9 Soap Opera Stars Who Made Huge Comebacks

John Paschal/jpistudios.com

Soap opera fans all have their own favorite characters and couples. Sometimes the saddest thing that can ever happen for audience in the land of daytime drama is when a favorite couple breaks up or a popular character leaves a soap. The bad news is they are gone … for now. The good news? There’s always room for a comeback — even if the character dies! Below are the top nine soap opera stars who have made huge comebacks.

9. Vanessa Marcil

Marcil enjoyed a wonderful soap opera run on General Hospital (GH) from 1992 to 1998 and was one of the most popular characters to ever grace Port Charles. She eventually caught the eye of primetime shows and Marcil was beckoned with other opportunities. She ended up leaving GH in 1998, but then had two huge comebacks. One took place from 2002 to 2003 and another from 2010 to 2011. With Marcil teasing on social media about another GH return, will audiences be entertained with a Brenda Barrett comeback number three? Third time is the charm!

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8. Deidre Hall

Dr. Marlena Evans is currently a staple on Days of Our Lives (DOOL) and a legendary soap opera character. Evans has been through it all: affairs, divorces, loved ones passing away, and was even possessed by the Devil at one point in time! Hall’s initial run on DOOL was a solid one, lasting for nine years from 1976 to 1987. While Hall did work on other projects during her four-year hiatus, including starring in the hit NBC drama, Our House, she couldn’t stay away long. She returned to the soap in 1991 and had another great run participating in iconic storylines like Melaswen Island, her love triangle with Roman and John Black, and the paternity issues around her youngest daughter, Belle. While she would leave the show once again in 2009, Hall returned in 2011 and has been entertaining audiences since.


7. Judith Chapman

This comeback has made a huge splash in the daytime world and might be far more recent than the others on the list. Who else desperately missed Gloria Bardwell’s manipulative activities in Genoa City? She returned to The Young and the Restless (Y&R) during the 2016 holiday season and has hit the ground running. Hasn’t taken Glo very long to make a big impact, and she’s already planning her next scheme. She’s begun lying to her sons, while trying to deal with Jack Abbott on the side. The soap opera veteran had been missing in action for over a year and Y&R fans everywhere can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.

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6. Lisa Rinna

Rinna originated the role of DOOL’s Billy Reed, a street-smart beauty who could manipulate, but ultimately had a heart of gold. Rinna’s initial stint with the soap lasted from 1992 to 1995 when she exited to pursue primetime opportunities. Krista Allen stepped in as a recast in 1996, but ended up being an epic fail. Rinna would comeback in 2002, only to exit a year later. What does Days do? Well, they recast the role once again to Julie Pinson. Pinson did a better job than Allen, but as they say, there is nothing like the original. Rinna returned to the soap in 2012 to the surprise and appreciation of DOOL fans everywhere!

Source: www.welovesoaps.net

5. Stephen Nichols

While he did dabble in other soap operas, when Steve Nichols returned to DOOL in 2006, you could hear fans rejoice all across North America. Patch and Kayla were a huge super couple in the 1980s, and when Steve died in 1990, DOOL audiences mourned not only the loss of a beloved character, but the end of an era for their favorite daytime couple. Sixteen years later, DOOL found a way to bring back Steve from the dead and his comeback was huge. He’d leave the show once in 2009, only to return in 2015. The interesting thing about Steve and Kayla is just how timeless their romance is. They made fans swoon in the ‘80s and they are doing just that now again in 2017.

Source: daytimeconfidential.com

4. Anthony Geary

Legend and soap opera icon, Anthony Geary, is truly missed by GH fans everywhere. He and sidekick Genie Francis (a.k.a Laura) broke daytime television records with a story about a bad boy who fell in love with a good girl. Anthony’s first run with the soap lasted from 1978 to 1984. He came back in 1993, toting Laura and their son Lucky along for his GH comeback. Luke has done many things over his GH tenure, from battling the Cassadines, to adventures with Jason and Sonny, to wooing some leading actresses on the popular soap. While there is a huge gaping hole in Port Charles right now, here’s hoping that Geary will at some point make another comeback on the show, much to the delight and anticipation of GH audiences.

Source: People

3. Ian Buchanan

GH is certainly known for its super couples and one of the better ones had to have been Anna Devane and Duke Lavery. Sadly, the two were separated in 1989, when Julian Jerome killed Duke in an act of revenge. Fast forward over a decade later and it turned out Duke wasn’t dead after all. It was a wonderful déjà vu when Ian Buchanan finally made his way back home to Port Charles. While his face was used by Faison at first to manipulate and kill, once the real Duke was found, all seemed well with the world. He and Anna finally reconciled. Sadly, Duke was eventually killed in 2015, but his comeback to Port Charles was certainly explosive.

Source: soaps.sheknows.com

2. Tristan Rogers

Most of the actors/actresses on this list have had notable comebacks when they returned to an original role and soap opera. Tristan Rogers makes the list for his comeback into daytime drama. After some recurring spots on GH as the ever-popular Robert Scorpio, he left the soap for good at that point in time in 2008. Rogers would return to the land of daytime in a unique role that was very different from the part he played on GH. His comeback to daytime was marked in 2010 when he entered the Y&R and Genoa City as Colin Atkinson. As Cane’s villainous father, Rogers storyline provided insight on Cane’s true identity, his background, and how he grew up. There was also added action and adventure to the soap that only Rogers can bring, and was something that was missing from the Y&R at that time. He certainly made a splash that year and the best part is Rogers currently flips back and forth from the Y&R and GH in both roles. It’s a win-win situation for each soap opera!

© ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

1. Joseph Mascolo

There really is no other villain like Days’ Stephano DiMera. He initially tortured Salem residents from 1982 to 1988. Sadly, Joseph Mascolo left the show and for five long years fans waited with anticipation for his return. Mascolo made a splash in Salem in 1993, and while he took a break from time to time during his DOOL tenure, the second time around, fans always knew that he would return to wreak havoc on the Salemites that despised him so. Mascolo retired in early 2016 due to health issues and sadly passed away in early December of this year. As Marlena, Rafe, Paul, and Steve are currently searching for ‘Stefano’ in Prague, DOOL fans continue to mourn the loss of an incredible legend. Sadly, our Stefano is gone for good and there are no hopes of a comeback — just wonderful memories this soap opera icon left behind.

Source: NBC
Dorathy Gass

Dorathy Gass

Dorathy Gass is an avid fan of daytime drama and has been watching Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, and Young and the Restless for over two decades now. As a full-time freelance writer, she gets to combine her love of soap operas and writing through her Fame 10 articles. Also a mother of two busy girls and a mommy blogger, she's been published multiple times over in Huffington Post Parents and Scary Mommy.