When the son of Joe and Ruth Martin graduated to grownup storylines in 1988, he also graduated to a grownup portrayer in Michael Brainard (who’d later play Ted Capwell on Santa Barbara). Just look at that expression: There’s a guy who’s thinking about his tax return! It doesn’t get any more adult than that.
All My Children’s Jake No. 2
Is there a doctor in the house? There sure was in 2000, when Young & Restless vet J. Eddie Peck scrubbed in after his stint as Cole Howard, the ranch hand who’d given everybody a ride.
All My Children’s Jake No. 3
Ricky Paull Goldin — previously Dean Frame on Another World — rounded out the adult Jake trilogy, playing the part from 2008 until the soap’s 2011 cancellation by ABC. Catch him next on Pine Valley? That remains to be seen.
General Hospital’s Carly No. 1
Though the soap hit the bullseye when it cast Sarah Joy Brown — the fan favorite went on to win three Emmys — she left in 2001. How, fans wondered, could anyone replace her? Pretty well, it turned out.
General Hospital’s Carly No. 2
Tamara Braun made the role her own — and made herself an in-demand daytime MVP in the process. She went on to appear on All My Children and to return to General Hospital as Kim Nero before resurrecting Days of Our Lives’ “ill-fated” Ava Vitali. Following her four-year run as Sonny’s moll, the show hoped to nail the key casting once again.
General Hospital’s Carly No. 3
Jennifer Bransford was already well-known to ABC viewers, owing to her run as One Life to Live nut job Georgie Phillips. But she didn’t quite work as Carly. So after just six months, the show switched gears and replaced her with…
General Hospital’s Carly No. 4
Fresh off her run on Guiding Light as stripper-turned-princess Cassie Winslow, Laura Wright relocated from Springfield to Port Charles and never looked back. By now, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing the queenpin — even though we know, we know, they did!
Young & Restless’ Abby No. 1
Want proof that kids grow up fast? In 2008, the same year that Darcy Rose Byrnes left her role of Ashley Abbott and Victor Newman’s daughter, she was boom! Replaced by…
Young & Restless’ Abby No. 2
No one seemed to notice that the tyke was suddenly so mature that she was played by Hayley Erin (later Kiki Jerome on General Hospital). The character wouldn’t get another makeover until 2010 when the audience was introduced to…
Young & Restless’ Abby No. 3
During the character’s stretch as Genoa City’s foremost flasher Naked Heiress, she was played by Emme Rylan, who exited stage left to replace Julie Berman on General Hospital as Lulu Spencer.
Young & Restless’ Abby No. 4
Since 2013, Melissa Ordway has taken the legacy character from one husband to the next, one career to another. Oddly, one thing has never changed about Abby: She’s still beautiful. Go figure.
Young & Restless’ Kyle No. 1
Back when Jack Abbott’s younger son first made an impact on the canvas in 2010, Garrett Ryan took charge of the child’s play. “No, kid, a martini is not appropriate after a tween’s ballgame — not even if you won!”
Young & Restless’ Kyle No. 2
When SORAS (Soap-Opera Rapid-Aging Syndrome) hit, it hit hard, transforming the moppet in 2012 into Blake Hood. Viewers shouldn’t have gotten attached, though, because less than a year later, he was replaced by…
Young & Restless’ Kyle No. 3
Hartley Sawyer came and went from Genoa City as Summer Newman’s sweetheart as quickly as the title character on the CW series on which he’d eventually play Elongated Man: The Flash.
Young & Restless’ Kyle No. 4
In 2015, Station 19 hottie Lachlan Buchanan took a turn as the Abbott heir… which ended less than a year later, at which point the show threw in the towel and decided to give the character a lil’ time-out.
Young & Restless’ Kyle No. 5
Finally, when Michael Mealor suited up (and stripped down) in 2018, fans knew that at long last, the definitive Kyle had been hired. How the show then let him slip away is another story altogether…
Young & Restless’ Chance No. 1
The first actor to make an impression as Nina and Phillip’s son was Penn Badgley, who went on to drop the “child” from “child star” and make waves on Gossip Girl and You.
Young & Restless’ Chance No. 2
When the legacy character was brought back to Genoa City in 2009 for a family reunion with Mom and Dad, who turned out to be (surprise) alive and (surprise again) gay, Guiding Light vet John Driscoll (Coop) won the part.
