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42 July 15th, 2013 OLTL 45: Stars Offer Up Their Favorite Storylines! What Was Your Favorite Story Of All-Time?


Today is the 45th anniversary of One Life to Live, which premiered on July 15, 1968 originally on ABC.  In 2013, the show continues to be groundbreaking, and to fight back against all odds.

After it was canceled in 2011, and aired its last episode in January 2012, Prospect Park remounted, relaunched, and revitalized the show, bringing it online to Hulu and now to cable television on OWN, with the first episodes beginning to air this week.

To mark the big 45th, TV Guide talked with series stars: Erika Slezak, Kassie DePaiva, Jerry verDorn, Tuc Watkins and Melissa Archer to get their picks for the Best Moments in the history of the show.  Here are a few of their choices:

Viki Goes to Heaven (1987, 2008, 2012): Victoria Lord (Slezak) has been to heaven and back no less than three times on One Life to Live. During her first out-of-body experience, she ascends during brain surgery and meets up with deceased friends and loved ones, including her ex-husband Joe Riley. “I love the heaven story line,” says Slezak. “It was so different and so unusual.” In 2008, show creator Agnes Nixonappears during Viki’s celestial visit as “The Creator.” And Viki’s late daughter, Megan (Jessica Tuck) escorts Viki to the pearly gates one final time in 2012 before the show stopped airing on ABC.

Kelly Kills Blair’s Baby (1997): “I love the drama,” DePaiva says of her 20-year (and counting) run as Blair on One Life to Live. “I’ve had so many great stories. Blair’s just been front-burner for so many things.” In one of the juicier plot lines in the late ’90s, Blair and her cousin Kelly (Gina Tognoni) clash after Blair discovers that Kelly was the one behind the wheel of a car that crashed into her, killing her unborn baby — who was also a match to donate much-needed bone marrow to Blair’s other daughter, Starr.

David Finds Out He’s Bo’s Son (2009): After originally thinking Bo Buchanan (Robert S. Woods) was his brother, David Vickers discovers that Bo is actually his father, having had a one-night stand with his mother years prior. The two eventually form a close bond. Watkins says he appreciated the opportunity the story line afforded him to work with Woods. “We have a lot of laughs,” he says. “It was nice for two actors who had been on the same show for a long time who had one kind of relationship, which was acrimonious — because he was basically a good guy and I was a bad guy, and I was always trying to get away with stuff, and he was always trying to prevent me from getting away with stuff. And then all of a sudden, we found out we’re father and son, so it completely changes the dynamic between us. It’s really been fun to play that second part.”

Viki vs. Dorian (ongoing): From the show’s early episodes, the central story line pitted Viki against her stepmother, Dorian — and their frequent clashes have carried on right up to the present. Over 40 years of affairs, blackmail and betrayals, the two might be considered the original frenemies. Their latest dustup? Dorian, now a senator, is involved in a CIA cover-up scandal, which was brought to light by none other than The Banner, Viki’s newspaper. “Everything Dorian does, as evil and horrible as it is, she does because she believes it is the right thing to do,” Says Slezak.  Adds Watkins: “I think in a nutshell One Life to Live is good versus evil. And it all stems from Viki versus Dorian. And I believe that there is no One Life to Live without Viki versus Dorian.”

So now we throw it to you our beloved fans of One Life to Live, today being anniversary day? What is your favorite storyline or moments in the history of the iconic series? Share your thoughts below!

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  1. Beacon says:

    When I think of OLTL, Tina and Gabrielle spring to mind. Andrea Evans and Fiona Hutchison practically INVENTED the term frenemie, especially in terms of daytime drama. They were delightful!


    KK replied

    I remember that Tina had just recently gone over the waterfall when I first started watching. I was probably about 11 years old. I thought that being an adult was going to be sooooo exciting.


    JLH replied

    I loved those two together–and was so disgusted with OLTL’s writers when they killed off Gabrielle and dashed any hope of Tina and Gabrielle interacting again. Unless Tina goes to Heaven, of course, and the odds of that can’t be too great.


    Jake R. replied

    I loved that Gabrielle basically “willed” Max into falling in love with her. He fought her love for him tooth and nail, but he eventually gave in! Then they sent her to prison and years later she showed up married to Asa. I did NOT like that very much!


