A few hours ago I watched All My Children, with today’s sad but lovely tribute to Palmer Cortlandt and his portrayer, James Mitchell.
After watching, I posted on Twitter: “There are, quite simply, no words.” It was simply beautiful.
My mind was completely blown at how perfect it was – every character acting as they should, every beat played. It was wonderful to see Gillian Spencer (Daisy) and Taylor Miller (Nina) again. (Miller appeared on the Chicago ABC affiliate’s midday news yesterday and seemed to hint that she may be making a return visit to Pine Valley down the line.)
Even with Daisy there, the true heart of the episode seemed, to me, to be Jill Larson and her muted portrayal of Opal. Everyone was so pitch-perfect, though – perhaps because everyone was still feeling the loss of James Mitchell himself.
But one quiet, small thing was the thing that slayed me. It was briefly mentioned in an interview with one of the magazines last week, but it speaks volumes about Mitchell.
Mitchell made an appearance on the 40th anniversary show. After his lines were done, Mitchell – on oxygen and clearly frail and unwell – asked the crew to keep the cameras running and he ruminated for a few moments…in character, of course.
You can’t ask for a more professional performer. He was ill and knew he was possibly making his last appearance, and he gave them the gift of those moments, which Lorraine Broderick wove into the action so beautifully.
Well played, AMC. And farewell, P.C.