10 Fun Facts on OLTL Icon Judith Light

Judith Light, who played Karen Wolek on One Life to Live. Image courtesy of the Television Academy.

She’s lit up the small and big screens, plus the stage, and won many awards for her boundless talent! Get to know One Life to Live star Judith Light!

Jersey Gal

Light is a New Jersey native, born in Trenton on February 9.

Drama Queen

Judith studied drama at the renowned Carnegie Mellon University program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Small Screen Debut

Judith’s television debut was not as Karen on OLTL. Rather, it was on the cop drama Kojak. The episode was entitled “Monkey on a String.”

Soap Stardom

Light made her OLTL entrance in 1977, as iconic character, housewife-turned-prostitute Karen Wolek. She played the role until 1983. In fact, it is said that Karen’s classic courtroom confession scene is a staple in acting classes.

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Daytime Emmy Recognition

Light was rewarded twice with Daytime’s highest accolade for her OLTL performances. She won in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama in both 1980 and 1981.

Boss Lady

Light established herself not just as a leader in the soap acting field but on series television as well. She made the jump from OLTL to Who’s the Boss as career woman Angela Bower opposite Tony Danza in 1984 and starred on the series until 1992.

Stage Presence

Judith is a theater veteran, both on and Off-Broadway. Among her many credits are the plays Other Desert Cities and The Assembles Parties, both for which she won the coveted Tony award for Featured Actress in a Play.

Acting and Activism

Of course, we know Light for her extraordinary acting ability. But, she’s also a passionate activist. She has lent her time to many LGBT and AIDS causes and sits on a variety of boards dedicated to them.

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Streaming Success

Light stars on the Amazon Prime hit, Transparent in which she plays Shelly Pfefferman. She has been nominated for many awards for this role–a SAG award, Critic’s Choice, a Golden Globe, and an Emmy.


OLTL is never far from Light. She’s been married to her former co-star, Robert Desiderio (ex-Steve Piermont) since 1985.

Give us your input in the comment section below. Check back with Soap Cities for more AMC/OLTL news, updates, fun, and more! Follow us on Twitter at @soapcities, on Instagram at @soapcities, and come chat with us in our Facebook group. “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” will one day be back on-screen—never doubt!


Christine is a native New Yorker and freelance writer who now lives in southwestern Connecticut. She is a longtime, avid soap fan who has always had an affinity for ABC soaps, in particular her favorite, General Hospital. (She will even tell you she sleeps, eats and breathes that soap!) She is passionate about the soap genre, and in addition she enjoys traveling, attending plays and musicals, reading biographies and various pursuits in between. She was a political science/history major, English minor and has published a book of paranormal short stories under her nom de plume, Prudence MacGregor.

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