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Greg Rikaart Wraps His Run As DAYS Leo Stark Expressing: “Playing This Role Has Been A Gift.”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

He took the Salem canvas by storm, earned a Daytime Emmy nomination for his role as dastardly Leo Stark and now following Tuesday’s airshow of NBC’s Days of our Lives, finished his run.  Greg Rikaart played Leo for all his worth and then some, a gay villain something truly not seen on daytime, previously.

With great zippy dialog and zingers from DAYS head writer Ron Carlivati and his writing team, Rikaart lit up the screen every time Leo trounced in to cause trouble in the lives of Sonny (Freddie Smith) and Will (Chandler Massey), and anyone else in his path in his quest for money and power (and flirting with a plethora of “straight” male characters in Salem).

However for Leo, every scheme ended up backfiring on him, complete with learning his evil mother, Diana (Judith Chapman) lied to him about John Black (Drake Hogestyn) being his bio-dad.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Rikaart said a public goodbye to the role by stating: “That’s a wrap on Leo. Thanks for all the love. Playing this role has been a gift. An absurdly fun and delicious gift.”

Courtesy/NBC

In story, after finally having no choice but to sign Sonny’s annulment papers of their bogus marriage, Leo gives the ‘Evil Eye’, a curse, and stares down and puts in on Will.  Later, Will develops a terrible headache and is not feeling well, setting the stage for the next leg of Sonny and Will’s attempts to finally be together once and for all, problem free.  But this is a soap after all, right?

So, sad to see Rikaart’s Leo exit the canvas? Do you hope they write the character back in somewhere down the line?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Karen
Guest
Karen

Leo was so much fun to watch. Greg is a fabulous actor. I truly wish him well and hope against hope that Kevin comes back to Genoa City sooner rather than later.

Toscanti
Guest
Toscanti

He was fantastic in this role, especially the scenes shared with Judith Chapman “Dianna”. I hope they both return to Y&R.

Celia
Guest
Celia

Wouldn’t thst be fantastiv,Toscanti?!…Two of the best actors!!
Greg is so authentically versatile. We have seen him act the infuriating maniacal menace transforming into this really good guy ( Kevin, Y&R).
Both brought drama, comedy and hope to DOOL—-
My interest has been piqued regardless of their exiting the show….
Is Rafe Jordan’s baby’s father ( if there really is a child)?
And, is Melissa Haley’s mother? Not her sister?

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Y&R is rebuilding and Greg is a block that it could use!

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

I am so sorry to see him go. I love Greg. He’s terrific in that role. I loved seeing him leap across the table to strangle his mother. That was priceless. They should keep Leo around. After seeing the horrible person his mother has become, Leo could slowly reform. I’m really shocked to hear this. I expected him to stay and Diana to go off to prison. Maybe they aren’t finished with her yet since she has a connection to the rotten snake Ted. Whatever happens, I wish Greg much success in his future.

Momo
Guest
Momo

Yes, what is going on with Diana and Ted? I thought her connection to him would mean she would get off. I was not expecting them to leave now. I want them on forever!!! Kinda disappointed they made John not Leo’s dad.

James R. Poissant
Guest
James R. Poissant

I have to say this kinda sucks because it was fun watching a gay villain on a soap. I think Greg was hilarious when his character would go after the straight men in Salem.

HOWEVER…I wouldn’t mind seeing him back on Y&R and Genoa City. His other character, Kevin Fisher, was alot of fun to watch too. Maybe there’s a certain soap god listening to me?…

Momo
Guest
Momo

And Leo with Gabi! Priceless. So many good scenes.

Iakovos
Guest
Iakovos

Am sorry for Mr. Rikaart to leave DAYS but could it mean a return to Y&R? Look, if a return of Adam is in the works as many here speculate, then the whole reason for Chole’s underground life is unnecessary. Like the course correction that seems to be playing out currently — JT is alive! Brain tumor caused his evil actions? Do over? — Adam’s return would nullify all that stupid story about Kevin and Chloe. Also, DAYS does gay right. Y&R could take a lesson here. I liked Leo Stark and the pairing of Mr. Rikaart with Judith Chapman… Read more »

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

I would like to see Leo stay in Salem and on a road to redemption. I will miss seeing Greg Rikaart on the canvas.

