With rumors swirling that a new EJ is soon to debut on Days of our Lives – and Dan Feuerriegel stepping in as the dashing and sometimes dastardly DiMera created by James Scott — let’s take a look back at some other major characters the soap opted to recast over the years. And did so with enormous success.
Bold Casting Moves by Days of our Lives
Check out five other times Days of our Lives scored big with bold casting moves and pulled off successful actor switcheroos.
1. Mary Beth Evans as Kayla Brady
It’s hard to imagine anyone but Mary Beth Evans as Kayla Brady, considering she’s played the part on and off since 1986. However, it was Catherine Mary Stewart who originated the role in 1982. When Stewart opted to leave the soap after two years, the writers sent Kayla out of town. Upon bringing her back, Evans stepped in as the heroic nurse. She’s since become synonymous with “Sweetness” and created a supercouple with Stephen Nichols’ Steve.
2. Julie Pinson as Billie Reed
Although Lisa Rinna created the role of Billie Reed, the character was later played by Krista Allen and Julie Pinson. It was Pinson’s hiring that resonated with viewers. Not only did she bear a striking resemblance to Rinna, but she quickly won over viewers with her fiery and spirited interpretation of Billie.
3. Robert Kelker-Kelly as Bo Brady
While longtime Peter Reckell fans had issues with the show’s decision to bring in Robert Kelker-Kelly as Bo Brady in 1992, he had a successful three-year run as the character. His Bo was more brooding than Reckell’s, yet he pulled his weight as a leading man and created a perfect pairing with Rinna’s Billie.
4. Lauren Koslow as Kate Roberts
Deborah Adair’s decision to retire from the business in 1995 could have meant the end of the road for Kate Roberts. But the character was reintroduced by head writer James E. Reilly in 1996, and Lauren Koslow (ex-Margo, The Bold and the Beautiful) was tapped for the job. Reilly’s spin on the character paired perfectly with Koslow’s take on it. Now, 25 years later, she’s still stirring things up in town.
5. Stacy Haiduk as Kristen DiMera and Susan Banks
Filling Eileen Davidson’s shoes as the diabolical Kristen DiMera and her wacky, sort of lookalike, Susan Banks, was a huge assignment. Hence, a pro was needed for the job. Enter Stacy Haiduk (ex-Patty and Emily, The Young and the Restless). An acting powerhouse she’s delivered on every level from heavy drama to crazy comedy and everything in between. Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.