Q:      I love everything about AMC, even when some of the story lines seem to go on forever.  Can you tell me how this daytime soap got its start?  Thanks for your help.  Marie in Boston 

A:      I’d be glad to fill you in on the birth of this baby.  Agnes Nixon created AMC while she was writing for The Guiding Light.  She wanted to write a story about the close relationship between three friends, two boys and a girl.  She was particularly interested in exploring the relationship between the two boys. At the same time, she was also interested in exploring the relationships between parents and children. 

Agnes Nixon
      While on vacation in St Croix, Agnes polished up a presentation of the series, and five sample scripts.  When she returned home, she found that her suitcase containing all her work was missing, but resurfaced a few months later and she continued her work on AMC.  She presented her work to Procter & Gamble, who purchased an option on the series, but later dropped it. The official explanation for this was that they couldn’t find an available time slot on any of the networks.  Agnes was convinced they had another reason for passing on it, so she put it away in a drawer and forgot about it. 

            A few months later, she took over as head writer for Another World, which had been rated so low that NBC was thinking of canceling it.  Within a year, the soap that she revitalized shot up to second place in the Nielsen ratings. 

            When ABC realized that Agnes was hugely responsible for the sudden popularity of Another World, they approached her about creating a new serial.  Instead of giving them her presentation of AMC, she decided to create something entirely new, and gave them One Life To Live, a story based on three families of different ethnic and economic backgrounds.  It also featured a story line about a light skinned black woman passing for white.  OLTL was an immediate success, which prompted ABC to ask Agnes for a second series.  Her husband suggested that she submit AMC (fortunately for us!), and the rest is history.

Q:      What happened to Janet and Trevor Dillon? The last time I watched, some woman was threatening Janet’s family and she wanted money from her.  I worked for a while and now that I’m home again it took me a week or so to realize that Janet, Trevor and Amanda are no longer characters on the show.  Were they killed off or what?  Ruth Hammer, LA 

A:      No Ruth, they weren’t killed off, but they were written out of the story, at least for the time being.  

L - Sophie, R - Janet
            The woman you mentioned was Sophie, a woman Janet had known while she was in prison.  Sophie went to Janet in late October of ’99, and gave her a sob story in order to get money from her.  Janet decided not to tell Trevor about Sophie coming to Pine Valley, as she was afraid her criminal past would come back to haunt her. 

Determined to get the money, Sophie threatened Janet’s family, so she went to Adam and was able to get $50,000 from him, but even after she gave that to Sophie, she continued to harass her. When Sophie once again threatened Amanda, Janet took matters into her own hands and hit Sophie with a wooden candy cane. Thinking she had killed her, Janet put her body in a dumpster.  Sophie, however, wasn't dead at all and Janet soon came to believe that she was being haunted by Sophie's ghost.  A short time later, Sophie broke into the Dillon’s home and held Janet hostage while she threatened to kill Trevor and Amanda. Janet was desperate and offered to give Sophie one million dollars if she would leave town permanently. Sophie agreed and told Janet she had twenty-four hours to get the money. Janet, with a lot of goading from her mirror image, decided to end her troubles by killing Sophie. To that end, she set a trap at an abandoned warehouse and lured Sophie there.  

Hayley, who had accidentally tape recorded Janet and Sophie’s conversation, headed to the warehouse herself, where she was knocked unconscious by Janet's trap.  Sophie found Hayley and dragged her body out of sight as Janet arrived.  She attacked Janet, who defended herself and killed Sophie with a crowbar. At that moment, Trevor arrived and Janet confessed everything to him.  Trevor vowed that Janet would never be sent back to prison and he told her to go home while he destroyed the evidence against her.  Just as Trevor was leaving the warehouse, he ran into Derek and ended up being arrested for murder.  Meanwhile, a fire had broken out inside the warehouse with Hayley trapped inside, but Mateo rescued her. 

Trevor confessed to killing Sophie in order to protect Janet, then he escaped from the Pine Valley jail and told Janet that he was going on the run and they shared a very heartbreaking goodbye. 

After Trevor left town, Janet continued to feel the pressure in the aftermath of Sophie's death and began to think that Brooke was against her when Brooke received a letter from Trevor, only to have Janet accuse her of trying to keep it from her.  Janet continued to talk to her mirror image and became very emotionally distraught.  With Brooke’s nagging, she agreed to see a psychiatrist, but canceled all her sessions without telling her.   

As if Janet didn’t already have enough problems, Hayley’s mother, Arlene, made herself at home at Janet’s and told Hayley she just wanted to help her brother’s family. Amanda was very happy to have her aunt stay with them, but Hayley and Mateo didn’t like the idea at all. 

