General Hospital Fave Asks Fans to ‘Please Put Some Positivity Out There’ on What Is a ‘Sad Day for Me’
On February 2, Nicolas Bechtel took to Twitter with upsetting news.
It’s a story that by now is all too familiar. The health crisis that has taken hold of the world for so much of last year (and thus far this one) has once again tightened its grip.
In this case, it’s scene stealer Nicolas Bechtel — beloved to the audience of General Hospital as Nikolas’ son, Spencer Cassadine — who tweeted out that February 2 was a “sad day for me.
“My [19-year-old] sister [Nicole], who is away at school, tested positive for COVID,” he continued.
Bechtel, who turns 16 this month, was able to see the silver lining among the dark clouds. But obviously, the dark clouds are pretty, ya know… dark. “She’s healthy and strong,” he wrote, “but she’s very sick, and she’s alone.”
On top of that, “seven to 10 days in isolation can’t be easy,” he added. So “please put some positivity out there for her. I appreciate it.”
sad day for me. my sister, who is away at school, tested positive for Covid. she’s healthy and strong but she’s very sick and she’s alone. 7-10 days in isolation can’t be easy. please put some positivity out there for her 🙏🏽 i appreciate it 🙏🏽
— Nicolas J Bechtel ✰ (@NicolasJBechtel) February 2, 2021
Consider it done, Nicolas.
Fans were quick to do the same. So was castmate Eden McCoy, who plays Josslyn. “Thinking of you, Nicole,” she tweeted. “Feel better soon.”
While we await news of Bechtel’s sibling’s recovery — and his return to General Hospital (because Spencer has to show up to weigh in on Nikolas’ new commitment to Ava, right?), perhaps we can distract ourselves with the below photo gallery — one to which he seems destined to be added. It reviews then-and-now photos of actors who grew up before our eyes on the soaps.
<p>Three years after making her debut as <em>The Young and the Restless</em>’ gap-toothed darling, Cassie Newman, the then-10-year-old became the youngest-ever Daytime Emmy winner. And for a while there, we thought that she was going to manage to avoid having her character SORAS’d. But then the show killed off Cassie in 2007 (!!!) and, seven years later, rehired her by-then-grownup portrayer to tackle the <em>new</em> role of her outta-nowhere twin, Mariah Copeland.</p>
<p>When at 14 years old, the future daytime icon was picked to replace Stacey Baldwin as <em>General Hospital</em>’s Laura, she had no idea just how much her life had just changed. But despite the parts of her childhood that her blossoming career took from her, “I don’t regret a bit of what I’ve done,” she told <a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=bBYEAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA1&pg=PA1#v=onepage&q&f=true"><em>Orange Coast</em></a> magazine as far back as 1982. “What I have is a curiosity of what it would be like to be ’normal,’ to be a kid, because I gave that up.”</p>
<p>By the time a 19-year-old Alfonso landed the role of <em>Days of our Lives</em>’ Hope, she was already an accomplished figure skater (she’d earned a gold medal at the Junior Olympics) and model (she’d even appeared on the cover of <em>Vogue</em>). But she was shaking in her boots when she screen-tested. “I was already a huge fan of <em>Days of our Lives</em>, because I would watch it when I would come home from school,” she told <a href="https://www.soapoperadigest.com/content/icymi-kristian-alfonso-interview/"><em>Soap Opera Digest</em></a> in 2019, so “being in [the Horton house] set, I was a nervous wreck!”</p>
<p>Twenty-three when he first appeared on <em>The Young and the Restless</em> as Paul, this Emmy-winning fan favorite wasn’t exactly a kid. But when you think of how far he’s come — in terms of decades, in terms of growth, in terms of accolades — we suspect you’ll agree that he grew up before our eyes as much as anyone else on this list. Certainly, his character did! “The transition from this bad guy out for himself,” he recalled for <a href="https://www.soapoperadigest.com/photos/yrs-doug-davidson-paul-looks-back-on-his-genoa-city-stories/"><em>Soap Opera Digest</em></a> in 2020, “started with April pressuring Paul to take responsibility” for daughter Heather. The rest, as they say, is history.</p>
<p>At the tender age of 14, Khalil really <em>was</em> young and restless when <em>The Young and the Restless</em> hired her to play the pivotal role of Lily in 2002. She left three years later, saying, “I don’t have a mortgage to pay, so it’s the right time to be unemployed and really <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/the-young-and-the-restless/news/191/davetta-sherwood-lily-yr-is-let-go/">go after my dream</a>, which is to be a movie star.” She returned in 2006, replacing her replacement, Davetta Sherwood, and is now the real-life mother of a 10-year-old.</p>
<p>When <em>One Life to Live</em> decided to transform Jessica from a cute moppet into a real character in 1990, Torpey was the 9-year-old assigned to the task. She played the part for the next 12 years, ushering Viki’s daughter into teenage and ultimately adult storylines. Now, Torpey is a married mother of two with an enviable list of video-game voice roles to her credit. (<em>Star Wars: The Old Republic</em>, anyone? Everyone? Thought so, we did.)</p>
