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The cast of the "Santa Barbara" series | Source: Getty Images
The cast of the "Santa Barbara" series | Source: Getty Images

40 Years since the Release of the Series 'Santa Barbara': How Have the Stars' Lives Turned Out?

Dorcus Osongo
Jul 02, 2024
04:14 P.M.
  • "Santa Barbara" introduced audiences to the connected lives of wealthy families in Santa Barbara, California.
  • The stellar cast including, Robin Wright, Robin Mattson, Judith McConnell, Nicolas Coster, and Louise Sorel, made the soap opera a beloved classic.
  • Their performances captivated viewers and forty years later, we explore their journeys since "Santa Barbara."
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The cast of "Santa Barbara" pose for a family picture in Los Angeles, California, circa 1987. | Source: Getty Images

The cast of "Santa Barbara" pose for a family picture in Los Angeles, California, circa 1987. | Source: Getty Images

In 1984, television audiences were introduced to the sun-soaked and drama-filled world of the soap opera "Santa Barbara." It was set in the picturesque city of Santa Barbara, California. The series intricately wove the lives of the affluent Capwell family around those of their rivals.

Nicolas Coster and Judith McConnell of the American television soap opera "Santa Barbara", pose for a portrait in Los Angeles, California, circa 1986. | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster and Judith McConnell of the American television soap opera "Santa Barbara", pose for a portrait in Los Angeles, California, circa 1986. | Source: Getty Images

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Other families included the Lockridge's, the Andrade's, and the Perkins', who faced their own trials and tribulations. Key stars of the show were Robin Mattson, Robin Wright, Judith McConnell, Nicolas Coster, and Louise Sorel.

Each of the stars brought depth and intrigue to their characters, captivating viewers for nearly a decade. Now, 40 years later, we take a look at how the lives and careers of these beloved actors have evolved since their time on "Santa Barbara."

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Robin Mattson as Gina Timmons

Robin Mattson was born on June 1, 1956, in Los Angeles, California. She started acting at the age of six, with her first gig being a commercial for Wonder Bread.

Robin Mattson on set for the movie "Return to Macon County" in 1975. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Mattson on set for the movie "Return to Macon County" in 1975. | Source: Getty Images

Her parents introduced her to acting at a tender age as they felt the residuals would be a great way to pay for her college education. "And I loved acting ever since," she divulged.

Robin Mattson appearing in the ABC tv series "Nakia" on the episode "The Moving Target" in 1974. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Mattson appearing in the ABC tv series "Nakia" on the episode "The Moving Target" in 1974. | Source: Getty Images

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Mattson has been a daytime soap actress for nearly three decades. Mostly, the actress plays a calculative blonde. Before she played Gina Timmons in "Santa Barbara," Mattson had starred in the long-running soap "General Hospital" as Heather Webber.

Robin Mattson on "Generel Hospital" on June 8, 1982. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Mattson on "Generel Hospital" on June 8, 1982. | Source: Getty Images

Later, the actress was cast in "All My Children" as Janet Green. She noted that by playing Timmons, she had to exaggerate hilariously, the good and evil that is inside everyone. "I hope everyone is enjoying watching Gina as much as I had fun portraying her," shared Mattson.

Robin Mattson of the American television soap opera "Santa Barbara", poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California, circa 1986. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Mattson of the American television soap opera "Santa Barbara", poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California, circa 1986. | Source: Getty Images

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The actress has stayed in touch with some members of the cast on "Santa Barbara." However, Mattson is also an author, who wrote the cookbook "The Skinny on Food from a Daytime Star" in 1997. She shared 150 of her reduced-fat recipes in the cookbook.

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The actress is also a professional chef who trained at Los Angeles International Culinary School. She hosted her own cooking show on Lifetime Television. Mattson noted that she pursues her love of food and wine with immense enthusiasm.

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In November 2022, in a heartfelt Instagram post, Mattson shared an update with her fans while sitting by a table full of roses. She held one to her nose as she enjoyed a cup of tea outdoors.

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Mattson explained, "I just want to let you know that I've been recovering from my knee surgery and today I'm going to have hip replacement surgery. Thank you all for your love and support! Looking forward to a fast recovery! Love, Robin ❤."

