Ranked: Greatest Female Soap Opera Stars Of 2022Published on November 8, 2022.
Whether viewers were watching The Young and the Restless (Y&R), Days Of Our Lives (DOOL), The Bold and the Beautiful (B&B) or General Hospital (GH), they witnessed many incredible performances from daytime drama’s leading ladies. While some of these actresses are reigning queens of the small screen, others are rising up to represent the next class of soap opera stardom. The following is a list of the greatest female soap opera stars of 2022, ranked.
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12. Krista Allen – B&B
One long-suffering storyline that seemed to reach its absolute nadir this year was the love triangle between Ridge, Brooke and Taylor. But if there was one saving grace to the problematic mess, it was Krista Allen’s portrayal of Dr. Taylor Hayes. Her energy helped beleaguered viewers get through another Brooke tear and another Ridge grimace. She’s a wonderful addition to the cast, so hopefully Taylor will score a new romance (perhaps with Deacon) sometime in 2023!
11. Sharon Case — Y&R
In a recent issue of Soap Opera Digest, Y&R head writer Josh Griffith gave a rundown of teasers for November sweeps. As per usual, Sharon Rosales didn’t get so much as a mention. Viewers don’t know why actress Sharon Case rarely gets a storyline these days — that is, unless selling coffee at Crimson Lights is really the extent of this qualified therapist’s story potential! Nevertheless, Y&R gave the character one proper storyline this past spring — which involved the passing of her hubby, Rey — and Case crushed it. She deserves a place on this list just for that!
10. Maura West – GH
Things rarely get quiet for Ava Jerome, and that’s precisely how GH fans prefer it! As Ava dealt with her husband’s infidelity and Esme’s fall from Wyndemere Castle, actress Maura West rose to every challenge. A highlight was certainly her confrontation with Nikolas (Marcus Coloma) after she learned of his affair. West’s performance was raw and searing as she roasted her husband to tears, even though she was the heartbroken one. Give this woman an Emmy!
9. Melissa Claire Egan – Y&R
Let’s face it, Chelsea Lawson has been hard to watch this year. She followed Adam around like a lost puppy until he bluntly told her he wasn’t interested. Then, she sabotaged her fashion career and alienated her best friend, Chloe. By the time she kissed Billy, forced her way into Johnny’s life and spiraled into depression, Chelsea was basically one cringe-fest after another. Still, actress Melissa Claire Egan sold the breakdown perfectly. And by the time Chelsea attempted to take her own life, she’d created a sympathetic character who was difficult, sure, but worthy of happiness, too.
8. Katherine Kelly Lang – B&B
Viewers have made it abundantly clear this year that B&B should not be the Brooke Logan show. Far too frequently, the soap’s writers bend over backwards to make her the center of the universe, leaving half of the cast virtually absent from the canvas. Still, we can’t blame Katherine Kelly Lang for being fabulous. Once again, she has delivered a star turn throughout Brooke’s tumultuous year, digging deep for scenes related to her battle against alcoholism and her failing marriage. Having said all of this, who else would like to see Brooke single and happy next year?
7. Susan Walters – Y&R
The return of Diane Jenkins was confusing off the hop because her passing was one of the least vague in soap opera history. It happened on-screen, and it was graphic. What made the comeback even more bizarre was the fact that Susan Walters, who played Diane prior to Maura West’s fatal version, was reprising the role. Yet, hats off to head writer Josh Griffith because Walters has been a dynamic presence on the soap. With a conniving heart lurking under her pleasant exterior, Walters has given Diane a winning complexity. Ms. Jenkins’ return has been an unexpected delight.
6. Sofia Mattsson – GH
No character on this list (or any list) has had a more devastating year than Sasha Corbin. From her child perishing shortly after birth to her addiction issues and finally, the passing of her husband Brando, Sasha has been a ticking time bomb. And while that’s the type of material most actors crave, it’s more challenging when the trauma is stretched out over a full year. Actress Sofia Mattsson has had to incrementally build her character’s pain to a breaking point, and all of that rage came out in a memorable scene when she attacked Smoltz’s car!
5. Raven Bowens – DOOL
When Raven Bowens was recast in the role of Chanel Dupree, the character had only existed for a few months prior to her arrival. That allowed Bowens to take a character that had been only partially sketched out (by outgoing actress Precious Way) and make it her own. As such, Chanel went from a one-dimensional troublemaker to a complicated spitfire. Chanel’s storylines have rocketed to new heights (or depths, depending on how one feels about daytime TV’s first threesome) as Bowens is quickly becoming one of DOOL‘s main draws.
4. Kimberlin Brown – B&B
While 2022 marks Kimberlin Brown’s 30th anniversary of portraying Sheila Carter, there are no signs of the master criminal’s aura wearing off. In fact, B&B viewers managed to see Sheila wilder than she’s been in at least a decade, when she shot Steffy and Finn behind Il Giardino. The aftermath of that shooting featured Sheila’s full-on breakdown in front of a mirror, which was about as eerie and dysfunctional as daytime television gets!
3. Christel Khalil – Y&R
Few actresses on this list have had such a tame year, storyline-wise, as Christel Khalil. Her hardworking and levelheaded character, Lily Winters, has been busy running Chancellor-Winters and managing her flakey boyfriend, Billy, but life has been pretty stable. However, with her company’s IPO in jeopardy and her family being torn apart, Lily’s life is quickly getting chaotic. Khalil portrays the new CEO with such finesse, viewers can feel her burden as she tries to keep everyone together. Such an understated actress deserves the spotlight, especially as she celebrates twenty years on daytime!
2. Cynthia Watros – GH
Even though we’re getting set to enter 2023, there are still soap opera fans who can’t differentiate the characters they despise from the actresses who portray them! Few daytime drama performers know this better than GH‘s Cynthia Watros, who has been sporadically hounded by angry fans for breaking up Sonny and Carly’s marriage. However, she makes this list not only because she’s talented enough to make certain fans forget that she’s an actress, but because she’s somehow turned many of those haters into devoted fans of the “Sina” super couple.
1. Courtney Hope – Y&R
Did any actress prove her mettle more frequently (and more sensationally) this year than Courtney Hope? Last year, Sally Spectra seemed adrift in Genoa City. Her romance with Jack Abbott went nowhere, and she conspired with other social pariahs (remember Tara?) to get Summer out of town. Fast forward to 2022, however, and Sally has been a blazing sun around which other characters orbit. Hope has instilled this crafty character with an incredible heart, an unpredictable mind, and a very bankable chemistry with Mark Grossman. Let’s hope Y&R can hang onto her!