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DAYS Freddie Smith Chats On His Daytime Emmy Nomination & If He's Team WilSon or Team PaulSon!

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Although recently departing Days of our Lives, fan favorite Freddie Smith (Sonny Kiriakis) is still on the air for the next five months since the NBC soap tapes so far ahead.  That gives viewers more of an opportunity to see him front and center along with Guy Wilson (Will Horton) and Christopher Sean (Paul Narita) as the story between Will/Sonny/Paul continues to twist and turn!

In the meantime, Freddie received his second Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series where he is considered a serious contender for the gold at this year’s upcoming 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on Sunday night, April 26th to be televised live on Pop (8PMET/5PMPT).

On-Air On-Soaps recently caught up with Freddie to get his reaction to being in the Younger Actor category and vying for gold, plus to get his thoughts on what’s ahead for WilSon and PaulSon fans.  In fact, Freddie even weighs-in on which duo he is rooting for at this stage of the game.

Here’s what Freddie had to share about being part of daytime’s biggest night … and one of daytime’s biggest storylines!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Freddie on his Daytime Emmy Nomination, his reaction to the news, and what scenes he submitted, and why he chose them for Emmy competition in a year where he lots of dramatic material to choose from in 2014:  “I did have a lot of material, and it pretty much boiled down to … did I want to submit for Younger Actor … or did I want to submit for Lead Actor?  And then when I looked at all of my clips that I was considering.  It just so happened that my favorite work fell in February of last year before my birthday.  So I submitted for Younger Actor, but I was really proud of the work I did.  I submitted the episode where Gabi (Camila Banus, Outstanding Younger Actress nominee) and Sonny are fighting where he was talking about Nick, and how she slept with him on the couch, and then Gabi slaps Sonny and leaves! The scenes showed a lot of layers and that’s what I liked.  So in five minutes you got to see me being cool and chill, and then it worked up to something.  It wasn’t just me yelling all of the time and boring. (Laughs)  So whether I was nominated, or not, that is what I went with.  I felt I had a lot of material, but I really liked what I did that day.”

Freddie on moving into the “older” male field of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for next year’s Daytime Emmy competition, since he can no longer be in the age limit for Younger Actor:  “I will submit next year, and I am an old man now.  So, next year I am going to have to submit for the Older Man category.  So that’s my goal for next year to be “Old Man”! (Laughs)


Freddie on how he found out about his Emmy nomination:  “I had so many tweets, and calls, and texts all at the same time.  I don’t know how I actually found out to be honest! But, it was great and nice. I called my parents and they were congratulating me, and my manager called me too. I was right here at home at my kitchen counter when I got the messages I was nominated and I was like, ‘Heck yeah! Number two!”’

Freddie on his current storyline and where it’s  headed, with so many secrets coming to the forefront of Will’s machinations, Paul’s bio-dad, and Sonny trying to figure out what to do about it all:  “There is a lot of good stuff coming up in our storyline. There is another new chapter of craziness that is happening, and so I am pretty amped about that.”

Freddie on given all that has happened right now on-screen, if he is rooting for Team WilSon or Team PaulSon:  “Oh man, I don’t know. I think I gotta be WilSon because Sonny is married.  Yes, he’s married loosely at this point, but Sonny is a very loyal guy.  So, I got to be Team WilSon … for now!”

Watch Freddie’s Emmy nominated work below!  Are you hoping for a Freddie victory on Emmy night? Are you surprised Freddie says Sonny would still be Team WilSon at this point in time?  What do you think is the next chapter in the craziness of his storyline that Freddie may be referring to? Share your thoughts below!

Freddie Smith – Daytime Emmy Nominee Reel

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I think Freddie picked an excellent to submit; it was powerful and his delivery was excellent.

I hope we get to see Freddie in some more TV projects as I’ve enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) his work on DOOL.

He’s right about Sonny being loyal to his marriage; that would fit the character who we’ve gotten to know. I look forward to seeing where the story goes.

