BLACKBURN, TED - played by REGGIE CARTER (deceased September 1995) - was the centre-piece of Royal Palm Estate. He portrayed the sublime mix of inherited power, wielded forcefully, yet responsibly, in the true tradition of the plantation landed aristocracy in Jamaica, the 'Backra Massa." Ted Blackburn's untimely death sparked a series of events and battles over the will and family estate that have continued in the years since his death. His sexual escapades during his lifetime spawned an ever increasing crop of heirs (Geoffrey, Richard, Tanya, Ted Jr, CC, Neeka). The older children struggle to maintain their father's legacy, while Ted's widow, Julia struggles to hold on by any means necessary. Sonny T, a long standing acquaintance of Ted while he was alive, proves to be one of the biggest threats to Ted's legacy and Royal Palm Estate. Still, after all these years, Ted Blackburn's spirit lives on and plays a pivotal role in the lives of all at Royal Palm Estate.
Reggie Carter (deceased 1995) was a legendary advertising executive and broadcaster noted for his creativity and, beautiful range of voice. He was no less recognized as a consummate actor who moved with equal ease and authority through classical theatre to indigenous and contemporary productions on stage, screen, radio and television.
BLACKBURN - TAVARES, JULIA - played by BETH HYDE-PARNELL - is the second wife of Ted Blackburn, owner of Royal Palm Estate. Culture shock, a sense of alienation, the sexual failings of her husband and sheer loneliness contrived to make Julia seek both the professional and personal assistance of a psychiatrist, Dr Cuff. A known drug don, Sonny T gave Inspector Trevor Madden a tip about their affair and this led to Madden taking photographs of Julia and Cuff together. These photographs were used to blackmail Julia. This pushed Julia to make up a story about her mother being ill and needing Ted to pay for the "medical expenses". Ted was forced to rent his beach house to Sonny T in order to raise the funds to pay for the supposed medical expenses. This rental agreement would later manifest itself as a fraudulent Sales Agreement for the entire Royal Palm Estate.
After Ted's death she became co-owner of Royal Palm Estate with her step-son Richard Blackburn. She developed an obsessive fixation with Richard which led to jealousy once it became obvious Richard's affections lay elsewhere. Her jealousy culminated in Julia firing a fatal gunshot at Richard's love interest, Dr. Molly Rainford. She was arrested and even imprisoned but by bribing Assistant Commissioner McLaren, Julia was able to get the chief detective, Senior Superintendent Foster removed from the case and transferred. She avoided further investigation and a trial which would more than likely have sent her to prison.
This was a turning point for Julia. She evolved from being the neglected wife to one of the most dangerous villains. Julia's primary concern became maintaining her status at Royal Palm Estate at all costs. Further bribery and manipulation of the police force, contracted assassinations of her enemies (including the murder of Leona), and blackmail have all become parts of Julia's everyday life. The ex-politician turned underworld king pin, Leslie Irving, dared to threaten Julia's position. She first put him in place by seducing him in order to set him up for a rape charge. He was arrested and a prison sentence seemed inevitable.
With the help of her then fiancÚ Sonny T, Julia became even more dangerous. She agreed to marry Sonny T on the condition that he tear up the Sales Agreement which gave him claim to Royal Palm Estate. Little did Julia know that this Sales Agreement was really just a blank sheet of paper and that the original fraudulent document had been destroyed in a fire at the beach house. Julia prolonged her engagement with Sonny T insisting he meet certain demands, one of which was to kill Leslie Irving. Sonny T obliged his fiancÚ thus bringing Julia's body count to three. She then demanded that Sonny T have her ex lover turned blackmailer, Elliot Rouseau become victim #4. Elliot has been blackmailing Julia for years now with information about her first husband (NOT Ted Blackburn) who is still alive, cooped up in a nursing home in Canada and most importantly, still married to Julia. Elliot has even gone so far as to provide Richard with hints of Julia's first husband - an ominous wedding photograph sent by courier.
