Spotlight: Kristen Alderson's amazing soap career. Read more here--->>>
Photo: Brad Everett Young
It's an absolute delight to "grow up" with a soap star. It doesn't happen often enough (soaps just love SORAS) but when it does; we love it. We, of course, got to grow up with Kristen Alderson. We are saying goodbye to Kiki Jerome this week so we thought it was the perfect time to highlight Kristen as Starr Manning and Kiki Jerome in our Throwback Spotlight.
What do you get when you put Todd Manning's sperm with Blair Cramer's egg? You get spunky, sassy, stubborn, sensational, you get a star, you get Starr Manning. Our little Starr was something else. She did some living! Our little Starr did more in adolescence/teenage/young adult years than most of us could do in ten lifetimes!
Before high school Starr;
- was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia
- kidnapped by her father
- schemed with her father to break up her mother and then-husband Max
- sent Max horse manure
- stole from her father to purchase a love potion to make her parents fall in love again
- helped to save Troy Mclver from a building before it exploded only to end up in foster care
- helped her father escape prison after he was accused, convicted and sent to jail for raping her mother
- ran away with Travis O'Connell
If there was any hope that Starr's life would slow down when she got to high school all bets were off when she met Cole Thornhart. There was no honeymoon phase for this budding relationship. It wasn't long after Cole and Starr started dating that he started using steroids. Then, at a party when Cole was high on drugs he became physical with Starr. Todd tried to stop Starr from seeing Cole. Um, yeah like that would work. Whose daughter was she again? Wasn't that enough for the young loves? There was more. Cole was struggling with the fact that Todd had raped his mother in college. There is teen angst and then there is Cole and Starr teen angst. Starr and Cole won that initial battle with their parents and their relationship grew. It was Starr and Cole against the world!
When Todd feared for his family's safety he decided they would move to Hawaii. Cole and Starr had their own plans for a special goodbye. They made love for the first time. It was supposed to be a party for two. But Todd busted up that party and beat poor Cole to smithereens. Starr got pregnant. As every young girl's momma has told her, it only takes one time (and it doesn't take long). Starr considered abortion. Then her and Cole were going to run away together and raise the baby. Then Starr said she would give her baby up for adoption to Marcie McBain. (None of these occurred.)
On November 6, 2008, Starr gave birth to Hope Manning-Thornhart. But no one is immune to baby switching in soap land, not even teenagers. Starr and Cole were told their daughter died. As always, the soap gawds work in mysterious ways. Cole crashed his car one night driving high. But it was that very car crash that set Cole and Starr on the path to finding baby Hope. They learned they had the same blood type so their baby couldn't have died from RH disease as they were told. That set them on a course to finding out that Jessica Brennan's alter "Bess" had kidnapped their baby. Starr would be reunited with Hope.
Starr could barely go buy a diaper before Cole was arrested on drug possession. Good news, Cole had worked out a deal to keep him out the pen. Bad news he had to go undercover to help expose the people who were pushing all the drugs through Llanview. The night before Cole went undercover, he went undercover again with Starr. This was the first time they had been together since Hope was conceived.
Senior prom approached. What does a young girl fantasize more about than a magical prom night? But Cole, Starr's love of her young life, was......unavailable. Cole had been led to believe by Hannah O'Connor (who wanted Cole for herself) that Todd pushed his mother, Marty, down the stairs and caused her to lose her baby. So this time Cole was the one doing the smithereens beating on Todd. Cole was arrested for attempted murder and went to jail Tragic. But no worries the prom fairy to the rescue. Cole got a one night reprieve. Whew, no girl wants to attend prom alone.
In the vein High School Musical, One Life to Live gave Starr and Cole a spectacular week-long prom event. Yea!! They deserved some fun. They, after all, were still teenagers. But the fun didn't last. They continued to fight (over Todd and Hannah) and Cole refused to see Starr in jail. In walks James Ford into Starr's orbit.
Cole would get out of jail but went back when he confessed to killing Eli Rayburn (when he thought Hope and Starr had died in a warehouse explosion caused by Eli). Starr wanted to run away and start a new life together but Cole turned himself in. Cole got 10 years and urged Starr not to wait for him.
While Cole was in jail, Starr started a full-blown relationship with James, started a music career and lived the "Tale of Two Todd's" (Yep Starr was not immune to the soup tropes. They didn't discriminate lol).
New Year's Eve of 2011, Cole broke out of jail to go look for his parents (he had been told his father was alive and his mother was with him). He wanted to see Hope one last time. Hannah broke out of jail as well. Oh yeah, did I mention she was in jail for attempting to bury James and Starr alive? That's graveyard love with a twist. So, Cole wanted to see his baby girl one last time as any loving father would. But what he got instead was a bullet by Hannah meant for Starr. Poor Cole died with Starr declaring her undying love for him. But he didn't die because it's a soap right? Cole, Starr and Hope reunited again.
In 2012 Cole, Starr and Hope are headed to Llanview because Todd had been arrested for killing his brother Victor Lord, Jr (ex-faux Todd). Their plane was redirected to Port Charles due to bad weather, On the way from the airport Cole, Starr and Hope were struck by a car driven by Anthony Zacchara. Starr escaped but the car still with Cole and Hope fell into a ravine. They didn't make it. Anthony told Starr Sonny shot out his tires and caused the accident. Sonny stood trial but was found not guilty. Starr took the law into her own hands and was going to shoot Sonny until Michael showed up. Starr was arrested and put in jail until daddy Todd came to the rescue and forced Sonny to make Michael recant his testimony.
