Credit: CBS, Adam Taylor/Courtesy Everett Collection; Jill Johnson, Howard Wise/JPI
In addition to these actors’ real lives being reflected screen, there have been a slew of actresses whose pregnancies ended up as plot points for their characters. Which, we suppose, means they should get more credit for continuing their fictional families’ legacies.
Actresses get facelifts all the time, but what they don’t usually do is televise them. Unless they’re Jeanne Cooper, who pitched the idea in 1984 to incorporate her real-life nip/tuck into her storyline on The Young and the Restless. Not only did Katherine go under the knife on screen, but footage of Cooper’s actual procedure was used on the CBS soap opera.
‘Serving’ Her Talents
Eden McCoy often documents her beach-volleyball successes on social media. She also committed to playing the sport for the University of Southern California class of 2025. Her General Hospital alter ego, seems to be on the same track, as Joss is often referred to as going to volleyball practice and being scouted by colleges. Hopefully, PCU has a volleyball program that’ll keep Joss close to home.
In 2007, Colleen Zenk revealed she had been receiving treatment for oral cancer, which included having part of her tongue removed. Just as she was about to bring the story idea to the powers that be at As the World Turns, they approached her about writing it in for her character Barbara.
Two for the Show
Hattie Adams has passed herself off as Marlena Evans over the years on Days of Our Lives, but she wasn’t the first one to do it. In the late ’70s, Marlena had a twin sister named Samantha who was played by none other than Deidre Hall’s real-life twin, Andrea. Samantha created the playbook Hattie pulled from by impersonating her sister but was then mistaken for Marlena and killed by the Salem Strangler.
‘La Vida Loca,’ Indeed
When General Hospital needed a singer to portray an L&B artist in the mid-’90s, soap audiences were introduced to former Menudo star Ricky Martin as Miguel. Upon leaving the ABC soap, Martin’s solo career exploded after performing “Cup of Life” at the 41st Grammy Awards.
Chip Off the Ol’ Block
When Steffy got pregnant on The Bold and the Beautiful in 2017, she and Scott Clifton’s character, Liam, imagined what their child would be like. Clifton’s son Ford played that love child in their fantasy.
Victoria Rowell became a vocal advocate for foster care after growing up in the system. That included pitching a storyline idea in the early 2000s to Young & Restless for Dru and Neil to foster a teenager named Devon. The storyline was not only educational and award-winning, but long-lasting, as Devon continues to drive story today.
Mental Health Is Wealth
Maurice Benard has been very open about his bipolar struggles, going so far as to share his diagnosis with his General Hospital alter ego, Sonny Corinthos. The illness has been woven into his story for decades, with his character most recently learning all over again he has bipolar after developing amnesia. Off screen, the actor created State of Mind, a vlog in which he spreads awareness and talks with his co-stars on YouTube about their own mental-health issues.
What the Puck!
While Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, The Bold and the Beautiful) was studying acting in Detroit, Mich., he became a fan of Red Wings hockey. He even blogged about his favorite team for NHL.com during a couple of their Stanley Cup playoff runs. Kaye’s love of the Wings bled over to his Pine Valley life where All My Children’s Zach Slater was often seen sporting his favorite team’s iconic logo. (BTW, pictured with him here is real-life significant other Susan Haskell, who played Marty to his Patrick on One Life to Live.)
Educating the Masses
Suzanne Rogers lives with Myasthenia Gravis, a neuromuscular disease. When some of the symptoms became noticeable in the mid-’80s, such as weight gain and bloating, Days of Our Lives wrote it into Maggie’s story. Her illness was again revisited in 2010 while Maggie was grieving the loss of her husband, Mickey.
It Takes Two to Tango
General Hospital’s Kelly Monaco (Sam) returned to Dancing With the Stars in 2012 to defend her Season 1 winner title. Seizing on a little cross-promotion, the ABC soap opera brought a DWTS pro to Port Charles. Instead of Monaco’s dancing partner, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, though, it was his brother Maksim who appeared as choreographer Anton to help get the hospital staff ready for the 2013 Nurses Ball.
The Song Remains the Same
Michael Damian started playing the role of Danny Romalotti on The Young and the Restless in the early ’80s after performing on American Bandstand. As luck would have it, both Damian and Danny were heartthrob musicians, with the former scoring a massive hit with his cover of “Rock On.”
