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Todd Manning

Todd Manning

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Thomas Todd Manning is a fictional character
Fictional character
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

 from the ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 daytime drama One Life to Live
One Life to Live
One Life to Live is an American soap opera which debuted on July 15, 1968 and has been broadcast on the ABC television network. Created by Agnes Nixon, the series was the first daytime drama to primarily feature racially and socioeconomically diverse characters and consistently emphasize social...

. Created by writer Michael Malone
Michael Malone
Michael Malone is an Emmy Award-winning American author and television writer, born in Durham, North Carolina. He is best known for his work on the ABC Daytime drama One Life to Live, as well as for his best-selling works of fiction Handling Sin , Foolscap , and murder mystery First Lady...

, the role was originated in 1992 by actor Roger Howarth
Roger Howarth
Roger Howarth is an American actor. He portrays Todd Manning on the daytime drama One Life to Live, a character which became an iconic fixture in the genre's medium, and earned Howarth a Daytime Emmy Award...

. In 2003, Howarth departed from the series and the role was recast with actor Trevor St. John
Trevor St. John
Trevor Marshall St. John is an American actor. He portrayed Todd Manning/Victor Lord Jr. on the ABC daytime drama One Life to Live, and has starred in various prime time shows and film.-Career:...

 as Todd, initially written with Todd's visage altered by plastic surgery
Plastic surgery
Plastic surgery is a medical specialty concerned with the correction or restoration of form and function. Though cosmetic or aesthetic surgery is the best-known kind of plastic surgery, most plastic surgery is not cosmetic: plastic surgery includes many types of reconstructive surgery, hand...

. On April 4, 2011, the return of Howarth and the departure St. John was confirmed by ABC, with St. John's last airdate being confirmed as summer 2011. In August 2011, St. John's character was revealed as Todd's identical twin brother, Victor Lord, Jr., conditioned to believe he was Todd and assume his identity.

Originally, Todd was conceived as short-term; Howarth is credited with "turning what was a day player role into a compelling, long-term character". 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
Marty Saybrooke
Dr. Margaret "Marty" Saybrooke is a fictional character on the American daytime drama One Life to Live. The role was originated by Susan Haskell, who portrayed Marty from January 24, 1992 through September 16, 1997 and made brief appearances on February 16, 2004 and February 2005...

 is noted as one of soap opera's classic, "most remembered and impactful" storylines, and the story's popularity compelled the writers to evolve Todd into a complex character, often selfish and acting the villain but also compassionate and devoted to protecting his loved ones. These aspects were first aided in 1994, with the series' reveal of Todd as the son of Victor Lord, the brother of Tina Lord
Tina Lord
Tina Lord Roberts is a fictional character on the ABC daytime drama One Life to Live, originated and most notably portrayed by Andrea Evans...

, and half-brother of original One Life to Live heroine Victoria Lord
Victoria Lord
Victoria "Viki" Lord is the principal fictional character and matriarch of the Lord family on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live...

.

The character has married and remarried longtime love Blair Cramer multiple times, and the series has given them two living children, Starr
Starr Manning
Starr Irene Manning is a fictional character on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. Portrayed by Kristen Alderson since 1998, Starr is the oldest child of Todd Manning and Blair Cramer, and was originally known for her mischievous behavior, exacerbated by her parents' volatile...

 and Jack
Jack Manning (One Life to Live)
John "Jack" Cramer Manning is a fictional character on the American soap opera, One Life to Live. He is the first-born son and second child of Todd Manning and Blair Cramer.-Casting:...

. In 2009, Todd is presented with a second daughter, Danielle, conceived with his former wife and love Téa Delgado
Téa Delgado
Téa Delgado is a fictional character from the ABC daytime drama One Life to Live. The role was portrayed by Florencia Lozano from January 27, 1997 to March 2, 2000 and briefly in 2002; Lozano returned to the role once again on December 5, 2008.A stern but passionate personality, the character has...

 during a previous reunion.

Todd has been the subject of numerous soap opera articles, feminist studies
Women's studies
Women's studies, also known as feminist studies, is an interdisciplinary academic field which explores politics, society and history from an intersectional, multicultural women's perspective...

, 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.

Background


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. Michael Malone
Michael Malone
Michael Malone is an Emmy Award-winning American author and television writer, born in Durham, North Carolina. He is best known for his work on the ABC Daytime drama One Life to Live, as well as for his best-selling works of fiction Handling Sin , Foolscap , and murder mystery First Lady...

, 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. 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
Josh Griffith
-Career:During the WGA strike, he took over as Head Writer of CBS Daytimes The Young and the Restless. To do this, he accepted Financial core status with the WGA. Maria Arena Bell, a former writer at The Bold and the Beautiful and daughter-in-law of Y&R creator William J...

, first associate head writer
Head writer
A head writer is a person who oversees the team of writers on a television or radio series. The title is common in the soap opera genre, as well as with sketch comedies and talk shows that feature monologues and comedy skits, but in prime time series this function is generally performed by an...

, 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
Nora Hanen
Nora Hanen Buchanan is a fictional character on the long-running American soap opera One Life to Live. The role was originated by Hillary B. Smith in September 1992.-Casting:...

, the attack on Luna) and at the same time slowly uncover his growing struggle (usually a failed struggle) towards some kind of redemption
Redemption (theology)
Redemption is a concept common to several theologies. It is generally associated with the efforts of people within a faith to overcome their shortcomings and achieve the moral positions exemplified in their faith.- In Buddhism :...

. Romantic leads have often begun their careers playing villains (Valentino
Rudolph Valentino
Rudolph Valentino was an Italian actor, and early pop icon. A sex symbol of the 1920s, Valentino was known as the "Latin Lover". He starred in several well-known silent films including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle and Son of the Sheik...

, Clark Gable
Clark Gable
William Clark Gable , known as Clark Gable, was an American film actor most famous for his role as Rhett Butler in the 1939 Civil War epic film Gone with the Wind, in which he starred with Vivien Leigh...

, Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey DeForest Bogart was an American actor. He is widely regarded as a cultural icon.The American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema....

 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.


