Wishful Casting: The Complete Guiding Light Edition

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FourMusketeers

Photo provided by TeleNext. Credit: JPI



Long before it was announced that broadcasting's longest running program was being booted from the airwaves, I started brainstorming about where Guiding Light's amazingly-talented cast could end up. Sure, I've done a Wishful Casting here or there concerning GL actors, but now it's time to compile a definitive list of where I, in my oh-so-humble opinion, feel the Peapack refugees should end up.

Grant Aleksander: The most obvious choice would be for Aleksander to return to All My Children as bad boy Alec McIntyre, ex-husband of Hayley and biological papa of Tom and Livia Frye's adopted son Jamal. However, without any of the characters he has strong ties to currently getting their mail sent to Pine Valley, 90210, it could be a hard sell. That could of course be solved fairly quickly by recasting Hayley and Jamal. See below. I could also get on board with the idea of seeing Aleksander recreate the role of Dr. Tom Hardy on General Hospital. GL and GH were timeslot competitors in much of the country. Bringing on Springfield's favorite son to play Audrey and Steve's son would be quite the snag for Fronsie. Maybe they could even thrown in Victoria Rowell as Tom's ex-wife Simone?


FourMusketeers

Photo provided by TeleNext. Credit: JPI



Long before it was announced that broadcasting's longest running program was being booted from the airwaves, I started brainstorming about where Guiding Light's amazingly-talented cast could end up. Sure, I've done a Wishful Casting here or there concerning GL actors, but now it's time to compile a definitive list of where I, in my oh-so-humble opinion, feel the Peapack refugees should end up.

Grant Aleksander: The most obvious choice would be for Aleksander to return to All My Children as bad boy Alec McIntyre, ex-husband of Hayley and biological papa of Tom and Livia Frye's adopted son Jamal. However, without any of the characters he has strong ties to currently getting their mail sent to Pine Valley, 90210, it could be a hard sell. That could of course be solved fairly quickly by recasting Hayley and Jamal. See below. I could also get on board with the idea of seeing Aleksander recreate the role of Dr. Tom Hardy on General Hospital. GL and GH were timeslot competitors in much of the country. Bringing on Springfield's favorite son to play Audrey and Steve's son would be quite the snag for Fronsie. Maybe they could even thrown in Victoria Rowell as Tom's ex-wife Simone?




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Murray Bartlett: Soaps love Australian bad boys, so it shouldn't be too hard for Bartlett to find work again on one of the seven remaining sudsers. Maybe one of daytime's current Aussie hunks has a long-lost troublemaking brother or best mate out there? DC's Melodie said she wouldn't mind Bartlett showing up in Genoa City as a long lost brother of Cane Ashby (Daniel Goddard). I could dig that. Maybe Cane's little bro could shed some light into why he's so reluctant to discuss his past? Y&R could borrow from one of their most successful triangles ever, Neil/Dru/Malcolm, by having Lily (Christel Khalil) have a wet, er soft spot for Cane's baby bro, while her hubby wants to see him head out of Genoa City on the first thing smoking. Don't take the pain meds girl! If not Y&R, then why not have Bartlett show up in Port Charles as a long lost Jacks brother? Maybe Papa Jacks was a rolling stone, and had an affair with the family's housekeeper? Bartlett's character could show up wanting his cut of the Jacks empire, and perhaps a stab at Jasper's (Ingo Radamacher) fiery wife Carly (Laura Wright)!

Unless otherwise noted Photos by PR Photos and screencaps by Daytime Confidential.




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Beth Chamberlin: One of the most striking actresses in daytime, Chamberlin is the forever ingenue. Any soap would be smart to snap up this Grace Kelly lookalike. An industry pal and I were discussing what a shame it is that All My Kids woefully miscast the role of Liza Colby. "Chamberlin would be perfect," he gushed! Since that can't happen unless Jamie Luner books a contract gig on The CW's Savannah update, why not cast Chamberlin as Hayley Santos? Truth be told, I don't wish AMC on any of these actors, but work is work, whether or not Chamberlin is game for a West Coast move is the question. If she is, then screw AMC, the actress should go to B&B as Kristen Forrester! I also wouldn't mind seeing her as DAYS' Jennifer Horton Deveraux. I love, love, LOVE me some Melissa Reeves, but if she is truly done with the show, then Chamberlin would be the next best thing! How would Jennifer pick sides between her BFF Carly and her fave cousin Hope? Now that's a triangle I wanna see! 

