Battle of the daytime stars !

 By Susan Wilson, Soap Opera Digest, 1984

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What would bring over 60 daytime stars together, in 105 degree weather, on a Sunday afternoon, without hairspray, wardrobe change, and full face makeup ? Over 3500 fans braved one of Southern California's most sweltering days to cheer on the group who gathered at the San Fernando Valley campus at California State University at Northridge to share in the First Annual Battle of the Daytime Stars (B.O.D.S.). And what a day it turned out to be !

It was Tom Citrano, assistant to the producer of General Hospital, who first suggested the idea. Emma Samms (Holly in General Hospital) was quick to realize its potential both as a fund raising vehicle for her favorite charity (The Starlight Foundation) and a unique opportunity to bring cast members of Los Angeles-based soaps and fans together for a day of competition and fun. And they began the process of gathering the actors.

Beth Maitland (Traci) gave an immediate yes to Emma's request that she head up the Young and the Restless team. "Everybody was thrilled to do it," Beth says, and she quickly round up some of her show's most impressive athletes : Frank Benard (Marc), Eric Braeden (Victor), and Terry Lester (Jack). They were soon joined by Meg Bennett (Julia), Tracey Bregman (Lauren), John Denos (Joe), Brenda Dickson (Jill), Andrea Evans (Patty), Michael Evans (Douglas), Joy Garrett (Boobsie), Lauren Koslow (Lindsey), Brian Matthews (Eric), Marguerite Ray (Mamie), Jon St. Elwood (Jazz), Christopher Templeton (Carole) and Stephanie Williams (Amy).

Shelley Curtis, producer of Days of our Lives, was an early supporter of the event. Her friendship with Emma (due to her prior position as a producer at General Hospital) and close relationship with her cast, made her an ideal choice to be at the helm of her show's group. The enthusiastic company included Kristian Alfonso (Hope), John de Lancie (Eugene), Don Diamont (Carlo), Leann Hunley (Anna), Michael Leon (Pete), Melonie Mazman (Tess), Quinn Redeker (Alex), and Lisa Trusel (Melissa).

ln no time at all, the newest West Coast soap, Santa Barbara, was recruited to join in the fun and the cast displayed boundless energy and spirit. Missy Brennan (Jade), Todd McKee (Ted) and Julie Ronnie (Laken) were as intense about the orange relay as they were the obstacle course. Nicolas Coster (Lionel) performed as though he were head counselor in a day camp. Valorie Armstrong (Marisa), Robert Allan Browne (John), lsmael Carlo (Ruben), Margarita Cordova (Rosa), Steve Meadows (Peter), John Allen Nelson (Warren) and Rupert Ravens (Danny) rounded out the lively bunch.

Never ones to be left out of a good thing, almost all of the General Hospital cast took part in the activities : Sam Behrens (Jake), Steve Bond (Jimmy Lee), John Callahan (Leo), Leslie Charleson (Monica), Brian Patrick Clarke (Grant), Stuart Damon (Alan), Shelley Taylor Morgan (Lorena), Tristan Rogers (Robert), Jack Wagner (Frisco), Sherilyn Wolter (Celia) and even little David Mendenhall (Mike) were there. Emma's good friends, Kin Shriner (ex-Scotty in General Hospital, now on Rituals as Mike Gallagher) and Jon-Erik Hexum (Cover Up) came along to cheer on Emma and her team.

Play-by-play duties were performed with great flair and humor by KABC sportscaster Harold "I-Call-Em-As-I-See-Em" Greene, along with running commentary from Emma. Half-time entertainment was provided by LA's premiere band, "Billy and the Beaters," who managed to get everyone dancing in spite of the heat.

"We're here to bust some tushy !" bellowed Steve Bond, as he bounded onto the playing field. While some of the participants were there to exhibit their athletic prowess, most came to have fun. The serious events - volleyball, Tug of War and the obstacle course - gave ample opportunity for the more earnest jocks to flex their pecs, while the three-legged race and the orange relay left plenty of time for levity. Unlike the annual nighttime Battle of the Network Stars, the actors were not paid for their appearance, nor did they receive any monetary reward for winning.  So you can't blame them if the events were played more for laughs than anything else.

Shortly before "Simon Says" began, a very long white limousine pulled up outside the stadium gates. Out strutted a beaming John Stamos (ex-Blackie on General Hospital, now star of CBS's Dreams), followed by his publicist and an enormous bodyguard. "l had to come," he smiled matter-of-factly. "Emma told me to !" He quickly joined everyone on the field, and fell into fine alongside Sherilyn Wolter for the one event everyone took part in. "I'm-no-athlete" Stamos was the first to go. As radio personality and event co-chairman Lou Simon barked orders, the troops started falling. The fans were screaming as one by one, their favorites were eliminated. Finally, it was down to the wire. It seemed like Robert Allan Browne and Terry Lester could go on forever. But when Browne slipped up, the triumph belonged to Young and the Restless.

