Original Santa Barbara Leading Man Dane Witherspoon Dead at 56 (VIDEO)

The star-crossed, forbidden love of Kelly Capwell and Joe Perkins launched NBC's short-lived, cult fave soap opera Santa Barbara in 1984. Fans of the show couldn't decide who was more beautiful, Robin Wright, who played heiress Kelly Capwell, or Dane Witherspoon, who starred as her wrongfully-accused-of-murder beau Joe Perkins.

Fellow SB hunk A Martinez (ex-Cruz) had the difficult task of announcing Witherspoon's death via Facebook. He was 56. Watch a clip of Witherspoon, Wright and Louise Sorel, who played SB's sex-crazed socialite Augusta Lockridge, after the jump!


Tika Sumpter Shows Esquire Her “Place”

As talented as she is striking, former One Life to Live star Tika Sumpter's stock is rising in Hollywood on par with U.S. gasoline prices. Sumpter, who has recurring roles on both The CW's Gossip Girl and BET's record-breaking The Game, took a little time out of her busy schedule to share her place with Esquire for their Me In My Place photo essay collection.  Wouldn't it be awesome if BET did a cable soap starring Sumpter, Debbi Morgan, Darnell Williams and Victoria Rowell? Ah, the possibilities. Click here to see more!

Photo credit: Esquire

A Martinez Joins The Bold and the Beautiful

Cruz lives! TV Guide's Michael Logan is reporting A Martinez has landed the role Dr. Ramon Montgomery, a good friend of Bill's (Don Diamont), on The Bold and The Beautiful. Look for Dollar Bill to ask his bud to perform a paternity test on Amber's (Adrienne Frantz) baby. Martinez will appear on B&B for four episodes starting Feb. 9.

Photo by PR Photos.

A Martinez Cruises Onto Castle

What is up with my Cruz Castillo from Santa Barbara playing all these baddies? It all started when General Hospital cast him as mobster Roy DiLuca, then One Life to Live brought him in as...oh I don't remember his name! Something Santi??? I tell you one thing for doggone sure,  I'll never forget that accent and not in a good way! Now one of my all-time fave soap heroes, A Martinez, will be playing a drug trafficker named Cesar Calderon on fellow soap alum Nathan Fillion's hit ABC procedural Castle. Look for Martinez to pop up on the Oct. 18 eppy. Now if they can just cast Marcy Walker as a drug mole named Paradise... 

As the World Turns: Finally Getting It Together

Perhaps someone passed along my Open Letter to Christopher Goutman. Perhaps Barbara Bloom took a good look at the plummeting ratings and decided that everyone should not lighten up after all. Perhaps head writer Jean Passanante took an extended vacation to Buenos Aires. Whatever has been happening over the last few weeks, let me step out on a limb and utter the words that many fans thought might not ever be said again or even believe: As the World Turns is, at long last, improving.

I fully expect the comments section to be full of invective and angry fist shaking about how ATWT is still "the worst soap on the air," how the vets are misused, and how the "Vortex of Suck" continues to, well, suck. In addition, the now well-documented list of the show's biggest defects remain stubbornly in place: warp-speed storytelling and the soul sucking semi-episodic structure continue to test the rapidly waning patience of the show's dwindling audience.

Having said that, it bears repeating that fans are a stubborn breed. We will praise shows, actors and performances we like, but we are quick to make our displeasure known when we feel things are not up to speed and falling apart. Once the latter narrative has been established it is very hard to turn the tide of opinion, even when a show starts to address its critics and make changes. Therefore, though the longstanding criticisms of ATWT are still valid, I think it is time to once again give credit where credit is due.
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THIS is why SOAPnet Should Do a Santa Barbara TV Movie! (VIDEO)

I got so excited reminiscing about Santa Barbara,  television's best soap opera EVER, on Twitter that I decided to share these soaptastic clips here on DC. They are from SB's infamous Aqua Land remote, where the dastardly Kirk Cranston (Robert Newman) planned to finally do away with our starcrossed lovers Cruz Castillo (A Martinez) and Eden Capwell (Marcy Walker) once and for all! For fans who have only seen Newman as the heroic, straight-laced Josh Lewis on Guiding Light, seeing him as Eden's psychotic ex might be a bit of a shock. I say it's high time SOAPnet assembled 10-15 of Santa Barbara's key players, and produced a splashy two-part miniseries! Thanks Katieeee9999 for the MVIDs.

More Random Thoughts About Five Soaps

My absence from Daytime Confidential lately has not been due to the usual business of family and work taking up a lot of my time, but rather a certain lack energy to post about practically any of the daytime serials that clog up my DVR from day to day. This is neither a positive nor a negative thing because there are frequent periods throughout the year when shows kind of coast along and do their their thing, usually between sweeps.

At these times, there is little for the viewer — if that viewer is me — to get all worked up about this plot twist, that character's action, some couple or another or even a whole show's direction. Normally, this state of affairs hits one or two shows at a time. Every once in a while like the last couple of weeks, the stars align and all the serials get caught in the same momentum of drift. All that is required of us is to watch and see where it all goes.

In that spirit, my brain plays a little game of soap opera hopscotch, taking in odds and ends big and small. There is no great elaboration on anything here, just a quick rundown of things I like and not like so much. Your mileage may vary...