Todd Manning: Wikis


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Todd Manning
Trevor St. John as Todd Manning in the One Life to Live opening sequence
One Life to Live
Portrayed by Roger Howarth
(1992–1995, 1996–1998, 2000–2003)
Trevor St. John
First appearance December 1992[1]
Created by Michael Malone
Nickname(s) Boomer[2]
Prince of Darkness[3][4]
Aliases Thomas Manning (birth name)[4][5]
Todd Lord
Walker Laurence
Gender Male
  • Owner/Publisher of The Sun
  • Former publisher of The Banner/Sun
  • Former owner of WVLE TV Station
  • Former janitor at Llanview Hospital
Residence 437 Jackson Hill Road, Llanview, PA
OLTL Howarth.jpg
Roger Howarth as Todd Manning in the One Life to Live opening sequence from 2002

Thomas "Todd" Manning is a fictional character from the ABC daytime drama One Life to Live. Created by writer Michael Malone, the role was originated in 1992 by actor Roger Howarth. In 2003, Howarth departed from the series and the role was recast with actor Trevor St. John as Todd physically revised following plastic surgery.

The character was conceived as short-term; Howarth is credited with "turning what was a day player role into a compelling, long-term character".[6] Initially designed to be a ruthless, cunning and one-dimensional villain, he is presented as having significant trouble with the law; his infamous 1993 gang rape of Marty Saybrooke is noted as one of soap opera's classic, "most remembered and impactful" storylines.[7][8][9][10] The storyline's popularity compelled the writers to evolve Todd into a complex character, often selfish and acting the villain but also passionate about protecting his loved ones and capable of showing kindness and a conscience. These aspects were first aided in 1994, with the series' reveal of Todd as the son of Victor Lord, the brother of Tina Lord and half-brother of long-running One Life to Live heroine Victoria Lord.

In September 2007, the writers produced a story for Todd to remarry longtime love Blair Cramer for the fifth time. The series has given the characters two living children, Starr and Jack. Todd's youngest child, a son by the mentally unstable Margaret Cochran, was scripted to have been kidnapped at birth and later presumed dead; in 2007, Todd discovers the boy is in fact alive and being raised as "Tommy McBain" by people he knows.[11] The story shifts to award Todd custody but to have Tommy's adoptive mother Marcie McBain flee with the child.[11] With Marcie and his son still at large, viewers witnessed Todd's announcement that "Tommy" would be renamed "Sam Manning" in honor of his deceased mentor and friend, Sam Rappaport, and Todd's later reunion with the child. In 2009, he is given another child, teenager Danielle Rayburn, by on-again/off-again love Téa Delgado.

Todd has been the subject of numerous soap opera articles, feminist studies, and inspired the creation of a doll in his likeness. He has remained a popular and controversial figure since his creation, and is considered one of soap opera's breakout characters.[4]


Character creation

Todd Manning was originally intended to be a short-lived role. Howarth's portrayal of the character inspired notable fan reaction, which prompted the creators to layer Todd's personality and showcase him regularly within the series.[12][13][14] Michael Malone, the character's creator, said fleshing out the villain reminded him of what he loves about soap operas. "The story-telling is a genuine collaboration, not just among writers but by the actors," he said.[15] Malone felt he could not take full credit for the development of the character from Marty Saybrooke's gang rapist to what the character later became, and also noted Howarth's impact:

In the creation of Todd Manning, no one played a larger role than the remarkably talented Josh Griffith, first associate head writer, then co-head writer, during my stay at One Life. Josh loved, lived and breathed Todd and fought passionately for his position on the show. Second, Todd never would have evolved from 'first frat boy' to the major cast member he became without the powerful talent of Roger Howarth. Because of Roger's ability to convey the complexity of Todd (the hurt as well as anger, the insecurity as well as bluster, the brains, yearning, manipulativeness, sexiness, tenderness, nastiness) we were able to explore both the deeply dark side of this character (the effort to destroy Marty to cover the rape, the attempted revenge on his lawyer Nora, the attack on Luna) and at the same time slowly uncover his growing struggle (usually a failed struggle) towards some kind of redemption. Romantic leads have often begun their careers playing villains (Valentino, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart among them). These characters appeal because they make women feel both the thrill of the "bad" and the lure of the hidden "good": they can lead the man to change through love. "I'll save him!" Fans loved Todd from the beginning because he always had that appeal. The network was therefore happy to have him return to Llanview whenever Roger would come back, and happy to have him move into story in major ways.[15]

Malone originally scripted Todd as a serial rapist. During the 1993 rape storyline, it is "Todd canon" that he raped character Carol Swift a year or two before raping Marty, and is hinted by the series that he raped other young women before Carol.[16] The character is at first presented as 18 years old,[17] but is later stated to have been 20 at the time of the rape.[18] Over the years, his age has been changed slightly or drastically based upon the occasional rapid aging of his children.

Malone gave the character the last name "Manning" without knowing Victor Lord’s mistress was named Irene Manning. This oversight allowed the writers to later reveal Todd as Tina and Victoria Lord's brother.[12][15] Todd was made Victoria's brother to give the writers more story to work with while transitioning Todd from a recurring character to a main character.[15] They felt they could begin with the mystery regarding the false heir, David Vickers, a con-man claiming Todd's fortune as his own, and have him corrupt Tina. Developing Todd not only as Victoria's unwanted sibling but as "her professional rival" who used "a splashy tabloid newspaper to wipe out her venerable Banner" appealed to Malone.[15]


Signature scar and the hair

A makeup artist applying Todd's scar to Howarth; the scar stretched in a curve across the character's right cheek, and appeared a thin, medium red during its significantly healed version.

In mid 1993, the character was given a "nasty-looking" scar to his right cheek in order to make him seem even more menacing; the series showcased Marty's friend, Luna Moody, stopping his second physical attack on Marty by hitting him with a crowbar and scarring his face. The camera would often emphasize this scar, which would later become synonymous with the character.[13]

Independent casting director Howard Meltzer explained, "Todd wears the scar like a badge. It’s a warning to others: Don’t mess with me."[19] Meltzer felt that Howarth underplayed Todd; Todd did not have to rant to incite fear. "He gets a lot more from the raising of an eyebrow than raising the volume of his voice," Meltzer stated.[19] Todd's actions were mostly in response to the environment around him. Meltzer thanked Howarth's "expressiveness" for making it possible for viewers to see "the wheels turning".[19] The scar additionally served as a reminder to Todd, of his past villainy against Marty.[4] It was applied by glue, with a little makeup to make it look more authentic, and usually took 10 minutes to apply.[20]

Todd's hair was also integral to the character. It was described as "enigmatic, with an air of innate authority".[19] The hair was said to demonstrate Todd's lack of pretense and to convey an "I don’t care" attitude, and compliment the character's "overhanging brow". Todd would therefore seem more threatening but vulnerable at the same time.[19] The hair often concealed the "intense, vulnerable eyes underneath".[19] These features contrasted well to the character's mouth, which was cited as pouty and sensual and conferring "a charming, boyish quality". These attributes could sometimes be misinterpreted as Todd being less dangerous than he actually was.[19] Photographer Robert Milazzo said that the hair was the softening part of the character, as portrayed by Howarth. "You don’t expect that intensity because of it," he said, and that it made Todd more intriguing.[19]

In November 2008, Todd was given a new "scar" to go along with his new face. Given to him by character John McBain during a physical altercation in which John beats Todd with a gun, the "scar" was to symbolize Todd's "second rape of Marty" and past history with her.[4] The cut was significantly smaller than the original but placed in the same spot. Despite the cut being viewed as "a poetic nod" to Todd's history, it was gone by January 2009. St. John stated, "I know. It’s too bad. I honestly have no idea why they wouldn’t keep that reminder on Todd’s face. It might be an economical thing. You know it costs to apply that kind of makeup each day."[4]


Todd's theme and related cues

Powerfully dark theme music was applied to assist Todd's volatile nature.[21][22] Referred to as "Todd's theme" by producers and fans of the series, and consisting of ominous low chords, it usually served to signal to viewers that, whenever played, Todd was about to commit a vicious, dangerous, or threatening act.[21][23] This was especially evident in Howarth's portrayal, and continued during St. John's early portrayal.

