From Soaps to Jabón: Are Telenovelas Replacing English-Language Soap Operas?

Just as telenovelas are getting bigger/dominating the ratings, English-language soap operas are quickly becoming extinct. On Thursday, ABC revealed that All My Children will end in September and that One Life to Live will wrap in January 2012. When those two classics are gone, there will only be four English-language soaps left on daytime TV. Someone page Kate Del Castillo, ASAP! La Reina del Sur just might have the secret to making those shows a hit!

Here’s a look back at some of our favorite Latino soap stars.

1. Ricky Martin Soap

Ricky Martin, General Hospital

Following his success with Menudo, the talented singer tried his hand at acting in 1994, playing the role of Miguel Morez, a hospital orderly turned singing sensation on ABC’s General Hospital. “What I love about doing a soap opera character is that you can never be sure what will happen to him next,” Ricky said back then. 

2. Eva Longoria Parker

Eva Longoria, The Young and the Restless

Before she was a desperate housewife, Eva Longoria played the psychotic ex-call girl, Isabella Braña Williams from 2001-2003 on the CBS daytime drama, The Young and The Restless.


3. Vanessa Marcil

Vanessa Marcil, General Hospital

How badass is Vanessa Marcil’s character Brenda Barrett Corinthos on General Hospital? Well, let’s just say that Brenda died in 1998 after her psychotic mother drove their car off a cliff — and yet the feisty brunette still managed to return to Port Charles on August 11, 2010. For her role as Brenda, Marcil was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama series in 1997 and 1998. She won the award in 2003. 

4. Mark Consuelos

Mark Consuelos, All My Children

The handsome Mark Consuelos won a few trophies for his portrayal of Mateo Santos on the long-running soap (including the American Latino Media Arts Award for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Soap Opera). But for Consuelos — who joined the show in 1995  — the greatest prize was meeting his future wife (and mother of his three kids), Kelly Ripa. Ripa played Consuelos’ wife, Hayley Vaughan Santos on the popular daytime soap.



5. Eva La Rue

Eva La RueAll My Children 

Eva La Rue earned a Daytime Emmy for her portrayal of Dr. Maria Santos, whose relationship with the gorgeous Dr. Edmond Grey kept viewers intrigued for more than a decade. 

6. David Fumero

David Fumero, One Life to Live 

For 13 years, this dreamy Cuban-born actor played Cristian Vega, a painter who has enamored at least a half a dozen women on the show. In real life, Fumero met his wife Melissa Gallo on the show.  

7. Eddie Cibrian

Eddie Cibrian, The Young and the Restless

Though Cibrian’s time on The Young and the Restless was short lived compared to other soap opera actors (he played teen villain Matt Clark from 1996-1998), the role launched the Cuban actor's career.



8. Vincent Irizarry

Vincent Michael Irizarry

All My Children (1997-Present)

The Young and the Restless (2007-2008)

One Life to Live (2005)

Guiding Light (1984-1993)

His credits say it all: Irizarry is soap opera royalty. His current gig as Dr. David Hayward on All My Children got a little bumpy after he was fired in 2005 because writers didn’t know how to continue his story line. But he returned last year better than ever. 

9. A Martinez

A Martinez, The Bold and the Beautiful

A Martinez, who is of Mexican and Spanish descent, is right there with Irizarry when it comes to his title of soap opera vet. During his long career, he has captured the attention of audiences on four soaps: Santa Barbara (1984-1992), General Hospital (1999-2002), One Life to Live (2008-2009), and The Bold and the Beautiful (2011).