Finola Hughes News - 2003-2004 and 2005-2006

"Seems like I'm going to spend half my life arresting my own family."  
-Anna to David after finding him outside Cambias apartment

"Finola Hughes accompanied her husband, artist Russell Young, to the opening of the first U.S. location for the italian home furnishings store, Minotti, in Los Angeles. Young's pieces, which are silk-screened paintings of celebrity mug shots, are sold at the store and have caught the eyes of many A-list stars." (SID, 5/25/04)

"Pig Pictures"- Finola attending Russell Young's [her hubby] art exhibit with their son.

Thanks to Jeannette for sending me the text for Finola's latest articles in SID and SOW.  Also, read a fun "Hughes is a Stayin' Alive Mother" article.

About Face:  Although Cameron Mathison no longer works with former AMC cast member Finola Hughes, he is reminded of her every day- in a roundabout way. You see, the actor's apartment boasts a portrait of legendary actor Steve McQueen, designed by Hughes' artist husband, Russell Young, who silkscreens mug shots of such famous (and infamous) faces as Frank Sinatra, Jane Fonda and Charles Manson. "It's the centerpiece of our living space," Mathison says proudly. "When I went on his website [russellyoung.com], I thought his work was extremely creative. I had to have it." Mathison isn't hte only fan of Young's work; everyone's favorite friend, Jennifer Aniston, bought one for hubby Brad Pitt. "Russell is very talented," praises Mathison, "and he has a very hot wife, too!" (SID 9/28/04)

Finola Dishes Soap Dirt Ever wonder what really goes on behind the scenes of those steamy soaps? Finola Hughes, a former star of All My Children and General Hospital, is dishing the dirt, in a novel to be called Soap Suds. "I have been writing bits and pieces for the last10 years," she tells us. The names will be changed to protect the innocent (and not so innocent) — but, Hughes says, "If you are in the know and you know soaps, you will sort of know who I am referring to." When she isn't writing, Hughes hosts the series How Do I Look?, debuting Jan. 16 on the Style Network. (People.Com 1/13/03) 

Read about Finola at New York Children's Museum for a Disney event

Blast from the Past! On VH1's series on the 1980s, Finola states in the 1983 episode that only Sly Stallone got what the last dance number was all about in the movie Stayin' Alive.

Tuned In: Maxwell House She was joined at her press conference by actress Finola Hughes, host of Style's "How Do I Look?" (9 p.m. Jan. 16), another makeover series. The pair hit it off, with Maxwell frequently complimenting Hughes and gently touching her arm. Maxwell's real gender was something no critic seemed willing to touch, until one asked Hughes if there was any truth to the rumor that she is a man. "I just wanted to say, I wore these pants and they really hide my penis," Hughes joked, rising from her seat to adjust her slacks. [excerpt from the post-gazette.com

Gender Benders Yesterday, E! featured a dual panel for two upcoming projects: the retro homemaker series The Brini Maxwell Show” and the Finola Hughes-hosted makeover show “How Do I Look?”
     Hughes you may know from “All My Children,” or “Blossom” or her fine work opposite John Travolta in “Staying Alive.” Maxwell, on the other hand, is a relative unknown who hosted a cable access show in New York for several years.

    Maxwell was also born with the name Bend Sander and is considered one of Manhattan’s pre-eminent drag performers, though neither fact was listed in “her” bio- which turned the entire press conference into a cat-and-mouse game where reporters tried to get Maxwell to discuss the gender question.
First, one critic commented that Maxwell’s biography “is still a bit thin.” Another asked what Brini thought of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." (“Those boys seem so nice and ordinary, it’s hard to imagine they’re gay,” she responded.) Someone asked about Brini’s dating life (“I’m a single girl”), while another wondered if she might have “a disguise” prepared in the event she becomes too famous to go out in public alone.
    “Oh, well, you might not recognize me on the street,” Maxwell said, “but then again, you might. Who knows?” “Who is more of a role model for you: Doris Day or RuPaul?” one critic asked, but Brini refused to take the bait, answering with Doris Day.
    Finally, the room got so frustrated with Brini’s evasiveness that one reporter actually asked Finola Hughes if the rumors were true that SHE is really a man. Laughing, Hughes pointed to her baggy trousers and noted that they did a good job of hiding certain parts of the male anatomy. (excerpt from www.nj.com Weblogs, 1/8/04)