<p>Today, her name is synonymous with that of Jennifer, the <em>Days of our Lives</em> heroine she’s played off and on since 1985. But a year earlier, when the actress was just 17, she got her big break in soaps when she was cast as airhead Jade on <em>Santa Barbara</em>. Not that she remembers it as a terrific experience. After the show debuted to depressing ratings, “they started killing everybody,” she told <a href="https://www.soapoperadigest.com/content/tbt-melissa-reeves/"><em>Soap Opera Digest</em></a> in 1988. “There was so much pressure and so much tension, I hated going to work.” Which, after less than a year, she didn’t have to — Jade was sent on a date from which she simply never returned!</p>
<p>In the decades that followed after <em>General Hospital</em> cast Shriner as baby-faced older man Scotty Baldwin opposite Genie Francis (Laura), a lot, as things tend to, changed. He switched shows (over and over), roles (except when he starred on <em>Port Charles</em>), coasts, co-stars, hairdos. But one thing has remained constant: his need for speed. In a 1979 interview with <a href="https://www.soapoperadigest.com/content/tbt-kin-shriner/" target="_blank"><em>Soap Opera Digest</em></a>, he shared his enthusiasm for riding his motorcycle down the freeway; now, of course, his love of his Vespa is the stuff of legend.</p>
<p>Having already done Broadway’s <em>Annie</em>, Byrne was a very young “old pro” in 1985, when <em>As the World Turns</em> initially <em>passed</em> on the 15-year-old to play Lucinda’s daughter, Lily, in favor of Lucy Deakins — who wound up beating her out for the lead in <em>The Boy Who Could Fly</em>, too. “I said, ‘You know what? I’m done with this business,’” she told <a href="https://www.soapoperadigest.com/content/icymi-martha-byrne-interview/"><em>Soap Opera Digest</em></a> in 2020. “’I want to get braces. I want to have a normal life.’ And I got a phone call… saying, ‘We wanna give you the job of Lily’” — which she held off and on for nearly two decades!</p>
<p>The daughter of <em>The Young and the Restless</em>’ creators, the late William J. and Lee Phillip Bell, made her first appearance as fresh-faced Jabot model Cricket in 1983 — when she was just 13 years old. It wasn’t until the actress was a bit older that she was put on contract — and “the Bug,” as Phyllis called her, began using her real first name, Christine.</p>
<p>Stone Cold was just getting warmed up in 1988: That was the year that the 18-year-old landed his first soap role, that of <em>Days of our Lives</em>’ Harris, a high-schooler who accepted a bet to see whether he could get former hooker Eve into the sack. Three years later, he joined <em>General Hospital</em> as Jason, the preppy-turned-Mob muscle that he’s played off and on ever since.</p>
<p>The two-time Daytime Emmy winner was 17 when he joined the cast of <em>The Young and the Restless</em> as Devon. But he’d actually been in showbiz even longer than that, appearing in commercials and magazine ads since he was 2 and starring on the ABC sitcom <em>Family Matters</em> since he was 4. Co-star Darius McCrary, who later joined <em>Y&R</em> as Devon’s uncle, Malcolm, “was like the brother I never had,” he told <a href="https://www.soapoperadigest.com/content/icymi-bryton-james-interview/"><em>Soap Opera Digest</em></a> in 2018, “and he really looked out for me on set.” At Y&R, the late Kristoff St. John (Neil) filled that role. He “helped me think that I could be just as good as everybody else,” James recalled. “He really made me feel like an equal.”</p>
<p>Even before <em>General Hospital</em> recognized the future five-time Young Artist Award winner’s star quality and cast her as Molly at age 11, she knew that the path she wanted to stroll was the Walk of Fame. She was beyond intent about becoming an actress. “I bugged my parents about it so often that they finally looked into it for me,” she jokes on <a href="http://www.haleyalexis.com">her website</a>. “I think they were shocked when my manager signed me!” Shocked maybe… but proud for sure!</p>
<p>Although she was just 16 when <em>Days of our Lives</em> cast her as human hurricane Sami Brady, Sweeney was already an old pro who’d been doing commercials and such for more than a decade. “Discipline and work ethic [were] always instilled in me as a kid,” she told <a href="https://www.closerweekly.com/posts/allison-sweeney-tv-roles-146889/" target="_blank"><em>Closer</em></a> in 2018. “I was really lucky to have rock-solid parents who helped me through the industry and didn’t pressure me to do it. It was my choice.” And, it turned out, a hell of a smart one!</p>
<p>At 19, the future soap stud was <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/the-young-and-the-restless/news/577164/young-restless-brytni-sarpy-joshua-morrow-revealing-interview/" target="_blank">“crushed,”</a> he said in 2020, when after a rigorous series of auditions to play stripper Dylan Shaw on <em>The Bold and the Beautiful</em>, he didn’t get the part. But more than a quarter of a century later, he’s come to view the disappointment as “the greatest failure” ever, since it led directly to his being cast in the role for which he’ll always be known — that of Nicholas Newman on <em>The Young and the Restless.</em></p>
<p>Legend has it that it was only after missing out on a chance to appear on the NBC sitcom <em>Webster</em> in 1985 that the future Daytime Emmy winner, at the time just 7 years old, was cast as Anna and Robert’s daughter, Robin, on <em>General Hospital</em>. McCullough has played the part off and on ever since while also, in recent years, making a name for herself as an in-demand TV director.</p>
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