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Missing In Action:
Soap characters who have left the canvas of One Life to Live
Written by Katherine Thurston

Soap fans are no strangers to seeing characters disappear off the canvas of their favorite show, in fact it happens quite often. The rich kid who up and leaves for college, or the rebellious teen who decides they would be better off living with their Granny in Iowa. Or how about the women who decide they need to see the world and with their ex-boyfriend in tow head off to explore the African jungle. Or worst yet, the array of despicable con men who must leave the country immediately before being arrested.

Some of these "Missing In Action" characters are never heard from again, others are briefly mentioned occasionally, and some eventually manage to reappear just in the nick of time.

Soap characters are written off for various reasons, even though fans do not necessarily understand why. Many actors have left daytime to pursue a singing career, or an opportunity came along to work on Broadway, or even got a chance to work in primetime television. Perhaps an actor also got their big break to appear in a feature film. Many times the reason characters have left the canvas is due to TPTB who decide to let an actor go, perhaps because of acting ability or major upcoming storyline changes. What ever the reason may be, life continues to go on, and in the end so does many of our favorite characters.

One Life to Live has certainly had its share of "Missing In Action" characters as well, including some who have miraculously returned from the dead. (Recently that was Asa Buchanan) Here is a sample of the many characters over the years who have left Llanview for one reason or another, plus the actors or actresses who played these dynamic roles.

Karen Wolek - Notorious schemer. Once became the sweet loving wife of Dr. Larry Wolek by day and high-paid prostitute by night. Switched her own sister's dead baby for a living one.
Last Seen: Heading to Canada with the man she loved, fugitive Steve Piermont.
Actresses who have played Karen: Kathryn Breech, Julia Duffy and Judith Light.
Actress most remembered for playing the role: Judith Light (1977 -1983) Went on to play Angela Bower of the hit TV sitcom Who's the Boss? Light is also a spokeswoman for Proactiv Solution Skin Care

Dorian Lord Hayes - Ruthless business woman and former doctor who lost her license to practice when she accidentally overdosed a patient at Llanview Hospital. Most of the time what Dorian wanted, Dorian got. Frequently sought revenge on her nemesis Viki Lord Buchanan. Mother to Cassie, Aunt to Kelly and Blair.
Last Seen: Leaving with her new boyfriend, who was her late husband's good friend.
Actresses who have played Dorian: Nancy Pinkerton, Claire Malis, Robin Strasser and Elaine Princi.
Actress most remembered for playing the role: Robin Strasser (1979-1987, 1993-2000). Played Hecuba on NBC's Passions from 2000 - 2001. Strasser left for Paris shortly after existing the role on Passions. Sources have stated the actress would love to return to OLTL if the role became available again.

Kevin Buchanan
- Son of the wealthy Victoria Lord, and adopted son of Clint Buchanan. Worked as a reporter for the family-owned newspaper, The Banner. Once fell deeply in love with a married woman, Cassie Carpenter, and eventually they wed. After his break-up with Cassie, Kevin fell in love again with a woman named Grace Davidson who shortly afterwards died tragically in a drowning.
Last Seen: Leaving town with his new girlfriend Kelly, who had just left his brother Joey to be with him.
Actors who have played Kevin: Morgan K. Melis, Ryan Janis, Matthew Vipond, Joey Thrower, Kirk Geiger, Jack Armstrong, Ken Kenitzer, Kevin Stapleton and Timothy Gibbs.
Actor(s) most remembered for playing the role: Kevin Stapleton (1996-1997) and Timothy Gibbs (1998-2001
) Stapleton's last acting job was in the movie Jericho in 2001. Gibbs is currently pursuing new projects.

Joey Buchanan - Youngest son of Victoria Lord, and adopted son of Clint Buchanan. Joey was once seduced into having an affair with Dorian Lord, who was seeking revenge on his mother Viki. After breaking up with Dorian, Joey set his sights on her niece Kelly.
Last Seen: Heading off to London to live with his dad Clint after finding out his wife Kelly and his brother Kevin loved one another.
Actors who have played Joey:
John Paul Learn, Chris McKenna, Nathan Fillion, Don Jeffcoat.
Actor(s) most remembered for playing the role: Nathan Fillion (1994-1997) and Don Jeffcoat (1997-2000). Fillion was recently seen in the popular TV sitcom Two Guys and A Girl, and also has appeared on the big screen in Saving Private Ryan and Blast From the Past. Jeffcoat is currently seeking new projects.

