Sunday, January 31, 2010

50 Greatest Soap Actresses: #8 Crystal Chappell

NAME: Crystal Chappell
SOAP ROLES: Carly Manning, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1990-1993, 2009-present); Gina Brogno, VENICE (2009-present); Olivia Spencer, GUIDING LIGHT (1999-2009); Maggie Carpenter, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1995-1997); Jane, SANTA BARBARA (1990); Janie, ALL MY CHILDREN (1989)

2008 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
2007 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
2006 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
2005 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
2002 Daytime Emmy win for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
1993 Soap Opera Digest Award win for Hottest Female Star

Claire Labine: (wrote for Chappell at GL and OLTL) What a peach. What a peach! I think we succeeded in making that character [Olivia] more complex instead of just a bad girl with fangs. I loved her, and I loved the way Crystal played her. What an actress.

Mimi Torchin: Is she gorgeous, sexy and real? Hell, yes. Is she a subtle and nuanced yet also a no-holds-barred, fearless actress who never makes a false move in a scene? You bet. Is she one of the savviest entrepreneurs in the business, who might just single-handedly show the industry pros how to rescue our flagging industry? Uh, huh. Oh, and did I mention gorgeous, sexy and real?

Jonathan Reiner: The best "film-noir" actress on soaps, and worthy of the word icon thanks for her stints on DAYS and GL.

Alan Carter: Buried alive? Most actresses would have looked ridiculous trying to look smart, scared, tough and nervous all at the same time. What WAS a ridiculous plot was made riveting by caring if Carly would make it out alive...even if we knew she would.

Nelson Aspen: Everyone agrees that she is a goddess, but it is her sensual, commanding presence that ultimately keeps this talented lady so sought after in front of the cameras. It's been fascinating to watch her growth BEHIND the camera as well and makes me think she will be the Susan Flannery of her generation: acting, directing and being a part of Daytime for as long as she's willing to stay!

Damon L. Jacobs: There is a reason why Crystal Chappell is #8 on this list.  For nearly twenty years, she has consistently brought a quiet sense of intelligence and depth into her every role.  From young Dr. Carly in her first round on DAYS, to Maggie The Juggling Nun on OLTL, to pre-Natalia unlucky-in-love Olivia on GL, there has always been a layer of anguish and hopeful contemplation in every scene she plays.  In this past year we have seen her take her acting to new levels on GL and DAYS, we have seen her embrace the role of producer on VENICE, and we have seen her embody the pioneering spirit of independent web series in multiple mainstream media outlets.   Her ability to renew and redo her roles on and off screen inspires the rest of us to try harder and push farther in our roles.

Roger Newcomb: Crystal Chappell proved on GUIDING LIGHT in its last two years that it doesn't have to matter what sized set you're using, what type of camera you're using, how good the lighting is, how much time you have to prepare or any of that stuff. She made every single scene work. She gave some individual performances that rank right up with the very best daytime has ever seen.

Robert Newman: (worked with Chappell on GL) If Crystal asked me about coming onto VENICE I would do it because I love Crystal and I would do that for her.

Wally Kurth: (works with Chappell on DAYS) She is a new actress for me but I am looking forward to spending more time working with her. She likes rehearsal and talking things through, which is very important. These days, we have no time for a second take or to work it out on the set, so you better get all your ideas and issues about the material out of the way, in your dressing rooms - where everyone rehearses. Crystal appears to be always prepared and knows what she wants from the material. I like to be surprised during the course of a scene, by my reaction and to my partners action and reaction. Crystal always gives me something I never see in rehearsal; as actors, we want to save stuff for the camera. Crystal always does.

Jessica Leccia: (works with Chappell on VENICE and worked with Chappell on GL) Crystal always has her finger on the pulse. She knows what's going on, and I think that's why she's so successful. She's a smart cookie.

Kimmy Turrisi: (co-creator of VENICE) From a writers perspective, creating a character and writing for Crystal is pure joy. She has the amazing ability to take whatever is on the page and breath so much life into that it sucks you in. Her subtle nuances give you so much insight into the characters she plays. She does more with her eyes than a lot of people do with an entire scene. As a friend, her loyalty is unmatched. She has given a voice to a community that desperately needed one and one i belong to, so I couldn't be more proud to call her my friend.

Leslie Penny: (publicist) Crystal and I have known one another for over 12 years. Most people look at her and can't help but see her obvious beauty, but to know her well is to know her loyalty. She is fiercely protective of those she loves and one of the smartest women I know. When you talk to her, you know she is listening and cares. Yes, her acting is unparalleled, no question about it, but I feel lucky to call Crystal a friend first and foremost.