  2. Terry Pickett says:

    The Eddie Ford story. John Wesley Shipp should have won a third Emmy for the role. This storyline got me back into OLTL after the unnecessary axing of AS THE WORLD TURNS, (Ironically, JWS won his first Emmy for ATWT).


  3. KK says:

    My very favorite story was the Voice of the Night which led to the Marcy and Al/Michael storyline.


  4. Lisa Z. says:

    My favorite was the love affair between Viki and Clint. I started watching in the mid 1980s when Viki was Niki and Clint’s love helped to cure her. Then she was accused of murdering her psychiatrist so Viki and Clint went on the run with their sons. I have been watching ever since then. The only storyline that I hated was when Viki fell in love with Sloan and broke up her marriage. I hope that Viki and Clint get back together again soon.


    Jake R. replied

    I watched the show in the 80′s and I don’t remember Viki & Clint and the boys going on the run?


  5. Tali says:

    I like the love stories – 1. John & Natalie 2. Tina & Cord 3. Bo & Becky Lee.


    Yolanda Arenas replied

    I loved Becky Lee. I loved the 80′s storylines.


  6. Karen says:

    Favorite story line: Fraternity Row. The Daisy Awards show was a great spoof of the Daytime Emmys. Viki’s alters (all of them) is a close second.

    Least favorite story line: Mitch Laurence returns and wants to use Natalie’s (or was it Jessica’s) heart to save Victor. Come on, Dorian had gone to jail for killing Victor, and it turns out he’s alive and needs his granddaughter’s heart to live?


    Lin replied

    I hate any Mitch Lawrence story line. Totally agree.


    Jake R. replied

    I love Mitch Laurence storylines BUT bringing back Victor from the dead was really dumb! And the Fraternity Row stuff was very clever! It was meta before meta became fashionable.


  7. TK says:

    The 1888 Storyline, where Clint went back in time and met Viki’s grandmother, and Blaize and Buck Buchanan. Greatness!


  8. lisa cudak says:

    My favorite was when Todd “died”in Ireland but came back from the dead. He proclaimed HIs love to Blair, but she was in love with Patrick. She told him and broke his heart. Plus he got shot in Ireland. Patrick’s enemies mistook him for Patrick. The shooting and taking his Blair. This set up all the love/hate feelings between them. And meeting Starr,his little girl,the only person who loved him unconditionally


  9. mgb357 says:

    My favorite by far was VIki/Niki being integrated several times and when baby Jessica was stolen by Mitch/Allison. Wonder story that seemed to go on forever – thats what great soaps do!

    Runner up – Karen Wolek as prostitute – kudos to Judith Light for making us sympathetic to her character.

    Best moment ever – Karen on the witness stand.


  10. Iakovos says:

    There are so many. I recall being enthralled in Dorian and Mark Toland (played by Tommy Lee Jones) connving together back to the 1970s when I was a schoolkid. And things only reached a high point with Karen Wolek (Judith Light) and that classic courtroom testimony scene. Add in Marco Dane and host of others and well… classic soap opera! I really enjoyed many characters in Llanview and their stories… Jenny Wolek wrestling with her commitment as a Catholic nun. The working class Vinnie and Wanda. Ed and Carla Hall. The Cramer women! Tina Clayton Lord! VIKI and DORIAN!!!!! I loved the pioneering gay storyline with Ryan Phillippe. And the Todd/Marty rape storyline. Something went awry for me in the last 20 years on ABC… too many questionable parentage turns in the Buchanan line, the off-the-wall humor, and well, such odd stories as Eterna and for me, too much Victor/Todd machinations.Overall, the actors rise above any weak stories. OLTL is a gem!


  11. Chaz says:

    How to pick just one…..

    Going way back in time….Cathy Craig’s drug addiction story. Because they grounded it in reality and showed her attending counseling & meetings. None of this, okay I am sober/ no longer addicted in 2 episodes stuff. Part of what I felt they fell down on currently with the Dani story.

    Of course, The Karen Wolek prostitution story. Powerfully executed.

    When Niki Smith was first introduced because it was fresh & original.

    Dorien’s affair with Mark Toland and them covering up his medical error, blaming it on Larry Wolek to keep their affair secret.

    The jail house music scenarios. Campy and showed off the actors various talents.

    Barbara Garrick’s appearances as Allison and the reveal of the Jessica/Natalie switch.