The original creator of Todd's theme music, composer David Nichtern, said he loved Todd and enjoyed implementing the different versions of the Todd theme.[22] While describing Todd's "return from the dead" music (a prominent event at the time),[22] first played in 1996, Nichtern addressed the broader aspect of his music composition for the character:

All of Todd's music has had a certain 'vibe' to it, especially since the character is so well-drawn. It also has seemed particularly well-suited to my guitar style, so I've enjoyed 'becoming' Todd musically. The key is always to represent his dark side, but with the possibility of redemption and power behind the whole thing. That's what makes him such an interesting character. Todd's cues are always custom-made so to speak, so there is energy and attention going toward getting the exact flavor of what the current story-line is saying about his journey.[22]

Three primary musical themes assisted Todd's evolution: The original Todd theme, from 1993 to 1996, encompassed Todd's rape of Marty and his early misdeeds; the second theme was repeatedly heard in 1998 and 2000; and the third theme was first heard in 2001. The 1993 Marty rape sequence "was scored almost entirely with popular rock songs".[23] During the lead-up to the rape, described as "chilling" while the fraternity party is going on, "the hard edged songs playing at low volume in the background [intensify] the underlying tense, aggressive atmosphere".[23] When Todd reaches his turning point and makes the decision to rape Marty, "the song being played ('Head Like a Hole') [is] brought up to a louder volume" and the lyrics are clear: "I'd rather die/Than give you control."[23] This allows Todd's motivation for the rape to significantly register with viewers through the use of background music.[23]

Additional musical themes for Todd have been his "minous chords" while stalking Nora Gannon in 1993 following her contribution to his jail sentence, his romance with Rebecca Lewis in 1994, where a sweeping romantic theme with tragic undertones are heard and "sometimes interspersed" with the former ominous music, his rescue of Marty along with two children, and the Todd and Téa romance.[22][23] In mid 1994, when Todd rescues Marty and two children from a car crash, "his change of heart [is] reflected by a change in music".[23] His dominant theme then becomes "a tuneful, forward moving piece".[23] This theme is used regularly throughout Todd's 1994 redemption storyline and later when he becomes the Lord heir (1995).[23] In August 1996, when Todd "returns from the dead" after several months of absence, the "on-edge, demented sound, by which we [are told] that Todd [has] once again undergone a psychological change, this time for the worse" is introduced; the theme first assists Todd's emotional breakdown and revenge scheme[3][24] upon discovering wife Blair Cramer having sex with character Patrick Thornhart.[23]

Concept on redemption

The series crafted Todd's spiritual journey as a man who wanted forgiveness for his past misdeeds. In the story, he reasons that that he does not deserve forgiveness; this contributes to him embracing his worst qualities. Malone was intrigued by telling this type of character aspect, and felt that it worked better due to Howarth being an actor who would not let Todd acquire redemption easily.[15] Malone felt the most important part of Todd's redemption was to have him re-confront Marty in order to better deal with the fact that he initiated a gang rape on her.[15] In addition to having Todd risk his freedom from prison to instead save Marty from a car crash,[12][15] the writers had him go as far as to donate his own blood to Marty to ensure that she survives the wreck.[15] A year later, he risks his life to save Patrick from death, who is Marty's lover at the time; this act leads to Todd's presumed death.[25][23] Despite the character's eagerness to be thought of as a decent human being, the writers felt that these good deeds should never make Todd feel any less horrible for having raped Marty.[15]

Initially, Howarth did not consider the storylines to be redemptive. "[Todd's] not being redeemed at all," he said.[26] "Todd, as I see it, is looking for a way to overcome this rage so he can live in society again. From now on, his menace will be on the surface, not exploding. It's more interesting if his violence is on the surface and that he play against it. That's where the subtlety is."[26]

Specific writing and literary analysis

In her book Consuming Pleasures: Active Audiences and Serial Fictions from Dickens to Soap Opera, Jennifer Hayward cites writers as sometimes using names to symbolize good or bad characters.[13] She suggests this with Powell Lord III, a character who initially resists the gang rape of Marty (Susan Haskell), being set up as "the good" against Todd's "absolute evil".[13] While Powell is witnessed to harbor deep guilt for his part in the rape and originally acts as Todd's conscience, Todd is shown to ignore Powell's pleas for morality.[13]

Hayward felt the writing showcased Marty's rape as not being about sex, women, or Marty herself, and that it was rather about what takes place between men and women in the aftermath of rape.[13] Powerful archetypes were drawn out, such as the fight between good and evil, reminiscent of nineteenth-century melodrama, where critique would be given to "power relations, especially the oppression of the poor by the rich and of women by men".[13]

Analyst Martha Burt reasoned the storyline invokes "rape myths" such as "only bad girls get raped", "women ask for it", and "women 'cry rape' only when they've been jilted or have something to cover up". Burt said such myths "deny or reduce perceived injury, or . . . blame the victims for their own victimization".[27]

Author Gerry Waggett said the "close-ups of the rapists' faces during the assault, distorted to capture Marty's scared and drunken perspective, rank among the show's most graphic images" and that "Marty's subsequent quest to bring her rapists to justice dominated throughout the summer".[14]

To the characters and viewers, Todd was without any redeeming qualities and displayed no remorse. The writers made him the pure embodiment of evil. Certain plot points were presented to further demonstrate this. One plot point includes Todd attempting to rape Marty for a second time. He wants to punish her for winning the trial against him. This second attempt, however, is thwarted by Marty's close friend (Luna Moody). The writers had the scuffle between the two leave Todd with a scar gracing the right side of his face.[13]

As Todd's popularity with viewers grew, and as a solution not to have to kill off what had become a perceived monster, Malone and executive producer Susan Bedsow Horgan chose a controversial option — the decision to complicate Todd by ensuring that he was not a one-dimensional rapist.[13][28] Malone and Horgan started Todd's transition into a more well-rounded character with their second transition of Powell. They had Powell attempt suicide and soon confess to raping Marty. He is publicly forgiven by Marty herself, which enrages Todd when he and fellow rapist Zach receive eight-year sentences behind prison compared to Powell's three months of jail time. Todd makes a vow that he will be out of prison in three months as well.[13] To carry out this vow, Todd was written to escape by "drugging himself, waking from a coma to leap from a speeding ambulance, and then reviving himself again by stabbing a knife through his hand while rolling his eyes heavenward" and saying the pain felt good.[13] The scary determination of the character had become characteristic of him by then, and he often seemed superhuman, reminiscent of the Terminator.[13] He wants revenge on the person he feels is most responsible for his prison time, Nora Gannon (Hillary B. Smith). She was his lawyer during the rape trial, but had thrown his case once she discovered that he had raped Marty. With his escape from prison, Todd sets out to attack the currently blind Nora. He stalks and torments her, but she is spared from Todd's attack by her then-husband Bo Buchanan (Robert S. Woods) showing up before Todd can finish the assault and rape her.[13]