Janet became concerned a few weeks later when Amanda insisted that she had seen and spoken with Trevor. Janet was afraid Amanda was becoming mentally ill and she decided to go to Derek and confess the whole truth about Sophie's murder.  This was a very rough time for Janet, as she tried her best to remain level headed.  After more confrontations with her mirror image, she managed to overcome it by smashing the mirror with a crowbar.   Then she went to Jack and Derek and told them the truth.  

Janet and Amanda left Pine Valley to reunite with Trevor. She avoided going to prison for murder, but did require mental help at a professional facility.  

Q:      You wrote about Kendall last week, and her picture looks very familiar, but I can’t place her. HELP!  W. Collins, AZ 

A:        Sarah Michelle Geller, who played in the role of Kendall Hart, and won an Emmy award in 1994 for her performance, went on to play the title role in the television series, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.  She has finished two major films, “Scream Two”, and “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, and also became a spokesperson for Maybelline Cosmetics.  If you watch television for any length of time, you’re bound to see Michelle doing a commercial. 



Q:      I was just watching the Dustin Hoffman movie, “Tootsie”.  Am I mistaken or did one of the women in that movie used to play Anna Wolek Craig back in the day? Linda Walters 

A:      You’re correct Linda.  The actress’ name is Doris Belack who played a character named Rita in the 1982 hit “Tootsie”.  Doris was part of the original OLTL cast from 1968-1977, and played Larry Wolek’s sister, Anna, who later married Jim Craig.

Q:      Has James DePaiva always played Max, or did someone else play him at one time? 
Bob Gresham, NJ       

A:      James DePaiva created the role of Max Holden in 1987, and continued until 1990, when Nicholas Walker stepped in and played the character until 1992, when James returned.  

L - DePaiva, R - Walker

            It was during James DePaiva’s absence from the show that the character of Max returned to Llanview after suffering severe damage to his face in an automobile accident and then having plastic surgery to correct it.  This altered Max’s looks to such an extent that he appeared to be an entirely different person.   

Q:      I haven’t seen Rachel Gannon in a long time, did she ever get out of prison? D. Carmichael 

A:      Rachel was sentenced to six months in Statesville Prison after murdering Georgie Phillips when Georgie tried to ruin Bo and Nora’s life. That was in 1998.  On May 8, 2000, Rachel, who was now living in Chicago, returned to Llanview to mourn her mother’s death and help Sam with Matthew when it was believed that Nora had died in the train wreck.  

          Rachel remained in Llanview for two weeks.  Before she left to return to Chicago, Sam gave her Nora’s engagement ring to keep.  Rachel felt that this was a sign from him that he had finally accepted Nora’s passing. 

            After finding out that her mother was alive and had returned home in September, Rachel returned to Llanview for a short time.


Q:       I have been reviewing the show’s history (via SoapZone), in hopes of devising  some kind of family tree, and have reached my first incomprehensible spot – hope you  can clear this up for me.  The way I understand it, Rick and Jeff Webber are the children of Dr. Lars Webber and “his wife”, who were old friends of Steve Hardy, and who were killed off-canvas, orphaning the boys and sister, Terri.  If Elizabeth is the daughter of Jeff and (?), then how is Audrey her Grandmother?  Did she and Steve adopt the Webber boys when they were orphaned?  Or wait…wasn’t she married to the alcoholic guy when that happened?  Help, it is clear I am missing something.  Kirsten German

Jeff & Monica Webber
A:      Late in 1976, while Monica was married to Jeff, she was also having an affair with his brother, Rick.  Meanwhile, Heather Grant was doing whatever it took to get him into her clutches.  When Heather discovered that Monica was having an affair behind her husband’s back she knew this would work in her favor.  She found a letter that was written to Monica from Rick while he was in Africa.  Monica had saved it and Heather arranged to have the letter fall into Jeff’s hands.  Jeff became tormented knowing there was something going on between them, and he began taking sleeping pills at night, and pills again the next morning to keep going.  His mental state became worse from taking all the pills to numb his pain. 

            Heather took advantage of Jeff’s now shattered marriage, and made her move on him.  After Jeff had spent the night drinking, Heather found him and offered to take him back to her place, hoping she could get him into bed.  Afterwards, Jeff was filled with guilt and told Heather their roll in the hay was only a onetime thing.  When he attempted a reconciliation with Monica she told him flatly that he didn’t turn her on and that he should find a girl who would be attracted to him. 

