Soap Suds columnist Lilana Novakovich gives a fond farewell to Province readers
Lilana Novakovich says goodbye after nearly three decades of columns
I have been writing columns about daytime TV for almost three decades.
In recent years as soaps were cancelled and interest waning, various newspapers have cancelled my columns.
The Province was the last one left and now I’m sorry to say that I’ve made the difficult decision to end my soap-writing days. It is time.
I wanted to say goodbye to my B.C. readers, but also to reflect on what has been an amazing ride.
I am one of the luckiest people on Earth. I was not a soap fan when I did the book publicity for Ruth Warwick (Phoebe Tyler, AMC) in 1980. I was familiar with soaps and their popularity but had no idea that my life would change after meeting Ruth.
She encouraged me to leave the publishing company and begin representing soap stars as their Canadian agent. She was my fairy godmother and I will be forever grateful to her.
She passed away several years ago but a signed copy of The Confessions of Phoebe Tyler remains on my desk as a reminder of how it all began.
I had the privilege of travelling across Canada with my many Another World and Y&R clients to the various malls, fairs and events where thousands gathered to meet their favourite stars.
In Yorkton, Sask., the crowds spilled outside of the mall doors and the RCMP were called to help create a stage on a flatbed truck in a field for Steve Schnetzer (Cass Winthrop).
In Sault Ste. Marie, it took 10 security guards to clear a path for Joshua Morrow (Nick, Y&R) to get to the stage. And so it went in the first 20 years from Gander, Nfld., to Victoria and every place in between.
The actors loved Canada and their fans here. Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) still mentions our first appearance together in Lethbridge. He asked the limo driver to let him out and breathe the fresh Prairie air on our drive from the Calgary airport.
And we had great fun. My early adult life was spent with these actors and friendships were formed.
One of my dearest friends to this day is Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki, Y&R). We are both only-children and became the sisters neither one of us had.
I normally don’t reveal personal things in my writings but this is my last article so what the heck.
My mom passed away in October and Melody moved heaven and earth with Y&R who cleared her for a week so she could be with me in Toronto for the funeral and the week that followed to help me get through during a most difficult time in my life. Now that is a true friend. It tells you what kind of person she is.
One of the things I’m quite proud of is the fact that it was my idea to consider Peter Bergman to take over the role of Jack Abbott on Y&R. The show had auditioned countless actors and I mentioned Peter to Melody’s husband, Edward Scott, who was Y&R’s executive producer at the time. Peter had just been written out by All My Children after playing the part of Dr. Cliff Warner for many years. Within 24 hours Peter was flown to Los Angeles for the audition and the rest is history.
I have too many great memories and stories to tell and perhaps I will write a book one day.
It’s important to note that by no longer writing soap columns I’m suggesting that they are not still popular.
I hope they live forever since the fans are amazing and loyal! My business has taken a different direction but we still do represent many stars and set up their appearances.
Thank you for reading my column and farewell. I wish you my readers, good health, happiness and success.
And thank you to all of the wonderful folks at the The Province for your help in editing and keeping the column going. It’s been a great ride!