Credit: John Paschal/JPI, Brian Lowe/JPI, ABC, CBS
John Aniston (Victor, Days of Our Lives)
In 1975, after years of making guest appearances in primetime, the daytime icon-to-be joined his first soap, Love of Love, where as Eddie Aleata, he tried not to be upstaged by Christopher “Superman” Reeves and that amazing jacket.
Leslie Charleson (Monica, General Hospital)
The actress was already a soap vet by the time she joined the cast of Love Is a Many Splendored Thing as Iris Donnelly in 1967. But that was the role that really put her on the map, as it involved her character in a frontburner love triangle with David Birney and Donna Mills (who more than four decades later would check into General Hospital as Nina’s Mommie Dearest, Madeline). Not pictured: Birney or Mills.
Bryton James (Devon, The Young and the Restless)
At the age of 4 (!), the future Daytime Emmy winner landed the role of Richie Crawford, the cutest kid on ABC’s long-running TGIF staple Family Matters. And yes, that really is him on the left — that mane! — with Kellie Shanygne Williams, Rosetta LeNoire and Jaimee Foxworth.
Katrina Bowden (Flo, The Bold and the Beautiful)
Thirteen years before returning to daytime — she’d already briefly appeared on One Life to Live — Bowden spent seven years punching the clock at 30 Rock as Cerie, gal Friday to Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon and, if she had her way, a future trophy wife and “young hot mom.”
Deidre Hall (Marlena, Days of Our Lives)
Way back in 1976, the same year that she moved to Salem, Hall also starred opposite Judy Strangis in Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, one the best of the segments that made up the beloved (if short-lived) Saturday-morning kids’ program, The Krofft Supershow.
Jeff Kober (Cyrus, General Hospital)
From 1988-91, before his status as Hollywood’s go-to heavy was cemented, Kober starred as Sgt. Evan Winslow — Dodger to his friends — on ABC’s critically-acclaimed Vietnam War drama China Beach. Among his co-stars: Michael Boatman, Brian Wimmer and Ned Vaughn.
Eric Braeden (Victor, The Young and the Restless)
From 1966-68 — so long ago that Braeden had yet to adopt his stage name, much less grow his legendary ’stache — the future Emmy winner starred on the WWII series The Rat Patrol as Hauptmann Hans Deitrich, the nemesis of the Allied soldiers whose unit gave the show its title.
John McCook (Eric, The Bold and the Beautiful)
Following his highly successful run as Young & Restless playboy Lance Prentiss — but obviously before he was cast in the role he’s held since 1987 — McCook headlined Code Name: Foxfire, a short-lived series in which he played basically Charlie to a team of secret-agent Angels (among them Joanna Cassidy).
Dominic Zamprogna (Dante, General Hospital)
For the entire 2000-04 run of the Canadian soap Edgemont, Zamprogna was front and center as a camera-ready high-schooler whose favorite subject was pretty classmates like the one played by future Smallville star Kristin Kreuk.
Linsey Godfrey (ex-Sarah, Days of Our Lives)
In the short-lived mid-2000s sci-fi series Surface, Godfrey played the wet-suited girlfriend of a teenager (Carter Jenkins, pictured) who makes the acquaintance of a sea creature after taking a spill off his wakeboard.