Malone originally scripted Todd as a serial rapist. During the 1993 rape storyline
Todd Manning and Marty Saybrooke rape storylines
The Todd Manning and Marty Saybrooke rape storylines are storylines from the ABC daytime drama One Life to Live consisting of rape, revenge, redemption, and love. Created by writers Michael Malone and Ron Carlivati, the stories depict characters Todd The Todd Manning and Marty Saybrooke rape...

, it is "Todd canon
Canon (fiction)
In the context of a work of fiction, the term canon denotes the material accepted as "official" in a fictional universe's fan base. It is often contrasted with, or used as the basis for, works of fan fiction, which are not considered canonical...

" that he raped character Carol Swift a year or two before raping Marty, and there are hints in the series that he raped other young women before Carol. The character is at first presented as 18 years old, but is later stated to have been 20 at the time of the rape. Over the years, his age has been changed slightly or drastically based upon the occasional rapid aging
Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome
Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome is a term used to describe the practice of accelerating the age of a television character in conflict with the timeline of a series and/or the real-world progression of time. Characters unseen on screen for a time might reappear portrayed by an actor several years...

 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
Tina Lord
Tina Lord Roberts is a fictional character on the ABC daytime drama One Life to Live, originated and most notably portrayed by Andrea Evans...

 and Victoria Lord
Victoria Lord
Victoria "Viki" Lord is the principal fictional character and matriarch of the Lord family on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live...

's brother. In December 1994, Todd finds a letter, following the death of his then-father, Peter Manning. The letter, written by Peter's wife — Barbara "Bitsy" (Jones) Manning — whom Todd believed to be his mother since before her death, reveals that Todd was adopted. While the letter and the official ABC Daytime biography of the character state that he is the biological son of Victor Lord and Peter's sister, Irene, the October 3, 2011 episode rewrites history when Todd berates his mother for handing him off onto her psychotic cousin.

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. As the son of Victor, Todd became entitled to $30 million inheritance. The writers chose to begin the storyline with the mystery regarding the false heir, David Vickers
David Vickers
David Vickers Buchanan is a fictional character from the daytime soap opera One Life to Live, portrayed by Tuc Watkins.-Appearances:...

, a con-man
Confidence trick
A confidence trick is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. A confidence artist is an individual working alone or in concert with others who exploits characteristics of the human psyche such as dishonesty and honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility,...

 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.

Makeup: Signature scar and hair


In late 1993, the character was given a "nasty-looking" scar
Scar
Scars are areas of fibrous tissue that replace normal skin after injury. A scar results from the biological process of wound repair in the skin and other tissues of the body. Thus, scarring is a natural part of the healing process. With the exception of very minor lesions, every wound results in...

 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 synonym
Synonym
Synonyms are different words with almost identical or similar meanings. Words that are synonyms are said to be synonymous, and the state of being a synonym is called synonymy. The word comes from Ancient Greek syn and onoma . The words car and automobile are synonyms...

ous with the character.

Independent casting director Howard Meltzer explained, "Todd wears the scar like a badge. It’s a warning to others: Don’t mess with me." 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. 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". The scar additionally served as a reminder to Todd, of his past villainy against Marty. It was applied by glue, with a little makeup to make it look more authentic, and usually took 10 minutes to apply.

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

In November 2008, under St. John's portrayal of the character, "Todd" acquires a new "scar" to go along with his new face. Given to him by character John McBain
John McBain (One Life to Live)
John McBain is a fictional character on the American daytime drama One Life to Live, portrayed by Michael Easton since October 1, 2003.-Natalie and Evangeline:...

 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. The cut was significantly smaller than the original but placed in the same spot. Despite it 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."

Music: Todd's theme and related cues


Powerfully dark theme music
Theme music
Theme music is a piece that is often written specifically for a radio program, television program, video game or movie, and usually played during the title sequence and/or end credits...

 was applied to assist Todd's volatile nature. 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. Though especially evident in Howarth's portrayal, the theme continued during St. John's early portrayal as well.

The original creator of Todd's theme music, composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

 David Nichtern
David Nichtern
David Nichtern is an American songwriter and television composer, soundtrack artist and Buddhist teacher.-Biography:Nichtern is the son of broadway producer Claire Nichtern, the first female Tony award winner. He began his career as a professional musician during his college years at Columbia...

, said he loved the character and enjoyed implementing the different versions of the Todd theme. While describing Todd's "return from the dead" music (a prominent event at the time), 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.


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". 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". When Todd reaches his turning point and makes the decision to rape Marty, "the song being played ('Head Like a Hole
Head Like a Hole
"Head Like a Hole" is a song by the American industrial rock project Nine Inch Nails. A song influenced by industrial metal group Ministry, it was released as the second single from the group's debut album Pretty Hate Machine...

') [is] brought up to a louder volume" and the lyrics are clear: "I'd rather die/Than give you control." This allows Todd's motivation for the rape to significantly register with viewers through the use of background music.

Additional musical themes for Todd have been his "minous chords" while stalking Nora Gannon
Nora Hanen
Nora Hanen Buchanan is a fictional character on the long-running American soap opera One Life to Live. The role was originated by Hillary B. Smith in September 1992.-Casting:...

 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. 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". His dominant theme then becomes "a tuneful, forward moving piece". This theme is used regularly throughout Todd's 1994 redemption storyline and later when he becomes the Lord heir (1995). 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 upon discovering wife Blair Cramer
Blair Cramer
Blair Cramer is a fictional character on the American daytime drama One Life to Live...

 having sex with character Patrick Thornhart
Patrick Thornhart
Patrick Thornhart is a fictional character on the daytime soap opera, One Life to Live. He was played by Thorsten Kaye from October 1995 to September 16, 1997, and an unknown actor by June 3, 2011 to June 6, 2011.-Storylines:...

.

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 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. 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. In addition to having Todd risk his freedom from prison to instead save Marty from a car crash, the writers had him go as far as to donate his own blood to Marty to ensure that she survives the wreck. A year later, they crafted a story where he risks his life to save Patrick, Marty's lover, from death; this act leads to Todd's presumed death. Despite having the character yearn to be thought of as a decent human being, the writers felt his good deeds should never make him feel any less horrible for having raped Marty.

Initially, Howarth did not consider the storylines to be redemptive. "[Todd's] not being redeemed at all," he said. "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."

