Whatever Happened to…the Simones
It’s been a few months since Simone Russell left the heartbreak of Harmony behind for the promise of New Orleans. Many fans were sad to see the charming and strong willed character go. Simone will likely be best remembered as a character who broke down some barriers for the depiction of lesbians on daytime TV and earned the show awards and accolades from civil rights groups. Simone has been played by three different actresses in the history of Passions. The last actress who played her, Cathy Jeneen Doe, has since moved on to other things. After playing the part from 2004 until 2007, Doe has returned to her roots in independent films and recently wrapped shooting on a new romantic comedy called Expecting Love. The film is a Polish production, though it stars several American actors, and was shot in both Poland and Los Angeles. It tells the story of an American business man who meets, falls in love with and impregnates an underage girl (he didn’t know this last bit at the time). Doe plays the part of Chloe in the film which is expected to be released early next year. If you’d like additional information, please check out the official website.
But what about the other Simones? Well, Simone number two, Chrystee Pharris, who was better known for her role on Scrubs, has also just completed a film. Steppin': The Movie follows several fraternities and sororities as they prepare to compete in a step show competition. Pharris plays the part of Jennifer in this film which promises laughs, great music and some incredible dancing. Since leaving the cast of Passions, Pharris has appeared in the thriller Paved With Good Intentions, the romantic comedy Lord Help Us and in episodes of Lincoln Heights and All of Us. She played the role of Simone from April 2001 until April 2004.
The very first Simone was played by Lena Cardwell from 1999 until 2001. After leaving the show, she appeared on Power Rangers (then the home of future Vincent, Phillip Jeanmarie) as well as on The Steve Harvey Show, The Nightmare Room and My Wife and Kids. She recently appeared on the big screen in the movie Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties and the horror flick Sisters. Cardwell is also known for her musical endeavors, having released two albums since 2001. If you'd like to check out her music and a few clips of her film work, please visit her official site here.