Yes, Sonny is definitely loyal and committed. Freddie’s response to which pairing he’s rooting for makes sense, Sonny is definitely in marriage for all the right reasons. He’s marriage material. As for Will, well that’s another story. But, I do believe in Will & Sonny, and hope they will prevail. Freddie and Guy are great together! Love them both!

Smith needs to be Team Alcoholics Anonymous.

Freddie and Guy are good together? From the stills and pictures I have seen, Freddie has had the saddest eyes and demeanour ever. Pretty clear it was the most blatant mismatch of actors.

Good luck to Freddie on Emmy night. I hope he brings home the gold! He is a wonderful actor and deserves all the accolades he is receiving. WilSon storyline is the best one on the air right now with Paul’s WTD story beginning now as well. Guy Wilson & Freddie Smith are rocking these scenes along with Christopher Sean. I will miss Freddie since he has decided to leave the show but I have confidence that we will be seeing him in other projects in the near future.

I remain a loyal Will & Sonny fan myself. It is the best storyline right now on DAYS!

Will and Sonny and Paul are about a cheating storyline. What’s great about that? Especially since absolutely everyone cheats on soaps – as said by Guy apparently. It’s pathetic how they destroyed a storyline that once had weight and impact. Now they are like any other lame story on soaps. I’m stunned how people can call this great. Soap-mentality at its finest. Groundbreaking would be if they wrote poignant storylines with depth and meaning, conveying something that betters the viewers minds and opinions. Not the same old lame “get everyone in bed with everyone”. It stuns me that fans call this the best storyline. Admit it, all you are interested in is to see hunks get it on with other hunks. It’s pretty sad, if you think about it. And worse is, Freddie is out and people are running to see who could replace him. Talk about loyalty…

I really hope Freddie wins. He deserves to with his work last year and this year as well for next years Emmy. I am Team WilSon all the way. I’m glad he is as well..for He is being very diplomatic, since there is such a debate about WilSon or PaulSon among the fans. He never lets anything slip. 🙂 I hope he has great success in whatever he is going to be doing from this point on. I will miss him as Sonny but he needs to do what is best for him so..I say Go for it Freddie!

Hey LeeAnn-

Exactly, as an actor, Freddie must do what’s right/best for him. It’s his career and, his reason(s) to exit DAYS has not been officially released as of yet. All that fans or non-fans can do, is speculate. I remain loyal to Will & Sonny, and when a recast steps into the role of Sonny, I will be rooting for Will & Sonny to mend their marriage and, watch their journey continue onward, together as a married couple, moving forward. I look forward to a recast, because for me, and I know many others, there are definitely loads of Team WilSon fans. I will miss Freddie, and he must do what’s right for him. Regardless of his reason(s) for not continuing with DAYS, I support his decision and wish him well. Fans should expect a Sonny recast in the next six months.

I love Freddie, and will really miss seeing his face on the show. I agree, Freddie did have a lot of material to consider using for his reel, and I would have preferred a different scene, I’m just not sure yet (without seeing the other contenders for Younger Actor), if this reel is winning material. I’m glad he incorporated his scene selection with Camila Banus in this particular scene, though, for me, I would have preferred some great moments he’s had with Judi Evans. Next year, Freddie can enter Supporting Actor, I don’t just see him duking it out, yet with the Jason Thompson’s, Billy Miller’s, Christian LeBlanc’s and Tony Geary’s.

Anyways, I look forward to having Freddie for another five months as our beloved Sonny. And, I do believe the show will recast the role. I mentioned before, that perhaps Sonny will leave Salem and, hang out with Alex in Phoenix, again, and return for the 50th anniversary with a new actor resuming the role. I wish Freddie all my best, he’s been such a gift to the show. Will follow him to see what he’s up to next!

He can’t go to Phoenix to hang out with Alex because Alex is already in Salem as Xander!

I guess so, right? I just caught up with yesterday’s reveal! How fascinating. So, he was living in Phoenix and, has an English accent? hmm… this should be an interesting.

