An important part of a soap opera is that it is a continuing drama. The show must go on, sometimes that means even without an extremely popular actor or actress. That can either be either as a short term replacement due to illness or pregnancy (e.g. Haley Sparks replaced Beth Ehlers as Harley Cooper during both her pregnancies and in my book should have come back when Beth jumped ship) or a permanent replacement. Permanent replacements happen sometimes when they wanted to reimagine a character or when a popular actor becomes available from another soap and they want to make a place for them (e.g. Mary Stuart becoming Meta Bauer after Search for Tomorrow was canceled) or when the actor dies (e.g. After 1 failed attempt at replacement, Ron Raines took over as Alan Spaulding after ´╗┐´╗┐Christopher Bernau’s death) or when the portrayer of a crucial character wants to leave to pursue other projects (e.g. Joie Lenz left for One Tree Hill and Nancy St. Alban took over as Michelle Santos).

Recast can either be a verb or a noun. It’s used as a verb in “the part will be recast.” It’s also used as a noun to describe the actor or actress who has taken over a part from the actor or actress who originated the role.

Michelle Bauer was a legacy character from one of the core families of Guiding Light. She was played by:

  1. Anna Tendler (November 4, 1985 to 1987)
  2. Rachel Miner (February 23, 1989 to June 13, 1995) Starting at 8:38
  3. Rebecca Budig (November 30, 1995 to November 4, 1998) Starting a few seconds into the clip
  4. (Bethany) Joie Lenz (November 5, 1998 to October 4, 2000)
  5. Nancy St. Alban (October 27, 2000 to November 22, 2005; July 2, 3 & 13, 2009; September 17, 2009)

Marah Lewis, another legacy character, was also recast:

  1. Marah 3 Kimberly Brown, starting at 7:00
  2. Marah 4 Lauren C. Mayhew starting at 4:44
  3. Marah 5 Laura Bell Bundy starting at the beginning of the clip
  4. Marah 6 Lindsey McKeon starting at 0:08

Look for future entries on originate, legacy character and nu.


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