General Hospital fans love Roger Howarth as quirky Franco Baldwin on GH. But, he was once most popular for his portrayal of bad-boy Todd Manning on One Life To Live. No doubt, fans appreciate his versatile acting skills.
However, there are some fun tidbits about the native New Yorker that may surprise you. So, if you’re a Franco Baldwin fan, here’s five things you should know about his portrayer Roger Howarth on the ABC sudser.
#1- General Hospital’s Roger Howarth Began Theater At Age 7
Roger Howarth has been in the arts since a young child. Because, his father was a playwright. So, he made his stage debut at 7 years old in the play The Grand Duke. Also, he was very active in high school drama in several plays during his school years. Additionally, Roger even took a break from OLTL to pursue acting projects on Broadway long before he was on General Hospital.
Howarth’s most famous Broadway appearance was The Lion In Winter where he starred opposite Laurence Fishburne and Stockard Channing. No doubt, theatre is in Roger Howarth’s blood and he has a deep passion for it. Also, he attended the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Connecticut. There, he took part in a fierce theatre acting program. Those skills are on display on General Hospital every day.
#2 – Roger Avoided Professional Acting – At First
Before Roger Howarth was part of the Theatre Center, he was a poli-sci major at George Washington University. Though he loved theatre, Roger did not want to be a professional actor. However, something shifted and he left university to study at the Theater Center. Later, things took off when he was discovered at a talent search. The same skills he uses at General Hospital.
From there, he went on to the ABC soap Loving playing Kent Winslow. However, that role didn’t last long and shortly after, he was cast as Todd Manning on OLTL. Originally, Todd was only meant to be a day-player. But, the character was a success and turned iconic. Certainly, that was Rogers’s most powerful role up until Franco Baldwin on General Hospital.
#3 – Todd Manning On One Life To Live Disturbed Roger Howarth
Roger Howarth had reservations about playing rapist Todd Manning on One Life To Live. Then, making things worse, some fans yelled out “Rape me, Todd!”. That got under Roger’s skin. Later, the soap paired Todd with his assault victim. That was the final straw and he quit the sudser because he had such strong feels about playing that role. However, Roger later went back to play Todd again and was made even more of a villain. A vibe he also explored on ABC’s General Hospital.
But, his romance with Blair Cramer (Kassie DePaiva) captivated fans and they became a super-couple. Sure, they dealt with a lot of tragedy. But, had a deep love for each other that fans adored. By then, Todd reached icon status. When ABC canceled OLTL, he played Todd on the online version. Then, he joined General Hospital first as Todd – and later as Franco Baldwin.
#4 – General Hospital – Roger Howarth’s Hidden Talent
General Hospital’s talented Roger Howarth has another skill completely apart from acting. It may surprise fans to learn Roger played soccer as a young boy until age 19. However, it wasn’t just a neighborhood soccer team. Roger’s talent brought him the opportunity to join Puma Shoes US National Soccer Team.
As a part of this team, he was able to travel to Brazil, Europe, and several other countries as well. However, Roger never considered himself a professional soccer player. Because, it was an amateur team and there was no pay. But, he certainly had a blast traveling the world to play a sport he loved. In the end, Roger Howarth came back to his true passion of acting. And that led him to General Hospital.
#5 – Roger Spent Time On Dawson’s Creek
Another interesting fact that may surprise GH fans is that Roger Howarth was a guest star on the popular TV series Dawson’s Creek. During one of Roger’s short breaks from OLTL, he portrayed Professor Gregory Hetson on the hit show. He did nine episodes – a real treat for fans of OLTL and Dawson’s Creek. Surely, fans enjoy all Roger Howarth acting gigs on and off of General Hospital.
More recently, Howarth had a short arc on The Flash on The CW. For many fans, they prefer him as Todd Manning. He won two Soap Opera Digest awards as well as one Daytime Emmy. No doubt, he’s a fan-fave and a joy on the screen. Be sure to watch Roger Howarth as Franco Baldwin.
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