The Emmy Partying Begins with Michael E. Knight, Catherine Hickland, Darlene Vogel, George Alvarez, a Couple of Cute Puppies & More!
On Saturday night, May 12, 2001 while most soap stars were in NYC attending the Creative Craft Emmys, five fabulous daytime celebs (and one sweet ex-OLTLer) braved terrible traffic to attend a Pre-Daytime Emmy Party, thrown by soap party planner Marcia Tovsky, at the swanky Garden City Hotel (in Long Island, NY).
The event was held to raise money for Long Island's North Shore Animal League (NSAL), an animal shelter that has been finding lost and abandoned pets loving, safe homes for 55 years. The stars, all pet lovers, were happy to donate their time.
Fans paid $55 to attend, and for this they got to mingle with "One Life to Live's" Catherine Hickland (Lindsay), Darlene Vogel (Melanie) and Christine Toy Johnson (ex-Lisa), "Guiding Light's" George Alvarez (Father Ray) and Billy Kay (Shane), plus everyone's favorite actor, "All My Children's" Michael E. Knight (Tad).
The fun began with a lavish buffet and drinks, followed by a question and answer period with the stars. When all the questions were answered and some very funny stories were told, the lucky fans got to go up on stage and talk with, get autographs from, and take pictures with the stars.
Knight arrived late. He was signing autographs at another fan event in New Jersey. ("Soap Stars on Tour" at the Garden State Plaza Mall.) He sat in incredibly horrible traffic for hours and finally arrived about an hour and a half into the event. Everyone squealed with delight when he walked into the lavish ballroom. It really was worth the wait. He is an adorably sweet and funny guy.
Since he had missed the first round of Q&A, Knight and his beautiful wife (Catherine Hickland) sat down on the stage and answered even more fan questions. Some of the questions asked by the fans were fantastic, not to mention the candid responses of the stars! Here a few of the best quotes of the day:
"I'm taking Tony Adabbo (AMC's new Dimitri) to the Daytime Emmy's. He's my date." Who said this? Vogel? Toy Johnson? Hickland? Nope! George Alvarez. And what a handsome couple they would make!
When a fan asked if the stars would want to play dual roles, there was a unanimous "No!" "I did it on 'Capitol' said Hickland. "Never, ever, again. It's really hard to pull off." Alvarez agreed. "I saw Jon Lindstrom (Kevin, "Port Charles") do it on 'General Hospital' and he was always wrecked." Knight later answered the same question, "I was terrified playing Tad and Ted. It's the hardest job in the world." Everyone agreed that AMC's David Canary (Adam/Stuart) does it better than anyone else.
Another fan asked if Knight and Hickland ever get jealous of each other's love scenes. "I don't have a jealous bone in my body," Hickland told the audience. Knight just sat there rolling his eyes, shaking his head and making faces, letting us know we shouldn't believe her. "I was jealous once in high school," she continued, "and it made me sick. I promised myself I'd never feel that way again. Plus, I know what love scenes are like," she continued. "But he hates when I do them. Of course, that's not really a problem, because nobody wants to hold Lindsay's hand, let alone kiss her, but I got a lot of lovin' when I was on 'The City...'"
"Yeah, she was constantly taking off her clothes..." Michael added, then changed the subject.
George Alvarez told us that his fantasy for his character would be: "Father Ray ripping off his collar and getting the girl. But that doesn't happen with priests." Doesn't he know he's on a soap opera and anything's possible?
A fan of Kale Brown's (ex Sam) wanted to know why OLTL had suddenly recast the character. Hickland didn't know the answer, but she did say, Larry Lau (the actor who took over the role, formerly Greg Nelson on AMC) is going to grow on you. "When I first found out he had the part I thought he was too young," she admitted. "But he's great. Every woman in the studio has a huge crush on him."
Knight told fans that he'd love to go back to being 'Tad the Cad,' but the love handles get in the way! On Tad's problems with Dixie, he quipped, "Twenty years ago I was sleeping with everything that moved, now I can't even get my own wife into bed!"
A happy fan asked Hickland if she had a favorite scene: "The Thanksgiving food fight with Nora," she answered without skipping a beat. Her least favorite? Injecting Nora with a memory-erasing drug.
A subject weighing heavily on all OLTL fans' minds was who killed Collin? Vogel and Hickland both swore that they had no clue. "It's really very cool," Hickland revealed. "Eight of us filmed the same scene killing him, so we won't know until you do. I really hope it's not me!" Talk about keeping the stars in the dark! Guess we will all have to tune in to find out. Even the actors!
One woman professed her love for Roger Howarth (Todd) and wanted to know what he was like. "I don't know," confessed Hickland, who has been on the show with him for three years. "He's never said a word to me. His dressing room is across from mine and he's never spoken to me. I'm not sure he's even looked at me. All I can tell you is he's cute in person, very quiet and shy. He's a great actor and a mystery in every way."
If awards were given for the best story, Knight would have won. When a fan said she had met him one day outside the AMC studio when he was getting on his bike, he asked "is that the day I fell?" Then, he launched into this tale: "One day, I was walking out of the studio. I was feeling really good. Fans were outside yelling 'Tad, Tad we love you on the show.' I felt like a God! Tan, buffed and ready to get on my mountain bike and ride off into the sunset. I turned to the fans and said (in a superhero voice), 'Yes, mere mortals, I will sign your autographs. Come, take photos with me.' Then, when we were done, I got on my bike (but) there was no air in my front tire. I got five feet, hit a manhole cover, fell and there was blood all over the place. They felt so bad for me. God sometimes makes you humble." Who knew he was so funny?
All in all it was a really fun event. In between the stories there was an auction, and fans got to bid on fabulous things. Like a trip to California, including airfare, and a tour of the GH studio with Maurice Benard (Sonny), plus lots of autographed scripts and tickets to the "Rosie O'Donnell Show," all of which helped raise money for NASL. The fans got to see a totally different side of their favorite stars. Even the stars had fun. The only ones who really weren't interested in the festivities were the adorable little puppies that attended. They slept through the entire evening. (Reprinted from Top of the Week,5-21-01)
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