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40 March 28th, 2018 GH’s Laura Wright and Max Gail Along with Maria Shriver Talk The Importance Of The Alzheimer’s Storyline

Courtesy/KTLA

On Monday’s edition of the KTLA Morning News, General Hospital’s Laura Wright (Carly) and Max Gail (Mike) joined Maria Shriver as they chatted about Alzheimer’s disease and the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.

As General Hospital viewers know, currently Max Gail is delivering a brilliant performance as Sonny’s (Maurice Benard) dad, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s for which there is no cure.In story, as in life, it is also the caregivers who suffer watching the deterioration of the person they love afflicted with this horrific disease.

Maria Shriver, who has been an activist for Alzheimer’s, notes how women are most affected by Alzheimer’s.  During the interview with KTLA, Shriver gives important things to look for, and how to potentially slow the on-set of progression of the disease, while giving kudos to GH for telling this important storyline of our time.

Watch the interview with Laura, Ma, and Maria after the jump.  Let us know, if you have lost a loved one, or are dealing with someone in your family who has this disease.  What have you thought about the way GH is unraveling Mike’s storyline? Comment below!

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  1. dmr says:

    Mail Gail is doing an incredible job with this storyline-it certainly tears at your heartstrings. I was not familiar with him or his previous work. I watched the clip last night, and Laura Wright could really use some tips on public speaking. Perhaps she was nervous. She reminds me of a teenager when she speaks..

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  2. Timmm says:

    This was a great interview for the cause and for GH!

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  3. shelly says:

    Lost my mom in December to vascular disease, which included dementia, in December. These story lines hit close to home (Y & R too). The difference is, the fictional families can afford the care thats required for their loved ones. There must be some sort of lobbying for medicare funding for care for alzheimers and dementia patients. Thanks to Max Gail and Marla Adams (and the actors portraying their children) for their incredible performances. The way Dena has spoken to Ashley had me in tears.

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  4. Priscilla says:

    I’m really happy that GH is addressing a problem that affects so many of us in so many ways. The writers are doing a great job showing both the patient’s and caretaker’s point of view. It’s a devastating disease.

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  5. Steve B says:

    Bravo, Max Gail, Maurice Benard and Laura Wright. A brilliant tour de force. Entertainment as vital social and medical information, told with deep and compelling humanity. And great for this longtime “Barney Miller” fan to see Max Gail. Wojo was one of the great sitcom creations.

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  6. Jimh says:

    This could had been a Laura and Leslie storyline…enough said!!!!

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    Shay replied

    Or a highly-emotional storyline with any number of legacy characters of whom we’ve become attached through the decades, Jimh! Lesley would have been an excellent choice, but so would have Monica or even one of the popular cast members from the ‘80’s since this affliction is hitting a younger demographic these days. No matter how moving Max Gail’s talented portrayal of Mike, the mere fact that he is a recast character from a family that engenders very little goodwill or sympathy from most of the viewers makes this scenario ring a bit hollow for me. At the end of the day, I simply don’t care, at least not in the way I would have if the patient had been someone I had grown up with during GH’s glory years!

    Reply

    Jimh replied

    It should had been Leslie…and we would see a kind and caring Monica helping Leslie and Laura get through it all – a touching story after what happened between them over the years…it would had made for great story telling!!!

    Ric replied

    I agree it should have been a Laura and Leslie story, I am not a fan of the Sonny show and since Mike has been off the canvas for so long it doesn’t make sense to me why they would bring his character back? But I get it The Nathan & Ron company want to make the Sonny show you more of a focal point on GH! But for me personally it would have had a bigger impact if it had been a character that’s been on the canvas all along.

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    rebecca1 replied

    I absolutely couldn’t love (and hate…just because it’s so sad) this story more, jimh, than I do. I would feel this depth of emotion if I met a family I didn’t even know and witnessed the devastation and heartbreak.

    As for Sonny’s dad? Unfortunately actors do get replaced. As much as I loved Ron Hale, enough time has passed for me to totally embrace Max in this role. He eased into it so seamlessly it was as if he was part of the family all along. This story could be a standalone vignette; either way, it is just so completely moving and well acted that I have no regret that they didn’t use other characters/family to tell this emotionally-packed tale.