Starr learned that Johnny Zacchara (who she thought was her friend) had been lying to her. It was Kate Howard's (Johnny's wife) alter "Connie" who was the shooter the night of the accident. Johnny knew and tried to cover it up. She also found out that her father knew too. But Johnny had the goods on Todd about his own baby switching caper so Todd had kept quiet. During Starr's time in Port Charles, she became involved with Michael Corinthos. But that contract dispute with Prospect Park killed that relationship and sent Starr packing never to return. But we know exactly who she's with........cough Cole and Hope. It's a soap, right?
That would be the last Port Charles would see of Starr. But not of Kristen.
Kiki Jerome came to Port Charles when she followed her boyfriend, Morgan Corinthos, back home. Kiki and Morgan had an interesting introduction. They met online. No, not with the help of Match.com or anything like that. They fell in love online while gambling, illegal gambling, a gambling ring. Love comes how it comes.
As you can imagine, when the two got to Port Charles, Sonny and Carly Corinthos didn't exactly greet Kiki with open arms. But that would be the least of her problems. Kiki found out momma Ava, was actually Momma Mob Boss and that her rival was none other than Morgan's daddy, Sonny. And that her biological daddy was indeed alive and none other than Franco (well that is what momma mob boss told her). Let us not forget Kiki and Michael kinda developed a thing (but that was quickly squashed when they thought they were related after the fake paternity reveal). I tell you after a few months in Port Charles I bet those gambling goons didn't look too bad to Kiki after all.
Morgan knew the attraction between his brother and his boo and also knew who Kiki's real father was. Morgan preferred Kiki continued to think she was related to Michael so he kept that tidbit to himself. Kiki and Morgan got married but it didn't last because Kiki found out Morgan had known, Dr. Silas Clay was her real father. Kiki got with Michael and Morgan got with Ava.
Kiki and Michael endured challenges. One was when it was thought that Franco had kidnapped Carly. Then when AJ Quartermaine, Michael's father, was murdered things went downhill fast.
Okay pay close attention because things got real crazy during Kristen's final months on set.
Kiki was getting hit on my faux Luke Spencer. But instead of leaning on Michael because she was grieving she leaned on Morgan. Kiki and Morgan found out that Sonny killed AJ but didn't Michael (because he had already lost one father). Kiki found out that Carly, who was engaged to Franco (yeah that one is still hard to figure), was back in the sack with Sonny. She confessed it to Franco when he pressed her to be honest with him. You all remember that hideous spy necklace Franco gave Carly?
Franco strategically spilled all (and watched the fallout while eating faux popcorn!) about AJ's murder in that epic Novembers sweeps of 2015. Our hearts broke with Micheal's....I mean the man who raised him killed his bio daddy in cold blood. But let me play devil's advocate, Sonny is a mob boss. Yeah, yeah he promised Michael. But really? He's a mob boss for goodness sakes. Okay, I'm done.
All that was devastating enough but Michael also had to face that his brother, his momma and his boo knew everything and had kept it from him. Now, they should have done better. Kiki got her own dose of betrayal when she found out that momma mob boss kept out one small minor detail, Ava "tricked" Sonny into killing AJ. I'm not sure how you trick someone into killing someone else. But let's keep it moving. Oh yeah, Sonny and Ava had cryptic sex by AJ's grave and she was preggo with Sonny's baby. So, Ava feared that Sonny would off her next as soon as the baby was born, for killing Connie Falcaneri. Did I miss anything? If I did, forgive me lol.
Kristen's last scenes on set was with Franco/Roger Howarth. We just love when writers give characters/actors a fitting exit.
Let's fill in the blanks. Ava and Sonny both went to jail for their respective crimes. Michael "Quartermaine" kicked everyone out of his live that had betrayed him, which included Kiki. Nina was at Shaddybrook (for all her shenanigans). Franco who should have been in jail for helping Nina run away with Ava's baby was there to save Nina from Heather, his pyscho mom. Sonny was given a pardon for saving everyone from a bomb on the Haunted Star. Ava was killed during a prison break and was "dead". Michael was livid that Sonny was pardoned and wanted to sue Sonny for custody of Avery, Sonny and Ava's daughter. Kiki was considering fighting for custody as well.
In their final scenes, Kiki discussed with Franco her not being sure if she should fight for custody of Avery. Should she keep Avery from her father?
This scene and dialogue was more a subtext of the relationships between Starr and Todd Manning and Blair and Todd Manning and a farewell to Starr and Todd rather than a scene between Franco and Kiki. It was very good work by the writers to parallel the writing in a way that it worked for all five characters. As previously stated, a fitting farewell.
Kristen said farewell to Port Charles on 2/16/15 but Kiki Jerome would stay until 11/29/18.
A special thank you also to Ms. Haley Erin for continuing what Ms. Alderson started.
Thank you both ladies!
And let's raise a glass to Starr Manning and Kiki Jerome!