80’s Soap Superstars: Where Are They Now?

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Who doesn’t love a good soap opera? From the heated drama, the addictive love triangles and good looking guest stars, we just can’t get enough. Come take a look at where the hottest soap stars of 80’s ended up.

Larry Hagman Then

The only character to appear in all 356 episodes of the original series, Larry Hagman played the manipulative and arrogant J.R. Ewing. Initially meant to be a smaller role, the breakout character made the actor a worldwide star. The iconic episode “Who Done It?,” which revealed who had tried to murder Ewing, was the highest-rated TV episode in U.S. history at the time.

 

Larry Hagman Now

After the show ended, Hagman reprised his popular character in two television films — “Dallas: J.R. Returns” (1996) and “Dallas: War of the Ewings” (1998). The actor has appeared in multiple feature films, including “Nixon” (1995) and “Primary Colors” (1998). Tragically, the actor passed away in 2012 after a long battle with leukemia.

Mindy Cohn Then

Mindy Cohn’s story of how she got on The Facts of Life is extremely unique. The producers of the show, were so taken with her, that they created a character just for her! And Natalie Green was born. Mindy was 13 years old when she started playing Natalie, with her full figure entering the storyline on multiple occasions and discussed in a positive way through her Natalie’s positive attitude about her self-image.

Mindy Cohn Now

Mindy was also the voice of Velma Dinkley in the Scooby Doo series from 2002 to 2015. She featured in films such as, The Help, and 21 Jump Street. Her sitcom appearances include The Middle, Hot in Cleveland, and Secret Life of the American Teenager, where she used her comedic timing expertly.

Victoria Principal Then

The beautiful Principal played the female lead in the classic CBS drama Dallas from 1978 to 1987. The series followed the dramatic ups and downs of two prominent families.  Principal received a 1983 Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress in a Television Series, for her portrayal of the female lead.

Victoria Principal Now

After she quit the long-running show, Principal began her own television film production company. She established her own skincare range and jewelry line. The actress also wrote a few books, “The Body Principal” (1983), “The Diet Principal” (1987) and “Living Principal” (2001).

Linda Gray Then

The actress played the wife of J. R Ewing in Dallas. After years of his philandering ways, the tumultuous marriage eventually deteriorates. The wedded pair would eventually part ways, while the character would resort to alcohol to ease her pain.

Linda Gray Now

After working on Dallas from until 1991, the actress made appearances in films such as “Oscar” (1991) and “Accidental Meeting” (1994). She was also a part of the 2012 revival series which featured many cameos by the iconic cast of Dallas. She is currently starring in the long-standing British soap opera “Hollyoaks” (1995-present). The star has aged beautifully.

Patrick Duffy Then

Duffy starred as the youngest son of Jock and Miss Ellie Ewing in the show from 1978 to 1991. Throughout the 13-year run of Dallas, Duffy directed several episodes of the series. In a tragic incident in 1986, Duffy lost both his parents after an armed robbery at their home. In 1991, Duffy began another popular television role, as Frank Lambert on the loved family sitcom, Step by Step.

Patrick Duffy Now

Like many other Dallas costars, Duffy reprised his role in the two reunion films and the 2012 remake of Dallas. Duffy married Carlyn Rosser, a professional ballerina 10 years his senior, the two are still happily married today.

Charlene Tilton Then

The gorgeous Tilton played the eldest daughter of Valene Clements and Gary Ewing. After her parents’ marriage collapsed, she was raised by her loving grandparents. At the height of her Dallas fame, the actress received $50,000 salary per episode and appeared on 500 magazine covers. She was a sex symbol at the height of her career, but where is she now?

Charlene Tilton Now

 

After her breakthrough role in Dallas, the actress was seen in movies such as “Problem Child 2” (1991), “Superhero Movie” (2008) and “#1 Cheerleader Camp” (2010). In recent years, she has taken part in multiple reality TV shows.

Ken Kercheval Then

Kercheval played the arch-enemy of J.R. Ewing in the show, continuing on a heated rivalry that was started by their fathers years ago. He starred in the show from 1978 to 1991, from the pilot episode to series finale.

Ken Kercheval Now

 

Ken reprised his Dallas role in the 2012 remake. He went on to marry three times, each time the nuptials would sadly end in divorce. In the early 2000’s, the star appeared on Broadway but has since receded from the spotlight. The actor is a lung cancer survivor.

Barbara Bel Geddes Then

Geddes played the formidable matriarch of the Ewing family. One of the original characters on the show, she is portrayed as a strong-willed but kind mother figure. For her portrayal of the much-loved character, she won Golden Globe and Emmy Awards for Best Actress.

