Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Anthony Herrera, Great Soap Villain, Passes Away

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I didn’t want to let the death of Anthony Herrera go unmentioned in the regular entertainment press. (Soap actors get little love even though they are a guilty pleasure.) The terrific actor, 67, was best known for playing the consummate elegant villain, James Stenbeck on “As the World Turns.” He was with the show from the early 80s on and off until the soap’s finale last September. Stenbeck terrorized the citizens of Oakdale but mostly his ex wife Barbara (Colleen Zenk) and their son Paul with delicious infamy. Nothing could kill James–not even when he was shot dead or dropped from a helicopter did he actually die. “As the World Turns” fans loved it when James would turn up suddenly and surprise his ex with a nasty “Hello, Barbara” that rivaled Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter. Herrera had as many lives as James Stenbeck. He was diagnosed with Mantle Cell lymhoma in 1997. He was treated, went into remission, and the fatal cancer reoccurred. He underwent a stem cell transplant that saved him, and wound up testifying in front of Congress about his experience. There were a few really memorable soap villains who propelled the Procter & Gamble soaps–Larry Bryggmann and the late Michael Zaslow were the other very good ones–but Anthony Herrera was probably the best. The tragedy is, this time he won’t be coming back. Rest in peace.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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