ABC Daytime Exec Puts Foot in Mouth... Again!  Frons tells us he "worked a good deal for everybody" to keep AMC's Michael E. Knight with the network, but other superstars of the 80s and 90s weren't so indispensable. Among them GH's (Wagner/Felicia) and AMC's (Anna/Hughes). Frons says he asked Wagner to take a paycut "to reflect her change in status" from romantic heroine to matriarch. Wanger balked, and then walked. Hughes left her NYC soap when Frons declined her request to return to LA and GH, where her character had started. He says the GH writers liked her but didn't care to make room for her- a decision that would have been inconceivable a few years ago. [excerpt from Michael Logan's article in TV Guide]

A&E- All My Children: A behind-the-scenes look at the appeal and staying power of the TV soap opera that has kept devoted fans glued to the tube since 1970. Includes a look at how an episode goes from the idea stage to the sound stage and out to one-and-a-half million viewers. Femme fatale Susan Lucci talks about the show, along with Finola Hughes, Julia Barr, Ray MacDonnell, and Executive Producer Jean Dadario Burke.

Finola makes her final appearance under contract on September 11. "I cherish the friends that I made at AMC," smiles Hughes, who is relocating to the West Coast. (SOD 9/16/03)

Izarry on Hughes' Exit: I Was Very Sad. Although Finola Hughes technically is on recurring status with AMC, leading man Vincent Irizarry treated their final scenes- which aired September 11- as a sad farewell. Recalling the taping of David and Anna's big breakup, Irizarry says, "I was very sad, to be honest with you. The scenes were wonderful and very well-written. The writers throughout this whole time have written us some wonderfully challenging and very mature and very different material and storylines to play with."
     But now, Irizarry is prepared to face a Hughes-less AMC future. "We've had a great time working with each other. I consider her to have been a wonderful dance partner- even though every once in a while, she had a tendency to want to lead, which is okay. I don't mind," he says with a chuckle. "She's fantastic, and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have worked with her. She elevates the quality of any show she is on, and I consider her to be a consumate professional and a great person." (SID 9/30/03)

Cast Cuts Rock Daytime! The official story regarding the exit last week of AMC heavy hitter Finola Hughes is that Hughes opted to leave to live full-time on the West Coast with her husband and yound son- and that the show did everything in its power to keep her around. "As far as I know, everyone really did want her to stay," insists one high-ranking AMC source. Sighs the show's head writer, Megan McTavish: "Losing Finola is very sad. We're going to miss her. But it happens; [actors] have lives outside of the show. I get that."
     But there are whispers that Hughes's departure was hastened by AMC's ever-tightening purse strings. "Finola doesn't come cheap," notes a source. "The way daytime is today, they're just not making the same kinds of [contractual] offers, even to 'name' actors." 
     Hughes, who recently launched a jewelry line, has already landed her first post-AMC gig: All this week, she'll be hosting the Style Network's coverage of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2004 Collections. "That's going to be really exciting, really fun," grins the actress. Not that she doesn't nurse a few regrets about shedding the skin of her police-chief character. "I would like to have solved a good murder mystery before I left," she says. "I would love to have solved anything, really!"
     But just because she left doesn't mean her star isn't stil on the rise, says [Michael] Bruno. "Finola Hughes has power and can leave," he says. "Finola will end up on Bold and Beautiful before she ends up on General Hospital." (excerpt from SOD 9/23/03)

Finola Speaks Out About Her Exit, and The GH Talk- Just days after ABC announced that Hughes will exit AMC this fall, the actress- declining to elaborate on the why behind her decision- shared, "I have had the most extraordinary concentrated, fabulous four years with AMC, and I've made amazing friends,"- real-life marrieds Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, Rebecca Budig and Cameron Mathison among them. "It truly has been an incredible experience, topping the list being that I leave here with a small son [Dylan, now age 2 and a half], which I didn't have when I came."
     Hughes scoffs at talk that she has plans to resurface on GH, where she created Anna. "No, no...," she says, shaking her head. Which is not to say daytime is bidding a final farewell to the dangerous beauty. "I love playing Anna. She's the best," raves her portrayer, who, pending availability, may recur on AMC. Noting that the lady spy-turned-cop was a one-of-a-kind, smart female soap character, Hughes shares this regret: "I would've liked to solve a good murder mystery before I left [AMC]. That would have been fun. I would have like to solve anything, really."
     What's next for the Emmy winner? For one, the launch of a line of diamond jewelry, designed by Sol Rafael, bearing her name (soon to be available at fine stores). Also, her family's move back to Los Angeles, into a new home next to that of longtime pal Susan Flannery (Stephanie, B&B). "We are literally next door," Hughes smiles, "but you must consider that Susan has a farm!" (SID 9/2/03)

