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Soap operas' 10 most intriguing temporary recasts

The Bold and the Beautiful star Linsey Godfrey, who plays Caroline, was struck and pinned down by a car on Monday, February 2. After being rescued by bystanders, she was rushed into surgery to repair her broken legs. Though the actress is expected to make a full recovery, she did tweet yesterday that she was facing a “long road.”

This, of course, begs the question of whether or not B&B will write her injury into the storyline, or whether they will opt for a temporary recast until Godfrey is back on her feet.

Unlike movies, which can shut down production or reshuffle their schedule when an actor gets hurt—or primetime, which shoots many fewer episodes a year—daytime doesn’t stop for any man or woman.

Sometimes, there is no choice but to go with a recast, no matter how jarring that might prove to the audience, in order to keep the story going. Check out some of our favorite fill-ins below, and see how they worked out!

Jen Lilley

When Kirsten Storms was forced to unexpectedly step down from her role as Maxie on General Hospital in 2011, Lilley was brought in at the last minute and ended up playing the role for a year. And although some fans actually appreciated her less cutesy take on Maxie, others took to Twitter and other social media to attack her acting and her looks—and even level the accusation that Lilley had “made” Storms sick. The actress is currently playing Theresa on Days of Our Lives, where the cast remains in good health, despite her presence.

Kevin Bernhardt

In 1984, when GH and hearthrob Jack Wagner were having a failure to communicate regarding his next contract, dark-haired Kevin Bernhardt was hurriedly thrust in to fill the shoes of sandy-haired Wagner as Frisco. Bernhardt spent the bulk of his 15 episode stint looking confused, but it apparently impressed the powers that be enough for them to create an original role just for him a few months later. This Frisco who wasn’t Frisco was named Kevin (why strain yourself?). He managed to last three years, going from innocent small-town boy to killer in a storyline that involved hot springs, lost medallions, Bosley from Charlie’s Angels, and other twists that primarily left the audience feeling as confused as Bernhardt once looked.

Deborah Adair

Adair assumed the role of Jill on The Young and the Restless, replacing Brenda Dickson in 1980, and stayed for three years. While Dickson’s Jill had been all camp and big hair and rolled eyes, Adair played a more human, relatable, vulnerable Jill. Dickson returned in 1983 but, for a few days in 1986, Adair once again became Jill. Suddenly, instead of a cartoon character, she was a rootable human being again.

Don Scardino

Scardino was All My Children creator Agnes Nixon’s first choice for the role of Greg (half of one of the show’s most iconic supercouples, Greg and Jenny). The network, however, thought that baby-faced Scardino, who was 32 at the time, was too old for the role of a high-schooler. (The 27-year-old Laurence Lau got the part instead.) However, a 35-year-old Scardino did temporarily fill in for Lau a few years later. Guess all that supercouple angst had really aged Greg. Lest you’re worried that Scardino’s career was derailed by the near-miss, rest assured, he’s spent the past few decades directing shows like Law & Order, 30 Rock, and 2 Broke Girls. He’s doing fine.

Anna Stuart/Sofia Landon/Maeve Kinkaed/Linda Dano

Pay close attention, because this is going to be tricky. When Anna Stuart needed someone to fill in for her as Donna on Another World, Sofia Landon was hired. Earlier, when Landon had been playing Diane on Guiding Light and costar Maeve Kinkead (Vanessa) needed a replacement, Stuart had stepped in. Later, Stuart and Landon were on AW at the same time as Linda Dano, playing Donna, Jennifer, and Felicia, respectively. Finally, when Dano was Rae on One Life to Live, Stuart stepped into the part for a day. Landon explained, “I think the show thought of me because Anna and I have similarities in our ways of speaking and the way we carry ourselves physically, so it was a natural enough fit that I could just focus on the character and situation.” In other words, they are all women of a certain age with dark hair.

Joan Crawford

The year was 1968; the show was The Secret Storm. The 27-year-old Christina Crawford was suddenly hospitalized. Her mother, movie star Joan Crawford, age 60, swept in and assumed her daughter’s part. She claimed it was to keep some understudy from stealing her Tina’s job, and the show did reap a whirlwind of publicity from it. The incident even made it into Christina’s book and movie, Mommie Dearest.

Marj Dusay

Marj Dusay is daytime’s go-to person for a last-minute recast—because producers know she can make anything work. Dusay previously played Blair’s mother on The Facts of Life and the woman who literally stole Spock’s brain in the Star Trek episode “Spock’s Brain.” But she made her biggest splash on the soaps, where she played Myrna on Capitol (a recast for Carolyn Jones), Pamela on Santa Barbara (after not one but two actresses decided the workload and pages of dialogue were too much for them), and Alexandra on GL. There, Dusay first stepped in for Beverlee McKinsey, who left for a scheduled vacation and informed the producers she wouldn’t be returning. She next took over when Dynasty‘s Joan Collins fulfilled her contract, but decided the pace of daytime TV wasn’t for her. Dusay even briefly played DOOL‘s Vivian in place of Louise Sorel! She is the temporary (and permanent) recast MVP.

Who is your favorite? Was it Shakespeare-spouting Lane Davies filling in for vapid playboy Ridge on B&B? A pre–Academy Award Mira Sorvino on GL? Post–Emmy winner Cynthia Watros as Vicky on AW? Let us know!