Loving Paul in the role! 🙂

It turns out that Xander isn’t Alexander.

Really? Yesterday’s episode Xander called Victor his Uncle and, there was backstory, yet no mention of him being Sonny’s brother.
Was that all just to mislead viewers. Is he a fake Alexander? Brady didn’t recognize him. And, what happened to the role of Damon who worked for Victor played by Paul?

I’m not even sure the writers know.

I tried hard to like GW as Will but he’s just so-so ok with me…i believe the ptb are deliberatly turning Will into Sami—they know most Will fans dislike GW as Will so they are going to make us hate Will too as if it makes it easier for us to accept him in this role—i say send Will and Sonny off together to start a new life—have Paul move on to someone else—maybe Kaylas son Joey arrives in town and is gay—anyway, the Will/Sonny/Paul storyline has run its course—it was good for awhile and currently Days only good storyline but its starting to get old…with Freddie leaving write out Will too so Wilson can have a happy ending for now…both can return later as recast or stay away…plus its time to end this Eve/JJ pairing…i might had liked it if JJs father Jack was still around and was the one who confronted Eve over Eve and JJ sexual encounter instead of Dr. Dullniel Jonas—less of him the better—keep him away from Jen—she is more interesting when not in scenes with him—he could be more interesting too if he wasnt the only doctor at the hospital who must have a medical degree in every illness and surgery known to man!!!

I really wish sonny won’t leave the show or that’swhat i heard if its true please please ddon’t go. Your one of the reasons I watch the show. My grand daughter Britney loves you. So please you got our vote here Freddie please find your way to stay on the show….love ya and God Bless!!!


I wish you had asked him why he decided to leave I’m sure a lot of fans are curious cos it seemed so sudden. In any case I wish him all the best for the future he will definately be missed. I’m not a fan of Guy Wilson but I love Christopher Sean and Freddie, they really are amazing actors with great chemistry. TeamPaulSon for me.

Gosh, as part of the first gay married couple on daytime he didn’t even pick a scene with the guy he’s married to. Sad and telling at the same time. Or is it just that he didn’t want to pick a gay scene at all? And no word about his “departure” from Days.

Maybe his departure is temporary until he completes his community service.

Oh and, no, I do NOT hope he wins. He has used the popularity this role and fanbase gave him for his questionable cream business/cult enough. It’s a shame that this is the kind of “representation” gay men get on TV. There are openly gay actors out there who are way better actors, would concentrate on their work as actors and actually show some commitment to such an important role.

Huh? WTH are you talking about? Freddie is a fantastic actor

Freddie is going to win an Emmy this year watch and see.

I love Freddie and while I hope he wins I do think Tequan Richmond’s submission is (surprisingly) the best in his category. I think the panel will give it to TR.

I personally am Team PaulSon because Paul behaves maturely and Will is being a total jerk! It’s going to be really interesting to see how it all plays out and what his exit will be (recast, killed off, or just off the canvas?)

And Freddie definitely has great material for a Lead Actor nomination (and win – however, that pesky Tony Geary really delivered in the 52nd anniversary episode, unfortunately) – I would pick the episode where Sonny and Will talk about what happened between Will and Paul – his anger, hurt, vulnerability were all pitch perfect and Emmy-worthy! (:

I will look forward to the next five months of seeing my favorite actor on Days! (:

When Sonny leaves, have nuWill leave as well and return as a new actor.

Will miss seeing you. You are the only reason I began to watch that SOAP after 30 years plus. I certainly hope you have another exciting project in the making. I know that Renee and Fred and Grandma Fran and all the relatives are very proud of what you have accomplished. Good luck in the future, Freddie.