    I certainly wouldn’t want the disease to afflict characters that are currently on the canvas, like, Monica, that was mentioned. We finally have her back and I love that she’s still vibrant and a strong presence in the Q family! I tune in to GH to see characters I love that are “always” there. I have no desire to kill them off or watch them deteriorate with something not curable. It’s difficult enough, now that I’m “attached” to “Mike” to think of what’s coming…

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    Jimh replied

    My late father had dementia and my late paternal grandma had alzheimer so i have been there…but i thought it would had been a heartbreaker had it been Leslie and we could had seen a very supportive Monica helping Leslie and Laura get through it all…

    rebecca1 replied

    I hear you, jimh. This story would be heartbreaking no matter which family the writers “chose” to go through it. I usually tune out on medical stories unless it has a happy ending. I’d rather see murder and mayhem then disease.

    I’m sure my heart would have been broken had they told the story thru Laura/Leslie, too. But, LOL, Laura already depresses me! She needs something uplifting or adventurous.

    Jamesj75 replied

    What a brilliant idea, Jimh! A missed opportunity…

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    K/kay replied

    Genie is not coming back ok she had a great run she is wealthy and happy let FV win or lose as for this story I have not watched but all is horrible and I hope they show how they do not care about hoe they look etc very sad so no I am passing going thru it every day with sis and she was diagnosed early age so they go faster . They could have told the story with Laura and Leslue but their is something going on and everybody move on I have heard Kin Sriner is gone soon.

    Jamesj75 replied

    Thanks for your hilarious replies to me in the later GH 55th anniversary thread! Your show titles are (sadly) apt. Take care, Friend!

    Reply

    Jimh replied

    You are most welcome…

  7. su0000 says:

    Alz, is on two soaps and both are doing a phanomal job.
    So, what’s next–
    Guns ?
    AK15- AK17 (Payday 2) weapons..
    I can imagine Anna attempting to handle an AK ..
    Anyways, soaps do keep up with the present situations of what’s news hot ..
    Yet, no one smokes weed, medical or otherwise or have a military weapon, not even Jason a hitman/killer..

    Well, perhaps they are next up.

    And– Max is a treasure, he deserves an award, His portrayal of an Alz person/the writing is excellent.(and depressing)

    Reply

    Shay replied

    @su0000….Please tell me you haven’t already forgotten the preposterous scenario when Sonny ordered a scared-stiff Spinelli to deliver a bag of ganja to the chemo-stricken Alexis and her subsequent stoner experience with the screaming munchies! That ridiculous example more than sufficed for me when it comes to the so-called notion of “medical marijuana!” I really don’t know what more can be said about it….you’re either for it or against it, and I don’t suppose I need tell you where my views fall on that specific issue! (Hint….I am inveterately anti-drug!) Having said that, I also don’t care to introduce a debate on Second Amendment rights to Port Charles…as far as I’m concerned, the less politically-charged the storylines, the better! GH should be an escape from the daily grind of the deeply divisive state of this country…not a device to fuel more unnecessary dissention amongst our citizenry! On the other hand, kudos to your previous comments regarding “political correctness!” I wasn’t able to respond to them at the time, but I heartily agreed with your sentiments on the subject! See? Miracles do happen! P.S. I have no doubt that the “Divine Devane” would be able to handle an AK with great aplomb….ditto for Ava or Sam! Port Charles has no shortage of bad-@$$ babes who can take care of themselves!!!!

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    Dan replied

    I have an uncle that is currently battling bone cancer, which is a very painful and physically devastating form of cancer. With all the different chemicals and drugs they’re pumping him with on a daily basis, the only thing that helps him get through the day and actually gives him an appetite to eat a little bit is pot.

    Unfortunately, he doesn’t have very long to live. Thank god for this natural plant that is making the approaching end of his life a little more tolerable, compared to the opioids and other drugs that have awful side effects and essentially render the person a zombie in their own body.

