Since I fled New York City for Buenos Aires 21 months ago, the thing I miss the most--aside from the usual suspects: my friends, my Union Square apartment, corner delis and English--is my daily fix of daytime drama. Yes, I was addicted to love in the afternoon. (Oh, get your mind out of the gutter!) Ah, those sleepless nights spent tossing and turning and wondering if General Hospital's Sonny and Carly would ever get it together and work out their problems or worrying about Days of Our Lives Sami and whether Kate would catch her in her latest harebrained lie. And don't get me started on the Daytime Emmy Awards! On Friday, June 20, I missed them for the third straight year, but don't cry for me in Argentina. Thanks to YouTube, I got to see The Young and the Restless' Jeanne Cooper, an eight-time loser, finally collect the Best Actress prize.
Although Y&R isn't a favorite of mine (I'm down with the ABC soaps), it was one of the very first shows I remember watching as a kid in the '70s, before my mother jumped ship from the dark and dreary world of CBS to the greener--and better-lit--pastures of the alphabet network. Cooper's Mrs. Chancellor was my first exposure to true divadom. I couldn't take my eyes off her as she schemed, bellowed (usually at arch rival Jill Foster) and got totally wasted. Now pushing octogenarian status (she turns 80 on Oct. 25), Cooper looks better, if not younger, than she did in 1973, when she joined the Y&R cast! Forget Daniel Day-Lewis and his politically correct displays of humility during his myriad Oscar season acceptance speeches. Cooper's turn at the podium was the real deal. I especially loved her opening quip: "I bet you thought I had died." Watch it here, courtesy of YouTube.