Are you related to Freddie or a friend of his family?

im officially done with days until kirsten returns, i couldnt believe that the days prodction staff reused the ‘ office’ set for the upteenth time as sonny s coffee shops office when paul took off his wet clothes. brutal. they didnt even try to make it look different than say, marlena s office, or hope s office , or kayla s office or daniel n jenns office!
same window in the corner, same awkward door, same paint job!!
hey i need a job , come cheap, and can move furniture around and am a pretty good painter! is days hiring?
sorry, show looks like shit. maybe get rid of ben, clyde and daniel and use the extra $ for some sets.

i hope he dumps will and takes paul back .

I am hoping he comes back. He has Community Service he has to make happen in Ohio.
Once that is finished I am hoping he comes back to Days. If not then I might quit watching all together.

Why doesn’t Freddie communicate with his online fans about any of this? He has been totally disconnected from anything that has to do with DAYS. Some of last year’s video/online interviews, you only see Guy talk or Christopher. Freddie hasn’t mentioned anything about his nomination on social media, nor about his exit. I guess he knows it was a pity-nomination, because they couldn’t be arsed to nominate him last year for a really excellent and important work, rather than a cheating storyline. Interesting also the reel he submitted. Nothing to do with new Will at all. He knows the WilSon’s storyline has evolved in the totally wrong direction. That’s probably why he didn’t renew. Best decision ever.

— “So, I got to be Team WilSon … for now!” —

Ha! Freddie choosing WilSon and not PaulSon is a joke. Of course he has to say that, but it’s clear he prefers PaulSon even if it means he likes the cheating storyline. But new WilSon is a disaster, so I woudn’t like that pairing anymore either.

we want Wills character to leave not yours. sorry Will but you are not cutting it as the husband of Sonny…….LOL

All My Children

Soap Favorites Jason Cook, Brytni Sarpy and Jacob Young Visit the Michael Fairman Channel

On Wednesday night, February 28, Four for Fun, the movie written and directed by former Days of our Lives and General Hospital star, Jason Cook (ex-Shawn-Douglas; ex-Matt, respectively), which stars Brytni Sarpy (Elena, Y&R) and Jacob Young (ex-JR, AMC, Lucky, GH, and Rick, B&B), will have its premiere as part of The Golden State Film Festival.

If you’re in the Southern California area, tickets for the festival and to see Four for Fun showing at 7:30pm PT can be found here.

In the premise of the film, a dinner party between two couples experiencing eleven different endings, all of which points to the same conclusion – the best possible life comes from the one lived the most in the present. Sarpy and Young play one of the couples and actors Donovan Patton and Annika Foster, play the other.

Photo: FourforFun

After its premiere at the festival, on the next night, Jason, Brytni and Jacob will visit You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel for a livestream conversation about the making of the film, working with each other, and a discussion on their numerous soap opera roles and much more.

It all begins on Thursday night, February 29th beginning at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT. Make sure to join us in the live chat, so you can ask your questions and share your comments with this talented trio.

Photo: FourforFun

Check out the trailer for Four for Fun below, followed by how to watch the livestream interview.

Then, drop any questions you would like us to pose to Jason, Brytni and Jacob in the comment section, and we just might ask it live on Thursday night.


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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Blake Berris to Chat Live on the Michael Fairman Channel as Everett & Bobby’s Story Heats Up

The tale of Everett Lynch and Bobby Stein is starting to reveal itself on Peacock’s Days of our Lives, which puts returning cast member, Blake Berris front and center in story.

On Monday’s, February 26th episode of DAYS, the results of Everett’s CAT scan indicate he suffered a traumatic brain injury which jives with his story that he was in a car accident and spent in a year in a coma, or does it?

Stephanie (Abigail Klein) and Everett are reeling that Everett as Bobby Stein was married to Jada Hunter (Elia Cantu) and treated her badly. While Everett claims he doesn’t remember anything about his time as Bobby, despite his fingerprints matching those of Robert Stein’s, Marlena (Deidre Hall) ponders if he could be suffering from PTSD, which might explain his memory loss.


