Oh No You Better Didn’t: 15 Roles That Soaps Can Never, Ever Recast
John Paschal/JPI, Courtesy of the Everett Collection, ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection, Cliff Lipson/CBS/Courtesy of the Everett Collection
This is where the subhead usually goes. We’re gonna take this opportunity to refer you back to the headline — it said it all. Any questions?
Look, we’ve been watching soaps since there were more than a dozen of them. We know full well that recasts can work, even when the decks are stacked against them. If they couldn’t, Victoria Wyndham wouldn’t have become the Rachel Cory that we remember so vividly from Another World, Erika Slezak wouldn’t have become the Viki Buchanan of record from One Life to Live, and Robert Kelker-Kelly wouldn’t have made us forget for a hot second that Peter Reckell’s Bo Brady was the hero for whom Days of Our Lives fans were holding out.
Heck, we just recently not only predicted but advocated a recast of Days of Our Lives’ Stefano DiMera. It’s not that his longtime portrayer, Joseph Mascolo, doesn’t fall into the “untouchable icon” category — he most certainly does. It’s that, due to the sci-fi nature of the Phoenix’s last resurrection — with his “essence” being implanted via microchip in Stephen Nichols (Steve) — and likely his next one, too, the character gets a pass. When there’s that much hocus-pocus going on, you just have to suspend your disbelief and go with it. See also: those masks all the shows pull out from time to time that so completely transform characters, even their heights and voices change.
But, as we so often do, we digress. Our point today is that there are some characters that just can’t — and we can’t spell this out clearly enough — can’t, C-A-N-apostrophe-T, can’t be recast. In some cases, it’s because their portrayers have inhabited the roles for so long, they are as closely associated with them as the faces on Mount Rushmore. You could more easily rearrange the rocks of Stonehenge than you could recast these roles.
In other cases, the actors have made such an indelible impression that anyone who tried to walk a block, never mind a mile, in their shoes would trip and stumble before they’d even left the starting gate. Some people, we’ve learned the hard way, are just impossible to replace. And those are the 15 people included in the photo gallery below.
Wanna see who we think should — and, for that matter, can — never be replaced on their shows? All you have to do is click below. Then hit the comments with the actors and characters that you feel are untouchable.