Ricky Paull Goldin by Donna Svennevik/ABC
One All My Children character is coming back from hell, another from heaven. On April 30, daytime megastar Ricky Paull Goldin - who just exited Guiding Light - will join AMC as the new Jake Martin. Viewers will learn that Jake, who left town in 2003 to join Doctors Without Borders in Africa, is currently held captive in Darfur, where he is being forced to treat one of the illegal armies. Two episodes later, Emmy winner Cady McClain will rejoin the show as Dixie Martin - in angel form. Fans were furious when the beloved character was killed last year with a batch of poisoned pancakes.

Weirdly, the two returns are connected. AMC exec producer Julie Carruthers, who offered Goldin the gig when she heard he was quitting GL, tells me that Jake will be rescued by Aidan and brought back to America against his will. "Jake comes back emotionally scarred and with a very big secret," Carruthers notes. "He does not want to see his family. He wants to get back to the land he's grown to love."

Though Dixie's primary purpose is to unite her ex-husband Tad with their long-missing daughter, she will be instrumental in helping Jake decide to stay in Pine Valley. "The audience felt gypped with the way Dixie went out," Carruthers admits. "There's a lot of unfinished business with the character - a lot of work she must do before her spirit can be free." - Michael Logan

Related:
" Cady McClain Floats Back to All My Children
" Ricky Paull Goldin Scrubs In as AMC's Jake Martin