Everett wonders if he has a brain tumor, but Marlena points out that they would have found it on the CAT scan. While there is no obvious reason for his memory loss, Kayla wonders if he is faking his amnesia? Marlena tells Everett that she is a psychiatrist and they should set up sessions immediately. Will it be revealed that Everett and Bobby are split personalities living inside one man?

Blake Berris is set to chat about the latest storyline developments and more, when he visits the Michael Fairman Channel on Wednesday, February 28th beginning at 3 pm ET/Noon PT.  Make sure to join Michael and Blake in the live chat for your turn to share your questions and thoughts on the story.

Photo: JPI

Days of our Lives fans first met Blake when he played the character of Nick Fallon who was eventually murdered in 2014. Later, Nick made a few return appearances from ‘the grave’, in 2021 and 2023. Recently, Blake returned to the show in his newly-minted role of Everett Lynch at the end of October of last year.

Blake will talk about portraying Everett/Bobby, plus working his co-stars, and being a dad to his three boys, and more.  You can catch the livestream below.

Now, let us know, what is your theory about Everett Lynch and Bobby Stein? Looking forward to hearing what Blake has to say? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives Legendary Susan Seaforth Hayes Talks on the Horton House Fire Storyline, Mourning the Loss of Husband Bill Hayes & His Near-to-Final Performances

It has been an emotional time for longtime fans of Days of our Lives and beloved veteran, Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie Williams). On-screen, the iconic Horton home was burned to the ground in what appears to be a storyline-dictated decision that shocked many. In real life, Susan is mourning the loss of her husband and DAYS enduring favorite, Bill Hayes (Doug Williams), who passed away at 98 in January. Over the weekend, during the 2024 SAG Awards In Memoriam tribute, Hayes was remembered along with other motion pictures and television stars whom we lost over the past year.

Since the Peacock streaming soap opera tapes months ahead of air, the Horton home fire and its aftermath are currently playing out in all-new episodes with more on this story featuring Susan to come. Bill Hayes also appeared in several of these episodes making it all the more touching and heartfelt.

When Julie came back to the Horton home to see what remained of it after the fire, Days of our Lives fans were treated to a heart-tugging episode that streamed last Wednesday, February 21st. In it, newly-taped scenes of a young Tom (Zach Chyz) and Alice (Sydney Kathrann Smith) Horton telling the story of how they came to live in the house to raise their children, juxtaposed with Julie and Doug (and members of their family and friends), surveying what’s left of the beloved house, brought many a tear.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Susan Seaforth Hayes for this very candid and heartfelt conversation to get her feelings on the Horton house fire, and being given the opportunity to have a storyline at this point in her storied career. In addition, Susan provides some insight on what it was like for her ailing late husband to tape scenes at DAYS shortly before his death, what the series plans to do about writing off the character of Doug while honoring the legacy of Bill Hayes, and how she knew she had the greatest love affair that anyone could hope for in their lifetime, which in turn, has inspired all of us.

Photo: JPI

I was shocked when they decided to burn down the Horton house. Were you at first devastated … and did you know that there would be a big story surrounding it?

SUSAN: I did not know how big a story was with it. I knew that many years ago, another regime had planned on trashing the set and getting rid of the set because nobody cared about the Hortons anymore. It was stopped by one person, and I was eternally grateful for that. This time I thought, “Oh, my goodness! I guess I’ll be meeting people for a cup of coffee at the Horton Square. No home, no roots, no reason to be called in,” and thinking that’s the end of Julie. That’s the end of Doug and Julie. Then, when they began to structure a story around it, I think all of this came up during the writer’s strike. So of course, I was curious to see how this was going to turn out. I enjoyed the aftermath, because in the aftermath, and a little bit before the fire, if you saw the show, I get to talk a bit about the history of the household and the people in it.

Photo: JPI

In the special episode that aired last Wednesday, Julie gave Leo (Greg Rikaart) the family tree history of the Hortons for his story in the Spectactor.

SUSAN:  I’ve had a couple of good long soliloquies about the past. I’m fated to be the character that does that because I’m the one still standing. I must say, I do enjoy doing them. Emotionally, all I have to do is rerun some of the actors and my own family in my mind and the emotion starts to come, you know, the emotion starts to flow.

