From Genoa City to Giant Eagle, daytime actor Doug Davidson made a welcomed appearance Saturday at the Leetsdale supermarket, delighting fans of The Young and the Restless. The event also included live music from "Pocket Change" and an appearance by 3WS DJ Mike Frazer.
Davidson, best known for playing the role of private detective Paul Williams, snapped photos, signed autographs and visited with fans for two hours as part of Giant Eagle's grand re-opening festivities celebrating the supermarket’s expansion.
Maggie Scalercio, 84, of Sewickley, was excited to finally get a hug and a picture taken with Davidson, who got on one knee for her.
“He made me blush,” said Scalercio, who waited with her daughter Donna Grago of Leetsdale.
Dozens of mostly-female fans lined up, some a half-hour beforehand, to get up close and personal with the blonde-haired, blue-eyed actor, who received numerous compliments on his good looks in-person and in reference to his age.
Elaine Stumpf, 59, of Finleyville, drove about an hour to meet Davidson, describing herself as a “big time” fan. And Marion Shotter, 63, of Ambridge, said she’s been in love with the soap opera since it first aired. To prove it, she brought along a collector's plate from the show that she's owned since 1991.
“It was a gift from my son and daughter-in-law,” said Shotter, who welcomed Davidson’s autograph on the backside of the plate.
Some fans, like Yvonne Wilkinson, weren’t up to speed on the Emmy-winning show, but said they were familiar with Davidson from watching through the years.
“I have seen him. I’m familiar with his character,” said Wilkinson, 57, of Sewickley.
Davidson said he was enjoying the time with fans. He said he flew in Saturday from sunny California, where he lives, and was still adjusting to Pittsburgh’s single-digit temperatures. But this wasn’t his first time in the area.
The soap, which originally aired in 1973, has filmed on location in Pittsburgh. Die-hard fans said they could recall episodes that made references to the Steel City. Davidson joined the show in 1978.
Waiting in line for Davidson, A.J. Mixter, 33, of Ambridge, described a long Y&R history in her family. Her grandmother and mother were fans; she fell in love with the show at 8 years old. On Saturday, she dragged her own children out for the special occasion.
“I still watch it, but I’m not actively current on it. I loved [Y&R] way back when he and Cricket married each other,” Mixter said, referring to co-star Lauralee Kristen Bell.
Everyone waited calmly in line for their turn, like Alyssa Jamison, 14, though she admitted things might be a little different if this were her favorite pop star.
“If Justin Bieber were here, I’d be screaming my head off,” she said.
Celebrity appearances scheduled for next month include Deryk Engelland, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman, at 5 p.m. Feb. 10. and Bryan Trottier, former Pens centerman and seven-time Stanley Cup winner at noon Feb. 18.