Emmy Winner Gina Tognoni (ex-Dinah, GL) will return to her roots at ‘One Life to Live’ reprising the role of Kelly Cramer.
Another Guiding Light alum is joining a New York based soap. Despite rumors of moving to a west coast soap (the Internet was abuzz for months speculating a turn on The Young and the Restless as a Victoria Newman recast), Gina Tognoni (ex-Dinah, GL) will return to her roots at One Life to Live as Kelly Cramer. “I am excited to welcome the extremely talented Gina Tognoni back to the role that launched her daytime career,” Executive Producer Frank Valentini said in statement. “The role of Kelly is an important part of OLTL’s history and Gina’s portrayal as a member of the spirited Cramer family has always been a fan favorite. She is a friend and I am thrilled to be working with her once again.”
In an interview with TV Guide Magazine, the two-time Emmy winner tells Michael Logan “It’s been an interesting couple of months. I made this decision from the heart.” Tognoni has been out of work for about three months since her contract ended with the now defunct Guiding Light. Tognoni pre-taped some scenes before leaving the show so that she could appear in the show’s finale last week. The actress will begin taping this January, around the time One Life inherits All My Children‘s studio space and makes the switch to HD. The actress, who was just married last May, reportedly wanted to stay close to home, despite taking meetings with both West Coast soaps The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful.
Tognoni originated the role of Kelly Cramer in 1995 where she remained until 2002. The role was recast in 2003 by Emmy winner Heather Tom, who left the show in 2006 when Kelly moved to London to work on her marriage with husband Kevin Buchanan (Dan Gauthier). Interestingly enough, Gauthier is scheduled to make his return to the show this fall for a limited engagement. However, Gauthier’s appearance will not coincide with Tognoni’s. “I believe she is still connected to Kevin,” Tognoni tells TV Guide Magazine, “We’ll see where that relationship is at when we see Kelly.”
For those not familiar with the character of Kelly Cramer, here’s what you need to know. She’s Blair Cramer’s (Kassie DePaiva) cousin and Dorian Lord’s (Robin Strasser) niece. Kelly came to town as a wild child kicked out of boarding school. She caused a lot of damage in Llanview, even going as far as fleeing the scene of a crime when she hit Blair with her car and caused her to miscarry. When last seen, she was married to Kevin Buchanan, but she was previously married to his brother Joey (then-Don Jeffcoat) when Tognoni was in the role. After the role was recast, Kelly and Kevin’s marriage was on the rocks. Kevin wanted a divorce, Kelly then discovered she was pregnant but lost the child.
In a cross-over storyline with All My Children, Kelly’s half-brother Paul (David Tom) presented her with Babe & J.R. Chandler’s (Alexa Havens and Jacob Young, AMC) son Adam and she passed him off as her own son, Ace. Eventually Kelly reunited Little Adam with Babe and she reunited with Kevin, who had left her during the whole debacle. Kelly then convinced Spencer Truman (Paul Satterfield) to perform a surgery so that she could conceive a child again. The evil doctor ended up performing the surgery successfully, but he also gave Kevin a virus that rendered him sterile. The two broke up when they couldn’t conceive again, and Kelly got pregnant from a one-night stand with Kevin’s son, Duke (Matthew Metzger), who died soon after. Kevin & Kelly got back together and moved to London with their son, Zane, who Kevin decided to raise as his own.
Tognoni will also appear in Crystal Chappell’s (ex-Olivia, GL; Carly, Days) online series, Venice, this fall as Sami along with ex-Guiding Light costars Jordan Clarke, Daniel Cosgrove, Jessica Leccia and One Life costar Hillary B. Smith.