‘Bold and the Beautiful’: Don Diamont Was the First Daytime Actor Named One of People’s ‘Most Beautiful People’

There’s always been a divide between the world of daytime television and those of Hollywood’s primetime and film stars. One need look no further than the disastrous efforts to find an audience for the Daytime Emmys in the past. More modern efforts have simply put the awards program online, marking a clear separation in production level and enthusiasm between it and the primetime Emmy awards

Occasionally, though, an actor from the daytime television world is able to break through to the more acclaimed (and some might say snobbier) primetime world. That’s the case for long-time soap opera actor Don Diamont. In fact, he made daytime TV history when he was the first soap star to be named one of People‘s Most Beautiful People. 

Don Diamont has a long-running soap opera career

Don Diamont on the red carpet
Don Diamont | Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Diamont got his start in acting with a small part on Days of Our Lives back in 1984. In 1985, he joined the cast of The Young and the Restless playing Brad Carlton, the son of Arthur and Rebecca Carlton. His character was on the show consistently until 1996 and then came back again from 1998 until 2009 when he died a hero saving Noah Newman from a watery grave. 

Shortly after his character was killed off, he was hired to play a newly revealed character on The Bold and the Beautiful. Appearing as the selfish and despicable Bill Spencer, Jr., Diamont has continued in this role ever since. 

Don Diamont’s good looks helped him rise to fame

Diamont is well-known for his striking good looks. It’s widely believed that his stunning appearance helped him rise from the minor role of a gardener to a major force as a businessman on The Young and Restless. His charm, charisma, and sheer handsomeness helped propel him to the front of storylines and keep him there for more than three decades. 

In 1990, People took note of Diamont’s remarkable attractiveness by placing him on their 50 Most Beautiful People list. While Diamont didn’t win (that distinction went to Michelle Pfeiffer, who would win the award for a second time in 1999), he was the first daytime soap opera actor to ever be included on the list. 

The ‘Most Beautiful’ list prefers primetime stars

Over the years, primetime stars have definitely filled People’s “Most Beautiful” list more often than daytime actors. Even though People expanded the list from 50 to 100 in 2006, daytime soap opera stars have struggled to break through into this mainstream recognition. The magazine has never given the top honor to someone from the daytime acting world — even though it has awarded both Pfeiffer and Julia Roberts the distinction twice!)

Diamont is not the only daytime actor who has managed to make it onto the list of contenders, though. In 1995, Vanessa Marcil was named among the other most beautiful stars. While Courtney Cox would wind up winning, Marcil, an actor on General Hospital, did break into the mainstream. 

Meanwhile, General Hospital‘s Ryan Paevey and The Bold and the Beautiful‘s Mario Lopez both made it onto the list for People‘s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue in 2014. We also can’t forget about the stars who made the leap from the daytime acting world into the primetime one.

Michael B. Jordan was once a cast member on All My Children, and Chris Hemsworth formerly played on the Australian soap Home and Away. Both men got nods as potentials for the “Sexist Man” title that year as well.

As for Diamont, his notable good looks and years of working hard to act on multiple shows has amassed him a net worth of around $4 million as well as the distinction of being able to say he’s appeared on the cover of Playgirl.