Julie talks to Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) immediately after the fire. She is upset that the Horton family Christmas ornaments are gone. Fans were not happy that they could possibly have burned up. Thank God! There was a happy ending when they were located and unscathed, or there would have been hell to pay! 

SUSAN: I knew that they were in the prop room and that they still existed. But how much they were going to put a story around their loss, I did not know. We don’t get to ponder the plot. We just get to show up and start doing it. I think on this particular matter, something as important as a structure of the original set of the show, there’s been quite a bit of interest. So, I can appreciate that.

Photo: JPI

I was thinking, ‘Did they decide to burn the house down, because they were finally retiring the old Horton home set?’ What was the purpose of it?

SUSAN: They’ve done everything to make quicker set changes, which is remarkable and very efficient right now. The set designer said, “I’ll be interested in your input,” which was nice. The one thing that I loved that had been done, didn’t work. You couldn’t shoot into it. It was a federal mirror over the mantle. I loved it. The size was perfect. I was just delighted. And then, we tried to shoot it, and because of the roundness of the mirror, you got a perfect view of camera one and camera three. So, it came down.

This is Julie’s project to renovate the home. She’s determined to bring back all the memories and redo it?

SUSAN: Absolutely, which is another nice note to play for my character. She’s determined to make the house something that her grandparents would recognize and still feel comfortable in.

Photo: JPI

What did you think of the episode that just aired where the show incorporated flashbacks of a young Tom and Alice Horton?

SUSAN: Well, I set it up. They had their own their own lovely scenes. I read them, and I’m sure the audience was charmed.

What do you remember when you first came to DAYS, and you were in that house, in that set?

SUSAN: What did I notice about the set? I noticed that it was a strange shade of green. (Laughs) It was explained to me that that dull color meant that your face would pop on color TV. I understood that. I loved the little window up the staircase. I’ve always loved that. And at one time, there was a model of the house that sat on the set on its own little pedestal, a little playhouse of the exterior of the house. Whenever the house was on (and remember this is when we were a half-hour and practically live, but not live, because there was no editing), there would also be the sound of a barking dog whenever we reached the Horton house neighborhood. We never saw the dog, but I’m sure his name was “Spot”, and I’m sure he belonged to someone.

PhotoL JPI

You shared so many scenes with Frances Reid (Alice) and MacDonald Carey (Tom) in the Horton living room set and up till they passed. Did they get along well with Bill? Looking back, how was your relationship with them?

SUSAN: They loved him. Well, Mac and Billy had worked together before in theater. Mac was very kind to me at the beginning and helpful. Frances was as well. As Frances got older, she got a bit testy. When someone says, “You’re not going to read the line like that … are you?” It catches your attention. (Laughs). I got peeved at Frances from time to time, but her intent was always to make everything as good as it possibly could be. I saw her come back from her stroke. learn to talk again, learn to do it all again. Not do it easily, but to do it at all was wonderful, and the same with Mac. In his last shows, he was very frail, but we’re actors. We liked being there.

Photo: JPI

During the taping of the episodes surrounding the Horton house fire, Bill was mostly in them with you. How was Bill doing at the time you taped these scenes?

SUSAN: He was okay. He was up for it. He had difficulty moving at that point. So, they restricted his movement a lot. Bill always enjoyed coming to work a lot, and it was extremely difficult for him because he was blind, and didn’t move very well. And now, to do a scene with people who may or may not, have rehearsed with you, who may or may not, give you the exact cue, and when they are attempting to have you look each other in the eye, you can’t see who’s eyes they are, that was the hard part. The easy part was working with him, which was lovely and was a gift. It was a gift from Corday Productions that he was able to work within three weeks of his death, which I thought was super and extraordinary.

Photo: JPI

That is amazing. Did Bill understand everything that was going on at the time of the tapings?

