Everyone Just Had to See Gracie Mansion
They all wanted to see the home of the Mayor of the City of New York. Just ask Hillary B. Smith (Nora Buchanan, OLTL), who had never been before and was completely overwhelmed by Gracie Mansion, the grounds, and the view. “Where in New York City do you actually sit and look out with a water view, unobstructed with a gorgeous house. This is the most spectacular spot.” The Big Apple’s Mayor doesn’t even live on the premises. “I thought maybe I would come here and live here for him and dust for him, occasionally, don’t you think that’s a good idea?” she mused.
The Mayor’s office generously throws a pre-Emmy shindig for all the nominees and their families on the night before the show. The usual suspects, that is, the paparazzi, stand and wait as actors, hosts, producers, directors, and writers make their way up the short red carpet, to the security check, and the huge yellow house with the unobstructed view. But no one goes inside. The party’s on the lawn under a tent, where people mingle, eat, and listen to a live band. All very Upper East Side!
But the day started way down on Wall Street, where Katherine Oliver, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, presided over the opening bell at NASDAQ to celebrate the 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. She was joined by members of New York’s Daytime Community, who were honored with the MADE IN NY award for their contributions to NYC’s television community. All My Children and its darling diva, Susan Lucci, are celebrating 35 years on daytime. They proudly accepted the MADE IN NY award. Find out more.
Later in the day, the eight very talented women who were nominated for Lead Actress celebrated their historic achievements with a luncheon at The Water Club. It was very private and lots of fun. Since Martha Byrne (Lily, ATWT) was the first to arrive at Gracie Mansion SOAPDOM got the scoop from her. “We just had a great time. As I sat around the table and I just looked at everybody I just thought, I’m in awe and I’m such a fan and I have such respect for all of them. I think they’re so talented. They work really hard. There’s not a loser in the bunch. Looking around, every one of them are veterans and hard working, survivors of daytime. I love that.”
Byrne, who was born across the Hudson River in Ridgewood, New Jersey, is a New Yorker down to her toes. Her husband was a NYC cop. How much more NY can you get? “I’m thrilled that the Mayor recognizes that daytime is such a big part of New York City. We employ a lot of people. A lot of New Yorkers. I just love this event.”
The morning of the Emmy nominations she couldn’t believe it. “They called my name first, and they kept going and going and going and I thought, --- I checked out after I heard my name so I had no idea and I called my mom and she said, ‘I think there are 8 people nominated.’ The more the merrier.”
An invitation to Gracie Mansion doesn’t come easily and Kimberlin Brown (Dr. Paige Miller, OLTL) wanted to see the fabled house for herself, only her trip is a little longer. “I’m commuting from Vegas.” That’s where she’s lived for years with her husband and two children. It’s tough on everyone, but the life of an actor is really like that of a gypsy and Brown’s living proof. This California native misses her family desperately, “But I really like New York this week, because I’ve got my son with me. Otherwise, I’m a little on the lonely side.” Life on One Life’s set is great for Brown. Why not? Most of her scenes are with Bob Woods (Bo Buchanan, OLTL). He’s been wonderful, wonderful to me…a lot of fun to work with.”
All My Children’s resident psychotic Jonathan Lavery has disappeared, but the Emmy nominated actor who plays him, Jeff Branson was all smiles as he casually strolled the red carpet. “My life’s fantastic. I feel like I already won. Just to be in the company that I’m in and to be voted on by my peers, I’ve already won. I haven’t been doing this for very long and the people I’m running with have been doing it for several years and I just have to honor that. I feel blessed.” The morning of the broadcast Branson was completely oblivious; “I was having tea in my kitchen. And all of a sudden the publicist from ABC called and asked, ‘How are you? How does it feel to be nominated for your first Daytime Emmy?’ and I spilled the hot tea down my arm. I did. I was really shook.” But not anymore!
Branson’s mom, Leslie just flew in from Missouri and she might be more nervous than her son, “I am beyond proud of him. Everybody comes up to me and tells me how wonderful he is.” Here’s the real kicker, “I’ve been watching All My Children longer than he’s been alive. He couldn’t have started better in my opinion. For him to be on All My Children is a real thrill for me.” The real thrill was for Branson when he surprised his mom with a designer gown from Galliano, “It’s stunning. She’s gonna have a blast.”
So where does that leave Branson, Jonathan and All My Children? Where do they go from here, if anywhere? Will the dead boy resurface in another body? Branson was pretty cagey, “They didn’t find his body, so who knows?” The young man’s got much bigger plans at the moment. “I’m going to Chile in August. I have a week in June available to me and then on July 4th I’m going to San Diego for surf camp and then probably that week in June I’ll head out west.” With a week off, what does that mean? Is he back on the show? “That means I’m doing everything. I’m dedicating a week off to myself. So, that I can create time to do other things.” As he walked off arm in arm Branson looked over his shoulder and smiled. Maybe we haven’t seen the last of Jonathan…
Just as he walked through security, Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery, OLTL) and wife Vanessa posed for the cameras. They came to this shindig because Vanessa wanted to.
Like so many other people, she wanted to see the house and the grounds. It seemed to be a recurring theme all through the evening. This event, this whole weekend was about to become a mini-vacation for the Mathison’s. “But here’s the thing,” Cameron explained, “I work a lot of the Emmy’s. I’ve hosted for EXTRA and SOAPNET. This year I made the decision we’re really going to enjoy the whole Emmy experience together. No guests. We’ve had my family here, which is great. We’ve had her family here, which is also great. But this year, it’s just going to be us and we’re going to have a good time. We’re here at Gracie Mansion and tomorrow night we’re going alone. We got a suite at a hotel and we’re going to leave our son at home with the sitter.”
