Throughout soap opera history, there have been many captivating antagonists who know how to charm women and stir up trouble as they go after what they want. Nobody embodied this better on As the World Turns than Dr. John Dixon, played to perfection by Emmy-winner Larry Bryggman.
Courageous Kim and Poor Pat
John used blackmail and persistence to get Kim Reynolds to marry him. Pregnant Kim lost Bob’s baby, but John managed to hang onto her long enough (Kim having amnesia for a while helped) for her to give birth to their son, Andrew. Kim finally got away, but John wasn’t ready to let go.
He wed trusting nurse Pat Holland to keep her from testifying against him after John claimed that Kim’s new love, Dan Stewart, tried to kill him. But Pat told the truth in court, ran from John, but she fell and died. With her last breaths, she asked John why he married her. John said it was because he loved her (he was lying).
Darling Dee and Lovely Lyla
John wed Dee Stewart even though she was in love with Brad, her brother-in-law. Next, Lyla Montgomery, a nurse, John’s former lover, came to Oakdale. John learned he was the father of Margo, Lyla’s grown daughter. Dee brought marital rape charges against John but then testified in court that she thought John was Brad and made love to him willingly.
Ambitious Ariel and Caring Karen
James Stenbeck tried to kill John, who married James’s sibling Ariel Aldrin. John faked his death and kicked Ariel out of his life. He earned good graces back into Memorial Hospital after he operated on rival Dr. Bob Hughes, who’d been shot. Next, John took in Dusty Donovan as his ward after his guardian Karen left John and Oakdale behind.
John took on a new cardiac patient, wealthy businesswoman Lucinda Walsh, whose daughter, Lily, was dating Dusty. John fell for Sierra Esteban and then learned she was Lucinda’s secret daughter. He told Sierra about her parentage, but it backfired. Sierra was unable to forgive John.
Next, John learned that Kim’s daughter with Bob hadn’t died. (Howard Lansing lied to John that Sabrina, stolen at birth, had died, as a toddler.) Lucinda’s powerful words with the board helped John keep his job at Memorial, but his role in Sabrina’s ordeal squashed his romance with farmer Emma Snyder. John wed Lucinda on the rebound, but the two managed to make the union work…for a while.
The Lavender Box
John learned that his affair with Rosemary Kramer resulted in the birth of a son, Duke. Lucinda tried to keep John and Duke apart but her actions only ended up sinking their marriage. Next, John took up with two of Lucinda’s nemesis – Dr. Susan Stewart and Iva Snyder. John and Iva had a son, M.J. (Matthew John).
Beating Cancer And Getting Even
John’s kids rallied around dad while he fought colon cancer. Next, Lisa Grimaldi sued John (whom she not-so-affectionately called “Johnny Boy”) for malpractice following the death of her beloved Eduardo, not knowing he’d been murdered. To get even, John feigned a romance with Lisa and proposed marriage to her. He humiliated her via a series of big-screen TV sets at their engagement party.
John bonded with his daughter Margo’s nemesis Barbara Ryan to help aid Lisa. Barbara got pregnant so the two wed. Tragedy ensued when Barbara was injured in a bombing. John ordered his son to be born early to save Barbara’s life. The baby died, ending the marriage. For a while, John schemed with Carly to keep Barbara from going back to her ex, Hal.
Adieu, Oakdale; Hello, Amsterdam
After decades of creating drama and being a serial groom, John quietly left town after taking a job at John Hopkins. He returned years later to consult on a case involving ailing Chris Hughes, who received the heart of brash Dr. Reid Oliver, who rubbed people the wrong way just as John had done. Next, John reconnected with Lucinda. He was last seen with his ex as they shared plans to go to Amsterdam.