For years, Laura Spencer Horton (played at various times by Floy Dean, Susan Flannery, and Susan Oliver) had embodied the sophisticated shrink archetype on Days of our Lives. But a decision to momentarily retire the pivotal role (as the soap geared up for yet another recast) necessitated the creation of what was supposed to be a similar, stopgap character. Enter daytime TV alum Deidre Hall in the personage of Dr. Marlena Evans.
Days of our Lives Fan Favorite Deidre Hall Always Delivers
Despite the larger than life situations in which Marlena is frequently embroiled – which has included having her life usurped by her identical twin sister (played by Deidre Hall’s actual twin, Andrea Hall), surviving a fall from a 30-story ledge, serving as a surrogate mother while in a coma, and being possessed by the actual Devil – Hall has always imbued her alter ego with a down to earth quality that fans can both appreciate and relate to.
While Hall has always excelled at delivering exquisite performances in storylines with uber melodramatic slants, she’s also proven herself equally adept at tackling high- and low-brow comedy – look no further than her frequent turns as Marlena look-alike Hattie Adams for conformation.
And unlike many a soap opera heroine, whose favor rises and falls in concert with fans opinion on a particular romantic pairing, Marlena (and by extension Hall) has had palpable chemistry with each and every one of her leading men- whether she is opposite Jed Allan’s Don Craig, Wayne Northrop’s Roman Brady, or Drake Hogestyn’s John Black, Hall has always been one half of an enormously popular supercouple.
Hall should also be praised for the open and honest relationship that she has maintained with her devotees and detractors alike. She has never erred on the side of furtiveness as the ups and downs of her life have played out in the spotlight (and in a movie-of-the-week of her life — Never Say Never: The Deidre Hall Story).
As of this writing, Marlena, and Hall, are exactly where they belong – on the DAYS front burner. We’re delighted to say that it doesn’t appear that they will be anywhere else, anytime soon.
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.