Life is never simple for a soap opera heroine — especially on Days of our Lives. They frequently contend with unfaithful (and sometimes, downright unhinged) spouses, rambunctious offspring, and irksome in-laws. And there are some actresses whose lives are just as complicated – and just as compelling – as the characters whom they portray.
But only one of them allowed her real-life troubles – and their joyous resolution – to be adapted for television…with her in the starring role. But who can that actress be? Is it Kristian Alfonso (Hope Williams Brady), Melissa Reeves (Jennifer Horton Deveraux), or Deidre Hall (Dr. Marlena Evans Black)?
Though The Starmaker (which included nascent actress Alfonso amongst its cast) could well be an exposé about any number of Hollywood studio moguls, it’s not a biographical film of any one actual person.
Sure, Reeves did indeed star alongside her husband Scott in a made-for-TV biopic. However, that project was Half a Dozen Babies, the story of Becki and Keith Dilley and their sextuplets – not a project dedicated to Reeves herself.
In 1995, Hall starred in Never Say Never: The Deidre Hall Story. The ABC Sunday Night Movie (which also saw Suzanne Rogers and Wayne Northrop portray themselves) dramatized the actress’s two-decade struggle with infertility and her decision to seek the services of a surrogate mother (who eventually bore Hall two children, David and Tully).
At the time of the film’s premiere, Hall revealed to Entertainment Weekly that the project had been a long time in coming. An original draft of her story had been submitted by a writer to NBC some three years previous but, “It was almost total fiction. They couldn’t see doing a movie that didn’t have two women fighting.
“My experience was not Baby M [the child at the center of a custody battle between the woman who acted as a surrogate mother and the parents who adopted them]. So I passed…I wanted people to feel hopeful about life. Frankly, I’m sick of women-in-jeopardy movies.”
So if you hazarded a guess that perhaps Hall – who has played Dr. Marlena Evans Black on and off since June 21, 1976 – then you were absolutely correct!
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 spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.