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As for her personal life, Mattson has been married twice. The actress and her first husband, Ray Manzella got married on May 27, 1978, and divorced on December 26, 1984.

Robin Mattson poses for a picture at the "Days Of Our Lives" 45th Anniversary Party held in West Hollywood, California, on November 6, 2010. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Mattson poses for a picture at the "Days Of Our Lives" 45th Anniversary Party held in West Hollywood, California, on November 6, 2010. | Source: Getty Images

The 68-year-old is now happily married to her second husband Werner Roth, whom she tied the knot with on June 3, 2006. The couple reside in New York City.

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As for Mattson, she lives a lowkey life now but sometimes pops up at events. In 2023, she was at the premiere of "The Bay" in a cute navy blue shirtdress, with a smile on her face.

Robin Mattson in 1982 | Robin Mattson in 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Robin Mattson in 1982 | Robin Mattson in 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Robin Wright as Kelly Capwell

Robin Wright was born on April 8, 1966, in Dallas, Texas. However, she grew up in San Diego, California. The actress started her professional career at age 14 as a model, who worked in Paris and Japan.

Robin Wright during ABC Party for Tomorrow's Stars in New York City, on February 23, 1984. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Wright during ABC Party for Tomorrow's Stars in New York City, on February 23, 1984. | Source: Getty Images

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After high school, Wright pursued a career as an actress and later revealed she thought she would have to make her time in the industry last.

However, sometimes she declines film proposals. "Sometimes you accept a film because you have to earn money, but more often it is for art," she explained.

Robin Wright during "Barfly" premiere at AMC-14 Screen Cineplex in Century City, California, on November 4, 1987. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Wright during "Barfly" premiere at AMC-14 Screen Cineplex in Century City, California, on November 4, 1987. | Source: Getty Images

Wright landed a role on the soap opera "Santa Barbara" as Kelly Capwell. This role earned her three nominations for a Daytime Emmy.

Robin Wright of the American television soap opera "Santa Barbara", poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California, circa 1987. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Wright of the American television soap opera "Santa Barbara", poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California, circa 1987. | Source: Getty Images

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After leaving the show, she got the starring role in "Denial." Other productions such as "Forrest Grump," "Moll Flander," and "Love" followed.

Robin Wright during the Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, California, on September 7, 1995. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Wright during the Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, California, on September 7, 1995. | Source: Getty Images

In her 20s to 40s, Wright took it slow with her acting career to be present for her kids. The actress first got married in 1986 to Dane Witherspoon, and they divorced in 1988.

Dane Witherspoon and Robin Wright sighting at Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood, on January 7, 1987. | Source: Getty Images

Dane Witherspoon and Robin Wright sighting at Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood, on January 7, 1987. | Source: Getty Images

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She and her second husband, Sean Penn got married on April 27, 1996. The exes divorced on July 22, 2010, but share two kids, Dylan Frances and Hopper Penn.

Robin Wright and Sean Penn during VH1 Honors in Los Angeles, California in 1996. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Wright and Sean Penn during VH1 Honors in Los Angeles, California in 1996. | Source: Getty Images

The 58-year-old and her third husband, Clément Giraudet, tied the knot on August 11, 2018, but are separated as the actress filed for divorce.

Robin Wright, Clement Giraudet and their dog are seen in Los Angeles, California, on April 17, 2020. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Wright, Clement Giraudet and their dog are seen in Los Angeles, California, on April 17, 2020. | Source: Getty Images

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Wright chose to do one project a year while raising her kids. She was asked to stay focused or she would be forgotten as an actress but she prioritized motherhood. She noted, "That was a no-brainer. I always wanted to be a mom, and my kids came first."

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Now that her kids are grown and in the entertainment industry too, Wright only advises them to do what makes them happy. "You gotta like your job," she added.

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The political drama "House of Cards," put Wright in the limelight again, years later. The actress starred as Claire Underwood, embodying the character so well that she was a hit again.

Robin Wright attends the World Premiere of "House of Cards" Season 3 in London, England, on February 26, 2015. | Source: Getty Imgaes

Robin Wright attends the World Premiere of "House of Cards" Season 3 in London, England, on February 26, 2015. | Source: Getty Imgaes

Over the years, Wright has opened up about being seen as a beauty muse. She noted that she doesn't see herself as perfect, especially since she would love to have perfect breasts. Still, she vowed not to fix them or any other part of her body.

