America has followed these 10 best soap opera actresses of the 80’s for years. These beloved actresses have given life to dramatic characters. It was in the 80’s that many soap operas became hour-long productions for the first time and established themselves in the daily lives of Americans. 

  1. Melody Thomas Scott. At the young age of 23, Melody began a successful 28-year career as the character, Nikki Reed, on “The Young and the Restless.” Another lady had been playing the same character before her, but Melody really took over the role and made it her own.

  2. Marie Masters. She has had acting stints on Broadway and in Hollywood, but Marie is best remembered for her role as Dr. Susan Stewart on “As the World Turns.” She eventually started writing for the same soap opera and won an Emmy with her team.

  3. Leslie Charleson. The soap opera “General Hospital” may always be grateful to Leslie. Her love triangle with the characters, Alan Quartermaine and Rick Webber, helped bring the show to the top in the 80’s.

  4. Jacklyn Zeman. As a former Playboy bunny and dance student at New York University, it’s no wonder that Jacklyn’s beauty captivated soap opera fans in the 80’s. They’ll remember her as the nurse, Barbara Jean Spencer, on “General Hospital.”

  5. Susan Lucci. Susan was the female face of soap opera in the 80’s as the first actress of daytime drama to make the cover of national magazines. She was nominated for numerous Emmy awards as the character, Erica Kane, of “All My Children.”

  6. Jeanne Cooper. Making headlines for her plastic surgery in the 80’s, this soap opera star incorporated her real life drama into her Hollywood life. She continues to be recognized as Katherine Chancellor on “The Young and the Restless” and has even been granted her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

  7. Ruth Warrick. Ruth made a respectable name for herself in numerous movies, but especially for her role as Phoebe Tyler on “All My Children.” Although she has passed away, she will forever be remembered for her strong and majestic character.

  8. Kathryn Hays. A veteran of the soap opera world, Kathryn was with “As the World Turns” as Kim Sullivan Hughes for over 30 years until the show finished its run. She was well known for her short brown hair, but still looks beautiful and matronly framed by natural grey since she stopped coloring her mane.

  9. Erika Slezak. There has been plenty of recognition for Erika’s stellar performances as Victoria Lord Riley on “One Life to Live.” She has received six Emmy awards for her role and is tied for the most Emmy wins by an actor or actress.

  10. Helen Wagner. Helen’s dedication as an actress of “As the World Turns” since its inception has been recognized by the “Guinness Book of Records.” Since her passing, fans continue to remember her and her character, Nancy Hughes McClosky.