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Jordan Clarke: I'm so happy Clarke has booked a significant role in Crystal Chappell's upcoming web series Venice. It would also be cool if he turned up on One Life to Live as a recurring character from the Buchanan boys' past, an old poker buddy/business rival, who mixes it up with Dorian (Robin Strasser) or Roxie (Ilene Kristen).

Unless otherwise noted Photos by PR Photos and screencaps by Daytime Confidential.


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Robert Bogue: Hmm, this is gonna be a tough one. Don't get me wrong, I believe Bogue is a good actor, he just doesn't really inspire my inner casting director. I guess I wouldn't mind seeing him as a new therapist who butt heads with Dr. Taylor Hayes (Hunter Tylo) on The Bold and the Beautiful. She needs something to do now that Ridge (Ron Moss) has reunited with his heart (and mine) Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang) once again!

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E.J. Bonilla: Unlike some my DC cohorts, I think Bonilla is a talented young man, and could easily see him turning up on another sudser in a role that is actually written well for a change. His look screams General Hospital, but Sonny already has too many children running around dodging stray cars and runaway bullets,  although not quite successfully. Perhaps Bonilla could portray a younger brother of Rafe (Galen Gering) and Arianna's (Lindsay Hartley) on Days of Our Lives?  Spoiled rich boy Phillip (Jay Kenneth Johnson) could use a proper foil for Stephanie's (Shelley Hennig) affections. I also wouldn't mind seeing Bonilla create the role of a young adult Lorenzo Santos on All My Children. Why not let Enzo jump in the fray with his Uncle JR (Jacob Young) and cousin Scott (Adam Mayfield) for the fight for Chandler?

Unless otherwise noted Photos by PR Photos and screencaps by Daytime Confidential.




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Jeff Branson: Branson has become one of the most sought after names in soaps. The recent Emmy-winner could probably go anywhere he wants. Personally, I think Branson is too good to go back to the trainwreck that AMC has become. General Hospital would be a much smarter move. GH tried unsuccessfully to bring on Steven Lars Webber a few years back. Something tells me Branson would be the right man for the job. Liz (Rebecca Herbst) could use her big brother now more than ever. Just think of Branson's Steven falling for one of Liz's rivals like Sam (Kelly Monaco),  or Maxie (Kirsten Storms). Epic soap opera! Steven already shares a past with Carly (Laura Wright), whom he attempted to court the last time he was in town. Maybe Steven could show up in town just in time to pick up the pieces for Carly once Jax's knowledge of Jerry's involvement in Michael's shooting is revealed? Hell, the good doc could deliver the delicate, little roo Carly's been carrying amid some trademark GH mob-tastrophe, forever bonding the couple! It would also be nice to see Steven match Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson) ego for ego at GH.

Okay, so enough about GH, I think Branson would work just as well on DAYS as Sami Brady's (Alison Sweeney) twin brother Eric. Nicole (Arianne Zucker) is going to need a hero to save her from EJ's (JamesScott) wrath once it is revealed  she has been raising EJ and Sami's child as her own, and Nicole was Eric's first love. If that doesn't fit into Gary Tomlin's impressive vision for the show, why not cast Branson as Carly and Lawrence's (Crystal Chappell and Michael Sabatino) son Nicholas Alamain, and pair him in a red hot cougar storyline with Carly's soon-to-be-rival Hope (Kristian Alfonso)?

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Mandy Bruno: Since The Young and the Restless didn't like my suggestion of Eden Riegel as Mackenzie, maybe they would let Bruno mercifully rescue the drowning character? Clementine Ford has had more than enough time to get her bearings, and she just ain't cutting it. Bruno really began to impress me in the aftermath of Coop's death on GL. Why not let her join her former onscreen relation John Driscoll in Genoa City?

Unless otherwise noted Photos by PR Photos and screencaps by Daytime Confidential.




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Orlagh Cassidy: Y&R's Diane Jenkins anyone?

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Bradley Cole: Cole was born to play a soap hero. He would be great as Dante's boss and mentor on GH, who comes to town and immediately butts head with Alexis Davis (Nancy Lee Grahn). Maybe they share a past?  How would this new character's driving force to take down Lexie's baby daddy Sonny (Maurice Benard) affect their new relationship? What if this new character turned out to be Sam's (Kelly Monaco) father? Lord knows that girl needs a daddy to teach her a thing or three! Cole would also work as the aforementioned Tom Hardy.

DAYS could resurrect the role of David Banning, Julie Williams' (Susan Seaforth Hayes) son, and Hope's nephew/stepbrother for Cole to play. Cole would also work as a new legal eagle who gets under Tea (Florenzia Lozano) and Nora's (Hillary B. Smith) skin on One Life to Live. Maybe he's a widower with a teenage son with a drug problem? Rachel (Daphnee Duplaix) could help him out with the kid, and out of his pants!