Once the athletes settled down to some serious competition, Sam "The Slam" Behrens, John Callahan and Shelley Taylor Morgan helped lead General Hospital to a volleyball victory. Days of our Lives placed first on the obstacle course, with outstanding performances by Leann Hunley, Michael Leon and Lisa Trusel. The Santa Barbara team, though newly acquainted, showed great spirit and camaraderie, and their victories in the Tug of War and Orange-Under-the-Chin contest led them to second place, with 425 points. A fabulous win in Simon Says brought Young and the Restless 475 points and first place.

The last event of the day was the pie throwing contest. Plates with mounds of whipped cream, originally intended to be thrown by the "good guys" at the villains, soon began flying everywhere. The rules were dispensed with, and everyone became fair game. Within 20 minutes everyone was covered with the gooey white stuff. Kristian Alfonso went after Shelley Curtis, while Missy Brennan and Julie Ronnie tackled Todd McKee. "The press is all exempt except for you !" hollered Nicolas Coster, as he tossed one my way.

As the activities wound to a close, it was evident that the Battle of the Daytime Stars was a smashing success. Soap fans had a chance to see their favorite actors, and ticket proceeds and T-shirt sales brought over $10,000 to a very worthy charity. Emma and her hard-working team of volunteers put together a marvelous day of laughter, competition and good will. Old friendships were renewed and new ones initiated. Tired, hot and hungry, the weary headed home, many of them still faced with learning their lines for the next day. But what a day it had been !

Click on the photos to enlarge them
Battle of the daytime stars 1984

John Allen Nelson (Warren Lockridge), Ismael "East" Carlo (Ruben Andrade), Robert Alan Browne (John Perkins), Stephen Meadows (Peter Flint), Nicolas Coster (Lionel Lockridge), Margarita Cordova (Rosa Andrade), Julie Ronnie (Laken Lockridge), Todd McKee (Ted Capwell), Melissa Brennan (Jade Perkins), Valorie Armstrong (Marisa Perkins) and Rupert Ravens (Danny Andrade), Steve Bond (Mack Blake) and John Callahan (Craig Hunt), Steve Bond, Sherilyn Wolter (Elena Nikolas), Jack Wagner (Warren Lockridge)
Battle of the daytime stars 1985

Todd McKee (Ted Capwell), Harley Jane Kozak (Mary DuVall), John Allen Nelson (Warren Lockridge) and Julie Ronnie (Laken Lockridge), Todd McKee and Julie Ronnie, Todd McKee, John Allen Nelson, John Allen Nelson and Robin Wright (Kelly Capwell Perkins), Steve Bond (Mack Blake)
Battle of the daytime stars 1986

Nicolas Coster (Lionel Lockridge), Robert Thaler (Pearl Bradford), Todd McKee (Ted Capwell), Marcy Walker (Eden Capwell), Bernard White (Angel Ramirez), Stoney Jackson (Paul Whitney), Jed Allan (C.C. Capwell), Brandon Call (Brandon Capwell), Jane Sibbett (Jane Wilson), ?, Julia Campbell (Courtney Capwell), John Allen Nelson (Warren Lockridge) and Stacy Edwards (Hayley Benson), Marcy Walker, Todd McKee, John Allen Nelson, Richard Eden (Brick Wallace), Brandon Call and Julia Campbell, Stacy Edwards, Steve Bond (Mack Blake) and Sherilyn Wolter (Elena Nikolas)
Battle of the daytime stars 1987

Marcy Walker (Eden Capwell), Nnacy Lee Grahn (Julia Wainwright), Kristen Meadows (Victoria Lane), Todd McKee (Ted Capwell) and Jane Sibbett (Jane Wilson), Todd McKee and Harley Jane Kozak (Mary DuVall), Susan Marie Snyder and Vincent Irizarry (Dr. Scott Clark), Marisol Rodriguez (Carmen Castillo) and Vincent Irizarry, Richard Eden (Brick Wallace), Steve Bond (Mack Blake)
Battle of the daytime stars 1989

Lane Davies (Mason Capwell), Todd McKee (Ted Capwell), Jed Allan (C.C. Capwell) and Paul Johansson (Greg Hughes), Todd McKee and Jed Allan, Jed Allan and Lane Davies
Battle of the daytime stars 1990

Todd McKee (Ted Capwell)