    I’m glad to live in a forward thinking state like New Jersey, that has recently expanded its medical marijuana program under our new Governor. There are very few drawbacks to it, and a laundry list of positives. Hopefully more states will be getting on board as we move forward, instead of being rigid and stuck in the past with their outdated views in the face of overwhelming scientific and medical evidence to the benefits of marijuana in treating a host of ailments.

    rebecca1 replied

    Interesting, su. As for “medical” marijuana, not sure if you were watching GH back when Alexis was battling lung cancer; so glad they haven’t revisited that. I thought it was great that Sonny cared and I love that Alexis found relief in “weed.” In the midst of sorrow, fear and the unknown, with an uncertain future and devoid of hope, if a plant can get you through the nite (and day) more power to it! So glad that a natural option is being made available vs all the synthetic damaging pharmaceuticals out there with their myriad of side effects.

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    rebecca1 replied

    hit send too soon. As I recall it eased Alexis’ pain and nausea; who could ask for more when suffering?

  8. Jules says:

    Funny how Y&R didn’t get an invite or shout out. But then, their Alzheimer’s story is just that – funny. No truth, no realness, no foundation or desire to tell an honest portrayal. Just absurd wacky plot points to further already absurd stories. I’ve never in all my years working with the elderly seen a senior with Alzheimer’s recall minute details of their past better than a person with a healthy brain! Long term memory is stronger and dies out later, but Dina’s is photographic!

    I digress.

    Very impressive to see Maria Shriver, a woman with so much clout and respectability, alongside regular old soap peeps. It gives the story the seal of approval an important topic like this needs as that extra oomph to tell the audience that this is a story and portrayal people can trust and believe (in a made up world).

    Reply

  9. Patrick says:

    it’s just as Laura Wright said: Max Gail – IS – the STAR of the show . Bam ! ’nuff said

    he; on his OWN … is leading the pack and leading the Corinthos . ALL without Maurice Benard. there is no father/son connect

    why wasn’t he their ? doing this show. because he doesn’t know how to emote any more

    the mouthpiece of @GH . has to do all the reaching… AND she’s so overkill.

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  10. Maca says:

    Love .max Gail

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  11. Mo says:

    Why didn’t they talk to Y&R? They’re actually doing a story on Women’s Alzheimers.

    Reply

  12. rebecca1 says:

    Love Max Gail. He’s as adorable in this interview (though he barely spoke!) as he is in character.

    Maria Shriver had some interesting information/statistics though she emphasized that women are much more likely to get alzheimers yet here GH is doing a story on a man getting it. Although it’s stating the obvious that men, too, are afflicted, I think she should have perhaps incorporated that into her facts and added some info as to whether it hits the different sexes at different ages, different symptoms or why it’s more common in women.

    On a GH note, Laura also stated the obvious: they wanted to give Sonny a family story so he can be seen outside of his mob persona. I’m thinking that was purposely done to win more fan approval for him. If other sites are as anti-Sonny as this one they needed to do some damage control. Now if he can undo murdering AJ I’d reconsider…

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    Debra m replied

    Love Max too! He has those eyes that show such emotion. I just feel like giving him a big hug when he tears up and gets confused. It makes sense they wanted to give Sonny a family story. It is a breath of fresh air seeing him away from the same old mob story. And, his acting has been better, he doesn’t look bored and stumbling over his lines like he would do sometimes. You can see his eyes tearing up in some scenes with Max and they look like real tears.

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    rebecca1 replied

    I know, Debra. So huggable… makes you wish the TV screen allowed us to “reach out.”

    Patrick replied

    it was a bust… with no disrespect to the subject matter

    LW shares :

    GH – WANTED – to give Maurice Benard a story line. bwah bwah bwah. SUCKS

    @JimH idea ; WONDERMENT. Laura / Leslie / Monica.. ALL of Port Charles would have stood vigil

    every thing has been done for; Max Gail doesn’t need Sonny… if they try to make any connection NOW… would be an embarrassment. Sonny immediately starting calling the shots… and Mike would lapse in to blank lapse

    end of story… Max Gail is a phenom… will get an emmy next year, without doubt

    it’s the worlds most devastating catastrophe… and it’s making no impact on the audience … as far as Carly and Sonny.