Following his attack on Nora, the writers had Todd's fury increase and attempt to rape Marty again. This is another failed attempt by Todd; for the character to get some kind of vengeance, the series had him kill Marty's boyfriend Suede during a scuffle.[13] Though Suede's death is an accident within the series, Todd is soon involved in a storyline where he kidnaps an ingenue named Rebecca Lewis. He hides out with her, commits grand theft auto, and is later found by the police and shot in the chest. He falls off a bridge "into the freezing river of the far upstate New York".[13]

Steps to early redemption

Upon Todd's return, reasoned Hayward, "the [writing] team used four techniques drawn from the conventions of Victorian sentimental fiction". They set Todd's redemption into motion by informing the audience of Todd's tragically sad childhood and that he had a powerful love for his mother while understandably harboring a deep hate for his rich, abusive, controlling adoptive father.[13] The writers' next step in redeeming Todd was by having him visit a church to repent for his past misdeeds. In addition, his current disturbing thoughts were implemented.[13] The third part of Todd's redemption consisted of Todd's love for "the innocent, very religious virgin, Rebecca Lewis". She helps him by letting him emotionally and regularly vocalize his detest for his father. "With her pre-Raphelite curls, 'drooping head,' and inarticulate cries, Rebecca is almost a caricature of Dickens' more sentimental and less felicitious heroines," said Hayward.[13]

Scenes between Todd and Rebecca were presented with heavily iconic detail, such as symbolic representation consisting of homages to the Virgin, the Mother, and Freud.[13] Todd was feminized as part of this; one example takes place when he picks up Rebecca's purse and makes a correlation between it and his mother's purse; he briefly proceeds to use makeup to cover up the scar symbolizing his rough past.[13]

The final and "crucial addition" to Todd's early redemption, Hayward and other analysts argue, was his friendship with the two children at the time C.J. and Sarah Roberts.[13][29][23][27][30] Hayward stated that this particular aspect bore "an uncanny (and almost certainly deliberate, given Malone's affection for nineteenth-century literature) resemblance to the monster's narrative in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein".[13] Mary Shelley's monster saves a young girl from drowning, but instead of the incident being seen as heroic, it is misinterpreted as an attack on her. From the hidden shadows, the monster also watches two children living happy lives. In similar comparison, Hayward argues, Malone's Todd Manning rescues the cousin of C.J. and Sarah. The cousin is Jessica Buchanan (who later turns out to be his niece). Todd saves her from being manhandled by an older boy. This serves as the start to Todd's road to meeting the two children (also of blood relation to him). Hayward says that like Shelley's monster, Todd observes the family's happy moments together from afar, and wishes to be a part of their life. He uses his time alone to make toys for the two children. Once they accidentally discover him, he manipulates the children into keeping his whereabouts a secret. He relays to them that he is "a genie on the run from an evil master". The stories Todd tells them reflect his feelings about his adoptive father.[13]

In the years following, Todd continues to evolve into a complex character. His amends start with his former victim, Marty.[15]

Casting and portrayals

Roger Howarth

Howarth as a young Todd Manning, dressed in a variation of Todd's grunge and "Salvation Army-like" clothing style.[31] The apparel was used for Todd's 1994 stalking of character Nora Gannon.[32]

Malone credited Howarth's versatility as the reason he was cast as Todd and as one of the contributing factors for the character's subsequent complexity.[15] During a February 2, 1993 interview with magazine Soap Opera Digest, Howarth stated he was surprised he won the part. "I really don't know how I made it," he said.[33] He met a One Life to Live casting director two years before acquiring the role when he was in a New York play.[33] When he heard about the opening on the show, he "auditioned just like everybody else".[33] Howarth said, "I made it to callbacks, and I got the part."[33] During an August 10, 1993 interview with Soap Opera Weekly, he grimaced as he was read a quote from the February 1993 interview.[34] He previously stated, "I was happy to get the part of Todd, but it was the furthest thing from the fabric of my personality." Howarth responded to hearing this quote by saying, "What a totally self-involved, pretentious thing to say."[34] He clarified, "When it comes to creating a character for a soap opera, they have to go with an archetype, one that's recognizable. The one they created with Todd is that he's privileged and very rich." Howarth said, "My upbringing was not like that at all. Status is really important to the characters I seem to be playing. To me, Roger, I don't think it's that important."[34][35]

Howarth was consistently cast as a bad guy,[34][33] and said he did not know why but loved it. He decided that he "would never want to come in now and play a nice guy for three months" and that the bad-boy persona fit him well.[34] He felt that playing nice would be "dreadfully" boring, but that it was just as easy to portray a bad guy as to portray a good guy.[34] He said the key to understanding Todd is Todd's concern for how he is perceived by people. "I don't think Todd's obnoxious, and I can't try to play obnoxious. It's so important to him to think he looks good to others," said Howarth. "He's able to mistreat people, which in turn pumps him up. He doesn't appear to the world to be vulnerable in any way. His defense mechanisms have spun out of control."[34]

Howarth spoke of what he viewed as the complexity behind Todd raping Marty. "Todd was in love with Marty," said Howarth.[34] Though Todd and Marty initially have a one-night stand, she rejects his later romantic advances; this begins to upset Todd and eventually starts to fester. Todd failing an exam only adds to his frustration because everything "had always come so easy to him".[34] Rather than admitting that he himself is the reason for failing his exam, he blames Marty; it has to be his tutor's fault. Todd subsequently tries to cast all of his problems off on Marty.[34]

In an April 5, 1994 interview to magazine Soap Opera Update, Howarth commented on Todd's clothing style. This was before Todd's wardrobe would eventually be regulated to mostly "suit-wear". Todd would dress in expensive grunge, Salvation Army-like "rags".[31] Howarth described Todd's "suit-wear" as "all Ralph Lauren. Double R.L. 80 dollar pants and a 400-and-something-dollar jacket".[31] At the time, the clothing was the only thing he admired about the character,[31] and found it disturbing that people could romantically desire a character he considered unhealthy. "I don't get it," he said. "I don't want to insult anybody, but I don't know why he's attractive."[31] Though the interviewer concluded that Howarth's own good looks may have contributed to the character's attractiveness, Howarth surmised that, for some reason, skinny white guys were in demand.[31]

Howarth was perplexed by writers who feel villains need to be redeemed. "Todd's a pretty interesting character just the way he is," said Howarth. "There's no need to fix it if it's not broken. I don't know where the whole notion of redeeming characters comes from. People used to say to me, 'I hope you get redeemed so you can stay on the show.' Well, Todd hasn't been redeemed, and he's still on the show."[36] Howarth continued, "I don't love the character I play. If I met Todd on the street, I wouldn't say 'Hi' to him, but I do love playing this character."[36]

