When Ted Corday and Betty Corday watched “Days of our Lives’” NBC debut on November 8, 1965, they couldn’t have known that the soap opera they created would garner so much success. Now, 48 years later, the show not only is coming off of an Outstanding Drama Series win from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, it’s comprised of a talented and close-knit cast who all have very special memories regarding their time with the popular show. Soap Opera Network spoke with a few said castmembers, and in celebration of the show’s 48th anniversary, they were all too happy to share some of their favorite moments from the early days and beyond!
Deidre Hall (Marlena Evans)
“Oh my god, Wayne Northrop [ex- Alex North, Roman Brady] and I [used to pull pranks on each other all of the time]. It was merciless! Merciless! Nothing was sacred. At one point, he was sleeping in my foster child’s bed, so before my take, I said to my prop man, ‘Give me a bucket of warm water.’ And before he had to jump into bed, I poured it all over like the kid who wet the bed. He jumped into bed, and I had finished my part of the scene, and I began to run. He didn’t even finish the take! He hit that bed, came off that bed and came after me. The race was on, and I got thrown in the shower! I mean, it was crazy, crazy, crazy. But it’s a show filled with moments, and that’s what you remember with daytime. It’s been really wonderful, being a part of so many magical moments.”
If you thought sitting down with family and friends for Thanksgiving was going to be the highlight of the week, wait until you see what “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless” have in store for the holiday! Both shows have exciting episodes planned prior to the big day, as well as classic episodes set to air on Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29. So if turkey, stuffing and all of the fixings don’t have you falling out of your chair, these two sudsers will certainly get the job done!
During a recent “Days of our Lives” fan event, actor Drake Hogestyn (John Black) told Soap Opera Network that he’d signed a new contract with the sudser, but that’s not all the actor revealed! He’s got a pretty good idea of upcoming story for his alter ego, and he assured us that loyal viewers just might get exactly what they wish for when it comes to the popular pairing of John and Marlena (Deidre Hall).
First thing’s first: Hogestyn admits that it’s sometimes tough to justify the actions his character takes — like John’s choice to break apart Brady (Eric Martsolf) and Kristen (Eileen Davidson) by convincing people that Kristen wanted him for herself — but he says his job isn’t to justify them at all. “You are called talent, and you don’t write the show. Your responsibility is to pick up a script and to the best of your ability, you bring [the writers’] vision onto the screen, regardless of what your interpretation is,” he explains. “You can’t change plot logic or character shading. Even if you develop a character for 25, 28 years, your job as talent is to look at the story and take that story and move it forward in the vision of the writers. And that is the respect that every actor has to have. Once you start blurring that line or changing plot logic, character shading, it just muddies the water and nobody wins.”
Longtime viewers of “Days of our Lives” have seen Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) live up to his last name on more than one occasion. The recovering addict has experienced a lot of misery in his life — both of others’ doing, as well as his own — which has led him down some pretty dark paths in recent years. But when Soap Opera Network caught up with Martsolf to discuss his alter ego’s weeks ahead, the Pennsylvania native revealed that Kristen’s betrayal has sent Brady reeling — and this time, the CEO’s dark descent into addiction, depression and self-destruction might take him so far down, he won’t be able to get back up!
On Wednesday, November 27, don’t forget to tune into CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” as Eileen Davidson returns to Genoa City when her character Ashley Abbott surprises her family for Thanksgiving.
When asked in a recent interview with Soap Opera Network whether she’d be interested in making return visits to “Y&R,” Davidson said, “I would be open to doing any show… It’s really about schedule.” She added, “I have such a wonderful history with ‘The Young and the Restless.’ I don’t have any weird feelings or bad feelings, so they don’t really have to do much to win me back to come back for a couple of days. I’m happy to do it, and it’s fun for me. I don’t really want to be working any place right now full time, so this is actually kind of perfect, to be able to come back and see people. [And it’s] an amazing experience: Nobody gets bored with me, nobody is tired of seeing me. It’s like, ‘Oh yay, she’s back!’”
Davidson most recently appeared in late October to support Ashley’s brother, Billy Abbott (Billy Miller), who lost his daughter from a hit-and-run.
As we previously reported, Eileen Davidson is making a return to “The Young and the Restless” as Ashley Abbott, but don’t expect the sunshine and lollipops that surrounded her last return to Genoa City (for Victor’s wedding); the tragic death of Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson) and Billy’s (Billy Miller) daughter, Delia, is what brings the makeup maven back for three episodes.
“It was pretty depressing,” she reveals about the overall mood on set and the emotional funeral scenes in which she’ll be taking part beginning Monday, October 28. “Especially when you’re dealing with the death of a child. It’s a horrible thing to play. I remember I had to play it when I just had my baby (Faith), and they didn’t even tell me, because they didn’t want to freak me out. Really hard to do.”
Eileen Davidson may still be airing as “Days of our Lives’” Kristen DiMera, but that wasn’t a deal breaker for “The Young and the Restless,” which has signed the actress to return as Ashley Abbot later this year!
A rep confirms that the popular daytime diva will be heading back to Genoa City for three episodes in late October. However, no further details are being released at this time.
Meanwhile, fans of the show can look forward to yet another soap opera staple to appear onscreen this fall: The spokesperson says that Marshall Hilliard — best known for his previous roles as “DAYS” Dylan and “Guiding Light’s” Hart Jessup — is slated to appear in Genoa City as a cop.
When “Days of our Lives” executive producer, Ken Corday, let the cat out of the bag via Soap Opera Digest that Eileen Davidson would be departing the daytime drama series in the coming months, the actress was forced to speak out on Twitter, then Facebook and now TV Guide to clear up any doubts about her future as Kristen DiMera on “DAYS” and the possibility of a return to “The Young and the Restless.”
It’s no secret (at least depending on who you talk to) that Drake Hogestyn last appeared under contract on NBC’s “Days of our Lives” as of the Wednesday, July 17 episode, nor is it a secret that he last taped those scenes in mid-March, but is the actor looking to rally his fans via social media to get him back on the soap? Some of the actors most recent tweets, using sports references, looks to be doing just that as fans are left wondering what’s up with Hogestyn and his “DAYS” character, John Black.
According to Soap Opera Digest, Eileen Davidson will be departing NBC’s “Days of our Lives” just over a year since returning to the set of the daytime drama series to reprise her iconic role of Kristen DiMera.