Have you ever wondered why soap operas are the longest-running shows in television history? Well, there’s no denying that the dramatic nature of each episode leaves you on the edge of your seat. While some actors have continued to appear as their character in these soaps, others have moved on. Still, we can’t help but wonder what these soap stars are like now. Keep scrolling to read about what these iconic actors are up to today…
Joan Collins is an English actress who got her start on stage at the young age of nine years old. Collins entered the British film industry in 1951, but it wasn’t until 1955 that she’d sign a contract with the big Hollywood film studio 20th Century Fox.
By 1981, Collins was an international superstar after landing the role of Alexis Carrington on the primetime soap opera Dynasty. In 2002, Collins played Alexandra Spaulding Von Halkein Thorpe in Guiding Light, as well as The Grand Duchess Alexandra of Oxford in The Royals from 2014 to 2018.
Erika Slezak is an award-winning actress known for her role as Victoria “Viki” Lord on the daytime soap opera One Life to Live, which she played from 1971 until the television finale in 2012, and again in the online revival a year later.
With almost 50 years of experience under her belt, it’s no surprise that Slezak is one of the longest-serving serial actors in the American entertainment industry. Since then, Slezak appeared as Dr. Eileen Jacoby on The Resident in April 2018. A year later, she starred alongside Jeff Daniels in the drama film Guest Artist.
Susan Sullivan is an actress best recognized for her roles as Maggie Gioberti Channing on the primetime soap Falcon Crest, as well as Lenore Curtin Delaney on the soap opera Another World. Some of you kids may even recognize her as Kitty Montgomery from the ABC sitcom Dharma & Greg (1997-2002).
Since then, Sullivan has kept herself busy, appearing on shows and films alike. You may have even spotted her on the Netflix original series The Kominsky Method, starring Michael Douglas.
Rebecca Herbst is an American actress that made her television debut in 1986, appearing in a single episode of LA Law. She then went on to play in different episodes of highly successful shows including Step by Step, Beverly Hills 90210, Boy Meets World, and more.
Even with these credits under her belt, though, Herbst is best known for playing nurse Elizabeth Webber Spencer on the ABC daytime drama General Hospital — a role she has been playing since 1997.
Linda Evans is an American actress who has been making waves in the entertainment industry since the early-’60s. Although Evans played Audra Barkley in the Western TV series The Big Valley, the actress is best recognized for portraying Krystle Carrington in Aaron Spelling’s 1980s ABC primetime soap opera Dynasty.
Evans played this role for 8 years, from 1981 to 1989, aside from reprisals here and there. In 2009, Evans appeared in and won the British television program Hell’s Kitchen in which she worked under Michelin-star chef Marco Pierre White.
Eileen Fulton, now 86 years old, rose to stardom when she began portraying Lisa McColl on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns. While Fulton has played other roles throughout the years, Lisa was perhaps her greatest character. In fact, Fulton played this role almost continuously for 50 years from May of 1960 until the show’s finale in September of 2010.
Aside from soaps, Fulton has appeared in several films and even four episodes of Private Lives — playing the character of Lisa Hughes. Since then, the actress has spent her time writing various memoirs.
Nancy Lee Grahn
Originally from Illinois, Nancy Lee Grahn is an actress primarily known for her work in daytime soap operas. Her credits include Julia Wainwright Capwell on Santa Barbara from 1985 to 1993, and Alexis Davis on General Hospital since 1996.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, by 1997, Grahn landed a gig on Melrose Place and was given the lines of a character named Denise Fielding. Since then, Grahn has appeared in other television shows including 7th Heaven where she played Principal Russell from 1997 until 1999.
Michelle Ryan is a 36-year-old English actress best known for playing Zoe Slater in the British soap opera Eastenders. The year was 2000 and Ryan was just 16 years old when she landed the role. After leaving the show in 2005, Ryan went on to star in the short-lived American TV series Bionic Woman. She also appeared as the evil sorceress, Nimueh, in the BBC fantasy series Merlin.
In 2012, Ryan toured with Will Young in a production of Cabaret. In 2013, the actress starred in several episodes of Covert Affairs where she played two different characters.
Julie Goodyear is an English actress better known as Bet Lynch — and later, Bet Gilroy — on the ITV soap opera Coronation Street. Goodyear first began portraying Bet in 1966 but it wasn’t until 1970 that she became a series regular until 1995. In 2002, she returned for eight episodes before coming back for another seven in 2003.
Since then, Goodyear has gone on to appear in several reality shows including Road Raja, Age Swap, Celebrity Penthouse, Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes, and Celebrity Big Brother for season 10.
Holly Valance is a British-Australian actress, singer, and model. Her acting career began in 1999 when she was cast as Felicity “Flick” Scully in the long-running Australian soap, Neighbours. Valance stayed on the series until 2002 when she left to dabble in music.
