Off-Set Chemistry: The Real-Life Relationships of Famous Soap Opera Stars

Ah, soaps… a dependable source of drama and entertainment to satiate our appetite. Despite the constant drama endured by their characters, some soap actors managed to hit it off behind the scenes. At Popular Everything, we wanted to take a look at some of the meaningful relationships created on set between co-stars; whether its best friends, lovers, or life partners.

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From The Days Of Our Lives (DOOL) to All My Children, actors from all of America’s most loved soap opera shows have made lasting connections backstage. Forget the brawls, love triangles, and deception – we’re bringing you some of your best-loved soap actors and the healthy and happy relationships they’re in! Take a look at how many of these daytime stars you know about…

Unlike Their Characters, Courtney Hope and Chad Duell Have a Blissful Love Life

The Bold & The Beautiful’s (B&B) Courtney Hope and General Hospital’s Chad Duell may star in different soaps, but that hasn’t stopped them from finding lasting love. While their characters endure more turbulent love lives, this young couple has found a healthy, stable partnership in each other. They live together with their three dogs, in a home scattered with Christian imagery: “God – and spirituality… is a huge part of our life,” Hope shared.

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Despite their careers in the public eye, they prefer to keep their relationship relatively private. Hope revealed, “We only share about 10 percent of our private life on social media. We share the depth of our love, but that’s about it… we both agree on what we share before we share it…. the details are for us only.” Despite her assertion, you can find many images of the happy couple and their lives on their social media accounts.

DOOL’s Kristina Alfonso and Lauren Koslow Have More of a Connection Than Their Characters

The characters Kate Roberts and Hope Brady have few things in common – one is a police detective for Salem, the other is a crooked businesswoman who will do anything to get what she wants. On the show, there isn’t much of a premise for a blossoming friendship.

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In real life, however, actresses Kristina Alfonso and Lauren Koslow are friends away from the set! They’re often spotted sat together at public functions or press junkets. We’re glad to see them live up to the statement, you make friends in unlikely places!

DOOL’s On and Off-Screen Lovers True O’Brien and Casey Moss

JJ Deveraux (played by Casey Moss) and Paige Larson (played by True O’Brien) were well-cast when they were chosen to be on-screen love interests as the two also hit it off in real life. While O’Brien’s character left the show in 2015 due to an untimely death, their relationship only went from strength to strength.

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The young actors aren’t shy on social media, frequently posting cute couple pictures. They’re obviously doing something right as their relationship has withstood the years. Today, Moss focuses more on his musical career, with O’Brien often spotted supporting him stage side.

Young and Restless’s Three Real-Life BFFs

Outside of Genoa City, Bryton James, Christel Khalil, and Daniel Goddard are best friend goals. Their decade-long history on The Young and The Restless (Y&R) has resulted in a strong friendship between these soap stars. They often post their shenanigans on social media, treating fans to their goofy sense of humor.

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Their real-life proximity is mirrored somewhat in the show, as Bryton (Devon) and Christel’s (Lily) character are adopted siblings to each other, with Daniel (Cane) playing husband to Lily. Bryton is even a godfather to both Christel and Daniel’s children with their respective partners, proving the depth of love between these adorable co-stars.

Bill and Susan Hayes Are Total Couple Goals

DOOL veterans and super couple Bill and Susan Hayes met on set back in 1970, reportedly having undeniable chemistry from the get-go. Bill recalls: “Bill Bell who was the head writer, saw something going between our eyes that was electric and he started to write for it, and he wrote the most wonderful plotlines for us. We were written as lovers before we became lovers in life.”

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They’re one of the most successful couples in show business having been happily married for over 40 years. They insist it’s their communication which has been key to their partnership, with Susan adding, “as you go along it only gets better, and Billy is still a mystery to me. He still comes up with things I have never imagined, words I have never heard him use. Experiences he has never described and I continue to be fascinated and inspired by him.”

OLTL’s Melissa and David Fumero Have Welcomed Their First Child

Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Melissa Fumero met husband David on the set of ABC’s One Life To Live (OLTL) where they played the characters of Adriana Cramer and Cristian Vega. The show is noted for being the first daytime drama to feature primarily ethnically and socioeconomically diverse characters.

