July will be hot in Pine Valley -- for more than one reason. Soap Central has learned that one of the show's core characters will be killed.
Soap Central first learned of the planned demise of a character in quite a roundabout way. At an Emmy after party last month, Ellen Wheeler (Cindy Parker) revealed that she would be returning to film a few days' worth of episodes later this month. A matter of days later, it was announced that Larkin Malloy (Travis Montgomery) would also be returning to the show for a few days. Those two familiar faces are just a few of the former stars headed back for July appearances. Wheeler and Malloy will be joined by Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard), Kate Collins (Natalie Dillon), Jean LeClerc (Jeremy Hunter) and Harold the dog for a series of heavenly scenes beginning July 4th.
According to a source, however, Darnell Williams will have a longer, recurring role with the show.
All My Children is keeping the identity of the victim a very closely guarded secret. However, several media outlets have already begun to create a list of the possible victims. Soap Central has interviewed several insiders with the show for this article and will create a list of our own -- complete with speculation about who might be the unlucky victim.
Most media outlets have agreed that the list of likely victims includes Leo du Pres (played by Josh Duhamel), Greenlee Smythe (played by Rebecca Budig), Anna Devane and Alex Marick (both played by Finola Hughes), Ryan Lavery (played by Cameron Mathison), Gillian Andrassy Lavery (played by Esta TerBlanche), David Hayward (played by Vincent Irizarry), Dimitri Marick (currently played by Anthony Addabbo), Adam Chandler, JR (played by Jesse McCartney), Jackson Montgomery (played by Walt Willey) and Dixie Cooney Martin (played by Cady McClain).
Several of the possible victims - don't really seem to fit the victim's list. The fact is, these characters will more than likely be in the same general area when the actual victim is killed.
Esta TerBlanche is in the middle of contract talks with AMC. Last week, an ABC spokesperson told Soap Central that TerBlanche will be remaining with the show - but the spokesperson did not confirm that the actress had signed a new contract. The Internet has been abuzz with chatter that Gillian would be killed and that her heart would then be donated to help save Laura Kirk English's life.
Cady McClain is also in the middle of contract talks. The actress' contract expired several months ago and it's been said that McClain has been working without a contract the whole time. Last year, McClain said in an interview that she did not want to remain on a soap opera for the rest of her career.
ABC has confirmed (see our related article) that Anthony Addabbo will be leaving the role of Dimitri Marick in July - about the same time of the killing. There has been speculation that Michael Nader would return at a later date to reprise the role he created, but there's now talk that Dimitri might never return to Pine Valley.
Finola Hughes has been playing double-duty with the roles of Anna and Alex, but rumors persist that her workload will be reduced and she will be playing only Anna.
Cameron Mathison had at one point hinted that he might want to leave All My Children, but at recent fan gatherings, the actor insisted that he is quite happy in Pine Valley.
Vincent Irizarry's David is one of the most-hated residents of Pine Valley. Just about everyone hates him - even people whose lives he's saved. To say that someone might try to off the evil doctor is not much of a stretch.
Jesse McCartney's character has been on a dangerous downward slide for several weeks. JR's drug use and bad behavior could easily take a tragic turn.
Josh Duhamel and Rebecca Budig, both Emmy nominees this past year, have just recently joined the show and have a huge fan following. Neither performer has indicated that they want out of the show and with the possibility that these two could once again become a couple - and with Greenlee's dad in town and Leo's dad still a mystery - the killing of either character is highly unlikely.
That said: there appear to be a few names that can be cut from the list - Leo, Greenlee, Anna, David and Ryan. The following is purely speculation and includes reasons why each character could be killed off - and why they might not.
Looking at the heavenly figures that will return to the show, there is only one potential victim who knows them - Dixie. It would not make sense for these characters to return to usher a character that they did not know to heaven. If the reports that Darnell Williams is sticking around for a longer period of time are true, it might also point to Dixie's death. When Tad "died" in 1995, he was greeted in heaven by, among other people, his pal Jesse. Perhaps Jesse will return to Tad in visions to assure him that his wife made it safely to Heaven.
Along the same lines, Jackson is another character familiar to many of the other loved ones who have gone to Heaven and Jackson's brother, Travis, is a prominent member of the spirits.
If TerBlanche does leave AMC and the Internet chatter of her heart donation are true, these familiar characters could escort her to Heaven for having saved Laura's live.
Alex and Dimitri are also viable options - if someone is gunning for Anna, it's highly likely that they'd mistake Alex for her twin sister. Dimitri could then leave town, distraught over the death of his wife. The show would then have a logical explanation for getting rid of the character of Dimitri as well as leaving the door open for Nader to return at a later date. It would also keep Finola Hughes on the show in an already established role.
Soap Central will continue to cover the events of this storyline - however don't expect to easily find the identity of the victim on the web site. At a time when the Internet makes it very easy to find out everything that will happen on the soaps with a click of the mouse, there are some things that are best left secret. You have to admit - sometimes it's good to be surprised!