Debut of the Decades: Celebrating More Soap Veterans Who Debuted in the 80s!

We are celebrating more of our soap opera veterans who debuted in the 80s! Check it out here --->>>

Photos: ABC, CBS, NBC

We are continuing to celebrate our currently on-screen soap veterans who have 25 years or more in daytime! We’ve been to the nineties, the late 80s, and now this week we are showcasing the vets who debuted in the early 80s!

Remember we are only human! If we forget someone who should be on the list just let us know and we will add them in! Be sure to join us next week as we take a trip to the 70s! Let’s get started and highlight more of our eighties favorites!

Jon Lindstrom - 1984

In 1984, Lindstrom landed the role of Brady Chapin on Rituals. From there he would go on to star in Santa Barbara and Generations before finding himself in the dual role of Kevin Collins and Ryan Chamberlain on General Hospital in 1992. He assumed the role of Craig Montgomery on CBS’ As the World Turns from 2008 until the show’s end in 2010. Lindstrom has earned two Daytime Emmy nominations in 2010 and 2019. 

Jess Walton - 1984

Walton made her daytime premiere with the now-defunct Capitol where she played Kelly Harper. After the show’s cancellation, she assumed the role of Jill Foster Abbott on The Young and the Restless and became a fan favorite. Her performance has led to six Daytime Emmy nominations and two wins!

Melissa Reeves - 1984

Melissa Reeves' first television role was as Jade Perkins on Santa Barbara where she was nominated for a Young Artist Award. After leaving, she landed the role of Jennifer Horton on the NBC soap Days of Our Lives. Reeves earned three Soap Opera Digest Awards and two Daytime Emmy nominations for her work.

Mary Beth Evans - 1984

This multi-Emmy winner made her daytime debut as Dakota Lane on the short-lived soap Rituals. The sudden end to the soap was probably for the best as soon after she landed the role of Kayla Brady on Days of Our Lives, a beloved role that she still portrays today. From 1993 to 1999, she starred as the vixen Katherine Bell on General Hospital and its spinoff Port Charles. And she also found herself in a recurring role on CBS’ As the World Turns. Evans also has a lead role in the web series The Bay along with several fellow soap stars. 

Don Diamont - 1984 

Don Diamont has made his name known in the world of soap operas with his roles as Bill Spencer on The Bold and the Beautiful and Brad Carlton on The Young and the Restless. Though, it was his role on Days of Our Lives as Carlo Forenza in 1984 where he earned his first daytime role. 

Lauren Koslow - 1984

In 1984, Koslow landed the role of Lindsay Wells on the hit CBS soap The Young and the Restless which she played until 1986. After leaving she found her way onto The Bold and the Beautiful as Margo Lynley. In 1996, Koslow made her first appearance on Days of Our Lives as the “love to hate” character Kate Roberts.  

Kristina Wagner - 1984 

Kristina made her daytime debut as Felicia Cummings on General Hospital in 1984. More than three decades later, she still stars in the beloved role on the ABC soap and crossed over for a few episodes on the spinoff soap Port Charles. She even won a Soap Opera Digest Award for Hottest Female Star in 1995.

Lauralee Bell - 1983 

Lauralee Bell first appeared as Christine Blair on CBS’s The Young and the Restless in 1983. The bit role soon turned into a full-time gig and a memorable one for fans of the soap. Bell was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in 2016 for her role and won a Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in 1999.

Christian LeBlanc - 1983

Before landing the role of Michael Baldwin on The Young and the Restless, Christian LeBlanc starred as Kirk McColl on As the World Turns from 1983 to 1985. He’s also credited for two-episodes of Guiding Light in 2009. LeBlanc has been nominated 12 times for his amazing work on Y&R, winning three of them in 2005, 2007, and 2009!

Kristian Alfonso - 1983

The world of Days of Our Lives was changed forever when Kristian Alfonso first appeared as Hope Williams in 1983. The fan-favorite role has lead to several Soap Opera Digest Awards and a Special Fan Award at the Daytime Emmys in 2002 for America’s Favorite Couple along with co-star Peter Reckell. 

