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Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Rhonda Ross has joined the Advisory Board and will serve as the Honorary Chair for Hearts of Gold's upcoming fall fundraising gala. The event will feature co-Mistresses of Ceremonies Soledad O’Brien , Anchor and Special Correspondent for CNN and Goodwill Ambassador for Hearts of Gold, along with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’s Tamara Tunie (Jessica; ATWT).

Hearts of Gold is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of New York City's homeless mothers and their children. The 13th Annual Fall Fundraising Gala, It’s A Love Thing, will be held on Thursday, November 12 at 6:00 p.m. at Metropolitan Pavilion on 125 West 18th Street. The family-friendly evening will include a cocktail reception and a live auction. The highlight of the 1970s-themed night will be a runway fashion show with the fall collections of Beth Bowley, Teenflo, Transit, Zapa, and other designers. For the first time this year, the gala will also feature an after-hours party dubbed Love Unlimited, to be held following the fashion show and auction at Metropolitan Pavilion.

In addition to her work with Hearts of Gold, Rhonda let Another World Today in on what else she's been up to since leaving Bay City:

Another World holds and will always hold a very special place in my heart. I learned so much from the producers, directors and the veteran actors on that show. The people in the cast remain my dear friends to this day. On top of that, we had the best fans of any show ever! I will be forever grateful for my time in Bay City !

Since the show went off the air, I have continued to act as well as perform my Song-Telling concerts (Jazz vocals with a spoken-word vibe) around the country and around the world. Then, because of a love for real estate, in 2008, I launched Ross Realty International and am having a lot of success being an entrepreneur!

I gave birth to my son, Raif-Henok Emmanuel Kendrick, on August 7th, 2009, one week shy of my birthday (which is on the 14th). We are both Leos! His name is very meaningful: Raif (pronounced Ra-eef) means merciful, forgiving, and big-hearted. Henok is the Ethiopian translation of "Enoch" - a very faithful man in the bible. Emmanuel means "God is with us," and Kendrick (my married last name) actually means "Royal Power."

Having now become a mother, I am very sensitive to the overwhelming desire that each mother has for her child, and I want all of NYC's mothers to feel the pride, satisfaction, and overall contentment that comes with seeing their children thrive! Hearts of Gold is an amazing organization that serves homeless mothers and their very deserving children by making sure the that their children receive holiday celebrations, and school clothes and supplies, and their mothers receive shelter and employment. I am honored and humbled to have joined the Advisory Board of Hearts of Gold and to be serving as the Honorary Chair of their upcoming fundraising gala on November 12th!

Individual tickets for It’s A Love Thing are available for $250, $500, and $1,000, with tables starting at $2,500. Tickets to the after-party, which runs from 10:30 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. and includes open bar and dancing, are $50. Proceeds from It’s A Love Thing and Love Unlimited will be used to support the more than 450 children and over 375 mothers in residence annually at three Manhattan shelters.

More information at:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Part #1

AWT: How was it returning to AW as Frankie’s look alike Annie?

ABM: The funny story about Annie was that literally two weeks after I moved to Los Angeles, (then-AW's Executive Producer) Chris Goutman calls me to offer me the role of Annie. He said that regretfully Frankie is so very dead and they were very sorry they couldn’t bring her back, but they had this role of Frankie’s lookalike, Annie. They offered me a two year contract, but I was hesitant with all the cancellation rumors circling and didn’t want to move my family back to New York when everything was so iffy. So we agreed to do six months and see what happened - and then the axe fell!

AWT: What was it like filming the last episode of AW as Ghost Frankie?

ABM: I think it was probably like what the Guiding Light set is now. They were all in mourning. Another World’s cast also had to film a lot of episodes in those short weeks to make the finale date. Since I had already mourned and moved on when I left the show back in 1996, it was a little different for me. It was great seeing the cast and crew again, but because I had already grieved Frankie’s end back in 1996, it was a little less burdensome. I was glad to be able to say a final good-bye to the show as Frankie and not Annie, and grateful that Frankie was given a place in the finale because I felt Frankie had been a thread in the fabric of the show and had earned a place at the table. If I had been in Los Angeles when everything was wrapped up, I would’ve been so sad. Even more bittersweet was that the 35th Anniversary Book came out the week the show was ending, so we were using them like yearbooks as we said our good-byes.

