Soap operas are notorious for recasting characters, it is the nature of the business. Whether it is the actor/actress choice to leave a show or the person is not the right git for the role, recasts happen all the time.
Unfortunately, in many instances, fans never fully embrace a new actor in a role. However, there are also several fabulous recasts that fans love as much or even more than the actor or actress who played the role previously.
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Over the years many actors and actresses have been recast in a role and become a fan favorite for that part. Some have even managed to make fans forget there was ever another actor or actress playing the role. We are here to celebrate the best soap opera recasts.
Guiding Light: Marj Dusay as Alexandra Spaulding
There were two distinctive sides to Alexandra Spaulding. The first was embodied by Beverly McKinsey as she created a grand woman with a hard edge. It was when Marj Dusay took over the role that the full emotional range of the character became available. With Dusay at the wheel, fans came to love Alexandra and urge her romantic notions. Dusay portrayed the role on and off over the years with a final appearance in the series finale in which Alexandra reunited with her long-time love, Fletcher Reed.
General Hospital: Laura Wright as Carly Corinthos
Laura Wright had big shoes to fill when she took over the role of Carly Corinthos. Not one but two actresses before her had found massive success in the role. Wright quickly came in and made Carly her own by showcasing the character as a badass with a big heart, whose desire to try and help did not always go according to plan. It is hard to imagine anyone else in the role, even those fabulous other two actresses, Sarah Joy Brown and Tamara Braun.
Days of Our Lives: Martha Madison as Belle Black
Martha Madison is Belle Black; there is no doubt about that. However, since she has played the role for almost 15 years, fans may have forgotten she was a recast for Kirsten Storms. Madison took the character from teen angst to the drama of a young woman and finally an adult who almost pulled the plug on her mother. Even though she has played the role off and on, Madison brought more layers and depth to the character and fans will forever be grateful.
As The World Turns: Cady McClain as Rosanna Cabot
Cady McClain was best known as Dixie Martin on All My Children when she shockingly took on the recast role of Rosanna Cabot. Fans of the actress were outraged, but As The World Turns moved forward, and McClain is now the only actress in the role people remember. She made Roseanna human, vulnerable, tough, classy, and forgiving. Fans not only embraced her as a recast but also welcomed her playing a new role which is not always the case. What a testament to the multifaceted talents of the lovely McClain.
The Young & The Restless: Jason Thompson as Billy Abbott
Jason Thompson is the sixth actor to play Billy Abbott, but it looks like the show finally found the perfect fit. Rumors floated around last year Billy Miller might reprise the role, but fans have made it clear Thompson is the only choice. The current storyline of Billy's downfall is showcasing the unbelievable talents of Thompson. It is heartbreaking, show-stopping, and is proving that Y&R has struck gold with the actor. Even Thompson's General Hospital fans have accepted him as Billy Abbott, and that speaks volumes.
General Hospital: Roger Howarth as Franco
Roger Howarth took over the role of Franco from James Franco, not an easy task. The talented One Life To Live alum took his time developing the character, and it has paid off. Howarth turned the psychopathic killer into a likable person. Yes, it is also thanks to great writing, but he made the transformation believable with his facial expressions, body movements, humor, and sarcasm. Franco is now a guy the fans root for as opposed to despising, and many prefer his Franco to that other guy's Franco.