    Just a few……


  12. Alan says:

    So many to pick from but my top 5 would have to be…

    1) Karen Wolek’s double life as a housewife hooker.

    2) Tina revealed to be Viki’s sister resulting in the re-emergence of Niki Smith.

    3) Anything featuring Mitch Laurence.

    4) Jack bullying Shane resulting in the “death” of Gigi.

    5) The Todd/Victor Jr reveal.


  13. MBmomof3 says:

    too many to choose from. Been a fan since I was 6 years old. Will never forget the Clara/Carla storyline or when Vicki discovered she had alternate personalities (DID). Those stores really intrigued me as a very young girl and I’ve loved OLTL ever since. Congratulations OLTL on 45 magnificent years of entertainment. Thank you!


  14. blake says:

    I remember the show being really great in 2002, that’s also when they had the live week and that was amazing also!


  15. Edna Barefoot says:

    My favorite stories always include Viki. Been watch Viki & Clint”s love story on youtube just fabulous. Love the DID story. Sexiest story for Viki was with Ben. All I can say is HOT!! I hated Sloan. Now I want Viki & Clint together & they have split them again. The heaven stories were wonderful as was the Eternal & 1988. Erika Slezak is Queen Bee of OLTL. Thank you Agnes for 45 yrs.


  16. Lindley Pablo says:

    I liked Blair and John’s stories when they were together. I also liked Blair and Tomas Delgado’s stories. And I thought Blair and Tomas were good together.


  17. Brandi Bridges says:

    Those stories with Viki, Viki, or Viki are the best! I love have loved watching Erika Slezak portray Viki ever since I was like 5 years old. My favorite stories with her have stories with her children – Kevin, Joey & Jessica, and then Megan and Natalie. I love watching stories with Viki and Dorian or Viki and Tina, and I thoroughly enjoyed the breast cancer story. I couldn’t get enough of Ben and Blondie and I now want to see Viki and Clint find their way back to each other. JVD is fabulous as Clint and I look forward to many, many more years!! Happy Anniversary OLTL!


  18. jimh(leave it to beaver) says:

    My favorite is Vikis mysterious car accident that left her in a coma, and the suprise return of Larry Woleck who is at Vikis bedside confessing he always loved her. Then after Larry leaves, we see Vikis fingers on her right hand move briefly. Some speculate Dorian tampered with Vikis car brakes but there are hints that members of that tatooed organization involving Arturo may be responsible in an act of revenge against Victors family. But the best suprise is when Clint returns to Llanview and finds a mysterious woman in the house who claims to be the real Victoria Lord and played by Gillian Spenser who originated the role when Oltl first aired on ABC. But who is she really and is she connected to Arturo and the tatooed organization? Kidding…none of this is currently happening on the reboot…my real favorite storyline was everthing that was going on the shows final two years when on ABC…


    Jake R. replied

    Jeez, you should write for the show! I don’t watch the reboot but I know there’s something about tattoos so you really had me going. Did they ever actually write Larry Woleck out of the show or did he just disappear into the OR one day never to reappear?


  19. Jp says:

    Happy 45 anniversary one life to live. I’ve been watching for over 25 years and it was always my favorite soap. I’d say my favorite years were from 1986 to 1994. From Vicki trip to heaven, to Tina going over the waterfall in Argentina, to the Wild West story, eterna, fraternity row, Marty’s rape, classic cat fights with long hair twirling, to aids/gay coming out story, Alex trying to drown Cassie , the list goes on. Just so happy oltl is back n hopefully around for another 45 years . If not ,more.


  20. Linda says:

    There have been so many. Larry & Meredith love story as well as Vicki and Joe. Karen as a hooker and Marco as her pimp. Just to name few. Happy 45th Anniversary OLTL!!


  21. Gentry Ashmore says:

    Happy 45 Anniversary to my favorite soap opera ever. I have been watching OLTL for thirty years. My favorites have always been Vicki and Clint, Cord and Tina, Bo and Didi, Bo and Nora, Max and Blair, Kelly and Joey, Jessica and Christian and JOLIE, JOLIE and JOLIE!!!!

    Prospect Park please find a way to bring back Michael Easton to play John McBain. Dr. Silas Clay is a mediocre character that won’t last on GH. We need JOLIE!


    Tali replied

    Couldn’t agree with you more! JOLIE!