When she got hold of a package confirming that Richard, Tanya, CC and Neeka were all Ted's children she became desperate. Her engagement had already ignited a fire with Richard and Tanya, but with two other Blackburn children she was forced to marry Sonny T - Elliot or no Elliot. When Richard discovered that the Sales Agreement Sonny T tore up was blank he and Tanya tried to stop the wedding but they were too late.
Julia's marriage to Sonny T got off to a bad start. On their wedding night, Julia and Sonny T prepared to "make love" for the first time, but Sonny T refused to wear a condom. Since then, she and Sonny T have watched their marriage deteriorate. Julia was floored when Sonny T revealed that not only did he know about her first husband in Canada but he also had a prenuptial agreement between Julia and himself stating that if they got divorced then all her assets, including Royal Palm Estate would be passed on to him. Julia has reached an all time low, but the spiritual advisor Baroness Von Kettleholt has given Julia hope. Julia has followed the Baroness' advice to lure Sonny T in with her womanly charms and thus get the upper hand. She finally succeeded and took Sonny T to bed but little did he know that she secretly used a female condom. While in bed, Sonny T, who had up to that point refused to show Julia a copy of the prenup finally showed her the only copy. Much to Sonny T amusement, Julia fainted once she had read it. Unbeknownst to Julia, Richard took a trip to Canada to investigate Julia's past. Richard may have finally learned the truth about Julia's bigamy. Julia's future at Royal Palm Estate and as a free woman are definitely at stake.
Beth Hyde has made Jamaica her home since 1962, after which she became involved in acting. Today, she helps to run a family-owned printery in Kingston. She is one of Royal Palms' longest running characters. She has been in every season of the show since the pilot episode. Her on screen step son Richard Blackburn is actually her real life son, Adam Hyde.
BLACKBURN, TANYA - played by MAYLYNNE WALTON (and formerly MICHELLE SHIELDS, ROSE CONSTANTINI, and DEANNE ALLGROVE) - is the sophisticated, socialite daughter of Ted Blackburn, and a successful actress in the United States who returns home for regular visits or in times of crisis. She grew up on Royal Palm Estate with her father, her mother - Rachel, her brother - Geoffrey, Miss Joyce and son, CC. When Ted died it affected Tanya tremendously. The Blackburn family landscape was changing with the then recent addition of Richard (an "outside" child of Ted's). Tanya's stepmother, Julia and Richard - both of whom she disliked - were now co-owners of Royal Palm Estate. Tanya was left with "only" a Beach House which was occupied by a tenant whose eviction seemed impossible, Leslie Irving. Unfortunately for Tanya, the only way that she eventually got rid of this tenant was by a mysterious fire which burned her precious inheritance down to the ground. Tanya's alienation from her family, the loss of her father, the beach house fire and a drug problem she was then battling led to her having a nervous breakdown.
Tanya decided to return to New York. Her conflicts with the Jamaica-based Blackburns, her acting career and the task of taking care of her dying brother, Geoffrey, kept her away from Royal Palm Estate for many years. In that time Richard moved to New York to be closer to her and their brother Jeffery. Richard and Tanya's sibling relationship grew, Tanya and Julia became increasingly estranged. When Geoffrey died of AIDS, Richard moved back to Royal Palm Estate. This gave Tanya a reason to return home on a more regular basis.
When Julia announced her marriage to Sonny T, Tanya made it a point to stay close to home to give Richard support in fighting their evil "Mommy Dearest" and her devilish husband. Tanya has proved to be much more than Julia ever expected and potentially Julia's biggest threat. Tanya has been happy to welcome her two new siblings, CC and Neeka. She and CC always had a playful crush on each other - despite the disapproval of both their parents. Fortunately, they never acted on those feelings and Tanya is more than happy to have him join her and Richard in their battle against Julia.