Archetypes and representation


Author Jennifer Hayward opines that writers sometimes use names to symbolize good or bad characters, and suggests this with Powell Lord III — a character who initially resists the gang rape of Marty (Susan Haskell
Susan Haskell
Susan Haskell is a Canadian actress. She portrays the role of Dr. Margaret "Marty" Saybrooke, bad-girl-turned-good-turned-bad-again, on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live.-Private life:...

). Powell is set up as "the good" personality contrasting Todd's "absolute evil" identity. While Powell is witnessed to harbor deep guilt for his part in the rape and originally acts as Todd's conscience
Conscience
Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment of the intellect that distinguishes right from wrong. Moral judgement may derive from values or norms...

, Todd is shown to ignore Powell's pleas for morality.

Hayward felt the writing showcased the rape as not being about sex, women, or Marty herself, but rather about what takes place between men and women in the aftermath of rape. In her view, the series drew upon powerful archetype
Archetype
An archetype is a universally understood symbol or term or pattern of behavior, a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated...

s, such as the fight between good and evil, reminiscent of nineteenth-century melodrama
Melodrama
The term melodrama refers to a dramatic work that exaggerates plot and characters in order to appeal to the emotions. It may also refer to the genre which includes such works, or to language, behavior, or events which resemble them...

, where critique would be given to "power relations, especially the oppression of the poor by the rich and of women by men".

Analyst Mary Buhl Dutta reasoned the storyline invokes "rape myths" cataloged by scholar Martha R. Burt, 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".

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".

To the characters and viewers, Todd was without any redeeming qualities and displayed no remorse
Remorse
Remorse is an emotional expression of personal regret felt by a person after he or she has committed an act which they deem to be shameful, hurtful, or violent. Remorse is closely allied to guilt and self-directed resentment...

. The writers made him the pure embodiment of evil, and plot points were presented to further demonstrate this, including Todd's second rape attempt on Marty. The story focused on his desire to punish her for winning the trial against him. Instead of having Marty subjected to another rape, the writers decided to have Marty's close friend Luna Moody thwart the attack. The scuffle between Todd and Luna leaves Todd with a scar gracing the right side of his face.

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. Malone and Horgan started Todd's transition into a more well-rounded character through their redemption of Powell. They had Powell attempt suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 and confess to raping Marty. He is publicly forgiven by Marty herself, which enrages Todd when he and fellow rapist Zach receive eight-year sentences in 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. To carry out this vow, he 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. The threatening determination of the character had become characteristic of him by then, and he often seemed superhuman
Superhuman
Superhuman can mean an improved human, for example, by genetic modification, cybernetic implants, or as what humans might evolve into, in the near or distant future...

, reminiscent of the Terminator. At one point, he is shown as wanting revenge on his lawyer, Nora Gannon
Nora Hanen
Nora Hanen Buchanan is a fictional character on the long-running American soap opera One Life to Live. The role was originated by Hillary B. Smith in September 1992.-Casting:...

 (Hillary B. Smith
Hillary B. Smith
Hillary Bailey Smith is an American actress.Born as Hillary Bailey, Smith attended Dana Hall School, Pine Manor College and Sarah Lawrence College....

), who had thrown his case once she discovered that he had raped Marty. With his escape from prison, Todd sets out to attack Nora, who has become blind. He stalks and torments her, but she is spared from Todd's attack by her husband Bo Buchanan
Bo Buchanan
Beaufort Oglethorpe "Bo" Buchanan is a fictional character on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live.-Casting and awards:The role was originated in 1979 by Robert S. Woods, who briefly left the series in 1986 but returned in 1988, and currently portrays the role...

 (Robert S. Woods
Robert S. Woods
Robert Sosebee Woods is an American actor best known for playing Bo Buchanan on the ABC soap One Life to Live, a role for which he won a 1983 Daytime Emmy Award for Lead Actor.-Early life:...

) showing up before Todd can finish the assault and rape her.

Following his attack on Nora, the writers had Todd's fury increase and attempt to rape Marty again. The series shows it as another failed attempt by Todd; for the character to get some kind of vengeance, he is instead written to kill Marty's boyfriend Suede during a scuffle. Though Suede's death is an accident within the series, Todd is soon involved in a storyline where he kidnaps an ingenue
Ingenue (stock character)
See also Disingenuous, which is not quite the antonym that it may seem!The ingénue is a stock character in literature, film, and a role type in the theatre; generally a girl or a young woman who is endearingly innocent and wholesome. Ingenue may also refer to a new young actress or one typecast in...

 named Rebecca Lewis. He hides out with her, commits grand theft auto
Motor vehicle theft
Motor vehicle theft is the criminal act of stealing or attempting to steal a motor vehicle...

, 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".

Steps to early redemption


Upon Todd's return, reasoned Hayward, "the [writing] team used four techniques drawn from the conventions of Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 sentimental
Sentimentality
Sentimentality originally indicated the reliance on feelings as a guide to truth, but current usage defines it as an appeal to shallow, uncomplicated emotions at the expense of reason....

 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 adoptive mother while understandably harboring a deep hate for his rich, abusive, controlling adoptive father. The writers' next step in redeeming Todd was by having him visit a church to repent
Repentance
Repentance is a change of thought to correct a wrong and gain forgiveness from a person who is wronged. In religious contexts it usually refers to confession to God, ceasing sin against God, and resolving to live according to religious law...

 for his past misdeeds. In addition, his current disturbing thoughts were implemented. 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
Caricature
A caricature is a portrait that exaggerates or distorts the essence of a person or thing to create an easily identifiable visual likeness. In literature, a caricature is a description of a person using exaggeration of some characteristics and oversimplification of others.Caricatures can be...

 of Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

' more sentimental and less felicitious heroines," said Hayward.

Scenes between Todd and Rebecca were presented with heavily iconic detail, such as symbolic representation consisting of homage
Homage
Homage is a show or demonstration of respect or dedication to someone or something, sometimes by simple declaration but often by some more oblique reference, artistic or poetic....

s to the Virgin
Mary (mother of Jesus)
Mary , commonly referred to as "Saint Mary", "Mother Mary", the "Virgin Mary", the "Blessed Virgin Mary", or "Mary, Mother of God", was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee...

, the Mother
Mother
A mother, mum, mom, momma, or mama is a woman who has raised a child, given birth to a child, and/or supplied the ovum that grew into a child. Because of the complexity and differences of a mother's social, cultural, and religious definitions and roles, it is challenging to specify a universally...

