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50 Greatest Soap Opera Actors: The Complete List


Early in 2010, We Love Soaps pulled together a panel of 15 past and present soap opera journalists and critics to come up with a list of the 50 Greatest Soap Actors of All Time list. Below is the complete list from 1 to 50 which dates back to radio soap operas. This is quite an impressive list of actors. Even more wonderful actors just missed the Top 50 and will appear on the Honorable Mention list. Our goal was to honor some of the men that helped made soaps great and revisit their careers and classic moments.

NAME: Anthony Geary
RANK: 1
SOAP ROLES: Luke Spencer, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1978-1984, 1993-present); Luke Spencer, PORT CHARLES (1998); Bill Eckert, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1991-1993); George Curtis, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (1973); David Lockhart, BRIGHT PROMISE (1971-1972)

NAME: David Canary
RANK: 2
SOAP ROLES: Adam Chandler/Stuart Chandler, ALL MY CHILDREN (1983-2010); Adam Chandler, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (2000, 2005); Steve Frame, ANOTHER WORLD (1981-1983); Warner/Far Wind, THE DOCTORS (1981); Arthur Benson, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (1978); Russ Gehring, PEYTON PLACE (1965-1966)

NAME: Larry Bryggman
RANK: 3
SOAP ROLES: John Dixon, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1969-2004); LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING; Cast on GUIDING LIGHT as a Bauer in 1962 but was drafted into the Army before starting the role

NAME: Michael Zaslow
RANK: 4
SOAP ROLES: David Renaldi, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1983-1986, 1998); Roger Thorpe, GUIDING LIGHT (1971-1980, 1989-1997); Jonathan Hadary, KINGS CROSSING (1982); Michael West, FALCON CREST (1982); Dick Hart, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (1970-1971); Pete Chernak, LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING (1970)

NAME: Justin Deas
RANK: 5
SOAP ROLES: Scott, STEAMBOAT (2010-present); Buzz Cooper, GUIDING LIGHT (1993-2009); Marco Dane, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; Keith Timmons, SANTA BARBARA (1986-1988); Tom Hughes, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1980-1984); Bucky Carter, RYAN'S HOPE (1975-1978)

NAME: Peter Bergman
RANK: 6
SOAP ROLES: Jack Abbott, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (1989-present); Cliff Warner, ALL MY CHILDREN (1979-1989); GUIDING LIGHT; LOVE OF LIFE


NAME: Douglass Watson
RANK: 7
SOAP ROLES: Mackenzie Cory, ANOTHER WORLD (1974-1989); Lloyd Phillips, LOVE OF LIFE (1972-1973); Walter Haskins, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (1966-1968); Robert Wallace, MOMENT OF TRUTH (1965)

NAME: Eric Braeden
RANK: 8
SOAP ROLES: Victor Newman, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (1980-present); Victor Newman, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1999)


NAME: James Mitchell
RANK: 9
SOAP ROLES: Palmer Cortlandt, ALL MY CHILDREN (1979-2010); Julian Hathaway, WHERE THE HEART IS (1969-1973); Lloyd Griffin, THE EDGE OF NIGHT (1964)

NAME: Charles Keating
RANK: 10
SOAP ROLES: James Ritchfield, PORT CHARLES (2001-2003); Carl Hutchins, ANOTHER WORLD (1983-1985, 1991-1999); Niles Mason, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1989-1991); Damon Lazarre, ALL MY CHILDREN (1987-1988)

NAME: Don Hastings
RANK: 11
SOAP ROLES: Bob Hughes, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1960-present); Bob Hughes, OUR PRIVATE WORLD (1965); Jack Lane, THE EDGE OF NIGHT (1956-1960); THE ROAD TO LIFE; HILLTOP HOUSE; PORTIA FACES LIFE