- Day of DAYS Interview from November 2009: Video / Transcript
- Crystal Chappell and Peter Reckell press conference call transcript from November 2009
- Interview on the set of VENICE from October 2009 with We Love Soaps west coast correspondent Stephanie Burke


  1. Great ranking, congratulations to Crystal! Well deserved in my very humble opinion :)

  2. All I want to know is who are the hacks ahead of her? I kid I kid, sorta. She's phenomenal as an actress and truly deserves any accolades she is given. She makes any scene she's in better, even without saying a word. Very well deserved and I hope she decides to stick around for a long long time for us, we're selfish like that.Congrats!

  3. Surprised Crystal is not in your top 5! She should be- if not #1, in my opinion. Who else can command a scene like this woman? Who else can drive thousands of women to buy spongebob squarepants pjs? Who else can drive the stocks of Grey Goose and Redbull through the roof with just a mention? Yeah, that would be no one!

    Crystal is the only reason I watch soaps. I will support her every project and follower her where ever she goes! She may be your #8- but she will always be my #1!

  4. Congratulations to Crystal ! She is an amazing actress and a phenomenal lady. Not only does she always give 100%, but other actors seem to step their game up in scenes with CC. Her eyes alone could carry an entire scene !

    Crystal is a very caring and giving person. She is constantly on the go for one cause or another. She is readily accessible to her fans and truly cares about us.

    CC will always be #1 to her fans and friends. No one can top her ! She is truly the GODDESS of DAYTIME TV !!!!!!!!

  5. Congratulations Crystal on achieving #8 of greatest soap actresses!! In my heart you will always be #1!!!! This is truly a remarkable accomplishment and the words expressedby the panel and your peers and friends truly sum up all that has made you a legend in your industry and why i became a huge fan of yours in the 90's on DOOL and why i watched in awe you performances of the past year on Guiding Light. The transformation of Olivia to loving caring and dedicated partner to Natalia was breathtaking to behold and worthy of the Emmy in this years ceremony!!!

    Amd thanks for being so gracious and open to your fans and sharing your journey with us!! It is very much appreciated!! As well as bringing Venice to our lives and giving the gay community a voice it so very much needed!!!

    PS..please please please take Robert up on his offer to join the cast!! ;)

    Congrats again on your well deserved honor!!


  6. Wow, congrats to Crystal! This is MUCH deserved. In front of the camera, she is hands-down the most beautiful, talented, & nuanced actress in the biz.
    It's the loyal, generous, and genuine person she is behind the scenes, to friends & fans alike...that make her #1.

  7. Watching this list count down from 50 has been a blast. When we reached 11, I hauled out pen and paper to predict who the top ten would be. Not an auspicious start (9 and 10 weren't on my list; but who can argue those two choices!), but Crystal was in my top ten for sure, just a couple of places higher (top five). I can't wait to see how I do for the final 7. Meanwhile, I surely agree with all the kudos showered on her. She is a truly gifted actress who, with regularity, makes me exclaim, "Wow! Was that GOOD!" after a scene. And she's a wonderful human being to boot.

  8. Crystal was my pick for #8 so I am thrilled. I just wish that you had also included comments from Louise Sorel, Kim Zimmer and Jessica Leccia, since Crystal did much of her finest acting with those screen partners.

  9. Crystal Chappell is a phenomenal actress and well deserving of the accolades she receives. She continually raises for bar to those around here and brings out the very best in them.

    For 10 years on GL, she lured us into loving and pulling for a somewhat unlikeable character in Olivia. Now, she has brought old DOOL viewers back and enticed the new viewers to watch her as Carly. Most ipressive is Creating/Producing and starring in her own Web Series, "Venice". This series will prove to change the industry and guide it into a new direction.

    As a person, she is warm, caring and sincere with her fans and that is a rare find. I hope to follow her career for many years and will always support her.

  10. Congratulations to Crystal!! Great ranking although for me she will always be #1.

    She is a great actress, primetime acting in daytime. Her non verbal acting spokes volumes, and every scene is a treasure.

    Had the priviledge to know her and the respect and love she have for her fans shows how real she is..

    Congratulations again!!

  11. Congrats Crystal! So well deserved!!! Crystal is truly one of the most talented actors around, not just in daytime but in the industry period! She gives us so much emotion with every character she plays, watching her performances are truly poetic! She's also such a wonderful person in general. From the few times I've met her, Crystal she is always the same, very generous, caring & real! She'll continue to shine b/c that's what great stars do!