    WATCH Y&R for the full impact

    2ndly…. : Laura Wright mentions… their characters are RICH beyond any one else means. DISGUST. why go their… ??? why mention that ? to be let off the hook ? PEOPLE in this world … STRUGGLE.

    The Sonny and Carly show.. has to stop

    Reply

    Rebecca1 replied

    She and “Sonny” mentioned their wealth because they were saying though it’s devastating emotionally, they’ll eventually be able to afford as much help as they need if he continues to live with them or afford the best facility if he has to live in one eventually. The point, to show empathy to those in a real life struggle who don’t have that wealth to do the same. Caregiving is very expennsive and the ability to find relief is easier for those with money.
    So, they were just emphasizing the plight of those with less financial means.

  13. Dan says:

    Wonderful interview! They might as well give Max Gail an Emmy right now. The best performance I’ve seen on GH in a number of years. I think Maurice Benard, Laura Wright and all the supporting players in the story have been doing a wonderful job as well, including Suanne Spoke, who played Mike’s girlfriend Rita.

    It baffles me how people have complained for years that all Maurice did was one note mob stories, and this story is anything but that, and yet the complaints remain.

    Kudos to GH for tackling a very real, very current, and very important medical/family issue with the Alzheimer’s storyline. Along with the recent transgender story with Jocelyn and Oscar’s friend Dakota, and Brad and Lucas trying to adopt a baby, they are really on the forefront of telling stories that involve important social issues, much like they did many years ago with the Robin/Stone AIDS storyline, Alan’s drug addiction, and many others over the years.

    Reply

    Shay replied

    @Dan….As it would happen, I also live in a state which has signed on to this “reefer madness,” as we have a rogue governor who ran as a so-called conservative, yet has been anything but since he ass-umed office by ignoring the very constituency that put him there in the first place…all despite the fact we voted down marijuana measures in our past few elections. The difference is that we at least have community leaders who have been a godsend and stepped up to adhere to our wishes and nipped this nonsense “in the bud” by outlawing both cultivators and dispensaries in our own municipality, and many surrounding areas have also followed suit. It has already been proved that liberal statutes regarding this particular substance have increased road fatalities and a slew of criminal activities in states which have introduced such programs, so you can call those of us who oppose them ”rigid” and “stuck in the past” all you want, I prefer to think of it as simply having common sense and preventing future problems before they happen. As for this particular substance being “natural,” so what? I believe peyote, gypsum weed and even alcohol and tobacco also fall into that category and they are not “harmless” to the human body….Furthermore, many studies have concluded that marijuana is just as, if not more, carcinogenic in nature than cigarettes and also has the potential to cause severe mental consequences, especially in adolescents who use it. One needs only look back to high school and college stoners with whom we were all acquainted to know that it was nearly impossible to have a decent conversation with anyone who engaged in such behavior on a prolonged basis, and the greater said activity occurred, the more apparent the long-term effects of lessening brain health became. To mock those of us who take such matters seriously is really unnecessary, so whilst I sympathize with your own family‘s situation, condemning those of us who don’t share your perspective is hardly appropriate….particularly when we have done our homework and have completely valid rationales for disagreeing with your point of view. As for New Jersey…it was a lovely state to visit when I was growing up and I spent many happy times there which I shall forever treasure, but there isn’t enough tea in China to make me want to return there now….particularly with that new governor for whom you seem to hold such high esteem…he’s taxing everything and anything that’s nailed down, and most of what’s moving, too. Good luck with that….

    Reply

    Dan replied

    Shay, thanks for your reply. As this is not the appropriate forum, I will refrain from any further comment on this subject with you. Only to say that you and I couldn’t possibly have a wider difference. That’s perfectly fine, to each his (or her) own, as they say. I was merely relaying a personal, family story into the discussion that you began with the phrase “so-called medical marijuana.” Which quite frankly struck a raw nerve with me.

    Should the opportunity present itself in a more appropriate setting, I would love to debate the pros and cons of medical marijuana use with you. As you said you’ve done your homework, I have quite literally done my homework and research as well. I will leave it at that for now.

    As far as our new Governor here in New Jersey, after 8 years Chris Christie, we need all the luck we can get to dig out from the crater he left behind in terms of the condition of the state. Have a great day!

