2010 has a banner year for WE LOVE SOAPS TV. We have enjoyed bringing you the hottest news stories, deepest interviews, classic clips, historical articles, and cutting edge indie soaps, 365 days of the year. We have relished the opportunity to witness, and at times be a part of, the changing landscape of the soap industry, both on and off-screen.
We wanted to end 2010 with a special list of individuals who compelled, captivated, and fascinated us this past year. These are people who one way or another broke new ground making soap history, blazed new trails, and inspired the creative souls of their audience and their peers. Below is our list of the 15 Most Fascinating People of 2010.
Ken Corday (Executive Producer, DAYS OF OUR LIVES)
Why Is He So Fascinating? Corday pulled a rabbit out of his hat in 2010 by getting DAYS renewed for two years during the worst economy of its entire 45 year run. He made public declarations of commitment to telling stories about characters over 50 years of age and devoted three weeks of airtime to acknowledging and celebrating the legacy of Frances Reid (Alice Horton). Corday also published an almost too revealing memoir about his family legacy, including their struggles with mental illness, and what DAYS symbolized within the Corday clan. In addition, he continued to work furiously behind the scenes to protect the show from "sharks" and keep Salem alive and kicking as the lone soap opera on NBC.
James Franco (Franco, GH)
Why Is He So Fascinating? Franco brought untold heaps of publicity and awareness to daytime television through his appearances on GENERAL HOSPITAL which started in 2009 and continued in 2010. From day one, he always treated his work on GH with the gravity that he approached his Golden Globe nominated role in 127 Hours. Even with his success in films, Franco continues to visit Port Charles, and will be making appearances on GH to coincide with his February hosting duties for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. Franco's many contributions to the entertainment industry in 2010 included his hilarious hosting gig on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, his art shows, his engaging partnership with performance artist Kalup Linzy (which is now turning musical), as well as his fascinating soap character's obsession with Jason Morgan. Never before has a rising film star demonstrated so much respect for a daytime soap opera. As Franco continues to blaze new trails, here's hoping more A-list actors follow him to daytime.
Colleen Zenk (ex-Barbara, AS THE WORLD TURNS)
Why Is She So Fascinating? Zenk fearlessly and publicly confronted her personal issues head on in the press, giving all of us the courage to face our own fears as well. From coping with the aftermath of oral cancer, to losing her job of 32 years, to getting a divorce, she survived and thrived in the face of adversity and heartache. Zenk stole the show at We Love Soaps Weekend demonstrating this "Broadway Baby" has a lot of kick left in her. Her Off-Broadway performances in Summer Stock NYC dazzled thousands of New Yorkers. A grassroots campaign to get her on Season 12 of ABC's DANCING WITH THE STARS is constantly gaining momentum signaling even bigger things ahead for this ageless wonder in 2011.
Anthony Anderson (Producer/Director/Writer/Star, ANACOSTIA).
Why Is He So Fascinating? Anderson set the Indie Soap Revolution on its ear by creating juicy, lengthy, and emotionally captivating drama on ANACOSTIA. He became a one-man marching band for the revitalization and rebirth of this Washington, DC suburb through his telling of grounded, addictive, character-based story telling. Anderson remained outspoken about the rights and needs of gay Black independent filmmakers, while staying humble, compassionate, and incredibly generous to his cast and crew. ANACOSTIA remained a sweet treat for any soap fan who appreciates diversity, romance, mystery, and some steaming love scenes. The cast, which includes Anderson's fascinating Sean, won the 2010 Indie Soap Award for Best Ensemble. The future is bright for this rising voice in the industry.
Suzanne Rogers (Maggie, DAYS)
Why Is She So Fascinating? The Emmy Award-winning Rogers redefined the word "patience" by waiting nearly 30 years to return as the front and center heroine in Salem. She infused Maggie's post-Mickey death scenes with a quiet dignity, gentle grace, and anguishing pain that is rarely scene on daytime television anymore. She remained a powerhouse who can hold her own with every cast member on DAYS, and discovered new captivating chemistry with veteran John Aniston (Victor). Rogers brought comforting heart, stubborn compassion, and witty humor into every scene and fascinated us more than ever in 2010.
Gregori Martin (Executive Producer/Writer/Director, THE BAY)
Why Is He So Fascinating? Martin set out to revitalize the indie soap genre in 2010 by bringing together over a dozen daytime fan favorites from the past 30 years in his latest creation, soapy web series THE BAY. He tirelessly devoted himself to illustrating the struggles of the fictional Garrett family (lead by Mary Beth Evans), bringing their tortured plights to our screens. Martin continues to demonstrate a passion and commitment for working with beloved actors (Tristan Rogers, Lane Davies, Matt Ashford, Charles Shaughnessy, etc.) in order to satisfy the fans who miss them most and continues to utilize daytime stars in his independent film projects.
Florencia Lozano (Tea, ONE LIFE TO LIVE)
Why Is She So Fascinating? Lozano grabbed our attention in 2010 with her raw Emmy-worthy performances as dying cancer victim Tea Delgado on ONE LIFE TO LIVE. But she really took our breath away in her self-written Off-Broadway play "Underneath My Bed." Lozano's revealing show, based on real-life events from her childhood, exposed sacrifices and challenges of adolescence that have never been expressed so eloquently and artistically by a working actress. Luckily for soap fans, Lozano's character wasn't as dead as first believed, and she continues to fascinate as Tea. Here's hoping this one of a kind beauty continues to shine both in front of and behind the camera in 2011.
