Check out who you voted on as the best soap opera recasts here --->
"And the role of your favorite character will now be played by..."
Ah, recast. The word that can strike fear into any soap fan's heart. It's always hard when you've watched an actor play in a role for a while and then have someone else take their place. But did you know that some of soaps most iconic actors were, in fact, a recast? The Queen Genie Francis wasn't actually the first Laura on General Hospital! The role was originally played by Stacey Baldwin from 1974 - 1976. Sometimes it works out....and other times it's a disaster. But we'll save that list for another day! LOL.
Today, we are going to talk about some of the best casting decisions to ever happen in the soap genre.
Soap Opera News asked you, our readers, to vote on your favorite recasts and you delivered a list that has some very accomplished names. So, let's get to it:
Peter Bergman - Surprisingly, a lot of The Young and the Restless viewers don't know that the great Peter Bergman is not the original Jack Abbott. Peter came over to the CBS soap after a successful run as Dr. Cliff Warner on All My Children. He made his début on November 27th, 1989 taking over the role from Terry Lester. His run as John Abbott's son has garnered him 3 Daytime Emmy Awards for Lead Actor! In the early days, it may have taken fans some time to get used to the new face, but there is no denying that when you think of The Young and the Restless and the Abbott family you think of Peter Bergman.
Greg Vaughan - The talented powerhouse that is Greg Vaughan had a number of votes for two different roles. Even though he made a fantastic Lucky Spencer on General Hospital, it's his version of Eric Brady on Days of Our Lives that lands him on our list! Greg made his first appearance on Days on November 13, 2012, and fans were hooked. The role had previously been played by Supernatural star Jensen Ackles from 1997 - 2000, and the audience was excited to see how the chemistry would be between him and Arianne Zucker who plays Nicole Walker, the love of Eric Brady's life. We were not disappointed! Ericole was back and better than ever! Vaughan has given us some amazing performances in the role, even winning a Daytime Emmy for Supporting Actor in 2018!
10. Laura Wright - Growing up as a CBS soaps fan only, I was devastated when Laura Wright vacated the role of Cassie on Guiding Light. But there is no doubt that her star has shone brightly during her tenure on General Hospital. Laura took over the role of Carly Corinthos on November 5, 2005, from another talented actress that you will see later on. Wright's chemistry with her co-stars is an amazing thing to see, and her talent onscreen is undeniable. She won a Daytime Emmy for Lead Actress in 2011, and has five other nominations as well!
9. Brandon Barash - Our most recent recast for this list is the charismatic Brandon Barash. Known for his role as Johnny Zacchara on General Hospital, Barash made his return to the soap genre when he took over the role of Stefan O. DiMera on Days of Our Lives on March 22, 2019. A role that was previously being played by his friend and fellow GH alum, Tyler Christopher. Brandon certainly had big shoes to fill, but he has quickly become a fan favorite. The acting skill and charm that he has brought to the role have made many viewers swoon. Here's hoping that we will get to see more of him on Days!
8. Amelia Heinle - The gorgeous and talented Amelia Heinle made her début as Victoria Newman on The Young and the Restless on March 21, 2005! The role of the great Victor Newman's daughter was originally played by Emmy-winner Heather Tom (Katie Logan, The Bold and the Beautiful), and fans had (and sometimes still do have) a hard time getting used to the casting change. But Amelia Heinle made her presence known among the cast and characters on the show. She truly embodies the role of Victor and Nikki Newman's daughter. As a two-time Daytime Emmy Award winner for Supporting Actress, she has given the audience powerful performances time and again.
7. Tamara Braun - The second Carly Corinthos to grace our list! The amazing Tamara Braun became Carly #2 on May 2, 2001, after Sarah Joy Brown departed from the role. It was Braun's tenure on General Hospital that really brought the character of Carly to leading lady status, especially after her well-deserved Daytime Emmy nomination in 2004. Braun would eventually leave the role of Carly but returned to the soap as Dr. Kim Nero in 2017.
