||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
|Born||Donald Francis Michael Hastings
April 1, 1934
Brooklyn, New York City, USA
|Residence||Upstate New York|
|Occupation||Radio, theatre, television actor and screenwriter|
(1) Divorced, 3 children
|Relatives||Bob Hastings (Brother, deceased 2014)|
Donald Francis Michael "Don" Hastings (born April 1, 1934), is a longtime American actor, singer, and writer best known for his 50-year role as Dr. Robert "Bob" Hughes on the CBS cancelled soap opera, As the World Turns. Hastings is the longest serving cast member of an American television soap opera, after the death of matriarch Helen Wagner of the same series.
Hastings has been active in show business since 1940 and on television itself since 1947, primarily on soap operas. A rare exception was his appearance as Dave Carter in the 1958 episode "The Savage Payoff" of Beverly Garland's groundbreaking crime drama, Decoy.
Born in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, he lived his earliest years in the Bedford-Stuyvesant district. He started working in radio at the age of six, as a member of the "Bus Bunny" chorus on the serial Coast to Coast on a Bus. From 1944 to 1948, he acted in four Broadway plays. From 1949 to 1955, Hastings played Captain Video's teenaged companion, the Video Ranger, on the DuMont television series, Captain Video and His Video Rangers. He portrayed one of television's first superheroes designed to appeal to children.
Hastings was cast from 1956 to 1960 as Jack Lane on the CBS soap opera, The Edge of Night. He played Bob Hughes on As the World Turns from October 1960 until the show's final airing on September 17, 2010, and spoke the series' final line: "Good Night."
Hastings ranks fourth behind co-star Helen Wagner and British actor William Roache in having played the same role for the longest time on worldwide television. He did hold the record as the longest continuous actor in the history of television serials until November 2010, shortly after As the World Turns ended. William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow on the British soap Coronation Street, is now the record-holder, having played Ken Barlow since the first episode of Coronation Street in December 1960, two months after Hastings took over the role of Bob Hughes. Neither actor has taken a break during their tenures. The Guinness Book of Records states that the non-continuous record is held by Hastings' costar Helen Wagner, who played Nancy Hughes on As the World Turns, from April 2, 1956 until her death in May 2010. Wagner was off the program, or only appeared on a recurring basis, between 1981 and 1985.
Hastings lives in upstate New York with his second wife, actress Leslie Denniston, with whom he has a daughter, Kate. Hastings has two daughters and one son from a previous marriage. His son Matthew has been active in show business since 1999 as a writer, director, and producer. Hastings was the younger brother of actor Bob Hastings, who died in June 2014.
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