On a lighter side, during the recent Blackburn power struggles, Tanya's love life took a positive turn. She met the attractive young diplomat Jordan Dubois and found herself picnicking all across Jamaica with the talented and very much love struck architect Taj Cooper. Unfortunately for both men, Tanya's childhood friend Andre Lawson reentered her life unexpectedly. The two went on a number of casual dates but after some time they spent a romantic week together at a north coast hotel and incorporated a physical element to their budding relationship. Jordan was already out of the picture but Tanya had to cut loose a very disappointed Taj. She and Andre seemed to have been progressing along quite well until a man from her past came into the picture. Pedro (Peter) Martalon was Tanya's ex booking agent, boyfriend and drug dealer. He was the one who established Tanya's acting career, shattered her faith in relationships and got her hooked on drugs. For her own survival she had broken all ties with him but Pedro returned to Jamaica to reclaim what he felt was his. Pedro made many attempts to get Tanya back - at all costs. There was a heated encounter between Andre, Pedro and Tanya which resulted in Andre pulling his gun and firing at Pedro. Pedro may finally be out of Tanya's life, maybe.
Maylynne Walton is a dancer and model. She currently teaches dance at a Kingston High School and coordinates the window displays at a popular Jamaican clothing chain. One of Maylynne's long time passions has been acting. She is now pursuing her acting career on the stage locally and overseas.
Michelle Shields originated the role of Tanya in the first four
seasons of Royal Palm Estate making her acting debut on the set.
BLACKBURN (BLACK) RICHARD - played by ADAM HYDE (formerly FRANZ MCFAYDEN, PAUL NICHOLAS and GORDON SCOTT) - is the illegitimate but heterosexual son (the youngest son) of Ted Blackburn who came looking for his father as an adult. Richard's mother, Teacher Watson, withheld his father's identity until on her deathbed. Despite an initial cold front, Richard was enthusiastically embraced by his father shortly before Ted's untimely passing. Nevertheless, these welcome arms were not felt by the rest of the family. After Ted's death, Richard found an unlikely ally in Julia. Ted had left Royal Palm Estate to the both of them - in co ownership. Julia soon pursued a relationship with her newfound stepson. The relationship quickly soured and ended in the Julia's jealous murder of Dr. Molly Rainford, one of Richard's love interests.
Richard eventually found his way to Kay Figueroa (Tiney Winey). The two built a solid relationship and even reached to the point of Kay being pregnant. At the same time, Richard found himself reluctantly seduced into an "extended" one night stand with his father's ex girlfriend Jennifer Chambers. Jennifer pretended to be pregnant with Richard's child and blackmailed him with this secret. During that period period, Kay lost her baby. Jennifer stole a baby of her own and tried to pose it off as Richard's baby. Richard gained possession of the child and the two disappeared for an extended period of time.
When Richard finally resurfaced, he returned childless and with a completely different "look" and "outlook" on life. He made it clear he would not be resuming his responsibilities down at the Estate's farms. His relationship with Kay or any other romance were definitely not part of his new life and he proclaimed that he had reached a new enlightened plane. At this point in Richard's life he dressed conservatively in all in white clothing, while he grew his hair and took up a guitar in an effort to explore his musical side.
Richard decided to put as much distance between himself and the Estate so he moved to New York to be with his half sister Tanya Blackburn and their dying brother Geoffrey. While in New York, Richard's relationships with his two siblings blossomed. At the same time a new Richard evolved. When Geoffrey died, Richard returned to Jamaica to dispose of his brother's ashes. He planned to stay at the Estate indefinitely but when CC informed him of Julia and Sonny T's engagement, Richard left the Estate. While on this self imposed exile Richard met the accomplished Ad Exec Brittany Anderson, this encounter would prove to have a major effect on Richard's future. As is common for Richard, the spirit of his dead mother visited him and beckoned him to return to Royal Palm Estate to take his rightful place. Much to Julia's displeasure, Richard returned with a new-found enthusiasm and determination to preserve his father and Royal Palm's legacy.