Asked about Todd's future, in a 1994 interview months later, Howarth said that he had no predictions about what was going to happen to the character, but that he would be happy portraying Todd regardless.[37] He did, however, have concerns about what direction the writers might take Todd. "I've been lucky because Todd's done a lot of things and he's gotten the chance to show different parts of his personality," said Howarth. "He's not one-dimensional. We've covered many things and I'm not sure what's left to do, but I hope they just don't compromise Todd. I just want him to stay the jerk that everyone loves!"[37]

During Howarth's portrayal, the writers detailed Todd's personality as a blend of dark humor, uncouth behavior, and the essence of a tortured soul. The character would often deliver one-liners that ranged from humorous to sadistic.[38][39][40][41][42][43][44] In 1997 and 1998, he is given comedic partners to sometimes help emphasize this aspect. The first addition is Charlie Briggs, portrayed by actor Robert J. Hogan. Hogan was first seen as Briggs in 1995; he is working for rival company The Banner before Todd "[steals] him away". Hogan said, "Briggs had been on the show for 17 years, but they never showed him."[38]

Similar to comedy teams, where the "funny guy" usually has a "straight man" who either sets up the joke or simply does not understand it, Briggs was Todd's "straight man".[38] An element the writers added was Todd's inability to sometimes realize that the joke was about him.[38] Scenes between Todd and Briggs typically involved Todd issuing "some bizarre order" to Briggs, or Todd asking Briggs a "way-out question" that was often "way out of line".[38] During these scenes, the script would sometimes have Briggs respond with a "stupefied look" on his face.[38] Though Briggs appeared lost at some of Todd's comments, Hogan felt that Briggs was "more than a match" for Todd. "You look at a kid yelling at you," he said, "and you can't take him seriously."[38]

Todd's second comedic pairing becomes his friendship with a parrot he names Moose; the bird was portrayed by two South American blue and gold Macaws named Flash and Lucky.[45] Part of Todd's character trait within the story is that he is closest to this bird than to most humans.[45] He tells his private thoughts and secrets to Moose, which puts the character in direct conflict with Todd's then-wife Téa Delgado.[45] Actress Florencia Lozano, Téa's portrayer, clarified: "My character, um, has a very adversarial relationship with the bird.'s sort of jealous of me, I'm jealous of the bird. We're both trying to get close to Todd."[45]

Howarth on set with Todd's pet parrot Moose.

In addition to Moose and Téa's antagonistic relationship, the series designed the bird's dialogue to usually assist Todd's train of thought. Consisting of "funny" or insulting remarks aimed at anyone causing problems for Todd, Moose's words not only often displayed what Todd was likely thinking but signified the close bond between the two. The parrots' awareness of the real world compared to the fictional world helped them to connect as the character, with the actors, and achieve better comedic timing.[45] Parrot trainer Ed Richman, explained, "The character of Todd would be yelling or screaming or somebody else would be yelling or screaming... Uh...the birds kind of know in their hearts, inside of them, that it's not real."[45]

Richman had been working with Flash and Lucky for fifteen years, and the birds had developed an "impressive résumé", having appeared on shows such as Magnum, P.I. and Jake and the Fatman, which eventually led them to One Live to Live as Todd's pet parrot.[45] Richman stated that Howarth caught on "real quick" regarding his interaction with Flash and Lucky and that he was the best actor he had worked with in the industry.[45]

To achieve different personality moods for Moose, the producers would trade parrots; Flash was used for intimidating scenes where it looked like he "was going to kill somebody", and Lucky was used for the "loving, very caring", physically close portrayal of Moose.[45] The parrots did not actually speak themselves; voice actor Ron Gallop was used to deliver the verbal aspects of the character. Gallop joked, "I train them not to speak so that I have a job."[45] Lozano recalled, "I've had monologues with them and, you know...just like any other kind of — acting with anyone else or anything else — you take it off of the bird or the person. And, um, obviously, the birds are really good actors because — they're just being honest."[45]

Other characteristics defining Todd were the character's eating habits, his nightmares, and issues with sexual intimacy. The character typically ate with his bare hands, while usually refusing to use silverware.[46] Within the story, Téa is at times determined to teach Todd proper table manners. Todd is aware of proper table etiquette, but prefers not to acknowledge this.[46] Téa is also there to help console him about his nightmares, and wants him to open up about them.[47] Todd's nightmares were designed as a look into his "soul" and personality; they are the driving factor behind him hardly resting. Rare for him to discuss the matter, he eventually opens up to Téa about them.[47][24]

Todd's vocalized resistance to sexual intimacy stemmed from his horrific past misdeeds and romantic past with Blair Cramer.[24] In addition to his mental anguish for having raped Marty, he had become bitter after surviving a near-death experience and being presumed dead in 1995. Upon his return in 1996, he discovers Blair on the floor of their penthouse having sex with Patrick Thornhart, which causes him to "shut down" emotionally and to seek revenge against the two.[3][24] Todd subsequently limits his emotional affection to his daughter, his sister and occasionally to children. The writers often emphasized Todd's fear of sexual intimacy by making this a prominent obstacle for Todd and Téa's relationship. At one point within the series, Téa is shown to strip down naked in front of Todd and plead for him to make love to her. In response, Todd angrily throws her out into the cold — a rejection more about not being ready for human closeness of this nature again than a genuine rejection of Téa.[48] Todd having been raped at age 14 by his adoptive father was suggested by the series and seen as a possible cause for his low libido.[27][49] The character later renews his interest in sex when romantically reunited with Blair, but at the time remains ambivalent towards sexual interaction.

The two essential components completing Todd's personality are his cleverness and use of weaponry (such as bombs and guns). Howarth's portrayal showcased the character consistently out-smarting police, family and anyone he targeted, sometimes with weapons. In one storyline, he fakes split personalities in order to avoid a life sentence in prison for holding 14 people hostage; he had used fake dynamite because he knew he would be able incite fear without the real version.[50] He was scripted to always remain one step ahead of his enemies.[50]

Trevor St. John

St. John as Todd Manning after Todd's plastic surgery; the hair was initially regulated close to shoulder length in order to resemble Howarth's 2000–2003 version of the character.[51]

In May 2003, months following Howarth's departure from the series, the character was recast. Actor Trevor St. John stepped into the role. However, it was not yet determined that the character he was portraying was Todd until August of that year. St. John initially took the role of Walker Laurence, while exhibiting uncanny similarities to Todd. Eventually, the audience started to notice, which created suspicion throughout the soap opera community regarding Walker's identity.[52] Magazine TV Guide soon realized the matter, and set up an interview with St. John. Wanting to immediately address the question, Delaina Dixon of the magazine bluntly asked St. John if his character was Todd. St. John replied, "I don't look anything like Todd." Further pressed and asked if maybe he was Todd but with plastic surgery, St. John still did not answer directly. "He had a different voice and height," he said. The interviewer noted that anything is possible in the soap opera world. St. John agreed, but informed that the audience would definitively know on August 26, 2003, and that they should keep watching.[53]

