Passions Gets Two Vets; ABC Stars Head to CBS

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Musical stars as actors go from network to network

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Leigh Taylor-Young Joins Passions as Katherine Crane!

Emmy Award winning actress and international personality Leigh Taylor-Young joins the Cast of Passions in the role of Katherine Crane, the stunningly beautiful and elegant wife of the wicked and ruthless Alistair, Executive Producer, Lisa de Cazotte announced.   Creator James E. Reilly previews “Katherine’s son and daughter, Julian and Sheridan, believe their mother died twenty years ago… but she’s alive and living in Mexico, with a secret lover and a great big secret!”

Taylor-Young has over fifteen feature films to her credits including I Love You, Alice B. Toklas with Peter Sellars, Jagged Edge with Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges, Looker with Albert Finney, The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight with Robert DeNiro, Soylent Green with Charlton Heston and The Horsemen with Omar Shariff. Her television credits include Peyton Place, Dallas, Beverly Hills 90210, The Pretender and the critically acclaimed Picket Fences, for which she won an Emmy.

In addition to her film and television work, Taylor-Young has a special passion for theater.  She had the unique privilege of performing in one of Samuel Beckett’s last works, The Beckett Plays, directed by Alan Schneider at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the Harold Clurman Theatre in New York, the Donmar Warehouse Theatre in Convent Garden, London and the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.  Her other theatre credits include Three Bags Full, Knives and Sleeping Dogs.

Taylor-Young has worked for Ted Turner’s Better World Society. She is the voice for the Search for Serenity series of audio meditations for The Course in Miracles and she is an ordained minister in the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness and works closely with John Roger, an educator and Wayshower.   Taylor-Young has been active on behalf of the environment as a Special Advisor in Arts and Media for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as well as a representative for the Institute for the Study of Individual and World Peace.  She as the Goodwill Ambassador from the United Nations for ICEBRIDGE: First Artic Environmental Forum in 1995.

Born to a diplomatic family in Washington, D.C., she began her formal education as an Economics major at Northwestern University.  She soon changed to Theater and studied under the renowned teacher, Alvina Krause. She subsequently continued her studies in New York City with Sanford Meisner, at the Neighborhood Playhouse.

Taylor-Young resides in Los Angeles, CA.  She has one son, Patrick, a sportscaster.  Her birthday is January 25.

Marla Gibbs Joins Passions as Aunt Irma

Eight-time NAACP Image Award winner Marla Gibbs has joined the cast of Passions in the role of Aunt Irma, Executive Producer Lisa de Cazotte.

Passions’ Creator and Head Writer James E. Reilly previews “For years TC Russell has believed his wife Eve’s lie that all her relatives are dead.  Eve’s house of cards may be shattered when her vindictive sister Liz finds evidence at least one relative is alive and kicking. . .and able to tell the tales of Eve’s sordid past.  Meet Aunt Irma, an irascible old woman who gives ‘em hell at her assisted living residence…and goes ballistic at the mention of Eve’s name.  Knowing Liz, Aunt Irma will soon be on quick trip to meet T.C. Russell.”

A Chicago native, it was a job transfer as a United Airlines reservation clerk that led an adult Marla Gibbs and her three children from Detroit to Los Angeles.

Gibbs soon joined PASLA (Performing Arts Society of Los Angeles) with her daughter, Angela, and studied at the Mafundi Institute and Watts Writers Workshop (both in Watts).  Gibbs soon performed in several well-received productions including Medea, Amen Corner and The Gingerbread Lady at the Zodiac Theatre.  After a few bit parts, Ms. Gibbs landed the plum role of “Florence” on The Jeffersons where she gained international notoriety.  After The Jeffersons 9th successful season, Gibbs landed a spin-off series Checking-In that was interrupted by a writer’s strike and never recovered and she returned to The Jeffersons.  Soon after, daughter Angela produced the award winning Christine Houston play 227 in which Gibbs was cast as the lead by noted director Ed Cambridge.  The play was such a smashing success that Ms. Gibbs purchased the TV rights and along with Norman Lear’s Embassy TV, sold and helped produce the series for NBC where it became a five-year hit series, now in syndication.

Gibbs is an eight-time NAACP Image Award winner, four-time Emmy nominee, eight time Family TV Award winner, Essence Woman of the Year, Frances Williams’ Women in Theater West Award winner, Special Black Emmy Nominee honoree, Winner of two CEBA Awards and a host of National and Local Honors.  In 2000, Marla received a Best Supporting Actress award from The Southern California Method Fest.  Her other credits include TV’s The Nick Cannon Show, Touched by an Angel, Arliss, Judging Amy, The King of Queens, Dawson’s Creek, Martin, Dream On, Xmas Dreams, You Can’t Take it With You and several voice-overs for HBO’s Happily Ever After animated series for children and Disney’s 1,001 Dalmations. Her most recent series work is a recurring role on The Hughleys, playing the mother of D.L. Hughley and was Arsenio Hall’s mother on Martial Law.  Marla recently completed starring in the feature films Stanley’s Gig and The Visit.  Other recent film credits include The Brothers, Foolish, Lost and Found, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Border to Border and Up Against the Wall.  Gibbs recently participated in Eve Ensler’s play “The Vagina Monologues” in New York City.

Gibbs’ first airdate on Passions is Monday, June 14, which is also her birthday!

Stars Swap Networks

First Lesli Kay, ATWT's Molly, announced that she was heading west to assume the role of Lois on General Hospital. But now, two former ABC Daytime stars are heading to CBS. 

Sarah Brown (ex Carly, GH) is slated to join the cast of As the World Turns in a newly created role, and Gina Tognoni (ex Kelly, OLTL) will join the cast of Guiding Light this summer in the role of Dinah Marler.