I wouldn't mind seeing Cole mixing it up with the women in Genoa City either. What if after Sharon (Sharon Case) is sprung from the funny farm, she decides she wants to buy back Crimson Lights? Y&R can do one of their groovy flashbacks, where Sharon remembers the last time she felt truly happy and purposeful was when she and Nick (Joshua Morrow) were trying to make a go of the place.  Cassie was alive. Noah wasn't a brat. Diego was around for romps in the storage closet, etc. So Sharon offers Kevin double the market value for the place (making Phyllis go postal, because she realizes Sharon is still trying to reconnect to her past with Nick! ), just as a brash new real estate developer played by Cole descends on Genoa City. He wants to buy the land where Crimson Lights is located to put in a new shopping center omplex. Cue drama!

Unless otherwise noted Photos by PR Photos and screencaps by Daytime Confidential.




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Zack Conroy: I think it's no secret where I want Conroy to go. He would MURDER as Kyle Abbott on The Young and the Restless! If Y&R doesn't snap him up, then all six other soap casting directors better get on the phone with Conroy's agent. This gorgeous, talented kid isn't long for soaps! DAYS could cast him as J.T., the boy who was switched at birth with Zack. GH could bring him on as Carly's gay kid brother Lucas. B&B could mercifully recast Thomas with Conroy and show Drew Tyler Bell the door! One Life to Live could get him as Cord and Tina's son, or a recast for River. Need I go on?

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Daniel Cosgrove: Rumors persist Cosgrove is Llanview bound, and many fans are clamoring for him to play Joey. I can dig that. If for some reason that doesn't happen, Cosgrove could also work as Eric on DAYS or Steven on GH, but since the actor is happy on the East Coast, I probably just wasted those bytes.

Unless otherwise noted Photos by PR Photos and screencaps by Daytime Confidential.




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Justin Deas: In my opinion, daytime's best actor by far (Sorry, Tony), Deas simply has to work in this genre again post-Peapack for me to keep giving a damn about soaps! As much as I bitch and moan about the Fisher-Baldwins on Y&R, Deas would be the ULTIMATE recast for Michael Baldwin's (Christian Le Blanc) father Lowell (River) Baldwin. Le Blanc and Deas in scenes together would be insane! Now if they could just recast Gloria with Robin Mattson...


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Bonnie Dennison: Well I had a little talk with Jesus, told him all about my troubles... Okay, sigh, for this to be a comprehensive list, I have to include this girl. Bless her heart. Dennison is quite pretty, but she simply must learn her lines before I can take her seriously! I am sorry, I don't feel that is too much to ask. I almost wish Ellen Wheeler had attached an electrical device that jolted her with a shock anytime she uttered the phrase "um". Although, that device would have been better served attached to Wheeler herself, utilized whenever she had a destructive, show killingly-bad idea, but then that would have caused a blackout across the Eastern seaboard...Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, Wishful Casting Bonnie Dennison! Does GH need any extras for the morgue?

Unless otherwise noted Photos by PR Photos and screencaps by Daytime Confidential.




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Frank Dicopolous: Another toughy. Daytime isn't really being kind to it's wildly popular 80's and 90's good guy archetypical actors, just ask GH's John J. York. Dicopolous would be smart to go out for villain roles. He needs to do something to shake the "awe shucks" aspects of Frank Cooper off of him. Maybe GH could bring him on as a Greek mobster? They haven't tried that stereotype yet.


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Marj Dusay: Last week TV Guide Canada's Nelson Branco reported buzz of All My Children being interested in bringing Dusay back as Vanessa Cortlandt aka Proteus. I can't say that news delights me. I hated Vanessa, and not in a love-to-hate way. I thought the character was ridiculous. A 70-year-old drug dealer, what's next, Kay Chancellor will start producing porn? Dusay would be an amazing asset to any soap, but she is hard to do a Wishful Casting for. Save for Y&R, none of the soaps on the air do a really good job at consistently utilizing the senior citizens they already have on their canvases, so how can I Wish Dusay over to ATWT when they won't even write for Eileen Fulton or Elizabeth Hubbard? Although I will say if Constance Towers ever tires of playing Helena Cassadine on GH, Dusay would be FIYA!

Unless otherwise noted Photos by PR Photos and screencaps by Daytime Confidential.




