Roger Howarth Returns to ‘One Life To Live’

Roger Howarth (ABC)

Roger Howarth (ABC)

The original Todd Manning is returning to “One Life To Live.” Roger Howarth, who created the role of Todd in 1992, is returning to the show. According to Soap Opera Digest, Howarth first reports to work in May. Fans of the current Todd, Trevor St. John, needn’t worry — he’s sticking around, too.

Howarth famously was cast as a short term villain. His intense performance as the ringleader of a fraternity gang rape captivated both the audience and the show’s writers. Soon, Todd was revealed to be Vicki’s (Erika Slezak) long lost brother and evolved into an anti-hero. Howarth left the show twice. The first time, he was allegedly uncomfortable with fans romanticizing Todd despite his history of sexual violence. The second time he left to pursue other opportunities. He played Paul on “As the World Turns” until its cancellation. From the moment the show ended, there was speculation that he might return to “One Life To Live.”

When St. John took over the role, the explanation was that Todd had undergone extensive plastic surgery. Ever since Tomas Delgado (Ted King) appeared in Llanview, with a photo of o.g. Todd and Blair’s wedding that he claimed he found in a Paris flea market, fans have been wondering if St. John’s Todd might be an imposter. The casting of Howarth could mean that’s where the story is going. “Days of Our Lives” had spectacular success with a similar storyline when the original  Roman Brady, Wayne Northrop returned and it was revealed that Drake Hogestyn’s version of Roman Brady was actually a man named John Black who had been brainwashed into believing he was Roman.

If St. John’s Todd is a fake, it has implications for both of the women who have married both Todds, Blair (Kassie DePaiva) and Tea (Florencia Lozano), as well as Todd’s children, and Vicki. Then, there is the matter of how Tomas connects to Howarth’s Todd. In short, this has the potential to impact half of Llanview. In my opinion, this storyline is already far more successful than the other ABC  Daytime Superstar Comeback, “General Hospital’s”  Brenda (Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo). The problem, in retrospect, was that Brenda’s return barely impacted the other residents of Port Charles. Her great love, Sonny (Maurice Benard), was unattached. Nobody else’s life was transformed by her arrival. That forced the show to create external conflict for her that had little to do with the rest of the show. That won’t be a problem on OLTL.

This news comes on the heels of rumors that OLTL is on the verge of being canceled. The last remaining New York-based soap has just served notice that it is not going down without a fight.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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