Daytime’s 10 Most Insane Recasts!

After getting over the shock of The Young and the Restless making the boneheaded decision to recast Malcolm Winters, one of daytime’s most popular hunks ever, with Family Matters alum Darius McCrary, an actor about as physically dissimilar to Shemar Moore—the Emmy-winning, wildly popular stud who originated the role— as humanly possible, I couldn’t help but recall other ridiculous recasts soaps have attempted over the years. Some worked. Some didn’t, but one thing is for sure, this is nothing new for daytime!

No. 10: Adam Lazarre-White for Randy Brooks as Nathan on The Young and the Restless

The Young and the Restless seems to make a habit of not bothering to make sure their African-American actors resemble the people they are replacing. In 1995, light-skinned, green-eyed Adam Lazarre-White took over the role of Nathan Hastings from the darker toned Randy Brooks. To go along with Nate’s new skin and eye color, the soap quickly wrote the reformed mob henchman-turned-upstanding P.I. into a corner by having him cheat on wife Dr. Olivia Barber Hastings (Tonya Lee Williams) with an HIV-positive Keesha. Nate was killed off in 1996. Results: Failed.

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53 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Thanks Season! TML, Jennifer almost made it, but I was trying for ridiculous in terms of physical dissimilarities. I thought about Billy Warlock for Sean Kanan, that was an insane one that proved successful.

  2. Profile photo of Luke Kerr
    Luke Kerr

    Christina Chambers as Marty.Suddenly shes a latina.Yeah! That flew over well,especially since she couldnt act.

    I’d call that one JUST AWFUL! Christina Chambers should get an honorable mention for being an AWFUL Marty recast AND an AWFUL Molly recast.  lol

  3. Profile photo of met


    This topic is just way too funny.

    Darius is only 10 years older than Christel Khalil. Is Y&R going to use make  up everyday so that he looks older?

  4. Profile photo of nolanspice

    This list is frakkin’ fantastic!  But Honorable Mentions should go to:

    Signey Coleman as Annie Dutton (from Cynthia Watros) on GL: Started off wonderfully under her persona then failed miserably after the reveal.

    Clemetine Ford as Mac (???) on Y&R: Y’all rag on her enough on the podcast.

    Eric Martsolf as Ethan Crane Winthrop (from Travis Schult) on PASSIONS: For a Reilly-written show, EXCELLENT!  Eric hit the ground running with his first scenes as Ethan confesses his undying love for Theresa as she’s about to be lethally injected.

    Bruce Hall as Joey Buchanan (from Nathan Fillion) on OLTL: Mixed ONLY because Bruce wasn’t written for properly and placed in a religious corner whereas Nathan was someone’s muse in the mid-90s.

    ??? (who later was on GH as Sonny’s blond sister) as Alli Fowler (from Lindsay Lohan) on Another World: Young LiLo’s portayal of Alli had her in the same category of Starr Manning at their age.  Spunky, smart, and wise-beyond-their-years, had that character been written consistently, she would have been a young Harley.  After they aged her, she became a stereotypical blond/damsel in distress type that was a FAIL.


    That’s all I can think of for now.  I’m sure I’ll come up with more on my commute home.  :)

  5. Profile photo of Joan76

    I didn’t like it either when they recast GL’s Alexander Spaulding with Joan Collins wasn’t a fan of hers thought no one could replace Beverlee McKinsey But I did like Marj Dusay. That was a great role for an older woman, and when they replace Roger Thorpe can’t remember who it was.

  6. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

     This list is perfect from 10 to 1!  I was ready to rip some new orifices if the Crawford Catastrophe hadn’t been somewhere on the list, but when I saw it at number one!  Beautiful!  I’d bet Bette Davis loved that time in Joan’s history!  How transparently delusional do you have to be to think you can stand in for your daughter in the same role?!  Riot.

    Honorable mention from me is when Gordon Thomson replaced Terry Lester as Mason Capwell on Santa Barbara.  The scene where Dash punched Mason (Lester) and he fell to the floor, then got up as Thomson!  That was hilarious!  The look on Nancy Lee Grahn’s face was priceless.  (It’s on YouTube, but last time I checked, it was only available dubbed in Spanish.)