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The young couple married each other in 2007 and welcomed their first child in 2016. The Cuban-American couple have since appeared on-screen together when David made guest appearances on Brooklyn Nine-Nine alongside his wife, one of the main stars of the hit series.

Y&R Enemies Jennifer Gareis and Sharon Case Are Actually Besties

We love to see that these onscreen enemies are actually incredibly close in their personal lives. Actresses Jennifer Gareis and Sharon Case (Grace Turner and Sharon Newman) are certified BFFs – a stark contrast to their show characters who compete for the affections of Nick Newman.

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Their real-life connection is shared with their audience, as they make no secret of their close relationship on social media despite the years it’s been since working together on the show. As Case explained in 2018, “nothing changed when she left the show. Our friendship went on and on,” with Gareis touchingly adding, “and it just keeps growing.”

This Is Us Star Justin Hartley Won’t Stop Gushing About Wife Chrishell Stause

NBC’S This Is Us star Justin Hartley met his wife Chrishell Stause on the set of Y&R in 2014 after his first marriage fell apart. They hit it off from the start, as he recalls after their first date: “I drove her home and called the next day. We haven’t been apart since. I knew right away [and] was like, ‘Oh boy, here we go.'”

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The couple eloped in 2017 and haven’t stopped gushing about each other since. Stause frequently posts “#ManCrushMonday” photos of her husband on Instagram, while Hartley had this to say about her: “It’s a special thing, isn’t it, that when you find that one person – and it sounds so cheesy. But when you meet that one person, you realize like ‘What the hell have I been doing my whole life? This is the person.’”

Y&R’s Melissa Claire Egan Had an Onscreen Romance With Chrishell Stause’s Husband

The Young and The Restless stars Chrishell Stause and Melissa Claire Egan have a history from before their CBS days, both working together on All My Children in the 2000s. Being longterm colleagues has obviously been significant as now their both close friends in real life.

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They’ve even shared Stause’s husband before, as Egan locked lips with Justin Hartley when he played an onscreen romantic lead for her. We’re glad to see it hasn’t affected them though, as here they are (pictured) at Stause’s Bachelorette party in 2017!

DOOL’s Arianne Zucker and Shawn Christian Were Friends First, For Years

Arianne Zucker and Shawn Christian, who met while filming on Days of Our Lives, prove the best relationships are born out of friendships first. They were pals for years before they began to date in 2014. Both actors have been married before, and have children with their previous partners.

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Their DOOL characters Nicole Walker and Dr. Daniel Jonas were also an item on the show. They might have met on the soap opera in 2008, however, their careers converged once before in 2006 when they both appeared on CSI Miami, although in different episodes.

Mick Cain and Schae Harrison Are Bold and Beautiful Off-Set Too

Mick Cain and Schae Harrison fell in love on the set of B&B, resulting in a long relationship (since 2001) and a son, Haven Jude. They are best known for their roles on the show, Mick Cain playing the part of C.J. Garrison and Schae Harrison playing Darla Forrester.

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Mick proved to be a truly modern father after the birth of his son in 2003, taking time off filming to go on paternity leave and bond with his newborn. Ever the doting father, he has spoken about his son’s already developed sense of humor, calling it “wicked”.

Being BFF’s on Set with Your Real-Life BFF

Y&R‘s Michelle Stafford and Christian Le Blanc played best friends on the soap for years as Michael Baldwin and Phyllis Summers. While Phyllis was replaced by another actress, these two are still as tight as ever. Frequently posting about each other on Instagram, they prove to have one of the strongest friendships in showbusiness.

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Appearing on Stafford’s video podcast Single Mom a Go-Go, Le Blanc admitted to feeling more like family than friends. He likened Stafford to a sister, despite their hugely different family backgrounds, with Le Blanc coming from a family of eight children.

Eileen Davidson Describes Vince Van Patten as a Freak of Nature

The actors of Y&R‘s Ashley Newman and Christian Page ended up hitting it off in their own lives, too. Having met in 2000, they married three years later and have a son, Jesse Thomas. This being her third marriage, she has finally found a love that stands the test of time.

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She sang his praises in an interview in 2017, stating “People really don’t know him at all. He’s really a fantastic human being.” She enthuses, “[He’s] super, super athletically inclined. He’s like a freak of nature. He can play basketball better than a lot of 20-year-olds. He has more stamina than people half his age. He could pick up any sport and master it.” Well… we’re definitely happy for her!