As suspected, Walker was eventually revealed to be Todd; Todd had received plastic surgery. He had been severely beaten to the point of disfigurement during a murder attempt on his life ordered by Mitch Laurence. While recovering in the hospital, Todd conducts research and learns that Mitch has a brother named Walker (also portrayed by St. John), who goes by the name Flynn Laurence. Todd pays Flynn for information on Mitch, and has extensive plastic surgery in order to physically resemble Flynn and get revenge on (as well as protect his family from) Mitch.[54]

Malone stated, "During my second stint at One Life, I had to decide whether or not I should recast Todd."[12] Malone said that the series could not let Todd leave the canvas.[12] "There was a committee involved in this recast," he said, "but during [St. John’s] audition, which was extraordinary, we all agreed he was Todd. And that unanimous decision is very rare in this business, as you know. It was a risky choice, but he really made it work."[12] Malone said he felt St. John made the character his own.[12]

St. John did not know that Malone and executives were considering him as Todd, but he said that there was no strategy in his performance as the character once he won the role.[4] "I feel the moment is by far the most interesting thing, and the only thing worth exploring. I think what you’re seeing is a non-interpretive performance," he said. "Todd is already written on the page, so it’s my job to bring him to life in that moment. The answer is in the question. I don’t think in terms of evilness, goodness or vulnerability. This is the line, and this is how I feel, so I act it without analyzing it to death."[4] St. John said that he prefers the audience to interpret the character. He said teachers do not teach actors that in acting class.[4] "Teachers tell you to interpret the character," he said.[4] "I disagree. A character exists irrespective of how an actor plays the role. I know it’s an unusual way to approach acting."[4]

When asked if he watched Howarth's work as Todd before portraying the character, St. John said, "They wanted me to watch about 15 episodes because the producers expected me to play Todd like [Howarth]. This was before I started shooting. I watched two episodes but I never tried to mimic [Howarth's] style."[4] St. John said, "As an actor, that’s ridiculous. I needed to get a sense of who Todd was first, and that has to happen organically. I don’t care if Marlon Brando played the role before me. An actor shoots himself in the foot when you try to play a part like another actor. It’s awful — and very limiting and very uncreative."[4]

Analyzing Todd, St. John felt that it was nice to step into the role and have instant concrete relationships: "There was so much history with Todd. I became a core character. It was grounding. I could look at old scripts and ask people, 'What was your relationship with Todd like?' Whereas with Walker, no one knew." St. John said this is what acting is all about — "your relationship to people when you figure out how to play a scene".[55]

Regarding Todd's style, St. John focused more on the character's hair. He told magazine Soap Opera Weekly that he wanted a haircut. He hoped that the show's writers and producers would let him trim off a little of it. "It's just not me to be this shaggy. Right now it's OK, because I've made the creative choice that I'm letting myself go because [Todd's] not really right in the old noggin," he said. "They asked me to leave it alone until further notice. I even gained a little weight so it looks like I'm not thinking about appearance. But personally, I'd like to be a little cleaner."[51]

Due to the praise Howarth received for his portrayal of the character, as well as the length of his portrayal, it became inevitable that viewers and the soap opera media would start to compare St. John's performance as the villain to Howarth's. They wondered how Howarth might have acted out certain scenes and recited certain lines. St. John replied:

It's like saying that if you play Hamlet, every actor who plays it has to play each line with the same inflection, the same intention. I don't care what the other guy did. That's his time. Those are the characteristics that Todd had simply because he was the only one who played it. As far as I'm concerned, it's just a name and words on a page. What I do after that is up to me. I'm playing it now. I know that sounds very arrogant and overconfident, but it would be no fun to try to mimic somebody.[56]

St. John acknowledged the love/hate relationship that viewers have with Todd, but commented on how this factor keeps the character from becoming boring.[11] "It’s fun," he stated, "bad guys are always the most popular, I think." St. John felt that likeability is unnecessary. "I think empathy is what people respond to. If you understand a person, the person can do whatever unlikable act, and you’ll still be rooting for him," he said.[11] He added, "And Todd’s kind of both good and bad. He’s got his good side with his kids, and yet he is conniving and vicious and all those negative things. That’s the kind of character that people like to watch. No one likes to watch a monolith of niceness. The worst thing a writer could do is make a character nice, period. Or likeable."[11]

St. John said that Todd is capable of anything, in his opinion. "When people ask: 'Would Todd ever kill anyone or hit Starr or Blair,' I always answer, 'sure.' If I say no, then I’m limiting the character," he stated.[4] "Todd is a marvelous character to play because he could commit genocide, or find a cure for AIDS. He’s full of possibilities — good and bad." St. John said, "Who knows what someone is truly capable of? Who’s to say that Todd isn’t attracted to one of Starr’s friends, or Starr herself, even? What if Todd wants to kill Viki in one moment? See, as an actor that always gives you conflict to play — and that subtext enriches a performance."[4]

Reception and impact

Howarth on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.

Todd's impact is varied. The rape storyline inspired feminist studies, and won Daytime Emmy Awards, including actor, actress and writer Emmys, in 1994;[4][7][6][35] Howarth won for Outstanding Younger Actor.[6][35] In 1995, he was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, won the Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Younger Lead Actor, and the Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Villain in 1998.[6][35] Additionally, he won several soap opera awards in the years following as Todd.[6][35] His popularity led viewers to demand his stay on the show,[13][28] and his portrayal of the character made Todd a legend and icon.[13][35]

At the height of Todd's popularity, there were female viewers expressing ardent desire for the fictional rapist in such a way that it unnerved Howarth; fans would scream "Rape me, Todd" at fan events.[28] Adult male fans spoke of the excitement Todd brought to the show,[13] and young boys and girls enjoyed the character as well.[16][35][57] The character's popularity extended to talk shows, where hosts would address Howarth about the "rabid" attention he and his character received. On May 17, 1994, he appeared with six other male soap opera stars on the Phil Donahue Show, and discussed Todd's scar, his love for soccer aside from acting, and working with child co-stars.[20] That same month, he appeared on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, following his Daytime Emmy win.[58] As Regis Philbin started to introduce Howarth, he stated, "This guy is hot! More mail than any other soap star going....he's a terrible villain, who's become a heartthrob to thousands of wildly adoring fans...."[58] When Howarth came out, Philbin said that Howarth did not look like "such a bad guy".[58] The interview consisted of professional and personal detail, and concluded with Philbin introducing a clip of Todd in a confessional; he was confessing his sins of the past and one of the future. The audience applauded loudly when the clip was finished, and Philbin and Kathie Lee praised Howarth's performance.[58] Philbin said that Howarth was "very, very convincing".[58] Howarth explained that it took hundreds of people behind the scenes to get an episode of a soap opera together.[58]

Todd's "rampant" popularity intruded on Howarth's life. "It's really starting to frustrate me because I can't just go to work anymore," he said.[31] When asked if he would leave the role, he replied, "Acting is always something I thought I'd do, but it's something I think I could leave....I'd have to let you know if it worked out or not, but there are moments when I really want to go away and do something else."[31] Howarth leaving the show often preoccupied fans with their love for Todd, and his returns were met with anticipation and hype;[3][59][60] the character coming back in 2000 for his love at the time, Téa Delgado, received significant fanfare.[59] Soap Opera Magazine felt that Howarth's face "greatly" attributed to the character's success, as they listed him in their February 24, 1998 article Daytime's Most Fascinating Faces. The magazine stated, "Although the scar that traverses his face while he plays Llanview’s dark prince isn’t real, the menacing intensity that Roger Howarth can so effortlessly convey with his eyes and furrowed brow are frighteningly authentic."[19] Soap Opera Weekly said "Howarth's presence is hypnotic. He's focused (just watch his eyes), and has given Todd such a deliciously frightening edge that we hope he wreaks more havoc in Llanview..."[1] Marla Hart of the Chicago Tribune stated, " has been an unexpected pleasure to watch actor Roger Howarth as a lost soul in search of spiritual redemption in his role as ex-rapist Todd on One Life to Live. It's those dark corners that make Howarth so interesting to tune in to..."[26] Howarth's acclaim as Todd continued throughout his entire tenure on the show.[61][62][63][64][65][66]

