As Saul Berenson on Homeland, Mandy Patinkin can find anyone. But in real-life, the hirsute star of stage and screen had been stumped in his efforts to get in touch with a pair of ex-girlfriends from high school and college.
As Patinkin explained during a visit to Live with Kelly and Michael in December, he had been looking for a woman named Sandy, who had given him her first kiss. That appearance led to a few phone calls between the two grammar-school sweethearts, but no face-to-face meeting.
All that changed on Wednesday's show. As the Princess Bride star recounted the story to the hosts, a mysterious woman came up behind him – Sandy Hyman, live and in the flesh.
While sharing a loving embrace, Hyman had some corrections for her old flame. "If anyone saw the tape [of Patinkin's previous appearance] you said we were in sixth grade. We did not kiss in sixth grade. It was either eighth or ninth grade."
"We spent seven minutes in heaven, and yes, you were my first kiss," she added.
Later in the segment, Patinkin got an even bigger surprise.
As he told his hosts, he had spent years trying to track down another ex, his college girlfriend Leanore Haines. (Not, he added, in a creepy way. "I'm 61 years old" he explained, "you just want to find everybody again.") Despite his government contacts, Patinkin had been unable to find Haines, so host Kelly Ripa encouraged him to record a message asking viewers for help. As he ran down Haines's biographical info, he was interrupted by the woman herself. Michael and Kelly had done what the CIA could not.
Patinkin was ecstatic to see her. "I can't take this!" he screamed. "Am I dying or something?"
Reunited, the pair swapped stories of their college days, and caught up with each other's lives. Patinkin learned that his ex (now Leanore Haines Hicks) had three children – the same age as his own – one of whom was in the studio.
As Patinkin waved to Haines's son, he couldn't resist getting in a last quip: "I'm not your father, am I?"
He wasn't, but the segment will still go down in daytime TV history nonetheless.