Editor's Note- "Dear Readers, It's always when a popular actor returns to a role. But on soaps, as in real life, someone who's been away doesn't always fit in when the get back.....
     Despite the clamor for Finola Hughes's return to General Hospital, I wonder if the same fate might befall Anna. Robert's gone; Anna's daughter, Robin, is gone; Duke is gone. Would Anna fit in? If GH couldn't find Felicia, the mother of two major teen characters on the show, a front-burner story befitting a popular vet, is there hope for Anna? I'd love to see Hughes back on daytime, too, but actresses of her caliber don't come cheap, and wasting that kind of talent would be a crime." (excerpt from Lynn Leahey, SOD 9/2/03) 

And AMC's Hughes Goes West As previously reported, Finola Hughes is set to exit AMC this fall. She'll finish taping in September, then relocate full-time to Los Angeles (where her next-door neighbor is none other than Susan Flannery, B&B's Stephanie.) 
    Leaving AMc will be bittersweet for the actress. "I've had the most extraordinarily concentrated, fabulous four years with All My Children," she notes, "and I've made some amazing friends: Kelly [Ripa, ex-Hayley] and Mark [Consuelos, ex-Mateo], Richard Esposito, my hairdresser, and Rebecca [Budig, Greenlee]..." 
    AMCers will miss her, too. One of Hughes's first calls after her departure was announced was from Cameron Mathison (Ryan), who just returned to the sudser. "Cameron left me this message on my cell phone saying, "What do you mean? I just got back!" she laughs. 
    As for Anna, a role she originated on GH in 1985, Hughes says, "I'll miss her, too. I love playing Anna. I was swaggering around behind Walt Wiley [Jackson] the other day with my gun and my badge thinking, 'I really like being this woman.'" But Hughes shoots down rumors that she may be headed back to GH with a firm, "No."
     The actress says that she will treasure memories of her stint as a New Yorker. "It's been truly an incredible experience," she sighs, "at the top of the list being that I'm leaving with a small son, whom I didn't have when I came." And she plans on making frequent returns to the Big Apple. "I can't give up New York, and I can't give up my friends," she smiles. "I'll be back!" (SOD 8/19/03)

Hughes Off AMC AMC is losing one of its most valuable players: Finola Hughes (Anna) will be leaving the show this fall, with a final air date yet to be determined. 
    "I don't know if this will soften the blow for her many fans, but it certainly was her choice," sighs AMC Head Writer Megan McTavish. Reportedly, Hughes is eager to live full-time on the West Coast. "She's been commuting for a lot of years. I think, understandably, that she's had enough," confides a setside source.
    The actress joined AMC in 1999 as Alexandra Devane, identical twin of Anna, whom she played on GH from 1985-92, earning a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in 1991. In 2001, Hughes reprised the Anna role on Pine Valley soil. That same year, Alex was written off but Hughes remained as Anna. Anna's romance with David quickly became one of the show's most popular pairings. For her AMC work, Hughes received Lead Actress Emmy nominations in 2000 and 2002 and won a Soap Digest Award for Favorite Return in 2000.
    Rumors have been circulating for more than a year that Hughes would head back to GH, but insiders insist that they are unfounded- for now, at least- citing GH's sizable cast as a big reason the show might not be able to afford an actress of Hughes' stature, nor have adequate screen time for her character. A GH rep would only say, "No comment."
    A spokesperson for AMC said, "Both ABC and Ms. Hughes are in agreement that, pending storyline and availability, Ms. Hughes will return to the show in a recurring capacity." (SOD 8/12/03)

Finola Hughes Quits AMc has confirmed that Finola Hughes is leaving her role as Anna, and sources suggest money was the issue that made the Pine Valley police chief pull the trigger. "Finola Hughes will be leaving All My Children in the fall," confirms a rep for AMC in a statement. "Her last airdate is to be determined. Both ABC and Ms. Hughes are in agreement that pending storyline and availability, Ms. Hughes will return to the show in a recurring capacity."  
    Speculation is Hughes will return to Los Angeles with her artist husband Russell Young and their son Dylan, 3, and pursue work out there.
    Hughes' most recent AMC story featured the on-screen death of her baby daughter, and resulting estrangement from David. The death of Leora was presumed by fans to be part of a long-rumored arrangement to keep Anna unencumbered for a potential move back to General Hospital, where Hughes created the character in 1985, but a GH rep had no comment on that.
    In a June 2001 interview with SOW, Hughes admitted that she longed for a return to the big-budget cloak-and-dagger action of GH. "I miss it terribly," she said. "I'm a physical actor, and if I can incorporate running and jumping and throwing myself off a cliff, it's all the more real."
    No last airdate was available, because numerous AMC sources sad they truly hope the actress will stay on in a recurring basis. (SOW 8/12/03)

