Julianne Moore Returns to ‘As the World Turns’ as… Julianne Moore?
It may not have been quite the coup that the producers of General Hospital pulled off when they lured Elizabeth Taylor to Port Charles as Helena Cassadine in 1981 to make Luke and Laura’s marriage a living hell, but as daytime TV goes, it was certainly must see.
Yesterday, for the first time in 22 years, Julianne Moore appeared on the show where she found her earliest fame, the CBS daytime soap As The World Turns, in her Daytime Emmy-winning role of Frannie Hughes. She blew into town to celebrate the wedding anniversary of her TV mom and dad, Bob and Kim. Although it’s great to see an Oscar-nominated star pay homage to her daytime roots, is it me or did Moore seem less in character and more like Julianne Moore doing a quick walk-on to say hello to some old friends? (See video below.)
In the end, that she showed up at all is what really matters. Let James Franco do the heavy lifting, as he recently did during a short-term General Hospital gig. If major big-screen stars are what it takes to give a boost to a dying genre (As the World Turns — which debuted in 1956, making it the longest-running soap on TV — will last air September 17), then bring them on.
A number of major prime-time and film stars, from David Hasselhoff to Josh Duhamel to three of the Desperate Housewives (Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria and Marcia Cross) launched their careers in soaps, while Taylor, Franco, Carol Burnett and, more recently, Patrick Duffy and Betty White have gone in the opposite direction.
One Life to Live may have the best star-making track record, if not the best ratings. Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Berenger, Judith Light, Ryan Phillipe, Al Freeman Jr., Jameson Parker and Marcia Cross all put in time there. Tuc Watkins, a currently recurring player, is on Desperate Housewives; Eddie Alderson had a pivotal role in the 2008 Clint Eastwood-directed film Changeling; and Brian Kerwin has had a long and successful career in film, on TV and, like numerous OLTL stars, past and present, on Broadway.
In honor of Moore’s daytime comeback, here is a quartet of the biggest stars to emerge from daytime.
Julianne Moore From 1986 to 1988, she played separated-at-birth twins Frannie and Sabrina Hughes, one American, the other British. She’s continued playing dual roles in film, scoring four Oscar nominations for serving up her screen specialty of desperate housewives (Far From Heaven, The Hours) and certified nut jobs (Boogie Nights).
Tommy Lee Jones He played duplicitous Dr. Mark Toland on One Life to Live a bit before I started watching with my mom as a kid (1971 to 1975), but since then, he’s been a major presence in prime time and on the big screen, even winning an Oscar for chasing down Harrison Ford in 1993’s The Fugitive.
Meg Ryan One year before Moore’s arrival, Ryan completed her two-year romantic arc as Betsy Stewart on As the World Turns. She went on to become America’s sweetheart, the new Doris Day, a role she hung onto for several years even after Julia Roberts stole her queen of romantic comedy crown with Pretty Woman.
Demi Moore John Stamos and Janine Turner were both General Hospital regulars during Moore’s time in Port Charles as Jackie Templeton (1982-83), and all three went on to Hollywood success. Though, like Ryan, her hot-stuff era is more than a decade behind her, Moore had a string of movie hits in the late ’80s and early ’90s, at one point being Hollywood’s highest-paid actress, and A-list marriages to Bruce Willis and current spouse Ashton Kutcher.
Could the next Meryl Streep or Matthew McConaughey be biding his or her time in Pine Valley, Port Charles or Llanview?