Robin Wright during the Cannes Film Festival attending the premiere of "The Assassination Of Richard Nixon" in Cannes, France, on May 17, 2004. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Wright during the Cannes Film Festival attending the premiere of "The Assassination Of Richard Nixon" in Cannes, France, on May 17, 2004. | Source: Getty Images

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As much as she admitted it was hard growing old, the actress said, "I will never make a facelift, I will never touch my lips. When I see it on other women, it terrifies me and makes me want to cry."

Robin Wright arrives to the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Wright arrives to the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015. | Source: Getty Images

In 2014, Wright seemed to have changed her mind as she admitted to having had, "just the tiniest sprinkle of Botox twice a year." She noted that some women do too much Botox, which freezes their face but she only does a bit of it to take the edge off from her face.

Robin Wright at the Ralph Lauren Spring Ready To Wear Fashion Show in Brooklyn, New York, on September 8, 2023. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Wright at the Ralph Lauren Spring Ready To Wear Fashion Show in Brooklyn, New York, on September 8, 2023. | Source: Getty Images

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Today, as much as Wright gets limited roles, she is busy with her passion project. The actress is supporting women in conflict zones, particularly in the Congo, through her foundation and loungewear business, Pour Les Femmes.

Robin Wright celebrates Pour Les Femmes in Los Angeles, California, on November 11, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Wright celebrates Pour Les Femmes in Los Angeles, California, on November 11, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

She started this social enterprise after learning about the crisis in the Congo. The militias in the Congo exploit mineral resources for technological devices, leading to severe human rights abuses.

Robin Wright celebrates Pour Les Femmes in Los Angeles, California, on November 11, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

Robin Wright celebrates Pour Les Femmes in Los Angeles, California, on November 11, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

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Moved by the women's stories and their need for a voice, Wright felt a civic responsibility to raise awareness and provide support. The actress has a purpose and a heart that drives her to help women in need.

Robin Wright in 1985 | Robin Wright in 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Robin Wright in 1985 | Robin Wright in 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Judith McConnell as Sophia Capwell

Judith McConnell was born on April 6, 1944, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was the Miss Pennsylvania in 1965. She also won the Special Pageant Award at the Miss America Pageant in 1965.

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McConnell began her acting journey at the age of 13. She started by performing in local theater productions and taking part in plays at school and church whenever she could.

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Her passion for acting led her to attend one of the few colleges that offered a Fine Arts Degree in acting. After completing her education, she moved to New York to start her professional career.

Judith McConnell on "General Hospital" on May 8, 1974. | Source: Getty Images

Judith McConnell on "General Hospital" on May 8, 1974. | Source: Getty Images

When it came to auditioning for "Santa Barbara," McConnell submitted her tape from New York, as the auditions took place in California. Although she was not initially cast as Sophia Capwell, she eventually replaced the original actress a few months into the production.

Todd McKee and Judith McConnell on the set of the American television soap opera "Santa Barbara" in Los Angeles, California, circa 1986. | Source: Getty Images

Todd McKee and Judith McConnell on the set of the American television soap opera "Santa Barbara" in Los Angeles, California, circa 1986. | Source: Getty Images

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This role prompted her to relocate to California to join the show. McConnell started playing Capwell first as the bearded Dominic. She found playing Dominic on "Santa Barbara" challenging and uncomfortable.

Judith McConnell of "Santa Barbara" poses for a portrait, in Los Angeles, California, circa 1987. | Source: Getty Images

Judith McConnell of "Santa Barbara" poses for a portrait, in Los Angeles, California, circa 1987. | Source: Getty Images

The actress felt silly and unbelievable in the role, which required her to wear full body padding, prosthetics, and heavy makeup.

The transformation process was lengthy and painful. It took about two hours to apply and remove the prosthetics, which included a false nose, cheeks, beard, mustache, and wig.