Young & Restless’ Chance No. 3
Almost a decade after the halo-clad hero lost his virginity and got the hell outta Dodge, he was brought back with Donny Boaz in the role. When he contracted COVID just before his character’s big wedding to Abby, the soap had to call in a ringer to say “I do.” In other words…
Young & Restless’ Chance No. 4
Justin Gaston had no trouble reciting vows to Melissa Ordway — he’d already done so in real life. But when it was time to bring in a permanent replacement for Boaz, the daytime drama turned to…
Young & Restless’ Chance No. 5
When daytime newcomer Conner Floyd landed the pivotal part of Abby’s “late” husband, he had nearly a dozen movies in various stages of production, according to IMDb. One word: wow!
Bold & Beautiful’s Thomas No. 1
As soon as Ridge and Taylor Forrester’s son was old enough to say lines — and have Aunt Bridget read him the book What Is SORAS? — Patrick Dorn was cast in the role.
Bold & Beautiful’s Thomas No. 2
Once puberty hit the character, Drew Tyler Bell stepped in — and whad’ya know, there was reliable strumpet Amber Moore to ease Thomas’ transition into manhood.
Bold & Beautiful’s Thomas No. 3
When Adam Gregory inherited the role in 2010, Ridge’s chip off the ol’ block started doing a lot more lounging around with his abs rippling. Of note: This made total sense.
Bold & Beautiful’s Thomas No. 4
Though he’s wearing a shirt in this shot — yes, he did still own them! — the version of Thomas that Pierson Fodé played got naked often enough to conceive Douglas with Caroline Spencer and have a fling with Sally Spectra.
Bold & Beautiful’s Thomas No. 5
When Young & Restless vet Matthew Atkinson — he’d been Austin Travers — was tapped to take over in 2019, the show brought to the fore Thomas’ dark side. Also a keener-than-we’d-guessed appreciation for mannequins that resemble Hope Logan.
Days of Our Lives’ Jack No. 1
Back in 1987, the show had high hopes for Joseph Adams when he was dropped into a love triangle with supercouple Patch Johnson and Kayla Brady. But those hopes were quickly lowered, and Jack was quickly recast, first with the blink-and-ya-missed-him James Acheson, then with…
Days of Our Lives’ Jack No. 3
By the time Matthew Ashford moved to Salem and became half of a supercouple opposite Melissa Reeves as Jennifer Horton, he was already a soap vet, having played Drew Ralston on One Life to Live and Cagney McCleary on Search for Tomorrow. A year after his 1993 exit, the soap replaced him with…
Days of Our Lives’ Jack No. 4
As if it wasn’t hard enough being a recast, Mark Valley had to try to make fans love him as Jack even as they were also getting used to a new Jennifer, Stephanie Cameron. (Spoiler alert: They never did get used to her.)
Days of Our Lives’ Jack No. 5
When Steve Wilder took the character in a suddenly shirt-averse direction in 1997, viewers had to tell the show, “You don’t know Jack.”
Days of Our Lives’ Jack No. 6
Since 2001, anytime Jack’s returned from the dead, it’s been Ashford who once again has been playing Abigail’s (and now Gwen’s) dad.
Young & Restless’ Billy No. 1
Puberty… it does a body good! And when Jill and John Abbott’s son emerged on the other side of it, he was played by future Emmy winner David Tom, whose sister Heather (Katie Logan on The Bold and the Beautiful) was at the time playing Victoria Newman.
Young & Restless’ Billy No. 2
Upon Tom’s departure from Genoa City, Ryan Brown (once Bill Lewis on Guiding Light) stretched out and got comfy in his vacant role.
Young & Restless’ Billy No. 3
After appearing on All My Children and before joining General Hospital, Billy Miller struck supercouple gold as half of “Villy” — a pairing made possible by the fact that he and new Victoria Amelia Heinle weren’t real-life siblings.
Young & Restless’ Billy No. 4
Three Daytime Emmys later, Miller moved on, leaving behind both his character and his leading lady to… original Billy David Tom. Alas, his return engagement was a short one. Before the year was out, he’d been succeeded by…
Young & Restless’ Billy No. 5
He took a handsome photo, that’s for sure, but the fit wasn’t quite right with Burgess Jenkins. So in 2016, the audience turned on the show to find that they were on…
Young & Restless’ Billy No. 6
Fresh from his successful run as Patrick Drake on General Hospital, Jason Thompson made his Genoa City debut (with Peter Bergman and Gina Tognoni as Jack and Phyllis Abbott)… in a hospital bed!
