Tony Geary, Jane Elliot and Kin Shriner Give the #GH50 Interview to End ALL #GH50 Interviews!


I don't even know where to begin. Do I pull a quote of Jane Elliot reacting to Kin Shriner spitting fish tacos on her? What about those women Shriner had coming out of his dressing room—zipping up—during the 80's glory days? Did the late, great Gloria Monty really like Tony Geary best because he was drunker than the rest of the cast?

TV Guide Magazine's Michael Logan gathered the General Hospital superstars who made Tracy Quartermaine, Scotty Baldwin and Luke Spencer three of daytime television's most iconic characters for lunch recently. What transpired might be the funniest soap-themed interview I've ever read. Here are a few snippets:

Elliot on why she quit GH when Monty was showrunner:

"I quit because Gloria insulted me. I was making, like, a dollar and a quarter a week — horrible money, so little money that I asked for a $50 raise and Gloria told my agent I was unprofessional. Now, you can call me a lot of things but you cannot call me unprofessional. I was so insulted she applied that word to me that I said, "I'm not working for her anymore!" I finished out my contract and left. I went to Knots Landing for a bit, then Guiding Light. I didn't return until after Gloria was gone."

Shriner on why soaps need a strong boss man, lady, er, person:

"You gotta have a Captain Nemo at the helm — like a Frank or a Gloria — who sees the big picture. When we shot the Luke and Laura wedding and Scotty made a surprise appearance and caught the bouquet, Gloria had me hiding out in a trailer on the set so the word wouldn't get out — and this was decades before people were spoiling things by Googling. No, that's not it. What do they call it? Tweeting! That was the first time I met Tristan Rogers [Robert]. [Laughs] He was in the same trailer sleeping one off. Hey, remember those public appearances we'd all go on together? Remember when they actually paid soap stars to show up somewhere?"

Geary on who almost killed GH, and who saved it:

"Usually, new producers and writers want to put their stamp on a show. They don't want to continue what's working. They want to reinvent the wheel. It's an ego thing. And once they've gotten rid of characters that were well known and deeply loved, they think they can create that same magic with new characters. Frank and Ron did the exact opposite and it saved our ass. Things were pretty rough there for a while, but they got better as soon as [ABC Daytime chief] Brian Frons left. He hated the soap medium. He hated it from the beginning. He wanted reality TV."

For more from GH's answer to the Justice League of America, click here!

54 Responses

  1. Profile photo of nysam
    nysam

    This is brilliant. One of the best interviews I have ever read. Amazing how honest people are once someone is dead. I still want to thank Gloria Monty for being such a perfectionist. If it weren’t for her GH wouldn’t be around today.

    I could read even more of this interview. The goings on behind the scenes in the 1970s and 80s are definitely more entertaining than what I’m watching on the show in 2013.

  2. Profile photo of alstonboy4315
    alstonboy4315

    Jamey Giddens,

    I wonder if she REALLY tapped Finola Hughes on the shoulder and told her “I hope you enjoyed that scene, cause it was your last.” back in the 90s. :~

  3. Profile photo of SoapyBitch
    SoapyBitch

    Tony reiterates the urban myth (at least that was what I thought) about writers and their creations: And let us not forget that writers get residuals for every new character they create as long as that character is on the air.

    I feel like it was on one of DC’s podcasts with Ron that put a stake through that laim. I couldn’t tell if Tony was being sarcastic or if maybe that residuals thing was the case 30 years ago and it isn’t the case now.

  4. Profile photo of soapjunkie88
    soapjunkie88

    It was a fantastic interview.

    A little bit shocking what Jane Elliot had to say about Gloria Monty, but yeah like Jamey said ‘nice doesn’t save soap operas’. I already knew that Monty was kind of mean to the cast members – Finola Hughes is the best example there. Still quite shocking to her Jane’s story and the other one about the 2nd Heather.

    And I agree, I don’t think you would find another trio of actors in this genre who could sit down and talk like this.

    Another great interview by Michael Logan. I expect nothing else.

  5. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    I think Geary’s comment about the residuals was just him being mischievous about a(nother) long-standing rumor that some people don’t want to let go.

  6. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

    JANE ELLIOT: Is Gloria dead? Oh, yeah, that’s right, Gloria’s dead. Is her sister, Norma, dead?
    ANTHONY GEARY: Norma just recently died.
    ELLIOT: Okay, then I can tell this story.