Judith McConnell and Roddy McDowall appearing in the ABC tv series "Harry O" in the episode "The Mysterious Case of Lester and Dr Fong" in Los Angeles, California in 1976. | Source: Getty Images

Judith McConnell and Roddy McDowall appearing in the ABC tv series "Harry O" in the episode "The Mysterious Case of Lester and Dr Fong" in Los Angeles, California in 1976. | Source: Getty Images

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The constant use of Spirit Gum Adhesive caused discomfort due to her sensitive skin, making the experience even more difficult. Despite her efforts, she believed she never convincingly portrayed the character.

Later, the actress, who is also a writer, was featured in other productions such as "The Purge: Anarchy" and "The Weatherman."

Judith McConnell in Paris, France in 1994. | Source: Getty Images

Judith McConnell in Paris, France in 1994. | Source: Getty Images

McConnell did not focus on other longstanding roles after "Santa Barbara" as she became a mom to Gwendolyn McConnell via open adoption. The baby girl was born on October 12, 1990.

The movie star adopted her daughter and kept the adoption private. She shared that the parents who first wanted to adopt the baby girl changed their minds. During this time, McConnell was trying to get pregnant naturally and via artificial insemination.

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Judith McConnell attends NBC Television Affiliates Party in Century City, California, on June 2, 1987. | Source: Getty Images

Judith McConnell attends NBC Television Affiliates Party in Century City, California, on June 2, 1987. | Source: Getty Images

Her fertility medication, Clomid, was reacting negatively with her body. She then learned from an attorney that she could adopt as a single woman. So, after six months of taking Clomid with no positive results, she called the lawyer, ready to adopt.

Judith McConnell in Paris, France in 1994. | Source: Getty Images

Judith McConnell in Paris, France in 1994. | Source: Getty Images

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McConnell informed the lawyer that she was willing to take an urgent adoption case. Her decision came just as the intended adoptive parents for the birth mother's child had been pulled out.

The attorney provided the birth mother with the actress's contact number. The birth mother called McConnell, and they quickly bonded, first over the phone and later in person over dinner.

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McConnell met with the birth mother's family and friends, and they agreed to the adoption. A few months later, when the baby girl was born, McConnell became her adoptive parent.

The actress requested to be excused from filming on the day her daughter was due to be born, but her request was denied. She only got out of rehearsals and held her daughter who was born via a scheduled C-section. McConnell held her, named her, and gave her a first bottle.

Judith McConnell in 1992. | Source: Getty Images

Judith McConnell in 1992. | Source: Getty Images

In the afternoon, McConnell went back to work and told her shocked co-stars that she just had a baby. McConnell revealed that having her baby girl, who has now blessed her with a granddaughter, was the greatest joy she has ever known.

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The actress said he could no longer move from coast to coast to shoot gigs as she was focused on good schools and all things about raising her daughter. The movie star's daughter graduated college in May 2013 and has a job.

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Judith McConnell poses for portrait for cast members of "The Bay" visit the artists project in Los Angeles, California, on June 7, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

Judith McConnell poses for portrait for cast members of "The Bay" visit the artists project in Los Angeles, California, on June 7, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

As much as being a hands-on mom took her away from acting, so did ageism and sexism in the entertainment industry. McConnell, who was around 40 when she starred in "Santa Barbara" could not land other roles as she was discriminated against due to age and sex.

Judith McConnell attends the Television Academy Daytime Programming Cocktail Reception in North Hollywood, California, on August 28, 2019. | Source: Getty Images

Judith McConnell attends the Television Academy Daytime Programming Cocktail Reception in North Hollywood, California, on August 28, 2019. | Source: Getty Images

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The 80-year-old now leads a private life as much as she noted that the "Santa Barbara" crew have plans of doing a celebrity cruise to promote the show. Even so, she regretted that she does not really engage with fans as she is not active on social media but is grateful always for their support.

Judith McConnell in 1974 | Judith McConnell in 2019 | Source: Getty Images

Judith McConnell in 1974 | Judith McConnell in 2019 | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster as Lionel Lockridge

Nicolas Coster was born on December 3, 1933, in London, England, UK. He was a veteran actor who began his training at 16 at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London. He honed his craft in theater, with notable credits including "The Little Foxes" and "Happy Birthday, Wanda June."

Nicolas Coster attends 45th Anniversary Party for the Circle in New York City, on May 20, 1996. | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster attends 45th Anniversary Party for the Circle in New York City, on May 20, 1996. | Source: Getty Images

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Coster was widely recognized for his work in soap operas. He gained early fame with "Secret Storm" and enjoyed significant popularity on "Another World." He also had memorable roles in "All My Children."