What’s in a Name?
Before Roger Howarth was cast in the role, the General Hospital character of serial-killer/artist Franco was created for James Franco. Not only was the villain named for his movie-star portrayer, but the actor’s mother, Betsy Franco, played the character’s mother, Betsy Frank.
After Katie gave birth to her and Bill’s son Will on The Bold and the Beautiful, he was played by Heather Tom’s son Zane. At least he was until 2018, when the show SORAS’d the character with Finnegan George in the role.
‘Yep, I’m Gay’
Philip Chancellor III was thought to have died on The Young and the Restless in 1989. But with a little soap magic and some rewriting, he was resurrected in 2019. Thom Bierdz, who hid the fact that he was gay while he was on the show, reprised the role, with the character revealing that he had faked his death in order to stay in the closet himself.
Putting the ‘Opera’ in ‘Soap Opera’
Days of Our Lives‘ Chloe might be a Basic Black employee now, but there was a time she was an opera singer performing all over Europe and in Chicago. Just like her portrayer, Nadia Bjorlin, who grew up studying music, singing at her conductor/composer father’s concerts, performing with the Palm Beach Opera and winning first place in New York City’s Metro Lyric Opera Competition.
Her Nearest and Dearest
When COVID made touching a no-no on the set of The Young and the Restless, Melissa Claire Egan’s loved ones stepped in. Her husband, Matt Katrosar, played a paramedic tending to Chelsea, as well as a masked man who kidnapped her. Then, when Chelsea had a stroke and needed medical care, Egan’s friend Evelina Martinez was cast as the character’s at-home nurse.
Wally Kurth has sung on Days of Our Lives as Justin Kiriakis over the years, but General Hospital gave his character Ned Ashton a whole secret life to showcase his singing abilities. Ned was a businessman by day and rocker Eddie Maine by night for years in the ’90s. Though Eddie has since retired, Ned (seen here with ex-wife Lois) continues to croon at the annual Nurses Ball.
Needing an extra to play a doctor, Ron Carlivati didn’t have to look too far to fill the role. Days of Our Lives‘ headwriter pulled some strings and got his super-fan father the job that landed him in scenes with Mary Beth Evans (Kayla).
When Sonny reflected on his life choices in a very special 2018 episode of General Hospital, it gave Maurice Benard’s son a chance to spread his acting wings. Joshua Benard played a young version of his father’s character, Sonny Corinthos.
Baby’s First Role
Months after Maxie gave birth to her and Spinelli’s daughter, Georgie, on General Hospital in 2013, her portrayer, Kirsten Storms followed suit. Storms’ daughter Harper, with former co-star Brandon Barash (ex-Johnny; now Jake, Days of Our Lives), went on to appear in Port Charles for a time as her mother’s fictional baby.
Make Love, Not War
Rosemary Prinz made a splash as teen Penny Hughes on As the World Turns in the ’50s and ’60s, but it was her role on All My Children that might have hit closest to home. Prinz only agreed to appear in the (at the time) new soap in 1970 if her character Amy Tyler was written as opposing the Vietnam War, as the actress herself did. It was a bold move, but Prinz got her way and Amy was seen leading protests around Pine Valley.
Rick Springfield began his General Hospital career in the ’80s as Dr. Noah Drake. He then returned on occasion in the mid-2000s as the randy doctor. It was then that singer Springfield took on a dual role as rock star Eli Love, whom Noah impersonated when Eli needed surgery and couldn’t perform.
You’ve Been ‘Cast’
In February 2015, when Days of Our Lives’ Linsey Godfrey was playing Caroline Spencer on The Bold and the Beautiful, she was struck by and pinned underneath a car. Since she wore casts on both ankles after undergoing surgery, it was difficult to hide on screen. Subsequently, a car accident was written in for Caroline, who also sported casts and used a walker, as well as Ridge Forrester, to help her get around.
Maurice Benard and Eric Braeden are forces of nature on their respective soap operas. But they have another thing in common — they’re both avid boxers. So much so, that their characters are as well. Not only does Benard’s Sonny box as a workout, but he has his own gym — Volonino’s — on General Hospital. Meanwhile, Braeden’s Victor can be seen on Young & Restless hitting the heavy bag on occasion, and, last year, the actor championed bringing boxing champ Evander Holyfield on the show for a cameo.