    I just laughed my ass off over that! ROFL!

  7. Profile photo of mfarris70
    mfarris70

    Great interview with three of the finest performers in daytime history. Just watched some of the 70s/80s episodes this weekend and loved to see how they’ve grown. Jane Elliott was so meek the first time as Tracy!

  8. Profile photo of mfarris70
    mfarris70

    [quote=bishbay]Kin Shriner’s gay as a goose and always has been so right there this interview is bullshit.[/quote]

    No one said anything about what he’s doing today. And why does that make the interview BS? As long as he’s not flaunting a pretend girlfriend and waxing poetic about heterosexual life, I don’t care if any actor or actress chooses to keep their personal life personal.

  9. Profile photo of bishbay
    bishbay

    mfarris, I edited my comment, softening it a bit. Your point about this not discrediting the whole interview is well-taken.

    ETA: mfarris, what if not “flaunting” heterosexuality is telling (bullshit) stories about having sex with starlets on set? Do you even read what you wrote before you respond?

  10. Profile photo of mfarris70
    mfarris70

    bishbay: You missed my point. Firstly, it was Jane who said he had starlets in his dressing room. Secondly, plenty of men have come out as gay after a long heterosexual life.

  11. Profile photo of mfarris70
    mfarris70

    [quote=Ferrari517]Tony Geary nailed it; Brian Fronz was an idiot!!! Total joke. Can’t believe he last as long as he did at ABC.[/quote]

    I think we all agree with that! But with OLTL’s death came GH’s rebirth.

  12. Profile photo of Nk3play2
    Nk3play2

    LoL Tony Geary went in on Brian Frons in this interview…. LoL and I quote, “Things were pretty rough there for a while, but they got better as soon as [ABC Daytime chief] Brian Frons left. He hated the soap medium. He hated it from the beginning. He wanted reality TV.” Geary solidified what I’ve believed all along, Brian Frons was a soap serial killing sociopath (Guza n Jill Farren “Phuck Up” were his puppets). Proof, Guza was really, really good in the 90s, and Jill is currently doing really good work at Y&R, it was that damn Brian FUCKING FRONS!!!!

    I find it absolutely hilarious that Deidre Hall does Jane Elliot’s hair…. that’s a fun fact to know!!!

    LoL Kin Shriner was a the 70s version of Nick Newman…

    LMAO I love how Jane Elliot checked to make sure both Monty sisters were dead before she recounted how she got fired.

    Sad that Jane Elliot doesn’t submit herself for Emmys, but I respect her opinion.

    I love that Leslie Charleson’s nickname is Lester…. it’s so weird.

    LoL I wonder if the story about Monty forcing them to write in a hurricane while keeping Scotty n Laura locked away in a shed to get rid of everyone she didn’t like is actually true. LMAO was the school bus crash real???? It couldn’t have been the one that killed BJ, Monty was gone by then… there was another one???!!!

    The reason for Jane Elliot’s smock hilarious… Kin must do that a lot.

    OMG Gloria Monty was a fucking G, she made Mary O’Brien cry and then put it on TV!!!!

  13. Profile photo of nysam
    nysam

    Shriner isn’t the only one in that interview who is gay as a goose. I think there are 3 geese in the above story.

    As for residuals for writers and characters that was definitely true for the likes of Douglas Marland when he wrote ATWT and I believe James Reilly. Not so sure it exists anymore for today’s writers since so many of them are lucky to have jobs. The days of ube talented soap writers such as Marland, Pat Falken Smith, Kay Alden, Claire Labine, Agnes Nixon are gone.

    As for what soap stars get paid. Pay scales have shifted greatly over the years. A new actor or actress probably starts anywhere from $1000 and episode to $1500 and probably has a 3 episode per week commitment meaning they make about $3k – $4500/week. About $150k – $200k annually. Of course since they are the “cheaper” actors they will probably make more since it doesn’t cost as much to use them.

    Actors like Finola, Laura Wright are probably making $5k – $7,500k an episode.

    Genie, Tony & Maurice probably make $10k – $15k an episode at least and probably have at least a 2 day week guarantee.

    Actors coming back who haven’t been seen in years like Ian B. & Lynn Herring are roughly making about $2500 an episode.