NAME: Grant Aleksander
RANK: 12
SOAP ROLES: Phillip Spaulding (1982-1984, 1986-1991, 1996-2004, 2009); Alec McIntyre, ALL MY CHILDREN (1993-1996); D.J. Phillips, CAPITOL (1986)


NAME: Bernard Barrow
RANK: 13
SOAP ROLES: Louie Slavinsky, LOVING (1990-1993); Johnny Ryan, RYAN'S HOPE (1975-1989); Ira Paulson, THE EDGE OF NIGHT (1974-1975) Dan Kincaid, THE SECRET STORM (1970-1974); Earl Dana, WHERE THE HEART IS (1969-1970)

NAME: Robert Newman
RANK: 14
SOAP ROLES: Joshua Lewis, GUIDING LIGHT (1981-1984, 1986-1991, 1993-2009); Kirk Cranston, SANTA BARBARA (1986); Prescott Harrell, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1985)

NAME: Maurice Benard
RANK: 15
SOAP ROLES: Sonny Corinthos, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1993-1997, 1998-present); Sonny Corinthos, GENERAL HOSPITAL: NIGHT SHIFT (2007); Sonny Corinthos, PORT CHARLES (2000); Nico Kelly, ALL MY CHILDREN (1987-1990)

NAME: Larry Haines
RANK: 16
SOAP ROLES: Neil Warren, LOVING (1994-1995); Sidney Sugarman, ANOTHER WORLD (1989); Stu Bergman, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (1951-1986); TO HAVE AND TO HOLD (1975-1976); THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS (1950); Lew Archer, THE SECOND MRS. BURTON (1952-1960); Joe Roberts, THE GUIDING LIGHT (1950-1951); JOYCE JORDAN MD (1945-1946); ROSEMARY; DAVID HARUM; PEPPER YOUNG'S FAMILY; THE RIGHT TO HAPPINESS; THIS IS NORA DRAKE; YOUNG DOCTOR MALONE

NAME: Darnell Williams
RANK: 17
SOAP ROLES: Jesse Hubbard, ALL MY CHILDREN (1981-1988, 1994, 2001, 2008-present); Griggs, GUIDING LIGHT (2007); Jacob Foster, THE CITY (1995-97); Jacob Foster, LOVING (1995); Jack Durbin, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1994)

NAME: Christian LeBlanc
RANK: 18
SOAP ROLES: Michael Baldwin, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (1991-1993, 1997-present); Weddding Guest, GUIDING LIGHT (2009); Michael Baldwin, AS THE WORLD TURNS (2005); Kirk McColl, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1983-1985)

NAME: Christopher Bernau
RANK: 19
SOAP ROLES: Alan Spaulding, GUIDING LIGHT (1977-1984, 1986-1988); Philip Todd, DARK SHADOWS (1969-1970)


NAME: Benjamin Hendrickson
RANK: 20
SOAP ROLES: Hal Munson, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1985-2004, 2005-2006); Sgt. Bartlett, ANOTHER WORLD (1983); Silas Crocker, GUIDING LIGHT (1981-1983); Chris Shaw, TEXAS (1981)

NAME: John Wesley Shipp
RANK: 21
SOAP ROLES: Carter Jones, ALL MY CHILDREN (1992); Blanchard Lovelace, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1989); Martin Ellis, SANTA BARBARA (1986); Doug Cummings, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1985-1986); Kelly Nelson, GUIDING LIGHT (1980-1984)

NAME: Stuart Damon
RANK: 22
SOAP ROLES: Jim Ford, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (2010); Ralph Manzo, AS THE WORLD TURNS (2009); Alan Quartermaine, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1977-2008); Alan Quartermaine, PORT CHARLES (1997-2002)

NAME: Tom Pelphrey
RANK: 23
SOAP ROLES: Mick Dante, AS THE WORLD TURNS (2009-2010); Jonathan Randall, GUIDING LIGHT (2004-2009)


