Nothing stirs ups a daytime drama more than a highly touted star returning to their old stomping grounds.
Think the recent comebacks of Steve Burton (remembered as Jason Morgan) to General Hospital (GH) and Chandler Massey (beloved as Will Horton) to Days of Our Lives (DOOL). Fans always welcome back old favorites with open arms, and, if all goes well, a bump up in the ratings usually follows.
In honor of the above-mentioned stories, here’s a look back at the biggest returns to the four soaps currently airing.
The Real Bo Returns
When Peter Reckell, who created the popular role of Bo Brady, left DAYS for the second time in 1992, the show went the recast route and hired daytime vet Robert Kelker Kelly to take over the part.
However, in a surprise move in 1995, Kelker Kelly was abruptly fired and Reckell stepped back into the role.
The timing was storyline perfect, as Reckell’s Bo was there for the pivotal moment when “Gina” looked him in the eye and remembered that she was actually his believed dead wife, Hope (Kristian Alfonso).
A year after Luke (Anthony Geary) and Laura’s 1981 wedding, the General Hospital supercouple’s happiness came to an abrupt end. Genie Francis exited the soap, and Laura mysteriously disappeared and was presumed dead. In 1983, Francis returned, and Laura was revealed to be alive — and Stavros Cassadine’s captive.
Eventually, she escaped and made her way back to Port Charles to share an emotional reunion with Luke in the garden of the mayor’s mansion, where they’d initially wed.
Multiple crimes, murders and kidnappings on two soaps couldn’t keep Sheila down. Heck, even supposedly dying couldn’t do it!
The character’s wreaked havoc on The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful dating back to 1990, before going to jail for shooting Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) and Taylor (Hunter Tylo) in 2003 and being shot “dead” by Lauren (Tracey Bregman) in 2007.
So having Kimberlin Brown resurface as the uber-villain on B&B in 2017 was a major shocker for fans and the Forresters, who have all been on guard ever since.
Eileen Davidson made her daytime debut as the original Ashley Abbott on The Young and the Restless, a headstrong heroine with a strong sense of family and business.
Upon her departure in 1988, Brenda Epperson and Shari Shattuck assumed the character’s reins, but never amassed the popularity of their predecessor, nor embodied the essence of the smart sassy Abbott.
When the soap decided to let Shattuck go in 1999 and bring back Davidson, it was a major casting triumph. The real Ashley was finally home where she belonged.