Credit: Howard Wise/JPI (2), Paul Skipper/JPI, John Paschal/JPI
Never let it be said that the eight-time Emmy winner didn’t know when to say when. In 2015, the General Hospital legend decided to pack it in after 44 years off and on as Luke Spencer (and lookalike cousin Bill Eckert). “I’m just weary of the grind and have been for 20 years,” he told TV Insider at the time. “I really don’t want to die, collapsing in a heap, on that General Hospital set one day. That wouldn’t be too poetic.” True — although it would’ve made for one hell of a memorable exit.
From 1964-75, the leading lady and frontburner mainstay amassed a large fan following as beleaguered Another World heroine Alice Frame. Unfortunately, the NBC soap’s headwriter was not among her admirers. In his memoir Eight Years in Another World, the late, great Harding Lemay recalled being particularly horrified that she’d once “turned what was written as muted, catatonic grief into a histrionic display more fitting to a 19th-century madhouse.” Finally, she was fired and replaced with, in the scribe’s estimation, “a far better actress.”
Shortly after announcing that she had left Days of our Lives, where she’d played Hope Brady for nearly 40 years, the veteran actress revealed why: The powers that be wanted her to sit out four or five months before starting a new storyline in which Hope got involved with a Navy SEAL. The show’s top scribe, she suggested to Access Hollywood, “didn’t want to write it. I don’t know what his reasons are.”
The Emmy winner loved his time at The Young and the Restless as Malcolm Winters; it began his acting career, for Pete’s sake! But in a SoapCentral interview in 2000, he admitted that “I’ve done a lot of soul-searching. I really had to look at my career and my future.” Finally, he took his agents’ advice and took a leap of faith that has paid off handsomely: Since leaving Genoa City, Moore has become a primetime mainstay; he currently headlines his own series, CBS’ reboot of S.W.A.T.
Despite slaying as Delia Coleridge, the go-to bad girl of Ryan’s Hope, the original cast member was fired in 1983 for gaining weight. “I had taken cortisone for a skin infection,” she told Soap Opera Digest in ’87. “The doctor screwed up the prescription, and I blew up. It caused me three years of absolute torture. My system was so out of whack, and [the powers that be] were very intolerant of it… They wanted glitz, glitz, glitz, glitz… and it wasn’t particularly what I was physically capable of doing.”
With Young & Restless leading lady Amelia Heinle, the soap-hopper had created that rarest of rarities — a bonafide soap supercouple in “Ashtoria.” But just after New Year 2022, the news broke that he had been let go. WTH happened? “I naively and inadvertently violated the show’s COVID policy,” he explained. “I felt terrible about it. I still do. It bothers me mightily, but it is what it is.” Nevertheless, the class act expressed his well wishes for both the show and his successor, Guiding Light vet Robert Newman (Josh).
The Emmy winner didn’t mince words when explaining why he’d quit Days of our Lives in 2020 after nearly a decade as Eric Brady. Storylines that were promised him, he told Soap Opera Digest, “never came to fruition. I didn’t feel like all of the things that were being told to me were being delivered.” As a result, he wound up feeling “like a glorified extra in everybody else’s storyline.”
Unhappy with her work environment and the storyline that was being written for Guiding Light’s Alexandra Spaulding, the daytime legend took her annual eight-week vacation in 1992 — and never returned, thanks to an out in her contract. In an interview with TV Guide, she recalled that “somebody said, ‘Maybe Beverlee’s not familiar with the contract.’ Well, of course she was — she wrote it, you bozos!”
After 13 years as The Young and the Restless’ Victoria Newman, the then-two-time Emmy winner walked in 2003 over “creative differences” with then-executive producer David Shaughnessy, SoapCentral reported. Even before she had last aired on the CBS soap, she’d already made her debut as One Life to Live’s new Kelly Cramer. Now, of course, Tom is back on the West Coast and back on CBS, playing Katie Logan on Young & Restless’ sister soap, The Bold and the Beautiful.
Five years after the debut of Santa Barbara — and the introduction of sterling-silver-tongued devil Mason Capwell — his fan-favorite portrayer called it a day. “I felt like the show deteriorated after [its creators] left,” he told Santa Barbara Online in 2009. In his estimation, the daytime drama had lost not only its sense of humor but its heart.
