Credit: CBS/Courtesy of the Everett Collection (3)
Then: The late Christopher Bernau’s successor played imperious tycoon Alan Spaulding from 1994 to 2009. Since Then: The Broadway vet has returned to his stage roots and was nominated for a Tony in 2012 for his superlative work in a revival of Follies.
Then: From 1979-83, she was Alan’s long-suffering wife, Hope. Or at least his 1979-83-suffering wife. Since Then: The leading lady for the most part left showbiz behind… but did return to daytime once more, to play a nurse on The Bold and the Beautiful in 2010.
Then: Katy Perry didn’t write “Teenage Dream” about him, but she could’ve, back when he originated the role of preppy hottie Phillip Spaulding. Since Then: Following the cancellation of Guiding Light, Aleksander has only shown up on the Web soap Tainted Dreams. Well, and on our shortlist of actors who need new soap roles.
Then: She was already a soap vet when, as a youngster, she was cast as Lizzie, Phillip’s daughter with Beth Raines. Since Then: Panettiere has done just about it all, from modeling (she was the face of Neutrogena) to movies (Scream 4) to primetime (Heroes, anyone? Nashville?).
Then: The Daytime Emmy winner lived up to his potential as a soap star as poor little rich boy Alan-Michael Spaulding. Since Then: He’s knocked it outta the park on The Young and the Restless (as a recast Matt Clark) and The Bold and the Beautiful (as Whip Jones). And we’re still waiting for him to show up again on General Hospital (as Ric Lansing).
Then: She stole viewers’ hearts from 1991-95 as Eleni Andros, the Greek goddess torn between Alan-Michael and blue-collar Frank Cooper. Since Then: The primetime MVP has headlined her own series (1999-02’s Providence) and fought crime as a regular on CSI: Miami.
Then: He was goodhearted Frank from 1987 until the end of the soap’s run in 2009. Since Then: Dicopoulos lent his voice to the audio soap Forever and a Day and took to the stage in the jukebox musical Calling All Divas.
Then: From 1990-93, he was A.C. Mallet, the cop with Springfield’s most “arresting” presence. Since Then: Following a three-year stint as Victoria Lord’s ill-fated husband Ben Davidson on One Life to Live, Derwin landed in primetime, ultimately becoming a regular on ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
Then: She played heiress Vanessa Chamberlain off and on from 1980 until the soap’s cancellation. Since Then: The actress has battled breast cancer and discussed on PBS’ The New Medicine the importance of communicating with one’s physician.
Then: He was Matt Reardon, the younger man who swept Vanessa off her feet in the mid-1990s. Since Then: The star of the 1985 martial-arts classic No Retreat, No Surrender has mainly appeared in indie movies. He also returned briefly to daytime with small roles on As the World Turns and One Life to Live (pictured).
Then: She won two Daytime Emmys for her portrayal of Vanessa’s daughter, Dinah Marler. Since Then: She returned to her first soap role of Kelly Cramer on One Life to Live and replaced Michelle Stafford as Phyllis Summers on The Young and the Restless.
Then: Tognoni’s predecessor as Dinah made the role her own as she took it over from future The 100 star Paige Turco. Since Then: Moniz has joined the cast of the Paramount Network hit Yellowstone as Montana’s governor senator and married (and split from) her former leading man…
Then: He put an end to the frequent recasting of Roger Thorpe’s son, Hart Jessup. Since Then: Grillo threw a knockout punch as the star of the mixed-martial-arts drama Kingdom. But the show’s most successful primetime star may yet be…
Then: The Daytime Emmy winner pumped adrenaline into the soap as Reva Shayne’s heretofore-unknown son, Jonathan Randall. Since Then: Pelphrey so dazzled on Netflix’s Ozark that he was nominated for more awards than we knew existed. He must have also dazzled Big Bang Theory alum Kaley Cuoco, because the two became a Hollywood power couple.
Then: She succeeded the late Brian Dennehy’s daughter Elizabeth as Roger Thorpe’s chip off the ol’ block, conniving Blake. Since Then: After her three-year stay in Springfield, Stringfield made a name for herself in primetime via lead roles on NYPD Blue and ER.
Elizabeth Keifer and Jerry verDorn
Then: They were “Bloss,” aka Blake and Ross Marler, one of Guiding Light’s most reliably unreliable supercouples. Since Then: Keifer has appeared on Venice: The Series, and her on-screen husband stepped in for the late Clint Ritchie as Clint Buchanan on One Life to Live. Ed. Note: Sadly, verDorn passed away in May 2022 following a cancer battle. (Read our tribute here.)
Then: The future Emmy winner tackled the role of Reva’s “Wait, a minute, what… ?!?” sister, Cassie Layne, a stripper-turned-princess. Hey, it could happen. Since Then: The actress became the fourth Carly Corinthos on General Hospital — and for most of the show’s audience, the definitive one.
