Where are They Now? TC Warner (ex-Kelsey Jefferson, 1995-1998)

Pine Valley's Prodigal Daughter Hit a Few Snags Before Finding Her Happy Own Ending


TC Warner (ex-Kelsey) has grown up since her time in Pine Valley.

After almost ten years growing up off-screen, little Kate "Kelsey" Jefferson made her way to Pine Valley in the form of 18 year old TC Warner in 1995. Fresh off the nostalgia of the 25th Anniversary celebration, Warner took on the legacy role of Pine Valley's oldest family's missing granddaughter.

"I was more than honored to be part of the original family that Agnes Nixon created," Warner said. "I was the beginnings of the third generation that had been spoken about for years, but never seen."

Working opposite many of the veteran performers was a daunting task for Warner, but she took it in stride "[They] were the most warm, loving, honest people I have ever come across in the film and TV business," Warner said about her onscreen family. The canvas was full of Martins at this time including her onscreen brother, Charlie Brent (then-Christopher Kennedy Lawford), and original cast member Ray MacDonnell as family patriarch Joe Martin.

Her coming on to the canvas as the youngest Martin coincided with the eldest, Mary Fickett's (Ruth Martin), decision to leave Pine Valley for good. In a controversial move, a younger looking Lee Meriweather, a former Ms. America, took on the contract role for the next two years. "I honestly didn't feel any controversy. We all loved Lee, and missed Mary Fickett terribly." Fickett would return in 1998 in a recurring capacity until 2003, when Meriweather took on the role again.

Warner's introduction also lured back original cast member Karen Lynne Gorney as Kelsey's mother, Tara Martin Jefferson, after over 18 years off the canvas. "I was honored to be part of the show period-- more so now that they had accomplished 25 years of straight success," Warner said.

"I held tight to the sense of being lost-- just as Judy Wilson once impressed on me"

-Warner about Kelsey's motivation

Warner also found guidance from casting director Judy Wilson. "She [Wilson] has been with the show for many years and has all the answer to specifically the character definition, intention and direction," Warner said. "She won my trust very quickly." As did the Producer and Writers. "[They] were smart enough to pick up on my capabilities and go with it," Warner said.

But the now teenage Kesley was not the idealized Kate Jefferson that longtime viewers envisioned in their mind. "She's very calculative," Warner said. "For every move she makes, she expectantly creates the response she thinks she is looking for." Kelsey's early crimes included giving away her son, Sam Grey, to capitalize on Bobby Warner's (Brian Gaskill) trust fund.

Kelsey tried to find herself by running away from home. After the parents' marriage soured, Kesley became a lost child. "I held tight to the sense of being lost-- just as Judy Wilson once impressed on me," Warner said. Just as Kelsey was lost her first days in Pine Valley, so was Warner her first day on the set. "Not remembering where anything was or how to get there-- that specific feeling of disorientation added to the element of the character of Kelsey," said Warner. "She had and will always have sense of being lost."

Despite being onscreen rivals, Warner and Darlena Tejeiro (ex-Anita) were close friends. (Also pictured, Lauren Roman (ex-Laura))

Warner, a newcomer to daytime television, found support in her cast. "John Callahan, Eva [laRue], Kelly Ripa and Darlene [Dahl, now Darlena Tejiero], they really made my life and adjustment to the set and the city much more comfortable," Warner said. "John, Kelly and I first lived in the same building, so that made it easier to rehearse the night before. They helped to make the job fun."

The Callahans and Warner spent much time onscreen after Kesley promised to give her son up for adoption to the Greys. "I love John and Eva. I absolutely adore them to the nines," Warner said. In spite of their growing popularity as a supercouple onscreen and off-screen, "to me, they presented themselves as professional actors."

Warner's early storyline revolved around her teen pregnancy from her one night stand with Bobby, and her crush on her homosexual best friend Kevin Sheffield (Ben Jorgenson). The homosexuality storyline was especially moving for Warner. "The biggest lesson I hope the audience got out of that was that most of the time, we don't choose who we fall in love with," said Warner. "When we do fall in love with that person, that person can possibly be of the same sex, or not-- it just happens to be 'that' person that we fell in love with."

