With the role of Todd Manning, Roger Howarth took what was originally supposed to be a day-player part, and turned this character into a legend that lasted for nearly ten years.
Todd gave us chills as he led the brutal gang rape of Marty Sayebrooke, and terrorized his attorney, Nora Gannon, while she was temporarily blind. The walls of Statesville Prison couldn't contain him, and we held our breath as he kidnapped Rebecca Lewis after
accidentally causing the death of Marty's boyfriend, Suede.
As Todd began to fall for Rebecca, and as he confided in her, we began to see another side to this eerie guy. He opened up about his father's emotional and physical abuse, and we gained some of our first understanding into why Todd acted and reacted to people and situations with a hollow coldness and total lack of empathy. When he was shot and fell into a cold river, we ached for him, but should have known even that would not keep Todd Manning from returning for his girl.
We watched in amazement when he was on the run again, as Todd sacrificed his freedom to save C.J. Roberts, Jessica Buchanan and Marty Sayebrooke from going over a cliff in a wrecked car. This
time when he was shot, our hearts lurched off of that cliff with him as he fell to the ground.
This time, as Todd was shipped off to Statesville Prison again, he felt defeated. He had lost his chance to get away, and he had lost Rebecca. Through his counselor, Ray, Todd finally started to understand a little bit of what he made his victims feel. When he was pardoned for his heroics, we rooted for him to find some kind of a normal life outside of those prison walls. The difficulty was overbearing for Todd, as he was falsely accused of rape again, including the attempted rape of Rebecca. We cheered when he proved he was innocent of those charges.
After Rebecca moved out of his life, we watched Todd become close friends with another of Llanview's pariah, Blair Daimler. Shortly after Blair deceived Todd into marrying her, he found out that he was the son of Victor Lord. His inheritance came to 27.8 million dollars, and a new family - which initially, he wanted no part of.
By the time Todd wanted Blair to prove she was truly pregnant, it turned out that she really was expecting his baby. When Blair lost the baby, and Todd felt the loss of his baby boy, we grieved with him.
We were fascinated as we saw through all of the deceit, games, and fights, that Todd and Blair truly did love each other. The second time they married, Blair was again expecting their child. Happiness seemed just on the horizon for Todd. He and his sister, Viki, had also begun to have a relationship.
Then, out of the feeling that he could never really make up to Marty Sayebrooke what he had done to her, he rushed to Ireland to bring her back to Llanview. Honoring her request to help her friend Patrick, Todd was shot in the back, and thrown into the trunk of a car that was driven off a cliff into the sea. No one except we, the audience, knew that Todd had washed up on the shores of Inish Crag, barely alive. It was the last we saw of him, until eight months later....
Todd Manning was returning home to Llanview, to Blair and their baby. He was a new man - until he walked into his penthouse and found Patrick, the very man he had 'died' for, rolling on the floor with Blair. This propelled the darker aspects of Todd's psyche to return to the forefront of his personality.
We were spellbound by Todd's battles with his dark side. A few he won, but most of the time he lost. Todd kidnapped Starr from Blair, tried to have Patrick jailed, and even divorced Blair to marry his lawyer, Tea Delgado, so that he could win custody of his daughter.
He slowly developed true feelings for Tea, but he blew that apart when his deceitful game of playing like he had multiple personalities was found out right after his second wedding to Tea.
Todd shamefully left town, and we didn't see him again for nearly a year and a half.
Then one day in February 2000, Todd showed up in Llanview intent on taking Tea away with him. He saw his daughter Starr, and gave her a note for Tea. A reluctant Tea met with him, and he confessed to her that he had caused a recent blackout, a gas leak and that he had
taken a shot at R.J. Gannon. He begged her to leave town with him, and finally she took his hand and left with him.
And in June 2000, after Tea had left him, Todd showed up back in Blair's life when he knocked Max out cold outside of a night club
where Jessica was hiding out with Will and Cristian. He returned to Llanview, and began an all out fight to get Blair back with him.
Todd and Starr were extremely tight, and she wanted her parents to get back together. He helped cover up that Blair had shot Max, to
keep her out of jail. Todd made love to Blair, and then wanted to get married. Max and Skye set out to ruin it by making Todd think Blair had been unfaithful to him. He fell for it, and said "Hell no" instead of "I do" at the wedding.
Todd was led to believe by Blair's lie, that she was pregnant with Max's baby, when it was actually Todd's baby she was carrying. When Blair left Llanview for Mexico, Todd followed her. He ended up helping her deliver his own son, still thinking it was Max's baby.
When Blair fell asleep before seeing her son, Todd gave the baby to the midwife, and told her to get rid of him. Todd saw Max's baby as
nothing but a roadblock to he and Blair's happiness. He told her that her baby had died, and Blair was devastated. He took care of
her, and also took care of getting the baby away from them. Then he took her home to Llanview, and they made plans to get married again.
Before this ceremony, Blair told him that the baby that had died was really his son, and Todd rushed out to find his son and bring him
home. For a long time we watched as Todd scrambled to keep Blair from learning the truth about what he had done with their son, Jack. In the meantime, Todd showed us that he loved his family tremendously, all the while proving that he remained his own worst enemy.
The reveal of Todd's horrible deception led to him losing his wife and children, and a wild scheme to again try and kidnap his
children, ended with Todd being marooned on an island in the Pacificwith Tea, and Ross, for a few months. Desperate to get home to his
family, Todd risked his life by getting on a make shift raft, and rowing out into the sea. He washed up on a beach in Guam, and from
there made it back to Llanview once again.
In the fall of 2002, we watched intently as Todd lied his way through another scheme to get his wife and family back, along with his trusted daughter's help. In the end of that, he lost everything again when Blair learned the truth about Susanna's faked death. Todd was devastated.
Todd and his sister Viki learned that their father Victor Lord was still alive, shortly after Blair had cut him off from herself and their children. Victor's deadly plans were interrupted, and then Todd and Viki each confronted the old man before he died. Then a man involved with Victor, Mitch Laurence decided that Todd was a thorn in his side, and he had Todd tied up and gagged, and sealed into Victor's burial vault.
It was the last we would see of our Todd Manning - beloved, conflicted, husband, monstrous, aching, sad, loving, schemer, liar, defender, prankster, daddy- all that he was....we loved him and we will always miss him.
We held strong feelings for Todd - the good, the bad, the ugly and the ugliest the character could be - we still rooted for him. We wanted Todd to be a winner, even when we knew , as usual, he would probably mess things up for himself. The depth of emotions we felt for Todd Manning were always there because of the phenomenal talent of the actor who gave life to Todd - Roger Howarth. It's always present when he's breathing life into the character he plays....The RH Factor.