By John Goudas
King Features Syndicate
July 25, 1993
When Vincent Irizarry left GUIDING LIGHT in 1985, he had gained quite a following playing Lujack, a rebellious young man who could turn any woman's head with his sexy smile. Fans kept writing the soap asking when Irizarry would be back. And the producers told him that he could come back anytime he wanted. However, Irizarry went to Hollywood and branched out into prime-time, winning the coveted role of the gangster-father in Jackie Collins' miniseries Lucky/Chances, among other parts. When he returned to soaps, it was on SANTA BARBARA, where he met and married Signy Coleman, who is currently in THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. (They have since divorced and have a young daughter named Siena.)
When Irizarry returned to New York, his hometown, he notified his old bosses at GUIDING LIGHT and they welcomed him back.
There was one stipulation: Irizarry didn't want to resurrect Lujack. He wanted to come back as a new character, so the writers and producers came up with that old ploy (it always works) of a look-alike character named Nick McHenry.
"I enjoyed playing scenes with Beverlee McKinsey [Alexandra] again. She is a wonderful actress, and the whole cast and crew of GUIDING LIGHT are first-rate. Nick is a more mature guy than Lujack, and I like playing that aspect. When you play a guy like Nick, the challenges are more varied. In fact, I recently signed on for two more years."
Although Lujack left a big impression with fans, Irizarry's mail was mostly positive when he returned as Nick. When it was suggested that Irizarry is one of a group of actors on soaps who are perceived as hunks and lovers, he chuckled, and said he has never gotten used to being placed in that category.
"I'm pretty 'doofy' in real life, actually," Irizarry confessed.