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All My Children Commentary

Soap Talk 
With Katrina Rasbold

April 19, 2010

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Night 

This week, we bid farewell to two of the finest mutual nemeses known to daytime:  Adam Chandler and Palmer Cortlandt.  Losing one of these veteran fan favorites would be enough to choke up any dedicated AMC fan, but both in one week?  Someone get me the razor blades.  Admittedly, I have reached a place in my soap viewing where I do not typically become emotional about what happens.  Passionate, yes; emotional, no.  Things change, actors come and go, new Head Writers paint the canvas new colors and established characters undergo personalities change, contract negotiations break down, couples break up and new alliances form.  Change is the only constant and most long-time viewers learn early on that an isolated obsession with one character, one couple, one actor or one story can only end badly.  Cultivating an overall love for and appreciation of the show as a whole is the only way to be assured that you will be in it for the long haul.  

All that aside, I admit to the idea of Palmer and Adam both leaving Pine Valley puts a lump to my throat and brings the sting of tears courting.   I have little doubt that by Friday when the tribute to Palmer/James Mitchell airs, I will be a complete tissue-clutching disaster.  Although David Canary has assured fans that Adam will return to Pine Valley from time to time to check up on the Chandlers, it simply will not be the same as knowing that he is in the Chandler Enterprises board room or pacing the mansion plotting his next move.    

While the passing of James Mitchell was not a complete surprise, the knowledge that such a lovely man is no longer with us still brings sadness.  Never again will we hear, “Ol’ Pete Cooney’s got a plan.”  We’ll never again watch him roll his eyes affectionately at Opal or see his eyes twinkle when he smiles.  With these two schemers off the show, an era has ended and the energy of All My Children is forever changed. 

Although my appreciation for these two gentlemen (and the word is not chosen lightly) is tremendous, both personally in how they conduct themselves in the world as well as professionally in the form of their (now) rare talent, it is my raging Daddy Complex that suffers the most.  These two handsome, successful men (both the characters and the actors) brightened my day more than twenty episodes showing shirtless hot young studs with muscles gleaming.  Give me crafty, powerful older guys any day, thank you very much. 

Both of these men enjoyed prolific and vibrant acting careers before coming to All My Children.   That is so rare now in a time when many actors are hired from the modeling pool or as relative newcomers to acting.  Many fans do not know that James Mitchell was an incredible dancer and one of famed choreographer, Agnes de Mille’s prize discoveries.   Between stage and screen, he worked constantly from 1944 through 2008 (a very long time by performance standards) and starred opposite such Hollywood elite such as Anne Bancroft and Jack Pallance.  A quiet proponent of gay rights, Mitchell had a long time committed relationship with his partner, the Oscar award-winning costume designer, Albert Wolsky.  He died in January from complications from his long battle with cardio-obstructive pulmonary disease. 

David Canary was no less successful in his pre-AMC days, having trained as a singer at the University of Cincinnati.  His talent was such that three days after graduating from college, he landed a job on a chorus line on Broadway.  A review of his acting resume prior to AMC will bring back memories to folks as old as I am:  “Bonanza,” “Gunsmoke,” “Peyton Place,” even a forerunner for the role of Mr. Spock on “Star Trek” during a time when it appeared contract negotiations with Lenoard Nimoy had broken down and he might need to be replaced.  He started working in soap operas in 1981 in “Another World” and not long after that, originated the iconic role of Adam Chandler.  Since that time, he guest starred on an impressive list of TV shows including “Hawaii 5-0,” “SWAT,” and “Law and Order.”   

Regardless of their illustrious careers, I will – like so many others – most miss their characters on AMC.  The deaths of Phoebe, Myrtle and Palmer coupled with the retirements of both Adam and Joe Martin, have eliminated a generation of Pine Valley loved ones.  There are no longer any older, wiser mentors for subsequent generations to learn from, emulate and love.  That is a tremendous loss in and of itself. 

Gentlemen, please know that you are love and you will be deeply missed and thank you deeply and affectionately for the years of entertainment you gave to us.

 


This column is written by Katrina Rasbold from www.eyeonsoaps.com.  The opinions expressed herein are solely her own and are not reflective of the opinions of the Official AMC Fan Club, Debbie Morris, All My Children, ABC, the Girl Scouts of America, the National Rifle Association or your local Rotary Club.

If you would like to contact Katrina regarding this column, you may do so by emailing her at krasbold@earthlink.net

If you have questions about the newsletter itself or the AMC Fan Club, please contact Debbie Morris at AMCFnClb@aol.com.

 

 

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