  7. Profile photo of GossipGirl

    Great list, Jamey! Your number one really had me laughing! Reading this list left me scratching my head wondering what some of these casting directors were smoking. Obviouly, Y&R’s casting director is on something because the only recasting he/she has gotten right is Billy Miller.

    Even though Nicole Forrestor had the blond hair and looked simialr to Laura Wright, she was very much wrong for the part. I alo agree with other poster’s picks of Christina Chamber and Jennifer Branford.

    I have only been watching OLTL for about 2 years, so it stunned me to find out that Blair’s "father" is Asian. WTF? Even though she is popular now, that had to be a shocking cast change at the time.

  8. Profile photo of dqh257

    I watched AW post-Alicia Coppola, so I always loved the turbulent relationship that RC and LD generated. Since you’re talking in terms of appearance, I understand, but in terms of acting ability, it was a successful recast. Especially, since ABC Daytime recreated that dynamic on all four of its soap operas.

  9. Profile photo of hootaboi

    I think it is unfair to call Josh Taylor’s Roman a failure…He has great chemistry with Kate and has good father-daugther chemistry with Sami, yes-Wayne was the better Roman but to call JT’S Version a failure is a little off base.

  10. Profile photo of doodleynoodle

    Jamey… you rock!  I was scrolling through the pages one by one and I thought…I bet they won’t mention the craziest recast in Soap History…Joan Crawford. 


    I would like to add Jacob Young and Greg Vaughan to disastrous recasts in the role of Lucky Spencer.  I would have been perfectly satisfied knowing Lucky was alive and out there somewhere than to have to suffer through 10 years with these 2 in the role.  In just a few short weeks Jonathan Jackson is making me love Lucky again when I thought that was impossible. 

    On a positive note…I loved SJB in the role of Carly so I was a little leary when TB came on board but in very little time she won me over.  I don’t ever remember wishing SJB was back while TB was playing her.  I loved them both but TB managed to create her own Carly niche without taking away from the character SJB had created while at the same time adding new and more interesting dimensions to Carly.

    BTW…Luke I like the new format.  It seems more user friendly and seems to have a lot more features.  Thanks for all you do!

  11. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Thanks for the love guys, it is sooo hard picking just 10, so I was worried I would leave a big one off (Like Dennis Parlato as Roger on GL, Doh!) Glad y’all are going easy on a brutha! LOL

  12. Profile photo of maxsmom

    Jamey, have to agree on recasting African Americans, glad to see Darius getting work, but he and Shemar are not running into each other at auditons. Maybe Bryton put in a good word.   Anyway, this list is a good start but I would love a longer list and a reverse list: best recasts.

    BTW, I’m not sure I’ll ever get over the Mia Korf thing.

  13. Profile photo of sillysoapsupporter

    Fantastic list, Jamey!  Number 1 is just scary.  You made me think of some recasts that were not worthy of the Top Ten but one came to mind that stands out for me.  The recast of Meg Ryan’s Betsy Andropoulus(sp?) on As The World Turns.  That actress was ten feet taller than Ryan!  LOL

  14. Profile photo of SoapSnob

    Good list, Jamey.

    I was very curious when The Young & the Restless made the choice to recast the role of Keesha, Nathan Hasting’s HIV-Positive mistress. Y&R replaced the biracial Wanda Acuna with the Caucasian Jennifer Gatti – who was the original Dinah Marler on Guiding Light. Plus, Wanda Acuna portrayed Keesha with a bitchy, sex-kittenish style, while Jennifer’s portrayal was more rough and tumble. Jennifer’s lackluster performance made it quite easy for me to bid the character farewell when Keesha was written off the show.