Thanks to the help of his siblings - Tanya and the new-found, CC and Neeka - Richard has become a constant thorn in Julia's side when it comes to her attitude towards the running of the Estate and her relationship with Sonny T. He has made many attempts to talk some sense into Julia but she has continued to defy him by marrying Sonny T and incessantly spending ridiculous amounts of Royal Palm Estate's money without anyone's approval or knowledge until after the fact. Prompted by a dream with a message from his mother, Richard took a trip to Canada to investigate Julia's past. Richard now knows the truth about Julia's first husband - a man barely alive but more importantly still married to Julia. This information could change the landscape of Royal Palm Estate forever.
Like his sister Tanya, Richard's love life has also taken a turn for the better. Richard had sworn off women for many years, but the sensual and highly aggressive web-designer Irie (McIntosh) reminded Richard what he was missing. The advertising Executive Brittany Anderson had recommended Irie to Richard to do his website but proved to be serious competition for Brittany who hoped to inveigle Richard into a relationship. Brittany's controlled advances towards Richard were continually stone walled but it was Irie's aggressive approach which reopened Richard's appetite. Richard and Irie finally gave into their temptations in a number of exciting sexual interludes. While Irie continues to work on the Royal Palm Estate website, Richard made a bold move and opened the door of possibilities to Brittany. Richard has made a definite 180 from his abstinent lifestyle but how far is he willing to go?
Adam Hyde is the CEO of a successful family run printery in Kingston. He started off on Royal Palm Estate many years ago as the playboy John Paul. After a break from the show, during which he perfected his acting skills, Adam returned better than ever. Adam continues to act alongside his real life mother and onscreen step mother, Beth Hyde (Julia Blackburn-Tavares)
Franz McFayden was
the original Richard Blackburn. He is an attorney-at-law who began his acting
career in the Royal Palm Estate television series. Franz has since migrated with his wife to the United States.
Gordon Scott was the third Richard. He is a musician.
BLACKBURN (CAMPBELL), Clifford "CC" - played by BILLY WILMOT - is the son of Miss Joyce, and a dreadlock Rastafarian with a successful music career. CC longed to know the identity of his father but Miss Joyce kept that bit of information a secret for most of CC's life. CC grew up on Royal Palm Estate with Tanya and Geoffrey Blackburn. He and Tanya always had a bit of a crush on each other but thankfully never acted on it. When Ted died he left CC and his mother a plot of land on Royal Palm Estate. This was threatened by Sonny T's fraudulent Sales Agreement for the entire Royal Palm Estate.
CC attempted to achieve a compromise of values with his first non-Rastafarian girlfriend Kafi. CC unfortunately proved to have a wondering "eye" and was never completely faithful to Kafi. After she moved away, he soon turned to the innocent rural school teacher, Selena Sinclair. At the same time, he fathered twins with Royal Palm Estate cook, Pam Pam. Despite his promises to Selena, CC's relationship with Pam Pam continued and she became pregnant again - much to Selena's despair. Pam Pam eventually migrated with CC's three children and married a white man - much to CC's despair. His close relationship with the English reporter, Beth Morris always seemed to be on the verge of moving to another level but was never realized. In an ironic flipside, CC felt threatened by a short-lived relationship Selena developed with the Duke of Earl. Despite all this, CC and Selena have weathered other storms such as their differences on abstinence, marriage and birth control.
CC almost ended up in an affair with Neeka, the cook who replaced Pam Pam at Royal Palm Estate. This was stopped by Miss Joyce with her news that Neeka was CC's half sister. This revelation led CC and Neeka on a hunt to find out the truth about their paternal link which ended with the discovery that their father was none other than Ted Blackburn. Initially this was not met with approval by Miss Joyce but once it became clear that the surviving Blackburn children, Tanya and Richard, were ready to welcome CC and Neeka with open arms, Joyce warmed up. CC had his last name changed from Campbell to Blackburn once the DNA results confirmed that he was Ted's son.