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Maeve Kinkead: I would be all for Vanessa Chamberlin poppinng up in Oakdale to have the occasional lunch date with Lisa (Eileen Fulton) or Babs (Colleen Zink Pinter). A more permanent role of the legendary actress would be realistically scarce, though if DAYS wanted to pleasantly surprise us, Kinkead would be fun to see as youngest Horton daughter Marie.


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Jessica Leccia: One half of one of the most buzzed about couples in daytime this past year, Leccia shouldn't have much trouble finding work. I suggested her for Arianna on DAYS once I learned her former onscreen love Crystal Chappell was heading back to Salem, but the soap smartly recast that role with Passions alum Lindsay Hartley. Maybe Rafe has another younger sister? AMC would be wise to rebuild the Santos family. Maria and Julia had 45 younger sisters, perhaps Leccia could play one of them, Anita perhaps? Maybe Brian Gaskill could also return as Bobby?

Unless otherwise noted Photos by PR Photos and screencaps by Daytime Confidential.


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Kurt McKinney: With Wally Kurth currently on DAYS, could the original Ned Ashton return to GH? Stranger things have happened, though I wouldn't hold my breath. A smarter move would be to bring McKinney over to ATWT as Seth Snyder.


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Elizabeth Keifer: A few weeks ago, I suggested Keifer as Bob's daughters Frannie and Sabrina on ATWT, but truth be told, I want one of my favorite GL actors on One Life to Live. This flame-haired spitfire would set Llanview on fire (enough fire talk for ya?)! Let's see her as a black widow with a fat block of stock in B.E., who sets her sights on Clint (Jerry VerDorn) after her hubby dies of mysterious circumstances! Keifer would also kill as Diane Jenkins on Y&R, as Mel recently suggested to me!

Unless otherwise noted Photos by PR Photos and screencaps by Daytime Confidential.


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David Andrew MacDonald: Luke and I joke about MacDonald being a bad luck charm for soaps. He was on Another World at the end, then moved to Guiding Light, for it's last decade. However, in all honesty, MacDonald is a brilliant actor. I wouldn't mind him playing a truly diabolical villain on General Hospital. Maybe Helena and Caesar Faison had a love child?

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Karla Mosley: Cute, little Karla really grew on me as Christina as GL drew to a close. Something tells me the actress has more in her. I would love to see her play a manipulative, black, bitch goddess! What if Lexie Carver gave birth to a daughter out of wedlock on DAYS? Maybe Lexie had an affair with her supervisor when she was a young cop and put the baby up for adoption? Mosley could add a nice dose of color to Salem as she comes to town hellbent on wrecking her mother's life. She could become Theo's therapist, worming her way slowly into Abe and Lexie's life, revealing her secret motivation to no one, except when standing alone in a room talking aloud of course! Mosley would also work as Angie Hubbard's (Debbi Morgan) daughter Cassie on AMC. I think JR (Jacob Young) could use a little chocolate in his milk!

Unless otherwise noted Photos by PR Photos and screencaps by Daytime Confidential.




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Robert Newman: Like fine wine, Newman only gets better with age, which is definitely a compliment given Guiding Light's scaled down production model during its last season wasn't exactly flattering to most. Even Fronsie would have to realize that an amazing actor like Newman, who still possesses matinee idol good looks can be viable over 40! GH should hire Newman to re-create the role of Edward Quartermaine's (John Ingle) illegitimate son Jimmy Lee Holt. Port Charles could use a good cowboy, and I would pay money to see Jimmy Lee put his muddy boots up on the coffee table in the Q living room! Newman would set the screen on fire opposite Megan Ward's woefully-underused Kate. The Cowby and the Fashionista. Okay, so it sounds like the title of a Harlequin novel, have you seen the kind of business those suckers are doing in this recession? People want love and fantasy during these trying times, not bullets and mayhem! 


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Michael O' Leary: I think Procter and Gamble should pay homage to Guiding Light and the Bauer legacy, by moving the characters of Rick and Mindy (Krista Tesreau) over to As The Word Turns on a recurring basis. As long as there are P&G soaps, there needs to be Bauers. Rick could pop up from time to time to help Dr. Bob kill a patient or three. Meanwhile, his new wife Mindy (if they made it down the aisle), could go into business with her fellow fashionista Carly Tenney (Maura West).

Unless otherwise noted Photos by PR Photos and screencaps by Daytime Confidential.