General Hospital Star Rebecca Herbst Raises a Family of Nine With Her Co-Star

While Elizabeth Webber has three children on General Hospital, actress Rebecca Herbst has mirrored her character’s life by having three of her own with fellow co-star Michael Saucedo, who played the role of Juan Santiago. Despite having romantic storylines with other characters on the show, these two have built a beautiful life together with their four dogs and three children.

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“Michael loves dogs and it seemed that every time I got pregnant, he wanted a dog,” Webber joked. However, she seems to have her hands full, declaring,
“There are no more babies coming!”. Their last two pups were supposed to contain their urge for another little one, but things didn’t go to plan: “They were actually supposed to be my baby fix… They were supposed to be my new babies. But it didn’t work, so we had Emerson!”

Dool’s Stephen Nichols Surprises Close Friend Mary Beth Evans on Their On-Screen Wedding Anniversary

Stephen Nichols (Patch) chose to commemorate his on-screen marriage to Mary Beth Evans (Kayla) by surprising her on their anniversary this summer. Having taken place 31 years ago, Nichols gushes on Instagram: “June 22-25, 1988, our beautiful DAYS wedding aired. NBC went all out. Shot on location in Marina del Rey. What a wonderful partnership and friendship we have shared, Mary Beth… my sweetness.”

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Nichols shared the video of him surprising Evans, where he makes an unexpected appearance on her set and gifts her flowers. Moved by the gesture, Evans took to Instagram later to affirm that Nichols “will be in my life and heart ’til the end of time.” These two clearly have a close bond and its a joy to witness!

An Unhealthy Marriage on DOOL Produced a Loving Union for the Actors

True DOOL fans will recall these two lovebirds – and their troublesome relationship – but may not be aware of the off-screen chemistry too. Actors Crystal Chappell and Michael Sabatino played Carly Manning and Lawrence Alamain, the latter of which was a villainous character of the drama and controlling partner to the troubled Carly.

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Interestingly, life imitated art for these two, who married back in 1997 and had two children together. They hold each other in high esteem, having only praise: “She has shown me a great integrity as an actor; she’s inspiring. Personally, she’s given me a greater sense of adventure.” Crystal mirrored his sentiments, adding, “He’s certainly reintroduced me to my love of sports and exploration. He also offers me unconditional friendship and a lot of patience.”

Young & Restless Amelia Heinle and Thad Luckinbill

Amelia Heinle and Thad Luckinbill decided not to grow old together, however, their decade long relationship was one of the most high-profile real-life relationships to blossom from the soap opera scene. Happily, the two remain close as friends as they continue to work together on the Y&R set that introduced them, as well as raising their two children.

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After meeting on the set, they proceeded to date for two years before tying the knot and welcoming their children, who they share custody of today. Funnily enough, they are also divorcees on the show, aligning their character’s lives with their own in that respect…

Stars of as the World Turns Fall in Love on Their Commute to Work

Jon Lindstrom, best known as Dr. Kevin Collins on General Hospital, and Cady McClain, known for Dixie on All My Children, met on the set of As The World Turns (ATWT), but that’s not where they fell in love. He admits, “It didn’t hurt that we were playing characters that were falling in love, but that’s not necessarily how it happened.”

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Lindstrom revealed that what started as a friendly work relationship developed over time into something more, as they shared an “hour-long train ride back to Manhattan together and got to know each other that way.” He adds that it wasn’t love at first sight for them, but his growing respect and understanding of her intelligence and creativity that brought made him fall for the talented McClain.

OLTL Co-Stars Kamar de Los Reyes and Sherri Saum Have Their Hands Full With Twin Boys

Having played lovers that don’t last on One Life To Live, Kamar de Los Reyes and Sherri Saum managed to work it out in their real lives, even raising two twin boys between them. Saum has credited their partnership success to “his strength where I’m weak and vice versa,” something that no doubt comes in handy with their kids.

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While the two additions will have no doubt required home life adjustments, Saum has shared how they keep the marriage afloat. “Kamar and I definitely have to carve out our ‘we’ time and keep it sacred – it could be very easy to be baby-consumed and put ourselves down the priority list. But it’s nice putting extra thought into what we will do. It feels very date-like and special,” Saum acknowledged. We’re happy to hear they’re managing!

