GH’s Steve Burton (Jason) has fond memories of working with Anna Lee, the late Hollywood legend who played his grandmother. “I was standing with Leslie [Charleson, Monica] a few days ago when we were on the set together doing something and she goes, ‘Do you remember when they had to clear the set for Anna Lee to come on?’ I go, ‘Yeah!’ ” he begins. “She had a different automatic wheelchair at home than she did at work, so when she got here, she kept confusing the controls, so literally, our stage manager would go, ‘Anna Lee is coming to the set!’ and everybody would scurry out of the way because one time, she almost killed Leslie Charleson! She would bump into furniture in that thing — she would do it and laugh! And then she’d finally get onto the set and everybody would be like, ‘C’mon, Anna, what are you doing? Are you drinking? What’s happening?’ and she’d be like, ‘Actually, yes, I’m trying to put on weight, so I have Guinness and crackers every day.’ That was a regular day! We would start the day with her coming on the set like that! We really had so much fun together, like being part of a real family.”
Janice Lynde became aware of the popularity of Y&R and her character, Leslie, while traveling abroad in the 1970s. “I truly didn’t know Y&R was such a massive hit in Italy until I visited there in 1976,” explains the actress. “I had two weeks off and I had gone to Milan to visit friends. I was in Rome visiting the Sistine Chapel, and when you walk into the Sistine Chapel, you must take a vow of silence. But all of a sudden, in the middle of the place, someone screams, ‘Leslie! Leslie!’ and before I knew it, a herd of people in there started running up to me. Fifteen Vatican bodyguards grabbed me and spirited me out of there.” The unexpected event yielded a very special experience for Lynde. “Because of that ruckus, I ultimately got to meet the Pope because he wanted to know who this famous person was who created such a commotion,” she chuckles. “I must say, that was quite an adventure. I had a meeting with Pope Paul VI because of Leslie. Having such an encounter was when I first learned the concept of what a commercial success we were in Italy.”
Victoria Konefal (Ciara) appreciated connecting with Lisa Rinna (ex-Billie) and Charles Shaughnessy (ex-Shane) while filming DAYS: BEYOND SALEM for Peacock. “It was such a pleasure,” Konefal raves. “I learned so much from Lisa about Ciara’s character. I didn’t know that she had a half sister named Chelsea. I didn’t know that Billie and Bo were a thing before Hope came in the picture; I didn’t know any of that. I just loved working with a legacy and Lisa is an absolute blast. She is hilarious and a hoot, and it was fun working with her. And Charles? I didn’t know he was going to be on the show until the day of — they kept his character under wraps — and I happened to be watching reruns of THE NANNY [in which he starred] and I played it off. I didn’t make a big deal about it, but I pulled Rob [Scott Wilson, Ben] aside and I said, ‘Rob, have you ever seen THE NANNY?’ and he said, ‘Yeah,’ and I said, ‘Dude, that’s Maxwell Sheffield. We are working with an absolute legend right now.’ I used to watch THE NANNY growing up, so the 10-year-old Victoria, the fangirl in me, was thrilled to be working with him.”
In her new NBC series, LA BREA, Natalie Zea (ex-Gwen, PASSIONS) plays a woman named Eve who falls through a sinkhole at the La Brea Tar Pits with her son and enters another world. “I tend to play roles that are linked to whatever male counterpart I am linked to,” Zea reflects. “What’s great about this was even though I am an ex-wife and a mom, my identity isn’t surrounded by that. I get to have a full story that has to do with how I’m navigating this world as opposed to what my relationship is with my significant other. She’s got a lot of street smarts because of how she grew up, which we’re going to find out about later, but she gets to use a lot of stuff that’s been dormant in her. It’s great to get to watch that unfold throughout the season.” Zea also shares that she’s been to the titular L.A. landmark, and wasn’t exactly bowled over. “My dad and I went to the La Brea Tar Pits with my little brother a few years ago and about, I’d say, 15 minutes in, I turned to him and I’m like [whispering], ‘Is this all it is? Are they punking us?’ I was thinking it was going to be something else.