Wishful Casting: Soap Legend Eileen Fulton as Y&R's Dina Mergeron!
While watching Eileen Fulton celebrate 50 years as As The World Turns' Lisa—television's first love-to-hate bitch— this past week I started brainstorming ways to keep this still vital soap treasure on our screens post September when ATWT goes off the air. First I thought about what a fun, recurring love interest Fulton would make for General Hospital's Edward (John Ingle), but since that development would be highly unlikely on youth-obsessed ABC Daytime, my thoughts turned to The Young and the Restless. Say what you will about Y&R (and trust me, I have of late), but they are the one soap that consistently doesn't seem to to cater to the Madison Avenue belief that life ends the day you turn 51. That being said, wouldn't it be cool for Fulton to guest star on Y&R from time to time as Jack, Traci and Ashley Abbott's mother Dina Mergeron?
Sure, Marla Adams, who has played the role on and off since the 80's, has done an adequate job whenever she turns up as Dina, but having someone with Fulton's considerable chops, mass appeal and rich daytime history would be a huge get for Y&R. Wishful Storytelling: What if tennis pro Brent Davis wasn't the only guy Dina was stepping out on the late John Abbott (Jerry Douglas) with? Maybe she also carried a torch for a Korean War helicopter pilot by the name of Murphy (Michael Fairman)? Perhaps Dina's snotty parents hadn't wanted her to be with a trailer park dwelling Murphy, whose father worked the grounds at Dina's family estate. Maybe Dina's parents forced her into marriage with the more suitable John? After having Jack (Peter Bergman) with John, Dina could have resumed her affair with Murphy.
When Murphy tells Dina he can't keep carrying on with a married woman, the heartbroken socialite starts banging the tennis pro, since an overly ambitious John is too busy trying to put Chanel out of business to pay attention to his wife How shocking would it be for Dina to learn that her dear, old friend Kay Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper) is now married to the love of her life? When Kay confronts Murphy about his connection to Dina and the Abbotts, and why he never said anything, he tells her he thought it best to let sleeping dogs lie. A DNA test would eventually prove ol' Murph was indeed Ashley's bio pop, and therefore the wayward Abby's (Marcy Rylan) grandfather, causing the two to form an instant bond.
A pissed off Jill (Jess Walton), smarting over Ashley and Tucker's (Stephen Nichols) relationship, and Ashley being back at Jabot, could discover the news and run it in Restless Style without Billy's (Billy Miller) knowledge (he and Victoria could be on another Jamaican retreat), effectively explodiing Genoa City's longest held paternity secret! Just think of all the gloating Gloria (Judith Chapman) would do once she learned Ashley was no more an Abbott than she was. Not to worry, before Ash could once again go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs from the embarasssing revelations, the Ghost of John would appear to her, letting his "Beauty" know she would always be his daughter, thus allowing her to gingerly pursue a father/daughter relationship wth Murphy, nudged along by Abby.
I'd give anything to see Fulton's Dina Mergeron flirting inappropriately with her daughter's ex-husband Victor Newman (Eric Braeden), or dressing down Ashley's longtime rival Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott). Talk about a soap mashup! What do you guys think?