Shortly after New Year 2023, General Hospital made Britt Westbourne the hook killer’s latest victim — for a super sweet reason. “I’m in love,” her portrayer told Soap Opera Digest, “and have been doing long-distance for almost a year now, and my partner cannot move to the States at the moment.” Beyond that, the actress was ready to chase after some other career goals.
When the original cast member of The Bold and the Beautiful revealed in 2012 that he’d donned his last Speedo as Ridge Forrester, viewers all had the same question: Why? Why? Why? (Yes, we always asked it three times.) Was it salary issues? “It had to do with everything involved with it,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “Everything combined.” Beyond that, he felt that he was owed “the chance to do all the creative things that I haven’t had a chance to do in 25 years” because of the job.
The Young and the Restless actor, who’d played Cane Ashby for more than a decade, was as “shocked and gutted” as his fans to announce that he’d been let go in the fall of 2019. “But sadly, it seems that without Neil and Lily, there just is no Cane.” But wait, Lily’s back now… could that possibly mean what we hope that it does? Click here for the juicy details of the story we have in mind!
In the late 1990s, the Emmy winner (now General Hospital femme fatale Ava Jerome) was just beginning her daytime career — and wowing As the World Turns’ audience as Carly Tenney — when she decided to make her maternity leave a permanent leave. “I was told I would only get six weeks” with my firstborn, she explained to Soap Opera Digest in 1997. “I made this child. I had to do right by him.” Thankfully, she was ultimately enticed to return and become the daytime legend that she now is.
Although when news spread in the spring of 2022 that The Young and the Restless had dropped the Emmy winner, there were signs that Rey Rosales was about to be thrust into a love triangle with wife Sharon and pal Chelsea Lawson… Well, those signs were misleading; his story was headed for the finish line. “Maybe I should have seen the writing on the wall,” said the actor on the Making It Work podcast that he hosts with his real-life missus. Near the end, “the scripts that I was given were very minimal.”
When the Daytime Emmy winner left his role of Dylan McAvoy on The Young and the Restless in 2016, he tweeted that “it feels right to move on to new adventures in my life.” But just a year later, he leapt back into an old adventure, returning to General Hospital as Jason Morgan, the hitman he’d previously played for nearly 20 years.
After General Hospital reinstated the actor as Jason, and gave recast Billy Miller a new character to play (in Jason’s heretofore-unknown twin brother, Drew Cain), he wound up being shown to the exit. The show “has let me go,” he announced in November 2021, “because of the vaccine mandate” that was put in place to safeguard the cast and crew from COVID-19.
Young & Restless viewers couldn’t figure out why, after the show struck pay dirt with the pairing of Devon Hamilton and Hilary Curtis, it would let her portrayer Mishael Morgan leave. “They were not prepared to give her a raise,” her manager explained in 2018. “We felt that we were put in the position that we had no choice but to explore other options… It was sort of a ‘Take it or leave it’ scenario.” A year later, of course, a deal was struck that returned Morgan to the soap as Hilary’s surprise twin sister, Amanda Sinclair.
The Emmy winner had been winning raves for his work as Days of Our Lives’ Stefan DiMera when he was abruptly replaced in 2019 by Brandon Barash (now Jake). Being apart from his family in Indiana while he was working in L.A. weighed heavily on Christopher, he later explained to Soaps in Depth, adding, “Alcohol addiction is something I’ve battled since I was a teenager. I’ve had some amazing successes with it and some really awful failures. I needed to address those issues and figure out that part of my life.”
In 1991, the Santa Barbara leading lady had just begun a split-personality storyline for her beloved character, Eden Capwell, when she herself split — for primetime. The Emmy winner left the role that had allowed her to put All My Children mean girl Liza Colby in rearview to star in Palace Guard, which aired only twice before being cancelled.
The Young and the Restless’ original Jack Abbott made no bones about the fact that he walked in 1989 over his dissatisfaction with the amount of airtime being given to a green rookie: Lauralee Bell (Christine), who just happened to be the daughter of the show’s creators. She didn’t hold it against him, though. And, she told the Daily News of Los Angeles, “if he ever took it out on me, he was sorry.”
Days of Our Lives only killed off Abigail DiMera in the summer of 2022 because her portrayer was unable to commit. As headwriter Ron Carlivati explained to Soap Opera Digest, “Marci was not going to be available to us full-time on contract, and it made it challenging to tell story for Chad and Abigail… That always becomes a problem when one half of a couple is not going to be available to you.”