Sunday, April 21, 2024

“General Hospital” Wins 3 of 4 Main Acting Daytime Emmys But ABC Doesn’t Let Actors on CBS “The Talk”–Plus, Charo is Still Alive


Nice to see that ABC Daytime is still a reasonable place: three of the four main acting prizes on Sunday night’s Daytime Emmys went to ABC’s “General Hospital.” So what did ABC do? They refused to allow Anthony Geary, Maura West and Chad Duell appear on CBS’s “The Talk” special devoted to the soaps yesterday. Why? ABC’s “The View” is losing viewers to “The Talk.” Really, this is what goes on in daytime television. “Tootsie” and “Soapdish” were mild when you think about it.

“General Hospital” should have won for Best Writing and for Best Daytime Drama. Somehow it keeps missing the mark. There was a tie for Best Soap– “Days of our Lives,” which is psychedelically bad, and “The Young and the Restless,” which is sort of like a slow moving virus, each won. “The Bold and the Beautiful,” a show about hair extensions and incest, won Best Writing and Best Directing.

There isn’t much actual good acting on soaps. We know that. The best actors were on the New York soaps, which don’t exist anymore. Some of those actors went west and got jobs. One of them was Maura West, who was on “As the World Turns” for a long time and won two Emmys. She won Best Actress again on Sunday for “General Hospital,” where she slinks around like a combination of Jean Harlow and Carole Lombard. I met Maura West for two seconds last September in Toronto. Her son was in “Boychoir,” the Dustin Hoffman movie recently dumped by its distributor. She seemed like a lot of fun. Congrats to her. Next year, if her character miraculously outlives cancer, she’ll have competition from Gina Tognoni on “The Young and the Restless.” She’s worth watching at all times.

I watched the Daytime Emmys on DVR and fast forwarded as much as possible. (On Sunday night it conflicted with “Mad Men” and the Mariah Carey single launch.) What a nutty show. Has Tyra Banks had a total face lift? Do all the outfits come from Kohl’s? Can’t they raise the mics when tall people win?

I discovered that Charo is still alive! She’s only 69 years old. (I thought, yeah, she was long gone, along with Topo Gigio.) This means she was a wise and prescient 21 when she married band leader Xavier Cugat in 1966. He was 66. (He was literally born on the first day of the 20th century. Cool.) Cugat, a real life Ricky Ricardo, died 14 years later and must have left young Charo in good shape financially. Charo has been famous her entire life and she still has a good figure. I’m not sure what she was doing on this show. But hey, why not?

Betty White got the Lifetime Achievement Award. She is now 93 and pretty much cogent and mobile. God bless her. She’s a total invention of television, literally, having started on the tube in 1949.

Men are pretty much like furniture on soap operas. They just move around the women, who generally lead the stories. The men are usually like Kevin Kline in “Soapdish.” They get killed off, they come back even if they’re decapitated. On Sunday night Anthony Geary, who’s been on soaps for 40 years, won another Emmy. He plays Luke of the famous (from the 80s) Luke and Laura. Laura is frozen somewhere. Geary just keeps on going. It’s quite an achievement. He’s played every story you can imagine. And it never gets old.

My hat is off to all these people. They all keep straight faces. I just hope this isn’t the stuff they’ve been watching on Mars all this time.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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