  12. Crystal made a memorable Carly Manning those many years ago when she was just starting out acting with only brief credits to her name.

    Although I did not watch her as Olivia until the last 9 months, from the many Emmy nomination & win her peers agreed she was doing good work for many years.

    Her work during the apex of Otalia in the graveyard & gazabo scenes were just magnificent to see. Under difficult outdoor filming conditions it was something else to see an actress take it to another level.

    In a difficult time for the soap industry, Chappell managed to get fans excited about a storyline and waiting for the next installment.

    After 20 years the recognition is so nice to see.

  13. Congrats to Crystal! I have been hooked on this woman since the first time I saw her lovely face on DAYS as Carly Manning. It's been a joy to watch her career soar.

  14. Congratulations, Crystal. You constantly amaze me with your incredible acting ability and your never ending dediction to your fans. Hope to see you on Days, Venice, and any other ventures you choose for many years to come.

  15. Congratulations to Crystal. What an honor to be among so many wonderful actresses.

    I came back to soaps after giving up on them to watch Crystall play the role of Olivia on Guiding Light. I have since followed her on Days. Although the soap industry is struggling, actresses with talent such as hers keep us watching and enjoying. I hope to be watching Crystal for sometime to come in front or behind the camera.

  16. Congrats Crystal!!She is an amazing actress with mind blowing talent.She can make you cry and laugh all at the same time.She is the only reason i got back into soaps.I look forward to seeing her each day on DOOL.She'll always be #1 with her fans!!

  17. Congrats Crystal!!! Looking forward to see who came out in front of her, I believe she definitely deserved to be higher in rank but top 10 is definitely Great! Way to go Crystal!!!

  18. Congratulations Crystal!

    I have been a fan since OLTL.Crystal is a phenomenal actress and I am glad she is finally getting the recognition she deserves.

    Not only is Crystal an amazing actress she is so real,
    gracious and caring of her fans, she is the best!

    I loved Olivia and enjoying Carly and Gina.

    To have been a fan for years then getting a chance to meet her last year was awesome my respect and love for her keeps on growing.Cant wait to see what is next.

    She will always be #1 with me!

  19. Crystal Chappell is the GODDESS of Daytime TV! Period. End of story. This coming from a lifelong soap opera viewer with a list of favorite actresses of my own, a few of whom are listed here. In the span of one year, Crystal has surpassed them all to become my #1. I too am surprised she is not in the top 5 here, but then I'm also surprised not to see my beloved Maeve Kinkead on this list at all. Still 7 more slots to go, but I'm not holding my breath. Very sad.

    I have watched soaps all my life and I kick myself for not paying attention to Crystal sooner. Thanks to the internet I am now consumed and overwhelmed by the desire to see every bit of footage of this extraordinary talent. But it was the Otalia story that introduced me to her awesomeness, and subsequently drew me back into the world of Springfield. For that I am forever grateful.

    Otalia changed my life. I have never been so affected by a daytime drama before, and after 35 years of viewership, that’s saying a lot. Crystal and Jessica created magic in their realism and natural connection, communication, passion and love. Crystal’s consistent breathtaking performances have changed the way I watch daytime acting, setting a stand of performance few have ever achieved in my mind. Her accessibility as an actress in every scene she plays is unmatched. Her accessibility to her fans as a person is inspiring. And Venice is an amazing work of art and love.

    Congratulations Crystal! xoxo

  20. Congratulations Crystal on being #8 of greatest soap actresses!! In my book, Crystal will always be #1!!!

    I have been following Crystal for the past 16 years and will continue to follow Crystal in all she does. I came back to DOOL when it was announced that Crystal was returning. Crystal has not disappointed, as her scenes with Bo, Justin, Hope, Auntie Viv and Melanie have been top notch. Crystal brings her A game to every role she undertakes.

    I also want to thank Crystal for her honest portrayal of Olivia a woman struggling to come to grips with her attraction to Natalia. The transformation of Olivia from a selfish, ME ME ME character to a woman who falls in love with Natalia were breath taking to watch.

    I am looking forward to watching Venice and watching the love between Gina and Ani as well as her family.

    Crystal you ROCK!!


  21. Congratulations Crystal!
    You are #1 to me.

  22. Having watched every soap off and on since I can remember there is only one actor that made me stop and really pay attention, there is something about Crystal Chappell that just grabs you and sucks you in to whomever she portrays. She takes what is on a written page and plays it with so much soul, depth and real sense of self somewhere for who she sees the character as and not what the character is. She is one of the few rare gems left in the genre. And that is why I love her work!!

