A Look Back At The 1960s Soap Opera The Doctors

Created by Orin Tovrov, The Doctors wasn’t always the hit soap opera that it eventually became when it debuted on April 1, 1963, on NBC. Originally, it was released as an anthology series, which meant that each episode featured a different cast of characters and a different story. Starting on March 2, 1964, they started to follow the traditional soap opera routine seen in fellow NBC soaps Days of Our Lives and Another World until its series finale on December 31, 1982, which was the show’s 5,280th episode.

Here we’re taking a look back at the cast of The Doctors, which included some future big name movie stars. We’re guessing everyone will recognize 5, 6 and 7!

Jock Gaynor


Source: Aveleyman

For nearly four months, Jock Gaynor played the role of Dr. William Scott. The New York City native was best known for producing 20 episodes of the series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and starring as Deputy Marshal Heck Martin in the show Outlaws. On April 2, 1998, Gaynor died at the age of 68.

Richard Roat


Source: Aveleyman

Richard Roat, who was part of the premiere cast, played Dr. Jerry Chandler until January 17, 1964. After leaving the show, the actor found recurring roles on Hill Street Blues, Dynasty, and St. Elsewhere. His last role was in a 2009 episode of 24 titled “Day 7: 8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.”

Fred J. Scollay


Source: We Love Soaps

Fred J. Scollay, who played Rev. Sam Shafer on the show, is also known for portraying Mitchell Hobart on the show Dr. Kildare. In the ’90s, he played the role of Judge Andrew Barsky on several episodes of Law & Order. On November 3, 2015, he passed away at the age of 92.

James Pritchett


Source: Sitcoms Online

In 1978, James Pritchett gained an Emmy for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series with his portrayal of Dr. Matt Powers on the show. After the show, the North Carolina received additional roles, including Judge Seth Dunbar in the 1999 film “The Confession.” He died at the age of 88, on March 15, 2011.

Ann Williams


Source: We Love Soaps

Ann Williams, who played Dr. Maggie Hansen Powers on the show, is best known for portraying Eunice Gardner Webster Twining Martin Wyatt on the soap operas Search for Tomorrow and Margo Huntington on The Edge of Night. On December 13, 1985, she passed away from cancer at the age of 50.

Bethel Leslie


Source: Aveleyman

Bethel Leslie was the second actress to portray Dr. Maggie Hansen Powers. The New York City native is best known for her Emmy-nominated role as Ellen Dudley on The Richard Boone Show and her Tony-nominated performance in the Broadway play Long Day’s Journey into Night. She died from cancer at the age of 70 in 1999.

Lydia Bruce


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In 1968, Lydia Bruce became the third and final actress to play the role of Dr. Maggie Hansen Powers. She held the role until the show’s final season. This was the biggest role in the Detroit native’s acting career. On May 7, 2008, she died at the age of 77.

Gerald Gordon


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Gerald Gordon played the role of neurosurgeon Dr. Nick Bellini on the show. The Chicago is best known for his Emmy award-winning performance in the drama special First Ladies Diaries: Rachel Jackson and portraying Dr. Mark Dante #2 in General Hospital. On August 17, 2001, he passed away at the age of 67.

David O’Brien

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From 1967 until the show’s final season, David O’Brien played Dr. Steve Aldrich. Aside from The Doctors, the Chicago actor, landed roles in the soap operas “The Secret Storm,” “Our Private World,” and “Search for Tomorrow.” The Emmy-nominated actor died in 1999, at the age of 53.

Carolee Campbell


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From 1967 through 1975, Carolee Campbell played the role of Carolee Simpson Aldrich, R. N. After leaving the show, she appeared in the 1977 film This Is My Son, which earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Religious Programming. After this performance, she retired from acting and took up photography.

Jada Rowland


Source: We Love Soaps

Jada Rowland portrayed Carolee Simpson Aldrich, R. N. from 1976 until the show ended. The New York native is best known for portraying Amy Ames Britton Kincaid on The Secret Storm for the majority of its run. She quit acting to become an artist, and some of her work can be found in the children’s books Raising the Roof, Bringing the Farmhouse Home, and The Statue of Liberty.

Elizabeth Hubbard


Source: We Love Soaps

For the majority of the series, Elizabeth Hubbard played the role of Dr. Althea Davis. After leaving the show, the New York City native landed the role of Lucinda Walsh on As the World Turns, which lasted from 1984 through 2010. In 2016, she was nominated for her 11th Daytime Emmy Award for her work on the soap opera Anacostia.

Jane Badler

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Source: Sitcoms Online

Jane Badler had the recurring role of Natalie Bell. The actress is mostly known for her portrayal of Diana in NBC’s 1983 miniseries V. She would reprise the role in the sequel V: The Final Battle and V: The Series. Recently, she’s been releasing music, including her 2014 studio album Opus.

Kathy Bates


Source: JoBlo

The Doctors was the first television show for Kathy Bates, who played the role of Phyllis. In 1990, she would win the Oscar and Golden Globe for her portrayal of Annie Wilkes in the horror film “Misery.” Recently, she has appeared on American Horror Story, Harry’s Law, and The Office.

Ellen Burstyn


Source: Sitcoms Online

Ellen Burstyn had the recurring role of Dr. Kate Bartok. The Detroit native would go on to be one of the most acclaimed actresses of all time with numerous nominations for her work in The Exorcist, Requiem for a Dream, House of Cards, and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. She is currently working on the films The House of Tomorrow and A Little Something for Your Birthday.

Ted Danson


Source: Aveleyman

Before he served thirsty folks some cold beer on Cheers, Ted Danson played the role of Dr. Mitchell Pearson on the show. The San Diego native received two Emmy Awards for his work on Cheers, and he struck sitcom gold again with the 1998 series Becker, which lasted six seasons. Recently, he’s known for his portrayal of D.B. Russell in the CSI franchise.

Kathleen Turner


Source: Aveleyman

Kathleen Turner’s first acting role was Nola Dancy Aldrich in the show. The Iowa native is known for her nominated work in ’80s films Peggy Sue Got Married, Romancing the Stone, and The War of the Roses. She is also known as the voice of Jessica Rabbit in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? She recently had a recurring role of Sue Collini in the series Californication.

Ian Ziering


Source: Sitcoms Online

For Ian Ziering, playing Erich Aldrich on the show was his first role. The New Jersey native would go on to be a part of ’90s pop culture with his portrayal of Steve Sanders on the show Beverly Hills, 90210. Currently, he’s known as Fin Shepard from the Sharknado films.

Kim Zimmer

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Source: We Love Soaps

Kim Zimmer was the second actress to play Nola Dancy Aldrich. She would continue going down the soap opera route as Reva Shayne on Guiding Light. Her performance would earn her four Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Her last role was in the 2014 film 23 Blast.

Hillary B. Smith

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Source: Soap Central

Hillary B. Smith got her start in the soap opera world with her role of Kit McCormick. The Boston native would go on to receive nominations for her performances as Margo Hughes on As the World Turns and Nora Hanen Buchanan on One Life to Live. Recently, she co-founded the clothing line Kissmith Designs with her friend Adrienne Kissel.