Thursday, May 20, 2010

50 Greatest Soap Opera Actors: Honorable Mention

Now that the countdown of the 50 Greatest Soap Opera Actors has concluded, We Love Soaps would like to pay tribute to another set of wonderful actors. These men received multiple votes from our panel and just missed the countdown. For us, it's more about honoring their work that has touched so many lives more than a specific ranking. Join us in paying tribute to these fine talents and share your memories/videos/photos in the comments section. Comments from our panel are included where applicable.


NAME: George Reinholt
SOAP ROLES: Steve Frame, ANOTHER WORLD (1968-1975, 1989); Tony Lord, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1975-1977); Erik Fulda, THE SECRET STORM (1967-1968)

Alan Carter: Unconventional to say the least, Reinholt still became a sex symbol cause what Steve and later Tony on OLTL exuded on screen was confidence and romance. In lesser hands it might have come off....cheesy? But even the fact he made the rather one note Jacquie Courtney (sorry Jacquie) alive on screen says something about ...chemistry making no sense on paper.

Connie Passalacqua Hayman (Marlena De Lacroix): Hammy and handsome to the max, his uber posturing Steve Frame was one half of daytime's great supercouples with simpy Alice Matthews (Jacqie Courtney.) on early ANOTHER WORLD. A bad boy who came to have a rather sad later life, he once sent a thoughtful poem to me, Marlena De Lacroix.

NAME: Joel Crothers
SOAP ROLES: J. Stanfield Lee, SANTA BARBARA (1985); Miles Cavanaugh, THE EDGE OF NIGHT (1977-1984); Julian Cannell, SOMERSET (1972-1976); Ken Stevens, THE SECRET STORM (1969-1971); Joe Haskell/Nathan Forbes, DARK SHADOWS (1966-1969); THE DOCTORS

Alan Carter: He looked a little too much like Tom Selleck for anyone to think he was a good actor, but take away the mustache (rare for a soap good guy) and at the heart was a smart and always edgy performance on simmer, if not pre boil.

NAME: David Lewis
SOAP ROLES: Edward Quartermaine, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1978-1989, 1991-1993); Henry Pierce, BRIGHT PROMISE (1969-1972)

Connie Passalacqua Hayman (Marlena De Lacroix): As the original Edward Quartermaine, he made the character the ultimate in sarcastic and entertaining. No one did a throwaway line better. Just incomparable in scenes battling with Edward's daughter Tracy (deliciously played by Jane Elliot).

Patrick Erwin: Original recipe Edward Quartermaine – in a brilliant, blazingly sarcastic performance.

NAME: Jed Allan
SOAP ROLES: Edward Quartermaine, GENERAL HOSPITAL (2004-2006); Ed Grant, PORT CHARLES (2002-2003); Rush Sanders, BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 (1994-1999); C.C. Capwell, SANTA BARBARA (1986-1993); Don Craig, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1971-1985); Paul Britton, THE SECRET STORM (1964-1965); Ace Hubbard, LOVE OF LIFE (1964)

Roger Newcomb: His Don Craig would be a great patriarch on DAYS right now.

NAME: Henderson Forsythe
SOAP ROLES: David Stewart, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1960-1990); David Stewart, OUR PRIVATE WORLD (1965); Jim Benson, FROM THESE ROOTS (1958-1960); Martin Sprode, THE EDGE OF NIGHT (1958)

Roger Newcomb: David and Ellen were such a huge part of AS THE WORLD TURNS history. I hope Forsythe is remembered in a flashback or photo before show ends its run.

NAME: Richard Hatch
SOAP ROLES: Steven Slade, SANTA BARBARA (1990); Dean Caldwell, DYNASTY (1984-1985); Harmon Farinella, MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN (1977-1978); Phil Brent, ALL MY CHILDREN (1970-1973)

Alan Carter: Teen heart throb Jeff of Jeff and Tara fame was probably the catalyst for bringing young people to ABC.

NAME: James Rebhorn
SOAP ROLES: Henry Lange, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1988-1991); Bradley Raines, GUIDING LIGHT (1983-1984, 1989); Al Miller, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (1985-1986); John Brady, TEXAS (1981-1982); Tom Carroll, THE DOCTORS (1977)

Alan Carter: No one does creepy like James Rebhorn! You want to almost go boo hiss when he walks on the screen.