Y&R’s Doug Davidson Has Been Married to Co-Star Cindy Fisher for Over 35 Years

Having met on the set of Young & Restless in the early 80’s they fell for each other and married in 1984, having recently celebrated a milestone 35th wedding anniversary. While their relationship in the soap didn’t last long, they still hold fond memories of their on-screen romance.

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Speaking about his most memorable moments on Y&R, Davidson confessed “My onscreen kiss with my future wife was pretty memorable. In the storyline, we were in a religious cult, and the leader had assigned Paul and Rebecca to procreate. We were pretty good friends before [the kiss]. Then we started dating. Bill Bell was one of those psychic writers when it came to those kinds of things. It was weird.”

ATWT’s Maura West and Scott Defreitas Juggle Showbusiness and a Large Family

Maura West and Scott DeFreitas met on the set of ATWT back in the ’90s, marrying in 2000 and going on to have four children together. West also has a child from her previous marriage to boy-band member Jonathan Knight (fromNew Kids on the Block), who she divorced only a year before her marriage to DeFreitas.

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West has talked about the struggles within her large family, explaining, “I have a lot of children, and a child with autism, and so travel really becomes a sticky issue. It’s hard in that way, but we’re doing okay because we’re all together. We really are sort of homebodies. We look out for each other and we love each other.” Thankfully, they seem to keep close even when work requires them to travel.

GH’s Emme Rylan and Kristen Storms Co-Hosted a Knitting Event

While many soap stars on this list share opposing relationships to what they depict on the screen, for this pair, it is quite the contrary. Fictional General Hospital best friends Lulu Spencer and Maxie Jones have been through a lot together but have always had each other’s back.

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Similarly, the actresses that play them, Emme Rylan and Kristen Storms also have a strong bond. The two often take to social media to show off their friendship, and we can’t help but be jealous of the bond they share. They even co-hosted a “Summer Knit Along” this past July which they happily invited their fans to join!

Sisters Amy Walsh and Sally Walsh both Stared in Emmerdale

Today, most recognize Kimberly Walsh as a member of the well-known pop group, Girls Aloud, but she isn’t the only talent of the family. Fans of the British soap opera, Emmerdale, might recognize her older sister Sally for her portrayal of Lyn Hutchinson. Sally took on the role in 1997 when she was 16 and her time on the show lasted until 2002.

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Similarly, Kimberly and Sally’s younger sister, Amy Walsh also joined the show’s cast in 2014 as Tracy Shankley. Although their time on Emmerdale did not overlap, we are glad that the showrunners kept their casting decisions in the family.

DOOL’s Marci Miller, Sal Stowers, and Camila Banus Are Friendship Goals

Days of Our Lives co-stars Miller (Abigail Devera), Stowers (Lani Price), and Banus (Gabi Hernandez) might have plenty of dramatic woes to deal with on-screen, but in real life, its a different story. The trio actually gets along quite well when they aren’t pretending to hate each other. 

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As evident on their social media pages, Miller, Stowers, and Banus only keep the drama on-screen. While they might be fighting for the same man on the show, they are simply enjoying each other’s company in real life. We have to say; they make a great trio that has us saying #goals.

GH’s Kristen Storms and Brandon Barash Co-Parent a Beautiful Little Girl

General Hospital Co-stars, Kristen Storms (Maxie) and Brandon Barash (ex-Johnny) sadly had to file for divorce in 2016, but this does not mean that they are on bad terms. On the contrary, they are proudly and lovingly co-parenting their beautiful little girl, Harper Rose Barash. When announcing their split, after nearly three years of marriage, they reassured their fans that the divorce was amicable.

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They have since continued to raise Harper together and often share photos of all three enjoying life as a family. When speaking about this decision, Storms has said: “It’s important to us that Harper get the best possible experience growing up — and that means seeing her mom and dad in the same room with each other, frequently.”

Y&R’s Christel Khalil Threw Her Co-Star
Mishael Morgan a Baby Shower

The rivalry that Hilary Curtis and Lily Ashby have on the hit soap opera, The Young and the Restless is no secret. Who can forget when Ashby pushed Curtis into a pool or the fact that Lily’s driving mishap is what ultimately leads to Hilary’s demise…Sorry for the spoilers!