, and Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

. 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 adoptive mother's purse; he briefly proceeds to use makeup to cover up the scar symbolizing his rough past.

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
Sarah Roberts
Sarah Victoria Roberts is a fictional character on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. She is the daughter of Tina Lord and Cord Roberts.-Casting:...

. 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
Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus . She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley...

's Frankenstein
Frankenstein
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel about a failed experiment that produced a monster, written by Mary Shelley, with inserts of poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first...

". 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
Jessica Buchanan
Jessica Eugenia Buchanan is a fictional character on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live...

 (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
Genie
Jinn or genies are supernatural creatures in Arab folklore and Islamic teachings that occupy a parallel world to that of mankind. Together, jinn, humans and angels make up the three sentient creations of Allah. Religious sources say barely anything about them; however, the Qur'an mentions that...

 on the run from an evil master". The stories Todd tells them reflect his feelings about his adoptive father.

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

Roger Howarth


Malone credited Howarth's versatility with the reason he was cast as Todd and as one of the contributing factors for the character's subsequent complexity. During a February 2, 1993 interview with magazine Soap Opera Digest
Soap Opera Digest
Soap Opera Digest is a weekly magazine covering American daytime soap operas. It features onscreen and offscreen news about the series, interviews with and articles about performers, storyline summaries and analysis, and related promotional information...

, Howarth stated he was surprised he won the part. "I really don't know how I made it," he said. He met a One Life to Live casting director two years before acquiring the role when he was in a New York play. When he heard about the opening on the show, he "auditioned just like everybody else". Howarth said, "I made it to callbacks, and I got the part." During an August 10, 1993 interview with Soap Opera Weekly
Soap Opera Weekly
Soap Opera Weekly is a weekly magazine covering American daytime soap operas. It features onscreen and offscreen news about the series, interviews with and articles about performers, storyline summaries and analysis, and related promotional information...

, he grimaced as he was read a quote from the February 1993 interview. 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." 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."

Howarth was consistently cast as a bad guy, 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. He said playing nice would be "dreadfully" boring, but that it was just as easy to portray a bad guy as to portray a good guy. 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."

Howarth spoke of what he viewed as the complexity behind Todd raping Marty. "Todd was in love with Marty," said Howarth. Though Todd and Marty initially have a one-night stand
One-night stand
Originally, a one-night stand was a single theatre performance, usually by a guest performer on tour, as opposed to an ongoing engagement. Today, however, the term is more commonly defined as a single sexual encounter, in which neither participant has any intention or expectation of a relationship...

, 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". Rather than admitting that he is the reason for failing his exam, he blames Marty, saying it is his tutor's fault. From that point on, he tries to cast his problems off on Marty.

In an April 5, 1994 interview to magazine Soap Opera Update
Soap Opera Update
Soap Opera Update was a magazine dedicated to the coverage of soap operas, co-founded by Angela Shapiro in 1988, and purchased by Bauer Media Group in 1992. The magazine became popular on news-stands in the mid-1990s. However, due to a lack of subscriptions, no promotion, and being criticized for...

, 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
Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian church known for its thrift stores and charity work. It is an international movement that currently works in over a hundred countries....

-like "rags". Howarth described Todd's "suit-wear" as "all Ralph Lauren
Polo Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren Corporation is a luxury clothing and goods company of the American fashion designer Ralph Lauren. Ralph Lauren specializes in high-end casual/semi-formal wear for men and women, as well as accessories, fragrances, home and housewares...

. Double R.L. 80 dollar pants and a 400-and-something-dollar jacket". At the time, the clothing was the only thing he admired about the character, 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." Though the interviewer concluded that Howarth's own good looks
Physical attractiveness
Physical attractiveness refers to a person's physical traits which are perceived to be aesthetically pleasing or beautiful. The term often implies sexual attractiveness or desirability, but can also be distinct from the two; for example, humans may regard the young as attractive for various...

 may have contributed to the character's attractiveness, Howarth surmised that, for some reason, skinny white guys were in demand.

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." 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."

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. 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!"

During Howarth's portrayal, the writers detailed Todd's personality as a blend of dark humor
Black comedy
A black comedy, or dark comedy, is a comic work that employs black humor or gallows humor. The definition of black humor is problematic; it has been argued that it corresponds to the earlier concept of gallows humor; and that, as humor has been defined since Freud as a comedic act that anesthetizes...

, uncouth behavior, and the essence of a tortured soul. The character would often deliver one-liners
One-liner joke
A one-liner is a joke that is delivered in a single line. A good one-liner is said to be pithy.Comedians and actors use this comedic method as part of their act, e.g...

 that ranged from humorous to sadistic. 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
Robert J. Hogan
Robert J. Hogan is an American actor. While not a stranger to the big screen or the stage, Hogan is best known to audiences for his highly prolific career in American television which began in 1961...

. 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."

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". An element the writers added was Todd's inability to sometimes realize that the joke was about him. 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". During these scenes, the script would sometimes have Briggs respond with a "stupefied look" on his face. 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".

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 Macaw
Macaw
Macaws are small to large, often colourful New World parrots. Of the many different Psittacidae genera, six are classified as macaws: Ara, Anodorhynchus, Cyanopsitta, Primolius, Orthopsittaca, and Diopsittaca...

s named Flash and Lucky. Part of Todd's character trait within the story is that he is closest to this bird than to most humans. He tells his private thoughts and secrets to Moose, which puts the character in direct conflict with Todd's then-wife Téa Delgado
Téa Delgado
Téa Delgado is a fictional character from the ABC daytime drama One Life to Live. The role was portrayed by Florencia Lozano from January 27, 1997 to March 2, 2000 and briefly in 2002; Lozano returned to the role once again on December 5, 2008.A stern but passionate personality, the character has...

. Actress Florencia Lozano
Florencia Lozano
Florencia Lozano is an American actress. She has starred as character Téa Delgado on the daytime series One Life to Live, often receiving praise for the portrayal, as the character emerged as one of the genre's most prominent....

, Téa's portrayer, clarified: "My character, um, has a very adversarial relationship with the bird. Um ... it's sort of jealous of me, I'm jealous of the bird. We're both trying to get close to Todd."
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. 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."