Roger Newcomb: Scary! P&G must have thought he looked like a real bad guy. Bradley Raines was my favorite character he played. It was a brilliant and convincing performance.

NAME: Mart Hulswit
SOAP ROLES: Dr. Burke, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (1986); Harlan Abbey, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1985); Ralph Purdy, ALL MY CHILDREN (1983); Ed Bauer, GUIDING LIGHT (1969-1981)

Roger Newcomb: The Ed Bauer I remember from when I was a kid. Loved his relationships with Rita and Holly.

NAME: Matthew Cowles
SOAP ROLES: Curtis Love, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1997); Billy Clyde Tuggle, ALL MY CHILDREN (1977-1980, 1989-1990); Eban Japes, LOVING (1986-1987)

Alan Carter: To many, he might just be a character actor and a sometime plot device but Cowles was the epitome of humor and white trash...and there have been lots of cookie cutter roles on daytime before...but Im not sure before, or after, there has ever been a flashy, trashy, pimp/nut one could love or love to hate.

NAME: Tom Eplin
SOAP ROLES: Jake McKinnon, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1999-2002); Jake McKinnon, ANOTHER WORLD (1985-1986, 1988-1999)

Roger Newcomb: A raw and dynamic performer. Like many of the top actors in the countdown, was able to take his character from being a rapist to a more sympathetic man.

NAME: Thom Christopher
SOAP ROLES: Carlo Hesser, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1990-1992, 1996-1997, 2005, 2006, 2008); Mortimer Bern, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1992-1993, 1997); Colonel Dax, GUIDING LIGHT (1999-2002); Dante Partou/Joe Young, LOVING (1993-1994); Noel Douglas, THE EDGE OF NIGHT (1974)

NAME: Stephen Schnetzer
SOAP ROLES: Cass Winthrop, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006); Cass Winthrop, GUIDING LIGHT (2002); Cass Winthrop, ANOTHER WORLD (1982-1986, 1987-1999); Marcello Salta, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1980-1982); Steve Olsen, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1978-1980)

NAME: William Fichtner
SOAP ROLES: Josh Snyder/Rod Landry (1987-1989, 1992, 1993, 1994)

NAME: David Forsyth
SOAP ROLES: Priest, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (2009); John, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (2001); Jim Thomasen, ALL MY CHILDREN (1997-1998); John Hudson, ANOTHER WORLD (1987-1997); Hogan McCleary, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (1983-1986); T.J. Canfield, TEXAS (1981-1982)

NAME: James DePaiva
SOAP ROLES: Max Holden, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1987-1990, 1992-2003, 2007); Eddie Holton, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1985)

NAME: Robert Kelker-Kelly
SOAP ROLES: Stavros Cassadine, GENERAL HOSPITAL (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004); Shane Roberts, ANOTHER WORLD (1996-1998); Bo Brady, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1992-1995); Sam Fowler, ANOTHER WORLD (1987-1990)

Patrick Erwin: Kelker-Kelly’s bold performances made me take notice. He shook up AW as Sam Fowler, and then took DAYS’ Bo Brady in an interesting, fresh direction.


NAME: Bill Hayes
SOAP ROLES: Doug Williams, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1970-1984, 1986-1987, 1993, 1996, 1999-present)

Alan Carter:
Does it even need to be stated? Bill and Susan Hayes reigned supreme for a decade as daytime's most talked about couple...on and off screen. Its hard for me to even remember where their on screen and off screen personas begin and end.

NAME: Doug Davidson
SOAP ROLES: Paul Williams, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (1978-present)

NAME: Peter Reckell
SOAP ROLES: Bo Brady, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1983-1987, 1990-1992, 1995-present); Johnny Rourke, KNOTS LANDING (1988-1989); Eric Hollister, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1980-1982)

Alan Carter: I admittedly never got the Bo and Hope me they were Bore and Hopeless...but watching Reckell with Crystal Chappell...I get A lot. And now when I see Bo and Hope together, it makes more sense to me. May the writers keep the tension high and keep Reckell torn between two women and unhappy...

