Before there was John and Marlena on Days of Our Lives, and before even a Roman and Marlena, there was Don and Marlena.
Deidre Hall’s (Marlena) first leading man on DAYS was actor Jed Allan, who played attorney Don Craig. And now, Deidre’s remembering her pal in a special way.
Allan, 84, who played Don from 1871 to 1985, died on March 9. His son, Rick Brown, shared the news of his father’s death on Facebook saying that Allan passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends.
Hall has posted a loving testimonial to her late TV husband, recalling her screen test with Allan, which led to her being cast as Marlena. “We’ve lost one of the really good ones,” Hall wrote on Instagram.
Don and Marlena were an instant hit and the couple married after battling some obstacles. Later, Marlena gave birth to their son, Don, Jr. aka D.J. Tragedy struck when an infant D.J. died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). D.J.’s passing contributed to the dissolution of Don and Marlena’s marriage.
Still, they remained friends as Marlena moved on to a romance with Roman (Wayne Northrup) and Don became involved with Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) after she thought Mickey (John Clarke) was dead.
Legend has it Don Craig went out to mail a letter one day in the mid-1980s and never returned to Salem. Post-DAYS, Allan had a powerful run as patriarch C.C. Capwell on the NBC serial Santa Barbara.
Check out Hall’s tribute celebrating the life of her friend and former TV husband and watch the tender scene in which Marlena and Don said their goodbyes to each other. While their romance came to an end, it’s clear that the love remained.
Soap Hub sends deep condolences to Allan’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.
Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.
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We’ve lost one of the really good ones. It’s been decades since I stepped on to the NBC sound stage to screen test for Marlena on Days of our Lives. I was given a 4-page scene to memorize and perform with Days’ dashing bachelor, Don Craig, played confidently by Jed Allan. Jed made it all look easy with his dark good looks, deep resonant voice, a naughty twinkle, boisterous laugh and his characteristic swagger. He used his charismatic charm to win audiences as well as cast and crew. He never tired of my lack of experience and taught by example. He was deeply devoted to his sons and his darling wife Toby. When he lost her, we weren’t sure how he’d go on, but go on he did. Jed was a giant in so many ways, witnessed by the huge emptiness he leaves behind.