Nicolas Coster on "Little House on the Prairie" on September 14, 2006. | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster on "Little House on the Prairie" on September 14, 2006. | Source: Getty Images

However, he was perhaps best known for portraying the patriarch Lionel Lockridge on "Santa Barbara," the first soap opera to be aired in Russia. In that country, it achieved tremendous success and was broadcast as a nighttime series.

Nicolas Coster attends the Academy Presents the 30th Anniversary Screening of "All the President's Men" in Beverly Hills, California, on November 30, 2006. | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster attends the Academy Presents the 30th Anniversary Screening of "All the President's Men" in Beverly Hills, California, on November 30, 2006. | Source: Getty Images

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Coster was starring in "One Life to Live" when he was approached by the creators of "Santa Barbara." They invited him to join their new project, and he was captivated by their vision. So, Coster decided to return to California to be part of the exciting new venture, "Santa Barbara."

Nicolas Coster of the American television soap opera "Santa Barbara", poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California, circa 1986. | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster of the American television soap opera "Santa Barbara", poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California, circa 1986. | Source: Getty Images

In addition to his soap opera fame, Coster won several Daytime Emmys for his work on the drama "The Bay." His film credits included "Just You and Me, Kid" and "How I Got Into College."

Nicolas Coster attends "The Bay" Promotional Shoot in Marina del Rey, California, on April 20, 2013. | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster attends "The Bay" Promotional Shoot in Marina del Rey, California, on April 20, 2013. | Source: Getty Images

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Coster once reflected on his character Lockridge's romantic storyline with Caroline Wilson. He described it as one of the most tender and meaningful relationships he has experienced, both on and off-screen.

Nicolas Coster on "One Life To Live" on March 21, 1984. | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster on "One Life To Live" on March 21, 1984. | Source: Getty Images

Sadly, in November 1987, Coster suffered a near-fatal car accident that left him in a coma and caused temporary memory loss. Despite his condition, he returned to the set of "Santa Barbara" just a week later without anyone knowing about his memory issues.

Nicolas Coster in Burbank, California, circa 1990. | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster in Burbank, California, circa 1990. | Source: Getty Images

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Coster confided in Lenore Kasdorf, who played Wilson, about his situation. To cope, he placed small notes with his lines around the set. He also relied on the teleprompter when off-camera, actions that could be distracting for his co-star.

Nicolas Coster attends the screening of "By Dawn's Early Light" in Hollywood, California, on May 7, 1990. | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster attends the screening of "By Dawn's Early Light" in Hollywood, California, on May 7, 1990. | Source: Getty Images

However, Kasdorf was patient, understanding, and forgiving, helping him through this tough period. Her support allowed him to regain enough memory to perform without stumbling.

Nicolas Coster attends "The Bay: The Series" Season 2 Premiere in Los Angeles, California, on October 26, 2011. | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster attends "The Bay: The Series" Season 2 Premiere in Los Angeles, California, on October 26, 2011. | Source: Getty Images

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Despite the producer's concerns about his condition, which they mistakenly attributed to excessive partying, Coster managed to continue working with Kasdorf's assistance. He expressed deep gratitude for her kindness and talent, noting that, at least on camera, he truly felt in love with her.

Nicolas Coster attends Television Academy's Daytime Television Celebration in North Hollywood, California, on August 24, 2016. | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster attends Television Academy's Daytime Television Celebration in North Hollywood, California, on August 24, 2016. | Source: Getty Images

Aside from acting, Coster taught as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film Studies at the University of Georgia, a role he truly enjoyed.

He also contributed to film education by participating in various projects at the University of Southern California Graduate Film School, where he worked on five films. His work extended to the American Film Institute (AFI), where he worked on three films.

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Nicolas Coster displays his Emmy Award at the 44th Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Pasadena, California, on April 28, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster displays his Emmy Award at the 44th Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Pasadena, California, on April 28, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

Beyond his career, Coster had a passion for scuba diving. He dedicated significant time to teaching disabled individuals to scuba dive through the Challenges Foundation, where he was a certified instructor.

