Ranker’s list of the most hated characters on television is a swinging pendulum dominated by vile characters who ordered, planned, or executed senseless murders, such as Joffrey Baratheon from “Game of Thrones,” and others whose only mistake was demanding respect from their partner such as Emily Waltham from “Friends”. The name Kevin Fisher, a character who lured an underage girl into a relationship, forced and manipulated her into having sex with him, infected her with chlamydia, and had her missing school to spend the day in his apartment is missing conspicuously from that list. Fans of daytime television may be reluctant to admit this, but the reason why Fisher is not on the list is because they forgave him and have even grown to love him in the two decades since he committed the vile act. Their forgiveness was to a large part the result of great acting by Greg Rikaart, the actor who plays Fisher. Only Rikaart could manage to transform Fisher from the vile man whose first act after his introduction to “The Young and the Restless” was statutory rape to the object of the audience’s sympathy. Over the past few years, concerned fans of the long-running television drama have noted that Rikkart has less screen time in the show and are wondering what he is up to. Here is what Greg Rikaart is doing now.

The Big Break

Greg Rikaart is a household name in American daytime television. He is one of the few actors who can brag about being cast in two television soap operas that are running concurrently. Unknown to many of his fans, Greg’s acting career nearly died before it started. Greg knew that he wanted to be an actor at a young age. When he was 11, he went to summer camp and auditioned for a role in the camp’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” He got through rehearsals and was set to have his big moment on stage but his mind went blank. He couldn’t remember the lyrics to one of the songs. Frustrated, he cursed into the mic and walked off the stage unsure of his future as an actor. Fortunately, he did not let his one failure deter him from pursuing his passion.

A few years later, Greg was on television laying the foundation of an acting career that would span decades and earn him nominations and awards. His first few roles were single-episode appearances in several television series, including “Gilmore Girls,” Dawson’s Creek, in which he had a recurring role for seven episodes,” and “That’s Life.” He took on a few roles in movies such as “Prey for Rock & Roll” but was destined for television dramas.

In 2003, Greg got his big break when he was called to audition for a role in “The Young and the Restless.” Like most of his previous roles on television, the audition was for a small role of a predatory bookkeeper. When the call came, Greg had just had his first serious heartbreak and was an emotional wreck. He was worried that his mental state would affect his performance but as fate would have it, the audition script required him to show a range of emotion that mirrored his current state. One line, in particular, required him to be raging mad. He channeled his raw pain and anger over the end of his relationship to deliver a performance that shook the producers. Greg knew the role was his when one of the producers jumped in shock at his delivery of one of the scenes in the script.

The Young and the Restless

Greg joined the cast of “The Young and the Restless” in July 2003. His first act as Kevin Fisher, a bookkeeper at a nightclub in Genoa City, was scouring the internet for a naïve teenager and taking advantage of her. For the next episodes, fans watched in disgust as Kevin groomed Lily before destroying her life by manipulating her to miss school, pressuring her into a sexual relationship, and infecting her with a sexually transmitted disease. His deviousness knew no bounds. He soon added murder and arson to the list of his faults when he locked Coleen, Lily’s best friend, in a restaurant’s refrigerator and set the premises on fire after Coleen expressed disapproval over his relationship with her best friend.

Image source

Kevin was going to get away with his crimes but the producers had other plans for him. They framed him for a crime he did not commit, giving the audience the pound of flesh they demanded by sending Kevin to prison. Once he was imprisoned, Kevin’s fate was in Greg’s hands. His acting would either redeem the character in the eyes of the audience, earning him a redeeming arc that would guarantee him a longer role in the show, or make them hate him more, bringing his time in the show to an end.

Greg’s exceptional acting, especially in one scene in which his fellow prisoners beat him to a pulp, redeemed him to the show’s fans and had the audience in tears calling for his release. After his release from prison, Kevin warmed his way into the heart of the audience, earning himself a full-time spot on the show until May 2017, when Greg requested less screen time and had his character downgraded to a recurring role. He has continued to make regular appearances in the show to date. Greg celebrated 20 years of playing Kevin Fisher last month, marking the occasion by posting pictures of himself as Kevin over the years.

And Then There Were Two

Rikaart traded his full-time role in one daytime television drama for a recurring role in another. In October 2017, Greg became the newest member of the cast of “Days of Our Lives,” playing the role of Leo Stark. His character’s debut in 2018 shared one fundamental similarity with his debut as Kevin in “The Young and the Restless.” Like Kevin, Leo was a dubious character. His first act in the show was seducing a colleague to create a scandal. His scheme worked and he recorded himself and Sonny, the colleague, having sex in the office and used the recording to blackmail him. When his scheme was exposed, Leo lost his patience and attempted to strangle the person who had uncovered his con. The ensuing altercation ended in an accident that Leo used to dig his claws deeper into Sonny by blackmailing him into a loveless marriage. Leo left town after another one of his schemes was uncovered.

Initially, Greg’s role in “Days of Our Lives” was meant to be a one-time event but he was contracted to reprise it in 2020. Since then, he has appeared in the show consistently as the producers tie him into different storylines. Rikaart was also featured in a limited series spin-off of the show entitled “Days of Our Lived: Beyond Salem” as well as a movie entitled “Days of Our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas,” which was adapted from a storyline in the show.

Projects, Nominations, and Awards

Rikaart has had his hands full with the two roles in the daytime soap operas but he makes time for other projects in between seasons. He favors television series and has been featured in single episodes in shows such as “Bones,” “Imaginary Bitches,” and “CSI Miami” but was also featured in a movie “Wannabe” as Trevor. Greg’s work had earned him accolades in recognition of his talent. Two years after he took on the role of Kevin Fisher, he won a “Daytime Emmy Award” for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.” He went on to receive multiple nominations for both of his roles in daytime television and one for his role as Mark in “Imaginary Bitched” despite only appearing in one episode of the show.

Marriage and Family

Greg’s personal life is nothing like the roles he plays in daytime television dramas. Unlike Kevin, who is not afraid to break the law, and Leo, who wrecks families ruthlessly for personal gain, Greg is happily married to Rob Sudduth. The two worked together on “The Young and the Restless,” where their relationship started. Over the years, their relationship blossomed into a beautiful engagement before the two said their vows in 2015 after nearly 10 years together. The couple has a son, Montgomery Arlo, who was born through a surrogate in 2016.

When he is not filming or spending time with his family, Greg is championing the rights of the LGBTQ community. His advocacy work has earned him worldwide recognition and accolades, including the “Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award.” He is an active supporter of the “Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network,” an organization that aims to protect LGBTQ adolescents from bullying.

The past two decades have been good to Greg. He is sailing high in the world of soap operas, his young family is thriving, and his fundraisers to support his community are doing well. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for him as he enters his third decade on daytime television.

Write A Comment

Pin It