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CBS Broadcasting, Inc.
Kate Linder, 37 years
For playing housekeeper-turned-confidante Esther Valentine on The Young and the Restless since 1982, Linder has earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Deidre Hall, 37 years
A few years off notwithstanding, Hall has starred on Days of Our Lives since 1976 — with her character, Marlena Evans, surviving a kidnapping, a plane crash, a 30-story fall, and even a satanic possession.
Bill Hayes, 38 years
In addition to his long-standing role of con man-turned-mayor Doug Williams on Days of Our Lives, Hayes also scored a No. 1 Billboard hit in 1955 with his version of “The Ballad of Davy Crockett.”
Eric Braeden, 39 years
Braeden has played villainous businessman Victor Newman on The Young and the Restless since 1980, but he also found time to film his role as John Jacob Astor IV in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic.
Jacklyn Zeman, 39 years
Zeman first joined the cast of General Hospital in 1977, portraying sex worker-turned-nurse Barbara “Bobbie” Spencer, and won the Soap Opera Digest Award for Favorite Villainess two years later.
Melody Thomas Scott, 40 years
After getting her start as a child actress in the 1964 Alfred Hitchcock film Marnie, Scott joined The Young and the Restless as Nikki Newman in 1979. She married Edward J. Scott, an executive producer on the show, in 1985.
Doug Davidson, 40 years
The longest-serving cast member of The Young and the Restless — on which he plays police chief Paul Williams — Davidson also hosted The New Price Is Right between 1994 and 1995.
Leslie Charleson, 42 years
Now a recurring actress on General Hospital, Charleson has played cardiologist Monica Quartermaine since 1977, when she replaced Patsy Rahn in the role.
Susan Seaforth Hayes, 42 years
This longtime Days of Our Lives star, who’s been married to the aforementioned Bill Hayes (seen with her above) since 1974, is the fourth actress to portray Salem mainstay Julie Olson Williams..
Suzanne Rogers, 44 years
Rogers might not have become the longest-serving soap opera star in current employment had her Days of Our Lives character, Maggie Horton, not been resurrected in 2004 as all of the Salem serial killer’s victims turned up alive on the island of Melaswen. (That’s “New Salem” backwards, FYI.)
Even though the soap opera genre has been in decline in recent years — R.I.P. Guiding Light, As the World Turns, All My Children, and One Life to Live — shows like Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless soldier on with cast members who have been on the payroll for decades.
Click through the gallery above for our ranking of the 10 longest-serving soap stars still appearing in their most famous roles.