Her first single, “Kiss Kiss” — an English rewrite of a Turkish version — was released that same year and ultimately reached the Number One spot on the singles chart in Australia, the UK, and in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Today, Valance resides in London with her two daughters and husband, Nick Candy.
Bryan Dattilo is an American actor that first entered the industry during the mid-’80s. After playing a series of small roles on different television shows, Dattilo landed the part of Lucas Roberts on the NBC daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives.
Dattilo has been portraying this character since 1993 and has shown no signs of stopping any time soon, although he did take a brief break from the show at one point to play Eric in a web series called Youthful Daze.
Having entered the industry in 1968, there’s no denying that actor David Selby has had quite a fruitful career. Since his kickstart in the horror-fantasy show Dark Shadows, Selby has appeared in more than 60 films and TV shows. After his time as a vampire came to end, Selby went on to play Michael Tyrone in Flamingo Road.
After a year, this role was then swapped for Richard Channing on the primetime soap Falcon Crest. Since then, not only has Selby landed other acting jobs but he has also written several books including novels, memoirs, and collections of poetry.
Originally from Indiana, Terri Conn is an American actress best known for portraying Katie Peretti Snyder on the CBS soap As the World Turns, which she played in from 1998 until 2010 when the show ended.
After that breakout role, Conn went on to play Christine “Aubrey Wentworth” Karr on an ABC soap called One Life to Live, and Ashley Dupree on the American-Canadian teen drama Breaker High. In December of 2018, Conn joined the shopping network QVC as a program host.
Tyler Christopher, now almost 50 years old, entered the entertainment industry during the mid-’90s when he began portraying the character of Nikolas Cassadine on the ABC soap opera General Hospital. Aside from that soap, Christopher has also played in Felicity, Angel, and Crossing Jordan.
The actor also spent two years as Dan Whitehorse in The Lying Game. In 2016, Christopher made his last appearance on General Hospital and has supposedly been keeping himself busy working in the film industry ever since…
Doug Savant — some may be too young to recognize the name but you’ll certainly recognize the face. The longtime soap opera actor first appeared in Knot’s Landing before going on to play Matt Fielding on Melrose Place from 1992 until 1997.
Once that show went off the air, Savant appeared in several television shows and even landed a gig on 24 as Craig Phillips in 2004. And, of course, we can’t forget about the fact that Savant played alongside Felicity Huffman as her character’s husband on the primetime drama Desperate Housewives from 2004 to 2012.
Robert S. Woods
Robert S. Woods, now 72 years old, entered the industry in 1976. It wasn’t until a few years later, though, that he would rise to international stardom as Vietnam War veteran Bo Buchanan on the ABC soap One Life to Live. In 1983, Woods won a Daytime Emmy Award for that very role!
Although he left the series in 1986, he ultimately returned in 1988 and continued playing Bo until the series cancellation in 2012. Woods is also known for portraying Dr. David Spencer the CBS television series The Waltons.
Although his first few film roles are largely uncredited, actor Andrew Shue managed to get quite a few projects under his belt throughout the 1980s. But it wasn’t until ’92 that Shue would become a household name as Billy Campbell on Melrose Place, a role that he would go on to play until 1999.
During his time on the soap, Shue also landed the role of an abusive husband in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Rainmaker. Aside from working on a feature film with his sister and actress Elisabeth, Shue also co-founded the NGO DoSomething and is the co-founder of CafeMom — a social networking website.
Steve Burton is an American actor that got his start in 1987 on a fantasy-sitcom called Out of This World. After the show went off the air in 1991, Burton landed the role of Jason Morgan on General Hospital from 1991 to 2012 and 2017 to present.
It was also during this time that Burton began playing Dylan McAvoy on The Young and the Restless from 2013 to 2017. Burton is also known for voicing the character of Cloud Strife in a wide range of Square Enix video games including Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
Gordon Thomson is a Canadian actor who has basically appeared in every soap that’s existed during his time. He’s widely known, though, for his portrayal as Adam Carrington on the 1980s primetime soap opera Dynasty. Following his time on that show, Thomson went on to play Mason Capwell on NBC’s Santa Barbara for three years.
Since then, not only has Thomson made appearances on several shows including Sunset Beach and Passions but he has also worked on films including the 2017 romantic-drama Afterburn Aftershock in which he portrayed ruthless power player, Parker Rutledge.
Don Hastings has been a household name since the mid-1940s. After his stage career, Hastings made his television debut when he appeared in Captain Video and the Video Rangers. From there, Hastings was cast as Jack Lane on The Edge of Night from ’56 to ’60.
Immediately after he left the show, Hastings landed the part of Dr. Robert “Bob” Hughes on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns. Given that he has been playing this character for 50 years, Hastings is now the longest-serving cast member of an American television soap opera, after the death of matriarch Helen Wagner.