  15. Profile photo of mrsnoahdrake

    Have to agree with Jamey about the Roman thing (and the other Top 10 as well). I am in the minority but I never cared about Marlena and John.  Loved Marlena and the REAL Roman.  And I still see Chris Kositchek whenever Josh Taylor is on screen. They should bring Wayne Northrop back and then make Ken Corday’s BFF Chris Kositchek again.
    How about John Ingle as Mickey Horton? Love him as Ed Q but that marriage to Bonnie Lockhart (aka Adrienne Johnson Kiriakis) was ridiculous.
    And Krista Allen was never Billie Reed for me after Lisa Rinna left.
    Clementine Ford as Mac.
    The Anna recast when Finola Hughes left GH in the 80s. She was replaced by that actress who played Gillian on DAYS.
    Then there were all the Dawn recasts on GH…so many that they had to finally kill off the character.
    Have not accepted NL as Emily Q; Amber Tamblyn’s Emily had a lot of fire whereas NL made her sugar incarnate.
    There was Jacob Young as un-Lucky.  Liked GV better but they totally ruined the character with the writing.
    Yes, I know NL and JY won Emmys. Go figure.  
    Have you done a Best Recasts list lately?

  16. Profile photo of BFluellen1

    Great list Jamey!

    But you forgot one of your favorite characters (and one of mine) Victoria Hudson Frame Harrison McKinnon! Even though Ellen originated the role, both recasts (Jensen Buchanan & Anne Heche) were hugely popular with the fans. Or Victoria Wyndham who replaced Robin Strasser as Rachel on AW. Or Rusell Todd and Laurence Lau as recasts of Jamie Frame (despite them being younger than what Jamie should’ve been). Or Mark Pinter as Grant on AW. If any cast had the best recasts it was AW. Their recasts were superb no show can touch AW when it came to recasting.

  17. Profile photo of cheryl85

    I’m surprised you guys didn’t add RKK to this list.  Robert Keller-Kelly was used for Bo Brady for 3 years.  Then he went to GH and became Starvos for a year as well. 

  18. Profile photo of season1217

    Ellen Wheeler coming back to play Marley while Jensen played Vicky was pretty insane. Sure they explained why the identical twins now looked completely different but what the hell caused the growth spurt. lol.

  19. Profile photo of jefhamlin

    Lindsay Frost was the much too tall replacement for Meg Ryan as Betsy, but I thought she worked out very well.

    Heather Rattray as Martha Byrne’s first replacement was awful.  Much too harsh and severe.

    John Bolger, who I really like, was a jarring replacement for Grant Aleksander as Philip Spaulding.

    I actually thought Joan Collins was fun as Alexandra and never liked Marj Dusay (who was a good replacement Myrna on Capitol).

    Poor Louann Gideon could never replace Sherri Mathis as Liza on SFT.

    Hillary Bailey Smith was a great recast for Margaret Colin as Margo and Gregg Marx for Justin Deas (though there was a Tom in the middle there).  Has any entire couple been replaced as well as that?

  20. Profile photo of ShadowClaw

    Great list, Jamey!  BUT!!!  What about Tammin Sursok as the re-cast Colleen Carlton on Y & R?!?!  There are the Lyndsey (sp.)  Fonseca fans and the Adrianne Leon fans (like me) but many of us joined forces and agreed Ms. Sursok was the worst ever re-cast… well… ever!!

  21. Profile photo of Trickster

    I’m willing to give McCrary a chance, just to see if he can portray something besides a high school jokester.  As for Josh Taylor as Roman…. yeah.  I don’t care if he’s on the show for 30 years, he will never be Roman.  

    Ann Hamilton replacing Kimberly Simms (I think that was her name) as Mindy on GL.

    Winsor Harmon replacing Jeff Trachta as Thorn on B&B.  That was jarring because they don’t look alike, except for the blonde hair really.  But it was successful because Harmon gave the character depth that wasn’t there before.

    Melody Anderson for Kate Collins as Natalie on AMC.  No thank you.

    Glynnis O’Connor for Ellen Dolan as Margo on ATWT.

    Going back a ways, the Amanda Cory recasts didn’t do very well.  The character started off as blonde, to be replaced by a brunette, to be replaced by a redhead?  Yeah.  The Paulina recast worked out really well though.

    Cady McClain replacing Yvonne Perry as Rosanna on ATWT was a good recast too. 