Richman had been working with Flash and Lucky for fifteen years, and the birds had developed an "impressive résumé
Résumé
A résumé is a document used by individuals to present their background and skillsets. Résumés can be used for a variety of reasons but most often to secure new employment. A typical résumé contains a summary of relevant job experience and education...

", having appeared on shows such as Magnum, P.I.
Magnum, P.I.
Magnum, P.I. is an American television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private investigator living on Oahu, Hawaii. The series ran from 1980 to 1988 in first-run broadcast on the American CBS television network....

and Jake and the Fatman
Jake and the Fatman
Jake and the Fatman is a television crime drama starring William Conrad as prosecutor J. L. "Fatman" McCabe and Joe Penny as investigator Jake Styles. The series ran on CBS for five seasons from 1987 to 1992. Diagnosis: Murder was a spin-off of this series...

, which eventually led them to One Live to Live as Todd's pet parrot. 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.

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. The parrots did not actually speak themselves; voice actor
Voice acting
Voice acting is the art of providing voices for animated characters and radio and audio dramas and comedy, as well as doing voice-overs in radio and television commercials, audio dramas, dubbed foreign language films, video games, puppet shows, and amusement rides.Performers are called...

 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." 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."

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
Silver (household)
Household silver or silverware includes dishware, cutlery and other household items made of sterling, Britannia or Sheffield plate silver. The term is often extended to items made of stainless steel...

. Within the story, Téa is at times determined to teach Todd proper table manners
Table manners
Table manners are the rules of etiquette used while eating, which may also include the appropriate use of utensils. Different cultures observe different rules for table manners...

. Todd is aware of proper table etiquette, but prefers not to acknowledge this. Téa is also there to help console him about his nightmares, and wants him to open up about them. Todd's nightmares were designed as a look into his "soul" and personality; they are the driving factor behind him hardly getting rest. Though rare for him to discuss the matter, he eventually opens up to Téa about them.

Todd's vocalized resistance to sexual intimacy stemmed from his horrific past misdeeds and romantic past with Blair Cramer
Blair Cramer
Blair Cramer is a fictional character on the American daytime drama One Life to Live...

. 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
Patrick Thornhart
Patrick Thornhart is a fictional character on the daytime soap opera, One Life to Live. He was played by Thorsten Kaye from October 1995 to September 16, 1997, and an unknown actor by June 3, 2011 to June 6, 2011.-Storylines:...

, which causes him to "shut down" emotionally and to seek revenge against the two. 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 in 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. Todd having been raped at age 14
Child sexual abuse
Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation. Forms of child sexual abuse include asking or pressuring a child to engage in sexual activities , indecent exposure with intent to gratify their own sexual desires or to...

 by his adoptive father was suggested by the series and seen as a possible cause for his low libido
Libido
Libido refers to a person's sex drive or desire for sexual activity. The desire for sex is an aspect of a person's sexuality, but varies enormously from one person to another, and it also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. A person who has extremely frequent or a suddenly...

. 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
Dissociative identity disorder
Dissociative identity disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis and describes a condition in which a person displays multiple distinct identities , each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment....

 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. He was scripted to always remain one step ahead of his enemies.

Trevor St. John



In May 2003, months following Howarth's departure from the series, the character was recast. Actor Trevor St. John
Trevor St. John
Trevor Marshall St. John is an American actor. He portrayed Todd Manning/Victor Lord Jr. on the ABC daytime drama One Life to Live, and has starred in various prime time shows and film.-Career:...

 stepped into the role. However, it was not yet determined that the character he was portraying was Todd until August of that year. In May 2011, with Howarth's return as the character, St. John's version was rewritten as Todd's identical twin brother, Victor Lord, Jr., instead. The series documented Victor being conditioned to believe he was Todd and assume Todd's identity.

Before the rewrite, 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. Magazine TV Guide
TV Guide
TV Guide is a weekly American magazine with listings of TV shows.In addition to TV listings, the publication features television-related news, celebrity interviews, gossip and film reviews and crossword puzzles...

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
Plastic surgery
Plastic surgery is a medical specialty concerned with the correction or restoration of form and function. Though cosmetic or aesthetic surgery is the best-known kind of plastic surgery, most plastic surgery is not cosmetic: plastic surgery includes many types of reconstructive surgery, hand...

, 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.

As suspected, Walker was eventually revealed to be "Todd." St. John's version of the character was said to have received plastic surgery after being severely beaten to the point of disfigurement
Disfigurement
Disfigurement is the state of having one's appearance deeply and persistently harmed medically, as from a disease, birth defect, or wound.Disfigurement, whether caused by a benign or malignant condition, often leads to severe psychosocial problems such as negative body image; depression;...

 during a murder attempt on his life ordered by Mitch Laurence
Mitch Laurence
Mitchell "Mitch" Laurence is a fictional character, portrayed by Roscoe Born, on the ABC daytime soap opera One Life to Live, from 1985 to 1987 and again from 2002 to 2003...

. While recovering in the hospital, St. John's 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.

Malone stated, "During my second stint at One Life, I had to decide whether or not I should recast Todd." Malone said that the series could not let Todd leave the canvas. "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." Malone said he felt St. John made the character his own.

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. "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." St. John said that he prefers the audience to interpret the character. He said teachers do not teach actors that in acting class. "Teachers tell you to interpret the character," he said. "I disagree. A character exists irrespective of how an actor plays the role. I know it’s an unusual way to approach acting."

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." 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
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St...

 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."

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".

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."

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:

St. John acknowledged the love/hate relationship that viewers have with Todd, but commented on how this factor keeps the character from becoming boring. "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. 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."

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. "Todd is a marvelous character to play because he could commit genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

, or find a cure for AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

. 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."

General



Todd's impact is varied. The rape storyline inspired feminist studies
Women's studies
Women's studies, also known as feminist studies, is an interdisciplinary academic field which explores politics, society and history from an intersectional, multicultural women's perspective...

, and won Daytime Emmy Award
Daytime Emmy Award
The Daytime Emmy Awards are awards presented by the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in recognition of excellence in American daytime television programming...

s, including actor, actress and writer Emmys, in 1994; Howarth won for Outstanding Younger Actor
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series
The Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series has been given every year at the Daytime Emmys since the 12th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony in 1985. The award category was originally called the Outstanding Young Man in a Drama Series...