  14. Profile photo of SwanQueen59
    SwanQueen59

    Loved this interview. And as Ferrari517 said, Anthony Geary calling out Brian Frons and not mincing words is something that I’ve been waiting for from any of the actors’ own lips. As I mentioned to some friends, yes, Guza wrote Luke as turning dark and rewriting/messing up the history of the relationship with Genie Francis’ Laura and that shift seemed to present an opening for what might be seen as not just the acceleration of dislike for the character, but an extra push that started to accelerate the shows faster downward slide. Which is exactly where Frons and Anne Sweeney wanted it to go… 0:)

  15. Profile photo of tealita
    tealita

    dannyro–LOL! If you mean would I enjoy sitting in a chair next to them, eavesdropping while I pretend to read a magazine, then yes. :party:

  16. Profile photo of Yoryla
    Yoryla

    “Geary: [Laughs] One day, Gloria turned to me on the set and said in dismay, “Look at all these children. We have too many kids on the show right now. I feel a school-bus crash coming on…”

    Bwahhahahahahaa! LOL, miss Monty meant business! :D

    Loved this interview! So glad someone finally said out loud what everyone already knew about Brian Frons. Kudos TG!

    HAPPY 50TH ANNIVERSARY, GENERAL HOSPITAL! :)

  17. Profile photo of ANGELWENDY15
    ANGELWENDY15

    Great interview! Everyone has said how tough Gloria Monty could be but you have to give her so much credit for turning the show around. LOVED Geary’s remarks about Brian Frons. It’s a shame we had to lose AMC and OLTL because of him. I didn’t realize Kin Shriner was gay, though I know he never married. It’s obvious about Geary, but I know Jane Elliot was married for awhile. I’ve been enjoying reading all the articles in the soap magazines with the actors reminicing about the past. Tristian Rogers and Tony Geary were such bad boys. Tristian says when they went on location he and Geary would find a local bar in less then 10 minutes. They would drive Gloria crazy chasing after them and scolding them like little boys for their drinking and partying. He also said he and Emma Samms had a short affair (what a hot couple!) The 80’s were definetly a crazy time.
    Happy 50th GH! Enjoyed the GH marathon on Soapnet-a walk down memory lane. And a big thanks to Frank V and Ron C for bringing back the vets and can’t wait for the Nurses Ball!!!

  18. Profile photo of js3557
    js3557

    Great interview. As to the actors’ sexuality…why does it matter to anyone else? They could be straight, gay, bisexual, or something else entirely. Gay people sometimes have heterosexual sex, and vice versa. Maybe Shriner is gay and experimented or was in the closet when he was younger. Maybe he is bisexual and sleeps with whomever he feels like sleeping with. Maybe he is straight and likes being single. Who cares?

  19. Profile photo of GHFan76
    GHFan76

    Elliot returned in 89 and then Monty returned a year later and Elliot didn’t leave until 1993 that time. I wonder how that went. Love this interview. Michael Logan always delivers good stuff!

  20. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    [quote=js3557]As to the actors’ sexuality…why does it matter to anyone else? They could be straight, gay, bisexual, or something else entirely. Gay people sometimes have heterosexual sex, and vice versa. Maybe Shriner is gay and experimented or was in the closet when he was younger. Maybe he is bisexual and sleeps with whomever he feels like sleeping with. Maybe he is straight and likes being single. Who cares?[/quote]

    Thanks for saying what I wanted to say. You put it more diplomatically than I would have, and I think we can all appreciate that. ;-)

  21. Profile photo of Yoryla
    Yoryla

    I don’t think it MATTERS if they’re gay or not, but I also think there’s no harm in knowing about it. It’s just a curiosity, like finding out that Steve Burton and Sean Kanan are related through marriage. A piece of information, nothing more. It certainly won’t change how much I appreciate these actors and actresses.

  22. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    For me, sexuality is like eye color. It’s another part of who a person is, but it’s not going to make me like them any more or less. And if they decide to wear different-colored contacts, that doesn’t matter to me, either.

  23. Profile photo of nysam
    nysam

    If people didn’t have to know about people’s sexuality then heterosexual people shouldn’t have photos of their spouses on their office desks, Keli Ripa shouldn’t discuss her husband, Mark on LIVE!, over lunch with friends we shouldn’t talk about our weekends and who we flirted with. If we don’t discuss sexuality then soaps wouldn’t even exist since so many of their stories are based on relationships and sex is part of relationships.

