Video Digest: April 11, 2008

Welcome to Brenda’s World (Welcome): Meave Gallagher introduces us to the telegenetically engineered Ms. Brenda Dickson.

Well, hello! And welcome to the world of Ms. Brenda Dickson. You may know her from her tenure on The Young and the Restless, where she played Jill Foster Abbott from the program’s inception in 1973 to 1980, then reprised the role from 1983 to 1987, when she outshone all the superbitches on Dynasty to become one of the genre’s most beloved villains.

Don’t tell me you don’t know who I’m talking about. No? Well, let’s start with a little flashback, courtesy of E! True Hollywood Story.

Now that we’re all a little more familiar with Ms. Dickson, we can get into the real details of what makes her tick. What’s that? You’re unfamiliar with this Jill Foster Abbott character; you don’t understand why she’s so beloved? Let’s watch a scene from Y&R and find out.

Feel a little better? A little closer? Admit it, you’re practically a fan of hers already. As a fan, you must be dying to know how Miss California World 1967 managed to retain her radiant good looks 20 years later, despite a grueling work schedule and personal turmoil that plagued her throughout her career. Well, you’re in luck: Ms. Brenda Dickson has made a very special video just for you.

Oh no, please, don’t let me interrupt Ms. Dickson right in the middle of a makeup lesson!

Do you feel as though you’ve learned something? I certainly have: Thanks to my vegan diet, I’ve got a cellulite-free lifetime to enjoy! How kind of Ms. Dickson to give us a glimpse of her glamorous lifestyle and her secrets to maintaining it.

Now, with any great artist comes great admiration, and as my mother always told me, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. May I now present to you Welcome to Our House, an homage to the great Ms. Dickson’s Welcome to My Home.

Remarkable, isn’t it? Those ladies are no slouches, no indeed. In fact, because they felt they had not paid their full respects to Ms. Brenda Dickson’s magical video, they made several sequels. This clip is from Welcome to Our House No. 3: Hygiene & Makeup.

Things weren’t all fruit smoothies and eyeliner for Ms. Dickson. Amid great scandal, she left Y&R in 1980, briefly married dentist Robert Rifkin, then made a dazzling comeback to the show in 1983, which she explains to this understandably star-struck interviewer here.

You must be curious about the changes to Jill Foster Abbott that took place over her three-year absence. Let me tell you, she only got wickeder.

As for Ms. Dickson’s personal life, she departed Y&R a second time in 1987 and later married an attorney, Jan Weinberg, with whom she moved to Hawaii. Tragedy struck in 2005 with ugly divorce proceedings that found our heroine jailed several times for contempt of court. The exact lawfulness of the case remains debatable; imagine what duress Ms. Brenda Dickson must have been under at this time.

Still, this unfortunate outburst should not—no, could not—tarnish the glow of Brenda Dickson’s star. Here, an homage to the homage of the timeless Welcome to My Home, Welcome to Our House, Welcome.

Oh youth! They couldn’t have chosen better models of a role model. Of course, by now you’re wondering, what is the one true Jill Foster Abbott doing these days? Lucky for us, “Hollywood” Marci Weiner has the inside scoop on Ms. Dickson’s moving and shaking through tinseltown.

And finally, the best Brenda Dickson clip show the internet has to offer.

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