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Colleen Zenk issues heartfelt statement on the passing of ATWT's Anthony Herrera!

Courtesy/CBS

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

On-Air On-Soaps reached out today to Colleen Zenk, (Ex- Barbara, ATWT) to get her thoughts and sentiments on the sad news that hit the Internet last evening on the passing of her longtime co-star and scene partner, Anthony Herrera (Ex- James, ATWT).  For decades on-screen the duo tormented each other, well especially, James! But off-screen the two performers were very closer, and both shared the fact that they had battled back from cancer.   As many now know, Herrera died on June 21st in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Here below is the statement from Colleen.  We wanted to share this with you,  the longtime fans of As the World Turns, and the soap opera community!

Zenk: “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.

Courtesy/CBS

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”.  I have 30 years of stories.  We were quite a couple.  And he doted on me…and gave me hell…and I gave it back.  And I listened to the same stories hundreds of times.  Just like a “WIFE” should.

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Todd
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Todd

Very sad news. I got choked up reading Colleens beautiful words. I still miss seeing Barbara and James on my tv.

Michael
Guest
Michael

Wow, what an absolutely beautiful tribute to Anthony from Colleen. Nicely said Colleen and thank you Michael Fairman for sharing her thoughts with us. Anthony will be missed but he’s no longer in pain and his soul/spirit is free.

Godspeed Anthony!

David
Guest
David

Anthony Herrera was one of the best villains in daytime. He kept ATWT moving!

John
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John

Colleen, this was beautiful.

kwbalan
Guest
kwbalan

Thank you for sharing this Michael. This brought tears to my eyes. I was so sorry to hear of Anthony Herrera’s passing. He was an incredible actor and I so miss seeing him and Colleen. It was so nice to hear of their friendship off screen as well. Rest in peace Anthony.

ROB
Guest
ROB

You two were great together

ROB
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ROB

You two were great together. Rip Anthony

Karen
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Karen

Anthony played one of the best villains to hit daytime & he was a joy to watch. The chemistry he had with Colleen was remarkable. I loved the stories of their friendship through the years & supporting each other.

Anthony you will be missed, you were a class act.

kay killgore
Guest
kay killgore

It is so nice to see that their are actors that get along and truly care about each other! Well said Ms. Zenk, you are as pretty on the inside as well as the outside!!

kay killgore
Guest
kay killgore

Also did he have family or not? When I used to watch ATWT he was indeed awesome did he ever have an emmy?

M.O.
Guest
M.O.

Yes, he did have a family. A daughter, both parents, 5 siblings, 1 niece and 4 nephews.

LC
Guest
LC

His daughter ia a famous actress……….

Mark
Guest
Mark

Blessed are the meek. I was moved by your performances together as you battled through your relationship on screen. You both were my champions throughout lights dimming with “As the World Turning” . Which were all inspiring tributes of performing. The greatest one of all was your grace with championing their individual battles with cancer. As a 32 year cancer survivor, your performances on screen were the moments that gave strength my own personal battle. RIP Anthony and Keep the fire burning Colleen.

Mark in CT

Cat in Vt
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Cat in Vt

I just read the news I l;oved James and I never knew he was sick

Tamra
Guest
Tamra

I’ve been all choked up and near tears ever since I heard about Anthony, I enjoyed being his facebook friend – such a nice man. Now Colleen, you’ve made me cry. Thank you for your memories……i’m sorry that you lost your close friend.

Dennis
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Dennis

Colleen is a class act! Beautiful words.

lisa
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lisa

What a wonderful tribute….I did not watch ATWT …but I do know who Anthony and Barbara played on the show.

I just want to cry…

lisa
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lisa

oops ! I meant Colleen.

Linda
Guest
Linda

My deepest sympathy on the lose of your dear friend. You two were H*ll on wheels on screen on ATWTs and I think the two of you were one of the reasons that I watched it since I was a child. Remember the happy times you both had always.. And RIP Anthony..
Also thanks for the memories!!!!!

harlee
Guest
harlee

My heartfelt sympathy with his family and friends. I knew Colleen would issue some kind of statement with all the years of “James & Barbara” entertaining me on ATWT. Long life fan of ATWT and their was nothing like “James Steinbeck” in soaps with the exception of “Roger Thorpe”. Colleen you are such a classy lady and it had to hurt your heart just as much, because I was there in the beginning and the chemistry between “James & Barbara” was always on fire. R.I.P. “James”. Godspeed, Anthony.

BEVERLY
Guest
BEVERLY

BEAUTIFUL TRIBUTE!

Claire
Guest
Claire

Colleen, thank you for sharing your beautiful memories of Anthony with us. It is touching to know that the two of you had such a wonderful relationship. Back when I first began watching ATWT in the early 80’s, my entire family got hooked on it, and Anthony was both my husband and son’s favorite character on the soap. Even though he played the villain so well, you could just tell that he was probably one heck of a nice guy. We were so saddened to hear of his demise. To this day, we miss ATWT so much and all of… Read more »

Judy
Guest
Judy

What a beautiful tribute from Colleen. When I first heard this sad news, I immediately thought of Colleen as I knew although sometimes rocky they still had an extremely close and loving relationship. I am so grateful she took the time to share her thoughts. Nobody could have done it better. Anthony will be greatly missed and my heart goes out to all who loved him. To all of us who watched him on ATWT, we were blessed to have him.

Pat Motro
Guest
Pat Motro

I met Anthony at MD Anderson Bone Marrow Cancer Survivor Day in June 2004 where he was the guest speaker. My daughter, Aviva was a survivor but she died 4/16/06 at the age of 19. That was the last day I spoke to Anthony. He became fond of her and would visit us whenever he was in town for his check-ups. I will always remember his kindness and treasure the memories. Rest in peace, Anthony. Now you will see Aviva again.

Duffy Johnson
Guest
Duffy Johnson

I’m so saddened by this news. I watched ATWT on and off for almost 30 years and James Stenbeck was my all-time favorite character. I was home sick one day last summer and caught most of that day’s episode, the first time I had watched in a few years. To my great delight the episode featured Colleen and Anthony. The show only had a few more months on the air and it was such a treat to see them together again as James and Barbara one last time. RIP, Mr. Herrera, and my deepest condolences to Colleen and all his… Read more »

Gordon
Guest
Gordon

Anthony Herrera will be missed. I was a long time viewer of ATWT and although I hated his character of James Stenbeck, I loved him as an actor. He played the character so well. His interactions with Colleen Zenk and Roger Howarth (and many other actor’s who played Paul Ryan over the years) were legendary. He was such a talented man. My thoughts and prayers with his family and friends. We all miss you Anthony and ATWT. God Bless You.

Greg May
Guest
Greg May

In the early 80’s I was blessed to have the lovely COLLEEN ZENK on my Orlando, Florida TV show, “Central Florida Spotlight”. Of all the celebrities I have met and interviewed, Colleen was the prettiest and most gracious. Read about her visiting Orlando to promote the movie “Annie” and how she turned to the camera and wished my dad a speedy recovery from his cancer surgery at http://florida-backroads-travel.com/the-day-as-the-world-turns-star-came-to-orlando.html

Tori Jackson
Guest
Tori Jackson

I came out of the Womb watching this soap. so sad to see it leave HECK I thought I was apart of the show it has always keep me on my toes especially James and Barbara

Jeannie
Guest
Jeannie

I loved them together so much! ATWT always took my mind off of me and MY troubles, because theirs were always much worse! Bless them!

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Photo: IMDb

So, looking forward to seeing Michael and Jaimie in their new TV roles? Comment below.

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