"Kelsey simply loved the person she was with-- Kevin," said Warner. "Kevin didn't love her back regardless if he had a preference to the same sex or not."

Kelsey's humanity came out in her friendship with Kevin, but fans could not ignore the sin's of Kesley's past. "Everytime I went to signings, the fans got into outright verbal arguments about what Kelsey 'should' do," said Warner.

The Sam Grey saga put Warner in the crossfires of some very rabid fans. (Also Pictured: Brian Gaskill (ex-Bobby)).

This was especially true when Kelsey vindictively took her son, Sam Grey, back from the Greys after catching Bobby with Maria's sister, Anita Santos (Tejeiro). The ironic part was that Tejiero and Warner were good friends off-screen. They continue to keep in touch to this day even after Tejiero's departure in 1997.

Some fans responded more positively to Warner. "A lady drove up from Pennsylvania to New York City and I was helping with the Red Cross blood drive, she ran up to me and hugged me and just cried. This was when Kelsey became wise and gave baby Sam up for the last and final time."

Sometimes, Warner became the fan because of the high profile guest stars the program would attract. "Aaron Nevillle, he came on for a day or two," Warner said. "Those were the two days I happen to be not scheduled-- I am an absolute HUGE fan of his."

Loosing the man she loved and her son, Warner spent much of her time onscreen in tears, "but the writing was so good, I was able to put myself in the moments truthfully enough that the tears weren't an issue," Warner said. "It was the being able to not cry during them that was hard."

Warner's longest day on set was Kelsey's inunivited appearence at Julia and Noah Keefer's wedding in 1996. Kelsey crashed the wedding to ask for Sam back from the Grey's in front of the united Santos and Marick families. "Through the whole run of that scene the Producers and Director, camera crew and cast were phenomenal and we may have done one retake if that. I didn't miss one line, or one beat," Warner said. Of course, it was 2:00am before the united ensemble even began the final shoot.

"Everytime I went to signings, the fans got into outright verbal arguments about what Kelsey 'should' do."

- Warner on AMC Fans

Though Kelsey did not find love with Bobby, she was not giving up on the concept. "The four-some (Cameron Mathison (Ryan), Esta Terblanche (Gillian), Daniel Cosgrove (Scott)) was an idea that worked and the audience took to it very well," Warner said about her storyline in 1998. "Acting against those three made every day something to look forward to."

The four shared a comical moment off-screen when a scene asked them to play "truth-or-dare" with all four of them in a bed. "I was dared to do a strip dance on the bed with the three of them below me or Kelsey had to tell the truth about something Gillian would ask," Warner said. "We know Kelsey would rather strip tease than tell the truth."

"Poor Cameron will probably remember this... I stepped onto Cameron's right thigh that was closest to to the outside of the bed. I catapulted straight off the bed, landed on the floor, and as I didn't hear the director say 'cut.' I stood up and continued to strip tease," Warner said.

"Esta, Danny and Cameron were laughing so hard and trying to hold back, they had tears coming out of their eyes. I still continued.. I was always taught that you only stop when the Director says 'cut'," Warner said.

At the conclusion of the love quandrangle storyline, Kelsey left Pine Valley after Liza Colby (Marcy Walker) got her a job as a weather girl in Minneapolis. "I never wanted to leave, I loved that job, and all the people behind it," Warner said. "The contract was over, and yes my exit seemed abrupt." The last mention of Kelsey was in 2003 when Ruth went to visit her.

"I had a good chemistry with the actors," Warner said. "But the character 'Kelsey' was in an ongoing struggle to do just that-- fit in."
After leaving the program, Warner pursued her Masters in Business Administration. She also began working behind the scenes, most recently producing the movie version of the novel "Now Silence." But, she keeps track of her former home, tuning from time to time. "They were the most memorable times of my life," Warner said.

Warner continued to have high hopes for the future of All My Children. "I have to say that All My Children has held its audience for now over 30 years. Ratings are not what will make of break the show," Warner said. "The only reason why the show will close, is because the people behind it decided they no longer wanted to continue."

 

For more on TC Warner check out her Website
For more on Kelsey Jefferson check out her Quick Guide Biography
Interview conducted on May 27th, 2008