Michael Park (ex-Jack, AS THE WORLD TURNS; Richard, GOTHAM; Dirk, STEAMBOAT)
Why Is He So Fascinating? Park brought Emmy viewers to tears, on screen and in the press room, after winning as Outstanding Lead Actor for his 13 year role as Jack Snyder on AS THE WORLD TURNS, days after shooting the final scenes of the series. Park fueled his last year of performances as Jack with uncomfortable vulnerability and unflinching grief. He creatively soared in his comedic role as washed-up 40something soap star Dirk on STEAMBOAT, and troubled Richard on GOTHAM. He entertained New York audiences in stage performances in "Middletown" and "Burnt Part Boys" taking the stage by storm once again in 2010.
Tina Sloan (Theodora, EMPIRE; Katherine, VENICE)
Why Is She So Fascinating? Sloan demonstrated inspiring new vitality and spirit after the ending of the 26 year role as Lillian on GUIDING LIGHT. She wrote "Changing Shoes," an autobiographical piece that entertains, inspires, and enlightens like no other book you have read in 2010. She performed her one woman play of the same name for thousands of fans around the country including former President George H.W. Bush. She also appeared in multiple films including Oh My Love, Black Swan and Happy New Year. Sloan grabbed the Indie Soap Revolution storm by taking on a second role in 2010, a hilarious portrayal of the conniving and manipulative villainess Theodora on EMPIRE, which brought comparisons to her bitchy Kate Cannell on SOMERSET in the 1970s.
Crystal Chappell (Gina, VENICE; Executive Producer, VENICE; Carly, DAYS)
Why Is She So Fascinating? Chappell continued to break down barriers on and off screen in 2010. She retooled VENICE THE SERIES into an addictive, cohesive, character-based drama that now envelopes complex family dynamics into its narrative, and demonstrates the power of indie soaps to compete with (and improve upon) daytime staples. She consistently uplifted tepid storylines on DAYS into compelling drama with her performances. She also demonstrated dignity and poise as the last Emmy-nominated Leading Actress from GUIDING LIGHT. In addition, Chappell remained unflinching in her commitment to support and ascend her devoted gay/lesbian following and the causes she believes in including her participation in the NOH8 and It Gets Better campaigns.
Steve Silverman (Creator/Director/Writer, PRETTY)
Why Is He So Fascinating? Silverman may be one of the most brilliant minds in the entertainment industry. His sharp sense of humor and outrageous take on the child pageant industry has fans of his series, PRETTY, clicking "replay" again and again. In the second season of the hit web comedy, he was able to bring us amazing new characters played by the likes of Kirsten Vangsness, Joan Van Ark, Jennifer Elise Cox, Melissa Peterman and more. He also single-handedly brought daytime soap legend Denise Alexander to the world of web series. If all that wasn't enough, writing the best song of the year, "Gumdrop the Unicorn," would him a spot on anyone's list. Pure genius.
Chris Colfer (Kurt, GLEE)
Why Is He So Fascinating? Colfer's Kurt Hummel on GLEE has been one of the most fascinating characters to watch in 2010. The vulnerability he brings to the role week after week has been unmatched and earned him a Golden Globe nomination. Whether Kurt's singing his heart out in the glee club, battling bullies or building a strong relationship with his father (the also fascinating Mike O'Malley), he never fails to entertain and make us root for him. Colfer's work offscreen has not gone unnoticed as well lending himself to such causes as Education Through Music, Stars for a Cause, and It Gets Better.
Debbi Morgan (Angie, ALL MY CHILDREN)
Why Is She So Fascinating? In 2010, the Emmy-winning Morgan single-handedly salvaged one of the most cliched daytime soap opera staples of all-time: Heroine Gets Tragic Disease. She lent dignity and gravity to Angie's crises of faith and spiritual struggles in one of the most awe-inspiring performances of the year. For the first time since her return in 2008, Morgan was given the chance to show newer fans her unsurpassed ability to register horror, fear, anger, disgust, and hope, all within 10 seconds.
Susan Flannery (Stephanie, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL)
Why Is She So Fascinating? Like Morgan, Flannery is also able to turn a soap cliche into a mastery of work. Front and center as B&B celebrated 23 years on the air, she portrayed Stephanie's diagnosis of lung cancer into a wake-up call for action, activism, and compassion, while remaining grounded in Stephanie's historic angst. Consistently managed to lend gravity and dignity to campy and dramatic situations, while elevating the quality of the writing and acting in every scene she appeared. Off screen, Flannery remained an essential voice for actor's rights.
Christian LeBlanc (Michael, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS)
Why Is He So Fascinating? Combining one part serious actor, and another part frenetic artiste, LeBlanc's performances on and off-screen in 2010 were captivating. He brought hosting the Creative Emmys a whole new meaning by beginning the ceremonies in his underwear. He continued to create memorizing and haunting images of New Orleans in his prized art work. And as a beloved Y&R cast member, he maintained solid status as Michael, the solid go-to guy, for any implausible situation in Genoa City, and was an entertaining and vocal face for the show in various interviews and promotions. When Y&R went on location this fall to The Big Easy, he served as a tour guide for a number of fun behind the scenes videos. LeBlanc continued to do it all this year and never failed to fascinate.