For the past few years, All My Children fans have remarked on the conspicuous lack of story for two-time Emmy winner Julia Barr (Brooke English). Now as the actress' current contract comes to an end, many are wondering if the network won't take this opportunity to trim the actress' sizeable salary from its budget.
Though this is anything from a done deal, soapcentral.com has learned that network reps have yet to approach Barr about renewing her contract. Typically contract talks begin several months before the final month of a performer's contract. Barr's contract is up at the end of the year. Internet buzz states that Barr will be taken off contract and bumped to recurring status.
However, at least one insider tells soapcentral.com that that is "not the case." When a performer nears the end of their contract, writers often assess future story for that performer's contract. As this is done, story may pop up where previously no story existed - but it may also eat into the time during which the network and a performer would typically negotiate a contract.
This would not be the first time that rumors of Barr's exit have made the rounds. With the character in the background for much of the past three years, postings on the Internet have questioned why the award-winning actress was being underused. Soap magazines also have printed articles and opinion pieces blasting the show for not featuring Barr more prominently.
In a letter to her fans, Barr said that she is "not aware of any plans to feature [her] character more in the near future." As for her status with the show, the actress said, "The truth is that I simply don't know what is happening."
Barr's Brooke has been a fixture in Pine Valley since 1976. Barring - no pun intended - a two year break from 1980-1982, the actress has logged 29 years with All My Children. During that incredible run, Barr has racked up six Daytime Emmy nominations and, in 1990 and 1998, two wins in the Outstanding Supporting Actress field.
An ABC spokesperson declined comment for this article, saying that it is not network policy to comment on rumors or actors' contracts. Barr's agent stated that the actress had no additional comment.