            Heather’s next move would be to get pregnant by Jeff, thereby making him come to her.  Once again she managed to get him into her bed and told him it would be a “no-strings” arrangement.  Later that year, Heather also arranged for Jeff to find out that Monica had spent the night at Rick’s, but instead of running to her as she thought he would, Jeff disappeared. Heather was frantic because she was now pregnant with his baby. 

            Jeff ended up at a bar downtown, drunk, depressed, and high on the amphetamines.  The owner of the bar, afraid that Jeff would wander out into the streets and get into trouble, took him into the back room, where he could sleep it off until the next day.  What he didn’t know was that Jeff had stolen a gun from behind the bar.  When a friend of Jeff’s, Dr. Mark Dante, showed up at the bar the next day to bring him home, he heard a gunshot and ran to the back room where he found Jeff unconscious on the floor with a bullet wound to the head. 

            Afraid that her brother would die, Terri went to Steve Hardy and told him that before her mother, Helene, had died, she told Terri there was a letter hidden in a safe deposit box.  She wanted Terri to open the letter only if there was ever a life or death emergency for Jeff. Fortunately, after a high-risk surgery, Jeff appeared to be out of the woods, and the letter remained unopened. 

            At this same time (since you asked), Audrey was married to Dr. Jim Hobart.  Their marriage was failing and he threw his affair in her face. Telling her that he was impotent because of her frigidity (not the nicest thing to say).  He also told her that she was burned out as a woman, a three time loser, and cruelly advised her to “get out of the game”.  Audrey was in despair and took an overdose of sleeping pills.  As she began slumping to the floor, her last thought was what would become of her son, Tommy.  She tried to reach the phone, but lost consciousness.  Meanwhile, Steve knew that Jim had been drunk again and on the warpath, so he went to the apartment, where he found Audrey just in time.  He got her to GH and managed to pull her through.  In the aftermath, Steve declared his enduring love for her and they were reunited. 

            Back to Jeff…..After being in a coma for a few weeks, he took an unexpected turn for the worse and it looked as if he might die.  Terri and Steve decided it would be best to get the letter and open it.  When they found the envelope, there were two letters enclosed, one to Terri, in which Helene revealed that she and Steve had been high school sweethearts.  She wrote that when she had divorced Lars, she returned to Pt Charles, where she and Steve were reacquainted and found that they were still in love.  She went on to say that she and Steve had decided to marry as soon as he returned from Korea the following year.  The other letter was to Steve telling him that the night they had spent together before he departed for Korea had left her pregnant with his child.  But when Steve was reported missing in action two weeks later, Helene had returned to Lars, and she never told anyone that Steve was Jeff’s real father. 

            So….after marrying Steve, Audrey became Jeff’s step-mother, and that would make her Elizabeth’s grandmother.  She may not be a blood relative, but there are many close knit families that don’t let that fact come between them. 

Q:      Wasn’t there a movie back in the 80’s that starred a bunch of GH stars?  Kim, AL 

A:      I think the movie you’re referring to is “Young Doctors in Love”, a comedy directed by Garry Marshall in 1982, about a group of unlikely individuals who become resident surgeons in training. The patients at their hospital find that doctors and nurses spend more time trying to get into bed together than they do practicing medicine. Sound familiar?                     

Some of the stars appearing in this were Demi Moore, who played investigative journalist, Jackie Templeton on GH, Janine Turner, who played her sister, Laura on GH, Kin Shriner (Scott Baldwin), Stuart Damon (Alan Quartermaine), the late John Berandino (Steve Hardy) and Emily McLaughlin (Jessie Brewer), Chris Robinson (ex-Rick Webber) and Jacklyn Zeman, who plays Bobbie Spencer on GH.       

Top to Bottom, L-R, Richard, Amy Vining, Susan Moore (?), Diana Taylor, Bobbie Spencer and Claudia Phillips.
Q:      I saw on the Blast From the Past game awhile back a picture of Richard Simmons making a tower with some GH women from the past.  Was that on a talk show or something?  Surely he wasn't on GH?  Liza Cook, Atlanta GA 

A:      Those women you saw in the photo were some of the stars of GH back in 1979, the year Richard Simmons played himself.  Soon after joining the cast, Richard did his first solo Mall appearance in South Bend Indiana.  In an interview, he stated that they couldn’t get into the mall because it was so crowded.  When he asked the driver who the crowd was there to see, he was told it was him!  It seems that fans had watched him on GH helping all the overweight women and had come to see him in person.  Richard also stated that appearing on GH had changed his life.  

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