For nearly a year, fans have been waiting for the "imminent" return of Roger Howarth (ex-Todd Manning) to One Life to Live. As they waited, the ABC soap seemed to have fun tweaking them as pictures of the Emmy-winning actor and clever, throwaway dialogue -- "You're not the real Todd!" -- popped up in scene after scene.
Now, the waiting is over and the rumors can come to end. The network has confirmed that Howarth is, in fact, returning to One Life to Live -- but it won't happen overnight. Howarth won't set foot on the set for at least another month.
"I am looking forward to returning to OLTL," Howarth said. "We are going to have a lot of fun telling this story, and I am excited to see how it will unfold."
For its part, One Life to Live is equally excited.
"We are thrilled to have Roger return to One Life to Live," Frank Valentini, OLTL's executive producer, said in a statement.
Howarth's former on-screen daughter, Kristen Alderson (Starr Manning) also got into the act via Twitter.
"It's official! Daddy's back!" Alderson wrote. "HUGE STUFF!"
Howarth originated the role of Todd Manning in 1992. The actor quickly became a fan-favorite in spite of his character's bad boy ways. In 1994, Howarth was awarded the Outstanding Younger Actor trophy at the Daytime Emmys, and he received a nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category the following year. During his seven-year run with OLTL, Howarth made two extended exits -- in 1995 and 1998. He returned to One Life to Live full-time in June 2000.
Jaws dropped when Howarth agreed to take over the role of Paul Ryan on CBS's As the World Turns in 2003. Post-One Life to Live, Howarth won over a new group of fans, many of whom had been unfamiliar with his work on the ABC soap. In 2004 and 2005, Howarth earned Outstanding Lead Actor Daytime Emmy nominations. Howarth remained a member of the ATWT cast through the show's cancellation in September 2010.
What does Howarth's return mean for the show's current Todd, Trevor St. John? Fans have speculated that St. John's Todd has been an imposter -- or that Howarth will play a totally new character. The show obviously doesn't plan to tip its hand anytime soon, however, Valentini did indicate that there is "great story planned that will involve both actors."
Howarth was originally slated to start filming in May, but because One Life to Live tapes so far in advance, some changes were made to help get the actor back on-screen sooner. Howarth will now make his first appearance on May 13.