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Regardless of what went down on the show, the time that actresses Mishael Morgan and Christel Khalil spent together to depict these roles was priceless. The duo developed a strong bond on the set of The Young and The Restless. So much so that when Mishael was expecting in 2015, it was Christen who co-hosted her baby shower. 

Corrie’s Brooke Vincent and Ellie Leach Are Friends and Family

Coronation Street co-stars, Brooke Vincent, and Ellie Leach are not only off-set close friends, but they are also family! That’s right, Corrie and Ellie are cousins in real life. Brooke played the role of Sophie on the show since 2004 when she was 11 years old. Her younger cousin, Ellie joined the cast in 2011 as foster child Faye. The loving cousins have been overjoyed to share the screen ever since.

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Ellie recently took to Instagram to share a beautiful photo of her and an expecting Brooke with a very touching caption that showcases their close relationship. Ellie wrote, “Being able to watch you every step of the way through your pregnancy has been one of the most rewarding things in the world. It makes me realize what family means, and hopefully, one day, I can be as amazing as you are. I can’t wait to meet Baby B and see what chaos they will bring.”

GH’s Maurice Benard and Laura Wright Always Have a Blast on Set

It seems like the set of General Hospital was a ball of good times for its stars. Here’s another duo who clearly always shared some laughs when working together. To say that their characters, Carly and Sonny Corinthos, are not without their drama is a huge understatement.

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In fact, their entire on-screen marriage is built off an unhealthy mix of mob crimes, affairs, fake deaths, and comas. Judging by their interviews, it seems the stars leave the drama to the scriptwriters and have maintained a great friendship through the years!

Kassie and James DePaiva Met On Set of

These lovebirds owe a big thank you to their time spent together on One Life to Live. Although the romance between their characters Blair Cramer and Max Holden did not work out, luckily Kassie and James did get their happily ever after.

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The DePaiva’s said their “I Dos” in 1996 and their love is still going strong. Today they are parents to a now 22-year-old James Quentin De Paiva. After the cancellation of OLTL in 2012, both Kassie and James went on to enjoy continued success in the world of daytime drama.

General Hospital Enemies, Rebecca Budig, and Rebecca Herbst are Real Life Besties

Budig and Herbst’s characters on General Hospital, Hayden and Elizabeth are notorious for their disdain for one another. These two leading ladies have been at each other’s thoughts for quite some time. Luckily, the soap actresses do not let their on-screen rivalry affect their relationship in the real world. In fact, they have been close friends for almost 20 years now, even before being cast on General Hospital in 2015.

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Budig recalls when their friendship first began in 2004; “I really bonded with Becky when I was dancing with her little Ethan (Herbst’s son) for hours at Super Soap.” The two were overjoyed when they received their roles in GH. Budig even believes their friendship is what made their screen time so dynamic. “We have these intense scenes, and I think that there is more depth to them because we like each other,” Budig said.

General Hospital’s Steve Burton and Bradford Anderson Have a Beautiful Bromance

While discussing General Hospital and their many off-screen friendships and romances, we would be amiss not to mention the cast’s favorite bromance; Steve Burton and Bradford Anderson. In the case of these two, their bond was strong both on-screen and off.

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Their characters, Jason Morgan and Damian Spinelli are best friends, so it only makes sense that the actors shared quite a bit of quality time on set. They got so close that the pair recently went on a comedy tour together where they traveled together across the country, performing and meeting their adoring fans.

Maurice Benard and Chad Duell Prove Age Is Just a Number

Maurice Benard and Chad Duell play opposite each other as father and son on General Hospital, a role of which no doubt encouraged the two to form a bond. It seems that despite their age difference, the two get along super well, often posting photos together on social media that show them hanging out.

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They even tease each other affectionately on their social channels, calling each other’s gym habits out for all their followers to see. In an attempt to provoke his co-star, Duell posted a gym picture with the caption, “Come get some, Maurice Benard!” A provoked Benard joked, “That’s not working out, sitting looking in the mirror waiting for the perfect shot to make his arms look big.” Only close friends would tease each other like that!

