From A to Z: The Who's Who In Soaps Pt. 1

From A to Z: The Who's Who In Soaps Pt. 1! Check out who made the list here --->>>

Photos: ABC, CBS, NBC

Our Soap Opera News team took on the task of building the quintessential list of soap characters! What were we thinking?! LOL. We battled back and forth for days over who we thought should make the list. We knew not everyone that deserved a spot would make the final cut, but we wanted to ensure that as many soaps were represented as possible… and, of course, a few of our personal favorites as well.

First up are the ladies of daytime! Check out who we chose below and let us know who your favorites are:


Alexandra Spaulding - Guiding Light


Ruthless, intelligent, beautiful, powerful with a hint of vulnerability all made this business tycoon and matriarch of the Spaulding family one of the most memorable soap characters to ever grace our screens. She would go to the ends of the earth for those she loved but if you were her enemy or in her crosshairs…watch out! We will go on record and say Alexandra was the most formidable of the Spaulding siblings. She ruled!  - Kenyan


Blair Cramer - One Life to Live

Bold, stunning, and talented. Skilled in the art of deceit, this spitfire will forever have a place in our hearts. A tumultuous love life and numerous tragedies could never define Blair. She was strong and relentless in her quest to have a great life. She could have easily been perceived as just another vixen archetype but the humanity brought to the character by Kassie DePaiva is what sets her apart from anyone else. - Tori

Carly Tenney - As the World Turns

Carly Tenney - As the World Turns


A true personification of a grey character. Carly Tenney Snyder was someone who you wanted to root for… and someone who often made you sigh with exhaustion by her choices. She was determined, cunning, and headstrong. She could also be vulnerable, wearing her heart on her sleeve when it came to her relationship with the love of her life, Jack Snyder. I LOVE HER! - Tori


Drucilla Winters - The Young and the Restless

The epitome of Black excellence and any excellence for that matter. Aunt Mamie’s niece made her way to Genoa City and took the town and us by storm. She changed the face of daytime television. Drucilla was everything; tough, feisty, smart, successful….momma didn’t take no mess from anyone. From not being able to read to the runaway and to the boardrooms this ballerina, model, entrepreneur, wife, mother, etc. was everything!  - Kenyan


Erica Kane - All My Children

Who didn’t love Erica Kane? The whirlwind known as Erica Kane is what soap dreams are made of. She did it all and she did it all big. Businesswoman, television personality, model, etc. and you needed more than two hands to count how many times she said, “I Do!” Variety is the spice of life! LOL.  Now, things didn’t come easy for Ms. Kane and nothing was ever just given to her. She had to overcome the darkness of her past and often had to overcome herself. But regardless of what she faced and fought; she was in a word fabulous!  - Kenyan


Felicia Cummings - General Hospital

This adventurous Aztec princess spent years involved in thrilling quests alongside her first love and spy Frisco Jones. Settling down after having her children, she dedicated her life to ensuring that she was the best and most loving mother. Her life hasn’t been so easy though. Her happiness has been marred by the death of her daughter, Georgie, and the time that she spent at the attention of stalker Ryan Chamberlain. Felicia, bright and warm-hearted, shows us all that we can persevere through the worst things in life and still have joy in our hearts. - Tori


Greenlee Smythe - All My Children

When we think of Greenlee one word comes to mind, fun! She was always so fun to watch. It didn’t matter if she was being a bad girl or being our heroine. She knew how to get things done. This lady packed quite a punch and stopped at nothing to get whatever or whomever she wanted. FUSION cosmetics was lit! We loved her relationship and all of its ups and downs with bestie Kendall. And she and Ryan are still together…yes, they are! Loved us some Greenlee!  - Kenyan


Hope Brady - Days of Our Lives

The ’80s brought us big hair, MTV, shoulder pads, parachute pants, and Hope Brady! One look into fancy face’s face and eyes and we were hooked. She is one half of the most iconic supercouples, Bope.  She spent decades fighting to keep the streets of Salem safe as a dedicated Salem police officer, detective, and Comish. Our Fancy Face has been through it and has some soapy stories to tell! The young heroine we were introduced to in the 80s evolved into one of the most legendary ladies of Salem. Come back home, Hope!  - Kenyan


