The character of Gloria Fisher has been stirring up trouble on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS for over a decade now, but the actress has been causing drama in daytime since 1975! Judith Chapman may look very familiar to fans because of her extensive career in both daytime and primetime!
Chapman’s career took off with her role of Natalie Bannon on AS THE WORLD TURNS. She played one of Tom Hughes’ many wives on the CBS soap from 1975-78. She had a brief stint on RYAN’S HOPE in 1983 as Charlotte Greer that brings back fond memories. “I was so young and pretty!” Chapman joked with Soaps In Depth. “It’s just fabulous to be able to flash back to those days!”
Then the actress joined the cast of GENERAL HOSPITAL in 1984 as Ginny Blake. Ginny married Rick Webber after Lesley was presumed dead in an attempt to get custody of her son, who Rick had adopted. Then, in 1987, Chapman appeared briefly on ONE LIFE TO LIVE as con artist Sandra Montaigne. Then she took over the role of Angelica Deveraux on DAYS OF OUR LIVES in 1989, playing the character until 1990 and then making a brief return in 1991.
Chapman with Chris Robinson (Rick) and David Mendenhall (Mike) in 1984. (Photo Credit: ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
While Chapman may be beloved to daytime fans for her juicy soap roles, she is also recognizable from her numerous primetime guest appearances on shows like MAGNUM, P.I., THE LOVE BOAT, THE FALL GUY, MURDER, SHE WROTE, TRAPPER JOHN, M.D., and MACGYVER. She can also be seen on the big screen in films such as Dead Space, 28 Days, and The Sweetest Thing.
Chapman actually debuted on Y&R back in the early ‘90s when she briefly stepped in for an ill Jess Walton as Jill Abbott, but joined the soap full-time in January of 2005 when she replaced Joan Van Ark as Gloria Fisher, the troublemaking mom of Michael Baldwin and Kevin Fisher. “She’s foolish, but she’s not malicious,” Chapman mused of her alter ego. “She’s not an evil character. But she’s every misguided sometimes.”
She was dropped to recurring status in 2011 and her appearances became more sporadic, though she did make a guest appearance as Gloria on sister soap THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL in 2014. By 2015, Chapman believed she was no longer working on the show, but in December, 2016, Gloria made a spectacular return, and has been causing trouble in Genoa City ever since, much to the delight of her portrayer who loves watching her character evolve. “Gloria will never be that sophisticated,” Chapman admitted. “Street smart mixed with that little bit of sophistication makes Gloria one hell of a broad. I like it!”
With Christian LeBlanc (Michael) and Greg Rikaart (Kevin) on Y&R in 2008. (Photo Credit: Aaron Montgomery/jpistudios.com)
Chapman has also appeared on the stage, including an acclaimed turn in her one-woman play Vivien about the life of legendary actress Vivien Leigh, who suffered from manic depression. She founded “The Troubadors of Daytime,” a theater company of daytime stars who use their time, talent, and love of theater to perform and raise money for organizations.
Although Chapman loves to travel the world visiting locations like India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, she calls Palm Springs, CA, her home.
For more on your favorite Y&R stars, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!