Marlena’s Best of the Best, 2012

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.

Doug Davidson

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 ActorGeneral 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’s Daniel J. Kroll on


  1. I agree with all of your choices Marlena, but I would also like to add Heather Tom (Katie Logan Spencer, B&B) in your best supporting actress category for her brilliant and emotional performances as her character suffered and survived the difficult birth of her baby Will with her heart problems (along with her out of body experience and seeing her older brother Storm in Heaven), and had post-partam depression after she gave birth to her baby! I would also like to add in Roger Howarth (Todd Manning, OLTL and GH) in the best supporting actor category for bringing great humor in his entertaining performances on both OLTL and GH throughout 2012!

    Marlena says: Thumbs up on Heather Tom, who was last year’s Emmy winner. She was amazing in the PPD ztory! And Roger Howarth has just been a gem on the comic side since he came on GH!

  2. Matt Diestel says:

    Most gutsy move by a soap opera that worked — General Hospital’s new brass bringing on a trio of characters — Starr and Todd Manning and John McBain — from the cancelled One Life to Live to take up permanent residence in Port Charles. Soap fans are a notoriously territorial lot and the new citizens could have been greeted with outrage by GH loyalists, but in the main — and that is how such things must be judged — the trio of characters were warmly greeted and quickly accepted as each performer carved out a nitch in the life of the show for their character.

  3. Chere Marlena,

    I can’t argue with anything on your list. Agree with everything you said. GH is the comeback story of the year. Susan Flannery proved why she’s been the star of the show for 25 years, not that this was ever really in question. Jason Thompson proved he’s got incredible acting chomps with Robin’s death. Finola and Ian showed that 25 year old magic is still palpable.

    I’d add a few catagoies:

    Best Transfer of a Character — Michael Easton’s John McBane works so well in Port Charles. I never cared for him on OLTL, but I really like him on GH. This is the show he should have been on all along.

    Best Short-Run Character — Richard Steinmetz was so good as Joe Jr. on GH. He really brought so many dimensions to what was essentially written as a one-note character. He had fantastic chemistry with Jane Elliot and brought out great qualities in Erik Valdez, who played his son Trey. .Was so disappointed to see Joe Jr. killed off.

    Best Recast — Wow! Greg Vaughn is lighting up the screen as Erik Brady. When I saw him in the priest’s outfit, I was shaking my head, wondering what they were thinking, limiting the character’s possibilities. But Greg is bringing it home as the tortured priest. He never really was given a chance to shine as Lucky on GH (aside from the drug addiction/Maxie affair storyline), so I’m delighted to see that he’s doing well.

    Best Return — Eileen Davidson as Kristen Blake DiMera. Although they started her off slow, she’s rejuvenating the show. Is there any character (male or female) she doesn’t have chemistry with? Also have to mention Sean Kanan as AJ Quartermaine. I’m already going Billy Warlock who? Plus, as you’ve already mentioned, Robin Matson is a delight as the ever kooky Heather, Finola has finally added some much missed intelligence to the show and some brains to the PCPD. And Ian manages to class up every scene he’s in.

    Marlena says: I agree with everything on your list too. I also thought Richard Steinmetz was terrific on GH–a real ball of energy. So glad that Eileen Davidson is punching up Days. Great letter, as always!

  4. Dear Connie/Marlena,

    This is a very thoughtful list. (I don’t actually have one.)

    It was months ago (and probably during the summer) in which I did wrote here that the year’s best performance on “The Young and the Restless” has come from Doug Davidson who, to date, has garnered three Emmy nominations for playing Paul Williams. (He’s one of a series of actors — like “Days of Our Lives’s” Peter Reckell and “Guiding Light’s” Robert Newman — who waited more than 20 years on daytime before finally getting his first nomination back in 2003.) Davidson was heartbreaking as his character realized the horrors of his homicidal son. Though it wasn’t award-caliber storytelling, Davidson’s acting was first rank. One felt very sorry for Paul who, feeling guilt-ridden as an unknowing father who didn’t learn until it was already too late, gave us some reality. This was intelligent and convincing acting.

    Marlena says: Hi dear DSO! Wouldn’t ii be nice if Davidson won that Emmy which he deserves for his performance here? You’re right—some of best actors are never rewarded for their consistent year to year good work.

  5. Hi Marlena,

    I’m going to give you an award for Best Duke & Anna fan of the Year from Clan Lavery. We’re avid readers of your column. Come visit us if you have time! Forum: and website (for 80 magazine articles & photos!)

    I agree with all your choices. Soaps seem to be making a comeback. Good times.

  6. horselover says:

    Good picks, Marlena. I loved that Duke & Anna got best couple and that GH got best show. While things weren’t perfect, GH has become must-see TV once again. I haven’t said that in over a decade.

  7. BREAKING NEWS: Prospect Park has just announced that they are reviving plans to bring back both AMC and OLTL online, and has secured deals with both the SAG and AFTRA actors unions and the DGA (directors union)!!! What are your thoughts about this latest development, Marlena? Do you think that PP can make it happen this time, or should we still be skeptical and not get our hopes up too high?

    Marlena says: I’ll believe it when I see it. Hope it happens, though.

  8. I’m so with you on Doug Davidson. I was shocked how amazing he was in that story. Every day! He really should be front and center just as much as Eric Braeden and Peter Bergman. Oh my G-d, did I just write that?!

  9. Agree with all of your choices, Marlena and maybe “Young and the Restless” will be brave enough to elevate Doug Davidson into a Lead Actor nomination rather than the Supporting one (which is actually far more competitive). That man deserves an Emmy moreso than any other actor in soap opera land in 2012.

    Kelly Sullivan, on the other hand … her name should not be linked in to any sentence that includes the word “Emmy.” If the academy gave a daytime Razzie like is given for bad movie actors and actresses, Sullivan would win this award without hesitation. There wouldn’t even be a nomination, they would just give her the Golden Razzie automatically.

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