NAME: Michael Levin
RANK: 24
SOAP ROLES: Tim Gould, ALL MY CHILDREN (1993); John Eldridge, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1991-1992); Jack Fenelli, RYAN'S HOPE (1975-1989)


NAME: Terry Lester
RANK: 25
SOAP ROLES: Royce Keller, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1992-1994); Mason Capwell, SANTA BARBARA (1989-1990); Jack Abbott, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (1980-1989); Rudy Millington, DALLAS (1979)

NAME: Jonathan Jackson
RANK: 26
SOAP ROLES: Lucky Spencer, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1993-1999, 2009-present)



NAME: Lane Davies
RANK: 27
SOAP ROLES: Cameron Lewis, GENERAL HOSPITAL (2002-2004); Ridge Forrester, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1992); Mason Capwell, SANTA BARBARA (1984-1989); Evan Whyland, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1981-1982)

NAME: Robert S. Woods
RANK: 28
SOAP ROLES: Bo Buchanan, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1979-1986, 1988-present); Patrick London, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1988); Paul Stewart, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1986-1987)

NAME: Roger Howarth
RANK: 29
SOAP ROLES: Paul Ryan, AS THE WORLD TURNS (2003-present); Todd Manning, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1992-1998, 2000-2003); Jory, GUIDING LIGHT (1992); Kent Winslow, LOVING (1992)

NAME: Roscoe Born
RANK: 30
SOAP ROLES: Mitch Laurence, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1985-1986, 1987, 2002-2003, 2009-present); Trent, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (2008); Warden, PASSIONS (2007); Tom, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (2005); Peter Vreeland, GUIDING LIGHT (2001); Greg Lauritz, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1999); Jim, ALL MY CHILDREN (1997); Nick Rivers, THE CITY (1995-1997); Kyle McDeere, FAMILY PASSIONS (1993); Quinn Armitage, SANTA BARBARA (1990-1991); Robert Barr, SANTA BARBARA (1989-91); Mark Bailey, PAPER DOLLS (1984); Joe Novak, RYAN’S HOPE (1981-1983, 1988)

NAME: Peter Simon
RANK: 31
SOAP ROLES: Ed Bauer, GUIDING LIGHT (1981-1984, 1986-1996, 2002-2004, 2009); Ian McFarland, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1979-1980); Scott Phillips, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (1968-1977)

NAME: Rick Hearst
RANK: 32
SOAP ROLES: Whip Jones, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (2002, 2009-present); Ric Lansing, GENERAL HOSPITAL (2002-2009); Matt Clark, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (2000-2001); Alan Black, BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 (1997); Alan-Michael Spaulding, GUIDING LIGHT (1990-1996); Scott Banning, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1989-1990)

NAME: Anthony Herrera
RANK: 33
SOAP ROLES: James Stenbeck, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1980-1984, 1986-1989, 1996, 1997-1999, 2001, 2002-2005, 2008, 2009); Dane Hammond, LOVING (1984-1986, 1990-1991); Jack Curtis, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (1976-1977); Mike Kaslo, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (1975); Mark Galloway, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1974-1975); Tim Branigan, THE SECRET STORM (1971-1972); WHERE THE HEART IS

NAME: A Martinez
RANK: 34
SOAP ROLES: Ray Montez, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (2008-2009); Roy DiLucca, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1999-2002); Cruz Castillo, SANTA BARBARA (1984-1992); Julio Delgado, FALCON CREST (1982)

NAME: Michael E. Knight
RANK: 35
SOAP ROLES: Tad Martin, ALL MY CHILDREN (1982-1986, 1988-1990, 1992-present); Ted Orsini, ALL MY CHILDREN (1993-1994); Tad Martin, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (2003, 2005)

