Donald Francis Hastings (born April 1, 1934) is an American actor, singer, and writer best known for his decades-long portrayal of Dr. Robert "Bob" Hughes" on the soap opera As the World Turns. Hastings has been active in show business (radio/theater) since 1940 and active on television since 1947.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Hastings played Captain Video's teenaged companion, the Video Ranger, on the DuMont television seriesCaptain Video and His Video Rangers, from 1949 to 1955. He portrayed one of television's first superheroes designed to appeal to children.
Hastings ranks third behind actresses Helen Wagner and Eileen Fulton in having played the same role for the longest time on television. He does hold the record as the longest continuous actor in the history of television serials. William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow on the British soap Coronation Street, is widely (and erroneously) believed to be the record-holder, but Hastings has portrayed Bob Hughes for two months longer than Roache has played Ken. Neither actor has taken a break during their tenures. The Guinness Book of Records states that the non-continuous record is held by Helen Wagner, who has played Nancy Hughes on the same soap opera, As the World Turns, since April 1956. Wagner left between 1981 and 1985. Eileen Fulton has also left the series three times, only to return in later years.
Hastings is also a screenwriter and wrote dialogue for both As the World Turns and The Guiding Light under the name J. J. Matthew.
He is the younger brother of actor Bob Hastings. Hastings lives in New York with his second wife, actress Leslie Denniston with whom he has a daughter, Kate. Hastings also has two daughters and one son from a previous marriage. His son Matthew has been active in show business as a writer/director and producer since 1999.