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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Retroality's "Reimagine That!" podcast, episode 22! ............................................................ Chris Mann's special guest, Beth Maitland (pt 2 of 2), on loving Jeanne Cooper, enjoying horses with Jess Walton, not embracing Brenda Dickson's new "hurtful" memoir; and: "stairway to heaven" dreams

Listen to episode 22 of "Reimagine That!" here
Beth Maitland (pt 2 of 2) ... "Rethinking the Drama, Part 2" ... In this candid and revealing conclusion of her exclusive interview, Emmy-winning actress-turned-author and Drama Queen Bee creative-living expert Beth Maitland opens up in depth to "Reimagine That!" host and Retroality.TV founder Chris Mann about her dramatic and comedic experiences on and off set during her three-decade-plus tenure as Traci Abbott Connelly on CBS's "The Young and the Restless."

Here, the fan favorite shares amusing, heartwarming and never-before-told memories of working for more than 30 years with the late, great Jeanne Cooper (see 16:42); discusses her 15-year "day job" working behind the scenes on several sitcoms (see 9:12); and spills on her recent spirited Central-Coast animal adventures with fellow horse lover (and ostrich feeder!) Jess Walton (see 28:02).

Maitland also expresses disappointment at not being invited to Katherine Chancellor's funeral (airing Sept. 3 and 4) or yet receiving a related storyline with fellow Emmy winner Walton's illustrious, long-running character, Jill Foster Abbott Fenmore (see 33:13).

And finally, for the first time ever, Maitland breaks her silence about former co-star Brenda Dickson's explosive and "hurtful" new memoir and difficult on-set behavior during her 1983-87 return as the then-villainous Jill Foster Abbott (a role, sans "Abbott," that Dickson originated in 1973-80). (see 22:15)

A sampling of Beth's comments:

On Jeanne Cooper: (Listen at 16:43) "She had this magical way of making everyone feel like they were her favorite. And also she took new actors under her wing. She loved to give advice and help you if you needed to work through something. She was a great sounding board. The door to her dressing room was always open. She always had people in there, sitting and talking ... She was remarkable. I thought there was just a few of us, but as we all shared our stories we found out almost everybody felt the same way. Almost everybody was her special, favorite one. But there were various phases of Jeanne's life that I got to, for three decades, enjoy." 

Listen at 20:11: "She was a big presence. She was a broad. She'd cuss like a sailor. She hadn't in the later years, but she used to smoke like a fiend. And she drank. And she was a broad. My first agent used to play poker with her. (Laughs.) And the stories they had about her early ingenue starlet days in Hollywood -- just cussing and drinking and smoking and playing poker all night -- it was a Hollywood story. She was bigger than life.

And everyone she touched -- even fans have told me, and she was terrific with fans and loved (them) and considered most of them friends. And she would stop to talk to you, and those blue eyes would drill right into you, and you honestly believed that for that moment you were the most important thing to her. She had that gift." 

On the funeral of Katherine Chancellor (listen at 33:13): "I can tell you that Jill and Traci did not have a story in (these episodes) together -- and I was very disappointed. They did bring back many historical characters to be a part of this, but it was pretty modest. And it was my hope that they would take this opportunity, because they had to wait to figure out how they were doing to handle the loss of such a significant character to that story platform. I thought they would find something really amazing to do with having it impact so many different characters in Genoa City. And they have not hit that momentum; that has not been very revealed. So I was not invited to the funeral.

"I also want to leave the door open for (future unrevealed story developments). Likely these farther-reaching things have just not been revealed yet. But I thought it was just gonna be a gobsmacking episode where some bomb was going to be dropped. And I don't think that happened."

Hear Beth talk about Jeanne's giant flying fingernail during the show's Dynasty-esque '80s hey days at 17:28. And, at 18:35, listen to Beth's touching tale of Jeanne -- after waiting 35 years to win her own long-overdue best-actress Emmy -- generously re-introducing her in recent years to "Y&R" cast and crew as "Ms. Beth Maitland, the first actress to win an Emmy for 'The Young and the Restless.'"

On Jess Walton (listen at 28:02): "We hadn't seen each other for a little while ... We shared a dressing room on the day of the Jeanne memorial taping (broadcast in May). She said, 'I want to talk to you ... I see on Facebook that you know Jill Willis and Jaime Jackson, these pioneers (in the humane care and domestic management of horses)." I said, 'Yes, I'm longtime friends of them. They saved the life of a horse that we adopted and rescued. And they're old friends.' And she said, 'Are you kidding?' -- and they are sort of world-famous. And said said, 'Is there any way I could ever meet them?' I said, "Yeah! Come up any time.' She came up to my place, and the two of us and my daughter headed up to their place. They have a beautiful sample paddock paradise on the mountains overlooking the ocean in Lompoc. So we met for lunch and we had like a girls' road trip, a 'Thelma and Louise' road trip."