Momo
Guest
Momo

I didn’t know yesterday was his last show. I’m super sad to see Greg and Leo go. He brought humor and fun to the show. And an awesome wardrobe and fun dialogue. “I”m half Black.” Calling his mother Meryl Streep. LOL

mike
Guest
mike

He was a bright spot on the canvas. You could tell he was having fun.

Jason Anders
Guest
Jason Anders

He did a great job, sorry to see funny Leo go, he was an interesting character

Satan
Guest
Satan

I can almost tolerate Leo if they give him something else to do besides come between Sonny & Will. But for Hell’s sake his bug eyed lunatic mother has to GO!

Harry
Guest
Harry

Good! Now Kevin can come back to Genoa City!

Boop
Guest
Boop

Maybe he’ll return to Young and the Restless ; however, I hope not because I’ve never liked him on that show.

Jimh
Guest
Jimh

They keep rotating characters on this show so when some leave it doesnt mean the end…also rumored to return is Bo Brady!!!!

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

Greg had a good run, making us laugh as well as hate him. I hear good old mom will be sticking around for a while. Can’t believe we will have to see this crazy curse thing continue with Will. So disappointed that he would be so susseptable, if that’s the right word, to something like that. Anyway, hope Greg finds his way back to GC, minus Chloe. Bad enough seeing her in PC. Thought she was leaving soon.

Rodd
Guest
Rodd

He was a breath of fresh air. I do hope they bring him back. With all the build-up, I thought he and Judith (Diana) would be in Salem a lot longer. They sizzled as son and mother.

carol green
Guest
carol green

Oh no not another one.I liked Leo he was so funny and those loud suits he would wear are something else.I thought this actor would be on the show for awhile.Everyone keeps leaving Days.Why?I really enjoyed watching him even though he could be a pain in the a-s.He made me smile something I so needed.Hope he will come back soon.

Breaking News

OLTL Alum Arlene Dahl Dead At 96, Son Lorenzo Lamas Shares: “She Was The Most Positive Influence In My Life”

Another loss for the soap world and its extended family.  Arlene Dahl, who had a notable career in film and television, and who appeared on both One Life to Live and All My Children, has passed away at the age of 96.

Her son, former Falcon Crest and The Bold and the Beautiful star, Lorenzo Lamas (Ex-Lance and Ex-Hector, respectively), shared the news via his Facebook page: “Mom passed away this morning in New York. She was the most positive influence on my life. I will remember her laughter, her joy, her dignity as she navigated the challenges that she faced. Never an ill word about anyone crossed her lips. Her ability to forgive left me speechless at times. She truly was a force of nature and as we got closer in my adult life, I leaned on her more and more as my life counselor and the person I knew that lived and loved to the fullest. My sympathies go to her loving husband @marcrosennyc who, for the last 37 years, made her life so wonderful and joyous. Love you mom forever ♥️ #ArleneDahl #Moviestar #legend #mom #RIP”

Photo: JPI

Dahl came on to One life to Live as Lucinda Schenk Wilson, the selfish and manipulative mother of Mimi King played by Kristin Meadows.  Arlene made appearances on the ABC soap starting in 1981 and eventually was offered a one-year contract that took her through till 1984. A decade later, Dahl came on to play Lady Lucille on All My Children for a short time.

Photo: YouTube

On One Life to Live, Arlene mixed it up with Phillip Carey’s Asa Buchanan and Jeremy Slate’s Chuck Wilson.  Dahl is also well-known as one of the regular panelists on the game show, What’s My Line?

While still working in TV and films, Arlene branched out into beauty and cosmetics, eventually becoming an executive and beauty columnist.

Throughout her life, Arlene was married six times.  She had been married to Marc Rosen since 1984 and they remained together till her death.  She is survived by her son Lorenzo, two other children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Watch Arlene with Phillip Carey in scenes from OLTL below.

Then share your condolences to Arlene’s family, and share your remembrances, via the comment section.

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As The World Turns

As the World Turns and Guiding Light Favorite, Lisa Brown, Passes Away at 67

(UPDATED) In just more heartbreaking news in the soap world in 2021, we have lost another beloved performer.  Lisa Brown, who was so noteworthy for her spunky and emotional turns as Guiding Light’s Nola Reardon from 1980-1985, and later as Iva Snyder on As the World Turns from 1986-1994, has died.