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Ron Raines: The same anonoymous pal who suggested Beth Chamberlin as AMC's Liza, thinks Raines would be a good love interest for Dorian (Robin Strasser) on OLTL, and I couldn't agree more. Although someone better stock up on scenery, because both of these two like to nibble a bit! I wouldn't mind it terribly if Raines guested on DAYS from time to time as Mickey Horton. Lord knows what happened to Kevin Dobson. Maybe he's been busy distracting Dena Higley so they could get the show back on track? If so, keep up the good work. Remember, she likes it when you make the shiny ball go all glittery. Pretty colors!

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Marcy Rylan: When I asked Rylan, who is just as adorable as her onscreen brother Zack Conroy in person, on the red carpet what her plans were now that GL wrapped she told me she was holding off making any decisions until after her baby was born.  "I have to wait till this one [rubs her belly] finishes cooking!" she said with a laugh. Rylan could write her own ticket on any of the seven remaining soaps, I mean come on, she's gorgeous, and she can act her petite behind off! I know TV Guide Canada's Nelson Branco wants her as OLTL's Sarah Roberts, but the actress is looking for gigs in SoCal. DC's fearless leader Luke Kerr wants her as a recast Brittany Hodges on Y&R. At first I thought that was ludicrious, since the original Brittany (Lauren Woodland) kind of had a mini-Kathleen Turner/Marlene Dietrich husky quality about her, but Billy Miller has shown me that in the hands of a capable actor, the role of one of the Glow By Jabot'ers can thoroughly be redefined. 

DAYS would be smart to take a look-see at Rylan's reel. I would love for the actress to bring the character of Abby Deveraux back to Salem. Picture it: Jack and Jennifer's daughter moves home to Salem for a gig as a cub reporter at The Spectator. Enter Lawrence and Carly's son Nick Alamain (see Jeff Branson above). Anxious to prove himself as a businessman to his father, Nick buys The Spectator after Abby pens a scathing expose about the Alamain's less-than-meritorious business dealings. Nick shocks Abby when he doesn't decide to fire her. He then announces plans to fold the paper her dad once owned, and turn it into Spectator.com. Not if Abby can help it! Just when the two are starting to fall for one another, Abby learns the devastating secret their parents share, Lawrence raped her mother! Can true love survive? If NBC renews DAYS again maybe we could find out!

Rylan would also be a smart choice for GH, though I fear her look and energy is rather similar to Kirsten Storms. I think they could pull it off though. Serena Baldwin, Sarah Webber, you name it, Rylan could play it!

Unless otherwise noted Photos by PR Photos and screencaps by Daytime Confidential.




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Tina Sloan: Never one to rest on her Manolos, Sloan is currently preparing for the debut of her one woman show Changing Shoes in Atlanta.Once she finishes that up, wouldn't it be great to see Sloan as meddling Mary Williams on Y&R? Okay, so Sloan is only 12 years older than Doug Davidson in real life, so what? Judith Chapman and Christian Le Blanc are about the same age difference apart, besides Patty (Stacy Haiduk) needs her mama a lot more than she needs another kitty to play with!

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Photo provided by TeleNext. Credit: JPI

Lawrence St. Victor: I have already done a Wishful Casting for St. Victor as Tommy Hardy on GH. I think Lainey needs lovin', don't you? Plus, it would be nice to see some more Hardys on the canvas. St. Victor could also go to AMC as Jamal. If they decide to bring Grant Aleksander back, he's gonna need to make up for lost time with his son. St. Victor would also do nicely as Nate Hastings on Y&R, just get this brother a job already!

Unless otherwise noted Photos by PR Photos and screencaps by Daytime Confidential.




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Caitlin Van Zandt: Help me Holy Ghost. I don't think Van Zandt is a bad actress, like her pal Dennison, but she needs to learn how to use her indoor voice and reign in her exuberance. Every time she came on my screen during GL's last months, I prayed Edmund would shoot her with a tranquilizer dart filled with Ritalin. Van Zandt is good at comedy, which really means her best option is One Life to Live. Maybe Kyle (Brett Claywell) has an annoying little sister?

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Kim Zimmer: Last, but certainly not least, we come to the most popular actor in Guiding Light history, La Zimmer. Published reports have Zimmer clamoring to return to OLTL where she played the role of Echo some three decades (give or take a year or so) earlier. I wouldn't mind seeing The Zim go to DAYS as Faye Walker, the mother of Nicole Kiriakis DiMera (Arianne Zucker). Faye and Nicole have such a volatile history, and I feel an actress with chops like Zimmer could really explore that with Zucker. Let's see the scrappy waitress return to town, mixing it up with old flames like Roman and Abe, why not? I first suggested this almost a year-and-a-half ago, along with the idea of Zimmer heading to Y&R as Dr. Casey Reed. It will be interesting to see where one of daytime's most popular stars ends up!