Friday, April 16, 2010

50 Greatest Soap Actors: #24 Michael Levin

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)

1980 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series
1979 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series
1978 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series

Connie Passalacqua Hayman (Marlena De Lacroix): As reporter Jack Fenelli on RYAN'S HOPE, he was a volcano of emotion. All kinds. He and Kate Mulgrew as Jack's wife Mary Ryan were just fascinating to watch. Tumultuous love, tumultuous acting

Alan Carter: He could have read the phone book outloud and it would have been dramatic.

Lynn Liccardo: I could fill a book with memorable moments from just the first half of Michael Levin’s 14-year run as Jack Fenelli on RYAN’S HOPE – dozens, if not hundreds of scenes with Kate Mulgrew, Helen Gallagher, Bernard Barrow and Sarah Felder, among others, from which to choose. But it was part of a quiet little scene with Tom Aldredge’s Matthew Pearse from 1980 that caught my eye recently. They’re discussing Jack’s problematic pursuit of Matthew’s strong-willed daughter, Rose, both as a lover and step-mother for his young daughter, Ryan.

Jack: So you are saying Rose will cross her daddy –

Matthew: And take great pleasure in doing so.

Jack: Ryan will never do that to me.

Matthew: No, of course not.

Hold on Levin as he mines the subtext of what Matthew is really telling Jack – which is what a lesser writer would have written, and most people would have said in the same situation – some variation of “Just you wait!”.

Roger Newcomb: Jack Fenelli was such a fascinating character brought to life by Michael Levin. It was a perfect casting, one of all-time best.


  1. I didn't realize Michael did anything after RH. He was so great on there, especially with Kate Mulgrew.

  2. After #25, I made a list of who I thought would be included in the top 24. Levin was on my list, so I got at least one right. My guesses, in alphabetical order:

    Grant Aleksander
    Maurice Benard
    Peter Bergman
    Larry Bryggman
    Eric Braeden
    Chris Bernau
    Bernard Barrow
    David Canary
    Justin Deas
    Louis Edmonds
    Henderson Forsythe
    Al Freeman, Jr.
    Tony Geary
    Larry Haines
    Benjamin Hendrickson
    Vincent Irizarry
    Christian Leblanc
    Michael Levin
    David Lewis
    Donald May
    James Mitchell
    William Roerick
    Darnell Williams
    Michael Zaslow

    A few people that I thought about including but decided they were more personal favorites than widely acclaimed actors: David Forsyth, Anthony George, Robert Gerringer, Clint Ritchie, Doug Sheehan, and Tuc Watkins.

  3. Can't find ANYTHING on Michael at all.... since RH would love to know what else he is doing why is he just about the only person NOT on the internet !!

  4. After RH was cancelled Michael Levin appeared in 1992 on As the World Turns as John Eldridge Lisa's former husband, before his character died. He then appeared briefly on All My Children