Maurice Benard (Sonny)
First Position: Nico Kelly, ALL MY CHILDREN, 1987-90
In A Previous Life: Nico’s tough edges softened via his relationship with Julie; later, his marriage of convenience to Cecily blossomed into true love.
Memory Lane: “I was cool leaving ALL MY CHILDREN,” the actor summed up on Digest’s podcast, Dishing With Digest, in 2020. “I needed to get out of New York and go to L.A.” Marry Makers: Benard scored his first Digest cover in 1989 alongside Rosa Nevin, who played Nico’s wife, Cecily, on AMC.
Michael Easton (Finn)
First Position: Tanner Scofield, DAYS, 1990-92
In A Previous Life: Rebellious Tanner grappled with his mother’s suicide and found love with sweet Molly.
Memory Lane: Easton recalled to Digest in 2015, “I do remember standing at a pay phone — it was that long ago — on Venice Boulevard and getting the call that I got the part and having just enough change in my pocket to call my mom back home and tell her. She cried.”
Roger Howarth (Austin)
First Position: Kent Winslow, LOVING, 1992
In A Previous Life: Snooty fraternity prez Kent clashed with Alden scion Cooper, who caught the eye of Kent’s gal pal, Staige.
Memory Lane: “Actually watching what I did as an actor on LOVING, there is no part of me that is surprised that they fired me,” the actor admitted of the short-lived gig on Dishing With Digest in 2021, deeming his performance “genuinely unwatchable”
Photo credit: ABC Photo Archives
Brook Kerr (Portia)
First Position: Whitney Russell, PASSIONS, 1999-2007
In A Previous Life: Introduced as a rising tennis star and devoted BFF to Theresa, Whitney’s road to the altar with Chad was paved with many obstacles (such as his secret first wife and the possibility that they were siblings).
Memory Lane: “In L.A., your whole life can change in 24 hours. And that’s what happened when I auditioned for the show,” Kerr marveled to Digest in 1999.
Lisa LoCicero (Olivia)
First Position: Jocelyn Roberts, LOVING/THE CITY, 1995-97
In A Previous Life: Prosecutor Jocelyn, who made the move from Corinth to Manhattan, survived childhood sexual abuse and a rooftop attempted murder by Molly.
Memory Lane: In 2014, LoCicero described her LOVING days to Digest as idyllic, saying, “I just sort of assumed that’s what it was like to work on a soap. You show up and you work hard and then everyone loves your character and a front-burner storyline just keeps on going. So, I learned that’s not always the case, that it’s sort of like magic when that happens.”
Kelly Monaco (Sam)
First Position: Livvie Locke, PORT CHARLES, 2000-03
In A Previous Life: Life took a supernatural turn for Kevin’s feisty surprise daughter when she became the object of vampire Caleb’s affections.
Memory Lane: In 2018, Monaco told Digest that when PC was canceled, “I was devastated.... I loved that show so much. It was my start. I didn’t know if I would ever work again.”
James Patrick Stuart (Valentin)
First Position: Will Cortlandt, ALL MY CHILDREN, 1990-92, 1994
In A Previous Life: Palmer’s disgraced, rapist nephew made enemies of most of Pine Valley before one resident (Janet) murdered him with a crowbar.
Memory Lane: Stuart’s AMC run left a big impression on his future mother-in-law, he told Digest in 2016. “When [now-wife Jocelyn] told her mother about me, she goes, ‘Oh, my God, he’s a rapist! He made Kelly Ripa [ex-Hayley] an alcoholic! Run, honey, run!’ ” he mused.
Cynthia Watros (Nina)
First Position: Annie Dutton, GUIDING LIGHT, 1994-98
In A Previous Life: Troubled nurse Annie battled the bottle — and Reva, whose return from the dead doomed Annie’s marriage to “widower” Josh.
Memory Lane: “I grew up in Michigan watching Josh and Reva on GUIDING LIGHT. So when I was cast [as] the person who was coming in between my beloved Josh and Reva, it was both bizarre and intimidating,” Watros recalled to Digest in 2019.