. In 1995, he was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
The Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series has been given every year at the Daytime Emmys since the 6th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony in 1979....

 and won the Soap Opera Digest Award
Soap Opera Digest Awards
The Soap Opera Digest Awards were an awards show held by the daytime television magazine Soap Opera Digest. The awards were founded in 1984 to replace the less-lavish Soapy Award; those awards shows had run since 1977. The Soap Opera Digest Awards are meant to promote excellence in the soap opera...

 for Outstanding Younger Lead Actor. In 1998, he won the Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Villain. He won additional soap opera awards in the years following, and his portrayal is credited with making Todd a legend and icon
Cultural icon
A cultural icon can be a symbol, logo, picture, name, face, person, building or other image that is readily recognized and generally represents an object or concept with great cultural significance to a wide cultural group...

 within the soap opera medium.

At the height of the character'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. Adult male fans spoke of the excitement Todd brought to the show, and young boys and girls enjoyed the character as well. 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. That same month, he appeared on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee
Live with Regis and Kelly
Live! with Kelly is a syndicated American television morning talk show, hosted by Kelly Ripa. The show has aired since 1983 in New York City and 1988 nationwide. Tony Pigg has been the show's announcer since its inception...

, following his Daytime Emmy win. As Regis Philbin
Regis Philbin
Regis Francis Xavier Philbin is an American media personality, actor and singer, known for hosting talk and game shows since the 1960s. Philbin is often called "the hardest working man in show business" and holds the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a television camera...

 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...." When Howarth came out, Philbin said that Howarth did not look like "such a bad guy". The interview consisted of professional and personal detail, and concluded with Philbin introducing a clip of Todd in a confessional
Confessional
A confessional is a small, enclosed booth used for the Sacrament of Penance, often called confession, or Reconciliation. It is the usual venue for the sacrament in the Roman Catholic Church, but similar structures are also used in Anglican churches of an Anglo-Catholic orientation, and also in the...

; he was confessing his sins of the past and one of the future. The audience applauded when the clip was finished, and Philbin and Kathie Lee praised Howarth's performance. Philbin said that Howarth was "very, very convincing". Howarth explained that it took hundreds of people behind the scenes to get an episode of a soap opera together.

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. 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." Howarth leaving the show often preoccupied fans with their love for Todd, and his returns were met with anticipation and hype; the character coming back in 2000 for his love at the time, Téa Delgado
Téa Delgado
Téa Delgado is a fictional character from the ABC daytime drama One Life to Live. The role was portrayed by Florencia Lozano from January 27, 1997 to March 2, 2000 and briefly in 2002; Lozano returned to the role once again on December 5, 2008.A stern but passionate personality, the character has...

, received significant fanfare. Soap Opera Magazine
Soap Opera Magazine
Soap Opera Magazine was a weekly periodical devoted to interviews and recaps of American soap operas. The magazine was run for many years by American Media until the company, who had lost money for years, decided to cease publication of the magazine, focusing instead on their tabloid endeavors.The...

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." Soap Opera Weekly
Soap Opera Weekly
Soap Opera Weekly is a weekly magazine covering American daytime soap operas. It features onscreen and offscreen news about the series, interviews with and articles about performers, storyline summaries and analysis, and related promotional information...

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..." Marla Hart of the Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
The Chicago Tribune is a major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, and the flagship publication of the Tribune Company. Formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper" , it remains the most read daily newspaper of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region and is...

stated, "...it 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..." Howarth's acclaim as Todd continued throughout his entire tenure on the show.

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." 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
Starr Manning
Starr Irene Manning is a fictional character on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. Portrayed by Kristen Alderson since 1998, Starr is the oldest child of Todd Manning and Blair Cramer, and was originally known for her mischievous behavior, exacerbated by her parents' volatile...

 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". 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". Additionally, the magazine credited St. John with maintaining "the [uniquely scheming] relationship of Todd and Starr" and for keeping their scenes touching and delightful.

On May 29, 2006, Memorial Day
Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War...

, St. John delivered what has been described as "one of the most memorable... breathtaking, nerve-racking and heart wrenching" moments in soap opera history for his portrayal of Todd receiving capital punishment (execution)
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

. Within the series, St. John's version of the character is put to death by lethal injection
Lethal injection
Lethal injection is the practice of injecting a person with a fatal dose of drugs for the express purpose of causing the immediate death of the subject. The main application for this procedure is capital punishment, but the term may also be applied in a broad sense to euthanasia and suicide...

, an action set up by enemy Spencer Truman
Spencer Truman
Dr. Spencer Truman was a fictional character on the soap opera One Life to Live. He was played by Paul Satterfield from May 25, 2005 to January 30, 2007. Satterfield has reprised the role, in the form of Ghost by characters Miles Laurence and John McBain, several times in 2007...

. Todd's wife, Blair, screams in terror as the process happens. Moments after "Todd" is put to death, John McBain
John McBain (One Life to Live)
John McBain is a fictional character on the American daytime drama One Life to Live, portrayed by Michael Easton since October 1, 2003.-Natalie and Evangeline:...

 rushes in declaring Todd's innocence. He has proof; the woman Todd is accused of killing (Margaret Cochran
Margaret Cochran
Margaret Cochran is a fictional character on the soap opera, One Life to Live. The character was played by Rebecca Mader from March 26 to June 8, 2004...

) is at his side, clearly still alive. Spencer, a doctor, is forced to bring Todd back to life on the spot.

Making the execution scenes particularly gloomy were flashbacks showing the lives of both Todds (Howarth's and St. John's) — from their romances with Blair, to the birth of Todd's children and a song entitled "Forsaken" (or "Todd's Song") by Michal Towber
Michal Towber
Michal Towber is an Israeli singer and composer. Signed to Columbia/Sony at the age of 17, she has released three CDs, Sky with Stars, Coma and Lovesick....

 overlapping the five-minute and twenty-four second montage, to Blair's disbelief in St. John's Todd's innocence while their daughter stands outside of the prison crying in the presence of a lynch mob. The scenes were cited as "unbearable", and Blair's unwillingness to believe in Todd infuriated the audience. At the time, the majority of audience (due to either reduced Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 access, in comparison to regular Internet users, or lack of interest in show spoilers
Spoiler (media)
Spoiler is slang for any element of any summary or description of any piece of fiction that reveals any plot element which will give away the outcome of a dramatic episode within the work of fiction, or the conclusion of the entire work. It can also be used to refer to any piece of information...

