Stephen Nichols has posted some pics of Matt and Missy's farewell party from their last day.
Here is his latest blog:
It is 4 a.m. and not ten minutes ago I was auditioning for a play to be directed by Nick Nolte. I bellowed something about fried chicken and dirty socks (a bizarre comedy, I think… perhaps something by Sam Shepard.) A trim, blue oxford shirt- clad Mr. Nolte sat high up in the house and when I finished my tirade Nolte grumbled/mumbled something about "nice job kid" or "poor guy has hit the skids"- I can't be sure. As I was leaving, the assistant reminded him of something on my resume and he spit more gravely words, "Yeah, we should get more of you guys out for this. I'd like to see Ken Shriner and his brother Bill… they're funny." I awakened just as he poked a finger to his temple and assured me I was fourth on his "mental list." This always happens to me when I eat right before bed- some crazy nightmare. I figured, I'm up; I might as well get some coffee and finish the blog.
A week ago Friday, Melissa Reeves and Matthew Ashford left the show. I won't say goodbye, I know the door is wide open for both actors to return. They are fan favorites and cast and crew favorites as well. The day was upbeat for the most part (see photos at www.stephennichols.net). It is always strange when actors are leaving, whether by choice or not. The OSV (on set vibe) was definitely a mixed bag on Friday when we taped our final scenes with Jack and Jennifer. Vern showed up to see them off. I hadn't seen Wayne Hefley in all these years. Jack and Steve's mommy, Jo, was in the house blubbering over both of us. Marilyn (McIntyre) was a good sport when I told her I would be avoiding her affections (in character of course) by throwing in an "easy now" when she came at me with an, "Oh, Baaabyyyy!!!" as I showed up at Jack and Jen's door.
The most touching moment of the day was when Missy and Frances dress rehearsed their goodbye scene and both women broke down. They could barely get through the dialogue for all the emotion that flooded in. All of this had triggered something in Frances. At the end of the taping of these scenes, Frances revealed that she had never cried on stage or screen… EVER, before this day. We all sat or stood in stunned silence upon hearing this.
Dear Frances Reid is my roommate. We share a dressing room. When I first came back to the show, Frances would say thanks for "letting me use your room." "What?," I said, I am honored to share your dressing room." When she is at work, I go elsewhere and the rest of the time; I have the honor and the privilege of using her dressing room.
Then it was cake time for Matt and Missy.
Three speeches… one from producer, Steve Wyman and two from great people who happen to be great actors. Missy said when she was a little girl she dreamed of having a family and staying home to raise her kids. She thanked Ken Corday for making that possible. Missy is going to live in Nashville and be a stay-at-home mom. After all these years, she finally sees her dream fulfilled. Matt, with one of his daughters in his arms, talked about her three-day run in her first play and how at the end of it she said, "I didn't know it would hurt this much." Matt also mentioned something about how many times he had died on the show and come back to life. He was not willing to say goodbye and I told him that I'm not either. Acting with Matt again has been one of the highlights of my return – we always have so much fun. The brother dynamic always seemed to work with us both in the past and currently. I asked the prop man to get me one of those Sherlock Holmes type pipes so Steve would have a gift of some kind to give Jack. I could always throw anything Matt's way and he would find a way to use it in the scene. One of the lines they wrote for me sums it up. I say to Jack, "Somehow this makes sense, in a weird sorta' way… you and me." I don't believe we have seen the last of Jack.
Thanks for all the comments on last week's blog. I agree, Steve and Kayla should and will have more airtime. Don't be mad if you don't like the upcoming story because of Steve (Nick's) interest in someone other than Kayla. Remember, he doesn't remember being Steve "Patch" Johnson from Salem. He is Nick Stockton from Cincy. Hang in with us and I guarantee the pay off will be well worth it. GI Jo- I have answered your questions here. Thanks to Layman Liz for reminding me of all the nick-names I had for other characters on the show. Shane, you should have said hello to me in the fitness store. I don't bite.
I'm sure TV Guide thanks you for all the renewed subscriptions.
Until next time … don't eat deli right before bed.
The Patch Man