NAME: Michael Park
SOAP ROLES: Jack Snyder, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1997-present)

NAME: Thorsten Kaye
SOAP ROLES: Zach Slater, ALL MY CHILDREN (2004-2010); Ian Thornhart, PORT CHARLES (2000-2003); Patrick Thornhart, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1995-1997)

Connie Passalacqua Hayman (Marlena De Lacroix): As Professor Michael Malone's alter ego Patrick on OLTL, a revelation of masculinity and romanticism. Even held it together playing Zack on ALL MY CHILDREN, the most ill-defined soap character ever written. My only soap crush (from afar) in all my years of professional soap journalist.

NAME: Jon Lindstrom
SOAP ROLES: Craig Montgomery, AS THE WORLD TURNS (2008-present); Kevin Collins, PORT CHARLES (1997-2003); Ryan Chamberlain/Kevin Collins, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1992-1997, 2004); Paul Jarre, GENERATIONS (1989); Mark McCormack, SANTA BARBARA (1985-1986); Brady Chapin, RITUALS (1984-1985)

NAME: John Ingle
SOAP ROLES: Edward Quartermaine (1993-2004, 2006-present); Mickey Horton, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (2004-2006)

NAME: Jordan Clarke
SOAP ROLES: Colonel, VENICE (2009-present); Billy Lewis, GUIDING LIGHT (1983-1987, 1989-1993, 1996-1998, 1999-2009); Tim Ryan, GUIDING LIGHT (1974-1976)

NAME: Trevor St. John
SOAP ROLES: Todd Manning, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (2003-present)

Patrick Erwin: I loathe the character of Todd Manning and have issues with OLTL’s positioning of Todd as an antihero. But that doesn’t diminish the fact that St. John is an engaging actor who makes fresh, unpredictable choices every day.

NAME: Kristoff St. John
SOAP ROLES: Neil Winters, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (1991-present); Adam Marshall, GENERATIONS (1989-1991)

Alan Carter: Prior to Kristoff's emergence on daytime, young black males were largely limited to thugs or window dressing or illiterates. As the confident, intelligent and sometimes conflicted Neil, KSJ opened up the door to a better represented African American hero.


  1. Kind of thought Al Freeman Jr, OLTL's Ed Hall would have made the list/honorable mentions, but there is so much talent here, I think he should make the "honored" honorable mentions list

  2. It is great to see George Reinholt and Mart Hulswit make the "Honorable Mentions" list.

  3. In current soap actors, I'd like to add Y&R's Billy Miller to the honorable mentions.
    This guy bats it out of the park on a daily basis, even when paired with Ameliea Heinle.
    Probably one of the best young actors of his generation.

  4. Ummm...Al Freeman Jr, Hunt Block...I can't believe they didn't even get honorable mentions!

  5. And where is Clint Ritchie from ONE LIFE?

  6. As much as I am thrilled to see George Reinholt make the honorable mention list, I can't help but wonder if it was met with sheer grimaces from the panelists who threw in their two cents. I take it that the dubious omission of Jacquie Courtney from both the Top 50 and HB actress list made the powers that be at WLS realize that a wrong needed to be corrected. But Jacquie is still missing from the actress list and instead of praising Reinholt for his acting and characters he portrayed, the obligatory references to his real life issues and the criticism of Jacquie's acting just had to be brought up here.

    Although the gesture was of good intentions, it still comes out smelling funky.

  7. I love, love, love lists but think it's kinda sad that Darnell Williams was the only black actor on your 'greatest' list...nice to see Kristoff on the honorable mention list and it woulda been nice to see Keith Hamilton Cobb on there too....I know it's the fault of short sighted writers and casting directors, but still kinda sad....

  8. I think Greg Rikaart should be on this list. I also believe that Van Hansis and Matthew Ashford, and possibly even Bradford Anderson deserve a mention on this list as well. Besides Matthew none of those mentioned have reached the ten year mark yet but their talent can not be denied. They are very versatile and very raw, able to play off emotions without much effort and make you believe in the characters they are playing.

  9. How about Donald May---he had some riveting performances as Adam Drake but then his ego got in the way of a long career.

