Actors use soap opera programming to work to bigger things
February 26, 2009
Filed under Entertainment
Though the stereotype exists that actors work as waiters before hitting the big time, sometimes actors follow another path. Soap operas can be a way into the film industry, and tenures on soaps often lead to successful careers.
Shows like “Days of our Lives” and “The Young and the Restless” give a starting point to both actors who go on to other forms of acting and those who choose to stay with the format throughout their career. Soap operas have even been known to lead to musical careers.
Stars like Alec Baldwin, John Stamos and Kyra Sedgwick got their first credited acting work on soap operas and have gone on to star both in movies and on television. Stamos, who started on “General Hospital,” went on to a lead role in programs such as “Full House” and “ER.”
In contrast, actors like Helen Wagner and Susan Lucci found their niche in soap operas. Wagner holds the record for the longest term as a daytime serial actor, having acted on “As the World Turns” for 52 years. Lucci, who has played a role on “All My Children” for 39 years, has also appeared on other soaps such as “Dallas.” Both actors have done side work but have still primarily remained on their soap operas.
The band RBD, a pop group with Mexican roots, became popular through a Mexican soap opera called “Rebelde.” The band was featured as part of the plot and played music for the show. With their break into the spotlight provided by television, they were able to start an award-winning musical career.
Actor Rick Springfield worked on “General Hospital” at the same time he was touring with his band. The band’s number one song “Jessie’s Girl” fueled the popularity of “General Hospital,” and the show increased the sales of the song.
In addition, soap opera actors have joined the cast of shows like “Dancing with the Stars.” Participants have included Lucci, Cameron Mathison, Lisa Rinna and the winner of the first season, Kelly Monaco.
However, actors who start on soap operas are not the only actors that make appearances. Guest stars include famous actors like Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones, among others.
So whether as a career starter or just as an interlude to a career, soap operas play an integral role in the lives of individual actors and the entire entertainment industry.