By Michele Dargan

WHAT has been going on with all of the actor exits on our favorite soap operas recently?????

It seems we need a scorecard these days just to keep up with who’s leaving which soap.

Earlier this month, Mark Hapka, Nathan on Days of Our Lives, got the axe after being involved in a front-burner storyline.

Now we find out that two more Days actors are leaving: Shelley Hennig (Stephanie) and Jay Kenneth Johnson (Philip).

Paula, over at Paula’s Soapbox, discusses the recent DOOL exits and the possible impact on current storylines.

Click here to read her Days blog titled “On the Outs: DOOL.”

Meanwhile in the past few days, there’s been a plethora of exits on the ABC soaps.

Melissa Claire Egan (Annie Lavery/AMC) is leaving. She opted not to renew her contract.

Melissa Claire Egan (Annie/AMC)

THAT is definitely a BIG loss to AMC. Annie added so much to life to the show and Egan was so much fun to watch…particularly when she turned into Crazy Annie!

Egan posted a letter to her fans on her official website.

It says, in part: “After 4 and a half incredible years as a member of the All My Children cast, I have made the extremely difficult decision to leave the Pine Valley family that I have come to love and respect so much.

“It has been an amazing 4 and a half years for me! I have had the privilege and honor of working with the most talented and fun cast, crew, producers and directors imaginable. I have learned so much from them and am forever indebted. To wake up each morning and love going to work is a true blessing for which I am unbelievably grateful!”

And over at One Life To Live, Brittany Underwood (Langston/OLTL) has been fired.

Another BIG loss….I so enjoyed watching Langston grow from the “freak” in high school into a Cramer woman.

Perhaps the biggest shocker of all….

Rebecca Herbst, who has played Elizabeth Webber FOR-ever on General Hospital, was let go.

Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth)

Whhhhhaaaaatttt?????

Although, I have to say, the writers have totally ruined the character over the past several years….they turned Elizabeth…who survived a brutal rape all those years ago…who used to be a strong, kind, giving person…into a jealous, insecure – and I might add annoying – character.

Be that as it may, I still loved to watch Herbst onscreen because of her talent.

Not to mention that the character is steeped in so much GH history!

Paula, over at Paula’s Soapbox, has written a blog about her take on Herbst’s firing and speculates on how Elizabeth will be written out.

Paula also discusses how Elizabeth’s exit will impact the characters in her universe – like Lucky, Nikolas, Jason and her children.

Click here to read Paula’s blog about Herbst’s exit: “Farewell to Possibilities: GH.”

By Michele Dargan

When last we saw Aidan Devane on All My Children, he had been sent to jail for kidnapping charges after holding Kendall against her will.

The whole obsessive love for Kendall gone awry had fans going – huh???

Many fans complained that the writers made Aidan do things that were totally out of character…He was a good guy for most of his 8-year run on AMC…that is until the show was moved from New York City to L.A. last January and Aidan was written off the show the month before – much to his fans chagrin!!

I caught up with Aidan’s portrayer – the incredibly gracious Aiden Turner – Sunday at opening day of International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, FL.

Aiden Turner at polo.
Photo: Michele Dargan

Turner is known to frequent the Palm Beach area now and again as his friend, Cedric DuPont, owns an antiques store by the same name in West Palm Beach.

Aiden, who now lives in L.A., flew in to town for a New Year’s Eve party.

Another friend of his, Shamin Abas, handles the public relations for the International Polo Club Palm Beach.

Aiden stomping divots at halftime.
( Lauren Lieberman / LILA PHOTO)

It was Aiden’s second time at polo.

With the scene set….It was an absolutely picture perfect South Florida day…Let the interview begin.

photo: Y.A. Teitelbaum

First and foremost, Aiden wants his fans to know how much he appreciates them and their support.

Regarding the twist in his final storyline – when Aidan first rescued Kendall from the hospital in order to help her avoid a murder charge and then turned it into a kidnapping, Aiden agreed with the fans.

“It’s a really lame story with a capital L and I found it to be a real shame,” Aiden said. “It made my character do a 180. As I was learning the lines I thought, this is not the character that I worked so hard on.”

Aiden described his character as being “full of integrity. I really liked the character. I really loved playing him. Sometimes he rubbed off on me. They used to write me really cool and then the writers changed and they put a different spin on the character. But it was a good 8 years.”

On the up side, being off contract allows Aiden to pursue other opportunities.

“When you’re on contract, you can’t do anything else,” Aiden said. “It’s like a marriage. You can’t date anyone else. I wouldn’t be able to do a movie.”