On what she's learned working behind-the-scenes on sitcoms (listen at 9:21): "I've continued to add to my bag of tricks. Every now and then what we've seen recently are some really cute, funny scenes with Traci and her brothers that have been almost like a sitcom. They talk fast, they tease each other, we make jokes and we poke fun ... and that really helps me lighten up, coming from a dramatic, emotional character."

On Brenda Dickson (listen at 22:15): "Brenda was, in my opinion, always very complicated ... She was always bigger than life. And honestly, we were never close, although she was always very nice to me ... And I am really conflicted about what to say about her because, again, she was always nice to me. But she ... there were antics. Honestly, she was not easy on people. And she was not easy to work with. And she was not a giving, generous actress. And she was very, very ego-driven in terms of how she was treated there, and it made it hard on everyone else. I saw her at the Emmys just a few years ago -- and it was nice to see her and she was very pleasant -- but she seems to be a person who's always had an agenda."

On Brenda Dickson's book (listen at 24:09): "I honestly have not read her book. Although I have read Jeanne's, I haven't read Brenda's -- and I'm sort of not going to. And this is pretty candid, and I hope that it doesn't hurt anyone's feelings, but I really feel like she waited until no one could defend themselves to come out with several issues that were in her book that I think are hurtful to others. And just as a person, I feel like that's cheap. And I'm not saying that Brenda is cheap, but I feel like the gesture is cowardly. And if she had those stories to tell and she had those axes to grind, it seems like the appropriate, mature and brave thing to do is to talk about those things when others can either comment, defend themselves or rectify it. And it seems to me (it's) a little too little to late.

"And I'm so sad to see the wake of pain and hurt feelings that some of the stories in her book have caused. The people who aren't the direct stories in her book -- the family left over, the people left behind that don't have any answers but that this brings a great deal of hurt to them and sort of taints memories for them. I really feel like it's not very brave, and it was kind of a cheap shot. So I just choose not to put that on my radar ... If you wanted to have these things to say, and if it's about getting publicity and getting attention, then do it when people can answer it. You're gonna generate twice the comments. But doing it now just hurts people.

"As an actor you, to play a different character that's not you, you have to kind of think about how they think. Character analysis is a big part of my daily life. To see something that, like you said, is sort of striking out ... you get to the point where, as young adults, you can't blame your past on your parents. You have to start taking responsibility for yourself at some point. You hope sooner than later. And in order to be a productive person -- to be a good mother or wife ... a good other person on the planet -- you kind of have to take responsibility for yourself. And I just worry when people don't seem to be doing that. I feel bad, but again, I have just chosen not to put that on my radar. Because I'm so loyal to other people involved, I don't want those feelings to be even present in my awareness."

Also ... in Chris's monologue opening the show (listen at 1:36), he shares news about the three talented children of the late John Ritter and his first wife and best friend, Nancy Ritter. Their eldest child, son Jason, is adding to his impressive acting repertoire with his starring role in "Us and Them," a new comedy for FOX (slated for early 2014). The youngest of their brood, son Tyler (see him in this funny Old Navy commericial), opens Friday, Sept. 6, at the Malibu Playhouse in his first play, "The Dream of the Burning Boy." And their daughter, Carly, is an emerging artist, too. A folksy, soulful singer-songwriter, she rolled out her premiere CD, titled "Carly Ritter," in late August. On Sept. 3 you can see her perform live at 10 p.m. during her record release show at The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles. For more info, she her official web site,

Finally, in her "Reawakenings" segment (click file above or listen at 48:48), our resident dream weaver, Yvonne Ryba, discusses dreams about loved ones crossing over or otherwise (a la Jeanne Cooper's poignant final scene as Katherine Chancellor) ascending the "stairway to heaven."

For more info on Yvonne, check out

For more info on Beth and links to her Drama Queen Bee products and online community, visit

Check out a free preview of Beth's new book here!
Host: Chris Mann

Announcer: Linda Kay

Created by: Chris Mann

Producers: Linda Kay, Chris Mann

Copyright 2013 by Chris Mann/Retroality.TV/ReimagineThat.TV/ChrisMann.TV

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