They might rule the daytime airwaves, but if you think that the only thing your favorite soap actor has appeared in is the serial that made them a household name then you’re most likely mistaken. Many soap stars have appeared in nighttime programs as well as feature films.
Which of These Soap Stars Was It?
All of these actors portray a character on one of the four remaining soaps – The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of our Lives, General Hospital, and The Young and the Restless – and all of them have extensive primetime TV credits. But only one has played the bad guy — the Nazi General on the World War II era, action-adventure series The Rat Patrol – and he did so while using his given name, not his stage name.
But who can that actor be? Is it John McCook (Eric Forrester, BB), John Aniston (Victor Kiriakis, DAYS), Max Gail (Mike Corbin, GH), or Eric Braeden (Victor Newman, YR)?
He guest-starred on a whole host of TV series – No Time for Sergeants, Bracken’s World, Chips, Magnum P.I., and L.A. Law just to name a few. But even though McCook did star in a World War II-set project, it was the motion picture First to Fight and not ABC’s small screen effort.
Born Yuannis Antonios Anastasakis, Aniston had his name anglicized by his father when he was 2 years old. He began his acting career by playing “Officer #1” on 87th Precinct – a far cry from the suave criminals he has played in daytime since his role as Martin Tourner on Search for Tomorrow.
Like McCook, Aniston has some experience with a World War II-era project. However, his work was done on Combat!, yet another period action series airing on ABC. Whereas The Rat Patrol followed soldiers in North Africa, Combat! concerned itself with the story of Nazi combaters in Occupied France.
He appeared in a plethora of primetime shows – most significantly the ABC sitcom Barney Miller (where he played Detective Stan “Wojo” Wojciehowicz) – but Gail, the man who has played GH’s Mike Corbin since February 2018, was never on The Rat Patrol.
Braeden was still using his birth name, Hans Gudegast, when he joined the inaugural cast of ABC’s The Rat Patrol. As Captain Hans Deitrich, Braeden served as the heroes’ main foil – though the occasions did arise when one side would have to call upon the other for help in stymieing a common enemy.
So, if you guessed that perhaps Braeden – whose YR character has been wreaking havoc, breaking hearts, and raiding many a corporate competitor since February 1980 – then you were most certainly correct!