NAME: Kin Shriner
RANK: 36
SOAP ROLES: Jon Prescott, GOTHAM (2010-present); Scott Baldwin, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1977-1980, 1982-1984, 1988-1993, 2000-2004, 2007-2008); Keith Morrissey, AS THE WORLD TURNS (2004-2005); Harrison Bartlett, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (2004); Scott Baldwin, PORT CHARLES (1997-2000, 2001); Brian Carey, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1995-1996); Mickey Langer, FAMILY PASSIONS (1993); Mike Gallagher, RITUALS (1984); Jeb Hampton, TEXAS (1980-1981)

NAME: Scott Bryce
RANK: 37
SOAP ROLES: Craig Montgomery, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1982-1987, 1988-1989, 1993-1994, 2007-2008); Dr. Crosby, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (2006)


NAME: Philip Carey
RANK: 38
SOAP ROLES: Asa Buchanan, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1979-2008), Asa Buchanan, ALL MY CHILDREN (2004); Bob Corcoran, BRIGHT PROMISE (1972)


NAME: Gerald Anthony
RANK: 39
SOAP ROLES: Marco Dane, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1992-1993); Rick Madison, ANOTHER WORLD (1991-1992); Marco Dane, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1977-1986, 1989-1990)

NAME: Macdonald Carey
RANK: 40
SOAP ROLES: Tom Horton, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1965-1994); WOMAN IN WHITE (1937), Dick Grosvenor, STELLA DALLAS; Jonathan Hillery, JUST PLAIN BILL; JOHN'S OTHER WIFE (1937); Hickory, YOUNG HICKORY (1937); THE STORY OF ELLEN RANDOLPH

NAME: Stephen Nichols
RANK: 41
SOAP ROLES: Tucker McCall, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (2010-present); Steve "Patch" Johnson, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1985-1990, 2006-2009); Stefan Cassadine, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1996-2003); Carl Canin, MELROSE PLACE (1993); Skyler Gates, SANTA BARBARA (1992)

NAME: Vincent Irizarry
RANK: 42
SOAP ROLES: David Hayward, ALL MY CHILDREN (1997-2006, 2006-present); David Chow, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (2007-2008); David Hayward, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (2005); Riggs, BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 (1997) Nick McHenry Spaulding, GUIDING LIGHT (1991-1996); Scott Clark, SANTA BARBARA (1987-1989); Brandon "Lujack" Luvanoczeck, GUIDING LIGHT (1984-1986)

NAME: Joseph Mascolo
RANK: 43
SOAP ROLES: Stefano DiMera, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1982-1985, 1988, 1993-1996, 1996-2001, 2007-present); Massimo Marone, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (2001-2006); Nicholas Van Buren (Domino), GENERAL HOSPITAL (1989); Carlo, SANTA BARBARA (1985); Ed Lucas, WHERE THE HEART IS (1970-1973); Jack Lander, FROM THESE ROOTS (1961)

NAME: Nicolas Coster
RANK: 44
SOAP ROLES: Eduardo Grimaldi, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1993-1995); Robert Delaney, ANOTHER WORLD (1970, 1972-1976, 1980, 1989); Lionel Lockridge, SANTA BARBARA (1984-1987, 1990, 1992-1993); Steve Andrews, ALL MY CHILDREN (1988-1989); Anthony Makana, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1983-1984); Lyle Sloan/Joe Morris, DALLAS (1978, 1980); Robert Delaney, SOMERSET (1970-1972); Paul Britton, THE SECRET STORM (1964, 1968-1969); John Eldridge, OUR PRIVATE WORLD (1965); Mark Steele, YOUNG DOCTOR MALONE (1962-1963)

NAME: Larkin Malloy
RANK: 45
SOAP ROLES: Dr. Weston, AS THE WORLD TURNS (2002); Travis Montgomery, ALL MY CHILDREN (1987-1992, 1997, 1998, 2001); Clay Alden, LOVING (1992); Kyle Sampson, GUIDING LIGHT (1984-1987); SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (appeared in final episode); Schuyler Whitney/Jefferson Brown, THE EDGE OF NIGHT (1980-1984)