6. Jason Thompson - Oh, the many....many faces of Billy Abbott! Five-time Daytime Emmy nominated Jason Thompson left his role of Dr. Patrick Drake on General Hospital and landed in Genoa City on January 13, 2016. Burgess Jenkins, Billy Miller, David Tom and more had played the role before him. I will be the first to admit that I was skeptical of this casting choice. NOT because I didn't think Thompson had the chops, but because I'm a creature of habit and having Patrick Drake as Billy Abbott blew my mind. But Thompson has slipped into the role seamlessly. His onscreen chemistry with Amelia Heinle, Peter Bergman, and Gina Tognoni is a beautiful sight. As Billy, Thompson has really been given the chance to shine like he never got to on GH. And I'm already placing my bet on another Emmy nomination for his ongoing D.I.D storyline on The Young and the Restless!
5. Marci Miller - The light that Marci Miller brought to Days of Our Lives was special. She made her first appearance as Abigail Deveraux DiMera on November 10, 2016. The role had previously been played by the wonderful Kate Mansi. Miller's chemistry with her onscreen love, Billy Flynn, garnered them a ton of love from fans. And her willingness to immerse herself into a story brought a level of depth to her scenes. Marci's performance was a standout among the D.I.D. storyline. She definitely was the bright spot in that story and earned herself two Daytime-Emmy nominations for Lead Actress.
4. Billy Flynn - The other half of Chabby also finds himself on our list! The James Dean-esque actor made his début as Chad DiMera on September 12, 2014. A role that had been formerly played by Casey Deidrick. Flynn certainly knows how to bring the drama and emotion to a scene. Especially, when he is playing the opposite of Marci Miller and Kate Mansi. He has earned two Daytime Emmy Award nominations for Lead Actor. He recently made his reappearance along with Kate Mansi to the Days of Our Lives world in the online series Chad and Abby in Paris.
3. Gina Tognoni - The powerful star that is Gina Tognoni has made her name in the soap world. From One Life to Live's Kelly Cramer to Guiding Light's Dinah Marler. The latter had many votes for this list as well. As many of you can probably guess it's Gina's time as the fiery Phyllis Summers on The Young and the Restless that puts her near the top of our list. Tognoni stepped into the iconic role on August 11, 2014, after Michelle Stafford vacated it. Gina brought some familiar elements of the character mixed with her own take on the role which made for a riveting execution. In 2017, she won a Daytime Emmy for Lead Actress for her emotional performance.
2. Matthew Ashford - Matt became the third variation of Days of Our Lives' Jack Deveraux on October 30, 1987. Joseph Adams and James Acheson had portrayed Jack before him, but there is no denying that Ashford's take on the role is the fan-favorite. In the early days, Matt gave us the villainous characteristics that came along with Jack Deveraux. His performances with Mary Beth Evans (Kayla) and Stephen Nichols (Steve) still stand out today as some of Days' best. Ashford's popularity took off with fans when he was paired with Melissa Reeves. Jack and Jennifer are one of the soap's most recognizable power couples. The change in the personality of Jack was met with an equally standout portrayal from Matt. And with his 2012 Daytime Emmy nomination for Supporting Actor, it's easy to see why he ranks so high on our list.
And the fan-favorite recast is:
1. Mary Beth Evans - I am completely biased, but I was so happy to see just how many soap fans consider Mary Beth Evans as their favorite recast! Some people may not know that Mary Beth didn't originate the role of Kayla Brady on Days of Our Lives. That honor goes to Catherine Mary Stewart who played her from 1982-1983. Evans made her Days début on May 23, 1986, and as they say, the rest is history! Evans' depiction of Kayla Brady has brought so much to Days of Our Lives. Her onscreen relationships with Peter Reckell, Matt Ashford, and the late Peggy McCay are each extraordinary and entertaining in their own way. But it's her chemistry with Stephen Nichols that is incomparable. Patch and Kayla will go down as one of Days' best supercouples! The heart and emotion that Evans brings to the role of Kayla have resulted in some of the soap's most powerful moments. From Kayla's rape and her deafness to coping with the death of her brother and her mother's illness. If you need someone to bring all the feels then MBE is your girl! And after 30 years since her début in the role, Mary Beth finally won a Daytime Emmy for Lead Actress in 2016! A moment that had soap fans cheering around the world!