Which is where he would like to go next.

“I’d like to do movies like “The Bourne Supremacy” things like that,” he said. “I’d love to do comedy….action movies….things like that.”

Aiden is one of three finalists to replace Andy Whitfield in the lead role of “Spartacus,” the Starz television series. Whitfield withdrew from role in Season two, when his non-Hodgkin Lymphoma returned.

Aiden and two other finalists for the role were flown to New Zealand for a screen test with the cast. He’s in a kind of limbo, because there has been no decision made. Aiden said they may not recast the role at all and scrub shooting the next season.

“It’s not going to be an easy thing to recast, because so many people are in love with the character,” he said. “It’s a hard thing for another actor to take on and it’s risky for the actor when someone is so loved.”

Aiden also shot a Mercedes commercial, where he plays a James Bond-type of character. That commercial is coming out in March…so look for it.

As far as AMC goes, he misses going to the set each day as well as the comaraderie and support among the cast and crew.

Aiden Turner (Aidan), Rebecca Budig (Greenlee) and Cameron Mathison (Ryan). (ABC/LOU ROCCO)

“I was inspired by being with such a talented cast…Everybody there did such a great job,” he said. “It really is like a family.”

Is there a chance Aidan Devane will return to Pine Valley?

“Yes. There is a chance, he said. “It’s up to ABC to approach me. There’s a lot of people on FB and in soap magazines that want me to come back. I’m open to coming back, but it’s really up to ABC to make the phone call.”

On competing on Dancing with the Stars, Aiden had nothing but praise for his professional dance partner, Edyta Sliwinska.

Aiden Turner and Edyta Sliwinska on DWTS

“It was a great experience. It was tough… 7 to 8 hours a day…Going from nothing to dancing and doing it in front of 24 million people.”

By Michele Dargan

Hey Gang!

I’ve got a really great soap opera event to tell you about.

Have you ever wanted to hear the Divas of Daytime and meet them in person?

Divas of Daytime: Kathy Brier, Kassie DePaiva, Bobbie Eakes

The Divas consist of three uber-talented singers who also happen to be soap stars: Kassie DePaiva (Blair/OLTL), Bobbie Eakes (Krystal/AMC) and Kathy Brier (Marcie/OLTL).

How would you like to meet the incredibly talented Vincent Irizarry, who won an Emmy for his portrayal of the devishly endearing Dr. David Hayward?

Vincent Irizarry (Dr. David Hayward/AMC)

You’ll have the opportunity to do all of the above if you attend the December 18 Concert and Meet and Greet from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. (Doors open at 12:30 p.m.) in Largo, FL.

You can attend the concert and meet the stars in an intimate setting at the East Bay Country Club, 702 Country Club Drive, Largo, FL.

Sisters Barbie and Patti are running the event.

And let me tell you – they KNOW how to put on a first-class event and they give you the most one-on-one time with the stars than other fan events that I’ve attended.

I know this because I attended an event they ran in Largo last November. Vincent was there, along with Walt Willey (Jackson/AMC) and Forbes March (Nash/OLTL).

It was sooo much fun!

They don’t rush you in terms of spending time with the stars.

And they have great raffle prizes with the money going to a fantastic charity.

Read below for details on how you can attend this super event!

Advance ticket purchase is $85 per person, and the reservation deadline is December 12th. General admission tickets may be purchased at the door, if available, for $100. All tickets are non-refundable.

Forms of accepted payment are check or money order, made payable to: PATTI WERNYSKI, and mailed with a SASE to the following address:

Ms. Patti Werynski
10215 Regal Drive #5
Largo, FL 33774

VISA or MASTERCARD payments over the phone are also accepted. For more information, please call Patti at (727) 410-0427. You may also send inquiries by e-mail at: designers.image@hotmail.com.

A receipt will be mailed back to you. Your name/table assignment will be at available at the registration check-in table, on the day of the event. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m.

Portion of the proceeds to benefit ‘My Hope Chest’ – a nonprofit organization that provides funding for reconstruction surgery to women who have survived breast cancer.

Raffle gifts and auction items will be offered at the event.

There are available hotel rooms, which were set aside for this event at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites. Be sure to say you are with the “Soap Star Event”!

Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Largo Central Park
Phone: (727) 581-3900
210 Seminole Blvd.
Largo, FL 33770
Fax: (727) 581-3933
Website: http://www.hiexpress.com/largo-clrwater

If you’re on Facebook, click here for the Divas Facebook page.

Seats are limited and going fast!