Jon Lindstrom

You can't keep a bad man down – but you can give him a handsome new puss. As the World Turns has cast former General Hospital fave Jon Lindstrom as Craig Montgomery, the arch-scoundrel who fled Oakdale last February after attempting murder. The actor's first airdate is Dec. 3.

"Jon is a witty and immensely likable actor even when he's doing unspeakable things – as he did [playing twins Kevin and Ryan] on GH," says ATWT head writer Jean Passanante. "And that pretty much sums up Craig."

The character will return to Oakdale "with a deep desire to reconnect with his family," adds the scribe, "though his first order of business is to get himself off the hook for trying to kill Paul [Roger Howarth]. It's a big problem, but Craig is up for the challenge."

Though Craig, who first appeared in 1982, is one of the great villains in suds history, this marks the fourth recast in three years. Hunt Block was dropped from the role in 2005. His replacement Jeffrey Meeks was fired in 2007 and replaced by the original Craig, Scott Bryce, who in turn got the ax early this year.

Look for an exclusive interview with Lindstrom in TV Guide magazine.