Astonishing Soap Opera Character Returns Of 2022

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Soap audiences know the difference between a character needing some down time and a character who’s going down! Case in point: nobody was surprised by Sheila Carter’s return after The Bold and the Beautiful (B&B) tried to tell viewers that she’d been devoured by a bear. Puh-leeze! That’s why Fame10 is celebrating the character returns that actually astonished The Young and the Restless (Y&R), Days Of Our Lives (DOOL), General Hospital (GH) and B&B viewers in 2022!

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12. Nelle Benson – GH

The news that Nelle Benson was returning to Port Charles took GH audiences by total surprise. After all, the character was considered a goner after she fell off a cliff in 2020. So when Willow had a gruesome dream involving Nelle, fans were able to breathe a sharp exhale. It wasn’t the first dream sequence that actress Chloe Lanier has returned to GH for, but some fans would like to see the character get resurrected for a longer stay.

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11. Kyle Abbott – Y&R

Actor Michael Mealor left Y&R last summer after his contract negotiations reached a stalemate. Given that he couldn’t broker a deal to remain on the canvas, and later revealed what an emotionally difficult process it was, fans didn’t expect to see Mealor return to the role of Kyle Abbott so soon. However, Kyle’s comeback has been smooth and welcome, even if his onscreen partner (previously played by Hunter King) had to be recast.

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10. John “Finn” Finnegan – B&B

When John “Finn” Finnegan was revealed to be alive, after Sheila had seemingly murdered him, viewers were surprised – but not because the storyline had convinced anyone that he’d perished. Rather, the CBS soap went so far as to insist in the press that actor Tanner Novlan had wrapped up his time with the show. (Isn’t that cheating?) Anyway, the blatant falsehood convinced fans of Finn’s passing more than any on-screen drama, and when the character was revealed to be alive, the cast proceeded to walk back their statements.

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9. Holly Sutton – GH

Until Holly Sutton reemerged on GH this October, fans hadn’t seen the character in action since she was revealed to be alive (and imprisoned) back in 2020. Apparently, actress Emma Samms was unavailable to continue that storyline, due to a chronic illness, so GH just left Holly locked away until the timing was right! As is the norm for Holly, she’s only back in Port Charles for a short stay — but it’s been fun to see her mingle with Robert (Tristan Rogers) again.

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8. Hope Brady – DOOL

Kristian Alfonso’s return to DOOL stunned viewers because the legendary daytime actress had made it abundantly clear that her time with the soap was finito. “I’m not coming back,” Alfonso stated in 2020. “I’ve had a great run and so many wonderful moments on the show and worked with so many wonderful people. It’s time for me to start a new chapter professionally. The time has come.” While fans assumed the actress was only returning in order to provide a proper send-off for Hope Brady, she’s just announced another return to DOOL!

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7. Heather Webber – GH

GH was unusually hush-hush when it revealed that B&B mainstay Alley Mills had joined the cast, so viewers should’ve known they were in for a surprise. Regardless, Mills’ first appearance as looney Heather Webber sent shockwaves through the GH fanbase. What brings Franco’s mom back to the canvas? It’s one of the many questions waiting to be answered in 2023.

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6. Tucker McCall – Y&R

When Trevor St. John joined the cast of Y&R, many theories were offered up regarding who the actor would portray. However, nobody expected the soap to recast Tucker McCall – a character who should be in his 70s – with an actor who’s barely in his 50s. While it’s unclear where Tucker found the fountain of youth, it’s been worth suspending our disbelief in order to enjoy St. John relishing his bad-guy scenes.

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5. Harris Michaels – DOOL

If DOOL proves anything, time and time again, it’s that viewers should expect the unexpected. And that’s precisely the philosophy by which spin-off series Days Of Our Lives: Beyond Salem charts its course. Who would’ve expected discarded soap star Steve Burton to wind up reprising Harris Michaels, his very first daytime role? The character hadn’t been seen or heard from in over 30 years! Pretty ingenious thinking, though — and fans can expect more of Michaels in 2023!

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4. Stephen Logan – B&B

Brooke, Katie and Donna Logan are such larger-than-life personalities on B&B, it’s kind of bewildering that their father’s whereabouts doesn’t come up more frequently. Sure enough, Stephen Logan hadn’t been spotted on the canvas since 2011 – that is, until B&B announced his return (with actor Patrick Duffy reprising the role). The Logan patriarch is only back for a few episodes, but it’s bizarre to see this guy only once per decade!

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3. Danny Romalotti – Y&R

The prospect of Daniel Romalotti (played by Michael Graziadei; left) coming back to town always seemed a lot more plausible than the return of his dad, Danny (Michael Damian; right). So when Michelle Stafford (who plays Phyllis) dropped a cryptic hint on social media that a former cast member was set to return, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Romalotti family would reunite in time for Christmas. This year’s return marks Damian’s first time on Y&R since 2013!

©Brian Lowe/JPI

2. Bo Brady – DOOL

Having Peter Reckell reprise the role of Bo Brady is perhaps the single greatest example of fan service DOOL has ever committed to. When Bo passed away from a brain tumor, shortly after returning to Salem in 2015, viewers couldn’t believe their favorite hero had perished so suddenly, and without any stakes involved. Seven years later, DOOL is making up for that underwhelming storyline by reuniting him with his family in heaven… and perhaps in Salem, too?

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1. Diane Jenkins – Y&R

Even Bo Brady’s return seems borderline believable compared to Diane Jenkins’ resurrection. Not only was Jenkins murdered onscreen back in 2011, but her body was wheeled away by authorities after a vicious beating by Nikki Newman. Rarely does a soap opera character get such a graphic, permanent axing… or did she? Thanks to some vague rewriting, Diane managed to sub someone else’s body into her grave and escape from Genoa City undetected. As far fetched as her story is, actress Susan Walters has made the most of her return.

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Ryan Pratt

Ryan Pratt

Ryan is an avid runner, reader, hiker and music collector. When he isn't writing and editing for Fame10 Soaps, he's relishing in the fine company of his two cats, Penny and Gus.