Daniel Wolek

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Daniel Wolek
Palance Dan 91.png
Michael Palance as Daniel Wolek
One Life to Live character
Portrayed by
  • Neail Holland (1974–76)
  • Eddie Moran (1976–79)
  • Timothy Waldrip (1983, 1985)
  • Steven Culp (1983–84)
  • Ted Demers (1984)
  • Joshua Cox (1986–87)
  • Michael Palance (1989–91)
  • 1971–79
  • 1983–87
  • 1989–91
First appearanceNovember 17, 1971 (November 17, 1971)
Last appearanceAugust 1991 (August 1991)
Created byAgnes Nixon
Introduced by
ClassificationFormer, regular
Former Reporter for The Banner
Cox Dan 86.png
Joshua Cox as Daniel Wolek

Daniel Wolek is a fictional character on the American soap opera One Life to Live. He is the only son of original characters Larry Wolek and Meredith Lord.[1][2]

Background and storyline[edit]

Daniel, nicknamed "Dan" or "Danny," is born onscreen November 17, 1971.[3][4] He is the first grandchild of series patriarch Victor Lord (Ernest Graves) to appear on the serial, and Victor's third-born grandchild in the show's final canon after Megan Gordon and Brian Kendall. His twin sister is born stillborn, which prompts mother Meredith (Lynn Benesch) to suffer post-partum depression and seek help from Dr. Joyce Brothers (playing herself).[3]

In 1973, Daniel's mother dies[1][2] of a traumatic brain injury following a freak accident during an attempted robbery at the Lord estate Llanfair.[5] Larry raises young Danny a single father[2] and with help from his siblings Anna and Vince. Danny leaves fictional Llanview in 1979 attends to boarding school overseas.[6]

Danny is aged to an adult in 1983[7] and becomes a newspaper reporter[8] for his grandfather's newspaper, The Banner. Dorian Lord Callison (Robin Strasser) seduces Dan into a brief love affair in 1984.[9] The character returns to Llanview on an ongoing basis in August 1986[10] as Dr. Dan Wolek (Joshua Cox), a resident physician at Llanview Hospital. He dates shy Allison Perkins (Barbara Garrick)[11] briefly before she falls under the spell of Mitch Laurence (Roscoe Born). Dan (Michael Palance) returns again in 1989 and soon becomes a rival to his own father Larry for the affection of nurse Brenda McGillis (Brenda Brock) in a love triangle. The nefarious Michael Grande (Dennis Parlato) then seeks to woo Brenda, and rigs a medical malpractice case to get Dan was fired from the hospital. Michael is killed in a whodunit, and Dan is accused of murdering Michael before the former husband of his aunt Victoria Lord Buchanan (Erika Slezak), Roger Gordon (Larry Pine), is revealed to be Michael's actual killer.[12][13]

Dr. Wolek is fired from Llanview Hospital, and starts a private clinic for low-income Llanview residents. He falls in love with Laura Jean Ellis (Neith Hunter), the estranged wife of one of the mob lieutenants of Carlo Hesser (Thom Christopher). Dan leaves Llanview with Laura[14] and with little fanfare[12] in 1991.[15]

Casting and impact[edit]

In spite of being related to original and long-running protagonists Larry Wolek and Victoria Lord, the role of Daniel Wolek failed to achieve the fanfare the showrunners had hoped for.[2][12][16][17] Daniel was recast six times[12] between 1974 and 1991 and is the second-most recast character role on One Life to Live after Kevin Buchanan. The revolving door role prompted a show producer to call it "the role from hell."[12]

The role was originated by infant children in non-speaking roles from 1971 until 1974. Daniel began appearing as a speaking role in 1974, played child actors Neail Holland from 1974 through 1976[2][18] and Eddie Moran from 1976 until 1979.[19] The role was aged up to a 17-year-old with actor Timothy Waldrip in the role in 1983,[7] changing the character's onscreen birth year from 1971 to 1966. Actor Steven Culp replaced Waldrip in the role from 1983 until 1984.[20] Actor Ted Demers played the character in 1984.[20] Waldrip returned to play the role after he was fired in 1983[21] for a few months in 1985.[22] Joshua Cox picked up playing the character from 1986 until he was fired[17] in 1987.[23] Michael Palance was the last character to play Daniel Wolek, from February 1989[16] until he left the show[14] in 1991.[12][20][24][25]


  1. ^ a b Kohn Goldsen, Rose (1978). The Show and Tell Machine: How Television Works and Works You Over. New York City: Dell Publishing. p. 305. ISBN 978-0-440-57666-2.
  2. ^ a b c d e Soares, Manuela (January 1978). The Soap Opera Book. New York City: Harmony Books. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-517-53331-4.
  3. ^ a b "One Life to Live recap (1971)". ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  4. ^ One Life to Live. Season 4. November 17, 1971. American Broadcasting Company.
  5. ^ "One Life to Live recap (1973)". ABC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  6. ^ One Life to Live. Season 10–11. 1979. American Broadcasting Company.
  7. ^ a b Reichardt, Nancy M. (April 29, 1983). "Days of Our Lives welcomes Barbara". The Courier. Prescott, Arizona. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  8. ^ Goudas, John N. (November 26, 1983). "Soap Opera Scene". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Sarasota, Florida. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  9. ^ Goudas, John N. (September 22, 1984). "Kevin Conroy Is an Actor on the Run". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Sarasota, Florida. King Features Syndicate. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  10. ^ "Soap News". The Gazette. Montreal. August 25, 1986. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  11. ^ Reichardt, Nancy M. (September 13, 1986). "What's happening on your favorite soap opera". Chicago Tribune. Chicago. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Waggett, Gerry (2008). The One Life to Live 40th Anniversary Trivia Book. New York City: Hyperion Books. ISBN 9781401323097.
  13. ^ One Life to Live. Season 21–22. 1989–90. American Broadcasting Company.
  14. ^ a b "Soap Bubbles". Calhoun Times. Calhoun, Georgia. January 23, 1991. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  15. ^ One Life to Live. Season 24. August 1991. American Broadcasting Company.
  16. ^ a b "Tipoff". Wilmington Morning Star. Wilmington, North Carolina. January 21, 1989. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  17. ^ a b Reichardt, Nancy M. (May 21, 1987). "Several Ryan's Hope stars departing". Times-News. Hendersonville, North Carolina. Syndicated. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  18. ^ Terrace, Vincent (1981). Television: 1970–1980 (1 ed.). A.S. Barnes & Co. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-498-02539-6.
  19. ^ Terrace, Vincent (1985). Encyclopedia of Television Series, Pilots and Specials 1974–1984. 2. New York City: Baseline Books. p. 307. ISBN 978-0-918432-61-2.
  20. ^ a b c Schemering, Christopher (1988). The Soap Opera Encyclopedia. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0345324595.
  21. ^ "Tipoff". Wilmington Morning Star. Wilmington, North Carolina. June 13, 1985. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  22. ^ "Tipoff". Wilmington Morning Star. Wilmington, North Carolina. October 23, 1985. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  23. ^ Riggs, Thomas (19 January 2007). Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. 17. Gale. p. 46. ISBN 0787690503.
  24. ^ Rout, Nancy E. (1993). The Soap Opera Book: Who's Who in Daytime Drama. Todd Publications. p. 202. ISBN 0915344238.
  25. ^ McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming from 1948 to the Present. London: Penguin Books. p. 621. ISBN 978-0-14-024916-3.

External links[edit]