    I also didn’t buy Billy Warlock as AJ Quartermaine.  Just something about the actor didn’t say AJ.  When I watched him, I constantly found myself waiting for Sean Kanan to come in and kick him out the door.

    Let’s not forget the Annie Dutton recast on GL.  I know the story goes that Annie had plastic surgery but still, Signy Coleman was not Annie.

  22. Profile photo of Joan76

    Thanks Jamey; that was the start of GL down fall, they never recovered from the way they treated the great Michael Zaslow-Roger Thorpe but he did come back; and when they killed Maureen Bauer off. I all most stopped watching it.

  23. Profile photo of missannkimba

    I just thought of another one and this one goes way back… David Canary as Steve Frame on AW was very different from George Reinholt, David was/is a terrific actor but was never Steve to me.  

  24. Profile photo of blake3b

     Good choice for #1! Love Joan Crawford but that was outrageous lol!
     I agree that the recast Malcolm seems like a total dud even though we haven’t seen him yet.
     I’d also put Ann Hamilton who took over as Mindy Lewis on Guiding Light after Kimberly Simms left on this list. Kimberly’s Mindy was oozing with sexuality and Ann’s Mindy was a tomboyish annoying thing! I think they wanted Ann to take Mindy back to the way the original Mindy played her but she was just goofy and unappealing. So they replaced her after a few months with Barbara Crampton, who wasn’t that great of a Mindy but I guess anything was better than Ann!
     And I would put the actor who they had take over as Roger Thorpe when Michael Zaslow was fired, his name was Dennis something. He was a good actor, but no one else could play Roger Thorpe and no one else ever did and Dennis was gone shortly after as well.
     And Signy Coleman as Annie Dutton!!! Horrible recast!!! No one could play Annie like Cynthia Watros. Signy would have been better if she had just played the alias character Annie was pretending to be rather than Annie. No one else would have worked in that role.

  25. Profile photo of Joan76

    Just thought of there were several recast of Alan Spaulding, but the last person who played him was great, thought the last episode of GL with Philip that was Alan. Do any of you Gen X know who originally played Allan, can’t find any clips on you tube the most griping story was when Alex had the twins Brandon Spaulding Alan father was involved.

  26. Profile photo of Dariclone

    Great list! Your number one was perfect! :)
    I agree that Eric Martsoff should’ve been on the list for taking the role of Ethan on Passions over from Travis Schuldht. [Travis was wonderful, Eric not so much.]  And no *coughSabineSinghcough?*

  27. Profile photo of maxsmom

    The problem with completely different physical recasts is it’s difficult not to focus on the new person’s physical attributes. Whether they go girl next door to glamourpuss or male model to Napolean, and probably worst of all, style the new person to look like the old person, it becomes a distraction.

  28. Profile photo of syworld82

    i felt a little distant with this list .. because i felt something pertaining to Carly on GH should have been here… she is the only  major leading character in recent times to have been recasted 3 times within a 5 yr time frame… IMO if your going on looks ..

    Laura Wrights recasting as carly was ridiculous cause she looks NoTHING like any of the previous carlys.. hense the reason why they could bring on sarah brown later on…as another character…

    IMO shes an ok actress nothing like sarah or tamara but the fact remains she does not resemble CARLY CORINTHOS .. she was just the only available daytime Veteran.. to fill the position…

  29. Profile photo of dkuhl12

    Whate about Amelia Heinle as Victoria Newman on Y&R?  Although it has been several years since she took over the role from Heather Tom, she still does not seem to fit with the rest of the family.  After watching Heather and Don on B&B, the casting failure became even more evident.

  30. Profile photo of dqh257

    Dennis Parlato brought Clay Alden from Loving into Springfield. Probably because he was filling such huge shoes and no one was going to be satisfied with anything he did, I can’t blame him for really trying. I think we can all agree that recasting a character that becomes iconically linked to one actor (Y&R’s Jack being the exception, rather than the rule), is an impossibility.

  31. Profile photo of maxsmom

    Laura Wright is perfect for Carly today. I love SJB and wish Claudia had been better written but I’d place LW alongside Peter Bergman as one of the best recasts ever. Of course I actually followed PB from AMC and didn’t really watch Terry Lester but it was a huge change from the role he’d played on AMC.