) believed Todd's death was permanent. Viewers expressed desire for St. John to receive an Emmy nomination; Frank Valentini
Frank Valentini
Frank Valentini is an American television producer, director and composer for the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. From 1985-1994 he worked as stage manager. In 1994 he was promoted to Associate Producer assuming full producer duties in 1996 and in 2003 he became executive producer, replacing Gary...

, One Life to Lives executive producer, when asked by TV Guide
TV Guide
TV Guide is a weekly American magazine with listings of TV shows.In addition to TV listings, the publication features television-related news, celebrity interviews, gossip and film reviews and crossword puzzles...

 which episode the show submitted for Emmy consideration, stated, "We submitted the 'Todd's execution' episode for best show." 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
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series
The Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series is an award which has been given every year at the Daytime Emmys ceremony since 1974. As there are separate awards for acting, writing and directing, the award is generally given to the soap opera that excelled in all three of those categories...

, 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. 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!

Rape and redemption


Though the Marty Saybrooke rape storyline was well-received, it was also criticized. Opinions were given that it polarized "the gap between rapists and the raped". There was concern that the show departed from the rape paradigm
Paradigm
The word paradigm has been used in science to describe distinct concepts. It comes from Greek "παράδειγμα" , "pattern, example, sample" from the verb "παραδείκνυμι" , "exhibit, represent, expose" and that from "παρά" , "beside, beyond" + "δείκνυμι" , "to show, to point out".The original Greek...

 by not only insisting the essential "goodness" of Powell Lord, who had also raped Marty, but that it implied peer pressure
Peer pressure
Peer pressure refers to the influence exerted by a peer group in encouraging a person to change his or her attitudes, values, or behavior in order to conform to group norms. Social groups affected include membership groups, when the individual is "formally" a member , or a social clique...

 "could be an adequate (or even physiologically possible) excuse for rape". Analyst Mary Buhl Dutta 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".

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?" Additionally, the character's redemption was controversial and has been scrutinized. In his book Behold the Man, Edisol Dotson suggests acceptance of Todd's redemption as significantly being due to the character's physical attractiveness
Physical attractiveness
Physical attractiveness refers to a person's physical traits which are perceived to be aesthetically pleasing or beautiful. The term often implies sexual attractiveness or desirability, but can also be distinct from the two; for example, humans may regard the young as attractive for various...

. "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."

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
Rudolph Valentino
Rudolph Valentino was an Italian actor, and early pop icon. A sex symbol of the 1920s, Valentino was known as the "Latin Lover". He starred in several well-known silent films including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle and Son of the Sheik...

, Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey DeForest Bogart was an American actor. He is widely regarded as a cultural icon.The American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema....

, Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas is an American stage and film actor, film producer and author. His popular films include Out of the Past , Champion , Ace in the Hole , The Bad and the Beautiful , Lust for Life , Paths of Glory , Gunfight at the O.K...

, and Clark Gable
Clark Gable
William Clark Gable , known as Clark Gable, was an American film actor most famous for his role as Rhett Butler in the 1939 Civil War epic film Gone with the Wind, in which he starred with Vivien Leigh...

, 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.'" 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". The female viewers aware of Logan's rape comment were infuriated by it. 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.

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
Psychopathy
Psychopathy is a mental disorder characterized primarily by a lack of empathy and remorse, shallow emotions, egocentricity, and deceptiveness. Psychopaths are highly prone to antisocial behavior and abusive treatment of others, and are very disproportionately responsible for violent crime...

. 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
Linda Gottlieb
-Credits:, "SoapLine" -Credits:, "SoapLine" -Credits:, "SoapLine" (a joint production of ABC News and ABC Daytime to bring viewers storyline updates, special features and interviews during breaks in live, pre-emptive coverage of the O. J...

 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
Fairy tale
A fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features such folkloric characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. However, only a small number of the stories refer to fairies...

. I thought, "It would be best for the show if I were to leave." That's when I tendered my resignation.


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. "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."

Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

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. Howarth continued to leave and return to the role until his 2003 departure from the series, but ensured Todd was never fully redeemed.

Merchandising


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. As did other news outlets, on May 6, 2002, The Stranger
The Stranger (newspaper)
The Stranger is an alternative weekly newspaper in Seattle, Washington, USA. It runs a blog known as Slog.-History:The Stranger was founded by Tim Keck, who had previously co-founded the satirical newspaper The Onion, and cartoonist James Sturm. Its first issue came out on September 23, 1991...

gave insight into the matter:
Today the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

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."


The uproar began when The Jack Myers Report harshly criticized the network's judgment on creating and releasing the doll. Bob Tedeschi of The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

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." Pictures of the doll were pulled from the Internet and the doll was blocked from being available at eBay
EBay
eBay Inc. is an American internet consumer-to-consumer corporation that manages eBay.com, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services worldwide...

 or any other online store.

Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper
Richard E. Roeper is an American columnist and film critic for The Chicago Sun-Times and now a co-host on The Roe Conn Show on WLS-AM...

 of
Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
The Chicago Sun-Times is an American daily newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois. It is the flagship paper of the Sun-Times Media Group.-History:The Chicago Sun-Times is the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the city...

 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." 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
Starr Manning
Starr Irene Manning is a fictional character on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. Portrayed by Kristen Alderson since 1998, Starr is the oldest child of Todd Manning and Blair Cramer, and was originally known for her mischievous behavior, exacerbated by her parents' volatile...

 daydream cartoons. As Todd's daughter and also popular for her mischief, a doll was designed in Starr's (Kristen Alderson
Kristen Alderson
Kristen DeAnn Alderson is an American actress and occasional singer.-Early life:Alderson was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania to Richard and Kathy Alderson...

's) likeness as well, which remained in ABC stores.

Recast


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 that should never be recast. They voiced that Howarth would remain the "only Todd". 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. This "spin" resulted in positive response from viewers who had come to accept St. John's portrayal. The soap opera media noticed as well. 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.

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 Frank 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."

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!'" 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, TVGuide.com conducted a poll; an overwhelming 82 percent of voters wanted to see Howarth come back to portray Todd. 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!"

