Outrageous character deaths that left us stunned.

Soaps.com is celebrating 10 years of soap opera coverage. We’ve reflected on some surprising character deaths from each soap over the past decade which left us bewildered, saddened and sometimes mad!

All My Children:
Next time you’re enjoying pancakes, think about heroine Dixie Cooney’s infamous ‘death by pancakes’. Dixie accidentally scarfed down a poisonous batch of pancakes intended for the Satin Slayer’s next victim, Babe Carey Chandler. Neither of the Martin Docs could save Dixie and she died in the hospital.

Jesse Hubbard was one of Pine Valley’s finest. When Eugene framed him for theft, it was Jesse himself who discovered the evidence needed for his exoneration. Impressed by his savvy detective skills, the police department offered Jesse a job. Tragically, Jesse was killed in that very role, after suffering a fatal gunshot while pursuing criminal Remy Remington.

Episode # 13601

As the World Turns:
James Stenbeck had been presumed dead more times than we can count. His final rest came at the hands of Audrey Coleman, who injected him with a paralysing agent that caused him to go into cardiac arrest. He died and because he escaped death in the past, Barbara, Emily, Paul and Henry examined his body at the funeral to ensure it stuck.

Beloved Detective Hal Munson was killed in the line of duty while on a stakeout. The loving husband, father and humanitarian died while saving a teenager. Sadly, suffering from depression, the talented actor had taken his own life months before.

Episode # 7126

The Bold and the Beautiful:
Mentally ill Aly Forrester decided Steffy was the ruination of all that was virtuous in Forrester Creations. After slashing Steffy’s tire, Aly followed Steffy and attacked her with a tire iron while she was changing said tire and later, with a rock. In self defense, Steffy knocked Aly to the ground with the tire iron and she died after hitting her head on a rock.

Phoebe Forrester’s own anger led to her untimely death. Enraged by Rick’s manipulation of her father and sister, Phoebe jumped in Rick’s car and confronted him as he was leaving for Ridge and Brooke’s rehearsal dinner. As Rick drove, she physically and verbally attacked him. Distressed and sidetracked Rick lost control and the car crashed, killing Phoebe instantly.

Days of our Lives:
On the eve of Will Horton’s death, he discovered two things: he wanted to reunite with Sonny, and he knew Ben was the Necktie Killer. Unfortunately for Will, Ben arrived just after this realization. After a brief struggle, Ben senselessly strangled Will to death, shocking Salem.


No matter how he “died,” Stefano “Phoenix” DiMera always seemed to rise from the ashes. But Stefano officially met his maker at the hands of Detective Hope Brady. Hope, mistakenly assuming Stefano was responsible for Bo’s kidnapping and torture, confronted Stefano and shot him to death. In an ironically DiMeraesq twist, she and Rafe disposed of Stefano’s body and framed Andre for his murder.

General Hospital:
Before A.J. Quartermaine could explain to Sonny that Ava was Connie’s killer, Sonny shot him. Then he was unable to name Sonny as his shooter because he slipped into a coma. He emerged from his coma long enough to spill to Carly before slipping away to the afterlife to join his sister Emily.

Trying to protect her sister Maxie from the Text Message Killer, legendary Georgie Jones became his victim herself. The text message Georgie received had been intended for Maxie, but Georgie wound up in her place. Damian found her lifeless body in the park – she had been strangled. Georgie had died protecting her sister, a role she continued in the afterlife.

Episode # 15391

Guiding Light:
Ross Marler was flying back to Springfield when his plane crashed. No bodies were recovered. Later it was revealed that his presumed dead nephew Phillip Spaulding had hired a mechanic to sabotage Ross’ plane so it wouldn’t take off, allowing for Ross to find out that Phillip was still alive. Unfortunately, Ross decided not to wait out the repairs and instead chose to board the ill fated plane.

Gus Aitoro was caring for Olivia, who had weeks to live. When she vanished from the hospital, he went in search for her on his motorcycle. Sadly, he lost control and his bike went off the road. On his death bed he revealed to Harley that he still loved her, and later Olivia awoke from a heart transplant operation to learn she had Gus’ heart.

One Life to Live:
Asa Buchanan’s years of ruthless scheming seemed to catch up to him through a deteriorating heart. When Spencer Truman claimed he was Asa’s long lost son who had returned for revenge, the shock and distress caused Asa a second heart attack. Although it was proven that Spencer was not Asa’s, his health continued to deteriorate and he eventually passed away.

Nash Brennan was determined to make a name for himself with his vineyard. Things went south however, when Nash found himself in trouble with a business associate and had to accept Buchanan money from Jared Banks to save the vineyard. Unfortunately, Jared was not really a Buchanan, therefore his business dealings were invalid, causing Nash to lose the vineyard. During a fight with Jared, Nash plunged to his death through a skylight at The Palace.


Living doll Timmy was Tabitha’s pride and joy. Timmy was severely injured by Zombie Charity during a fight between the real Charity and Zombie Charity. He died shortly thereafter and gave his heart to Charity. In a tragic twist, the actor died of a congenital heart defect the same day his character died on “Passions.”

Episode # 121

Fiendish Alistair Crane tortured many victims over the years. It’s one of the reasons his son Julian didn’t mind shooting him in the chest at point blank range. As Julian was arrested, it was revealed that the gun he shot Alistair with was full of blanks. The audience was shown that it had actually been Viki, from afar, who had shot and killed Alistair.

Episode #8613

The Young and the Restless:
Dru Winters died trying to help her best friend. During an NVP photo shoot, Sharon and Phyllis got into a physical altercation over cell phone evidence Phyllis had of Sharon’s affair with Brad. Dru intervened and all three toppled over the cliff they had been arguing on. Unfortunately, Dru plunged into the river and her body was never recovered.

Talk about a devotion to revenge. Matt Clark returned to Genoa City as Carter Mills, thanks to plastic surgery. After his first revenge schemes against Nick and Sharon didn’t pan out, Clark/Carter decided to enact his last revenge plot from his deathbed. He removed his breathing tube and committed suicide, letting Nick take the fall!

Can you remember a Soap death that shocked you? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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Photo credit: Sean Smith
, Paul Skippper
, George deSoto, Jimmy Wood and Brian Lowe

– Jennifer Kelly, Christine Fix