For fans of “One Life to Live,” a dream came true this week when it was finally confirmed that Roger Howarth will return to the series after an eight-year absence. Howarth first appeared as Todd Manning in 1992 and was such a success that his minor character became a major player on the show. In 1994, he won Best Younger Actor for showing the darker side of Todd as the ringleader of the rape of Marty Saybrooke (Susan Haskell). In 1995, he contended for Supporting Actor but was bested by Jerry verDorn (“Guiding Light”).
Dissatisfied with way his character was written, Howarth left “OLTL” in 2003, moving over to “As the World Turns” where he earned consecutive Best Actor bids in 2004 and 2005, losing first to Anthony Geary (“General Hospital) and then Christian LeBlanc (“The Young and the Restless”).
Since 2003, Trevor St. John has done well in the role. It is still a mystery as to how St. John could not have been nominated for an Emmy in 2006 for the storyline that saw his character end up on death row, wrongly convicted of the murder of Margaret Cochran (Tari Signor). Indeed, Todd was even given a lethal injection but was revived when the supposed victim turned up alive.
Perhaps producers will keep both men on the show. Back in 2003, the new look of Manning — absent his long locks and trademark scar — had been explained away as the result of cosmetic surgery. Could St. John’s character not even be Todd Manning?
The return of Howarth opens up story options for several of the leading ladies on the show, including: Kassie De Pavia (Blair Cramer Manning, who has married and divorced Todd); Florencia Lozano (Tea Delgado, currently married to Todd); and Kristen Alderson (Starr, Todd’s daughter).