Soap Villain's Christian Walk

Vincent Irizarry, the machiavellian Dr. David Hayward on 'All My Children,' is devoted to spreading the Word.

Vincent Irizarry
Copyright (c) 2002
ABC Television
Soap opera fans know actor Vincent Irizarry as the manipulative Dr. David Hayward, head of cardiology at Pine Valley Hospital on the ABC-TV daytime drama "All My Children." The black-haired, rugged actor, 42, has appeared on the series since 1997, when his temporary stint (as a doc who stoops to blackmail and attempted murder to win back his girlfriend) was so popular that he returned in an ongoing role. In 1999 the charismatic bad guy won Soap Opera Digest's Award for Outstanding Villain. Irizarry, 42, has appeared in a long list of soaps, TV series, and films, in which he has played an abusive husband (

Marie-A True Story

) and a seducer with a double life (

Lying Eyes

-a staple on Lifetime). What many fans don't realize is that Irizarry is a strong, believing Christian whose faith infuses his life. Formerly married to

Santa Barbara

co-star Signy Coleman, Irizarry, a father of three, lives with his second wife, Avalon, in a suburb of New York City.

This month Irizarry creates a new role off-camera as the driving force behind an ambitious yearlong walk through the Bible for Christians in his hometown. "God kept putting it on my heart" to help people become more Bible-literate, he notes. He expected about 30 or so sign-ups. Instead, after a personal drive by Irizarry, nearly 200 people from seven churches committed to the program. Irizarry spoke with Beliefnet producer Wendy Schuman about his faith, his struggles with playing bad-guy roles, and whether there's any hope for Dr. David Hayward.


Do you ever feel it's hard to retain your faith and do what you do?

No, my faith informs pretty much everything I do. [Acting] is a very liberal vocation, and there have been times when I've questioned whether this is where I should be in my life as a Christian, whether I should be in the entertainment industry. But then I come up with the answer that I don't believe that God is telling Christians to pull out of the entertainment industry and abandon it to darkness. God has used me in many significant ways in my industry, even on just a personal level, one on one with some of the people I work with.

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