Matthew Ashford - 1982

Nowadays, Ashford is known for his role as Jack Deveraux on Days of Our Lives but he has certainly made the rounds in the world of daytime. In 1982, he landed a role on One Life to Live, he would return to the soap years later as a different character in 2003. He found himself on Search For Tomorrow as Cagney McCleary and then portrayed Tom Hardy on General Hospital from 1995 - 1996. Since 2010, Matthew has been a part of the Emmy-winning cast of The Bay.

Eileen Davidson - 1982

One of the greatest actresses in daytime! Eileen Davidson got her start as Ashley Abbott on CBS’s The Young and the Restless. The role proved to be a popular one, even crossing over to The Bold and the Beautiful for a while. She assumed the role of Kelly Capwell on Santa Barbara in November 1991 and stayed until the show’s end in 1993. Later that year, she found her way to Salem as Kristen DiMera on Days of Our Lives. Her incredible talent has been rewarded with two Daytime Emmys for Lead Actress. 

Kate Linder - 1982 

In 1982, Kate Linder debuted as Esther Valentine on The Young and the Restless. A role that she continues to play today. Linder was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008.

Beth Maitland - 1982 

Arguably the heart of Genoa City, Beth Maitland got her daytime start as Traci Abbott on The Young and the Restless! In 1985, she won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role. She would also receive another nomination in 2019 for her beautiful and emotional performance.

Leann Hunley - 1982

The lovely Leann Hunley has played Anna DiMera since 1982 on Days of Our Lives. Even winning the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 1986 for her work. Even though in recent years, the role is more of a recurring one fans still get excited to see her pop up in Salem.

Katherine Kelly Lang - 1981

Lang’s most notable role is The Bold and the Beautiful’s Brooke Logan, who she has portrayed since 1987. However, she actually got her start on The Young and the Restless as a character named Gretchen in 1981. She would go on to return to Genoa City in several crossover episodes between the two CBS soaps. She would also get the opportunity to work as a producer alongside fellow soap alums in the Daytime Emmy winning Venice: The Series.

Thaao Penghlis - 1981

Making his daytime debut in 1981, Thaao Penghlis found himself as part of two of soap’s most memorable families: the Cassadines (General Hospital) and the DiMeras (Days of Our Lives). From 1992 - 1993, he played Dr. Micah DeAngelis on the beloved NBC soap Santa Barbara. Penghlis’ work has been recognized with two Daytime Emmy nominations in 2008 and 2019. 

James Reynolds - 1981

This 2018 Daytime Emmy winner has played the role of Abe Carver on Days of Our Lives since 1981! The Salem mainstay also stepped into the life of business tycoon Henry Marshall on Generations, earning another Daytime Emmy nomination for his powerful performance in 1991. 

Tristan Rogers - 1980

In 1980, Rogers stepped into the hearts of soap opera fans everywhere when he debuted as Robert Scorpio on General Hospital. He then had a limited role as Hunter Jones on The Bold and the Beautiful before landing on The Young and the Restless in 2010. Tristan would go on to play on GH and YR on and off over the years. He also stars alongside several fellow soapers on the web series The Bay. 

Nancy Lee Grahn - 1980

Grahn got her Daytime start in 1980 as Beverly Wilkes on ABC’s One Life to Live. From 1985 to 1993, she starred as Julia on Santa Barbara where she earned her first Daytime Emmy in 1989 for Outstanding Supporting Actress. Nancy would then find her way to General Hospital where she has played Alexis Davis since 1996, earning another Emmy and several more nominations along the way.

Eric Braeden - 1980 

Eric Braeden had a pretty impressive career before landing the role of the iconic Victor Newman in 1980. The role proved to be a popular one among fans and Braeden went from having an initial 26-week run to 40 years on the soap with a Daytime Emmy under his belt.



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Soap Opera News: Debut of the Decades: Celebrating More Soap Veterans Who Debuted in the 80s!
Debut of the Decades: Celebrating More Soap Veterans Who Debuted in the 80s!
We are celebrating more of our soap opera veterans who debuted in the 80s! Check it out here --->>>
Soap Opera News
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