    Shay replied

    As for the subject of “empathy?” I have plenty of it for the MILLIONS of innocent victims whose lives were ended or destroyed by irresponsible, drug-addled drivers who selfishly put themselves behind the wheel of a vehicle when they were knowingly in no condition to be on the road!

    Rebecca1 replied

    HI Dan…

    So sorry to hear about your uncle. I truly hope he finds whatever relief he can. It’s about time those who governed did so with compassion and empathy. None of us are immune to suffering; some people don’t have the ability to empathize with others until if hits home. I’m heartened to hear medical marijuana is helping your uncle through his pain; thankful he had access to that route.

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    Timmm replied

    I agree Dan. Sonny could cure cancer and he would still be criticized because he didnt do it sooner! Max Gail has brought out the Sonny that used to exist in the 90′s. Yes, Sonny has always been a mob figure but he has a heart and he does good things to. I know its hypocritical for him to be a bad guy and go to church to pray BUT there are MANY others outside of soapland who do the same! Max has restarted Maurice AND I like the scenes Max has with Chad. It makes Michael more interesting.

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    rebecca1 replied

    At some point “research” doesn’t mean a thing if the person suffering feels it’s helping. That’s ALL that matters. So the research those who oppose have come up with means nothing; when they’re the ones going through agony they can choose to not use that option.

    Also find it funny that “medical marijuana” is dangerous to some but guns that can shoot off rounds in an instant wiping out a bunch of school kids is a “right.”

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    Shay replied

    @Dan….Thank you for your cordial reply, as well! Please know that I was not implying that those suffering from terminal illnesses should be denied any kind of comfort that would help them cope in their final days…if a measure were introduced that was strictly worded to aid only those who required such end-of-life assistance from medical marijuana, I don’t think even the most stringent anti-drug proponents amongst us would object since these patients clearly pose little to no threat to others from accessing such relief. The “so-called” designation I employed was in reference to those broadly proposed statutes that are most open to abuse by those seeking a legal loophole for an illegal activity in which they may already otherwise engage through the utilization of specious medical claims…Additionally, who’s to say that this is a wise choice of treatment for conditions that are simply chronic and could conceivably allow people to legally use this mind-altering substance for years, even decades, on end whilst they could be putting the public at risk with their resultant behavior? We are already the most over-drugged society on earth, so whatever efforts to increase any sort of prescription, no matter how well-meaning, just seems to be a recipe for further disaster to me. If anything, there needs to be a greater emphasis upon general wellness and less dependency upon drugs of all kinds! Moreover, I am always suspicious of campaigns to expand the use of medically-based marijuana because it often seems like an incremental means of getting the public to acquiesce to its subsequent recreational use somewhere down the road, which has already proved quite a mess for states which have gone that route. At any rate, I agree with you that this is a subject not to be debated in this particular forum…I simply wanted to clarify my particular views since you were kind enough to share yours with me and I also wished to add that no disrespect was meant to your family’s own specific situation. As for your state’s previous governor, let me close by saying that I was never a Christie fan despite his party affiliation….I know his tenure was no “day at the beach” for the citizens of New Jersey!

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  14. Mary says:

    My spouse passed away from a heart attack, but he had Alzheimer’s. The show has not missed a single beat. Being rich does not stop Alzheimer’s the available medications are not that expensive . The meds do not retrieve lost memories nor does it stop the effects on involuntary functions such as bowel continence and urinary continence. In some cases the brain forgets to tell the body to breathe and the patient dies their sleep. Every one has seen at one time or another a victim of Alzheimer’s and probably did not realize what was wrong with the nut. Medicare does pay for medications and with the proper policy will also pay for in-home health care to alleviate a little of the pressure on care givers. Remember, Alzheimer’s does not care how athletic you are, how healthy you eat, or how you abstained from unhealthy drugs or drink. My spouse did not smoke, drink, or take anything stronger than a tylenol normal dose. But his brain did not tell his heart to beat one night and we lost him. Alzheimer’s has no happy endings.

    Reply

  15. shelglass says:

    Max is nailing it with this character, love the guy since Barney Miller

    Reply

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