  22. Llanviewer717 says:

    Congratulations OLTL on 45 years of wonderful story telling. I was there for the first episode and I am still watching today.

    There have been so many terrific story lines. I remember Carla and Jim Craig. That was a very daring story line for the time. I still miss the Wolek family, Anna, Vinnie and Larry, the Siegel family. Larry and Meredith’s love story was wonderful. No one can every forget Karen Wolek and Marco Dane. I loved Dorian and Herb and Cassie coming to town. (He was the only man who could really control her such as it is. Mel did a great job too.) Jenny and David Renaldi were terrific together.

    Viki’s DID story when we met Tommy, Princess, Jean Randolph, Tori and the most terrifying personality Victor was amazing. There are not enough superlatives for Erika Slezak. I really loved when they explored Dorian’s family history and we met her crazy mother Sonya. Robin Strasser was fantastic portraying all the hidden layers of Dorian. One of my all time favorite scenes was when Tina went over the Iguazu Falls. Too bad for Cord that she didn’t stay there. But at the of the network run, they worked things out. Another favorite was when Jessica got in Natalie’s face and called her a “selfish, lying whore.”

    I could go on and on but I’m taking up too much space. I absolutely love OLTL. Once again, thank you to everyone who brought my people back to me. I look forward to another 45 years of wonderful entertainment.


  23. Emily says:

    Happy 45th anniversary OLTL and here’s to more!!!

    I’m into couples on soaps. My favs were Max & Gabrielle, Megan & Jake, Jessica & Nash and Natalie and John.


    Penni replied

    I agree with you Emily. My favorite couple of these four was Megan and Jake, but I like the other three couples too.


    Emily replied

    High 5 Penni:) I’m so glad OLTL is back on the air now. I know it’s for a limited time, but still never thought I’d see the day:)

  24. Penni says:

    My favorite storyline was the love story of Megan Gordon (Jessica Tuck) and Jake Harrison (Joe Lando). It was a sad end to their story but entertaining through it all. Especially during the Badderly fiasco. Would have loved to have seen Jake return briefly before OLTL went off ABC to update what he had been doing. and how he has survived all these years without Megan.


  25. Lin says:

    Just one storyline out of so many I loved was the Ben/Vicki love story. Hated, hated when they killed him off.


  26. dawnhaze says:

    Eterna…no one mentioned Eterna. I loved it. Also when Tina was marrying Max and said Cord’s name instead of Max’s. I pretty much liked anything about Cord and Tina. Max and Luna were also a nice couple. So many storylines in 45 years and so many wonderful characters. It would be so good to see Kevin, Joey and Jessica too. I love Vicki with Clint, Nora with Bo, Dorian with Herb (but David is funny), Asa and Rene, Tia and Victor Jr and of course Blair and Todd (Roger Howarth). Long live One Life to Live.


    Jake R. replied

    I LOVED ETERNA TOO! One person above (JP) did mention it along with a few other storylines, but most people seemed to have hated it. I actually loved when the soaps did the sci-fi stuff-OLTL with Eterna and GH with Cassadine Island are two of my favorite daytime storylines of all time. And yet, ironically, I hate sci-fi stuff except for the original Star Wars trilogy.


  27. Karen Severino says:

    There have been many great storylines over the years, but if I had to pick my favorite it would be Marty and Patrick (the poet). There was a romance that touched my heart and so did the fantastic actors who played those parts. Thorsten Kaye and Susan Haskell were a great combo and it is nice to see that they are together in real life.
    However, let me say that I think every actor on the show has brought something special to the show through the years, and that is why I have loved this show for 45 years. What a Prospect Park has done with the show since they started is simply fabulous! I am hoping to see my favorite show for many more years to come.


  28. Isableue says:

    My favorite storyline it’s Megan (Jessica Tuck) and Jake (Joe Lando). Such a great and sad love story, but funny too. Jessica and Joe were perfect in their acting, and had a great chemistry. Love them.


  29. CTwildheart says:

    My favorite story line?….the triumphant return of OLTL and AMC! Thank you Prospect Park! :)


  30. Jake R. says:

    Eterna was my favorite storyline. Favorite couple was Gabrielle & Max because she really made him fall in love with her, which was amazing to me as a teenager. Favorite character is Vicki because of her grace and class, but Tina in her heyday and David Vickers in the last couple of years were really great for comic relief, as was Roxy.


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