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They Started on Soaps...and then came back...


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Many a successful and well known actor had their first experience on soaps. How often do we mention Meg Ryan, Julianne Moore, Ted Danson etc as examples.

But what about those performers who went on to primetime success but then for whatever reason returned to daytime?

eg Donna Mills

A stint on Secret Storm,then a successful run on Love Is A Many Splendored Thing before Play Misty For Me,a primetime(flop)sitcom with Larry Hagman,guest stints and pilots in the 70s galore before Knots Landing.TV movies during that time,then finally back to daytime on GH.

Morgan Fairchild started on Search for Tomorrow and from there it was Mork and Mindy,Flamingo Road,Falcon Crest.Paper Dolls etc before she returned to soaps with The City.

I guess in the case of these two,they were very much regarded as 'soap' actresses and there wasn't much work for them once that style of show lost favor.

Can you think of other performers who made their mark outside of soaps but came back?

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Genie Francis.  She had a much stronger non soap career than Tony Geary did, from mini series, primetime soaps and guest spots but came back.

 

Justin Hartley.  Passions to Smallville and tons of primetime shows to Y&R and back to primetime.

 

It didn't happen, but there were tons of rumors that Sherry Stringfield was almost the new Phyllis before they went with Gina.

 

 

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Jonathan Jackson, Vanessa Marcil and Steve Burton 

Genie Francis.  She had a much stronger non soap career than Tony Geary did, from mini series, primetime soaps and guest spots but came back.

 

Justin Hartley.  Passions to Smallville and tons of primetime shows to Y&R and back to primetime.

 

It didn't happen, but there were tons of rumors that Sherry Stringfield was almost the new Phyllis before they went with Gina.

 

 

Sherry as Phyllis, whoa and then Gina as Victoria

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Ian Buchanan started on GH and has done a lot of prime time tv work in between his numerous daytime gigs, including recurring roles on Twin Peaks and It's Garry Shandling's Show.
Actually, he must be pretty up there in terms of the number of soaps he's been on (something like 5, I think). Wonder if there's a list somewhere of which actors have appeared in the most soaps.

Michael Easton: After DOOL, he was in several short-lived series in the late 90s before returning to daytime with Port Charles.

And speaking of PC, some of Nicholas Pryor's early work was on soaps (The Secret Storm, EON, AW) and he did a bunch of tv work (one of those ubiquitous faces) before (and since) he was Victor on PC.

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It didn't happen, but there were tons of rumors that Sherry Stringfield was almost the new Phyllis before they went with Gina.

Sherry as Phyllis, whoa and then Gina as Victoria

I thought it was B&B's Quinn that Sherry Stringfield was considered for, but B&B cast Rena Sofer instead. Sherry was on Under the Dome in Summer 2014 and Phyllis was recast then so the timing doesn't work.

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Jonathan Jackson, Vanessa Marcil and Steve Burton 

Genie Francis.  She had a much stronger non soap career than Tony Geary did, from mini series, primetime soaps and guest spots but came back.

 

Justin Hartley.  Passions to Smallville and tons of primetime shows to Y&R and back to primetime.

 

It didn't happen, but there were tons of rumors that Sherry Stringfield was almost the new Phyllis before they went with Gina.

 

 

Sherry as Phyllis, whoa and then Gina as Victoria

Steve Burton? What primetime success did he have?

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Daytime to primetime then back to daytime. Surprised some of these haven't been mentioned yet.

Deborah Adair: Y&R, Dynasty, Melrose Place, Days of our Lives

Kristian Alfonso: Days of our Lives, Falcon Crest, Days of our Lives, Melrose Place, Days of our Lives

Linden Ashby: Loving, Melrose Place, Y&R, Days of our Lives

Daniel Cosgrove: All My Children, Beverly Hills 90210, Guiding Light, As the World Turns, All My Children, Days of our Lives

Susan Flannery: Days of our Lives, Dallas, B&B

John James: Search for Tomorrow, Dynasty, As the World Turns, All My Children

Patrick Muldoon: Days of our Lives, Melrose Place, Days of our Lives

Michael Nader: As the World Turns, Dynasty, All My Children

Peter Reckell: As the World Turns, Days of our Lives, Knots Landing, Days of our Lives

Emma Samms: General Hospital, Dynasty, General Hospital, Models Inc., General Hospital

Ted Shackelford: Another World, Dallas, Knots Landing, Y&R

Rena Sofer: Another World, Loving, General Hospital, Melrose Place, B&B

Gordon Thomson: Ryan's Hope, Dynasty, Santa Barbara, Sunset Beach

Joan Van Ark: Days of our Lives, Dallas, Knots Landing, Y&R

Jack Wagner: General Hospital, Santa Barbara, Melrose Place, B&B

 

 

 

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Who has gone onto legitimate success and had to come crawling back to soaps?

Two that came to mind right away-

Vanessa Marcil (two popular shows in primetime, only one a soap, lots of TV movies, but GH is the only place she is a big deal).

 

Justin Hartley (although he has escaped again).

I think there is a big difference between working actors that take a gig because they want to act and be paid for it, and daytime stars that think their big deal in daytime will translate to other entertainment.

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