Lorenzo Lamas, the son of two iconic Golden Age actors, Fernando Lamas and Arlene Dahl, is an award-winning soap star. Whether it’s his seductive stare or the fact that talent just courses through his veins, Lamas is undeniably one of the most beloved soap actors of all time. He got his start on television in 1981 as Lance Cumson on Falcon Crest, a role he played for nine years.
By the time he left the show, Lamas had made a name for himself and went on to star in several films. In later years, Lamas has made appearances on different shows including Jane the Virgin!
Thomas Calabro may have started out as an actor but these days, he’s also a director! Calabro’s career began on stage before making his film debut with a relatively small role in Exterminator 2. Calabro then made his television debut in 1989 as Joey Coltrera in Dream Street before landing the role of Dr. Michael Mancini in Melrose Place in 1992.
After seven years on the show, Calabro decided that it was time to leave. Since his departure, Calabro has been working in both television and film.
There’s no denying that Matthew Ashford has taken a step out of the spotlight during recent years. At one point, though, Ashford was a fan favorite. Known for his performance as Cagney McCleary in Search for Tomorrow, Ashford played McCleary for two years before leaving the show in 1986.
A few years later, in 1989, Ashford scored the role of Jack Devereaux in Days of Our Lives — a part that he would continue playing until 2016. Since 2011, Ashford has also starred on the soap web series The Bay opposite his former Days of Our Lives co-star, Mary Beth Evans!
Originally a musical theater actor, Colleen Zenk is widely recognized for playing Barbara Ryan in the daytime television drama As the World Turns from September of 1978 to September of 2010. While she starred on the soap, Zenk also appeared in a periodic film.
After getting diagnosed with oral cancer, Zenk underwent several surgeries before returning to the stage just weeks later and while still on pain medication, this actress reportedly brought down the house! In June of 2018, Zenk returned to take on the role of Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! at The Little Theatre on the Square.
John Aniston — we know what you’re thinking and yes, he’s related to the beloved Jennifer Aniston. In fact, he’s actually her father! As you can all guess, John entered the entertainment industry long before his daughter was even a thought. John made his debut in 1962 on The 87th Precinct but it wasn’t until 1969 that he landed a role on Days of Our Lives.
Although he originally played Eric Richards on the show, Aniston left to work on other projects before returning to portray Victor Kiriakis in July 1985. Despite the fact that he’s 86 years old, Aniston continues to play Victor to this day…
John James, now 64 years old, stepped into the business in the late ’70s when he landed the role of John “Junior” Bergman in Search for Tomorrow. Just a few years after this, James was offered the part of Jeff Colby — a role that he ended up playing throughout the 1980s in both the primetime soap Dynasty and its spin-off series The Colbys.
The actor has also made appearances on other shows including The Love Boat, All My Children, and As the World Turns. In 2016, James starred alongside William Baldwin and Danny Trejo in The Lost Day, originally called Chronology.
Maurice Benard made his first soap opera appearance as Nico Kelly on All My Children, a role that he ended up playing from 1987 to 1990. Still, it was only when Benard landed the role of Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital that the actor rose to international prominence.
Considering that Benard has been playing this manic depressive mobster Kingpin since 1993 and has made no signs of stopping, it’s evidently clear that this award-winning actor found his place in the industry.
Some of you may have not known this but before Kate Linder became a big soap star, she actually worked as a flight attendant for Transamerica Airlines. It was only after this that she would go on to find work in television, making appearances on shows including Archie Bunker’s Place and Bay City Blues.
Linder really rose to fame, though, when she landed the role of Esther Valentine on The Young and the Restless in 1982. Aside from playing this character for over four decades, Linder has also done plenty of film work. Her latest role was LaVeccia in the psychological thriller Voice From the Stone.
Cameron Mathison, a Canadian-American actor, began his career in entertainment when he landed the role of Ryan Lavery on All My Children. Mathison played this character for 14 years, from 1997 until the show’s finale in 2011. Since then, Mathison has continued to rack up different acting credits having appeared in shows including Castle, Desperate Housewives, Hot in Cleaveland, and Drop Dead Diva.
In 2017, Mathison played in the Hallmark Channel TV-movie at Home in Mitford. His latest appearance was as Edward Taylor in another Hallmark TV-film called The Christmas Club (2019).
Before Ron Moss pursued an acting career, he was a singer/songwriter and musician for the band Player. 11 years after Player released their first hit single, Moss landed his first television acting job and it was a role that would ultimately launch him to stardom. Moss portrayed Ridge Forrester on the CBS soap The Bold and the Beautiful from 1987 to 2012 when he exited the show after 25 years.
Since then, Moss has kept busy with appearances on different shows including a Flemish soap called Familie. Ronn also played the part of John Blackwell on The Bay, a web series soap that he co-produced.
Josie Bissett — while the name may not ring a bell with you youngsters, there’s no doubt that you recognize her as Grace Bowman’s mother from The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008-2013). Bissett entered the industry long before she began playing this role, though. In early 1990, Bissett played a recurring role on The Hogan Family for two seasons before landing the role of Jane Andrews-Mancini on the primetime soap Melrose Place.
