Sister Show of 'Guiding Light': 'As The World Turns'
"As The World Turns" was a historic show. The number one daytime soap for twenty consecutive years cast the spotlight on a number of future stars! But where are they today and are there some facts about the show that may surprise fans? Read on to find out!
"As The World Turns" Dominated At The Emmys
This series might not be well known these days but once upon a time, it was a pretty big deal. In fact, it bagged an impressive 43 Daytime Emmys! When it was canceled, the disappointed fans were delighted to hear that Martha Byrne would be bringing them a sister show.
The One Of A Kind Series
The actress who starred as Lily in “As the World Turns” wrote “Guiding Light” as the sister show and the new series saw an Emmy nomination. Despite its efforts, it couldn't equal the reach and fame of As The World Turns. The series that ran for over five decades was indeed one of a kind.
Created by the brilliant Irna Phillips “As the World Turns” was on the air from 1956 all the way into 2010... The show was made in two main locations around Manhattan and Brooklyn, giving it a very distinct look. Fans of the series still miss this show today.
What Happened To Don Hastings
This New York native changed the acting game with his skill and talent. He showed Hollywood one of its finest stars and rightfully landed a big role in this series. In fact, he was on As The World Turns for over five decades! Now that 100% dedication.
These days he still finds himself in the concrete jungle of New York, in the company of wife, Leslie Denniston. Together they have daughter, Kate. He also has three more kids from a previous marriage. Don's son, Matthew takes after his old man and has a great career in the industry.
Guiding Light's Writer Turns Producer
Martha Byrne who starred as Lily on the show currently lives in Amsterdam but has indicated her willingness to bring some of the old soaps back! She's also taken on the title of executive producer! The busy actress was also cast in the show, Gotham Series.
King Of The Daytime Soap
One of the fan faves, Daniel Cosgrove aka Chris, has kept himself pretty busy since his days on the famed series. Lucky for him his name was widely recognized, landing him great roles on shows like All My Children and the “SteamBoat Series.” Not too shabby Daniel!
Meredith Hagner's Big Break
Meredith Hagner who starred as Liberty has moved on from her days on the series... She's certainly climbed the ladder and has made quite a name for herself. Some of her roles include “Art Machine,” “Damsels in Distress,” and “Lights Out. But her big break was still coming.
This American actress is now mainly known for her part in Search Party. The dark comedy series stars on TBs and Meredith does the role of a self-absorbed Portia pretty well. The sky is the limit for this talent star and we can't wait to see what she does next!
Parker And Simon After "As The World Turns"
Mick Hazen went by the name of Parker in "As The World Turns." But later he would gain a new name in his next project, Going The Distance. The actor was cast in the role of ‘Zeff.' In this 2010 film, he had the chance to work with a few big names like the popular Drew Barrymore!
Simon aka Paul Leyden went on to channel his creative abilities in a different way than before. Instead of acting, he actually helped write and produce a 2011 film called The Factory. His movie starred the likes of John Cusack and Jennifer Carpenter. Well done Paul!
Michael O’Leary: Actor Turned Writer
Michael O’Leary followed a similar path to Paul Leden. The actor that starred as Rick in "As The World Turns" went on to write a pretty well-loved web series called "Steamboat The Series." This wouldn't be his last venture and he's since gone on to do more work in the industry.
Bound For Broadway
Michael Park, known as Jack on the series also went on to find better options for himself after the show ended. He starred in a Broadway show, "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying," alongside names like Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette!
As The World Turns Cast Reunites
In April 2020 many of the cast members from As The World Turns had a virtual reunion! Some of the participants included Michael Park, Maura West, Kelley Menighan, Don Hastings, and Martha Byrne. On their screens, a few of them even allowed cute hellos from their pets!
They all had a little segment to share how it was working as a team back in the day as well as what they are doing these days. The stars shared both funny and personal stories. Martha Byrne shared a story about how Liz Hubbard helped her get out of her comfort zone while filming.
The Stars Think Back To Life On Set
Martha also mentioned Brian Bloom who played Dusty Donovan on the series. Thinking back, she swooned over the actor and said: “I get lost in those eyes.”
Another sweet spot of the reunion was Maura West sitting in her pool. She looked relaxed as ever and told listeners about how nervous she was and still is on set. The actress is not a hotshot in General Hospital and says As The World Turns was her first TV job!
Maura And Kelly Tell All
Maura then shared a pretty funny secret with all of the viewers... She told them that she still has dishes from the farm daily set! And she actually uses them... To prove this, her husband Scott De Freitas handed her one of the plates to show off on the web camera.
Kelly Menighan also joined the live chat a bit later telling the story of her second day on set... She wasn't too please as she had to wear a bathing costume! Looking back now she laughs but at the moment it was a big deal for the young and slightly shy actress.
Some Of The Cast Members Still Meet Up
Don Hastings spoke about Kathyrn Hayes and how the former "Kim Hughes" now lives out in Illinois. The actor also shared a sweet fact about his friendship with Dr. John’ Dixon aka Larry Bryggman. The two apparently still meet at least once a month to catch up!
Don's "Busy" Life On The Farm
Don himself has taken up farm living. The famed actor is at peace on his own farm and told listeners a funny consequence of his time on As The World Turns. The TV doctor admitted that on the odd occasion he is offered the chance to perform real medical procedures...
He comically told his fans that this request makes him laugh and that he has the perfect way to brush off fans. In his charismatic way, he tells them that he's a bit preoccupied on the farm. He said:
“I had to turn them down though. I was too busy."
The Stars With The Longest Soap TV Careers
The cast of As The World Turns has much to thank the series for... especially these three veteran stars. Helen Wagner, Eileen Fulton, and Don Hastings became the top American soap opera actors in duration on screen! They were on the soap screen for 54 years, 47 years, and 50 years respectively.
How The Show Began And Ended
Helen Wagner who starred as Don Hasting's on-screen wife, Nancy Hughes, opened the series with the first words, “Good morning, dear.” When she passed away mere months before the finale was shot in 2010, the producers decided to do something special.
They let her on-screen husband Bob Hughes (Don Hastings) conclude the series with a somber and sentimental closing. The final words he spoke were “Good night." This paid some homage to the actress who gave fifty-four years of her life to the soap industry.
The First Hour-Long Soap
“As the World Turns” took to the screen already making history as the first 30-minute soap. Prior to its airing most daily dramas were on air for a mere 15-minute slot. However, the show took it to the next level when it became the first 60-minute soap drama!
The Winner Takes It All
The series was in the habit of breaking records and making history. Another field where it was the clear winner is in terms of duration. The soap was the obvious frontrunner in hours on the air. The series was on the air for a remarkable 3,940 hours and 30 minutes!
This series certainly changed the face of soap television forever. Not only did it walk away with multiple awards and survive decade upon decade but it also garnered a pretty loyal fanbase. Who was your fave "As The World Turns" star? Leave your comments and please click share!