At first glance it would be easy to dismiss Days of Our Lives‘ Alice Horton as a mere countrywoman resistant to change, content to read her bible, raise her brood, and accede to her husband’s wishes. But, while Alice did indeed possess faith in a higher power, she was also on the most feisty, forward-thinking and welcoming matriarchs in all of soap opera history.
Who Is Alice Horton?
By November of 1965, with her youngest child about to be married, Alice was quickly realizing that she and her husband Tom were about to be empty nesters. But after so many years spent being a mother to their five children – Tom Jr., Addie, Michael, Bill, and Marie – Alice wasn’t sure what to do with herself.
The Horton Home
Long after the biological Horton children flew the coop, the house still remained a sanctuary for the extended family. It served as the only real home that grandchildren like Julie and Jennifer knew and when grandson Lucas had to be remanded into familial custody, it was Alice who took him.
It was with a heavy heart that Alice saw two of her children precede her in death. First, she lost Addie who was run over and killed and then Michael passed away in his sleep following a brief illness.
Days of Our Lives Traditions
If there was one culinary classic that Alice was known for it was her homecooked powdered sugar donuts. The desert was a staple in the Horton household as was the hanging of the Christmas ornaments. Horton tradition dictates that every member of the family – be it by blood, marriage, adoption, or “honorary” status – be given a bauble to emblazon with their name and then place on the tree.
In 1977, Alice suffered the first of many medical crises. Luckily, the cancer diagnosis proved to be a false alarm but when an illness landed her in the hospital six years later, she nearly met her maker – thanks to an evildoer who planned to sabotage the medicine dispensing robot who would be delivering Alice her nightly pills.
In 1990, Alice found herself kidnapped by Lawrence Alamain and during her imprisonment, she was severely injured by falling debris. Upon being rescued, she suffered a severe stroke and required surgery that installed a pacemaker.
In 2003, Alice was presumed dead – a victim of the Salem Stalker – but she was instead drugged into unconsciousness and spirited away to a tropical island in a complicated scheme by Andre DiMera.
Mysteries She Solved
Never one to back down from a battle, Alice was always at the ready to assist her grandson-in-law Bo and his PI buddy Howie Hofstetter in their cappers – even when it ruffled Tom’s feathers. But, despite his misgivings, “Mr. H” occasionally got in on the action – like the time he and the Mrs. investigated the murder of their bridge partners Blanche and Harold Dailey.
For many in Salem, Alice Horton was a lady above reproach. However, Alice possessed a moral compass that precluded her from accepting miscarriages of justice or allowing a bully to score a victory – it was an admirable quality but it frequently got “Mrs. H” into an awful lot of trouble.
In fact, Alice found herself spending time in the local pokey on two occasions. One was the result of helping fellow snooper Jennifer chase down a story. The second stemmed from Alice assisting in the “liberation” of an imprisoned Roman Brady who had been framed for a series of murders.
In 1993, Alice and Tom remodeled their home and opened the Horton Center, which served as a shelter for runaways or low-income persons in need of assistance. Their neighbors objected strenuously to the transient “riff-raff” that the center catered to and the biggest bone of contention came in the form of young Kevin Tursi.
Tursi was a patient at the hospital who had recently been diagnosed with AIDS and his presence greatly disturbed many in the community who feared that they could catch his “gay disease.” Disturbed by the hatred and bigotry, Alice scoured the medical literature, learned the facts about HIV/AIDS and disseminated it to the ignorant and ill-informed.
Second Time Around
Although Alice was a traditionalist at heart, she understood – and accepted – that the social mores of her generation were giving way to a new genus who shunned conventional attitudes towards things like sex, love, and out-of-wedlock living arrangements.
But imagine her surprise when she found out that her marriage of 61 years was actually invalid! And not only had the judge who performed the ceremony not been sworn in, but Tom actually knew of the deception and had kept quiet.
When Alice insisted on a proper and legal union, Tom scoffed as they were married in every other sense of the word and that was good enough for him. But it wasn’t for Alice, and she packed up and moved out!
Tom did eventually propose to “Miss Grayson” and they became husband and wife on October 17, 1991. They remained together until Tom’s passing three years later. Although Alice soldiered on alone, she never truly got over the loss of the only man she had ever loved. On June 30, 2010, Alice passed away and joined her beloved Tom. Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.