Bissett played the part of this fashion designer for five and a half seasons until she left in 1997 when she suffered a real-life miscarriage.
Jon Hensley — not to be confused with the actor from Nip/Tuck — is an actor best known for his long-lived, recurring role as Holden Snyder from As the World Turns. Although he played this part from 1985 until the series finale in 2010, Hensley first made his television debut in an episode of One Life to Live during the ’80s.
Following his time on As the World Turns, Hensley portrayed Dr. Meade on The Bold and the Beautiful for two years but he has yet to be seen anything else since then…
Born Tommy Tim Taylor, Josh Taylor’s story about his start in Hollywood is actually an interesting one. After earning his Juris Doctor, Taylor decided to take a year off and ended up visiting a friend in LA. Before he knew it, Taylor began landing different acting gigs. In 1977, he was cast as Chris Kositchek on the NBC soap Days of Our Lives.
By 1981, Taylor had his own, albeit short-lived, detective series called Riker although his role on Days of Our Lives continued uninterrupted. Taylor also spent time on The Young and the Restless as Jed Sanders and as Jack McKay in Beverly Hills 90210.
Kassie DePaiva is an American actress and singer who got her start as Bobby Hoe in the 1987 horror film Evil Dead II. She then made her soap debut as Chelsea Reardon on Guiding Light, a role that she played from 1986 until 1991.
When 1993 came around, DePaiva landed the role of Blair Daimler Cramer on One Life to Live, formerly portrayed by actress Mia Korf. The 59-year-old actress played Blair until 2013 before moving on to portray Eve Donovan on Days of Our Lives.
Michael E. Knight
Best recognized for playing Tad Martin on ABC’s soap opera All My Children from 1983 until the show’s finale in 2011, Michael E. Knight’s career spans almost 40 years! Aside from this gig, Knight has also made cameos on One Life to Live as the same character of Tad Martin.
Following the end of All My Children, Knight made appearances on The Young and The Restless. In September 2019, Knight signed on with General Hospital, playing a lawyer named Martin Gray.
Pamela Sue Martin
Pamela Sue Martin may be known for her portrayal as Fallon Carrington Colby — a feisty and spoiled heiress — on ABC’s nighttime soap Dynasty but it was thanks to another role that she even landed a spot on this show. Before signing on with the soap in 1981, Martin played detective Nancy Drew on the television series The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries.
Since these jobs, Martin has appeared on various TV shows and films. In 2019, Martin even played the part of Harriet Grosset — a small-town psychic — on CW’s Nancy Drew series.
A New Jersey native, Jacklyn Zeman began her entertainment career in 1972 as a Bunny in the Playboy Club. It was just five years later that Zeman was cast as Bobbie Spencer in General Hospital — and it’s the role that the actress is best remembered for to this day!
Aside from her time on the show, Zeman also appeared in films throughout the ’80s including National Lampoon’s Class Reunion. Today, Zeman works as a jewelry presenter on the Home Shopping Network.
Katherine Kelly Lang
Katherine Kelly Lang was just 18 years old when she made her acting debut in Skatetown, U.S.A. alongside Scott Baio, Maureen McCormick, and Patrick Swayze. Following that gig, Lang continued to play small roles in shows and films until she landed her breakthrough role in 1987.
From that point on, Lang has been portraying Brooke Logan on The Bold and the Beautiful, a role that even crossed over into The Young and the Restless. Aside from these gigs, Lang made a special guest appearance as herself in Neighbours in 2016 and served as a contestant on an Australian reality show in 2019.
Renée Jones may have retreated from the spotlight in recent years but that doesn’t mean she won’t be remembered. With a career that spanned over 30 years, Jones became a household name as Lexie Carver on NBC’s long-running soap Days of Our Lives. Before she landed that part, Jones appeared in over 40 different TV shows including other soap operas like Santa Barbara, Knot’s Landing, and The Bold and the Beautiful.
After a very successful entertainment career, Jones confirmed in April 2012 that she would be departing from her long-standing role and retiring to a simpler life.
Originally from Detroit, Sharon Case began working as a model at 17 years old and even briefly relocated to Japan before pursuing a career in acting. During the early stages, Case kept busy making appearances in different daytime soap operas including General Hospital, As the World Turns, and even Cheers!
Today, Case is prominently recognized as a leading actress in The Young and the Restless, portraying the role of Sharon Newman who was previously played by Monica Potter and Heidi Mark for two months each.
Christian Jules Le Blanc
Christian LeBlanc has been playing the role of Michael Baldwin on The Young and the Restless for so long that he might as well change his name to his character’s. After LeBlanc landed the part in ’91, he took a brief hiatus in ’93 before returning to the show in ’97.
