Welcome to our soap opera celebrity pictures! Leah and I hope that you'll enjoy seeing the photos. Some of our other photos (not shown here) will sometimes show up in our ongoing Ebay Memorabilia Auctions.
Check out the Ashton Press home page for more artwork, zines, links to pictures from other Highlander conventions, pictures from Blakes 7 conventions, pictures of soap opera stars, fan fiction and the like!
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Billy Warlock attended an opening of Jo Ann's fabric here in Orlando and was absolutely delightful! He signed autographs and talked to each person in line individually. Leah and I arrived very early, so we were lucky enough to be near the front of the line. Only some representatives from Billy's fan club and his cousin were ahead of us! We met another local General Hospital fan, as well, and you'll find her picture (SoapyAnne!), the fourth one in the first row. Billy told us that he loved working with Wally Kurth (Ned), because they are old friends from way back and they even did a play together once. He also said his all-time favorite actor is Steve McQueen. He made a few jokes about his size relative to Alan Quartermaine when we told him that he had the "look" of a Quartermaine and that he really fit in. We also told him how impressed we were with the way he had taken over the role of A. J.; he seemed genuinely grateful to hear that folks thought he'd done a great job. He gave us a few sneak peaks on things coming up on the show, but since it is now September, all of those spoilers are really old news! So, here are some pictures of Billy Warlock signing autographs.
Brad Maule also appeared at an opening of a Jo Ann's fabric store, on the same day as Billy Warlock, but in a different location. Brad appeared earlier in the day and it was the first time Leah and I had ever gone to see a soap opera celebrity in person. So, not knowing quite what to expect, we had neglected to bring our camera. We regretted it, of course, when we saw the delightful Brad Maule happily posing with one after another of the folks in front of us. Jo Anne's set him up in a little corner of the store with a couch and table and it all looked very cozy. We weren't too far back in line, so we only had to wait a little while. Brad looked really gorgeous in person, very stylishly dressed in casual slacks and a silky looking shirt. This was right after "Tony" had hacked all of his hair off, so Brad's hair was still pretty short, although it was already growing back in. He looked much thinner in person (as most actors tend to). In fact, he was very thin and I'm wondering now if Tony doesn't look somewhat "chunky" on the show because of the way they dress him. Brad was extremely personable and wanted to talk to everyone. He encouraged us to ask him questions about what was coming up and he happily "spilled the beans" about various plots involving Tony. He told us that he was "notorious" for giving things away and he seemed very proud of himself! LOL! He told me and Leah that he was having the time of his life playing Tony as over the edge now and that all of the soap magazines were constantly calling him for interviews, asking him if he was leaving the show. He said it would be a hell of a thing to ask him to shave off all of his hair and then fire him! He also told us that one of the producers came up to him recently and said, "You know, Brad, we've been writing your character wrong all of these years." Apparently, the powers that be at the show are very happy with the turn Brad's character has taken. Since we didn't have a camera with us, the only picture I have to share is the one that Brad gave us. One last little anecdote about the picture, though. We asked Brad if we could have one for our good friend, Laura Virgil. We have a running gag with Laura that we always call her "THE" Laura Virgil (Laura is a well-known fan artist in many circles). When we asked Brad to sign her picture to "THE" Laura Virgil, he was game but wanted to know why. When we explained, he got a wicked gleam in his eye and started talking as he wrote: "Oh. My. God. I can't believe it's really you!" on Laura's picture.
Richard Hatch (Philip Brent, All My Children; Apollo, Battlestar Galactica) in Orlando, Florida in July, 1998 (Tachycon):
Richard Hatch was probably the first actor I ever had a crush on. I was all of 7 years old or so when All My Children originally debuted as a half hour soap opera. I happened to be home from school sick that day and I instantly fell in love with the character of Phil Brent (and the love story of Phil and Tara). I was devastated when Richard left the show (and Phil was missing in action in Vietnam). I did follow Richard's later career, most notably in Battlestar Galactica, where I also fell in love with Dirk Benedict as Starbuck. When a friend of mine at work gave me a flyer for Tachycon here in Orlando and told me there would be Babylon 5 guests, I was definitely interested in attending. When I saw Richard Hatch on the guest list I was in heaven. When we arrived at the convention on Sunday morning, one of the convention committee noted that I had listed Richard as my favorite guest on a survey they were conducting and she told me that there was still space available at a special luncheon they were having with Richard in just a few hours! We signed up and we were lucky enough to have seats right next to Richard, his delightful girlfriend, Sophia (who hails from Cannes, France), and their travelling companion. We had a wonderful lunch and most of the pictures below were taken then, with a smattering of them taken at Richard's later talk and autograph session.
Richard does a lot of motivational speaking and conducts seminars nowadays. His ability to motivate people shows and he gave quite an interesting talk. Right now, he is deeply involved in an attempt to produce an updated version of Battlestar Galactica. He has some very intriguing ideas about the universe and has even written two books based on the series. Apparently, he was also involved, in the past, in writing some comic books based on the universe, as well. I had Richard autograph my All My Children book and he was quite intrigued to see it. He and Sophia flipped through it and remarked on several of the other actors they know personally who are pictured in the book. I was annoyed when I got home and realized that I had an old British Battlestar Galactica Annual that I could have also had him autograph!
Check out Richard's own homepage: Richard Hatch Enterprises
Henry Darrow (Santa Barbara and General Hospital; Manolito Montoya, High Chaparral) in Orlando, Florida in August, 1998 (Vulkon):
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