Hughes is Leaving! As ABC announces the exit of Daytime Emmy winner Finola Hughes, AMC fans are left to wonder: What will become of Anna and David? 
    The In Depth Story: Rumors of Hughes' departure from AMC have circulated almost perpetually since she resurrected her GH character of Anna in March 2001, leading many to hypothesize that it'd be just a matter of time before she crossed the presumed-dead lady spy back over to GH. Prior to Anna's comeback, Hughes portrayed her twin sister, Alexandra, on AMC; she filled both roles until Alex left Pine Valley with husband Dimitri Marick months later.
    But as gossip of Hughes' exit came and went, so did denials from AMC insiders- until July 23, when an offical press release declared the actress' intention to vacate the role this fall, yet make herself available for recurring appearances. Indeed, many Anna/David fans refused to see the writing on the wall when AMC killed off the beleaguered couple's newborn daughter. "I don't know how entertaining it is [to watch the grim fallout]," Hughes said at the time. "It's very sad."
    At press time, it was unclear whether Hughes would ultimately bring Anna to the already-crowded, non-cop-friendly GH. (SID 8/19/03)

Spotted! Finola Hughes (Anna, AMC) dripping in diamonds for the International Jewelry Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. Sporting sparkly bangles from the Finola Hughes by Sol Rafael jewelry line- available at high-end boutiques and department stores- Hughes explains how Sex got her into the carat business. "I was at Patricia Field's  [Sex and the City's costume designer] fashion show and she said, 'Darling, come backstage. You got to take a look at these diamonds.'" Hughes then met with her designer. "Sol said, 'I think we can work together,'" she beams. Featuring multi-strand chokers, gleaming rings and diamond studs, Hughes says the collection offers a clean, modern twist on antique designs. For fashionistas-in-training, she advises to "start with the earrings... I told my husband during the birth of our child, I would have loved to look down to see two diamond studs between my toes." Hughes complemented her lustrous links with a slinky Vivienne Westwood dress and stunning pair of black and clear buckle Christian Louboutin stilettos with the signature red soles. "When it comes to shoes like these, you must honor the design and rise above the pain," she chuckles. (TVGuide Online  8/5/03)

Hughes Big Move Finola Hughes (Anna) will exit the East Coast when she leaves AMC this fall, but she won't forget the friends she made while working in the Big Apple. "I've had the most extraordinary, concentrated, fabulous four years with AMC, and I've become amazing friends with Kelly (Ripa, ex-Hayley) and my hairdresser Richard Esposito," she shared at a showcase for her new jewelry line, Finola Hughes by Sol Rafael. "I've met all these great people in this fashion mecca; it's all been an incredible experience, the top of the list being I leave here with a small son."
    Hughes will get a famous neighbor when she moves into her new West Coast digs. Fellow Emmy winner Susan Flannery (Stephanie, B&B) lives right next door. "When you take into consideration that she has a farm, I won't even walk there," Hughes chuckles. The actress doesn't plan to resurface on GH, where she created the role of Anna. "I love playing Anna, I'll miss her." she shares. "I would have liked to have solved a good murder mystery before I left [AMC], that would have been fun." But Hughes does have her eyes on another TV project: her own fashion talk show. "I would love to," she says with a telling smile, of the possibility. Hughes will continue production on her signature jewelry line as well. "I can't give up New York or my friends," she declares, "so I'll fly back." (TVGuide Online 8/1/03)

Finola to Depart AMC! Finola is stepping out of the Valley. According to an official statement from the show, Hughes will depart AMC this fall. The actress resurrected her GH persona on AMC in 2001, two years after introducing Anna's twin sister, Alex. Hughes and the show are in agreement that she may return to the role on a recurring basis. An ABC rep declined to comment on whether Hughes's exit from AMC will offer an entrance back to GH, where she first created the role of Anna in 1985. 
    Finola is bringing her stint on AMC to a close. The actress will depart this fall, the show announced earlier this week. The news isn't entirely unexpected- for months there has been speculation that the actress wanted to return to the West Coast where she created Anna on GH in 1985. The exit is still a surprise for her devoted co-stars. "She's such an amazing actress," declares Eva La Rue Callahan (Maria). "When I first heard she was coming to AMC [in 1999] and would work with my husband, I said to John Callahan (Edmund), 'Fabulous, you are going to love working with her.' ... Now she's going." Aiden Turner, who plays Hughes's onscreen nephew, Aidan, adds with a chuckle, "If she does go to GH, I want her to take me!" An ABC rep declined to comment on whether Hughes's exit from AMC means a return to GH. AMC and Hughes are in agreement that she may return to Pine Valley on a recurring basis. (TVGuide Online, 7/25-26/03)

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