DOOL’s Freddie Smith Proposed to Influencer Girlfriend Alyssa Tabit

Emmy Award-winning Days of Our Lives actor Freddie Smith proposed to his long-time girlfriend Alyssa Tabit, content creator, in the summer of last year. Miraculously, they’re survivors of an almost fatal 2014 car accident, having since found great passion in helping others reach their full potential. “We want to spark an educational revolution,” they admitted.

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Having not yet released details about when the wedding will take place, Smith has opened up about the stress he felt in the lead up to the proposal. “I thought how am I going to surprise her when there is a camera?” Smith prepared a photoshoot but had to hide it from Tabit in order to keep it a surprise from her. Luckily, he pulled it off!

Nadia Bjorlin and Michelle Stafford Just Hit It off From the Get-Go

Days of Our Lives star Nadia Bjorlin and General Hospital’s Michelle Stafford met at a dinner party hit it off immediately. Stafford recalled, “Then we met, and she’s trash-talking and using curse words. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, we’re from the same tribe!’ She’s just super-real, no pretense, and she’s had such an interesting life,” the actress gushed.

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In the same interview in 2018, Bjorlin added, “She has, over the years, lived up to her title as ‘The Stafford’, the multi-Emmy award-winning, most beautiful, amazing chick you’ve ever seen.” These days they are in contact all the time, speaking every week and meeting up frequently, whether that’s to attend a function or just hang out with their kids.

Ex-Husband and Wife Wally Kurth and Rena Sofer Become Engaged Again!

Having been the soap opera power couple in the ’90s from their portrayal of
Ned Ashton and Lois Cerullo from General Hospital, fans rejoiced at the news of their engagement in 1995. However, they later divorced but remained amicable, as they walked away with a daughter who they co-parented. And everyone thought that was that.

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Suddenly this year, the two divorcees announced their engagement – for the second time around! Joyfully, they have found romantic bliss in later life: “He asked me again and I said yes!” Sofer said, adding, “While I don’t recommend divorce as a marriage counseling tool, it sure worked for us! I love you more than anything!” We wish the happy couple the best of luck!

Josh Swickard and Michael Mealor and Their Beautiful Off-Screen Bromance

Josh Swickard of General Hospital and Michael Mealor of The Young & the Restless certainly make a striking friendship, understandably having met at modeling castings in L.A. “And we kind of just hit it off right off the bat, everything from [interest in the] military to being outdoorsmen to motorcycles, all that stuff,” admitted Mealor.

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They call each other best friends and clearly have an unbreakable bond that goes far beyond a cordial industry friendship. “We’ve never let girls, or jobs, or anything external affect our friendship,” Swickard said, adding “we’re super-honest with each other.” They have surely one of the strongest bonds in the business!

The Real-Life Marlena and Roman Really Have Been Friends All These Years

Days of Our Lives veterans Deidre Hall and Wayne Northrop, who played the roles of Marlena Evans and Roman Brady respectively, were at the top of the soap opera hierarchy with their steamy on-screen relationship in the ’80s. It all ended in tears on-screen when Marlena’s head was turned…

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Luckily, the actor and actress walked away from their experience together as good friends. We’re glad that such great on-screen chemistry translated into real-life, whether it was as something romantic or simply a wonderful friendship!

Greg Vaughan and Angie Harmon Have Revealed They’re an Item

Days of Our Lives star Greg Vaughan and actress Angie Harmon from Rizzoli & Isles have stopped hiding their real-life romance in 2018 and revealed it to the public via their social media channels. Harmon is also known for her role in Law & Order, and both actors have three children from previous marriages.

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Vaughan has said of his love: “Angie is the biggest clown. It’s so funny to see this personality of this incredible woman light up. Every day is always something new. It’s this modern-day Brady Bunch, but at the same time, it’s blending families and personalities.”

Kelly Ripa And Mark Consuelos Have Been Married For Over Two Decades

Having met each other on the set of All My Children, Kelly Ripa And Mark Consuelos have managed to sustain their marriage for 23 years – quite an achievement, especially in showbusiness. They have proved to be quite open about their marriage, sharing personal details with the public.

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Ripa has admitted that her husband’s masculine image attracted her initially to him, stating, “I was drawn to Mark because he was positively an alpha male, and I didn’t think I would be drawn to that.” She continues, “I just worship him. He makes me feel very safe.”