Iris Wheeler - Another World

First portrayed by the iconic Beverlee McKinsey, Iris was one of the most adored characters on Another World. She was manipulative, scheming, and desperate to hold onto the number one spot in the heart of her father. While most of her plots left her looking jealous and disgraced, fans found her antics wildly entertaining. She even got her own short-lived spinoff, Texas! - Tori


Julie Williams - Days of Our Lives

How many people can say that they’ve graced the cover of Time magazine?! We have watched the life of Julie Olson Williams unfold over the span of seven different decades. Sassy, spunky, strong-willed, and part of the original supercouple. Julie and her portrayer Susan Seaforth Hayes are legends! - Tori


Katherine Chancellor - The Young and the Restless

Regal. Royal. Resilient. Rich. Rare. Rambunctious. (when needed) Rousing. Real. & Restless. If we need to tell you who Ms. Chancellor is, you are either very very young or just don’t know soaps. If you know, you know. If you don’t, do yourself the biggest favor and Google. There are Queens and there are QUEENS. Katherine was a QUEEN and not only of Genoa City or even soaps overall but one that is cemented in television history. Katherine Chancellor’s greatness could only be surpassed by the greatness of Jeanne Cooper. We miss them both so much!  - Kenyan


Laura Webber - General Hospital

Some consider Laura to be just half of the most popular soap couple, Luke and Laura. But this survivor, played beautifully and brilliantly by Genie Francis, is so much more than that. Kind, intelligent, resilient, respected, and powerful. Laura is the heart of Port Charles just like Genie is GH! She cares deeply for the ones she loves and will do whatever it takes to ensure their safety and happiness. She is also flawed. Her journey, however, is one that proves we can grow and become the person we want to be. - Tori 


Marlena Evans - Days of Our Lives

Arguably one of soap operas' most well-known characters, Marlena has her place in soap opera history. Wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Dr. Evans has created a wonderful life for herself in Salem. She also has been at the core of some of the town’s most outrageous scandals. Kidnappings, possession, mind control, possession, plane crashes, and did we mention POSSESSION?! - Tori


Nancy Hughes - As the World Turns

Mother, Grandmother, and the textbook definition of a matriarchal figure to the town of Oakdale. Nancy Hughes was a confidant to many. A former teacher, she advocated for the education of the next generation. Portrayed as the traditional housewife in the early years of the series, she was intrigued by the feminist movement of the 1970s and sought out a job outside of the home. She was a core figure on the show from its first episode in 1956 until the death of her portrayer, Helen Wagner, in 2010. - Tori 


Opal Cortlandt - All My Children 

We loved her! Quirky, Unique, Fashion Forward, Colorful, Witty, and a handful! It was always a good time when Opal was on our screen and she was at her absolute best when she was scheming which thankfully was most of the time. She was also a successful entrepreneur. Remember, The Glamorama and the Chicken Shack?! Man, the golden age of soaps was so good.  It’s hard to say what relationship was the best, her friendship with Erica or her romantic one with Palmer. Let’s just call it a tie. Opal Cortlandt was one of the most refreshing characters on soaps. They don’t make them like her anymore. But how we wish they would!  - Kenyan


Paulina Cory - Another World

Beautiful, funny, and half of one of soaps' most chaotic and beloved pairings, Paulina Cory was an easy choice for our list. While she was entertaining, her story was also plagued with much drama over the years. From being raised in an orphanage, later finding out she was part of the influential Cory family to addiction problems…Oh! And the fact that she shot Jake McKinnon and hid it for over a year. - Tori


Quinn Fuller - The Bold and the Beautiful

Now you know you are a bad azz when your portrait replaces Stephanie Forrester! Listen, Quinn is an equal opportunity vixen and antagonist. LOL. Anybody and everybody can get it from her and well basically has. If you have been paying attention, you got a useful lesson on how to push people out of your way to get what you want. Quinn bulldozed her way and took a seat on the throne next to Eric. And no matter what she’s done (she’s done a lot) somehow, she’s managed to keep her place as his wife. What will she do once the truth about Quarter comes out? One thing is for sure Quinn will put up one heck of a fight! Go, Quinn!  - Kenyan


Reva Shayne Lewis - Guiding Light

Reva Shayne Lewis is life! Her talk, her walk, her smile, her hair….she just had it going on. “The Slut of Springfield” had it. She had that vibe that filled the screen with an abundance of energy and light. Whew, what a journey. Reva died and came back to life (more than once), was cloned, had amnesia, was Amish, traveled through time, survived breast cancer, had a menopausal baby, and everything else a soap heroine endures. But nothing or no one could keep this lady from Tulsa down for long. Oh of course she and Josh were the jam!  - Kenyan