Brown passed away this week on November 24th at the age of 67 following a brief illness.  The news came via the As the World Turns Facebook Fan Group and Soap Opera Digest.

This comes just two months later following the death of her former on-screen love interest Michael Tylo (Ex-Quinton, Guiding Light), who passed away in late September.

Those that followed Lisa’s career know she also starred in the Broadway Musical 42nd Street, while still playing Nola each and every day on Guiding Light.

She is survived by her children: James “Buddy” Nielsen, and daughter Victoria from her first husband Tom Nielsen (Ex-Floyd, GL) in addition to her two grandchildren, Penelope Ruiz-Nielsen and Brayden Hopf, and her second husband Brian Neary.

 

Photo: JPI

Brown’s on-screen ATWT daughter, Martha Byrne  (Ex-Lily) simply tweeted, “My heart is broken.”

On Friday, Lisa’s son, Buddy Nielsen, posted a touching tribute to his mother, where he revealed that she passed away due to cancer.

Buddy shared: “My Mom passed away the day before Thanksgiving after a very quick battle with cancer. This all happened really fast and wasn’t expecting it. I’ve been MIA as I’ve been back and forth between LA and NJ as she has been in and out of the hospital the last couple weeks. This dream we live, we are all subject to the suffering, aging and death. It’s not to be morose but to understand that we have finite time and must take care with what we do and how we do it. To be able to be with someone at their last breath is truly beautiful. We must not fear death as without it we would never be born and experience the 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows. Our existence is both small and vast all at the same time. We are tiny but immense. I know she is here but no longer in her physical form, what we do in love we leave in death. My beautiful daughter and unborn son are her legacy.”

Share your condolences to Lisa’s family, and let us know of your remembrances of this wonderful actress who gave us so many memorable moments throughout her career via the comment section below. But first, watch Lisa in some of her classic scenes from ATWT and GL.

 

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A post shared by Buddy Nielsen (@budthechud)

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Breaking News

Steve Burton Confirms His Exit From General Hospital

Steve Burton has spoken and after so much speculation, the two-time Daytime Emmy-winning star has confirmed he is out as General Hospital’s Jason Morgan.

In his post on his Instagram account on Tuesday, Steve shared that he was let go by the ABC daytime drama series due to their vaccine mandate and that even though he applied for medical and religious exemptions those were denied.  Thus, he has to exit his role.

In story, viewers saw on Monday, that Jason is MIA from being under the rubble of the cave that collapsed in Jason’s attempt to apprehend Peter August (Wes Ramsey).

In his post, Burton shared the following: “I know there has been a lot of rumors and speculations about me and General Hospital and I wanted you to hear it from me, personally. Unfortunately, General Hospital has let me go because of the vaccine mandate. I did apply for my medical and religious exemptions and both of those were denied, which, you know, hurts, but, this is also about personal freedom to me. I don’t think anyone should lose their livelihood over this. But with that being said, you know me. I’ll always be grateful for my time at General Hospital I love it there. I grew up there. I grew up with some of you, so I will always be grateful and I believe when one door closes multiple doors open. That’s always been my perspective, so I am excited to see what the future brings. ”

Steve went on to say, “Maybe one day when these mandates are lifted, I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan. That would be an honor, and if not, I am going to take this amazing experience, move forward and be forever grateful. I have got to say, that I am forever grateful for your love and your support over the years. It means so much to me. Thank you. I don’t know when my last airdate is. It may have aired or it might be tomorrow or the next day. I am not sure. I want you guys to have an awesome Thanksgiving. I know it is hard, maybe, in this type of situation to be thankful or grateful, but we have so many things to be thankful about. Being grateful really is the key. Love you guys.”

The popular actor began his run as GH’s Jason Quartermaine back in 1991. Later in 1995, after a car accident he had a major personality shift and became Jason Morgan. Burton went to Y&R to play Dylan McAvoy for a four-year stint from 2013-2017, before heading back to his home at GH.

A source close to the show told Deadline that Burton’s last tape date was October 27th.

You can watch Steve’s video announcement below on his GH departure.

So, how do you feel about Steve being let go from GH? Do you hope Steve can return at some point? Share your thoughts via the comment section below,

 

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A post shared by Steve Burton (@1steveburton)

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DAYS head writer, Ron Carlivati talks with Michael Fairman on the creation and the making of the limited-series “Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem” currently streaming on Peacock. Leave A Comment

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