David Vickers - Seeker of fortunes and all-around con man. David had once convinced his "sister" Tina he was Victor Lord's long-lost son in order to get his hands on the multimillion-dollar Lord inheritance. Also tried to seduce Dorian's niece Kelly. Left town in 1996 with $50,000 of Dorian's money.
Last Seen: Vickers returned to Llanview after getting involved with Todd Manning's scheme to have Blair's baby taken away. Vickers soon began blackmailing Todd, but Todd arranged his arrest and deportation before he could tell Blair the truth.
Actor who played the role: Tuc Watkins (1994-1996, 2001, 2002). Watkins has a role in the upcoming horror flick Infested.
Fan Site for Tuc Watkins

Patrick Thornhart - Romantic Irish poet who became involved in solving the Men of 21 conspiracy along with Bo and Marty. Had a brief affair with Blair Crammer, who became pregnant by him but later lost the baby after being hit by a car.
Last Seen: Shortly after marrying his pregnant girlfriend Marty Saybrooke, a terrorist struck and shot Patrick and appeared to have died. In the ambulance, Marty discovered he didn't die, and the two of them decided to secretly run off to live in Ireland and keep his apparent death a secret.
Actor who played the role: Thorsten Kaye (1995-1997). Kaye can be currently seen on ABC's Port Charles as Dr. Ian Thornhart, brother of the "late" Patrick Thornhart.
Official Web Site for Thorsten Kaye

Kelly Cramer - Came to Llanview as a teenager in 1995. Moved in with her aunt Dorian Lord, and became infatuated with Dorian's younger husband, David Vickers. In a terrible accident Kelly caused the death of her cousin Blair's baby. Daughter of Melinda, a mental institute patient.
Last Seen:
Heading back to Texas to return to her new life with beau Kevin Buchanan.
Actress who played the role: Gina Tognoni (1995-2001, 2001, 2002) Tognoni is currently residing in Southern California and is pursuing other acting jobs.

Marty Saybrooke - Was gang-raped by Todd Manning, Zach Rosen and Powell Lord after getting drunk at college frat party. Her life was later saved by Todd in a strange turn of events. Married Dylan Moody, but eventually found her way back to her true love Patrick Thornhart.
Last Seen: Leaving Llanview with her "dead" husband Patrick to start a new life in Ireland.
Actress who played the role: Susan Haskell (1992-1997). Won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 1994 for her role on OLTL. In 2001 Haskell briefly appeared on Port Charles as Granya Thornhart. Haskell also had a role in 2001 action movie with David Caruso called Black Point.

Clint Buchanan - Hired by Joe Riley to take over as editor of The Banner in 1979. Shortly after Clint arrived in Llanview, he was joined by his family from Texas, including Asa Buchanan and brother Bo. Clint was married and divorced twice from Viki Lord Buchanan. Had a brief marriage to Lindsay Rappaport but found out later she had only been using him.
Last Seen: After divorcing Lindsay, Clint left town and moved to London.
Actor who played the role: Clint Ritchie (1979-1999, 2000). Since leaving OLTL, Ritchie has been happily retired and living on his Happy Horse Ranch in Grass Valley, California. Ritchie was asked to return to OLTL in 2001 for a brief appearance, but turned down the offer.
The Official Clint Ritchie Page and Fan Club

Lee Ann Demerest - Daughter of Du Ann, the midwife who had delivered Max Holden as a baby. After her mother's death, Lee Ann set her sights on Max Buchanan, and briefly became lovers. Kevin Buchanan lost his virginity to Lee Ann, who fell in love with this sexy Texan. Eventually Lee Ann and Kevin were married after she became pregnant. Lee Ann eventually fell in love with Jason Webb, and after Kevin caught them kissing, her marriage to Kevin ended.
Last Seen: After Kevin won custody of their son Duke, Lee Ann and Jason fled town.
Actress who played the role: Yasmine Bleeth (1991-1993). Bleeth became even more famous when she became a Baywatch beauty in 1994. She later went on to play the part of Caitlin Cross in Nash Bridges with Don Johnson. Bleeth plead guilty in November 2001 of possession of cocaine and driving while impaired. Her sentence was two years probation and a requirement to take random drug testing.
Official Web Site for Baywatch

Will Rappaport - Son of the high-powered defense attorney Sam Rappaport and current Statesville inmate Lindsay Rappaport. Has a sister Jen and half brother Mathew. Knocked up Jessica Buchanan but later the baby died after Jessica was hit by car driven by Dorian. Will teamed up with Roseanne Delgado to break apart Jessica and Cristian. Eventually Jessica and Will became a couple, but due to the lies over Colin MacIver's murder, they realized they could never trust one another again and broke up for good.
Last Seen: At Llanfair giving Jessica roses and telling her he decided he must leave Llanview and start fresh somewhere else.
Actor who played the role: Jason-Shane Scott (1998-2001). Played the part of Brad in the 1998 movie Billy Hollywood's Screen Kiss. Scott has a role in the new independent film Wolves of Wall Street which is due to be released in 2003.

© Copyright by Katherine Thurston, June, 2002.
Photos are being used with permission by ABC MediaNet, Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly. Permission is not granted for their use elsewhere.

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