North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
*Luke and Laura. Bo and Hope. Victor and Nikki.
The annals of soap opera history are filled with supercouples, lovers whose
passion-filled and tumultuous affairs have transfixed fans around the world.
The supercouple mold was cracked wide open in the early 1980s when Jesse
and Angie began steaming up the screen on "All My Children." Never before in
daytime television had black love received so much airtime and attention, never
had a supercouple been non-white.
Fans laughed, cried, celebrated and commiserated with Jesse and Angie from
1982 to 1988. The couple returned to the soap from 2008 to 2011 and then
again in 2013, shortly before the long-running "All My Children" was cancelled
by ABC. (The couple also briefly surfaced on the CBS soap "The Young and
Restless" in 2012.)
Actors Darnell Williams (Jesse) and Debbi Morgan (Angie) are back together
again, serving as the celebrity co-chairs of the 2015 National Black Theatre
Festival. Though their soap alter egos made them stars, the two have shined
brightly in various arenas over the years.
Morgan, a native of Dunn,
N.C., has graced the stage and
the small and silver screens. In 2013, she brought her acclaimed one-woman
show "The Monkey on My Back! An Intimate Evening with Debbi Morgan" to
the NBTF. In the deeply personal on-stage memoir, Morgan took audiences on a
journey through her own life, including her family's legacy of abuse.
Morgan made her showbiz debut in 1971 in the bawdy whodunit "Cry Uncle!"
Her breakout role would come four years later in the slave-era drama "Mandingo."
At around the same time, Morgan began making regular guest appearances on
several popular sitcoms, including "Good Times," "What's Happening!" and "The
Her most famous role - that of Angie Hubbard - earned her a Daytime Emmy
for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 1989; it was a first for a black daytime
actress. Her trophy case also contains several awards for her much-heralded
performance in the 1997 film "Eve's Bayou." Morgan won a Chicago Film Critics
Association and Independent Spirit awards for her role as Mozelle Batiste
Delacroix, and the late film critic Roger Ebert argued that she should have
received an Oscar nod for what he praised as one of the best performances of
Morgan's many other big screen credits include "The Hurricane" (opposite
Denzel Washington), "Love and Basketball," "Coach Carter" and "Woman Thou
Art Loosed." Her television credits also include "The Practice," 'Any Day Now)'
"Boston Public)' Strong Medicine" and "Power)' the new Starz hip-hop drama
produced by rapper/actor 50 Cent.
Williams was born in London to American parents. His father, a career Air
Force man, was stationed in England at the time. Because of his father's service
to his country, Williams also spent some his childhood in Japan. By the time the
family (Williams has seven siblings) returned to his parents' native Brooklyn,
Williams had dreams of stardom and boarded a bus for L.A. when he was in
his late teens to pursue them.
The world first got a glimpse of him on the hit weekend music showcase "Soul
Train." Williams was one of the show's regular dancers and, thusly, charged
with showing the world the hottest dance moves. He made his television
acting debut in 1980 on the drama "The White Shadow!' The next year, he
won the role of Jesse Hubbard and would spend the next 30 years playing the
character, or some iteration of Jesse.
Williams' peers have rewarded his stellar work with two Daytime Emmy
Awards. Producers have acknowledged his immense talents by hiring him for
a long list of daytime dramas over the decades. In addition to "All My Children,"
Williams has appeared on "The Young and the Restless," "Loving," "Guiding
Light" and "The City." His stage credits include "Spalding Gray: Stories Left
to Tell," and his big screen credits include the Golden Globe-winning Robert
Altman film "Short Cuts," and "Manhattanites," which he co-directed. His long
list of non-soap opera television credits includes work on shows like "Law and
Order: SUM' "Nash Bridges," "Felicity" and "The City." ?
"ART IS A FORM OF POWER; IT HAS IMPACT, Ni
IT CAN AFFECT CHANGE."!