    What about the guy that played Herb Callison on OLTL and Colin Whitnney on Edge?

    So happy Mr. Crothers made the list. He was so handsome, spoke so well and was very good. So sad he didn't have the opportunity to have a long career.

    Thanks (first time poster)

  10. How could Stephen Schnetzer (DOOL, OLTL, AW, ATWT) be omitted from both lists?

  11. Stephen Schnetzer was an oversight by me. He actually did appear on more than one list so added him to the honorable mention list. Are you watching his son on HAPPY TOWN?

    Most of the other names did show up on someone's list but not multiple lists.

    Thanks for all the inputs everyone. It's great hearing so many of these names again.

  12. JoeM,

    Thank you for bringing up Donald May - what a powerhouse actor for "The Edge of Night" for decade! I still wish they hadn't killed off his character...

  13. SaWeet! Thanks Roger for adding Stephen Schnetzer to your Honorable Mentions list. Yep, definitely watching his son Ben on Happy Town!

    Another AW/other soaps actor I found curiously missing was Mark Pinter.

  14. Wait...Joel Crothers looked too much like Tom Selleck?!? Crothers was doing some of his best work on EDGE when Selleck was still trying to get acting jobs! What a slap in the face of a fine actor!

  15. What, no Drake Hogestyn? How can one actor play as many roles as he did on DAYS to perfection and not at least get a honorable mention? Drake also on a regular bases had some of the worst written garbage to try to make sense of, yet every one of his performances were played with conviction. Drake also kicks arse in the emotion department.

    I'm looking sooooooo forward to seeing Drake bring Jerry Parker to life on REALITY BYTES THE SERIES. Maybe with awesome writing backing him, this man will stop being so UNDER-rated. Anyway, just my two cents.

  16. Why the heck isn't Matthew Ashford on the list? He single-handedly made DOOL watchable for a lot of people for a lot of years. It's just too bad that DOOL never appreciated that the quirkiness he brought to Jack Deveraux is what set Jack apart from all over soap heroes. He was an unlikely hero after being such a great villain. Watching the transformation was a joy and please and his stint on that show ended much to soon. He also did a great job on General Hospital in a much under-utilized role and his return to DOOL was the only reason I started watching that show again. It's too bad Ken Corday and all the mediocre writers didn't know how to write anything other than standard soap opera drivel and try to force Ashford into the same box as Drake Hogestyn, Peter Reckell and Steven Nichols. Different CAN be good. Too bad nobody in soaps ever learned that lesson and now soaps are deader than a doornail.

  17. Why no mention of James Pritchett, Gerald Gordon or David O'Brien? These wonderful actors helped keep the NBC soap, The Doctors, at the top of the ratings during the late 1960's to the mid 1970s. James Pritchett and Gerald Gordon both won an Emmy for their daytime work. The Doctors also won the Best Daytime Emmy in 1972 and 1974, thanks in part to these men.

  18. Where are Clint Ritchie, Michael Storm, and Anthony Call of One Life to Live?

  19. I was disappointed that John Reilly (Sean/GH) didn't make the original list of top 50 but then to omit him from the next best list?? He contributed more to GH in it's classic years than John Ingle has to current disrespect to John Ingle. Glad to see David Lewis on the list.

  20. I was disappointed that John Reilly (Sean/GH) didn't make the original list of top 50 but then to omit him from the next best list?? He contributed more to GH in it's classic years than John Ingle has to current disrespect to John Ingle. Glad to see David Lewis on the list.

  21. I'm shocked that Drake Hogestyn wasn't mentioned!!

  22. joel crothers is now working at the wisconsin rapids, wisconsin home depot.

  23. This list doesn't have 50 as I thought it would. There are only 26. The honorable mention list for the actresses was a complete (or "incomplete") 50. Surely, there can be 24 more great actors to add for honorable mention here.

  24. Joel Crothers died of AIDS

  25. It wold have been great to Monti Sharpe (David, GL) make the honorable mention list. He had a short run on GL and appeared on GH and ATWT but he was dynamic as David on Guiding Light!

  26. Hunt Block should of made the honorable mention list..and John Mccook as well for his work as Eric Forrester on B&B