The Quartermaines got a surprise when Lois’ mom, Gloria Cerullo, showed up at the mansion on Thanksgiving Day. The episode marked the start of a multiple-episode return by veteran actress Ellen Travolta — and as it turns out, Gloria’s checking in on Lois and granddaughter Brook Lynn was at the insistence of her TV daughter Rena Sofer!
In an interview with Spokane, WA, newspaper The Spokesman-Review, Sofer revealed that she told GH executive producer Frank Valentini that her own return was conditional on the soap writing a comeback for Travolta as well! “As soon as we made the deal, I said, ‘You have to bring Ellen Travolta back,’” Sofer shared. “If you think the fans are going to enjoy me being back, you have to bring this woman back.”
Sofer added that her intentions weren’t purely for viewers’ enjoyment. “It was 1,000% selfish. I just wanted to see her,” she confessed. “I haven’t seen her in so long. I missed her. She is the mother of my dreams. She is the mother I wish I had been blessed with in real life, and the fact that I got to have her as my mom for three years, and I get to have her again and get to call her mom, it’s the greatest thing in the world.”
Travolta was Sofer’s houseguest while she was in Los Angeles to work on the soap. “I said, ‘You are staying with me, and I will drive you to work. We’ll go to work together and I’m not very comfortable sharing you, but if you have to see other people, that’s fine,’” Sofer recalled with a laugh. “It was kind of like a prison for her. A nice prison.”
Sofer didn’t even get upset when one of the Prospect Studios attendants paid Travolta extra attention! “The woman at the front, who every day meets us at the security desk and tells us what dressing room we’re in, she really couldn’t be more bothered with me at all. She doesn’t remember my name ever,” Sofer confessed. “But Ellen is there for two days. By the second day, she’s hugging Ellen, she knows her name, Ellen knows her name, they’re so sweet, and she’s like ‘Oh, Ellen, you’re in the best room today, it’s this room and it’s right near me, and if you need anything else, let me know. Then she turns to me and goes, ‘Name?’”
Looking back, Sofer would do it all again. “I am the biggest fan of Ellen Travolta on this planet,” she gushed. “I am a fan of hers personally and professionally. She is somebody I would do anything for.”
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