Digest‘s 1/8 issue featured actors who left their shows, then returned to reclaim their old roles — and once again, AS THE WORLD TURNS had more examples than we had space (we chose Scott Bryce, who recently reprised Craig, for the print version). Here are two other actors who replaced their Oakdale replacements. Martha Byrne (Lily)
The First Time Around: Byrne, a recast herself, took over from Lucy Deakins in 1985, navigating her through her troubled teenage years, initiating her iconic love affair with her mother’s stable boy, Holden, and winning an Emmy in 1987. She ended up marrying Derek, who died in an explosion meant for her in 1989. A badly burned Lily left town, as Byrne took off for Hollywood. “I’ve gone as far as I can go with Lily,” she told Digest. “The character needs a break, and so do I.”
The Role Is Now Being Played By: She didn’t get much of one: Heather Rattray took over as a colder, cynical Lily in 1990. It was this Lily who eventually wed Holden in an elaborate ceremony. “We didn’t have that underlying chemistry that you need to make it work day in and day out,” admitted Jon Hensley (Holden).
Back To You: It was then-Head Writer Douglas Marland who lured Byrne back to ATWT in 1993, when Rattray was leaving. “I was more than happy to come back because he was writing and he had great ideas. Then, unfortunately, he passed away before I started taping,” said Byrne, who later added. “I’ll stay on AS THE WORLD TURNS as long as they want me.” Ellen Dolan (Margo)
The First Time Around: Two popular actresses — Margaret Colin (1981-83) and Hillary B. Smith (1983-89) — had preceded her, but Ellen Dolan made Margo her own when she took over in 1989. Her Margo pulled the plug on Casey and endured a rape before Dolan left in 1993 to, as she put it, “gamble on a bigger stage.” The Role Is Now Being Played By: Glynnis O’Connor took over for a year before being dismissed. “The medium just didn’t suit her. I don’t think she really liked doing the soap. I think it went too fast and I think she always felt like she didn’t have enough time, so it was tough for her to forgive herself day to day, which we all have to do,” Scott Holmes (Tom) explained to Digest recently.Back To You: Dolan returned, having missed the East Coast. “Whenever I’d hear something about New York, I’d get so homesick. And if I had to sit through one more perfect day, I was going to scream,” she said, admitting to a great deal of frustration in the lack of strong roles for women in Hollywood. “I looked back at Margo and I thought, ‘Margo is a great role. What am I doing this for? Because I want to be a movie star? Well, excuse me, that’s probably not going to happen….’ I knew they were recasting Margo, so I thought, ‘Well, I better make my decision now.’ ” She came back four months after O’Connor left in 1994.