Anthony Herrera (James Stenbeck) will return to Oakdale this month to cause more trouble.
It was 1980 when Herrera made his first appearance as the villainous James Stenbeck. In the ensuing 28 years, the actor's alter ego has tallied an impressive list of crimes. And, like any soap opera villain, James Stenbeck has been presumed dead no less than five times: he's been shot, he's fallen out of an airplane, and he's been trapped in a fire. As with any fictional evildoer, there's always a way to cheat death. James Stenbeck's tenacity can be seen in the real-life grit displayed by his portrayer.
Herrera initially expressed some concern about returning to the rigors of taping a daily daytime drama series. In 1997, the actor was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma, a rare type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In an exclusive interview with soapcentral.com, Herrera revealed that he was told by doctors, "You have cancer. You are going to die." Herrera sought out a second opinion and attributes his survival to "brilliant doctors, finding the right hospital, and a positive attitude -- watching, questioning, and finding out." The resulting treatment required Herrera to undergo two bone marrow transplants. Herrera chronicled his battle with cancer in the 2005 book, The Cancer War.
To accommodate Herrera's return, both sides are said to have worked out a schedule that will allow Herrera to work on As the World Turns and also on another project in Argentina. The length of the actor's current stint has not been announced.
The last time As the World Turns viewers saw James Stenbeck, he was being arrested and carted off to a Bangkok jail. That was three years ago… and clearly a lot has happened since then.
Anthony Herrera returns on August 27th.