In Memoriam: Soap Opera Stars We Lost In 2021

©Jill Johnson/

2021 has been an incredible year for daytime drama, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t pay tribute to the talents that uphold the long and winding legacy of soap operas. Sadly, we’ve lost more noteworthy actors and actresses than we can accommodate on this list, including Micki Grant, Christopher Pennock, Geoffrey Scott, Billie Hayes and Peter Mark Richman. Alas, we’ve collected the soap opera passings that deeply impacted Fame10 readers over the course of 2021.

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10. Gil Rogers (All My Children, Guiding Light)

While Gil Rogers may not be a household name amongst the current generations of soaps viewers, he was a constant presence on daytime television from the 1970s until the late 2000s. Not only did he portray one of soaps’ all-time troublemakers Ray Gardner on All My Children for 22 years, he also played Hawk Shayne on Guiding Light. In March, Rogers passed away in his sleep.

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9. Robert Hogan (GH, DOOL)

Robert Hogan passed away in May at the age of 87. After starring in a variety of hugely popular 60s TV programs, such as Batman, I Dream Of Jeannie and The Twilight Zone, Hogan made his presence known in daytime drama with roles in General Hospital (GH), Days Of Our Lives (DOOL), All My Children, One Life To Live, As The World Turns and Another World.

8. Bergen Williams (GH)

Laura Lynn Williams, known throughout the soap opera world as Bergen Williams, played scene-stealing minor character Alice Gunderson on GH from 2002 to 2015. She passed away in July from a rare inherited disorder called Wilson’s Disease, but her family didn’t share the news of her passing until November. Alongside her portrayal of “Big Alice” and “The Dominator” (the latter being Alice’s professional wrestling moniker), Williams made appearances on many prime time shows during her career.

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7. John Reilly (GH, Passions)

John Reilly made a name for himself in daytime television playing WSB agent Sean Donely on GH, and later, Alistair Crane on Passions. Yet Reilly also had an extensive career in prime time, taking on notable roles in Dallas, Beverly Hills 90210 and Sunset Boulevard. A few months after he passed away, GH showcased his legacy with a tribute episode, which included a guest appearance from his real-life daughter, Caitlin Reilly.

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6. Rhonda Stubbins White (DOOL)

Rhonda Stubbins White, who played Lady Vi on DOOL back in 2000, passed away on December 8th. Her friend, producer Todd Baker, shared the news on Facebook: “It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my dear friend… She was an amazingly talented woman, full of positivity and energy, and grounded by her faith. We were all fortunate to have known her and shared her short time on this earth.” White, who had been a working actor in television and film for half of her life, was 60 years old.

5. Stuart Damon (GH, DOOL)

Stuart Damon, who was famous for the role of Dr. Alan Quartermaine on GH, passed away in June. The actor, 84, leaves behind generations of fans; lucky viewers may remember his debut in 1977, but most will recall his delightful presence throughout the 80s, 90s and 2000s on DOOL, Port Charles and As The World Turns. Although his most cherished character perished during the Metro Court hostage situation, Damon made ghostly appearances on GH for years afterward.

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4. Michael Tylo (GH, Y&R, B&B)

Michael Tylo’s career in daytime drama was immense, and included memorable roles in All My Children, Guiding Light, GH, The Young and the Restless (Y&R) and The Bold and The Beautiful (B&B). He is perhaps best remembered for portraying Alexander “Blade” Bladeson (as well as his troubled twin, Rick) on Y&R. The actor, who later became a film professor at the University of Nevada, passed away at the age of 73 from an undisclosed illness.

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3. Philece Sampler (DOOL)

Philece Sampler was a familiar face on daytime television during the 1980s, portraying Renee DuMonde on DOOL and Donna Love Hudson on Another World. After making appearances in a number of other TV series, including playing Betty Ross on The Incredible Hulk, Sampler became a prolific voice actor, working on successful animation shows like Digimon, Sword Gai and Dragon Ball. In July, she passed away from a heart attack at the age of 67.

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2. Jerry Douglas (Y&R)

Few soap opera actors towered over Y&R storylines quite like Abbott family patriarch John Abbott, a role that Jerry Douglas commanded for over 30 years. After assuming the role in 1982, Douglas would help to define the next generation of Y&R legacy characters. After celebrating his 89th birthday a month early (surrounded by cast-mates and friends), he passed away in November from a brief illness.

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1. Jay Pickett (GH, DOOL)

Jay Pickett was only 60 years old when he passed away from a heart attack in August. The star of GH and its spin-off series, Port Charles, also performed on DOOL and had an extensive list of prime time credits to his name. According to friends and colleagues who were helping him film a western movie in Idaho, Pickett lost his life while riding a horse. As Travis Mills, the film’s director, put it, “he was doing what he loved: acting, riding horses, making movies. And he was magnificent.”

©Jill Johnson/

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.