By Marlena De Lacroix, a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman
It’s the end of 2012, time for best and worst lists. Because soaps are in such danger and I’ve already recorded most of the worsts in the weekly column I’m choosing only to do the bests here. And Marlena being Marlena sometimes I have multiple choices in each category.
Best Actress: The Bold and the Beautiful’s Susan Flannery. Can there any other? Her work in the month leading up to Stephanie’s death was just so human and full of intelligence, two full career-long defining traits of arguably daytime’s best ever actress.
Best Actor: Doug Davidson, The Young and the Restless. Tragedy usually becomes soap performers, but it’s still difficult for some actors to pull off crying scenes believably and effectively. Y&R‘s Doug Davidson was just grand as the drowning-in-guilt Paul, who shot and killed his own son, when Ricky was about to commit murder. Davidson was just so realistic as a father in this ultimate pain, especially when he was unjustly arrested for Ricky’s murder.
Best Supporting Actresses: Too many to choose just one. B&B ’s Katherine Kerry Lang should get the Emmy she deserves this year as Brooke for that character’s loving support of Stephanie on her deathbed … Kelly Sullivan has just been terrifically entertaining and often hilarious as Crazy Connie on General Hospital. (She also plays Connie’s alter, fashion editor Kate.) … Will’s coming out scenes on Days of Our Lives wouldn’t have been half as effective if not for the understanding and support of his grandmother Marlena. Deidre Hall, as ever, is brilliant as a character who represents the ultimate in womanly love and acceptance … Robin Mattson was just deliciously evil as always when her crazy, cunning Heather returned to GH, bringing with her a swath of misdeeds, including a role in the switch of Tea and Sam’s babies.
Best Supporting Actor: General Hospital ‘s Jason Thompson was every bit as good in crying scenes as Y&R’s Davidson, as Patrick so heartbreakingly mourned the death of his wife, Dr. Robin. The exquisite sensitivity the character showed in his grief was totally unexpected.
Best Couple: Anna and “Duke”/Faison on GH. In the 80s they were a supercouple — Finola Hughes and Ian Buchanan had amazing chemistry, and their great acting skills beautifully complimented one other. And they stayed a dazzling duo when both returned this year to GH and played out the twisty and shocking Faison-is-the-fake Duke story. The actors also did just as great work apart: Hughes as Robin’s grieving mother on GH and Buchanan as the scheming meanie Ian on Days, who also wildly grieved when his love Madson died in his arms. Buchanan is this soap year’s prince of melodrama.
Best Show: General Hospital, for making the comeback of the year. A year ago, the smart money bet this show would be cancelled. But executive producer Frank Valenti and headwriter Ron Carlivati turned the tide splendidly, transforming GH into such a highly entertaining show that fans don’t want to miss even one day! May GH’s rising ratings portend a new era of success for dayime soaps!
Cher readers, do write in and tell me your personal bests for 2012.
Also, listen to Connie/Marlena chat about soap bests and the biggest soap news events of 2012 with soapcentral.com’s Daniel J. Kroll on http://www.voiceamerica.com/Show/1661.