  32. Profile photo of syworld82

    ybut if we are going on LOOKS alone… IMO looks nothiing like any carly and no.. carlys exact age is early 30s had they not casted Laura Wright .. they aged the character with her casting… However … she is the best recast that can NEVER get a daytime emmy nomination…when the people she replaced all have received that in spades…

  33. Profile photo of Patchworks

    I came across this list again and had to comment. This list is still great. I would love to see this list updated or even revisited as a Top 10. I think it would be great to see a list of actors who reclaimed their roles after a recast.

  34. Profile photo of Cornfed

    Haven’t got thru this list yet, but the ONE — AND ONLY — reason the return of Wayne Northrup failed in the 90’s was THE WRITER JAMES REILLY had ZERO interest in making Roman the sexy guy he was under Pat Falken Smith and Sheri Anderson’s writing regimes. Hogestyn was — AND STILL IS — cheesy as all get out and lampooned to this day, a slight equivalent to B&B’s Ron Moss. Northrup will ALWAYS be filet mignon to Hogestyn’s mere hamburger. “A” for effort Jamey, but ulimately, a FAIL!

  35. Profile photo of Grover1967

    How could one of the most recent debacles on Y&R — Maura West recast as Diane Jenkins from Susan Walters (herself a great recast from Alex Donnelly who originated the role)??? I mean…HUH??? If they wanted to reintroduce Diane (YES!!!) and Susan wasn’t available, they should have found someone else. It’s like when ATWT ended, they wanted to snatch up Maura, but gave no thought as to what to do with her once they got her. I mean, I truly think Maura is an amazing talent, but she was too young and she was a blonde. How old would she have been when she was involved with Jack when she was a Jabot model? 12? MAYBE it could have been saved if there had been better writing for the character…MAYBE…but overall it was a terrible idea, and when they realized it, they killed off a classic character with lots of potential left. Maura, the character and the fans deserved better. Personally, I think Maura would have made a great Avery instead (if for no other reason than I’d like to have seen MW go toe-to-toe with Michelle Stafford on a regular basis).

  36. Profile photo of Cornfed

    @Grover1967 — You may get your wish if The Staff is cast as Nina on GH, as some rumors suggest! Nina and Ava would be arch enemies, with boring Sam/Monaco also in the mix…

  37. Profile photo of diremommy

    I consider Josh Taylor as a failure because I find it ludicrous for them to expect us to forget he played the very popular Chris Kostichek (I know I spelled that wrong, I was in grade school back then!) way back in the day.

    It’s a tiny bit different for females, because they can do much more to change their appearance than most men, but to me, it’s always been just weird.

    I do consider Jacob Young to have been a horrible Lucky Spencer, but Greg Vaughn wasn’t bad, he had potential, he just got crap stories over and over, where Jason always had to win. Watching his early stuff, where he and Liz fell in love again, was a treat, but they just turned him into a total sad sack by the end that I was happy to see him go.

  38. Profile photo of mlauenstein

    Keith Timmins! Justin Deas => John Novak?

    I also didn’t care for Eileen Davidson when she took over as Kelly Capwell. On day one she called CC “Dad” instead of “Daddy” and it took me months to get over it. But I am over it. Really.

    Never cared for Judi Evans as Paulina Cory. I’m still hoping they’ll bring back Cali Timmins.

  39. Profile photo of Cornfed

    [quote=mlauenstein]Keith Timmins! Justin Deas => John Novak? I also didn’t care for Eileen Davidson when she took over as Kelly Capwell. On day one she called CC “Dad” instead of “Daddy” and it took me months to get over it. But I am over it. Really.Never cared for Judi Evans as Paulina Cory. I’m still hoping they’ll bring back Cali Timmins.[/quote]

    LMAO too funny. My jaw also hit the floor when Timmoms was let go on AW. Yes, it’s true that Judi Evans would even have chemistry with a rock, but she was a little too manic as Paulina. Timmons was a tigress; Evans was a roaring bear!

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