St. John and the writers received praise for his portrayal of the character being smartly integrated into the series. Soap Opera Weekly stated, "They said it couldn't be done. One Life to Live's Todd (previously played by Roger Howarth) could not be recast. But with an appealing actor and the right pacing, One Life to Live may just have done it."[67] The magazine said the "writers unfolded the reveal very slowly, first letting Walker develop as a new character before dropping hints that he could be Todd" and "[by] the time 'Walker' finally let Starr in on his secret, the audience already suspected the truth, but still wanted to hear it from the horse's mouth. The scene was one of those great (and, these days, rare) must-see moments".[67] Soap Opera Digest said "[b]eing a recast is difficult enough" but that "St. John aptly distinguished between Walker, who's really Todd, as well as Flynn, who pretended to be Walker" and "let glimmers of Todd shine through. We could see Todd when Walker lowered his eyes while holding back from telling his sister, Viki; with fiancee Blair, Walker's gaze was always shifting, making sure nothing could clue her in to his secret".[68] Additionally, the magazine credited St. John with maintaining "the [uniquely scheming] relationship of Todd and Starr" and for keeping their scenes touching and delightful.[69]

On May 29, 2006, Memorial Day, St. John delivered what has been described as "one of the most memorable moments" in soap opera history.[70] The moment was Todd's execution, which was cited as "breathtaking, nerve-racking and heart wrenching".[70]

St. John as Todd as he is strapped to a table, the last dose of the lethal liquid in his veins.

Within the series, Todd is put to death by lethal injection, an action set up by enemy Spencer Truman. Todd's wife, Blair, screams in terror as the process happens. During the same moment, John McBain rushes in declaring Todd's innocence. He has proof; the woman Todd is accused of killing (Margaret Cochran) is at his side, clearly still alive. Spencer, a doctor, is forced to bring Todd back to life on the spot.[71][70]

Making the execution scenes particularly gloomy were flashbacks of Todd's life, from his romance with Blair to the birth of his children, a song entitled "Forsaken" (or "Todd's Song") by Michal Towber which overlapped the five-minute and twenty-four second montage,[72] and Blair's disbelief in Todd's innocence while his daughter stand outside of the prison crying in the presence of a lynch mob.[73] The scenes were cited as "unbearable", and Blair's unwillingness to believe in Todd infuriated the audience.[73] At the time, the majority of audience (due to either reduced Internet access, in comparison to regular Internet users, or interest in show spoilers) believed Todd's death was permanent.[73] Viewers expressed desire for St. John to receive an Emmy nomination;[73] Frank Valentini, One Life to Live's executive producer, when asked by TV Guide which episode the show submitted for Emmy consideration, stated, "We submitted the 'Todd's execution' episode for best show."[74] While St. John was not nominated for an Emmy, the storyline surrounding "Todd's Execution" landed the show an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama Series,[70] and Towber was among one of the show's composers nominated in the Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction And Composition For A Drama Series category.[75][76] In 2009, TV Guide and On Air On Soaps named St. John's portrayal of the scenes as the Top Male Performance of the Decade![77]


Rape and redemption

Though the Marty Saybrooke rape storyline was well-received, it was also criticized.[13] Opinions were given that it polarized "the gap between rapists and the raped".[13] There was concern that the show departed from the rape paradigm by not only insisting the essential "goodness" of Powell Lord, who had also raped Marty, but that it implied peer pressure "could be an adequate (or even physiologically possible) excuse for rape".[13] Analyst Martha Burt stated, "Marty had once 'cried rape' when the Rev. Andrew Carpenter rebuffed her romantic overtures, falsely accusing him of sexually abusing a boy he was counseling. After her rape, she falsely (albeit unintentionally) accuses an innocent man of having participated in the attack" and that this means "[s]he is a 'bad girl' because she had a one-night stand with Todd before the rape, bolstering his later claim that she 'asked for it' in their second sexual encounter".[27] Recently, others have wondered why Todd is popular at all. "Why have millions of soap viewers been obsessed with (or enamored of) this rapist for [all these] years? (There were hiatuses when the character left town and returned.)," stated soap opera journalist Marlena De Lacroix. "Why has the show devoted years of storyline time to him and all but made a hero out of a criminal?"[78] Additionally, the character's redemption was controversial and has been scrutinized.[13][28] In his book Behold the Man: The Hype and Selling of Male Beauty in Media and Culture‎, Edisol Dotson suggests acceptance of Todd's redemption as significantly being due to the character's physical attractiveness. "Viewers found it in their hearts to forgive Todd his acts of rape and murder. Why? Fans of One Life to Live consider Todd attractive and sexy," stated Dotson. "Were Todd an ugly man, he would have never been forgiven, and female fans would not crowd the studio's backdoor shouting his name."[29]

In a June 1994 interview with TV Guide, Malone described the pattern of rapists redeemed as "the bond between the woman and violator". He stated that it is a great historical tradition in fiction and films, and cited actors such as Rudolph Valentino, Humphrey Bogart, Kirk Douglas, and Clark Gable, saying that they all began as totally irredeemable villains. "You certainly don't want to say that these women want to be raped or that they are drawn to violence, because that's not true," he said. "But they are responding to the intensity of passion and an actor who lets you inside the torment. Some [women] believe they can be swept up in that passion and still turn it good. They think, 'With me, he'd be different.'"[13] To this, the publisher of the article, Michael Logan, created controversy when he commented on Malone's analysis by stating that "there is a large contingent of American female soap viewers who find something very attractive about rapists".[13] The female viewers aware of Logan's rape comment were infuriated by it.[13] A woman from her r.a.t.s group criticized the argument. She stated that she did not like Todd because he is a rapist; she liked Todd because of Howarth's performances as the character.[13]

In 1995, Howarth left the role for the first time. Significantly brought on by Todd's redemption storyline, he said he had no desire to portray a redeemed Todd. In the October 24, 1995 Soap Opera Digest issue, he stated:

In the beginning, the character of Todd was successful. I'll always be proud of this story, because it was the result of a real team effort. It was one of those spectacular times when the writer, producer, director, grips, engineers and actors were all on the same wavelength. Everybody was working toward a common goal. My task, at the time, was to show the humanity of someone who was basically inhuman. Todd wasn't one-dimensional, but he was definitely a serious psychopath. Todd was a serial rapist. He raped Carol Swift. Then, he raped Marty Saybrooke, and that rape was brutal, intense, violent and realistic. There were innuendos that he had raped other women before. He stalked Nora, he stalked and tried to rape Luna. [Then-Executive Producer] Linda Gottlieb told me with reasonable certainty that [One Life to Live] would not try to redeem Todd. So, I didn't think the character would change. Then about a year ago, it became clear to me that they were taking the character on a different path — they were redeeming him. In my mind, I'd been hired to play Todd Manning, a very realistic, serious psychopath. But now, the powers-that-be wanted me to play Todd Lord. And the story of Todd Lord is not realistic — it's a fairy tale. I thought, "It would be best for the show if I were to leave." That's when I tendered my resignation.[16]