One Life to Live’s Kevin No. 1
After five child actors played Victoria Lord’s firstborn with husband Joe Riley, Joey Thrower took over in 1991 — and was thrust into a frontburner storyline with Yasmine Bleeth as LeeAnn Demerest.
One Life to Live’s Kevin No. 2
Thrower was replaced after only a year by Kirk Geiger, whose stay in Llanview lasted until 1994 and the introduction of…
One Life to Live’s Kevin No. 4
The third time definitely wasn’t the charm for this legacy character: Ken Kenitzer came and went so fast that there isn’t even a photo of him. Kevin Stapleton made a more lasting impression in his 1996-98 stint in the role.
One Life to Live’s Kevin No. 5
Soap-hopper Timothy Gibbs — perhaps best known for playing Gary Sinclair on Another World — spent 1998-2001 as a member of the Buchanan clan. Whether he maintained this pose the whole time… er, we can’t recall.
One Life to Live’s Kevin No. 6
Here wearing the same expression we did when we heard that the show had been cancelled is Kevin’s final portrayer, Dan Gauthier.
General Hospital’s Nikolas No. 1
Tyler Christopher took daytime by storm when he was tapped to play Laura Spencer’s surprise son — and a Cassadine to boot! — in 1996. When he left after three years to see what else he could take by storm, in came…
General Hospital’s Nikolas No. 2
Coltin Scott was a fine stand-in for Christopher, but at the end of the day, he kinda felt like a stand-in — the menu item you order when the one you really want isn’t available.
General Hospital’s Nikolas No. 3
Remember what we said in the previous caption? That might have something to do with the fact that Christopher was brought back to the role he originated in 2003.
General Hospital’s Nikolas No. 4
When a temp was needed to fill in for Christopher in 2005, Chris Beetem — better known as Jordan Sinclair on As the World Turns — stepped up.
General Hospital’s Nikolas No. 5
At the end of Christopher’s return engagement, Nick Stabile (once Mark Wolper on Sunset Beach) was brought in to finish out the storyline that “killed” Ava Jerome’s future husband.
General Hospital’s Nikolas No. 6
In 2019, the Cassadine prince was raised from the grave with a brand-new face: that of Marcus Coloma. But that still wasn’t the end of the line for the character. In 2021, we got…
General Hospital’s Nikolas No. 7
However briefly, Adam Huss carried Nikolas’ baggage.
One Life to Live’s Tina No. 1
Back in the 1970s, Andrea Evans originated the role of the future nymphet who would turn out to be the half sister of fancypants Victoria Lord.
One Life to Live’s Tina No. 2
Following Evans’ 1981 exit, the soap brought in in 1984 Kelli Maroney, a hot commodity, owing to her run as Ryan’s Hope Lolita Kimberly Harris and her starring role in the cult classic Night of the Comet.
One Life to Live’s Tina No. 3
When Maroney left, Marsha Clark — not the famous lawyer but Guiding Light’s onetime Hillary Bauer (and, as pictured, a Days of Our Lives judge decades later!) — briefly stepped in until the show could introduce…
One Life to Live’s Tina No. 4
Which was really Tina No. 1, Evans again.
One Life to Live’s Tina No. 5
Somewhere in there, Evans needed a replacement, albeit briefly, and Nancy Frangione — aka Cecile DePoulignac on Another World — got the call.
One Life to Live’s Tina No. 6
After Evans left for good — spoiler alert: it wasn’t for good — she was replaced by Playboy Playmate Karen Witter.
One Life to Live’s Tina No. 7
When Witter decided that she’d had enough of Llanview, Krista Tesreau moved from Springfield, where she’d played Guiding Light’s bratty Mindy Lewis. Of note: She wasn’t nearly as serious on screen as this shot makes it appear. Tina was always a hoot.
One Life to Live’s Tina No. 8
When the soap came to an end, of course Evans was brought back to play the part that she’d made iconic. Anything less would’ve been akin to Tina remembering to say that she took Max Holden in holy matrimony and not her true love, Cord Roberts!