Aside from this gig, the 59-year-old actor has also appeared in a different soap called As the World Turns as well as a music video for “I Keep on Loving You” by Reba McEntire.
Tracy E. Bregman
Born in Germany, Tracey E. Bregman has been acting since she was 11 years old when her family relocated to the Golden State — California. Bregman is predominantly known for her portrayal as Lauren Fenmore on The Young and the Restless. Prior to this breakthrough role, though, Bregman portrayed a troubled teen on Days of Our Lives from 1978 to 1980.
Aside from her acting career, Bregman dabbles in business. Not only did the critically-acclaimed actress launch a jewelry line but she also founded her own yoga-inspired clothing line in 2004 called Bountiful Buddha.
Born in Cuba to a United States Navy officer, Peter Bergman began acting at the age of 26. Although he originally auditioned for the role of Dr. Jeff Martin on All My Children, Bergman ended up landing the part of Dr. Cliff Warner instead.
While he may not have gotten the character he initially went for, Bergman still had a good run being that he was on the show from 1979 to 1987, and again in 1988 for a year. Since then, Bergman has been portraying Jack Abbott on The Young and the Restless.
An Illinois native, Walt Willey attended Southern Illinois University where he became involved in acting in which he performed major roles in several productions. By 1981, Willey left his home state for New York in order to professionally break into the acting world.
After many Off-Broadway productions and small appearances on different shows, Walt joined the cast of ABC’s All My Children where he portrayed Jackson Montgomery from 1987 to 2011. Since then, Willey played Gregory Ashford on Tainted Dreams. He also appeared in the 2017 horror-comedy Butcher the Bakers.
A German-born American, Eric Braeden emigrated to the United States with his family when he was 18 years old. Within the first two decades that Braeden lived in the U.S., he managed to rack up more than 120 credited roles to his name. It wasn’t until 1980, though, that Braeden landed the part of Victor Newman on The Young and the Restless.
After 30 years portraying Victor, the award-winning actor revealed in 2009 that he would be leaving the show — that is until his publicist announced that an agreement was reached and Braeden would be remaining in the soap.
A former fashion model, Shemar Moore has been one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood since the mid-’90s. His acting career began when he portrayed Malcolm Winters on The Young and the Restless for eight years, a role that ultimately got him several Emmy Award nominations. During his time on the soap, Moore managed to land various other projects.
Following Y&R, Moore began playing Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds. Since 2017, Moore has been starring as Sergeant II Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson Jr. on the crime-drama TV series S.W.A.T.
Jess Walton was just 17 years old when she left her home to join a Toronto theater company. It was only a few years later, at the age of 20, that Walton left her life behind to pursue an acting career in Hollywood. Within a year, Universal Studios signed Walton.
After appearing as a guest in a number of television shows, Walton joined the cast of Capitol. Once the show was taken off the air, Walton then landed the part of Jill Abbott on The Young and the Restless — a role she plays to this day.
Natalia Livingston’s love for acting in high school only got stronger when she attended college where she began taking theater classes. Although she took an internship in the field of social work after graduation, it wasn’t long before Livingston up and moved to LA in order to pursue an acting career.
After getting discovered working at a Home Depot, Livingston started doing national commercials before landing the roles of Emily Quartermaine and Rebecca Shaw on General Hospital. Following that gig, the award-winning actress portrayed Taylor Walker on Days of Our Lives. In 2011, Livingston produced a documentary called The Man Who Ate New Orleans.
Anthony Geary is an award-winning actor who was shot into stardom when he was cast as Luke Spencer on the daytime soap General Hospital in 1978. His performance as Luke had been so outstanding that Geary actually received an all-time record of eight Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
Aside from this gig, Geary made appearances in films including Fish Tank, Teacher’s Pet, and Johnny Got His Gun. In May 2015, though, Geary publicly announced his departure and retirement from the entertainment industry.
An American actress from sunny California, Carolyn Hennesy is recognized for quite a few different notable roles on TV and films. Although her early work consisted of guest appearances and small roles, Hennesy ultimately rose to prominence when she was cast in a recurring role on Dawson’s Creek. Before long, Hennesy landed the iconic role of Diane Miller on General Hospital, a part that she earned an Emmy nomination from.
After her time on this soap, Hennesy had recurring characters on Cougar Town, Revenge, and Jessie. Aside from acting, Hennesy enjoys writing and released her own novel in 2011.
Even if you’re not a big soap fan, there’s no doubt that you recognize Alison Sweeney’s face. She began acting at the young age of eight years old, appearing in small roles on shows including Simon & Simon.
In 1993, when Sweeney was 20 years old, she was cast as Sami Brady Hernandez in Days of Our Lives until 2014. Although she still makes appearances on the soap as Sami, Sweeney is also known for hosting The Biggest Loser, an American competition reality show.
