When Days of our Lives put Abe Carver’s life in peril last week, when a bullet aimed at Jake DiMera by mobster Carmine hit the wrong target, it was a clever way by the show’s writers to honor the character and actor James Reynolds, who has called Salem home for 40 years.
James Reynolds Celebrates 40 Years
With Abe clinging to life, his friends and family members come to the hospital to reflect on his life and what he means to them all, providing viewers with some glimpses of Abe’s finest moments. And when things go dark, and Abe walks “into the light,” it allows the fan-favorite character to share some tender moments with one of the most important people to him — his late wife, Lexie.
It’s a touching scene that lets Mayor Carver show his emotional range, something Reynolds has been demonstrating on DAYS since first coming to town to investigate human trafficking on October 29, 1981 — and tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of that auspicious day.
Abe has also seen his fair share of romance. He and his wife Lexie (played by a few actresses but most memorably by Renée Jones) had a sweet courtship and marriage until the daughter of Stefano started to follow in some of her dad’s notorious ways. The couple also were challenged when son Theo was diagnosed with autism, and this was one of DAYS’ finest stories, which resonated with many viewers and earned Reynolds much critical acclaim. He would go on to win a Daytime Emmy for Best Actor in 2018.
One of his first loves was with Nikki Wade in the ’80s, who coincidentally was also played by Jones, who would be Lexie decades later. He had a short love story with Valerie Grant (Vanessa Williams), but now he’s enjoying a fun romance with new financée, Paulina Price (Jackée Harry), which is bringing out a less serious side of Abe Carver.
He’s also been a great dad, something that Lani Price Grant (Sal Stowers) has been experiencing since the two learned they were father and daughter. Although he’s had some ups and downs with son Brandon, Abe has always been there for Theo and shows love and compassion to his family.
When James Reynolds first joined the show, he and Roman (played by Wayne Northrop at the time), were not only partners, but great friends and the duo had some great adventures together. Fans quickly gravitated towards the two Salem detectives and they kept Salem safe and sound. Abe would rise through the ranks to Commissioner and now serves as the town’s Mayor, showing how popular he is among Salemites.
Some of his most memorable storylines through the years include his becoming blind and getting an eye transplant; becoming an early victim of the show’s Melaswen Island serial killer storyline in 2003; and longtime viewers will never forget the look on Abe’s face when his brother Theo was killed by Richard Cates, who Abe eventually was able to get his revenge on. When Abe recovers — and no one thinks he won’t, we look forward to seeing what’s ahead for everyone’s favorite Mayor as he heads towards the aisle with Paulina.
On a personal note, I have been covering daytime for 25 years, and one of my favorite off-set memories is an NBC Daytime event held in Ohio, where James Reynolds was one of about two dozen NBC stars taking part. I sat with him at a bar one night talking about his family and baseball into the wee hours of the morning, and he was one of the friendliest daytime stars I ever encountered, stopping to talk with any fans who came by, and even buying them drinks. Happy anniversary, Jim! The next round of tequila is on me.
Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest that’s been posted on Days of our Lives spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.