SUSAN: Absolutely. He understood what was going on. He just couldn’t see it or touch it.

The timing couldn’t have been easy for you with Bill’s declining health, and that the show was going to burn down the Horton home where you shared so many scenes and memories.

SUSAN: Well, it hasn’t been my greatest stretch. But I knew that life would be like this. I’ve had five decades of an absolutely wonderful, blessed marriage and a chance to work and a chance to live in my own home and travel, all good. And now, we’re going to have the epilogue. And the epilogue is the hard part, seeing rapid change around you and losing the people that were the center of your life. I’ve just been very fortunate to have cultivated some wonderful friendships, and to have a wonderful large family of Hayeses.

Photo: JPI

You do realize that you and Bill were the gold-standard of what we all should be lucky enough to have in our lives. What an incredible, beautiful, passionate, loving marriage that the two of you had. You don’t see marriages like that anymore. We were all just in awe of the two of you. To us, it was the greatest love affair. You got to have that which is so extraordinary.

SUSAN: I know, and it was all Bill. I mean, any idiot could have been married to Bill Hayes and been deliriously happy. The guy was so perfect in every way that you really would have to pick something and blow it out of proportion to ever complain about any of his traits of character. He was just all good character, goodwill, and good humor. I just followed along and tried to live my life for him, with him, and follow his style, which I hope to carry on. I hope to be as good to people as he was to people, and, not be selfish.

Photo: JPI

I always remembered how the two of you would come to the studio with your suitcases, ready to work no matter what material, large or small, they gave you. You showed up. You just had such great work ethic and you don’t see that as much anymore.

SUSAN: At the moment, it’s hard to find it everywhere. I think it’s probably generational. You cannot get too angry at people that are still holding up their phones in the one rehearsal that we have. I think it’s more convenient to receive your work electronically, but somehow it doesn’t seem quite as real. You don’t have a script in your hand anymore unless you print one up yourself.  Sometimes you haven’t met the person you’re working with. Well, that’s not unusual, but no rehearsal at all, that’s kind of marvelously new.

Photo: JPI

Does Julie lean on anybody for emotional support as she tries to rebuild the Horton home. Who’s there for her?

SUSAN: As far as I can tell, nobody. I’m supposed to be the wise woman, and Marlena (Deidre Hall) is supposed to be the other wise woman. I haven’t had any scenes with Marlena for help. I would think Marlena would be the person I would be going to for grief counseling, for friendship, for all of that. I haven’t seen it in the scripts, yet. I’m still deeply entwined with Chad’s (Billy Flynn) storyline.

How is Billy Flynn to work with?

SUSAN: A pleasure. Billy Flynn has grown a lot as a human being and as an actor since I’ve known him. I’m really enjoying his company and really enjoying doing scenes with him. We rehearse and then we get on other subjects and laugh and talk and inform each other. We’re interested in a lot of the same things. He’s a new parent. He’s really devoting himself to that, to that experience in the best possible way. So, I’m lucky.

Do Julie and Chad try to figure out who set the fire?

SUSAN: Oh yeah.

Photo: JPI

I kept thinking about how Julie got burned in the kitchen fire years ago and her face was scarred, At the time, your mother Elizabeth Harrower was writing DAYS and wrote that for Julie. Did you hate that story?

SUSAN: Well, I know where the story came from. It came up from something in mother’s own life. I knew the people involved, and I wasn’t crazy in love with the idea. Then, when it was supposed to go for six weeks and went on for months and months, I was concerned. Mainly, I was concerned that my face was going to be affected because of the appliance, the scars, that I was wearing. I was told by a dermatologist, “You’re going to have a little beard after this. Ripping your face every single day to get this off is going to be hard on you.” But, I seem to have survived.

Has the show even addressed with you how they plan to handle writing-off the character of Doug Williams, and how they want to honor Bill?

SUSAN: Only in the smallest way. I had a conference call with the producers and our head writer last Friday. I was informed about the immediate, immediate future. I’ve also been promised that they’re going to keep me busy. It’s a cast of over 40 people. I’ll be happy to show up and to be included.

