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Julianne Moore, Josh Duhamel now Shemar Moore: Stars who returned to their soaps

Shemar Moore, who played the role of Malcolm on The Young & the Restless from 1994 to 2005 and won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in 2000, announced last week that he’d be returning to the show where he made his acting debut on September 9 and 10, 2014.

Since leaving Y&R, Moore appeared as Derek on the primetime hit Criminal Minds, and in movies like Diary of a Mad Black Woman.

While it’s pretty common for actors to return to soaps after taking a few years off—General Hospital’s Anthony Geary and Genie Francis, for instance, left on separate occasions at the height of “Luke and Laura” mania, only to come back after a decade’s absence—few do so after achieving lasting success in primetime or films.

However, Moore isn’t the first to cameo short-term on the soap that gave him his start. He’s not even the first one named Moore. (This is not to be confused with stars from other media making guest appearances, à la Carol Burnett on All My Children, Elizabeth Taylor on General Hospital, Wayne Gretzky on The Young & the Restless, The B-52s on Guiding Light, Jerry Springer on Days of Our Lives, Liberace on Another World or Snoop Lion on One Life to Live.) Find out who else stopped in for a limited visit!

Charles Shaughnessey

Though he played a small role on GH as a British con artist, Shaughnessey truly hit it big on daytime as part of one of DOOL’s late-1980s mega-supercouples, Shane Donovan and Kimberly Brady. How big were they? Their love theme, Friends & Lovers, hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1986. After leaving the soap, Shaughnessey’s next long-running role was as Max Sheffield on The Nanny, from 1993 to 1999, followed by recurring stints on Mad Men, Stanley and more. However, that didn’t stop Shaughnessey from popping back into Salem in 2002, 2010, 2012 and 2013 for brief visits (and/or jail stints).

Eddie Cibrian

As Cole on Sunset Beach, Eddie Cibrian was a jewel thief who managed to steal the hearts of both a mother and her daughter—and get both pregnant (don’t even try to figure out that family tree). As Jimmy on Third Watch, he was a heroic firefighter … who gambled and had an affair with his wife’s sister (and cheated on his fiancée at their engagement party). Don’t try to figure out their family tree, either.

In 1999, Cibrian managed to play both as—despite starring on the prime-time show—he made a cameo appearance on Sunset Beach’s last episode, so that Cole could reunite with Caitlin (for those keeping score, that would be the daughter, not the mother).

Nathan Fillion

When Nathan Fillion first began playing the role of Joey Buchanan on One Life to Live in 1994, he stepped into the shoes of a legacy character. Joey was the son of Llanview’s pillar of the community, Viki, and her first husband. He was later adopted by Viki’s next husband, newspaper publisher Clint, and became the grandson of cowboy patriarch Asa. Fillion’s biggest storyline on the show was when teenage Joey fell into an affair with his mother’s nemesis (and her stepmother; don’t ask), Dorian.

Fillion left the role in 1997 to go on to Saving Private Ryan, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Desperate Housewives and Castle. In 2007, OLTL commemorated the show’s 10,000th episode with a memorial service for the character of Asa, whose portrayer, Phil Carey, had also died. Fillion reprised the role of Joey for two days. Because, apparently, a boy never forgets his first … soap role.

Julianne Moore

Moore won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1988 for her roles on As the World Turns as Frannie and long-lost English identical cousin/half-sister Sabrina (just like in The Patty Duke Show! Only much more twisted. Frannie and Sabrina’s dad had kids with a pair of sisters). She went on to Academy Award nominations for Boogie Nights, The End of the Affair, Far from Heaven and The Hours, as well as winning a primetime Emmy for Game Change. When ATWT was cancelled in 2010, Moore (as Frannie) returned for a quick visit to wish her father and stepmother a happy anniversary. This would be the woman her dad cheated on Frannie’s own mother with; Frannie is very forgiving. Though it does beg the question: Why she didn’t play Sabrina, who is actually the celebrating couple’s biological child?

Josh Duhamel & Sarah Michelle Gellar

Another cancellation, this time All My Children’s in 2011, brought a pair of familiar faces back to Pine Valley. Josh Duhamel of Transformers and Safe Haven fame reprised his role of Leo duPres (which was quite a trick, since Leo was dead after going over a waterfall). Leo appeared to his widow in a dream. But since his body was never found, he could have been one of the undead. Especially since Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Sarah Michelle Gellar also popped back into town. Gellar’s return was even trickier to facilitate, since her character, Kendall, offspring of AMC diva Susan Lucci, was currently being played by another actress. So Gellar appeared as a deluded mental patient convinced she was Erica Kane’s daughter, who also saw vampires but (as she assured her doctor), she did it “before it was so popular.”

Do you have a favorite soap star cameo? Let us know in the comments!

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