RYAN'S HOPE - Show Coverage - Shoot Date: January 20, 1981. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
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He could play a love story like nobody’s business. But he didn’t ever play just a love story.

As news spread of Michael Levin’s passing (read his obituary here), his fans took to social media to share their memories of the actor, who played Jack Fenelli on Ryan’s Hope for the much-missed ABC soap’s entire 1975-89 run on ABC. And they weren’t the only ones reflecting on what had made him so special. Louise Shaffer, who won an Emmy for her portrayal of newspaper magnate Rae Woodard on the show, also recalled his star turn.

RYAN'S HOPE - Behind-the-Scenes Coverage - Shoot Date: March 30, 1983. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)LOUISE SHAFFER

Rae’s willingness to bend the truth put her at odds with Jack.

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“I don’t think we had more than a couple of scenes together, and I don’t feel like I ever really got to know him” as a person, she said. But she certainly got to know him as a performer. “I admired the way he handled being a romantic lead. 

“So often the guys who played those storylines didn’t seem to have anything else going on but being in love,” she added. “Mike made it clear that Jack adored [first wife] Mary — and later [last wife] Leigh — but he was always a fascinating character on his own. To me, Mike was special that way.”

michael levin ryans hope rh mashup

Ryan’s Hope gave Jack one love interest after another.

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In addition to Ryan’s Hope, Levin appeared on As the World Turns, All My Children and primetime series such as Law & Order and The Equalizer. On this somber occasion, “of course I want to send condolences and love to [Levin’s wife] Elizabeth and his family,” said Shaffer. 

Review highlights from Ryan’s Hope in the photo gallery below.