Photo: JPI

I was just hoping that whatever they decide to do with the character of Doug that they were going to run it by you, first.

SUSAN: They have, and they have been very sweet about it.  I’ve got to tell you, this regime, they have a sign up on the wall now, that says, Things we expect on this stage.”  The first one at the top of the list is “kindness.”

Have you watched your work back all these years? I know some actor’s never like to watch the scenes they taped.

SUSAN: I think you learn by watching yourself, if you have an open mind, and if you are not hypercritical, or dismissive. I cannot be dismissive of a character that has given me such a wonderful life. I’m still interested in Julie, perhaps I wouldn’t have been if I’d been on the show for three years and never returned to it. But I’m quite interested in her now, and what she has to offer as a member of this ensemble.

Photo: JPI

Julie’s ties to the whole history of Days of our Lives from this point on are very important. How do you feel about that?

SUSAN:  There are those that don’t care about the history of the show. I know that. I know there are those that only care about continuing with something snappy to keep eyes on the screen through action, adventure, drama, death, kidnapping, missed opportunities, all that, which I suppose that’s what the audience craves. But, that’s not just what the show can do. What the show can do so well is character. There’s a lot of people over 70 who are still on the show now. I’m the oldest one, but I’m not the only one. We’re coming up on the 60th anniversary. I don’t think the show is worn out. And if it is, it’s had a remarkably successful six decades.

Lamon Archey (Eli) is back on DAYS for a stint. What has it been like to work with Lamon as his on-screen grandmother?

SUSAN: I think he’s terrific and visually he is so beautiful, so appealing. I think both Eli and Lani (Sal Stowers) are very appealing as characters. I’m delighted to be connected to Eli as a family member. That was a lucky break for me.

Photo: JPI

Do you think DAYS fans are going to continue to be emotional in the aftermath of this fire and all the story that comes out of it? Do you think we’ll be touched by what Julie goes through to get the remains all cleaned up for a new house?

SUSAN: I think anybody in America who’s gone through a disaster, and have unfortunately had the disruption of their home, will be sympathetic and interested in how it all turns out. It’s a nice note to play. We haven’t had to do that very often. We just go from one lovely apartment to another without much discussion. I think this is the one set that meant a lot to people. I was very sorry to lose “Julie’s Place,” as it turned into kind of a sandwich shop. I still loved having a business, a tangible place to be, and an alternate place for people to meet.

Photo: NBC

Upon reflection, what was your favorite scene with Bill? Was it when Julie and Doug got married on-screen, or was it something else that was much more intimate?

SUSAN: I think our last scene is going to be more important, emotionally. I think the first wedding was beautiful, but the material around the time of our second wedding, when Brenda Benet (ex-Lee) came back on the show and Doug stood up to her and says, “I’m not going to be manipulated anymore,” was also strong. There has been a lot of very important times – when Doug was killed-off by James Reilly, and we met in the tunnel of light. That was a day. That was a difficult day, which I certainly can’t revisit right now emotionally. When Julie found out Doug had run off and married her mother, Addie, that was a day. It was a day because, I went to the producer at the time, Jack Herzberg, and said, “Is this it? Am I not going to work with him anymore?”And he said, “Right! That’s it. You’re not working with Bill Hayes anymore.” We were not married at the time, and I thought I was going to go through the floor! That wasn’t a happy day.

Photo: JPI

In terms of Bill’s final day on the set with you, did you know that it was his last, and what would turn out to be his last scene?

SUSAN: Well, they didn’t know. But I knew. I had been allowed to rewrite it. So, I can’t tell you Bill’s last line now, of course, but I will in time.

What do you think about the sentiments shared by Susan on her late husband, and this storyline? How do hope the show properly honors Bill and Doug Williams when the series writes-off the character? Are you enjoying the Horton house fire story arc or does it upset you too much? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Airdate: 7-24- 2023