The late Tony Bennett, who died today at the age of 96, once appeared on As the World Turns as himself back in 1985. The singer is best known for singing, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Now, alumni of the show recall the late crooner’s professionalism and kindness during his visit to Oakdale.
Tony Bennett: He Left His Heart In Oakdale
“I just remember that he was kind and gentle and gracious,” John Wesley Shipp (ex-Douglas Cummings) tells Soap Hub about Bennett. He and Shipp shared the stage together when the legendary singer came to town to perform at the opening of Caroline’s restaurant, which Douglas owned and named after his late wife. Bennett was referenced a few times leading up to his episode, and months later, Meg Snyder (Jennifer Ashe) failed to hide her jealousy after Lily Walsh (Martha Byrne) mentioned how exciting it was to see him perform in person.
Scott Bryce (ex-Craig) recalls appearing in the episode with Bennett. “Back in the day, I had the distinct honor to work with Tony for one day on ATWT,” the actor recalls. “He sang only one song (incredible performance), and he was out the door by lunch.” Bryce adds that three years later, he and Bennett passed each other on the street. “I said, ‘Mr. Bennett, good to see you, sir,'” Bryce recalls. “He replied, ‘Good to see you, Mr. Bryce.’ He remembered me!! Wow. RIP, sir.”
When Tony Met Sally
Michael Swan didn’t join ATWT as Duncan until the spring of 1986, months after Bennett’s appearance on the show. But he later still got to see him in person in Los Angeles. “I’ll never forget when the great Darlene Conley (Sally Spectra) invited me to see Diana Krall at the Hollywood Bowl,” recalls Swan, who played Adam Alexander, Sally’s former husband. “Turned out Diana was opening for Tony Bennett.”
Tony Bennett: A Life Well Lived
Despite battling Alzheimer’s disease, Bennett continued to perform in a series of concerts in New York as recently as two years ago when Lada Gaga accompanied him. Bennett did an album with Gaga that won two Grammy awards. Despite musical tastes changing over the decades, Bennett and his talent endured and even thrived.
Throughout his career, he sang on over 70 albums, winning 19 Grammys. His song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” was chosen by the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress in 2018. Bennett’s other hits include “Because of You,” “Rags to Riches,” “Stranger in Paradise,” and “There’ll Be No Teardrops Tonight.”
His last album was titled “Love for Sale” in 2021 and was a tribute to Cole Porter. Soap Hub sends sincere condolences to Bennett’s family, friends, and fans at this difficult time.