Ranked: Greatest Male Soap Opera Stars Of 2022Published on November 8, 2022.
Of the many incredible performances on The Young and the Restless (Y&R), Days Of Our Lives (DOOL), The Bold and the Beautiful (B&B) and General Hospital (GH) this year, these actors were involved in the lion’s share! While some of these performers are established leading men, others are rising up to represent the next class of soap opera stardom. The following is a list of the greatest male soap opera stars of 2022, ranked.
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12. Jason Thompson – Y&R
It’s a minor miracle that Jason Thompson makes this year’s list, given that Billy Abbott’s podcast was one of the most painful storylines of the year. However, Thompson has once again proven that he will make the most of any screen-time. The actor proved a worthy adversary to Mark Grossman (Adam) and Robert Newman (Ashland), while his chemistry with Christel Khalil (Lily) and Amelia Heinle (Victoria) remains as potent as ever. Just don’t make us listen to an episode of The Grinning Soul ever again!
11. Greg Rikaart – DOOL
Has anyone been a bigger agent of chaos in Salem this year than Leo Stark? Could anyone else portray Leo quite like Greg Rikaart? If the answer to both questions is “no”, then we have to give it up for Rikaart, who continues to steal scenes left, right and center. The actor was supposed to exit the canvas after Leo’s failed marriage to Craig (Kevin Spirtas), but as he explained to Soap Opera Digest, DOOL wisely changed course. “I’m still there [taping], although I think I’m in a different arc now,” he revealed. “I’m there indefinitely. I’m having more fun now than ever.”
10. Sean Dominic – Y&R
For the greater part of 2022, Nate Hastings was a background character. He was superficial friends with Ashland Locke and had a lukewarm relationship with Elena Dawson (Brytni Sarpy). But wowzers, when Y&R finally gave Nate some worthy material and he was allowed to break bad, Sean Dominic proved what he’s capable of. From his ferocious confrontations with Devon to his tear-stained break-up with Elena, Nate became a mesmerizing focal point. Whatever you do, Y&R, please don’t sweep this character transformation under the rug. We prefer Nate with an edge!
9. Tanner Novlan – B&B
Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone. That’s what B&B fans learned when it was revealed that John “Finn” Finnegan had perished, and that actor Tanner Novlan had exited the soap. Granted, that was all smoke and mirrors, but the outpouring of love for Finn by “Sinn” fans was monumental. Even if B&B didn’t secretly have a plan all along to bring Finn back, they would’ve had to rewrite their story after all of that viewer outrage. Now if only Finn could get more screen-time!
8. Joshua Morrow – Y&R
It doesn’t matter if Nick Newman is angrily confronting Ashland Locke or making a fool of himself on the dance floor — in any scene, Joshua Morrow is a natural. With his mellow smile and relaxed body language, he oozes charm. And even after decades in the role, Morrow is still developing his character. This year, Nick made an unexpected return to the business world and is repeatedly showing good judgment – even when the rest of his family isn’t! Add his romance with Sally Spectra (Courtney Hope) to the equation, and Morrow’s had another banner year.
7. Zach Tinker – DOOL
Much like co-star Greg Rikaart, Zach Tinker is another actor Y&R shouldn’t have let get away! Ever since he debuted in February, Sonny Kiriakis has been steadily in the mix of storylines, which makes sense given his effortless rapport with Will (Chandler Massey), Leo, Alex (Robert Scott Wilson) and Allie (Lindsay Arnold). Plus, Tinker’s leading-man qualities could help Sonny find love elsewhere, if Will takes another extended leave. No wonder DOOL has locked him down on contract!
6. Maurice Benard – GH
Even though Sonny’s 2022 hasn’t been as wild as last year, when he lost his memory and worked in a bar, Maurice Benard continues to evolve the character. Although GH viewers have seen facets of the old Sonny come back, he remains haunted by the ghosts of Nixon Falls. Sonny’s decision to stay with Nina has destroyed his marriage to Carly and alienated his son, Michael. Benard has carried the burden of all that stress, stepping back into the life of a mob boss after such a simple, idyllic life outside of Port Charles. Always a compelling actor.
5. Bryton James – Y&R
It had been a few years since Devon Hamilton was “on the outs” with Y&R viewers — that is until he subpoenaed Chance and Abby to grant him shared custody of Dominic. Fans didn’t like that! Thankfully, Y&R writers abandoned that storyline and put Devon back in the boardroom, where he’s been reluctant to take Chancellor Winters public. Bryton James is at his best when his passions come to the surface, and his scenes opposite Sean Dominic (Nate) have been a blast to watch.
4. Scott Clifton – B&B
Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Liam Spencer is a highly watchable character. Even though he’s frustratingly indecisive – to the point that even actor Scott Clifton doesn’t really like him – B&B would be at a loss without his reliably charming and flawed presence. In 2022, Clifton continued to bring new dimensions of Liam to the surface, particularly during the aftermath of Steffy’s shooting. Plus, thanks to his penchant for bone-headed moves, Liam’s always on the cusp of drama.
3. Billy Flynn – DOOL
Making up for a rather lackluster 2021, Billy Flynn has been a steady presence on DOOL this year. His character, Chad DiMera, reunited with his estranged wife, Abigail (Marci Miller), only to lose her forever months later. Flynn gave viewers some heart-wrenching scenes as he mourned his wife, as well as a dark side that bubbled over when he found the person responsible for her passing. Chad is ending 2022 with a new romantic entanglement, proving that his chemistry knows no bounds.
2. Nicholas Chavez – GH
The GH teen scene has no shortage of talent, with Eden McCoy (Joss), Will Lipton (Cameron) and Tabyana Ali (Trina) all commanding decent screen time. Still, there’s no denying that newcomer Nicholas Chavez has taken the soap by storm. The role of Spencer Cassadine was always promising, but Chavez brings a brooding charisma which is vulnerable and yet borderline scary. No wonder he won his first Daytime Emmy this year!
1. Peter Bergman – Y&R
Sometimes, when a soap performer of a certain vintage makes year-end lists like these, it feels like lip service: “Well, of course he had to make the list!” And although Peter Bergman has earned his stripes as an iconic actor, he works his tail off to keep it that way. Jack Abbott’s storyline wasn’t exactly thrilling this year – especially the week or so he spent crying in Keemo’s house – but Bergman nailed his character’s suffering. And now that Jabot is front and center in storylines again, Bergman is reminding everyone what a powerhouse performer he is.