The 80s were known for its fashion, music, and movies. However one aspect of the greatest decade ever were its legendary soap operas.
A series that follows the same group of characters in daily life is called a soap opera, and in the 1980s soap operas were all the rage.
The origin of soap operas go way back to the 1930s but it really made the headlines in the 80s when most people started to watch soap operas on television and got hooked on them.
80s Soap Opera Stars
If you spent any time watching tv back in the 80s, there’s no doubt that you will remember some of the 80s soap opera stars we mention below. Here’s our list of the most memorable soap opera stars of the 80s.
1. Elizabeth Hubbard
Elizabeth Hubbard played the chief diva Lucinda Walsh on the hit series “As the world turns”. She becomes the evil businesswoman villain in the show who likes to manipulate, control, and take out her anger on others. At the same time, she was very protective of her family, a complex character indeed.
Hubbard was also well known for the hit series “The Doctors” as Dr. Althea Davis.
2. Victoria Principal
She is a producer, actor, author, and entrepreneur who rose to fame through her role as Pamela Barnes Ewing in “Dallas”. Victoria started her career in acting in the 70s. Although her acting was not the greatest, her desire to get what she wanted made producers and directors admire her, and that is how she started to land roles in soap operas.
She started her career through “Fantasy Island” but it was “Dallas” that made her famous. She is also a best-selling author and has her own skincare products.
3. Larry Hagman
Hagman started his career with small roles but eventually got his big break with the iconic series “I dream of Jeannie”. The show would make him a household name and earn him his initial accolades in Hollywood.
After that legendary role, he was cast in the “Dallas” series which made cemented his legacy in the business.
Hagman also starred in a few films, and also worked as a director and a producer. He kept on acting after the “Dallas” series but sadly passed away in 2012 at the age of 81 due to complications from acute myeloid leukemia.
4. Donna Mills
Donna started her television career in 1966 through “The secret storm” series. Her debut film role was in “The Incident”. After that, she started getting more roles in soap operas and films but her biggest breakthrough was the soap opera “Knots Landing”.
Acting as Abby Cunningham, she rose to fame and became one of the household names of the 80s. She was awarded the “Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Villainess” in 1986, 1988, and 1989. She continues to act even to this day.
5. Joan Collins
She is an actor, a well-known author, and a columnist. Born in London, she started her career in the film industry throughout the 50s and 70s in a lot of films which landed her recognition and multiple awards.
Collins became famous and perhaps the savior when she joined the then-struggling series “Dynasty”. After she joined, the series became a worldwide phenomenon and beat “Dallas” for the top spot. After Dynasty, she continued acting in soap operas and film until now even at the age of 89.
6. Susan Lucci
Arguably the most recognizable soap opera star in the world today, Susan Lucci has been a star since her debut as juggernaut “Erica Kane” on the hit series “All My Children” in 1970. She was on that show for 41 years for it’s run from 1970-2011, and she has been nominated 21 times for a daytime Emmy (winning only once though) for her efforts.
During the 80s her role as Erica Kane made her a star, but her longevity on daytime TV really has cemented her as a Hollywood legend. When people think of soap operas they think of Susan Lucci, and it’s a title that is well deserved.
So those are our picks for the best soap opera stars from the 1980s. Did yours make the cut?