For CC and the other Blackburn siblings, the strength of four threatens Julia Blackburn-Tavares' (Ted's widow) new marriage to Jason 'Sonny T' Tavares. CC and Sonny T still have a lot of bad blood between them because of the disputes over CC and his mother's inheritance and Sonny T's supposed Sales Agreement. When it seemed as though CC's life wasn't complicated enough, Selena became pregnant. Their relationship came to an obvious impasse. Selena had major issues with having the child out of wedlock and CC refused to get married. Selena even considered an abortion but, much to CC's delight, decided not to. As the pregnancy progressed CC's joy regarding his upcoming child with the woman he loved grew. This was cut short when an overly stressed Selena suffered a panic attack and lost the baby. In an effort to keep Selena comfortable and close by, he organized an apartment for Selena in Kingston but this new arrangement did not go as smoothly as CC hoped. Selena felt neglected and eventually decided to take a trip to visit her family in the United States. CC now fears that just like Pam Pam, Selena will get used to the comforts of the U.S. and not return.
Billy Wilmot is the lead singer in a successful reggae band called the Mystic Revealers. He hails from a family tradition of film and theatre. Billy is one of the longest running characters on the show. He has been a key cast member since Royal Palm's first season.
BLACKBURN, NEEKA - played by TRICIA SPENCE - is a feisty, ambitious young woman who replaced Pam Pam as cook at Royal Palm Estate. She initially attracted the roving eye of the gardener at the Estate, Prince - Stringbeans' replacement while away in the U.S. Once Stringbeans returned, she became an ongoing focus of Stringbeans' compliments and advances. Even Mackie took an interest, on his return to the Estate when he got word of Richard Blackburn's disappearance.
The most troubling attraction came from CC, Miss Joyce's son. Neeka and CC almost became intimately involved but it was derailed when Miss Joyce informed CC that he and Neeka were in fact half brother and sister. As the two grappled with their new found familial bond, Neeka's mother, Mama Dassa, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Neeka was distressed about her mother's health, her inability to pay for her mothers treatment and the lack of opportunity to care for her. Julia Blackburn lightened Neeka's load dramatically by giving her an extended paid vacation and offering to pay the full cost of Mama Dassa's treatment.
Neeka and her mother traveled to Kingston for Mama Dassa's treatment which proved successful. While all this was happening, Neeka tricked her mother into revealing her father's identity. She was floored with the knowledge that she was in fact the child of Ted Blackburn. Once CC informed Richard of their paternal commonalities, Richard quickly embraced his two new siblings. Richard informed Neeka that she would no longer be needed as a cook at the greathouse. he instead had bigger plans for his little sister. He sent her on a computer course in Kingston, and then a course in Hotel Management. Richard has been taking care of all her financial needs. Richard intends to have Neeka play an integral role in his long-term plans for Royal Palm Estate. Like CC, Neeka had her last name changed to Blackburn after the DNA results came in.
Tricia Spence is a university student and an increasingly popular radio personality.
BLACKBURN, GEOFFREY - played by ROBIN BASTON - Ted Blackburn's homosexual son from his first marriage to Rachel Blackburn. He and Ted were never close because of Geoffrey's sexual orientation. Geoffrey migrated to the United States for treatment when he learned he had contracted the AIDS virus. Although he never got the approval of Ted before his father's death, he was surrounded by his sister Tanya, his half brother Richard and his mother Rachel when he finally succumbed to the effects of his disease.
Robin Baston is currently involved in the technical aspects of the entertainment industry.
BLACKBURN, RACHEL - played by SONIA VAZ - Ted Blackburn's first wife and mother of Geoffrey and Tanya Blackburn. She lives in New York but occasionally returns to Jamaica to support her daughter or stir up trouble. After Ted's death she remained in New York caring for Geoffrey till his death from AIDS.
Sonia Vaz is the founder of a well known swim wear manufacturing company.
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