Soaps aren’t just about love and romance in the afternoon. What good is a hero or heroine without a good villain to fight against? We’ve taken a look back at some of the all-time greats — or worsts, if you want to get technical — to run down a list of our top 10 villains from ALL MY CHILDREN, GENERAL HOSPITAL, ONE LIFE TO LIVE, and RYAN’S HOPE.
You might recognize a few of your favorites… from your nightmares! These men and women have been responsible for everything from kidnappings all the way to multiple murders. Even though some of them may seem charming, they’ve got their dark sides!
Take a look through our gallery below as we count down the 10 nastiest villains in ABC Daytime history all the way up to our number one pick!
For more on your favorite ABC soaps — past and present — keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!
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Rh Delia Roger
10. Delia Ryan, RYAN'S HOPE
Dee, who in recent years has appeared on GH as Ava’s mom, would be quick to insist that she wasn’t bad, she was just misunderstood. But we’re pretty sure we understood her awfully well when she pushed husband Frank (and then Jillian Coleridge, too) down a flight of stairs and faked blindness to keep subsequent spouse Patrick by her side.
Gh Obrecht Nurses Ball
9. Leisl Obrecht, GH
As if it wasn’t shameful enough that the mad doctor has spent the bulk of her adult life doing the bidding of her unrequited love — the evildoer who tops this list, as a matter of fact — she’s also filed her free time with endless, appalling schemes of her own. And can we talk about her mean streak? It’s wider than a 10-lane highway!
Amc Tad Liza
8. Liza Colby, AMC
Like RH’s Delia, Liza would say that she did it all for love. The thing was, she did it all with such venom dripping from her lips that we couldn’t help but feel that she also did it because she was one of the nastier pieces of work ever to plant roots in Pine Valley. Particularly galling was the way she drove sweet Jenny Gardner out of town — so as to get her mitts on Jenny’s beau, Greg Nelson — and accused an innocent Jesse Hubbard of rape.
Amc Palmer Phoebe Nina Cliff
7. Palmer Cortland, AMC
Only two TV characters could ever get away with a line as villainous as “Release the hounds”: THE SIMPSONS’ Montgomery Burns and Palmer, who threatened to send wife Daisy back to the dead by sicking his Dobermans on her. And that was just the tip of the iceberg as far as Palmer’s coldness went. To keep daughter Nina away from the nice-guy doctor she loved, Daddy Dearest nearly let her go blind in hopes that she wouldn’t want to burden her would-be husband!
Gh James Franco
6. Franco Baldwin, GH
No baddie in soap history has ever owed more to a brain tumor! Thanks to that behavior-altering lump in his head, the psycho (originally James Franco) got off scot-free for committing a series of atrocities ranging from kidnapping to murder. Jason Morgan was even led to believe the twisted artist raped Sam — and, in so doing, might’ve actually fathered the couple’s child!
Amc Erica Adam
5. Adam Chandler, AMC
Though he was rich and handsome, this cad was a nightmare for virtually any woman who made the mistake of getting involved with him. He thought nothing of blackmailing a bride down the aisle (Erica Kane), staging his own kidnapping to test a wife’s fidelity (Gloria Marsh) or throwing a missus in the loony bin to assure that he’d get sole custody of their offspring (Dixie Cooney).
Oltl Natalie Carlo
4. Carlo Hesser, OLTL
The Llanview mobster’s rap sheet was so long, it had to be put out in volumes. So it was no wonder, whenever a crime was committed, his name was usually high on the list of suspects. Kidnapping? He did it (to sisters Sarah and Megan Gordon). Theft? He robbed Asa Buchanan to the tune of $30 million! Murder? Well, we’d say to ask his brother, Joseph Hobart, but dead men tell no tales!
Gh Ethan Helena
3. Helena Cassadine, GH
Cursing Luke and Laura Spencer on their wedding day was only the beginning for this infamous femme fatale. In the decades that followed, she left in her wake a trail of bodies big enough to fill a cemetery. Among the casualties were everyone from co-conspirators like Katherine Bell to her own daughter, Cassandra. And she attempted to off Emily Quartermaine so often, she probably cursed the Text-Message Killer for beating her to it!
Oltl Erica Mitch
2. Mitch Laurence, OLTL
Souls don’t come a whole helluva lot blacker than that of this remorseless scoundrel. Not only did he murder so many victims he could fill up his own obituaries column, he viewed rape as less a crime than a pastime, and abducted people as regularly as ordinary folks brush their teeth!
Gh Cesar Faison
1. Cesar Faison, GH
Since only the good die young, we won’t be surprised in the slightest if this scourge on Port Charles turns up alive again. In the meantime, we’ll marvel at the fact that the DVX operative/kidnapper/murderer/diamond smuggler just might be the ultimate in heartless hyphenates. Who but a real scuzzbag would hide a bomb in a wedding bouquet, for Pete’s sake!