Howarth went on to say Todd and Marty suddenly bonding did not make sense and that he could not, in good conscience, promote the story of Todd Lord, who had become a likeable character. "If the rape had been an unrealistic, soapy thing, then it wouldn't matter. But because it was so in-depth and so brutal, to show Todd and Marty having drinks together in Rodi's — to show Marty feeling safe and comfortable with Todd — is bizarre," he said.[16] "People have come up to me and said, 'My 7-year-old loves you.' What do I say to that? I'm not going to tell them, 'Don't let your 7-year-old watch TV.' But I have to say, it's disturbing."[16][35]

Entertainment Weekly reported that One Life to Live agreed to let Howarth go on the condition that he would not appear on another soap opera for 12 months.[79] Howarth continued to leave and return to the role until his 2003 departure from the series, but ensured Todd was never fully redeemed.[61][62][63][64][65][66]


ABC executives viewed Todd as their main fictional bad guy, and felt that the idea of marketing him in the form of a toy would be promising. In 2002, they finally acted on this notion, and released a rag doll into their store based on the character but were thwarted by a backlash.[80][81] As did other news outlets, on May 6, 2002, The Stranger gave insight into the matter:

Today the Associated Press reported on the messy merchandising mishap currently making waves at ABC. At the center of the mini-snafu is Todd Manning, a fictional character on ABC's never-say-die soap opera One Life To Live, portrayed by actor Roger Howarth. So popular was the character that ABC execs licensed and produced a collectible Todd Manning doll, selling the daytime-TV action figure through the network's online store for $19.95. But after only a few days, the Manning doll was unceremoniously yanked from the ABC site, with marketing execs citing Todd Manning's 'unsavory past' as the reason for the about-face. For those out of the soap opera loop, Manning's unsavory past includes one attempted murder and two attempted rapes, the latter of which left him with a menacing scar down his right cheek — a flaw lovingly reproduced on the Manning doll. "We didn't exercise proper sensitivity to the history of the character of Todd," said Sally Schoneboom, vice president of media and talent relations. "We have reevaluated and decided not to sell the doll."[80][82]

The uproar started when The Jack Myers Report harshly criticized the network's judgment on creating and releasing the doll.[83] Bob Tedeschi of The New York Times stated, "In the charge toward e-commerce revenues, ABC learned a useful lesson last week: Don't try to sell cuddly rag dolls depicting homicidal rapists."[83] Pictures of the doll were pulled from the Internet and the doll was blocked from being available at eBay or any other online store.[80]

Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times also discussed the matter, and described the doll's exact design from ABC's own promotion line of the item: "Todd is an all-cloth doll with brown felt hair and blue eyes. He is 20 inches standing. He wears a blue shirt and black pants."[84] In contrast to Howarth's hazel eyes (which appear blue with complementary shirts or lights), the doll's blue eyes were a result of the doll being an exact replica of the One Life to Live Starr daydream cartoons.[85] As Todd's daughter and also popular for her mischief, a doll was designed in Starr's (Kristen Alderson's) likeness as well, which remained in ABC stores.[81]


Following Howarth's departure from the series in 2003, and Todd being recast, the character became the topic of controversy again; there was significant outcry from fans who felt that Todd Manning is a character who should never be recast. They voiced that Howarth would remain the "only Todd".[86] St. John, however, managed to engage a portion of the audience by integrating his own "spin" on the character, which subsequently gained him a significant One Life to Live fanbase.[86] This "spin" resulted in positive response from viewers who had come to accept St. John's portrayal. The soap opera media noticed as well.[68][69][67][87] Soap opera columnist Jill Berry professed her love for this new aspect of the character in her weekly commentary. "Trevor's Todd continues to impress me. He has given some sweetness to Todd that I find totally appealing," she said.[87]

In late 2006, with speculation that St. John would be departing from the series, rumors began to circulate that Howarth would be returning to the role. TV Guide sought to clear up the matter and questioned executive producer Valentini. "I can't really comment on contracts," Valentini stated. "I'll get in trouble. [Pause] I will say that we're doing our best to make sure that we do right by the audience."[74]

In 2007, TV Guide received official confirmation that Howarth would not be returning to the series. "The answer to the question," they stated, was "a resounding 'Nope!'"[88] What initially started the rumor of Howarth's return was the fact that Howarth and St. John were in the midst of contract negotiations at their individual shows. "It was widely speculated that Howarth could return as OLTL's Todd." To gauge the reactions of Howarth's possible return, conducted a poll; an overwhelming 82 percent of voters wanted to see Howarth come back to portray Todd.[88] Daniel R. Coleridge of the website, however, disagreed with the results. "Perhaps I'm in the minority," he said, "but I absolutely adore Trevor St. John. His Todd is very cocky, arrogant and humorous in a sexy way that makes this Llanviewer wanna slap him — and then totally make out with him!"[88]

Teenagers manhandled

In March 2008, the audience witnessed "some of the most explosive and ugliest scenes ever broadcast on daytime" television when Todd beat up teenager Cole Thornhart (his daughter's boyfriend and Marty's son), and manhandled fellow teenagers Markko Rivera and Langston Wilde.[78][89] Viewers were outraged, and wanted Todd punished for his physical abuse of the minors.[90] According to Nelson Branco of TV Guide, head writer Ron Carlivati wanted to return Todd to his dark roots; part of that was showing Todd as a monster again:

Carlivati chose to do something rather unique, bold and risky with one of his marquee characters. Instead of trying to sell [the audience] that Todd is a changed man, Carlivati essentially initiated a dialogue with the audience: "You want to know how damaged this man is? I’ll show you — and it ain’t pretty."[89]

Within the series, Todd's physical altercation with Cole takes place on Starr's birthday as Cole and Starr have finished having sex for the first time. Todd barges in "and [beats] the son of his rape victim relentlessly".[89] The attack turns Starr's "magical night" into one of the worst days of her life. Branco reasoned that what inflamed the situation upon Todd's arrival in witnessing the two in bed is Todd's inability to sometimes separate sex from violence.[89] Branco related that, due to this fault, Carlivati conveyed Todd as convinced that Cole had raped his daughter as karmic payback. "Todd, in that instance, became unhinged, paranoid, and out-of-control. Ripping into Langston for setting the rape in motion because 'she’s jealous Starr has parents, and wants Cole for herself.'"[89] During the scenes, when Starr insists that Cole did not rape her, Todd is in denial. He almost "reactively" hits Starr twice when she challenges him on these thoughts.[89] The scenes, though controversial,[90] were praised as "riveting".[89] There was hope that they would lead to a storyline "which [would] delve into Todd’s mind, and interestingly enlighten viewers as to the complexities of a character who is mentally ill".[78]