Susan Lucci, now 73 years old, stepped into the acting world in the late-’60s. Although she’s also a television host, entrepreneur, and author, Lucci is mostly known for her portrayal as Erica Kane on the daytime soap All My Children. Lucci played Erica from 1970 to 2011 before moving on to other endeavors.
With a career that has spanned five decades, Lucci is undoubtedly considered one of the most iconic soap opera stars of all time, and let’s not forget about her appearances in over 30 other television shows. After 18 failed Emmy nominations, Lucci not only finally won in 1999 but she received a 4-minute standing ovation for this win.
Kristen Alderson began acting at the young age of six when she was cast as Starr Manning in One Life to Live, making her the youngest soap star to have ever landed a contract. Although she played this part for a short time, she was put on contract as a series regular in 2001 and continued working on the show until 2012.
Since her time there, Alderson landed a gig on General Hospital in which she originated the role of Kiki Jerome.
You may recognize this face from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills but before Eileen Davidson became a reality show sensation, she was actually best known for her roles in various soap operas including Kristen DiMera on Days of Our Lives and Ashley Abbott on The Young and the Restless as well as The Bold and the Beautiful.
An award-winning actress, Davidson has been portraying Ashley on and off since 1985. Considering that Davidson has also returned to the Days of Our Lives set, it’s clear that soaps are a way of life for this bombshell.
Deidre Hall, an award-winning actress, first made her way into the business in 1970. Little did she know at the time that just six years later, she’d land the part of Dr. Marlena Evans Black on Days of Our Lives. Aside from this iconic role, though, Hall has appeared in various other shows over the last four decades.
In 2011, Hall made a guest appearance on the season finale of Drop Dead Diva and received her very own Walk of Fame star in 2014. Her latest appearance in the 2016 Hallmark TV-film My Christmas Dream.
35+ On-Screen Families That We May Not Have Realized Were Portrayed By Actual Relatives
We often don’t notice when there are actors from the same family in a piece of film. Sometimes they even play relatives in the film or television show. Here are a couple of times that on-screen families were played by real-life relatives. Enjoy!
Leslie Mann and Her Daughters
Sometimes movies wind up being family affairs. Take, for instance, the 2007 film Knocked Up. This film was directed by Judd Apatow, and of course, his wife and daughters all made appearances within the film. The dynamic worked out because Judd recast them for This Is 40.
Angelina Jolie and Jon Voight
Though she and her father were estranged during the first part of Angelina’s career, they eventually ended up mending fences enough to star alongside one another. All in all, Angelina and her father, Jon Voight, have played father and daughter twice on the big screen.
The latest of which was in Angelina Jolie’s 2001 film Laura Croft: Tomb Raider. But her first time playing her dad’s daughter was actually in her debut film. The movie was called Lookin’ To Get Out and it was shot way back in the early ’80s.
Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal
Both Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal have built an amazing career for themselves. However, for Jake, the pivotal role that really launched his career was in a film called Donnie Darko. It was in this film that Jake and his sister Maggie actually appeared together.
In Donnie Darko, Maggie plays Jake’s older sister. It seems that this role was perfect for her even though she always felt the part was given to her because of that relationship.
Ben and Jerry Stiller
There are not many father and son duo’s that were as funny as the pairing of Ben Stiller with his father, Jerry Stiller. In fact, the two have actually done quite a few films together. Though Jerry has recently passed away, his memory lives on with the classics he showcased with his son.
Not only did Ben and Jerry play father and son in the romantic comedy film The Heartbreak Kid, but they also did movies such as Zoolander and Hot Pursuit together.
Tom and Colin Hanks
Tom Hanks is one of the most famous faces in Hollywood. Not only is he a talented actor but also a director, screenwriter, and producer. Both he and his wife are actors, and so it is not surprising that Tom’s son Colin also joined the profession.
The father and son duo actually have appeared multiple times together on screen. In That Thing You Do!, Colin and Tom played father and son and it must have gone well because they would do this again in The Great Buck Howard.
Owen and Luke Wilson
Both Owen Wilson and his brother Luke are familiar faces after starring in a lot of well-known films. And as it turns out, they starred in a few of them together and as brothers. For instance, in Around the World in 80 Days, they played the famous Wright brothers.
Then they went on to star in movies like Royal Tenenbaums as well as Bottle Rocket, though they were not brothers in either of these two.
Eugene and Dan Levy
Working with your parents might seem like it would be challenging and probably frustrating at times. However, for five years on the hit comedy show Schitt’s Creek, Eugene Levy, and Dan Levy did a pretty good job at it.
The father and son team we’re not only playing their roles well on screen but also wrote the series together too. We’re still pretty sure that sometimes they must have got on each other’s nerves.
Sylvester and Sage Stallone
Sylvester Stallone and his son, Sage, went through trying times. But that didn’t stop Sly from getting his son a role in one of his iconic films. yes, that’s right, in Rocky V, Sage played the title character’s son.
