Wishful Casting: Cloris Leachman as Y&R's Mary Williams
Like so many fans of The Young and the Restless, the current storyline featuring Stacy Haiduk as the brilliantly-unhinged "Mary Jane" aka Patty Williams, has me rushing home to my DVR everyday like I'm about to watch a marathon of True Blood or something, however there is one thing that could make the story even juicier— an appearance from Paul (Doug Davidson) and Patty's malevolent mother Mary Williams!
Played from 1980-2004 by the phenomenal Carolyn Conwell (who originally tested for the role of Dr. Marlena Evans on Days of Our Lives), Mary hasn't been mentioned much in recent years. This classic character simply has to come back from her extended church trip, or potluck, or wherever she is, to see what a whackadoodle her daughter has become (I think she would say it was the devil!), not to mention to react to the news that Paul is marrying ex-stripper and venereal disease spreader Nikki Reed (Melody Thomas Scott)!
I'm not sure what the current state of Ms. Conwell's health is, but if Y&R wants to match sister sudser The Bold and the Beautiful stunt cast for stunt cast— B&B cast Betty White in the role of Stephanie's bitchtastic mother— the perfect choice for bible-thumpng Mary would be White's fellow Mary Tyler Moore Show grad Cloris Leachman.
Imagine the legendary comedienne reacting to what has become of her daughter. Just thinking about the comments Y&R's stellar writing staff could pen for Mary when she discovers that stuffed cat under Patty's bed makes me want to go stock up on Oops, I Crapped My Pants! brand adult diapers.
Hopefully Mary would have some passive aggressive advice for her granddaughter— the worst D.A. in the history of soapdom— Heather Stevens (Vail Bloom) about how the Lord says, "Thou shalt not continue to bed sociopaths, even if they go blind...you douchebag!'
I think the nine-time Emmy (eight for primetime, one for daytime) and one-time Academy Award-winner would be a scream in Genoa City. With Leachman, fresh from her Dancing With the Stars stint, this particular casting would get Y&R even more mainstream attention, especially if church lovin' Mary had something to say about all the gay people suddenly inhabiting her hometown. Why I bet she'd start a coalition, or the very least a blog and online scripture reading! Better yet, maybe Mary could hook up with Cane (Daniel Goddard)? That'd show that Susan Lucci who the real cougar is!