Friday, July 27, 2012


When news broke yesterday of Jill Farren Phelps being named Executive Producer of The Young & the Restless (following controversial stints on Guiding Light, Another World, One Life to Live and General Hospital), fans and press were quick to let their opinions be known on Facebook, Twitter, etc....

My thoughts, though, turned to one actor's perspective of working with Ms. Phelps.  See what Tina Sloan (Lillian, GL) had to say about her former boss and the revolutionary storyline they brought to television in 1992:

I was called into my producer’s office and asked if I wanted to do a breast cancer storyline.  This was the first time it was done.  Of course, my first question was, “Will I make it?"  I remember thinking that, in real life, I would ask that question if a doctor told me I had breast cancer.  But, in real life, he could not say as my producer, Jill Farren Phelps, did, “Yes, you will survive.”  One of our producers, Kathy Chambers, had recently died of breast cancer – far too young, in her early 30s – and we wanted to do this to alert women to self-examination and mammograms. 

As a nurse, Lillian was the character who would do a self-exam, so my character came out from the shower one evening, did a self-exam and discovered the lump. 

Terrified, Lillian went to her doctor at the hospital.  She examined her and said, “Yes, there is something there.”  She gave Lillian a mammogram; the first time ever on TV – we showed women what it was like.

Read more from Tina, as well as GL's Jill Lorie Hurst (writer of the ground-breaking Otalia story), and many more of the actors, writers and producers who created the moments you voted best of all time in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Moments, available on Amazon and B&N.

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