HOLLYWOOD —This week’s leading men gold standard goes to “The Bold and the Beautiful” actor Don Diamont, who portrays billionaire Bill Spencer on the soap and young Mick Hazen, who portrays the hot-headed Parker Snyder on “As The World Turns.” Both Parker and Bill could say this past week, the love of money is the root of all evil. Bill decided to use his sister-in-law Donna Logan Forrester to get revenge on Eric Forrester and to fight for control of Forrester Creations again. While Parker learned that his mother’s boyfriend Craig Montgomery had embezzled his trust fund and when he confronted a young man who had blackmailed Craig out of part of it, things ended in a heated battle which may land Parker in a juvenile penal facility. Both actors in their diverse and definitive ways showcased brilliant performances that leave very little to the imagination.

Don Diamont has always been a superb actor, but his work since leaving “Y&R” and joining “B&B” has left most viewers in joyful shock. The man is nothing short of a James Cagney-styled power mogul with Cary Grant’s charm. Bill is only likable because of Diamont’s choices as a true actor. He could easily make the role unlikable, but female viewers have fallen in love with him and we male viewers all want to be him. Bill used the death of his wife’s mother, Beth Logan to restart his feud with Eric and Stephanie Forrester. When Stephanie foolishly went over to Bill’s home in Malibu and ended up in an argument with Donna, trouble walked through the door. The most handsome billionaire in L.A. came strutting in and suggested the queen herself leave his home before she made things worse. Stephanie ever the bully managed to remind Donna that Eric wanted her back, and not the sexpot. Bill calmly told Stephanie, “You must not have heard the news from Eric. I’m going to have my lawyers sue him for Donna’s portion of Forrester Creations. And I have lawyers that can sue the stripes off a zebra.”

Stephanie tried to remain calm and confident, but her seething hatred for Spencer was obvious. Bill, however, stayed very calm, embraced his sister-in-law and told her, he’d make things all better. What woman wouldn’t have one of the most handsome actors in all of Hollywood embrace them and offer to fight their battles for them? Don Diamont is a genius on-screen, while the mastermind who has created the most enthralling daytime drama on TV is also a genius. Bradley P. Bell has a lot planned for this storyline. Viewers had better be prepared to see some incredibly written scenes and superb acting between Diamont and Flannery, who portrays Stephanie Forrester. Bill Spencer has never been so good at being bad.

Mick Hazen, who portrays Parker on “ATWT” is not only an award-winning young actor, but he’s going to become a huge star in Hollywood. This week the actor managed to play every emotion with some of the best performers on his show. When Parker had to tell his former girlfriend Liberty that Gabriel had been injured in a fire at the Monte Carlo, he was very naïve, very sensitive and extremely caring in those scenes. Knowing Liberty has survived leukemia and that her friend Gabriel may not make it. Before that, Parker was the one who slugged Gabriel in his mom Carly’s office and left him unconscious on the floor. Parker left the room in a rage, not knowing that Craig had planted a device to incinerate the building so that he could get some of the money back that he and Gabriel had embezzled from Parker’s trust fund. When Parker found out that Gabriel was still in the building while the fire was burning, he did everything he could, almost getting arrested at one point, to try to alert firefighters that there was someone in the building.

Later he confided in his mother Carly, who never does the right thing. Carly advised her underage son to keep his mouth shut and not talk about the fight he had with Gabriel moments before the fire, because the police would assume Parker had also set the fire in an effort to cover up an attempted murder. Mick played each scene with aplomb and great depth. Parker’s problems however will become much bigger very soon. On Thursday lead detective Margo Hughes assigned the case to Parker’s father, Jack, who will now be getting to the bottom of the fire at Monte Carlo.

Both men bring genuine performances to their shows. “B&B” and “ATWT” air weekdays on CBS. Don’t miss Don Diamont next week as Bill on “B&B.” It’s must-see TV.