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Michael Corbett On Daytime Comeback

In a surprise casting move, Michael Corbett (ex-David, Y&R et al) returned to daytime last week to play the judge on B&B who presided over Sheila’s case. The actor credits his comeback to Y&R’s 50th anniversary celebration last March. “It was a perfect night,” says the soap vet, who played the dastardly David from 1986-91. “I was an invited guest but I came with Jess Walton [Jill], who has been a very dear friend for years. It was such an amazing party for me, especially because Y&R was a big part of my life. It was reuniting with old friends and wonderful colleagues and it really was as if no time had passed from when I was on the show. All of the camaraderie was still there, so it was such a love-filled evening.”

Corbett surmises that his presence that night reminded the right people of his soap opera pedigree. “Nobody knows my skill set when it comes to daytime television better than the Bells,” he explains. “Brad [Bell, B&B’s executive producer/head writer] knows exactly what I can do and later I was offered this role of Judge Evan Scott.”

Corbett’s first call was to Walton. “She was absolutely thrilled for me,” he recalls. “I said, ‘Please tell me you’re working such-and-such dates so I can see you,’ but she said, ‘Sorry, honey. I’m not, and I’m up here in Oregon, so I can’t run over to the studio.’ ”
Reporting for duty “was amazing,” Corbett enthuses. “Walking back into CBS Television City was like déjà vu, as if it was the next day since I was on Y&R. Of course, when I got to the soundstages, I kept wanting to turn left to Y&R, instead of right to B&B. There were so many people I love who I got to see and work with again, like in wardrobe, and some of the crew from Y&R are working on B&B. It was like a homecoming and everyone was incredibly loving and supportive and it was just so much fun.”
There were familiar faces among the B&B cast, as well. “There is, of course, Kimberlin [Brown, Sheila], who I love and adore,” Corbett relays. “And it was great to see Don Diamont [Bill; ex-Brad, Y&R] again. I only wish Heather Tom [Katie; ex-Victoria, Y&R] was present that day. And in my very first scene, I walk into a room and half the cast is there. It was exciting and wonderful at the same time.”

Because of his familiarity with the soaps, Corbett’s past was referenced on set. “[Supervising Producer] Ed Scott, who was a champion of mine while I was on Y&R [where Scott was supervising and executive producer] was there, and so gracious and also funny,” he shares. “I finished a huge scene and he comes over the PA and goes, ‘That was killer,’ which was a reference to when David Kimble had that word carved on his forehead by a plastic surgeon [laughs].”

For now, Corbett’s appearances were limited to July 21 and 24, but he hints of more to come. “I fully intend to be reprising,’ he notes. “We’ll see how they write it and how that unfolds.”

In the meantime, Corbett is plenty busy with his other TV gigs. “I’m still one of the correspondents at EXTRA [entertainment news] and also the host and senior producer of MANSIONS AND MILLIONAIRES, which has me traveling all over the world,” he lists. “I’m also the executive producer of LIFE AFTER DEATH WITH TYLER HENRY for Netflix and I just got an Emmy nomination for that.”

Corbett will also be back in front of the camera in the second season of THE DISAPPOINTMENTS, a comedy/drama web series following the lives of three gay men navigating mid-life. He describes, “I was in the very last 30 seconds of season 1 and for season 2, it flash-forwards two years later, which I just finished shooting, and I’m now one of the main characters. He’s a stretch to play because he’s a television producer [laughs] and he creates a talk show for Gedde Watanabe’s character but of course it’s a comedy so everything goes to hell in a handbasket. One of the other characters [Dwight] falls in love with me, so there’s a lot going on there, as well.”

In his downtime, Corbett, who has written books on house flipping and appeared on TV shows about home renovation, has been actively participating in overhauling his newly-purchased “big” Palm Springs pad. “It’ll eventually be a really amazing property,” he affirms. “I have a crew and contractor but I’m still very hands-on. So, I’m digging and hammering and cutting, and all of that stuff. I’m knocking a lot of holes in walls so that helps take out any frustration [laughs]. And it’s just a couple of hours drive to L.A., so I’ll be ready for B&B whenever they need me.”