It must have been strange for a young kid to basically be playing himself, right? A lot of moviegoers that saw this film had no idea that the young man sitting opposite the movie star was his real-life son. Unfortunately, Sage passed away at age 36.
Emily Blunt and John Krasinski
Sometimes Hollywood couples work very closely together, and other times they opt not to work in the same films. We can only guess this is because they want to try to keep their personal life separate from their professional life.
But with the blockbuster hit A Quiet Place, Emily Blunt, and John Krasinski decided it was time for them to work together. This real-life married couple plays the main couple in the film.
Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer
Few actresses have the stature of Meryl Streep. She is multi-talented and a force to be reckoned with considering that she’s often referred to as “the best actress of her generation.” So we would imagine being her daughter and entering the film industry might have been a little intimidating.
But her daughter Mamie Gummer did just that and actually starred as Meryl’s daughter in the movie Ricky and The Flash. We think that this might have helped make the filming process a little bit easier when it came to communication.
Will and Jaden Smith
It seems like the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree for this family. Jaden Smith, much like both his very talented father and mother, has found a good footing in the film world (as well as the music industry.) So, it’s not so surprising to hear that he has started alongside his father a few times.
In both the movie Pursuit of Happyness and After Earth, Jaden and Will have played father and son. Will has also worked with his daughter in one of his movies.
Ryan and Tatum O’Neal
Parents or siblings working with their relatives is not a new thing. In fact, many old movies have real-life relatives playing relatives in them. One of these is Paper Moon, for which one of the stars even nabbed an Oscar for.
This actress was Tatum O’Neal, and in the movie, her father, Ryan O’Neal, actually played her father. Though Ryan didn’t earn any awards, Tatum did become one of the youngest people to ever win an Oscar.
Bruce and Rumer Willis
Bruce Willis was never shy to let any of his children appear in front of the camera, as long as they wanted to. So when Rumer Willis asked her father to be put into a movie, he was OK with the idea but made her work for it.
In Hostage, Rumer and Bruce played father and daughter in this intense action film. Bruce has even admitted that having her on the set may have made his acting a little more emotional.
Wanda Ventham, Timothy Carlton, and Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch has played a lot of iconic characters, but maybe the most well-known one is that of the infamous private investigator, Sherlock Holmes. This BBC show may have taken a different spin on the original tales, but it was pretty good.
Funny enough, in the show, you get to meet Sherlock’s parents a few times. What’s so funny about that, you ask? The actors that played them in the show were in fact Benedict’s real-life parents.
Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany
Workplace romances are a thing even on the sets of major films. In 2001, Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany met and fell for each other on the set of A Beautiful Mind. They eventually ended up getting married.
So when the opportunity arose for Paul to play Charles Darwin, the famous duo decided it would be fun to play a married couple. And that is what they did in the film Creation.
Kirk, Michael, and Cameron Douglas
The surname Douglas is one of the family names that is synonymous with Hollywood royalty. For over seven decades, this family has been a staple in films. Starting with Kirk Douglas and continuing through until the latest generation, the Douglas family star keeps rising.
In the movie It Runs In the Family, all three generations came together to play a family. On top of that, Michael’s mother also makes an appearance playing his character’s mother.
Matthew and John Bennett Perry
Matthew Perry became well known for playing Chandler on Friends. During the show’s run, as well as after, the actor moved on to movies as well as other sitcoms.
In both genres, his father made an appearance playing his on-screen dad as well. For example, in the movie Fools Rush In and an episode of Scrubs, John Bennett Perry took on the role of Matthew’s father. What a sweet pairing!
John and Joan Cusack
When you come from an acting family, it is inevitable that eventually, you will find yourself acting alongside them. For the Cusack family, it happens quite frequently. Though a majority of the time, it ends up being with Joan and John.
Though they have shared the stage and screen many times, very rarely do they actually play siblings. However, in one movie, Martian Child, they did just that. Other movies you may recognize the two from are War, Inc., Cradle Will Rock, and High Fidelity.
Henry and Jane Fonda
Another one of these illustrious families that have multiple generations gracing the screen is the Fonda’s. Henry Fonda, a major actor for decades, passed down his love of the art to both his daughter Jane and his son Peter.
Jane and her father may not have been super close, but they did play father and daughter in the classic movie On Golden Pond. The movie seemed to mimic the duo’s real-life relationship…
Martin and Charlie Sheen
In the past decade or so, Charlie Sheen was more known for his television roles, but he also happens to be a big-screen actor. Taking his talent passed down to him from his father, Martin Sheen, Charlie found a way to make his star rise.
Martin and Charlie have been in multiple movies together where they even played father and son in some of them. Wall Street and No Code of Conduct are two of such movies.
Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus
Long before Miley Cyrus was a huge pop star, she started off as a major Disney star in the TV show Hannah Montana. This role catapulted her into stardom and also garnered big-screen movies to boot.