  23. 8th? Right, she is good but not the 8th best actress to have ever appeared on a US soap. Who is 7th? Molly Burnett?

  24. Congratulations Crystal!

    I must admit I am shocked she wasn't ranked higher. At least the top three. The only thing I can think that could ever rival Olivia's graveyard declaration would be Judith Light's courtroom confession.

    Crystal excels at everything from comedy to deep angst, and can convey more with her eyes than most actors can with the whole package.

    Lucky is any actor who shares the screen with her. Whether they realize it or not, most seem to step up their game when appearing in a scene with her.

    To me Olivia Spencer will always be the best soap role ever and Crystal Chappell is #1.

  25. Not sure what more I could possibly add that hasn't been said about how amazing Crystal is as an actress and as a person! She won my loyalty almost 20 years ago with something to this day I can't quite figure out! I just knew immediately 30 seconds into her first appearance as Carly on DOOL that she was something special! I went away from daytime and Crystal's career for awhile as life just got in the way...but last July I came back to all things Crystal Chappell! THE GREATEST thing about being CHAPPELLED for the second time is knowing she hasn't changed one bit in 20 years! She is still just as loyal, giving, appreciative, and gracious to her fans as she was when I first met her in 1991! That to me is one of the most endearing things about Crystal! Not only do her fans get to witness such an incomparable talent, but we get her LOVE as well! Crystal, my dear one, congratulations...I am thrilled to see you receive such an honor! Keep ROCKIN the screen as you do so well!!!

    Proud FAN,
    Patti =)

  26. Crystal is an outstanding actress, who can act with her eyes in a way no one else can, saying so much with out dialogue!

    Added to which she is kind, loyal, giving and real! That's why she will always be #1 to her friends and fans alike.

    Not to mention intelligent, creative and forward thinking, which is shown with production of Venice.

    Congratulations Crystal!


  27. She is good Actress but 8 no way. I agree with Tony

  28. Congratulations to Crystal. She is an OUTSTANDING actress but even more importantly an exceptional person. She truly deserves any recognitions and honors that she receives. Truly a classy lady!

  29. These lists are ridiculously subjective and the "of all time" makes no sense in that no judge has been able to watch every performance ever and there's always bias towards more recent and resonant material. Still, I'm enjoying this parade of marvelous and accomplished women. And Crystal Chappell certainly deserves to be in their esteemed company. 20 years and three significant roles (two of them iconic) is more than enough to earn a place. That her talent has moved so many and so consistently makes her one of the best that's ever been on soaps. Where she ranks on your list doesn't really much matter to me.

    Thanks for including many of my all time faves in your list.

  30. Congratulations Crystal!!! Crystal is one of the best actresses on television and is even a nicer person. I have never seen anyone kinder to her fans. She is a sweetheart. Crystal will always be my number one as far as this list is concerned. I have watched her for ten years and have never seen anyone "bring it" like she does. The raw emotion that comes through in her acting is amazing. I am so happy I get to see her on my tv at DOOL everyday. Cheers to you Crystal! You really deserve it!

  31. I, like Patti, watched Crystal back in the 90's when she originated the role of Dr. Carly Manning. Back then, I knew there was something special about her. You could tell how wonderful of an actress she was/is. Her eyes are the most expressive part of her acting. I could watch her read the phonebook. The wonderful thing about Crystal that we fans notice is what she brings out in the other actors that share her scenes. I have never seen anything like that before or now. The woman is the total package as far as I am concerned. She's beautiful, an incredible actress, rock-star producer, amazing mother and wife. She embraces ALL her fans and I think that aside from everything else is why I follow her career and will continue to follow everything and anything she does. She may be #8 on this list but in my book she is #1!

  32. Crystal Crystal Crystal, One of the most talented actresses on soaps today. She can take any word on the page and make it work! I totally believe her. The beauty of Crystal is she does not even have to open her mouth, her eyes say it all!

  33. Crystal Chappell is awesome. A great actress in all she does. Congratulations on your well deserved honor. Sometimes in life you just have to do what feels right for you. Conviction in what you are doing will take you so very far in this crazy world. Thank you for all of it. I first saw you in OLTL and was hooked from there. Now I find myself anxiously awaiting more Venice. My sincere heartfelt congratulations and I wish you continued success.

  34. I did not post a comment back in February when this was first posted. Crystal is amazing, top ten without a doubt, and in my mind even higher. Only the most talented actors can say so much without even uttering a word and Crystal Chappell is the freakin' master at this acting technique. Congratulations for all of the accolades which continue to come your way Crystal. You are the best!