As The World Turns’ Anthony Herrera Dead at 67

The daytime soap opera community is mourning the recent passing of one of its brightest stars. Anthony Herrera, who portrayed legendary supervillain James Stenbeck on As The World Turns on and off for almost 30 years, died June 21. He was 67.

Former costar Martha Byrne (ex-Lily, ATWT) broke the news of Herrera's passing via Twitter. The actor, who had valiantly battled cancer for years, passed away in Buenos Aires. Herrera, who also appeared on the soap operas Loving and The Young and the Restless, wrote a memoir about his struggles with mantle cell lymphoma entitled The Cancer War. Byrne encouraged her Twitter followers to read the tome in support of Herrera's memory.

22 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Januarynomore

    What sad news!!! Anthony was a phenomenal actor. No matter how many times James Stenbeck came back, it was always a treat to see Anthony back on the screen. God Bless him and his family!

  2. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    James Stenbeck, for me, is the 2nd best male villain of all time, aside from GL’s Roger Thorpe. James Stenbeck captivated audiences back when villains were more than just one-dimensional cartoon characters, as they are often portrayed now. And his “Hello, Barbara” back from the dead in the late 80s was epic and one of the best moments in ATWT history!

    He will certainly be missed. RIP, Anthony Herrera!!

  3. Profile photo of Marland Fan
    Marland Fan

    I will never forget the first time he returned to ATWT. When he lifted that hood and revealed himself to Barbara, I literally gasped and screamed “Oh my god!” Of course that was back in the day before spoilers and the soaps could actually SURPRISE viewers. Imagine that, what a concept. James Stenbeck was THE best villain ever on daytime.

  4. Profile photo of SwanQueen59

    Bravo, Mr Herrera. Your portrayal of James Stenbeck was so much more than a stock villain. Everytime his sinister presence graced ATWT there were more layers added to his persona. For that I thank you. God bless your family and RIP. 0:)

  5. Profile photo of harlee490

    :(( I had read about his passing early this morning, bless him and let him R.I.P.. I agree with alstonboy, he was my 2nd best villain in daytime. Roger Thorpe, MZ was my favorite. When he and Colleen was doing scenes together there was nothing like the chemistry between these two amazing actors..there was electricity all over the screen. My prayers are with his family.

  6. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott

    Yes! Whenever Anthony and Colleen had scenes there was a spark that was electric, sexual, and highly watchable. James and Barbara each had the others’ number and they knew it. That’s what made it so wonderful.
    I remember when Roger Howarth was playing Paul and once Paul said to James: If I get the chance Dad I am going to kill you.

    ‘That’s my boy!” was James’ reply.

    So sick. So wicked. So James. I loved it. LOVED IT!

  7. Profile photo of craigcp

    James Stenbeck was a great villain and a great actor, was on several TV shows back in the day; was in a incredible Hulk episode. sure miss ATWT, Loved when he said Hello Barbra. Been watching old clips on youtube. When James kidnap Lilly, then later Lilly found out that she was adopted. Those where the days.

  8. Profile photo of SoapArmageddon

    Absolute brilliance characterized this man’s performance as James Stenbeck.
    Like the great Vincent Price, his intelligence and wit shined through every line he delivered and every gesture he made onscreen.

    My sympathies to his family and fellow fans.

  9. Profile photo of nellie-claire

    I remember Anthony Herrera on Y&R too. I believe that he was romancing one of the Brooks sisters while married to a lovely but overweight woman. It was a great story and Mr. Herrera played the charming suitor and the nasty, extremely cruel husband so well. Then came ATWT and he always made my blood boil. Anthony Herrera was a great actor but in real life he was an even braver man. His cancer fight was an extremely long one and there were many times that it looked as though he wasn’t going to make it but he did. What an incredible man! For all of those decades of me screaming at you on the television screen, I thank you and I thank you for leading such a brave life.

