I have been watching General Hospital for 32 years! Yes longer than some of you have been alive. I started watching it when I was a child and no not because my mother watched it, she actually hated soaps, but when my friends Katie and Becky were obsessed with the Cassadines  I tuned in. I cried for days when Laura went missing and watched Lucky grow up and saw Brenda get involved with mobster Sonny Corinthos. I know these characters and their backstories better than they probably do.

Now, One Life to Live. My sister watched that one in high school, so I started watching that one as well and it soon became one of my favorites. I was lucky enough to do extra work and a couple small speaking parts on OLTL when I was in NYC in the early ’90s, and I watched it every day until it went off the air earlier this year. Which broke my heart by the way.

Soon after OLTL was gone some of the major players showed up in Port Charles, and I was skeptical at first, but now I LOVE it. Todd Manning being my favorite character from One Life, I was beyond happy when he made his way into Port Charles.

TODD MANNING BELOW: Roger Howarth top photo and Trevor St. John below.

Roger Howarth plays Todd brilliantly and I remember when I worked on OLTL, at the rape trial for Marty Saybrook, I met Roger and he was so gracious to a new actress. That said, Todd is a great character and Roger does a great job, as did Trevor St. John when he took over the role for many years.

The reason I bring all this up today is because the reason Todd Manning is such a great character all goes back to the writing. He has specific personality traits and ways of speaking that are uniquely “Todd”. I hate it when I see spoofs on soaps and they make all the characters sound exactly the same because in reality, they are usually all very unique and Todd Manning is a perfect example of great character development.

This from Wikipedia:

Originally, the character was conceived as short-term; Howarth is credited with “turning what was a day player role into a compelling, long-term characterTodd is initially designed to be a ruthless, cunning and one-dimensional villain, with significant trouble with the law. This began to change when the popularity of his 1993 gang rape of Marty Saybrooke, noted as one of soap opera’s classic, “most remembered and impactful” storylines.

If you don’t watch General Hospital, tune in for a few weeks and watch Todd closely, the way he reacts to things, how he speaks-the words he choses-they all show us who he is and what is behind those words.