is lante the second half of a great lovestory. She got 2 emmys and going for 3 Thank you and you are right actors leave and they are people.

  • Julia says:

    Carolyn Thank You for saying this ! I was so upset yesterday when I read fans comments about the casts of AMC and OLTL these actors have lives and we can’t expect them to drop everything for these shows. We needs to support the new versions and build a fan base.

  • Joe says:

    I agree Carolyn! I love Julie as Lulu but also loved Marcy so I am excited to see what she brings to GH! Also hope to see you at the GH Fan event this year! I love your Spinelli book and am glad you are no longer at the Chicago paper! Wishing the Highest and Best good to all 🙂

  • Robynne says:

    I definitely agree with everything you said!

  • Jewell says:

    Love it Carolyn..
    Also what angers me, is fans are already judging Marcy Rylan before even seeing what she will bring to GH.. I’m constantly defending the actors from some of the GH fans, in my opinion are the worst, not all but a big majority They have blamed Kassie for the show, she doesn’t write for GH and didn’t hire herself and to call her a OLTL reject is in excusable.. The are people just like the rest of us, my mom taught me that at a young age, the only difference they just happen to be on TV. I’m disappointed they haven’t asked Bobbie Eakes to join AMC but I’m not going to take it out on Prospect. They have worked hard to bring back our soaps.. Fans need to remember these actors are human beings and treat them the way they would want to be treated.. By the way glad you left the Chicago Tribune..:-)

    • dielee says:

      I don’t think fans are judging Marci Ryan it is how they handle the whole situation. I love Marci on Y&R she is one of my favorites love how she is a strong talented actress and stands up to her mom and victor but also she has a very caring heart as abby. Going to miss her on Y&R but looking forward and giving her lots of luck for GH.

  • Cindy says:

    You are right on the money!!!!

  • Annalee says:

    Carolyn…so very well said.
    I think about that when fans don’t even think that the characters are real people with families, etc.
    Anyone who has worked in tv/theater etc.,on any level know it’s sometimes just that. Legalities & logistics.

  • Meera says:

    I agree that actors are people too and should try out other things. Julie has won two Emmys and has every right to explore other avenues because she is a talented actress. What fans such as myself are reacting to is how her exit was handled-there were rumors that she was leaving but no official confirmation until she announced it on Twitter and then the very next week, her replacement is announced. It didn’t give Julie fans much time to come to terms with Julie’s decision to leave-all of Julie’s fans support her in her future but we would have expected her to be treated better as she prepares to leave after almost 8 years. We do get invested in characters and actors but it takes time to get over it. No one faults Julie for leaving, especially because she has been so underutilized but it’s going to take some time for some of diehard fans to accept she’s gone.

    • La Veta says:

      ITA with your post! Thank you for showcasing that JMB has been awarded two daytime emmys!

    • Right, two Emmys!

    • Meera says:

      Replying to my own post which is weird but wanted to add some things…Julie said she wanted to leave last November when her contract expired and she told them in July. She was asked to stay until March and thought that it would allow time to develop a proper story for Lulu. That didn’t happen and she said that she was disappointed with her final scenes. That makes us as her fans disappointed too because she wanted to leave fans with some really good material. It stinks that in her final months, more time was devoted to pickle relish than her!

  • Sandra says:

    I will miss Julie, but it’s understandable that she wants to try new things. She’s been a joy to watch, and I wish her nothing but the best. I was one of those upset with Steve Burton, and I realize that it was his choice. I’m loving him as “Dylan,” and I also wish him the best. These actors are people doing a job. They have a life outside work, just like the rest of us.

  • pink says:

    I agree with you but Julie has won 2 Daytime Emmys.

  • Patty says:

    Carolyn, I whole-heartedly agree! Most actors want to spread their wings and act, not play the same character for 40 years. There is nothing wrong with those that do want to stay and play the same character for many years. It’s a personal choice and also depends on the actor’s personal obligations and such. It’s bittersweet to see them leave when we won’t have the opportunity to see them in our homes most days, but maybe we will see them elsewhere. I wish all the actors much success in all their present and futue endeavors and hope I will get to see them on my TV somwhere, somehow.

  • Nora b says:

    Well said. As much as I hate to lose them they have the right to choose what path they want to take

  • Joyce Deuso says:

    Sometimes the “safety” of leaving comments in social media has made people say things they wouldn’t ordinarily. That and the fact that there is a sort of mob mentality when one person has a particular opinion and others sort of “bandwagon” with them. It really spirals out of control sometimes and I’m shocked at the things people will say.

  • Sarah says:

    Amen!!!!! Very well put.

  • joann says:

    It’s about time someone in the media stuck up for these actors. Their feelings get hurt just like the rest of us!

  • Sandy Watts says:

    I totally agree with you. While I hate the thought of Julie leaving GH, I am extremely glad she has stayed as long as she has. I watched Kristen grow up on OLTL, but, I think that GH is utilizing her character better. So many come and go and we still love them. How many remember that Erika Slezak is NOT the first Victoria on OLTL. Good Luck Julie in whatever you do.

  • Bart Mruz says:

    Amen! Amen! Amen! They already give and gave. I love this article! Also make us more grateful for what we had and what we will have if any of them choose to return!!!!

  • Pam says:

    I agree totally, I think they have a right to be where they want to be matter how we feel! I myself hope Todd & Starr stay at GH, they are doing great there, major story lines , crossing my fingers they r able to stay on!

  • Cherile says:

    Well said!

  • lasha220022 says:

    Luv it!! So true! Now if peeps would just get “it” thru their heads!

  • Lois Lang says:

    So, agree with you, Carolyn. Keep on blogging. Love ya.

  • Jennifer Dill says:

    I completely agree with what you said about the actors and actresses involved. I think a lot of people do forget these people are human too. Thank you so much for stating your points as well as you did. Hopefully it will help adjust some perspectives. I always enjoy your columns.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *