Here, then, my list of the greatest male actors of daytime drama:
Michael Zaslow - I've definitely got a bias, and I freely admit it. Zaslow was the best in the business. Charismatic, commanding, but also subtle and vulnerable, Zaslow's Roger Thorpe was the stuff of soap opera legend. I don't know that any two actors in daytime have matched the chemistry shared by Michael Zaslow and Maureen Garrett - chemistry that was as palpable in the 90s as it was 20 years before, when they first started working opposite one another. Something about his portrayal of Roger Thorpe always broke my heart, even as Roger behaved like a monster. Inside of that monster was a vulnerable boy, and Michael Zaslow knew how to make just a little bit of that boy come to the surface. Zaslow's death left a void in the genre that many of us feel has never been filled.
David Canary - Canary did the seemingly impossible. AMC's Adam and Stuart Chandler couldn't have been more different, and Canary not only made each character three-dimensional, immediately recognizable, and attractive in very different ways, he did it consistently for 20 years. Brilliant. Adam and Brooke? One of the best couples, ever. Brownie points to Canary for his stint on AW. Who else but Canary could have stepped in to play AW's bigger-than-life Steven Frame after so many years of absence?
Larry Bryggman - An actor's actor. Bryggman has never had matinee idol looks to fall back on. With him, it's all about delivering a great performance, every single time. What more is there to say? Put him on the screen with Elizabeth Hubbard and I dare you not to watch.
Michael Levin - An Italian among Irish, Michael Levin's Jack gave Ryan's Hope a bit of a cynical edge. Always dependable, always likable, and just so damned real. When Mary Ryan died, we believed it, because Levin never let us forget it. He worked wonderfully with Kate Mulgrew and, once she was written off, his performance was often about her absence...not for a month, but for years. Ever the heart-broken widower, when the doors were shut on Ryan's Bar, it was a joy to see Levin's Jack get a happy ending, at last.