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Soap Casting News: 'One Life' Gets Two New Men ... and More

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 11th 2010 3:00PM
tom_degnan_cbs_as_the_world_turnsThis week, 'One Life to Live' grabbed the headlines this week with a casting flip-flop, one in which everybody came out a winner. We also got some insights about a new character on 'All My Children,' one daytime star saluting another, and a prime time star jumping into daytime.

For all the news, read what's been happening around the dial in our weekly soap casting wrap-up.

'One Life to Live' Casts New A Joey

Actor Tom Degnan, best known for a small, but integral, role on 'As the World Turns,' has beat out some rumored big name stars to land a plum soap role. Degnan is going to be the new Joey Buchanan on 'One Life to Live,' the same part that Nathan Fillion ('Castle') played with so memorably.

Degnan appeared on 'ATWT' in 2009. He was part of the Tom-Margo story line involving her son, Adam, who was presumed dead in Afghanistan. Adam resurfaced in Oakdale as a character named Riley Morgan, but he was actually Margo's son ... with a new face. Degnan's first airdate on 'OLTL' is tentatively set for November 24.

The Other New Guy on 'OLTL'

Degnan's casting on 'OLTL' was, in fact, a recast of a recast. You see, on Tuesday, ABC Daytime announced that actor Josh Kelly had been chosen to play Joey Buchanan. Two days later, Kelly was out as Joey and Degnan was in. Fortunately for Kelly, 'OLTL' decided they didn't want to let him go, as the producers liked both young actors. Therefore, Josh Kelly is moving to Llanview after all, but in a new role. He doesn't have a name yet, but he's described as a "a mysterious, charming and handsome guy set to shake up the Llanview scene."

According to Executive Producer Frank Valentini, the two actors were too good to pass up. "After auditioning a talented group of guys for the role of Joey, we are excited to announce that not one but two of them will be joining the cast of 'One Life to Live' in contract roles. We have now cast Tom Degnan in the role of Viki's son, Joey Buchanan, and we have decided that Josh Kelly is a great fit for the other contract role that we have written. We look forward to both actors joining the show."

Prime Time Biggie Guesting on 'General Hospital'

Daniel Benzali will be joining 'General Hospital' as a patient named Theo Hoffman, reports Yahoo. Benzali is best known as the star of ABC's legal drama 'Murder One.' His character will be complicated. The ABC rep claims, "there is more to Theo than meets the eye." Initially, he'll be getting involved with Robin (Kimberly McCullough), but is it possibly that he's connected to the mysterious Balkan character the show's been talking about for weeks? I'm just asking ... Benzali's first appearance is December 6.

a_Martinez_one_life_to_liveA Martinez to Visit 'Castle'

Former soap star and Emmy winner, A Martinez, is popping up in prime time this week. Martinez is guesting on ABC's 'Castle,' in the October 18 episode called 'Anatomy of a Murder.' A will be playing Cesar Calderon, a once notorious drug trafficker who has turned his back on his criminal past.

A Martinez will always be best remembered as Cruz Castillo on 'Santa Barbara,' but most recently he was on 'OLTL' as Ray Montez. That's the same 'OLTL' that Nathan Fillion once graced. Gee, you think he's loyal to his old show?

More on Lindsay Hartley's 'All My Children' Role

When Lindsay Hartley was cast on 'All My Children' recently, there wasn't a lot of information about who she'd be playing or what her story line would be. Now, we've been clued in and it sounds pretty exciting. Lindsay will appear in Pine Valley as Carolyn 'Cara' Finn, the former wife of Jake Martin (Ricky Paull Goldin).

When Jake arrived on the scene, he wasn't saying anything good about his ex. In fact, we're assuming they were married because it was all done off-camera. Lindsay told Fancast what she's learned about Cara, saying, "Jake doesn't really talk about her. We are going to find out he thought she cheated on him and left him. We'll find out that wasn't the case. The whole time she was protecting him, and that was her brother. Of course that's going to add a little bit of tension." Tension? Oh yes, especially since Jake is now happily married to Amanda (Chrishell Stause).

laura_wright_carly_general_hospital_abcAppreciating the 'Zimmer' Method

One of the greatest things about the soaps is the ability of younger actors to be mentored by veteran stars. I'll never forget Michael T. Weiss, before he starred as 'The Pretender,' telling me how he had benefited from his apprenticeship on 'Days of Our Lives' -- especially learning a lot from the late Frances Reid (Alice).

In a recent TV Guide interview, 'General Hospital's' Laura Wright, shared her thoughts about Kim Zimmer. Wright is currently thriving as Carly Corinthos Jax and Zimmer's playing Echo on 'OLTL.' But Laura was effusive in her praise for former costar Kim Zimmer. Wright played Cassie on 'Guiding Light' when Kim was thriving on that CBS soap as Reva.

Wright said her aggressive acting method was informed by Zimmer's style. "I had eight years working next to Kim ... and what I learned most from her is to always go for it, most especially when you're afraid to go for it. I watched Kim attack story lines that anyone else would run from, and now I get to do that with Carly! I'm just so grateful for that Zimmer experience."\

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