The death of Days of our Lives, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, and, of course, Hogan’s Heroes star Robert Clary prompted us to reminisce about the key role his DAYS character, Robert LeClair, played in the romance of a young Kayla Brady and Steve Johnson.
Days of our Lives: Present Past
When Robert first showed up in Salem in the 1970s, he was a singer at Doug’s Place, a friend of the owner, and ended up raising Doug’s biological son, Dougie, after the boy’s mother, Rebecca North (Brooke Bundy), died. So far, so soapy.
It wasn’t until Robert returned to the show in the 1980s that viewers got any inkling of the past he’d so far managed to never mention: Robert spent World War II in a German concentration camp, along with his brother, Eli (S. Marc Jordan). (Guess neither Doug nor Rebecca ever expressed any interest in what that number tattooed on his arm might signify.)
With both Robert and Eli in Salem, they identified an elderly German man as a former camp guard. But how to prove it?
DAYS’ Steve Johnson: Here I Come To Save the Day!
Turns out the man had a distinctive tattoo of his own. They needed to expose it! That’s where DAYS’ Steve Johnson (Stephen Nichols) comes in.
Up to that point, he was simply a thug known as “Patch.” Because he wore a patch. He’d lost his eye in a knife fight with Bo Brady (Peter Reckell) years earlier. Which is why he now made his living helping Victor Kiriakis (John Aniston) move drugs into the country, and terrorizing people like a temporarily blind Kimberly Brady (Patsy Pease), and a tied-up Hope Williams (Kristian Alfonso) whom he threatened to disfigure with acid.
So, not a nice guy. But, you know, hot. And with definite chemistry whenever he got around Kayla (Mary Beth Evans).
So the show needed to redeem Patch. And, luckily, there was a Nazi on the loose!
Patch may be OK with terrorizing innocent people and selling drugs. But he drew the line at Nazis. Nazis were bad. Patch had no qualms about saying that. This is why when he was asked to pretend to mug the German in order to get a look at his incriminating tattoo, he happily accepted the job. Didn’t even charge for it.
And the rest was soap redemption history…
Days of our Lives airs weekdays on Peacock+ in the U.S. and The W Network or Global TV App in Canada. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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