One Life to Live Wiki
Bo Buchanan
Bo Full Cast Photo.jpeg
Robert Woods as Bo Buchanan
One Life to Live
Portrayed by Robert Woods
(1979-1986, 1988-present)
John-Paul Lavoisier
Tanner Woods
Duration 1979-1986, 1988-2012, 2013-present
First appearance 1979
Created by Gordon Russell and Sam Hall
Gender Male
Born April 18th, 1948[1]
Age 61 6-16-09
Occupation Commissioner of Llanview Police Department
Buchanan Enterprises executive/Board member
Parents Asa Buchanan (father; deceased)
Olympia Buchanan (mother; deceased)
Renee Divine Buchanan (stepmother)
Siblings Clint Buchanan
Ben Davidson (half-brother; deceased)
Spouses Delila Ralston (1983; divorced)
Didi O'Neill (1986-1988; widowed)
Sarah Gordon (1990-1992; widowed)
Cassie Callison (1991; invalid)
Nora Hanen (1995-1999; divorced)
Nora Hanen
Romances Emma Bradley (1968)
Mimi King
Pat Ashley
Georgina Whitman
Becky Lee Abbott
Lindsay Rappaport (broken engagement)
Melanie MacIver
Gabrielle Medina (deceased)
Dr. Paige Miller
Lindsay Rappaport (second broken engagement)
Children David Vickers
Drew Buchanan (deceased)
Matthew Buchanan
Aunts and uncles Pike Buchanan (deceased)
Jeannie Buchanan (deceased)
Nieces and nephews Cord Roberts
Kevin Buchanan (adoptive)
Joey Buchanan (adoptive)
Jessica Buchanan
Natalie Buchanan
First cousins Austin Buchanan (deceased)
Rafe Garretson

Beaufort Oglethorpe "Bo" Buchanan[2] is a fictional character on the ABC soap opera and the new Prospect Park's online reboot of One Life to Live.

Casting and awards[]

The role was originated in 1979 by Robert S. Woods, who left the series in 1986 but returned in 1988, and currently portrays the role.[3][4] A 2008 time travel storyline transplants Bo and Rex Balsom (John-Paul Lavoisier) back to 1968, where Woods portrays his character's father Asa Buchanan, and Lavoisier plays a young Bo from July 21 through August 26, 2008.[4][5][6][7][8] As Bo and Rex return to the present, Woods' real-life son Tanner plays young Bo on August 26, 2008 as he departs to serve in the Vietnam War.[4][9]

Woods won a Daytime Emmy Award for Lead Actor for the role in 1983,[10] also earning nominations in 1986,[11] 1993,[12] 1994,[13] 1999,[14] and 2000,[15] multiple Soap Opera Digest Award nominations, and four MVP trophies from Soap Opera Update.[3]


Vietnam War-veteran Bo (Woods himself being a veteran of the war) arrives in the fictional city of Llanview in 1979, following his brother Clint from their native Texas. Clint had secured a position at Llanview's flagship newspaper, The Banner, replacing Victoria Lord Riley's then-ailing husband, Joe Riley.

Somewhat unlucky in love, over the years Bo suffers many breakups, as well as the deaths of two wives (Didi O'Neill in 1988 and Sarah Gordon in 1992) and a fiancée (Gabrielle Medina in 2004). He also pursues many occupations, including becoming a music record executive and a movie and television producer. In the late 1980s Bo produces Llanview's own soap opera, Fraternity Row, on which it is said in 2008 that he had given rapper Snoop Dogg his break in show business, cementing a lifelong friendship between them.[16] In 1995, Bo becomes Llanview's Police Commissioner.

Bo meets attorney Nora Gannon in October 1992; that Thanksgiving he and Sarah are involved in a hit and run accident and Sarah is killed. Over the next several months Nora and Bo work side by side trying to track down the killer. The case is finally closed and the two had become best friends; slowly their relationship grows into romance after a kiss on New Year's Eve. The couple's first date is at Serenity Springs, and is soon followed by a slew of junk food eating and jitterbug dates. Bo and Nora first make love in April 1993 and say "I love you" in May 1993. However, Nora's chronic headaches worsen, leading her to believe that she was the one who had caused the accident leading to Sarah's death. Bo soon proves this to be false, and proposes marriage. Nora is diagnosed with a brain tumor, but recovers. Bo and Nora marry on June 1, 1995 at St. James Church, the ceremony officiated by Reverend Andrew Carpenter, Rabbi Heller, and Little Richard.

Bo is devastated when his son Drew Buchanan, a police officer, is killed in the line of duty in October 1998.[17] Nora hopes to conceive a child to give her husband a reason to live; out of desperation she turns to former flame Sam Rappaport. The pregnancy pulls Bo back onto his feet, but he and Nora later divorce in 1999 when it is revealed that Nora's son Matthew had been fathered by Sam. It is not until Sam's death in 2003 that the truth comes out: Matthew is Bo's son, and Sam had been aware of it and kept the secret.

In July 2008, Bo and young Rex Balsom travel back in time to 1968; Bo finds himself reliving his past as his own father Asa Buchanan, while Rex is Bo.[7][8] They both ultimately return as history writes itself with one exception: Rex as Bo sleeps with Asa's ex-mistress Emma Bradley. This proves significant in February 2009 when a paternity test determines that David Vickers — whom a previous DNA test had supposedly established is Asa's son by Emma — is actually's Bo's son.[18][19]


  1. On February 26, 2009 Bo says he was about 20 years old when he slept with Emma Bradley in 1968. He also celebrates his birthday on April 18th, with Nora in 1995.
  2. "Behind the Scenes", Soap Opera Digest, Vol. 33, No. 34, August 19, 2008, pp. 61. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 SOAP STAR STATS: Robert S. Woods (Bo Buchanan, OLTL). Retrieved on February 24, 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 One Life to Live Cast: Bo Buchanan. Retrieved on February 25, 2009.
  5. One Life to Live: Big Returns and Plots For 40th Anniversary!. (June 10, 2008). Retrieved on August 5, 2008.
  6. Michael Logan (June 11, 2008). Soaps News: One Life Celebrates No. 40 with Blasts from the Past. Retrieved on August 5, 2008.
  7. 7.0 7.1 One Life to Live recap (7/21/08, 40th Anniversary) -
  8. 8.0 8.1 One Life to Live recap (7/22/08, 40th Anniversary) -
  9. One Life to Live recap (8/26/08) -
  10. Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1983. Retrieved on February 24, 2009.
  11. Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1986. Retrieved on February 24, 2009.
  12. Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1993. Retrieved on February 24, 2009.
  13. Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1994. Retrieved on February 24, 2009.
  14. Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1999. Retrieved on February 24, 2009.
  15. Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 2000. Retrieved on February 24, 2009.
  16. Snoop Dogg's fictional origins on Fraternity Row are mentioned by the artist in his appearance as himself in the May 8 and May 9, 2008 episodes.
  17. "October Demises", Soap Opera Digest, Vol. 33, No. 44, October 25, 2008, pp. 70-71. 
  18. "OLTL: David is Bo's Son!", Soap Opera Digest, Vol. 34, No. 9, March 3, 2009, pp. 8. 
  19. One Life to Live recap (2/25/09) -

External links[]