One Life to Live and Emmy-winning actress Gina Tognoni (ex-Kelly Cramer) have come to terms on an agreement that will bring the actress back to Llanview for the first time in more than seven years. Earlier this year, the ABC soap reportedly passed on signing Tognoni because of the actress' salary demands.
"I am excited to welcome the extremely talented Gina Tognoni back to the role that launched her daytime career," One Life to Live's executive producer, Frank Valentini, shared in a statement. "The role of Kelly is an important part of OLTL's history, and Gina's portrayal as a member of the spirited Cramer family has always been a fan favorite. She is a friend and I am thrilled to be working with her once again."
For the past five years, Tognoni has appeared as Dinah Marler on the long-running CBS soap, Guiding Light. The actress exited her role on the now-cancelled soap about a month prior to the taping of the show's last episode. Thanks to the magic of pre-taping, Tognoni continued to appear on the series through its finale, which aired on September 18.
Tognoni's early exit from Guiding Light prompted rumors about the actress' next job. Having expressed a desire to remain in New York, it had been widely expected that Tognoni would return to One Life to Live. However, the two sides were reportedly unable to come to terms on a contract. From there, online speculation hinted that Tognoni might take on a role on The Young and the Restless.
Tognoni is not the only actress to portray Kelly Cramer. Tognoni originated the role, and appeared on One Life to Live from 1995 through 2001. She also appeared briefly in 2002. Tracy Melchior took on the role for about four months in 2003 before Heather Tom joined the cast. Tom appeared from December 2003 through December 2006.
In addition to agreeing to a return to One Life to Live, Tognoni will also have a role in former GL co-star Crystal Chappell's new online series. Venice: The Series.
When Kelly was last seen on-screen by viewers, she was headed to London with then-husband Kevin Buchanan, and Zane, her son and his grandson. Dan Gauthier will reprise the role of Kevin Buchanan later this fall, but he and Tognoni will not appear on the show at the same time.
Tognoni makes her long-awaited return on February 12, 2010.
Photo: Dan J Kroll/Soap Central