    Whenever someone says we don’t need to know about people’s sexuality they usually mean they don’t want to hear people are gay because straight people never stop talking about and living their heterosexual lives openly.

  24. Profile photo of marknsprmo
    marknsprmo

    If no one cared about a persons sexuality, this would have been a very short conversation! Of course we care. For a variety of personal reasons, people want to know that kind of information. Some just to satisfy their opinions or to check to make sure their gaydar is working. Some for political reasons. Some for negative or homophobic reasons. Most all of us because well we love good gossip. And what is better than sex gossip? Pretending that gossip and curiosity are not important or it is beneath ones self is… well it is unlikely.
    If Kin or Tony or Jane actually be gay, should that make a difference in how we treat them? Absolutely not. Would it make a difference at this point in their life and career? Probably not much. Except they might get a boost in their career. At the very least they could be on every talk show and every gossip rag in the world. They would definitely get a good book deal on it. And they would be invited to every A list party in Hollywood. Do they want those things? Maybe they like to have their private life private. Or maybe they aren’t gay (unlikely that at least one of these people aren’t gay… just my opinion).
    However it is fun and fulfilling to speculate. As damaging as gossip can be, it is estimated that 50 percent of all spoken conversations are gossip. It is a social tool and one that forms bonds between people. It is basically the actual thing that helps to create families, friends, and society. So for what ever negative impact that gossip might have, it is here to stay and it actually is important and necessary.
    I remember when Eileen Davidson came out as a transgendered male to female. It was big news when I was on campus. Oh and when I was in high school Rod Stewart had to be hospitalized for giving too many blowjobs and had to have his stomach pumped…. Or were those gossip…. I swear I saw that on Donahue……… :-)

  25. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    [quote=nysam]Whenever someone says we don’t need to know about people’s sexuality they usually mean they don’t want to hear people are gay because straight people never stop talking about and living their heterosexual lives openly.[/quote]

    That’s absurd. What a conclusion to leap to! You’re way off base.

    There’s a difference between a photo on a desk and using a person’s sexuality to attack them, as happened above. That’s what I have a problem with. Who cares whether Kin Shriner is gay or straight? Who cares if he’s hiding it? It’s his business. If he is gay and he’s not comfortable telling the world, that’s his business. If he’s not gay, and people keep insisting that he is, they are calling him a liar. I just don’t see the point in bringing this poison into a conversation that was 100% positive until this subject was brought up.

    I look forward to your righteous indignation. ;-)

  26. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott
    Ryan-Scott

    The story about the rock each cast member got when they got their balls broken by Gloria Monty was classic.

    It’s really touching how Jane Elliot says they are like family.
    The people you’re with people when you are experiencing a death..that’s family right there absolutely. Very touching.

    Happy 50th General Hospital!
    :beer:

  27. Profile photo of marknsprmo
    marknsprmo

    I am not sure that anyone meant to or even did attack Kin Shriner in this thread. Someone simply did not buy the story that he had a bunch of girls in his dressing room because they believe him to be gay. Is saying someone is gay an attack? Or was it not believing the story? There is a difference between hiding and lying about it. Either way, discussing something is not an attack. No one called him bad names or talked about his personal character except for Jane Elliott who made him sound like a slut…. The actors themselves opened the dialogue, not the writers of this thread. If they didn’t want Kin’s private life to be discussed, they shouldn’t have discussed it in an article to be published for all to view and talk about. Privacy is not applicable here….

  28. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott
    Ryan-Scott

    My thing is in terms of who is gay in daytime…does it matter?
    It doesn’t affect what we see on screen so who gives a shit?

    I will say there are several actors I would love to “give a tumble” to quote Phoebe Tyler Wallingford. :beer:

  29. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    marknsprmo, I consider “gay as a goose” to be an offensive slur, and I considered the tone of that post an attack. That phrase would probably get any Republican who said it slapped with a ‘homophobe’ label.

    It’s not a question of privacy. It’s a question of class. I just find people buzzing over who may or may not be gay to be classless. Until that kind of garbage stops, it will be a longer and harder road toward equality.