Nicolas Coster arrives at the screening of LANY Entertainment's "The Bay" at DOMA in Beverly Hills, California, on November 30, 2015. | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster arrives at the screening of LANY Entertainment's "The Bay" at DOMA in Beverly Hills, California, on November 30, 2015. | Source: Getty Images

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Speaking of his passion, he said, " How can one not be passionate about something that affects others so positively? And yes, this old guy still skin dives (no tank) regularly to 35 feet. We sail with the Wounded and Disabled Veterans almost weekly."

Nicolas Coster poses for portraitcast members of "The Bay" visit the artist project in Los Angeles, California, on June 7, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster poses for portraitcast members of "The Bay" visit the artist project in Los Angeles, California, on June 7, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

Coster's personal life was also eventful. He first got married on September 24, 1960, to Candace Hilligoss and they divorced in 1981 after having two kids.

Candace Hilligoss and Nicholas Coster attend an event at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 29, 1977. | Source: Getty Images

Candace Hilligoss and Nicholas Coster attend an event at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 29, 1977. | Source: Getty Images

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The actor and his second wife Beth Pantel got married on January 17, 1982. They divorced on January 21, 2014. Coster went on to marry Elena Borodulina Coster on January 31, 2014.

Beth Pantel and Nicolas Coster attend the Chinese American Film Festival Opening Ceremony and Golden Angel Awards Ceremony in Hollywood, California, on October 30, 2018. | Source: Getty Images

Beth Pantel and Nicolas Coster attend the Chinese American Film Festival Opening Ceremony and Golden Angel Awards Ceremony in Hollywood, California, on October 30, 2018. | Source: Getty Images

Unfortunately, death separated the actor and his third wife. Coster lived his life well and passed away on June 26, 2023, at a hospital in Florida at 89.

Nicolas Coster and Elena Borodulina Coster attend The Thalians: Hollywood for Mental Health Presidents Club Party in Los Angeles, California, on February 18, 2018. | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster and Elena Borodulina Coster attend The Thalians: Hollywood for Mental Health Presidents Club Party in Los Angeles, California, on February 18, 2018. | Source: Getty Images

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He was eulogized as an "actor's actor" and a "great artist." The actor left behind his three children, Ian, Candace, and Dinneen Coster.

Nicolas Coster in 1984 | Nicolas Coster in 2018 | Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Coster in 1984 | Nicolas Coster in 2018 | Source: Getty Images

Louise Sorel as Augusta Lockridge

Born on August 6, 1940, in Los Angeles, Louise Sorel has deep roots in theater. She studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York. She then made her Broadway debut in 1961, portraying a teenager in the comedy "Take Her, She's Mine."

Louise Sorel promotional photo for the Walt Disney Television series "The Survivors" in 1969. | Source: Getty Images

Louise Sorel promotional photo for the Walt Disney Television series "The Survivors" in 1969. | Source: Getty Images

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Sorel's film career took off in the 1960s and 1970s with roles in movies like "Man and Boy," "Plaza Suite," and "Every Little Crook and Nanny." In the 1980s, she appeared in films such as "Mazes and Monsters" and "A Masterpiece of Murder."

Louise Sorel appearing in the Walt Disney Television movie "The President's Plane Is Missing" in 1973. | Source: Getty Images

Louise Sorel appearing in the Walt Disney Television movie "The President's Plane Is Missing" in 1973. | Source: Getty Images

Her career experienced a significant resurgence in the late 1980s due to daytime soap operas. In 1984, Sorel began her journey to soap opera fame by playing the eccentric villain Augusta Lockridge on "Santa Barbara." She held the role throughout the show's run.

Louise Sorel in 1998. | Source: Getty Images

Louise Sorel in 1998. | Source: Getty Images

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She later secured recurring roles as Judith Sanders on "One Life to Live" and Donatella Stewart on "Port Charles." In 1992, she joined the cast of "Days of Our Lives" as the cunning Vivian Alamain. All these roles earned her five Soap Opera Digest Awards by the time she left in 2000.

Louise Sorel as Vivian Alamain on "Days of Our Lives" on December 8, 2010. | Source: Getty Imgaes

Louise Sorel as Vivian Alamain on "Days of Our Lives" on December 8, 2010. | Source: Getty Imgaes

As for "Santa Barbara" Sorel said she brought her absurdness, humor, and desire for unpredictability to the show. She loved the series' storyline as well as her character, who was a difficult but loving woman. She found the cast and crew to be great and hard working too.