One funny thing I remember was that we were shooting so many episodes so quickly, that we had to do quick costume changes. They had a changing booth right on the floor. I remember changing as fast as I could and suddenly standing in the booth naked when Chris Goutman’s voice came over the system doing the countdown for the next scene.

I loved my final scene with Stephen, where Frankie comes to him in a dream and gives him permission to be in love with someone else. It was really us saying good-bye. I felt whoever wrote those scenes really knew Frankie and knew her and Cass’s relationship really well.

I also really enjoyed working with a grown-up Charlie. There was a scene where as Ghost Frankie, I was supposed to put my arm around her as we look up at the stars in the sky. Well, since I was a ghost she wasn’t supposed to see me and we weren’t supposed to be looking at each other. I lift my arm to reach around her and bonked the poor actress in the head! She was a pro but I was so bummed that the last moment Frankie has with her daughter is hitting her in the head!

AWT: What have you been up to since leaving AW? Where can your fans see you these days?

ABM: Well, I’m still a working actor, which is entirely due to my manager who has stuck by me through so many years. For a while after Another World, I was kind of stuck in an age range where I was too mature to play the younger cool moms, and too young to play a mother of older kids. I literally had one line on my resume that represented seven years of hard work, which, in many ways, left me in the position of having to start over. I’ve just started getting jobs playing the mom of kids that are my own kids’ ages, in no small part due to my manager banging down doors and never giving up on me.

In January I shot a movie, 13, with Mickey Rourke, 50 cent, and Jason Statham. It’s a dark story where I play the mother of Sam Riley, who is just fabulous and gives a breakout performance.

Next I did, a movie called, ironically, Twelve, about rich kids in New York and excessive drug use. I play Chace Crawford’s mother. He was a really sweet guy. I even asked if they had cast his mother on Gossip Girl and he said ‘Sorry, but yeah.'

In 2008, I did a naughty little movie that may give all the Frankie fans pause. It's called Choke, with Sam Blackwell, based off a book by Chuck Palahniuk. I played a sex addict and did my first nude scene. It was a real leap of faith for me and was a bit nerve wracking, but I felt everything was handled with respect and treated beautifully. I really love the movie.

I also did a movie with Richard Gere called Brooklyn’s Finest where I play his wife. It was out a year ago and bought at Sundance. I think it’s currently being reedited. Hopefully I won’t end up on the cutting room floor!

AWT: When Another World Today premiered, Frankie was the overwhelming first choice for the character AW fans wanted brought back from the dead, pronto. To what do you attribute her enduring popularity?

ABM: Oh, that’s so kind! I think what made her so popular was that her overall agenda was to be good. Frankie was a good soap character without being a goody two shoes. She was funny, quirky, had a backbone and was fiercely loyal. She was a truly spiritual person. I remember doing a SOW online chat and a question came ‘When is Frankie going to embrace true religion?’ and I remember replying ‘Who has stronger family values than Frankie?’ Frankie really was a woman who walked the walk. Maybe she didn’t practice in the traditional sense, but she was dedicated to family, she was a loving mother, a devoted wife, and unflinchingly devoted to the people in her life. Isn’t this exactly what Christ preached?

AWT: What would be a dream storyline for Frankie after all these years?

ABM: Wow, I’m still trying to get used to other versions of us out there! I think a dream storyline that I had for Frankie was that she’d go to law school and become a public defender. Bringing a bit of my political side into it, Frankie would’ve stuck up for the underdog as she always did and probably would’ve battled Cass in court. They’d have that respectful, adult relationship like Nick and Nora or Hepburn and Tracy.

AWT: Do you have anything to say to the fans who campaigned to have Frankie live again?

ABM: I can’t tell you how moving it is that people loved the character so much. The loyalty of the fans has been so sustaining to me over the years. I will be in a store and will get recognized and the funny thing is, it’s not my face but my voice that will get the head whipping around in my direction. I seriously cannot emphasize how sustaining it is to realize you had an impact and your work was appreciated. It has really meant everything to me.


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