  30. Profile photo of marknsprmo
    marknsprmo

    Tv Gord, gossip is every bit as much part of “classy” society as anything else is. There is absolutely nothing wrong with speculating who might be gay and who might not be any more than who might run for president next time or which hair color looks best on Beyonce. Class is just a way of snubbing one’s nose at people and thinking one are somehow better than others are. Well you aren’t better and no one else is better either.
    As for censoring conversation, that is why being gay is so difficult and always was. It is because the only acceptable and classy conversation one could have about homosexuality was in an anti gay way. Churches could preach about it all day long. Psychiatrists could try to zap it out of you with electricity, and that was class.
    A person saying gay as a goose or light in the loafers is minor to what could be said. But I would rather have an open dialog about homosexuality where people can express themselves and forgive a faux pas here and there, than to not talk about it.
    Even if the dialogue is just about who is or isn’t gay. That brings people together. What does not bring people together is taking offense at every little word. You are simply Politically Correcting the door shut to dialogue.
    Then the only people the conservatives can talk to are other conservatives and the only people liberals can talk to is each other. It solves absolutely nothing.

  31. Profile photo of Jon
    Jon

    I thought Genie revealed on her Lifetime episode that Kin took her virginity. I know that still doesn’t necessarily make him straight, though.

  32. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    Well, now you’ve put me in a category that snubs its nose at people, so I can’t win from here on in.

    I’m no better than anyone else, but I try to be a better person than I’ve ever been. For me, one of those things I try to do is staying out of other people’s bedrooms. If you think I’m a snob for thinking it’s classless to talk about other people’s sex lives behind their backs, I’ll live with that.

    I didn’t say anything about censoring people’s conversations, so I don’t know why that’s there.

    You can say “gay as a goose” is minor, and it is, but I maintain that many, many people would be up in arms if a Republican or some other right-winger said it.

    I suppose it may be okay in some cases to talk about who’s gay and who’s not in certain circumstances, but in THIS circumstance, we have an actor, Kin Shriner, who has not said that he’s gay…being called gay. That’s calling him a liar, and a dishonest person at his very core. I don’t think he deserves that.

    What bugs me most about this entire conversation is that it has now hijacked a really fun thread about this great interview. But, of course, I should have known better than to expect ONE thread on this board to be 100% positive, for a change.

  33. Profile photo of js3557
    js3557

    Wow! When I posted earlier about the speculation regarding Shriner’s sexuality I had no idea that I would be accused of secretly subverting and hurting homosexuals. I did not state that no one should ever talk about anyone’s sexuality. What I was opposed to, and I’m sorry if it wasn’t clear, was the negative tone that was used when a poster (I forget whom)basically made fun of Shriner by suggesting that he was hiding that he was gay. The post seemed to have an attacking and negative tone to it. What I was trying to get across in my post was that it’s his business what his sexuality is, and if he wants to hide it, so what?

    I enjoy hearing my gay friends talk about their love lives, gay PDA’s don’t affect me any differently than straight ones, and I have a pic of my best friend Amy and her wife Janelle sitting on my desk at work. So I’m childishly sticking out my tongue at nysam because you completely misinterpreted my post and my social conscience! ;)

  34. Profile photo of nysam
    nysam

    Why is suggesting someone is gay considered an “attack”??? There is nothing wrong with being gay. Nobody ever gets up in arms if someone is pointed out as being straight. This is why there needs to be a discussion about it. Nobody said that Kin abuses puppies, that he is a serial killer, that he is a rapist. Those are attacks and unjustified. Sayign that someone is gay is no different (or shoudl be no different) than saying he has blue eyes or likes chocolate chip ice cream.

    There is no reason to hide one’s sexuality!! Heterosexual people don’t have to so why should people who are gay have to? If gays are supposed to not live openly and in secret then why shouldn’t straights?

  35. Profile photo of nysam
    nysam

    Why is suggesting someone is gay considered an “attack”??? There is nothing wrong with being gay. Nobody ever gets up in arms if someone is pointed out as being straight. This is why there needs to be a discussion about it. Nobody said that Kin abuses puppies, that he is a serial killer, that he is a rapist. Those are attacks and unjustified. Sayign that someone is gay is no different (or shoudl be no different) than saying he has blue eyes or likes chocolate chip ice cream.

    There is no reason to hide one’s sexuality!! Heterosexual people don’t have to so why should people who are gay have to? If gays are supposed to not live openly and in secret then why shouldn’t straights?

  36. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    [quote=nysam]Why is suggesting someone is gay considered an “attack”???[/quote]

    [quote=TV Gord]If he’s not gay, and people keep insisting that he is, they are calling him a liar.[/quote]

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