Barbara Bel Geddes Now

 

Geddes formally retired from acting in 1990 to focus her attention on her fine art. She also wrote two children’s books and established a popular line of greeting cards. At the age of 82, in 2005, the actress would pass away.

Steve Kanaly Then

Kanaly played Ray Krebbs, the rugged ranch hand at the Ewing household. During Dallas’ long on-air run, he also guested in other television series, including Time Express in 1979. In the early nineties, he also had a role on the ABC daytime drama series All My Children.

Steve Kanaly Now

 

Kanaly starred in multiple television series in the early nineties. As he aged his career began to dwindle. His lost credited role was in 2005. The actor served in the Vietnam war and is a proud NRA supporter.

Donna Mills Then

Mills starred in Knot’s Landing until 1989. The actress played Abby Cunningham, the leading antagonist who was best known for her manipulative and conniving ways. She became known as a ‘soap vixen.’ She won the Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Villainess three times, in 1986, 1988, and 1989.

Donna Mills Now

After Knot’s Landing left TV screens, the actress’s continued to thrive. She appeared in multiple TV movies and, in 2014, joined the cast of the daytime soap General Hospital for which she won a 2015 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Guest Performer in a Drama Series. In 2015, she had a starring role in Joy, opposite Jennifer Lawrence.

Joan Van Ark Then

Van Ark first portrayed Valene Ewing on Dallas before becoming a main character in its spin-off, Knot’s Landing. The series focuses on her unstable and oh-so-entertaining relationship with her husband, Gary Ewing. Valene went on to become a popular novelist, emerging as an independent woman unencumbered by the financial need for a man.

Joan Van Ark

From 2004-2005, the actress starred in the soap opera The Young and the Restless. She has since had minor roles in series and television movies. It appears the actress also resorted to extensive plastic surgery to maintain the appearance of youth. \

Nicollette Sheridan Then

Sheridan appeared as Mack’s daughter, Paige Matheson. Throughout the show, she has a string of onscreen love interests. She starred in a long list of made-for-television movies and made appearances in nineties films like Spy Hard and Noises Off.

Nicollette Sheridan Now

In 2004, Sheridan’s career would revive with her role of the promiscuous Edie in Desperate Housewives. The part would earn the actress a Golden Globe nomination. In 2018, she began playing Alexis Carrington in The CW soap opera reboot, Dynasty.

Michele Lee Then

Lee starred in all 344 episodes of Knot’s Landing. She marries twice within the duration of the show’s run and experiences a tumultuous range of dilemmas, dramas, bouts with addiction and a kidnapping.

Michele Lee Now

Since the show came to an end, Lee appeared in several feature films and successful Broadway shows, including “Big Dreams and Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story” (1995), “Scandalous Me: The Jacqueline Susann Story” (1998), “Along Came Polly” (2004) and “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife” (2000), for which she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

Joan Collins Then

Collins joined the cast of Dynasty in the second season as Alexis Carrington Colby. She played the gorgeous but vengeful ex-wife of millionaire Blake Carrington. Collins was credited for the success of the show, after her appearance the show’s ratings sky-rocketed and by 1985, it became the number one show in the U.S. She received six Golden Globes Awards nominations (winning one in 1983) and an Emmy Award nomination for her starring role.

Joan Collins Now

After the show went off the air, Collins made appearances on several television series such as “Roseanne” (1993), “The Nanny” (1996) and “Will & Grace” (2000). She also established herself as an author by writing several best-selling books.

Heather Locklear Then

Locklear’s first major television role was the part of Sammy Jo Carrington on Dynasty from 1981–89. She is also well known for her role as the conniving and beautiful Amanda Woodward on Melrose Place (1993–99), for which she received four consecutive Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress.

Heather Locklear Now

Locklear worked on the comedic sitcom “Spin City” from 1999–2002. She received two Golden Globe nominations for her role opposite Michael J Fox. She married Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora in 1994. The couple divorced in 2007.

Susan Sullivan Then

Sullivan was a well-known face in the daytime soap world. She is best recognized for her role as Maggie Channing in Falcon’s Crest. She also starred in another popular soap opera, Another World.

Susan Sullivan Now

Sullivan continued to act in several series, including “Dharma & Greg” (1997-2002) and “Castle” (2009-2016).She also memorably starred in feature films like My Best Friend’s Wedding.

Jake Coleman Then

In 1983, Coleman took on the role of Steven Carrington in Dynasty. Carrington, is credited as one of the first gay characters on American TV, was married to Sammy Jo amidst struggles with his sexual orientation.

Jake Coleman Now

Coleman went on to have a thriving acting career once the show went off the air. The actor has acted in many films and series such as “Spawn” (1997), “Heroes” (2006-10), “The Vampire Diaries” (2011-12), “The Office” (2010-2013) and “Castle” (2012-2015).

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