Louise Sorel received an award for her role in the series "Days Of Our Lives" on February 26, 1999. | Source: Getty Images

Louise Sorel received an award for her role in the series "Days Of Our Lives" on February 26, 1999. | Source: Getty Images

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Sorel left "Santa Barbara" two times before she quit altogether. Initially, she left to move to New York and join the cast of "One Life to Live."

After a year back in "Santa Barbara," she decided to take a break and went to Villefranche to study French. However, she was eventually called back to the show.

Louise Sorel in 1990. | Source: Getty Images

Louise Sorel in 1990. | Source: Getty Images

Her final departure was due to dissatisfaction with the direction of her character. A new producer had assured her that the entire Lockridge family storyline would be dropped.

This development did not happen. Instead, her character, Augusta, was written as an alcoholic, a development Sorel found unacceptable, leading her to leave the show.

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Louise Sorel attends 10th Annual Soap Opera Digest Awards in Beverly Hills, California, on February 4, 1994. | Source: Getty Images

Louise Sorel attends 10th Annual Soap Opera Digest Awards in Beverly Hills, California, on February 4, 1994. | Source: Getty Images

As for Sorel's role on "Days of Our Lives" as Alamain, she revealed that she was fired in 1990. The actress described the experience as horrible as she had been on the show for years.

She was shocked and hurt by this unexpected dismissal as she also missed the cast. Sorel went to Greece and France to clear her mind and regain her balance after this ordeal.

Louise Sorel attends the opening night of RED on Broadway in New York City, on April 1, 2010. | Source: Getty Images

Louise Sorel attends the opening night of RED on Broadway in New York City, on April 1, 2010. | Source: Getty Images

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Sorel is currently working on her memoir. When asked about retirement, she explained that she had taken a break from acting for a while. Although she prefers not to use the term retired, she acknowledges that she is in that stage of her life.

Louise Sorel attends the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards In New York in New York City, on May 9, 2015. | Source: Getty Images

Louise Sorel attends the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards In New York in New York City, on May 9, 2015. | Source: Getty Images

The 83-year-old, who doesn't care about fame, lives a private life and does not share her experiences on social media except on Facebook. She spends her time with her dogs and friends and loves going to the theatre.

Louise Sorel in 1963 | Louise Sorel in 2020 | Source: Getty Images

Louise Sorel in 1963 | Louise Sorel in 2020 | Source: Getty Images

Forty years after "Santa Barbara," the cast members are still thriving as much as they lost one of them. The soap opera stars have expanded their career paths, faced new challenges, and made big contributions in other fields. Their ongoing success and versatility show the talent that made "Santa Barbara" a beloved show.

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5 Forgotten Teen Idols – Inside the Lives of Celebrities Now Far from the Spotlight

May 05, 2024

Then and Now: How the Legendary Bond Girls Have Aged Gracefully

June 25, 2024

7 Beauties of the Past: How Famous Actresses Have Changed over Decades

April 16, 2024

Ryan Gosling Never Appears with Partner & Mom of His 2 Kids Anymore — Inside Their Decision

April 29, 2024

Robyn Bernard Found Dead in Open Field: 3 Other 'General Hospital' Stars with Tragic Fates

March 15, 2024

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Left Taxpayer-Funded Frogmore Cottage & Now Live in a $14.7M Estate

March 28, 2024

Users Urge Barbara Eden to Quit Botox at 92 - Her Transformation Leaves Users in Awe

June 25, 2024

3 Hotly-Debated Topics from Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s Appearance at Florida Charity Polo Match: Details & Pics

April 15, 2024

'Surprising': Katie Holmes, 45, Rocks Natural Makeup & Belted Maxi Dress in Latest Outing, Sparking Comments

June 25, 2024

‘General Hospital’ Star Johnny Wactor, 37, Lost His Life after Saving His Colleague: Tragic Details Revealed

May 27, 2024

Boy Gives up His Seat for Old Lady on Bus, She Makes His Mom a Millionaire in Return — Story of the Day

March 18, 2024