Stephanie Forrester - The Bold and the Beautiful

Speaking of Stephanie…Listen make no mistake about it. It was Stephanie who was the head of the Forrester family. Periodt. From the beginning of Bold and the Beautiful until Stephanie took her last soap breath, she was the one who did everything to try and keep the family and the family business from imploding which they teetered on all the time. She was a fighter and a woman of strength, wisdom, and know-how. A legacy for the ages!  - Kenyan


Tabitha Lenox - Passions

When you think of Passions the first person who comes to mind is this wacky witch. Born in the 1600s and descended from a frog prince, Tabitha followed her troubled upbringing to the dark side of magic. Within the town of Harmony, she is truly the embodiment of an elderly busybody… just with the added bonus of evil forces in her basement and doll brought to life as a sidekick. - Tori


Underrated Character - (Maya Avant, The Bold and the Beautiful)

She was a pioneer. The first character of her kind. She was to be the trailblazer to usher in the next level of inclusion in daytime and open up people's minds, hearts, and spirits. An ex-con turned model and actress married to Rick Forrester who was transgender. The stories wrote themselves. This character could have driven the story for years and years and years. But she was there and then she wasn't. But it is not too late for her to be all that she was destined to be. Bring Maya Avant back!  - Kenyan


Victoria Lord - One Life to Live

Viki is a QUEEN! Over 40 years and six Daytime Emmy Awards behind her, there was not a doubt in our minds that Erika Slezak’s iconic character would make our list. Regal and resilient. This heroine endured just about everything a soap character could throughout her time including widowhood, a jail sentence, breast cancer, a heart transplant, the death of a child, and, of course, dissociative identity disorder. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! - Tori

Whitney Russell - Passions

The eldest daughter of the Russell family, Whitney is widely remembered by fans for her relationship with Chad Harris-Crane, which was believed to be incestuous for some time. Thankfully, the truth would eventually come out that he was, in fact, NOT her half-brother. Phew! However, Whitney was much more than that. She was a loyal friend to Theresa and a devoted and respectful daughter and sister. She spent most of her teen years dedicating herself to a career in tennis at her father’s insistence. Her decisions may have been misguided at times but she always went into every situation with good intentions for those she cared for. And we just adore Brook Kerr and her talent! - Tori

X-Factor Character - (Annie Dutton, Guiding Light)

Annie Dutton is captivating, tragic, and "psycho." Who knew bat "ish" crazy could be so entertaining! LOL. You didn't know if to love her, hate her or feel sorry for her.  But you were drawn to her nonetheless. She was simply mesmerizing. And her scenes on the witness stand in Reva's murder trial will stand among the best in soap history! We give Ms. Watros all of the flowers for her portrayal.  - Kenyan

You Know Who My Favorite Character Is? (Kristen DiMera, Days of Our Lives)

My favorite that didn't make the list is Kristen DiMera. Love her! Said many times before, Eric's rape storyline is among my favorite in recent soap history. I couldn't take my eyes off Eileen. Now we have Stacy slaying all kinds of things as Kristen. Who said blood is thicker than water? Kristen is the most like Stefano! She is a no holds barred and by any means necessary woman who still has and shows vulnerability and love (her kind anyway lol) and I STAN THEE heck out of her! - Kenyan

Zena Brown - Ryan’s Hope

Played by the talented Tichina Arnold, Zena Brown first appeared on Ryan’s Hope in 1987. A homeless teen, who bonded with Jack Fenelli at Riverside Hospital, she quickly found her way into his heart and the hearts of viewers. She was intelligent, wise beyond her years, and forced to become self-sufficient while living on the streets after the death of her mother. Jack became a father figure to her after convincing the Ryans to take her in. We watched Zena shine as she embraced her heritage and new life filled with love. Arnold’s work even earned her a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Ingenue in a Drama Series. - Tori



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Soap Opera News: From A to Z: The Who's Who In Soaps Pt. 1
From A to Z: The Who's Who In Soaps Pt. 1
From A to Z: The Who's Who In Soaps Pt. 1! Check out who made the list here --->>>
Soap Opera News
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