In August 2010, rumors circulated again that Howarth would be returning to the role. Initially due to the 2009 announcement that As the World Turns
As the World Turns
As the World Turns is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS from April 2, 1956 to September 17, 2010. Irna Phillips created As the World Turns as a sister show to her other soap opera Guiding Light...

, Howarth's most recent series, would be ending in September 2010, and would therefore tempt ABC executives to make an effort to lure him back, the rumors gained momentum after an August 2010 episode of One Life to Live. In the episode, a picture of Todd's old face (Howarth's) is shown and a delirious Téa utters a line stating that the current Todd (St. John) is not Todd Manning. This caused fans "to race to their computers to figure out the meaning of the scene." They wondered whether it was "crafted merely to get fans talking, or was it a hint to viewers that something big was coming down the pike?"

Soap Opera Network further exacerbated the rumor when they stated they had "learned exclusively that Howarth [would] indeed be returning" to the series in the near future. The site pointed to their unnamed sources, and teased that Howarth would be back by January. The "That's not Todd" scene served their point in stating that "something big" was happening behind the scenes. Soap Opera Digest columnist Carolyn Hinsey, however, went against the report. "Seriously, stop with the Howarth misinformation here please," Hinsey posted on her Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

 page. "He is not coming back to
OLTL. Case closed."

On April 4, 2011, after several months of speculation,
One Life to Live confirmed that Howarth would be returning to the series, though it was still unresolved whether or not he would be portraying Todd Manning. "I am looking forward to returning to One Life to Live," stated Howarth. "We are going to have a lot of fun telling this story, and I am excited to see how it will unfold." Valentini added, "We are thrilled to have Roger return to One Life to Live," and Kristen Alderson (Starr) responded via Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

, "It's official! Daddy's back! HUGE STUFF!" Howarth made his onscreen return on May 13, 2011.

Fans were divided on what role they believed Howarth would portray. The first group believed that St. John was an impostor posing as Todd for the past eight years. The second group believed that Howarth would portray a new character, similar to how General Hospital
General Hospital
General Hospital is an American daytime television drama that is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running American soap opera currently in production and the third longest running drama in television in American history after Guiding Light and As the World Turns....

s Sarah Brown, the show's original Carly
Carly Corinthos
Caroline Leigh "Carly" Corinthos Jacks is a fictional character on the ABC soap opera General Hospital. Originated by Sarah Brown on April 8, 1996, the role of Carly has been portrayed by Laura Wright since 2005...

, returned as Claudia Zacchara
Claudia Zacchara
Claudia Antonia Corinthos is a fictional character from the ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital. The daughter of New York City mob boss Anthony Zacchara, Claudia was portrayed by Sarah Brown beginning January 31, 2008. She left the role of Claudia on November 6, 2009 to join the cast of The...

. On August 16 and 17, it was revealed that the two Todd Mannings are identical twin brothers, and that St. John's version of the character was really Victor Lord, Jr., conditioned to believe he was Todd and assume Todd's identity.

Teenagers manhandled


Questions about Todd's identity and his mental stability were also voiced in March 2008. The audience witnessed "some of the most explosive and ugliest scenes ever broadcast on daytime" television when St. John's Todd beat up teenager Cole Thornhart
Cole Thornhart
Cole Patrick Thornhart is a fictional character on ABC's daytime drama One Life to Live. He was played by Brandon Buddy from October 10, 2006 to November 10, 2010. He is also the nephew of Ian Thornhart, Patrick's identical twin brother from the now-defunct series Port Charles...

 (his daughter's boyfriend and Marty's son), and manhandled fellow teenagers Markko Rivera
Markko Rivera
Geraldo "Markko" Rivera is a fictional character on ABC's daytime drama One Life to Live. He has been portrayed by Jason Tam since May 21, 2007. Tam last aired as Markko on November 10, 2010 when he left town to continue studying at UCLA...

 and Langston Wilde
Langston Wilde
Langston Wilde Cramer is a fictional character on ABC's daytime drama One Life to Live. She has been played by Brittany Underwood from May 17, 2006 til April 12, 2011...

. Viewers were outraged, and wanted Todd punished for his physical abuse
Physical abuse
Physical abuse is abuse involving contact intended to cause feelings of intimidation, injury, or other physical suffering or bodily harm.-Forms of physical abuse:*Striking*Punching*Belting*Pushing, pulling*Slapping*Whipping*Striking with an object...

 of the minors
Minor (law)
In law, a minor is a person under a certain age — the age of majority — which legally demarcates childhood from adulthood; the age depends upon jurisdiction and application, but is typically 18...

. According to Nelson Branco of TV Guide, head writer Ron Carlivati
Ron Carlivati
Ron Carlivati is an American soap opera writer born on November 25, 1968 .-Career:It was announced in the February 27 edition of Soap Opera Digest that Carlivati was promoted to Co-Head Writer of the ABC Daytime serial One Life to Live alongside Dena Higley. On June 4, 2007, Frank Valentini...

 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."


The series showcased St. John's version of the character having this altercation with Cole on Starr's birthday after Cole and Starr have finished having sex for the first time. St. John's Todd barges in "and [beats] the son of his rape victim relentlessly". 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. Branco related that, due to this fault, Carlivati conveyed St. John's Todd as convinced that Cole had raped his daughter as karmic
Karma
Karma in Indian religions is the concept of "action" or "deed", understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect originating in ancient India and treated in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh philosophies....

 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.'" 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. The scenes, though controversial, were praised as "riveting". 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".

Romancing rape victim and rape revisited



In 2007, head writer Carlivati decided to revisit the rape storyline and create a spin-off story from that. In December of that year, Marty is shown to be thrown from a van during a crash. The van explodes, and she is presumed dead. In June 2008, St. John's Todd discovers her alive; she is afflicted with amnesia
Amnesia
Amnesia is a condition in which one's memory is lost. The causes of amnesia have traditionally been divided into categories. Memory appears to be stored in several parts of the limbic system of the brain, and any condition that interferes with the function of this system can cause amnesia...

 and crippled since the crash. He subsequently starts to nurse her back to health. This interaction unnerved the audience, 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. 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. Viewers became conflicted about whether or not they believed the writers would now follow through with the storyline. 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.

External links