Romancing rape victim and rape revisited

In December 2007, Marty is thrown from a van during a crash. The van explodes, and she is presumed dead.[91][92] In June 2008, Todd discovers her alive; she is afflicted with amnesia and crippled since the crash. He subsequently starts to nurse her back to health. This interaction unnerved the audience,[93] as they witnessed Todd lying to Marty about her identity and her importance to the people she loves, Todd and Marty bonding, and Marty having a positive flashback of her recent interaction with Todd. Viewers speculated the writers would romantically pair the two.[93] Howarth was against the idea of romantically pairing Todd and Marty when he was in the role and sensed attempts to follow through with the notion.[7][16] Viewers became conflicted about whether or not they believed the writers would now follow through with the storyline.[93] The writers eventually went ahead with the story, which resulted in widespread controversy, from TV Guide to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) weighing in on the matter.[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Why he has star potential". Soap Opera Weekly. 1993-09-21. 
  2. ^ In 1998, Sam Rappaport repeatedly calls Todd "Boomer," his nickname for Todd as a child. He continues to occasionally use the nickname until his death in 2003.
  3. ^ a b c d The soap press and then viewers have referred to the character this way. "Prince of darkness returns". 2000-06-01. Retrieved 2008-07-20. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Branco, Nelson (2009-01-07). "Sexy Beast". TV Guide. 
  5. ^ Sam Rappaport notes Todd's birth name in 1998.
  6. ^ a b c d e "About the Actors: Roger Howarth". Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  7. ^ a b c d Branco, Nelson (2008-09-29). "FF: SOAP MALFUNCTION CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS OLTL: Raping Marty softly with his kiss". TV Guide. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  8. ^ "Marty Saybrooke 101". 2008-06-10. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  9. ^ "Marty Saybrooke 101: Marty's Attack". SOAPnet. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  10. ^ Martin, Ed (2008-11-13). ""One Life to Live" Ignites New Rape controversy". Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Elavsky, Cindy (2008-01-20). "Interview: It’s good to be bad". Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Branco, Nelson (2008-10-01). "Shame and Prejudice: Mishandling sin on ‘OLTL’". TV Guide. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah Jennifer Hayward (1997). "Case Study: Redeeming the rapist". Consuming Pleasures: Active Audiences and Serial Fictions from Dickens to Soap Opera. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 174–183. ISBN 081312025X. 
  14. ^ a b Gerry Waggett (2008). One Life to Live 40th Anniversary Trivia Book, The: A Fun, Fact-Filled, Everything-You-Want-to-Know-Guide to Your Favorite Soap!. Hyperion, 2008. pp. 272 pages. ISBN 140132309X, 9781401323097. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Michael Malone gave detailed interviews to website magnifmalonian. "Malone Q & A". magnifmalonian. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f Sloane Gaylin, Alison (1995-10-24). "Roger and Out". Soap Opera Digest. 
  17. ^ "Special Section: Where would soaps be without the bad boys and vixens that cause turmoil?". Soap Opera Update. 2001-07-31. p. 38. 
  18. ^ In the September 23, 2008 episode, Todd tells Marty Saybrooke that he had been 20 years old when they had their first romantic encounter, before the rape.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Daytime's Most Fascinating Faces". Soap Opera Magazine. 1998-02-24. 
  20. ^ a b "Male Soap Opera Stars". Phil Donahue Show. 1994-05-17. 
  21. ^ a b Paul Glass and another producer explain that 90% of the music that airs is custom written for the show. They try to select music that is suitable for the situation, and that the characters might actually play."The Music Directors". Soap Opera Digest. 1997-06-10. pp. 60–61. 
  22. ^ a b c d e In 1998, David Nichtern gave an exclusive interview via e-mail regarding his music compositions for One Life to Live. Harris, Marg (November 1998). "Making Music: Interview With OLTL Composer David Nichtern (Part I)". Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Harris, Marg. One Life to Live music history compiled over the years through numerous interviews and emails with show producers (to 1999). Retrieved on 2009-07-14.
  24. ^ a b c d "Todd Finds True Love – With His Wife! (Téa)". Daytime Digest . October 1998. 
  25. ^ "Todd Manning 101: 1995". SOAPnet. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  26. ^ a b c Hart, Marla (1994-07-19). "HOWARTH ISN'T OUT TO BE MR. NICE GUY". Chicago Tribune. 
  27. ^ a b c d Mary Buhl Dutta (1999). Taming the victim: rape in soap opera.. Journal of Popular Film & Television. 
  28. ^ a b c d Scodari, Christine. "Soap Operas". St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  29. ^ a b Edisol W. Dotson (1998, republished 1999). "Body Guide: Television". Behold the Man: The Hype and Selling of Male Beauty in Media and Culture‎. The Haworth Press, Inc., Routledge; 1 edition. p. 81. ISBN 1560239530. 
  30. ^ Smith, Trisha (2008-11-05). "The Voice: Raping Marty Over Again". Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h "Roger Howarth—The Other Side of Evil". Soap Opera Update. 1994-04-05. 
  32. ^ "Todd Manning 101: 1994". SOAPnet. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  33. ^ a b c d e "Loving's ex-frat boy pledges OLTL". Soap Opera Digest. 1993-02-02. 
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "August 1993 Roger Howarth interview". Soap Opera Weekly. 1993-08-10. 
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h "Roger Howarth (Paul, ATWT)". Soap Opera Digest. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  36. ^ a b "October 1994 Roger Howarth interview". Soap Opera Magazine. October 1994. 
  37. ^ a b "1994 Roger Howarth interview". Soap Opera Digest. Late 1994. 
  38. ^ a b c d e f g S. Keene, Irene (1998). "BASKING IN THE SUN: As OLTL's Briggs, Robert Hogan remains cool under Todd's fire". Soap Opera Weekly. 
  39. ^ Todd to Officer Andy Harrison, after Todd is a suspect in the attempted rape of Rebecca: "You got it, Babe. You guys wouldn't know the truth if it jumped up and bit you in the badge." One Life to Live (1994). Retrieved on 2008-07-22.
  40. ^ Todd to Bo Buchanan, after being recaptured at the dance, when Bo asks Todd if there is anything they can get for him: "Yeah, I'm gonna need your address, so I can send you a Christmas card." One Life to Live (1994). Retrieved on 2008-07-22.
  41. ^ Todd to Victoria Lord: "It's amazing that you came out to be half-way normal. I mean, my life is totally screwed up, and Tina... WoHoa! She doesn't exactly have it all together." One Life to Live (1995). Retrieved on 2008-07-25.
  42. ^ Todd to Victoria Lord, when she suggests that he see her shrink, after his return from Ireland: "Look, you wanna be the poster child for the American Psychiatric Association, you go ahead... Me? I'll get a bottle of scotch and save a hundred bucks." One Life to Live (1996). Retrieved on 2008-07-22.
  43. ^ Todd to Marty Saybrooke, after his "return from the dead" and Ireland, when she asks him how he is back: "Beats the hell out of me....I guess when really bad people die, they go to Llanview." One Life to Live (1996). Retrieved on 2008-07-22.
  44. ^ Todd to Lindsay Rappaport as he is the child-like split personality "Tom" after Victoria Lord asks him if he knows Lindsay: "Yeah, sure...Sam's ex-wife! And I know why Coach left you, too! 'Cause you're a meany! You're nasty!" One Life to Live (1998). Retrieved on 2008-07-25.
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Further reading

External links

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