Days Of Our Lives Actors Who Got Their Start On Another Soap

When it comes to the world of soap operas it's not unusual for fans to see their favorite actors hop from one sudser to another. This has been happening for decades, and viewers often like to see how an actor can change into a different character seamlessly. "Days of Our Lives" fans know all too well what it's like to have a seasoned soap vet join the cast, as many actors who have appeared on the show had experience on another soap opera before heading to Salem.

One such actor is Judi Evans. Although Evans is best known for her portrayal of Adrienne Kiriakis and later Bonnie Lockhart on "Days of Our Lives," she got her start on soaps by playing the role of Beth Raines on "Guiding Light." In 2022, Evans admitted that when she landed her first soap job, she was a bit naïve about the business. "I didn't really know about soaps. A few friends in college watched 'General Hospital,' so I had a very peripheral idea that they were out there," she told Soap Opera Digest.

While Evans went on to reveal that she's made her closest friendships working on "Days of Our Lives," she also had a great experience working with Michael O'Leary (who played Rick Bauer in "Guiding Light") during her first soap job. "He's the funniest guy, and he did the best impressions of people," Evans stated. "He was hilarious." Here are some other "Days of Our Lives" actors who got their start on another soap.

Thaao Penghlis previously played Victor Cassadine on General Hospital

Thaao Penghlis has appeared in over 1,500 episodes of "Days of Our Lives" since making his debut as Tony DiMera in 1981 (he has also played Andre DiMera, who impersonated Tony). However, before making his way to Salem as part of one of the most entertaining and ruthless families, the actor played the role of Victor Cassadine on "General Hospital." In 2020, Penghlis opened up about playing characters on two huge sudsers during an interview with Soap Hub, discussing the fact that he's been part of two iconic soap families in the DiMeras and the Cassadines.

"Both families were created by [late soap opera head writer] Pat Falken Smith," Penghlis said. "['General Hospital' producer] Gloria Monty took to me. She was so kind to me. She felt betrayed when I left. Other Cassadines were killed off, but not Victor. The plan was for me to stay. But Pat left and took me to 'Days.'" In 2014, the soap star returned to "General Hospital" in the role of Victor. However, after the character was presumed dead, Penghlis returned to his longtime home in the fictional town of Salem.

Joseph Mascolo had a role on The Doctors before becoming Stefano DiMera

Joseph Mascolo is best remembered for playing one of the most iconic soap opera villains of all time in Stefano DiMera. The "Days of Our Lives" legend was beloved by fans around the world, despite the fact that he was one of the most evil characters in soap history. Stefano's days in Salem were full of mischief and he caused huge problems for nearly every single character during his long run on the sudser. What you might not know is that Stefano was the second character he played on the show — Mascolo appeared as Dr. Tufano in five episodes back in 1968. However, before this, the actor actually popped up in a 1963 episode of the classic soap opera "The Doctors."

Mascolo's role on the "The Doctors" wasn't a big one. In fact, his character didn't even have a name. The NBC soap opera ran between 1963 and 1982 and boasted cast members such as Ted Danson, Kathy Bates, Alec Baldwin, Kathleen Turner, and more during its run. In addition to his roles on "The Doctors" and "Days of Our Lives," Mascolo also appeared as Massimo Marone on "The Bold and the Beautiful," Nicholas Van Buren on "General Hospital," and Carlo Alvarez on "Santa Barbara."

Mascolo died in 2016, but his legacy will live on, especially among "Days of Our Lives" viewers. The actor won three Soap Opera Digest awards for outstanding villain during his time on the show. "His larger than life presence, kind heart, and unwavering positivity has impacted us all for decades, and will live on in the memories of his many fans," Ken Corday, an executive producer on "Days of Our Live," told People.

Tamara Braun played Carly Corinthos on General Hospital

In May 2001, Tamara Braun made her debut as Carly Corinthos on "General Hospital," taking over the role from Sarah Joy Brown. Carly is a fan-favorite character on the sudser, enjoying romances with the likes of Sonny Corinthos, A.J. Quartermaine, Lorenzo Alcazar, Jasper Jacks, Jason Morgan, Patrick Drake, Todd Manning, Johnny Zacchara, Steven Webber, among others. Carly has also been involved in big drama which has included her seducing her mother's husband, drugging characters, paternity switches, adultery, and blackmail. However, like many other soap stars before her, Braun left "General Hospital" and found herself in Salem.

In 2008, Braun debuted on "Days of Our Lives" as mob princess Ava Vitali. In 2011, she took on the role of Nicole Walker's sister, Taylor Walker. Taylor took a liking to Nicole's husband, EJ DiMera, which caused turmoil between the pair. She eventually left town, but Braun later returned in the role of Ava. Fans have grown accustomed to seeing the versatile actor on the sudser and enjoy watching her character stir up trouble for many Salemites.Braun has played other soap opera characters over the years, including Kim Nero on "General Hospital" and Reese Williams on "All My Children."

Vincent Irizarry worked on several soap operas before coming to Days of Our Lives

"Days of Our Lives" viewers will remember Vincent Irizarry as Deimos Kiriakis, the scheming younger brother of Victor Kiriakis. Deimos came to Salem with vengeance on his mind, as he wanted revenge against his brother for putting him behind bars. Deimos plotted to take Victor's company and his fortune. Along the way he entered into romances with Kate Roberts, Chloe Lane, and Nicole Walker, but he was eventually killed by Nicole during a dramatic murder mystery storyline. Before he ever stepped foot in Salem, Irizarry was already a soap opera pro, having played several characters on many different sudsers.

Irizarry landed his first daytime role in 1987 when he was cast as Dr. Scott Clark on the now-defunct soap "Santa Barbara." He later moved on to "Guiding Light" as a character named Lujack Luvonaczek and then made appearances on both "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" as Dr. David Hayward. He also portrayed the character David Chow on "The Young and The Restless" before debuting as Deimos Kiriakis on "Days of Our Lives" in 2016. Irizarry has proven himself to be a seasoned vet when it comes to the world of soaps, and fans have loved watching him play many different types of characters along the way.

A. Martinez made the soap opera rounds before landing in Salem

Adolfo Larrue Martinez III (known professionally as A. Martinez) is another actor who has made his rounds in the soap opera world. Martinez might be best remembered for his role as Cruz Castillo on "Santa Barbara" from 1984 until 1992. He also had a small part on "Port Charles" before moving on to become Roy DiLucca on "General Hospital." Years later, Martinez swapped sudsers again when he was cast on "One Life to Live" as Ray Montez. In 2011, he appeared on "The Bold and the Beautiful" as Dr. Ramon Montgomery. Finally, Martinez found himself on "Days of Our Lives" when he came to Salem as the head of the Hernandez family, Eduardo.

Unlike the charming Cruz Castillo on "Santa Barbara," Eduardo was not a very likable man. In fact, Martinez once told Soap Opera Spy that he wouldn't want to know him in real life. "I'm not sure we'd be really good friends," he said. "[Eduardo] is so damaged, such a problematic creature. It might get tiring after a while." The character was revealed to be the father of Hernandez siblings Rafe, Gabi, Arianna, and Dario. However, he was also discovered to be the father of Eve Donovan's daughter, Paige Larson. All of Eduardo's children had strong feelings about him as he had abandoned both of his families over the years.