Commentary

The Very First Time Marlena Evans Died On Days of our Lives

Do you remember how the death of Marlena Evans broke the Internet – before the Internet?

dr. marlena evans back in the early 80s working on her radio show wearing pink against a blue wallMarlena in the 1980s

Dr. Marlena Evans has passed away on Days of our Lives…again. When you’ve come back from the dead as many times as Doc has, it’s hard to get worked up over yet another (temporary) trip to the pearly gates. However, the very first time fans thought this had happened, it nearly started a riot.

Out of the Days of our Lives Past

In the words of The Golden Girls’ Sophia Petrillo, “Picture it…Salem, USA…1982.” A strangler is haunting the sleepy Midwestern town…with its own dock and international airport. Lorie Masters, Denise Peterson, and Mary Anderson were already dead. Renée DuMonde just barely escaped with her life.

And, there, right in front of viewers’ eyes, Marlena (Deidre Hall) came home from work, put a bag of groceries on her kitchen table…and got the life squeezed right out of her by a masked man.

DOOL: Dare To React

The fans went nuts. Sure, nowadays, fans go nuts on the hourly. Someone wears the wrong color scarf, and the Internet lights up with hashtags. But, we’re from the past — as the teens say — and, back then, fans had fewer venues for their anger. They flooded the NBC switchboard with distraught calls. They even picketed in front of the studio. Hall personally came out to accept their gifts and support their efforts.

Marlena Evans: Psych

As it turned out, it wasn’t Marlena who was dead. It was her twin sister, Samantha (yes, Sami Brady’s namesake). This wasn’t as much of a dirty trick as it may seem. Samantha wasn’t an out-of-nowhere twin, she’d been on the show before, played by Hall’s real-life twin sister. She just hadn’t been seen on air in a while.

DAYS: And Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

But Marlena is all out of twins now. And unless her other lookalike, Hattie, is the one currently lying dead in the hospital, this time, it looks like the Grim Reaper is coming for the Real McCoy. Yeah. Sure.

Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on Peacock+ in the U.S. and The W Network or Global TV in Canada. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest that’s been posted on DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.

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