Then: She was intrepid TV news reporter Gilly Grant from 1989-96. Since Then: Marshall returned to daytime twice, first as straight-arrow Belinda Keefer on All My Children, then as the pot-stirring Liz Sanbourne on Passions.
Ricky Paull Goldin
Then: The former child star played Gus Aitoro from 2001-2008. Since Then: The veteran of Another World (as rocker Dean Frame) has appeared on All My Children (as Jake Martin) and The Bold and the Beautiful (as Maya Avant’s no-good ex).
Then: She was tangled-web-weaver Oliver Spencer from 1999-2009. Since Then: She’s visited other soaps but is perhaps best known for co-creating her own show, Venice: The Series, and casting former Guiding Light love interest Jessica Leccia (Natalia).
Then: In his TV debut, the Juilliard grad played Olivia’s brother, Sam Spencer. Since Then: He’s polarized viewers of General Hospital as Peter August, the nefarious offspring of supervillain Cesar Faison. (Of note: He’s also the real-life honey of former Guiding Light and General Hospital castmate Laura Wright.)
Then: She played feisty Kat Speakes from 1991-94. Since Then: Long has amassed an incredible list of credits on screens big (Boyz n the Hood, The Best Man) and small (Third Watch, NCIS: Los Angeles).
John Wesley Shipp
Then: He was ’80s dreamboat Kelly Nelson. Since Then: After winning Daytime Emmys for his work on As the World Turns (as Douglas Cummings) and Santa Barbara (as Martin Ellis), Shipp suited up to play primetime’s The Flash in 1990. But he may be best known for his stint as Dawson’s dad on the late-’90s primetime soap Dawson’s Creek.
Then: The actor previously known as Paul Wasilewski was cast as teenage trouble magnet Max Nickerson when he was just a junior in high school. Since Then: He’s attracted a legion of fangs… er, fans… by giving the 2009-17 primetime hit The Vampire Diaries its bite.
Then: The former model — she started at age 3! — spent three years playing Susan “Daisy” Lemay, the illegitimate daughter of Harley Cooper and Dylan Lewis. Since Then: She’s never stopped working in TV and film but is best known for the trilogy of Pitch Perfect movies in which she hit just the right, ahem, note.
Then: He steamed up Springfield as Nola and Quint Chamberlain’s abtastic son, J. (You may not even recognize him with a shirt on!) Since Then: The former gymnast has worked steadily, guest-starring on a number of primetime series and hosting shows like UPN’s GetThis Party Started and Food Network’s Chefs vs. City.
Then: She turned Springfield upside down as petulant Drew Jacobs in the late 1990s. Since Then: Blanchard has cemented her star status with roles on stage (she’s a two-time Tony nominee), television (she won an Emmy for her portrayal of the younger version of the title character in Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows) and in the movies (including the Fred Rogers biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood).
Then: The baby-faced TV newcomer played Remy Boudreau for the soap’s last three years on the air. Since Then: In 2013, Bold & Beautiful cast Saint-Victor as Carter Walton, the buffest wedding officiant ever to make the mistake of getting dressed.
Then: He gave one intoxicating performance after another as alcoholic teen Tim Werner from 1980-81. Since Then: Bacon is so ubiquitous in showbiz that you’re no one unless you’re six degrees or less from him. Career highlights — and this list could go on and on — include 1984’s Footloose, the cult classic Tremors and the blockbuster Apollo 13.
Then: He proved so popular as Alexandra Spaulding’s ill-fated son Lujack Luvonaczek that he was resurrected as his character’s twin brother, Nick McHenry. Since Then: Irizarry traded his good-guy halo to go dark — at times real dark — as All My Children’s Dr. Evil, David Hayward, and Days of Our Lives’ Deimos Kiriakis.
Then: The daytime rookie bowled over viewers as Annie Dutton, whose theme song could have been Ava Max’s “Sweet But Psycho.” Since Then: The Daytime Emmy winner shook up one primetime show (Lost) after another (House) before returning to soaps as Nina Reeves on General Hospital.
Then: He starred off and on as Josh Lewis from 1981 until the lights were switched off on the soap in 2009. Since Then: Aside from stepping in for Richard Burgi as Ashland Locke on The Young and the Restless in 2022, Newman has focused his career on the stage, appearing in productions of Peter Pan, Nine and Gypsy. In fact, when that last show played Pittsburgh, his leading lady was none other than…
Then: Her name was synonymous with Guiding Light, owing to her long and legendary run as Reva, aka “the slut of Springfield.” Since Then: The four-time Daytime Emmy winner revisited her 1980s One Life to Live role (Echo DiSavoy), released her memoir and made her musical-theater debut as Madame Morrible in the first North American tour of Wicked.