In both the movie and the television series, her father was played by Billy Ray Cyrus, who just so happens to be her real-life father. How cool must that have been to go to work every day with your parent? We’re sure it came with a few challenges as well.
Michael and Autumn Chiklis
In the early 2000s, one of the biggest shows on television was The Shield. This show was a fast-paced, hard-hitting crime drama starring Michael Chiklis. On the show, he played a cop and a father.
It just so happens that the family he had on the set was partially the one that he had off the set because his daughter Autumn starred as his onset daughter. They must have gotten to spend a lot of quality time together due to this!
Angelina Jolie and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt
Angelina Jolie had disappeared from the screen for a little while but made a solid return playing the title role in Maleficent. The modern re-envisioning of the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty called for a young Aurora.
Many young actresses auditioned for the role but were too scared of Angelina when she was in her makeup. But her young daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt was not, so she got the part.
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall
Going all the way back into the ’40s, you find situations where real-life relatives played the same rules on the screen. When it comes to married couples, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are prime examples.
In several movies, the two actually played significant others. Movies like Key Largo and Dark Passage are just a few of these movies. Clearly, there was chemistry on-screen, as well as in real life.
Casey and Ben Affleck
The highly acclaimed film Goodwill Hunting was the launching pad of many of today’s biggest stars. Not only was this the big film that launched Matt Damon’s career, but also the Affleck brothers.
Though this was the only film that they have done together where they played brothers they did star in the ’90s films Chasing Amy and 200 Cigarettes alongside each other. Since then, both actors have also ventured out into writing and directing.
Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn
Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn may be the best Hollywood love story. Meeting on the set of a film in the ’60s, the two have been a couple for several decades. They’re not traditionally married, but they’re still a couple, and they have played a couple in several movies as well.
In the ’80s, the two were on a streak with movies like Swing Shift and Overboard. In each of these movies, they had the challenging task of playing a couple.
John and Patrick Wayne
John Wayne may well be one of the most iconic movie stars ever. The Duke, as he was also known, had several children and loved to place them in his films.
Most of the time, they would be in smaller roles, but occasionally, especially with this son Patrick, those roles became larger. Patrick even would play his son in a couple of the films. In total, Patrick appeared in 11 of his father’s films.
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise
In the 1990s, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman became one of the many It couples. Meeting onset, the two quickly began dating and got married. Once they were married, they actually starred in several films together where they played couples.
After the movie they worked on together where they met, the two also starred in Far and Away, as well as Eyes Wide Shut. Unfortunately, the two split up in 2001 but both went on to form new families.
Susan Sarandon and Eva Amurri Martino
Susan Sarandon has a versatile film catalog under her belt. She can do dramas as well as comedy, and it appears her daughter has the same talents. They’re also super close, so it is not surprising that they have found ways to work together.
The mother-daughter duo has been in more than a couple of films together, including Mother’s Day and The Banger Sisters, where they play mother and daughter.
Brad Pitt and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had several children together. And many of them have had great roles alongside their illustrious parents. That includes Shiloh, who had a big part in one of her dad’s big films at a very young age.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was a dramatic film that had a unique plot twist. Having a younger actor who looked a lot like Pitt was quite handy so cue a young and adorable Shiloh.
Blythe Danner and Gwyneth Paltrow
Blythe Danner and Gwyneth Paltrow are often seen hanging out together. This is because they are super close, so when they had the opportunity to work together, we are sure that they jumped at it.
Back in the late ’90s, the two starred in the documentary film Thomas Jefferson and by the early 2000s, a movie was released that told the story of the poet Sylvia Plath. Paltrow played the interesting author, and of course, Danner took up the role as the poet’s mother.
Demi Moore and Rumer Willis
Rumer Willis hasn’t only starred alongside her famous father Bruce but also her starlet of a mother, Demi Moore. In fact, she has starred alongside her mother in several different films.
Not only was she a co-star of Demi’s in Now and Then but she also was in one of Demi’s big films Striptease. What a way to get your lessons in the business!
Andie MacDowell and Margaret Qualley
There are a lot of movies that may have you familiar with the actress Annie McDowell. Perhaps the most famous one we can think of is Groundhog Day.
Blythe Danner and Gwyneth Paltrow Later this year, the duo is set to star in a Netflix original series called Maid. In this series, they will play mother and daughter.
Dakota and Elle Fanning
When you are a family of young actresses, it seems only fitting that you play sisters at least once. But Dakota and Elle Fanning have done many different films together, including the film I am Sam, when both starlets were still very young.
While they have gone on to star in more productions together, none of those roles had them playing sisters. However, in the upcoming adaptation of the novel The Nightingale, the two young actresses will finally play sisters.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
When you come into the world together as twins and choose to enter the film industry, you will, of course, be playing sisters quite a lot. Starting with their pivotal role on Full House, the Olsen twins made a career out of playing siblings.
While on the iconic sitcom, the twins began to build their empire. This, of course, started with several films and then built up to a fashion brand.