NAME: Jerry verDorn
RANK: 46
SOAP ROLES: Clint Buchanan, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (2005-present); Ross Marler, GUIDING LIGHT (1979-2005)


NAME: Ron Hale
RANK: 47
SOAP ROLES: Mike Corbin, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1995-present); Mike Corbin, PORT CHARLES (1997) Roger Coleridge, RYAN'S HOPE (1975-1989); Jim Abbott, LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING (1973); Walt Driscoll, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (1969)

NAME: John Aniston
RANK: 48
SOAP ROLES: Victor Kiriakis, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1985-present); Martin Tourneur, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (1978-1984); Eddie Aleata, LOVE OF LIFE (1975-1978)

NAME: Jonathan Frid
RANK: 49
SOAP ROLES: Barnabas Collins, DARK SHADOWS (1967-1971); Dr. Field, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1964-1966)


NAME: Tristan Rogers
RANK: 50
SOAP ROLES: Robert Scorpio, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1980-1992, 1995, 2006, 2008); Robert Scorpio, GENERAL HOSPITAL: NIGHT SHIFT (2008); Hunter Jones, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1997); CROSSROADS; Cain Carmichael, NUMBER 96 (1976); BELLBIRD

RELATED:
- 50 Greatest Soap Actors - Honorable Mention
- 50 Greatest Soap Actresses - Complete List

12 comments:

  1. OK what's the next Top 50 List? 50 Top Soap Couples? Pleasepleaseplease!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Only gripe: Lane Davies should be higher.

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  3. So, with limited exception like Pelphrey and Howarth, it seems like you're saying there are no good soap actors under 50 years old, basically.

    I could go into all the people I think ought to be there (chief among them being Matthew Ashford) but it would take too long. Suffice to say, while I applaud the effort this might have taken, I think you may have a bias towards a certain era.

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  4. Ima let you finish, we love soaps, but Scott Evans is one of the greatest actors of all time!

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  5. great list! Much better than the 50 greatest actress list. Maybe easier because the actress list is over stuffed and the actor list has fewer candidates and those candidates stand out. I have personally seen the work of all of these actors and this is a solid list. The order I could quibble with. Neman is too high, Mascalo needs to be pushed up. Bryggman is better than Geary, comedic actors did not fair as well as dramatic actors. Lane Davies should be higher, as should Terry Lester. I don't know who to kick off the list but Hunt Block certainly belonged. Jed Allen maybe too.

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  6. Roger Howarth should be higher

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  7. Where is Ron Raines? His portral of Alan on GL is one of my all tome faves

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  8. My Top 10 would have looked like this:

    1. Michael Zaslow

    2. Larry Bryggman

    3. David Canary

    4. Charles Keating

    5. Chris Bernau--CRIMINAL to have him so low!

    6. Justin Deas

    7. Douglas Watson

    8. Roger Howarth--yes, he's that good, and he's DEFINITELY better than Jonathan Jackson.

    9. Peter Bergman--This is about right for him. Really.

    10. Robert Newman, although I'm tempted to give it to Tom Pelphrey. Yes, Pelphrey is that good.

    Notice Anthony Geary is NOT in my top10. That's because he bores me to death. He's PREDICTABLE. He's shallow. IOW: he's not nearly as good as his hype.

    Really, he isn't.

    Grant Aleksander and Don Hastings are waaaaaaayyyyyy too high.

    I would have put Jerry Van Dorn, A Martinez, Larkin Malloy, Lane Davies, and Joseph Mascolo a lot higher.

    I would have left Tristan Rogers off and put Robert Gentry on here, most definitely.

    The rest are debatable, but probably close enough to where I would have put them.

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  9. Zas is right but Grant Aleksander isn't high enough in my opinion.

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  10. The fact that Stephen Nichols is not higher on this list based on his talent and popularity is a crime.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow, no Doug Davidson, (aka Paul Williams) from Y&R? This guy is probably one of the most underrated actors in daytime.

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