March 15, 2017 at 3:52 pm #1202037901
On the news that Jane Elliot will retire from acting this year, and the previous retirements of Susan Flannery five years ago and Tony Geary two years ago; it got me thinking that daytime soaps are bound to see more and more veteran actors retire soon. My question is who do you think is next to retire?
I would think that sooner or later Leslie Charleson will retire from “GH”, and frankly without Jane on the show, it seems unlikely Monica would have much purpose on the show anyway. She is seen so rarely as it is.
I can imagine that at some point Eric Braeden will retire as well, probably in the next four-five years.March 17, 2017 at 8:10 am #1202039100
This is an interesting question. I think a lot of the older actors on the soaps have been there so long and work infrequently enough that they’re not particularly interested in retiring. Take an actor like Bill Hayes on DAYS, who is now in his 90s. Doug still shows up a few times a month, and I get the feeling Bill enjoys going in and seeing everyone one a week or every two weeks. If he were going to retire, he probably would have by now. But that’s the other side of things, the side where the veterans are taking it easy and don’t have a particularly demanding schedule. Of course actors like Tony Geary and Susan Flannery were the opposite, getting tons of screen time and heavy material. Even with Geary being away half the year, the half of the year where he was working was a real grind. Renee Jones retired quite young a few years ago, and without using that word, Peter Reckell has essentially done the same, at least from DAYS. I know he still does some acting projects here and there, but he doesn’t really seem that interested in continuing to do those either.
Anywho, I’d say the more screen time the actor is getting the more likely he is to be considering retirement. Eric Braeden is a possibility, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Jess Walton beat him to the punch. All of this makes me worried that the soaps have really not done a great job at investing in younger actors who will eventually be the stalwarts of their shows. Maybe not for a lack of trying, but their are few heirs apparent out there.March 17, 2017 at 5:57 pm #1202039424
I agree with your comments about the younger actors; the problem was that for many years about a decade ago, us fans were very resistant to the newer generation of characters we saw taking over our shows, and rightfully so as they were taking over without warning and in detriment to the characters/actors we associate with the show.
Now, the problem is that often those newer characters were shoved down our throats and portrayed by less talented, less charismatic actors than we felt were worthy of our shows. Oftentimes the writing for these characters was terrible, and shoehorned a bad character into the canvas of a show. I think it seems that soaps have learned a lesson and started listening to us about this. Now there does seem in general to be more effort to balance out the casts of these shows with newbies and vets.
But you may be right that many of the characters featured now won’t be around long enough to keep the shows going a decade from now. All I know is that if I turn on GH 20 years from now and I still see Sonny and Carly rehashing the same crap they are doing now, I’ll scream. On the other hand, none of the younger characters like Maxie or LuLu are interesting enough to still be around that long either.March 19, 2017 at 4:49 pm #1202040880
It’s difficult to predict who will retire. There are some who like to work as long as possible, like Jeanne Cooper, while others want to enjoy retirement in other ways. EmmyLoser brings up an interesting point in that actors who work heavily may be more motivated to retire than those who work now and then.
Though I love the vets, I think it’s important to develop future generations of core families. Eventually, it’s time to move on. Imagine if we had still been watching only the 1950s actors in the 1980s; we would have missed out on Lily and Holden (ATWT), The Four Musketeers (GL), etc.
B&B has done a pretty good job of developing the younger generation, but the other soaps have not been as successful. Y&R failed to write compelling stories for Kyle Abbott and Noah Newman, for example. Days has written weak stories for their current group of teens. GH is lacking in core families altogether, and teens are usually caught up in plot-driven drivel rather than going to school or working. A revolving door of recasts (on all the soaps) also tends to be problematic.
So the unsuccessful storytelling (or casting) for the younger generations makes us clamor for the vets.March 20, 2017 at 2:37 am #1202041218
I think it makes us clamor for better direction.
The Young and the Restless really has no excuse. It has chosen to not develop a new generation of viable, compelling, lead characters. And when you look at the veteran actors, and realize that only about five are under 60 (and I can think of two from those five who will be 60 by decade’s end), this is a problem.
Retirement upsets a lot of people. But, for some…they welcome it. Read what Susan Flannery has told Michael Logan, and it is remarkably down to earth.March 21, 2017 at 10:58 am #1202042575
It’s true that B&B does have a good range of characters who are central to the show, and I think they’ve been fortunate with that in that the half-hour format means that only developing a handful of younger characters has been sufficient. DAYS has mostly been hindered in this regard by the constantly changing writing teams, which has been happening for over a decade now. This is even more problematic than the wanderlust of younger actors who aren’t ready to commit to a daily soap for what could be their most marketable years as an actor. Think of how many groups or cliques of teens and young adults have come and gone without really existing long enough to become established, like the Last Blast gang did. (Jeremy Horton, Jet Carver, Stephanie, Nick, Willow, Chelsea, Max, Nathan, Melanie, Morgan, Kinsey, T, Mia, Rory, Bev, Paige, Mary Beth, Will – it’s kind of amazing Abigail has endured so long.) Every new headwriting team seems to feel a personal responsibility to import or export certain characters from the show (e.g. Carrie, Austin, Jack, Belle, Shawn, Phillip), even as the show should have focusing on these established, popular legacy characters. Except for Jack, all those people I named have at least one parent who has been on the show since at least the early 90s, but they can’t get on for more than a year or two at a time. This is probably a result of the execs trying to “give fans what they want,” but while the fans love the vets, what they want is compelling stories. It seems like Y&R also cycles out their younger characters fairly often, but has also used GH’s tactic, which is to be fine keeping the younger characters around and just not doing anything to establish them or make fans really care much about them.