  10. Profile photo of harlee490

    Nellie, JoAnn, was the character and a drunk Mrs. C was her friend. I remember a long time ago reading something about Bill wanted to delve into “girlfriend” relationship between the two woman, yeppers having Mrs. C having a crush on JoAnn, touching on a gay story but Bill and network thought they better not at the time, in was the late ’70s. You go Mrs. C!!!! :)

  11. Profile photo of

    Following is a heartfelt statement from Colleen Zenk, Anthony’s acting partner for more than 20 years as she learned of Anthony’s passing:

    “I knew and worked with and fought with and admired and adored Anthony Herrera more than half of my life. From Jan 1980, before I turned 27, to this last fall at a Cancer Awareness event and then a screening of his film at the Player’s Club, Anthony was a pivotal and important part of my professional and personal life. From our on-location work in the Dominican Republic, (where we were invited to the home of the Army General), to the bullring in Spain (we were having a bump in the road in our relationship then, and I think he wanted the bull to gore me.), Anthony and I always found time to dance…a metaphor for our relationship. I remember brunches at the Plaza Hotel and waltzing to the orchestra, dinners in caves and dancing the meringue… and so much more. And that was real-life. And then there are all the Barbara and James dances and battles, too.

    Anthony always called me his “fictional wife”. And I was that, but more too. I wasn’t a girlfriend, or a date, or just an acting partner. He and I traveled through life’s journeys’ together, including our cancers. We were joined at-the-hip in some ways. And like all couples, at times, we drove each other absolutely crazy over the years. But, the years flew by, and I grew to tolerate and love his quirks. He always bellowed “WIFE” to me and I loved it. No matter where we were. I think there were people who might have thought we were a couple. We weren’t. But, we were just like an old married couple. Last summer, when I was performing in a show in NYC after ATWT shut down and my real-life marriage was over, the stage manager knocked on my dressing room door to say that my “husband” was there to see me. And then I heard “WIFE”! It was Anthony. Cheering me on as he had done since he first saw me on stage in 1981 in Bring Back Birdie on Broadway. My biggest cheerleader… And supporter. And he made me feel like a woman…

    Two years ago, after my last round of cancer, he left the most beautiful message of hope and love on my cell phone. I have saved it this whole time just to hear his voice when I need a lift. I needed that today when I realized the rumors of his death were true. I am so glad I saved that voicemail. A little piece of the wonderful, Anthony Herrera, that is all mine… God, I will miss you… And I have been so blessed to have been your fictional “WIFE”…”

    What an absolutely beautiful tribute to one of daytime’s greatest actors and who played villain like nobody’s business, well, after Michael Zaslow of course.

    You’ll be missed Anthony! Spread your wings and fly!

  12. Profile photo of harlee490

    matealestlmo, thank you, I knew she would release a statement and been hunting for it since the news broke. It was love\hate relationship when I would watch “James”. I would love any scenes with James & Barbara and at same time I wanted just go through the TV and choke the crap out of James, because he would piss me off. That is damn good actor and the only other actor to do that to me was “Roger Thorpe”….Thanks again.

  13. Profile photo of Dariclone

    Oh no, Anthony Herrerra is/was amazing! I only found out about his character on this site, and have since gone on to watch *many* Youtube clips of him. RIP.

  14. Profile photo of gregger

    Anthony was a truly amazing man. I first met him when he blew through ATWT in the mid 90’s. I had the fortune of working with him when James returned a few years later. What most people didn’t know was that when he was taping the scenes he was still dealing with the effects of chemo and his time in isolation. As soon as Nancy, the stage manager, called “quiet, taping, in 5,4, 3,…” Anthony ceased to exist and James took over. No one would know that he was tired, nauseous, cold one minute, and boiling the next. He was an artist and wanted the final product to be the best. His gratitude for life, a career, friends, sometimes just a thumbs up was inspiring. I am grateful to have spent time with him and after I left the show to run into him on the street and get a bear hug and 50 questions as to what I was doing. He was a type of artist that we see far too few of and hear even less of.

    Thank you Anthony, you’re the top!

  15. Profile photo of Nicki

    I had the extraordinary opportunity to meet and have a conversation with Mr. Herrera at an event shortly after he published his book and he was an amazing man with an indominable spirit who didn’t believe in the words quit or can’t. I feel a better person for having that opportunity and also feel priviledged that I got to watch his phenomenal talent on screen for so many years. He will definately be missed but will never be forgotten.

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