All My Children’s resident hunk was one of the announcers the morning the Emmy nods were broadcast. But it was hours before his wife, Vanessa, knew her husband was one of the chosen. She wasn’t watching because their son, Lucas, had been up all night. Vanessa was zonked since she was up with him. By the time 8:30AM rolled aroune, mother and son were sound asleep. “I didn’t want to wake them up. So, it was probably around noon when we spoke.” Vanessa was so out of it, “It felt like the Twilight Zone.” The whole morning was strangely serene for Mathison. “I remember a really wonderful sense of calm. I remember this wonderful internal sense of …this relaxed, ahhh that’s nice… peace. Since then, I truly thought about it a little bit, but I usually only think about it when people bring it up. Everybody’s like, ‘are you nervous, are you excited about tomorrow night.’ I’m like, yeah, I don’t know. I feel pretty good about it.” The temperatures were dropping radically and Vanessa was wearing a little black dress spaghetti straps. Mathison was rubbing her shoulders, trying to get the blood pumping, but nothing worked. So, they hurried onto the ceremony, which was just about to begin.
Just before the festivities, Dan Gauthier (Kevin, OLTL) stopped by for a quick chat. Another one who came to see the Mayor’s splashy digs. “I’ve never been here. I get invited every year and I’ve been on the show for two years and I thought I’d come for the experience. And, I wanted to see the house.”
It seems Kevin and his Kelly are facing yet another obstacle on the road to bliss. “I know that we’re reconciling kind of, but Paul Satterfield who plays Spencer Truman is coming in and it looks like there’s going to be some sort of triangle. And, I know she’s dating him and I’m a little jealous and that’s where we are right now. But that’s all I know. We’re just starting it.” When SOAPDOM pressed for more details, Gauthier laughed. “I truly don’t know what might be happening.” Oh and here's something interesting. Paul Satterfield has a famous aunt. Do you know who she is? The answer is at the end of the article.
It was almost impossible to see Susan Lucci on the podium, or for that matter, hear what was being said, but SOAPDOM spotted Erica Kane’s creator, Agnes Nixon, in this sea of people. The last of the great soap creators, she brought her teen-age granddaughter to the party. Frank Dicopolous (Frank, GL) was hanging with his friends munching on hors d’oeuvres that just kept coming – little pizzas, roast beef and cilantro, tuna, you name it. One Life’s Roxy Balsom, Ilene Kristen arrived straight from a dance class in leg warmers and a sweater. At first she may not have seemed dressed for the occasion, but in the end she was the only with any smarts. The temperatures were dropping all night and Kristen was the only one dressed for the weather.
Hillary B. Smith, an Emmy winner herself, is very excited about the entire celebration, “The honor is the nomination because if your peers recognize you than to win is just the cherry on top of the sundae. You still have the title in front of your name, you’re an Emmy award nominee or winner and you still have the title.”
Several weeks ago, Smith started popping up in commercial breaks all over the tube. She’s not a doctor, but she is selling medication. It’s not a role she usually plays “My agent told me to go. I loved the people, they liked me, I had a great time doing it, and I happen to take the product. I’m one of those people who has to really use the product and like it. You’ve got to believe in the product.” Her fans are very aware of the ad, but they’re not quite sure which calcium product she’s selling. Do you know?
Smith’s a great saleswoman and even if you’re not a One Life fan, the week of May 23rd, 2005 was really one to check out. Big doings went down and Smith couldn’t have been more emphatic, “The week of the 23rd actually stuns you, beautifully done, and every one turns in really fantastic performances. It changes and alters Bo and Nora’s relationship forever. It changes and alters the town.” Even if you’re not a regular viewer, that week might be the one to get yourself hooked!
“It’s hard to believe little Kristin Alderson (Starr Manning, OLTL) is 13 going on 14. “I have been on the show for 7 years, since I was 6.” Quite a little lady, Alderson was wearing a little black dress matching black shawl and pumps. She’s thrilled that four terrific actresses from her show received Emmy nods, “They’re all great. They all deserve it, especially Kassie DePaiva” (Blair Cramer Manning, OLTL).
Her brother Eddie (Matthew Rappaport, OLTL) was nowhere in sight, “He’s camera shy so my mom and I decided to come by ourselves.” Alderson was home schooled this year, but much prefers attending classes with her friends. Her schedule at One Life was so tough something had to give. It was either quit the show or home schooling. Next year she returns to regular classes and she can’t wait to be with her friends. One Life provides a tutor on set, but it’s not the same thing. There’s no time for sports, although Alderson was a cheerleader for two years, and she will get to graduate middle school with the rest of her schoolmates. Right now she’s focused on the party and the Emmy broadcast, “I love getting dressed up and with all the cameras it’s fun. It’s fun to see all the people who come from California. It’s very exciting.”
If it seems as though One Life was well represented at Gracie Mansion, it’s true. They were almost the last people to leave the party. Maybe it’s the only time they really get to see each other. Outside the Branson’s and the Mathison’s were trying to hail a cab, which were few and far between at the corner of East End Avenue and 88th Street. When one finally appeared, Kassie DePaiva and the Smith’s (Hil and her husband, Phil) scoped it out and scooped it up. It was a One Life kind of night!
Who is Paul Satterfield’s Aunt? Answer: Rita Coolidge
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