Nathan Fillion by Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com
Unlike some ex-soap stars,
is not ashamed of his daytime past. The in-demand actor is returning to ABC's
One Life to Live
to help celebrate its 10,000th episode. He hardly needs the gig: Fillion played Kate's husband on
last season, starred in the hit indie film
will join Desperate Housewives
this fall as Susan's new gynecologist. "I guess a lot of actors don't like to admit they once did soaps, but it was important for me to go back to where I got my start," says Fillion, who played star-crossed lover Joey Buchanan from 1994 to 1997 on the ABC drama. "I will never forget what
did for me personally and professionally."
Still, the two-day stint (airing Aug. 16 and 17) was "bittersweet," he notes, because he went back to bury his TV grandpa, Asa. The character was played by
, the lovable crank who quit the show last spring in a contract tiff. "Phil didn't like everybody but when he liked you, he liked you, and he was very kind to me," Fillion recalls. "To honor him was a very big deal." -
Reporting by Michael Logan
Click here for more on OLTL's 10,000th episode.