The role of Kelly Cramer was originally going to be a woman in her late-20s. Former Another World (1964) actress Alexandra Wilson was offered the role, but she eventually turned it down. When Gina Tognoni got the role, Kelly was re-written as a girl in her late-teens.
The largest set ever created for a daytime drama was the Great Hall of Eterna, made for this show in 1988. The multilevel, 32 foot high, 360-degree set was so huge that it had to be erected in a separate studio from the place where the show usually tapes.
During the DVD commentary for the musical "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog", Nathan Fillion went off on an unrelated tangent about his days acting on One Life to Live. One of the things he said was: "The only question you have to ask yourself is 'How good a Joey Buchanan was I?' A man's 'Buchananity' is what separates him from reptiles and lawn furniture."
This series and "General Hospital" were both originally half-hour long shows. When NBC and CBS began expanding the length of rival soaps to an hour, the ABC network made the unusual move of expanding both shows to 45 minutes in length in 1977. The reason for this was that it would still be cheaper to produce than an hour-long series, and the unusual time schedule would discourage viewers from flipping the channel to other networks (Viewers of "One Life to Live" would presumably be less likely to flip the channel to a rival soap if they knew it was already half-over.) The scheme backfired, as more viewers began turning off "Life" early to watch rival soap than were staying tuned to watch "General Hospital." In less than a year, the network expanded both soaps to an hour in length.
According to Abbie Schiller, vice president of media relations for ABC daytime television, the crew planned, taped and edited a story of a high school hostage situation in March. The story line affected all the characters in some way and was linked to 17 different episodes set to air in May. After the Virginia Tech massacre, the top executives at ABC decided to pull the plot and rewrite the show.
Robin Strasser (the actress most closely associated with the character Dorian Lord) almost joined the series in an entirely different role earlier than she did. On the rival soap "Another World" during the early 1970s - actors George Reinholt, Jacqueline Courtney and Robin Strasser were arguably the most popular stars on daytime television, and the love triangle between them was the most popular storyline of the day. Strasser left "Another World" in 1972. By 1975, because of backstage politics, George Reinholt and Jacqueline Courtney were fired (both had reputations as uncooperative divas). Since Reinholt and Courtney were still very popular with viewers, the producers at "One Life to Live" (which was trailing "Another World" in the ratings at that time) quickly hired them and created new roles for them on the show; they became Tony Lord and Pat Ashley respectively and were quickly put into a new love triangle situation with a character called Cathy Craig. The "Live" producers hoped to entice Strasser to take over the role of Cathy, in order to re-create the wildly popular triangle situation from their competitors. Strasser declined, stating that she did not want to take over a role from another actress. By the time Strasser did take over the role of Dorian in 1979, George Reinholt had already left "One Life to Live."
The most elaborate prop ever used on the show was well-drilling equipment obtained for the Eterna storyline in 1988. The men who feverishly dug the characters out of the underground city were not actors but actual well-drillers who were hired to operate the heavy machinery.