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Most prolific daytime TV stars of all time

  • Most prolific daytime TV stars of all time

    The hallmarks of daytime TV are easy to recognize—the operatic score that swells as an evil twin is revealed on an afternoon soap opera, the comforting chatter of early morning talk shows, and the exhilarating joy of catching an episode of The Price is Right on a day when some lucky soul gets to play Plinko. In an era where the medium of television is in a constant state of flux, daytime TV remains reliably familiar no matter when you tune in, and that’s thanks in large part to the stars that have dedicated their careers to the sometimes thankless task of creating quality daytime programming. From career soap stars to the indomitable Oprah Winfrey, these men and women put their hearts and souls into work that's been appreciated for years by everyone from stay-at-home parents and retirees to kids stuck on the couch during sick days.

    Stacker has compiled a list of the 50 most prolific stars in daytime TV history. Their scores are based on the amount of Daytime Emmy Awards they’ve been nominated for and their number of wins. These two scores have been weighed against one another to create a Stacker score that decided their spot on the list. The end result is a list of 50 TV legends that deserve major kudos for making daytime TV an entertaining and enduring part of the cultural landscape in an era where it feels like nothing stays the same.

  • #50. Eric Braeden

    Total nominations: 8

    Total wins: 1

    Stacker score: 19.23

    Eric Braeden has been playing the great Victor Newman on The Young and the Restless for 38 years and counting. As Victor, Braeden is one of the genre’s greatest villains and heroes; a self-made tycoon capable of unthinkable evil grounded by a tempestuous love story with ex-stripper Nikki Newman.

  • #49. Kimberly McCullough

    Total nominations: 6

    Total wins: 2

    Stacker score: 19.23

    Child actors who join soap operas generally know that their time on the show is limited due to the genre's time-honored tradition of "soap opera rapid aging syndrome" or "SORAS." Kimberly McCullough is the exception to the rule. She joined General Hospital as Robin Scorpio at age 7, and has continued playing the role on and off ever since, even winning a Daytime Emmy for a heartrending story about her teen character contracting HIV.

  • #48. Jess Walton

    Total nominations: 6

    Total wins: 2

    Stacker score: 19.23

    Jess Walton is the third actress to play Jill Fenmore on The Young and the Restless, but there’s no doubt that she made the rags to riches, social climbing executive her own. However, it’s impossible to mention Jill without discussing Katherine Chancellor. The women's volatile onscreen feud lasted until Walton’s scene partner, Jeanne Cooper, passed away in 2013.

  • #47. Julie Marie Berman

    Total nominations: 4

    Total wins: 3

    Stacker score: 19.23

    There is no daytime TV couple more famous than General Hospital’s Luke and Laura, and Julie Marie Berman played their only daughter, Lulu Spencer from 2005-2013. During that time, Lulu became the first character in the show’s history to have an abortion.

  • #46. Chandler Massey

    Total nominations: 4

    Total wins: 3

    Stacker score: 19.23

    Chandler Massey broke down a major barrier for Days of Our Lives with his beautiful performance as Will Horton, an openly gay young man. Massey took home the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series three years in a row (2012-2014) and became the first actor to receive a Daytime Emmy for playing a gay character.

  • #45. Elizabeth Hubbard

    Total nominations: 9

    Total wins: 1

    Stacker score: 21.15

    Although she’s most famous for playing Lucinda Walsh on As the World Turns — a role that netted her eight Daytime Emmy nominations — Elizabeth Hubbard is one of daytime’s most prolific stars. In addition to As the World Turns, she also had roles on Guiding LightThe Edge of NightThe DoctorsOne Life to Live, and the Swedish soap Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden.

  • #44. Steve Burton

    Total nominations: 7

    Total wins: 2

    Stacker score: 21.15

    As General Hospital’s Jason Morgan, Steve Burton is a stoic, action hero who has been through it all — amnesia, a memory-mapping experiment, murder cover-ups, and dalliances with the mob. The character’s two constants are his passionate fanbase, and his ongoing love story with con woman turned private investigator, Sam McCall.

  • #43. Meredith Vieira

    Total nominations: 7

    Total wins: 2

    Stacker score: 21.15

    Since 1992, there hasn’t really been a time when Meredith Vieira wasn’t a part of the daytime television landscape. She went from balancing hard news stories and fluff pieces on NBC’s Today Show to serving as the original moderator for The View, to hosting the recently canceled Meredith Vieira Show, and Vieira remains one of the most trusted names in news.

  • #42. Jerry verDorn

    Total nominations: 7

    Total wins: 2

    Stacker score: 21.15

    Before some of the genre’s longest-running shows began to fall victim to network cancellations, Jerry verDorn was a permanent fixture in the daytime landscape. For more than 26 years the actor starred as Ross Marler on Guiding Light, before joining One Life to Live as Clint Buchanan from 2005-2013.

  • #41. Dr. Mehmet Oz

    Total nominations: 7

    Total wins: 2

    Stacker score: 21.15

    The world was first introduced to Dr. Mehmet Oz in 2004 on The Oprah Winfrey Show. It didn’t take long for his unique way of dispensing medical advice to earn the doctor his own series, The Dr. Oz Show.

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