In this celebrity-obsessed age, where our attention forever seems to be drawn to hard-partying train wrecks like Paris Hilton & Lindsay Lohan, isn't it nice that there are still performers like Bradford Anderson out there?
"Who's Bradford Anderson?," you ask. Well, seven months ago, Anderson popped up on ABC's "General Hospital" as a day player. Meaning he was only supposed to have this short-running part on that long-running soap. But the response from GH fans to Damian Spinelli, the quirky, fast talking surfer dude / computer geek, was so strong that the folks at ABC Daytime began expanding his role. Which is how this New Hampshire native moved from being a day player to having recurring status to now being a full-blown member of the GH cast.
Photo by Nancy Stadler
Not only that, but ABC Daytime thinks so highly of Bradford's abilities that -- after signing him to a two year contract -- they then offered him a role on their new "General Hospital" spin-off, "General Hospital: Night Shift." Which debuts on SoapNet next Thursday night at 11 p.m. ET / PT.
So here you have a 27-year-old actor (Who GH Casting Director Mark Teschner has called " ... one of the best young actors to come across my desk in 17 years") with jobs on two television series, who just got cast in the latest installment of Universal Studios' "American Pie" series. If anyone has the right to go out clubbing in Hollywood to celebrate his great good fortune, it would probably be Bradford ... Right?
Not last weekend anyway. He wasn't hanging with Hilton or Lohan. But -- rather-- Mr. Anderson was back in the Granite State, appearing at a fundraiser for the Manchester Animal Shelter.
This past Sunday, Bradford met with 50 "General Hospital" enthusiasts out on the back deck of the Derryfield Country Club. Where -- in spite of the heat & humidity -- this "General Hospital" star gamely posed for pictures and signed autographs while chatting with fans for over two hours.
Soap fans - especially GH fans - can be well.. a bit fanatical. But Anderson seemed extremely comfortable hopping from table to table, making sure that everyone got some one-on-one time. In recognition of his character's computer prowess, Bradford even signed one young fan's laptop.
Anderson answered any and all questions. Ranging from what it's like to work with Soap icons Maurice Benard and Steve Burton ("It was intimidating at first but they were extremely welcoming once I proved that I actually knew what I was doing.") to whether he would be attending this year's Super Soap Weekend at Walt Disney World ("I hope to be asked. It's your Q-rating that determines whether you get invited"). Bradford even talked about the "Spinelli Special," that quirky mix of orange soda & barbecue chips that GH writers have his character consume on the show ("Bradford Anderson needs to cut back on the sugar and carbs. So I've asked the staff to make it diet soda on the set. I do like those chips, though. They're hard to stay away from").
In the end, despite the heat and the long time between bathroom breaks, Anderson said he was energized by the fact that his fans were there to talk about the animal shelter as well as his role on General Hospital. "I'm happy to do what I can to help such a good cause," he explained.
Bradford enjoying his GH fansPhoto by Nancy Stadler
The day prior to this fundraiser, Bradford toured the Dunbarton Road facility and seemed very impressed with the staff at the shelter. Who then surprised Anderson by showing him a kitten that actually had been named after his GH character.
Bradford Anderson & SpinelliPhoto by Joanne Jag
How generous was Bradford? He literally gave the Manchester Animal Shelter the shirt off his back. They then turned around and raffled his t-shirt off to the Spinelli fans gathered at the Derryfield Country Club. Which is how this GH fan event was able to raise over $1000 for the Friends of the Manchester Animal Shelter.
Speaking of which ... The Manchester Animal Shelter is a non-profit organization that provides food, shelter and medical care for New Hampshire's stray animals. Each year, this no-kill shelter takes in over 1,000 cats and dogs & then provides them with all of the care they need before these creatures can be adopted by loving homes. This shelter is not run by the city of Manchester. Which is why the Manchester Animal Shelter relies on donations from the public & the private sector to maintain its animal care programs.
If you'd like to join Mr. Anderson in supporting this worthwhile facility, you can do so by making a donation to the Friends of the Manchester Animal Shelter by clicking here.
Manchester Animal Shelter StaffPhoto by Nancy Stadler
To see more pictures of the event, taken by shelter staff photographer Joanne Jag, check out this link.