Eileen Hurlie with several AMC faves! (Soaps.com)

We all know that soap operas are often a first step for budding actors and actresses. But several older favorites actually had long careers before being cast in a favorite soap opera. I thought it would be fun to take a look back at a few of these careers.

Let’s begin with fan-favorite Palmer Cortlandt. James Mitchell originated the role of Palmer in 1979 and since then has garnered 7 Daytime Emmy nominations and 4 Soap Opera Digest Awards for the role. Since he arrived at All My Children fans have become more familiar with his gruff, lovable, trouble-making character. Before coming to Pine Valley, however, Mitchell had a long career in the theatre as dancer including several years when he performed with the American Ballet Theatre.