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Days Of Our Lives

Kassie DePaiva CONFIRMS She Has Been Let Go From Days of our Lives!

Courtesy/KassieDePaiva.com

Courtesy/KassieDePaiva.com

Sunday on her own terms, Kassie DePaiva confirmed her exit from Days of our Lives after reports and rumors have been swirling over the past few weeks.  The former star of One Life to Live where she played Blair Cramer for over 20 years, took over the role of Eve Donovan on DAYS back on-screen in 2014.

On her website blog KassieDePaiva.com, the actress addressed her departure from Salem to her fans, and thanked them for their continued support.  Currently on-air, Eve is the middle of high drama following the murder of her daughter, Paige (True O’Brien), and the imminent arrival of her ex-flame, Eduardo played by Daytime Emmy winner A Martinez.

Here is an excerpt below of what Kassie had to share  about being let go from the NBC daytime drama series, which is about to have it’s golden anniversary this November.

Kassie DePaiva: “As the sand runs out of my hourglass over at Days … I have no regrets.  I had a truly remarkable experience there.  From the beginning as Eve showed up in town and throughout her bumpy ride through Salem it has all been a good time for me. I got to work with people that I have admired for many years.  I especially want to thank Melissa Reeves, True O’ Brien, Casey Moss, Jen Lilley, Wally Kurth and A Martinez.  They each helped me find the ‘real’ Eve.  It saddens me to have been let go from the show just as Eve was finally finding her footing… but that is the way the Soap business goes. Characters come and go just as actors, writers, and producers.  Some we love… Some we hate… But fortunately for all of us the stories still go on. Keep watching and here’s to 50 more years of Days of our Lives.”

Look for On-Air On-Soaps in-depth interview with DePaiva on her departure in the coming weeks!

So, what do you think about the news that Kassie was indeed let go from the show?  Are you sad to know that she is gone?  Do you think the the character should have been kept on the Salem canvas?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Melissa
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Melissa

She’s such a class act .. not a Dool fan
(Always watch abc soaps) but tuned in to see
Her from time to time..Not sure this was
A great choice for Day’s..She has a
Huge following..I wish her well !
Now if GH would pick her back up!

Tim S.
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Tim S.

Exactly what I was going to write. .”what a class ACT!!”

Beth
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Beth

Classy lady, classy exit. Kassie has handled this in the most professional way. The problem with her time on DOOL is that when she mentioned the actors on DOOL with whom she’d worked and whom she wanted to thank, she pretty much thanked the only six actors with whom she’d worked in the last year or so. You’re really up against the wall when you only interact with the same few actors over and over again, and one-third of them (A Martinez, Wally Kurth) she only started to work with in the last few months of her time on the… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Thank you Beth, beautifully stated “…she pretty much thanked the only six actors with whom she’d worked in the last year or so ” yeah, it just smarts, rankles, and pisses me off that DAYS production… didn’t have the hindsight… and foresee the obvious love from the audience… and the potential and gold they had in this beloved LEADING Lady…. ugh! therin… i’m livid at all the possibilities Kassie DePaiva’ Eve could have flown and helmed with… especially knowing… A. Martinez, Wally Kurth, and those cast members associated with these two men… she could have rallied befriend allied provoked tryst… Read more »

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
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Jimh(leave it to beaver)

At first, her version of Eve and a snooze of-a-storyline turned me off, especially when she bedded JJ but i saw a turnaround and started to like her in the role…in the beginning when Eve showed up there shouldv’e been hints Paige might be Jack’s daughter or Frankie’s and thats what Eve used to break up Paige and JJ…well, if Eve isnt killed off the could always bring the character back with her or Charlotte Ross if either one is available!!!

Claudio
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Claudio

Yes Jim, they should try to bring back Charlotte Ross. She played the role the best. Nothing against Kassie, but she just was not Eve. She had the southern twang. LOL. I LOVED Kassie as Blair on One Life To LIve, she was wonderful in the role.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Maybe they are and thats why they let Kassie go?

boes
Guest
boes

I love Kassie and I loved getting to see her on DOOL. She’s a truly remarkable performer and gave us Blair Cramer, a character I won’t ever forget. I enjoyed her on Days a lot and I’ll miss seeing her onscreen.
I hope we get to see her in something again soon and I wish her the very best always.

Iakovos
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Iakovos

So sad about this casting decision. Clearly current writers did not feel Eve had a place anymore. I hope I see Kassie dePaiva on screen again soon somewhere. She is awesome to watch. And again here, as she was during the OLTL cancellation and reboot, a class act. Applause, applause!

SZima
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SZima

TPTB wrote Eve as a one-note character who’s life revolved around Paige. W/O her daughter, unfortunately she had no where to go.

What they SHOULD have done is cast James DePaiva as Paige’s father and show Eve “maturing” now that her daughter is gone.

Mateo
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Mateo

Quite simply: Kassie DePaiva was one of the best things to have ever happened to DAYS. She brought it every time she was on screen, even with the previous sub par writers. Her scenes regarding Paige’s death were on the level that no other actor on DAYS can bring with the exception of Billy Flynn. After Eileen Davidson left for Y&R, they continued bringing in younger actors who really left a lot to be desired. We are left with an aging cast – John, Marlena, Victor, Maggie, Julie, Doug and the like who are pretty much snooze fests on screen.… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

I do not know

that, it’s over doing it
that, it’s overwrought

or just command

that DAYS acknowledge a grievance

letting go… one of the best of the best… is glaring

will not be forgotten
in this day and age of what is

a treasured lead

dang it ! sub par …

we know that…

DAYS production is greasing the wheel… culling from… and whetting their experience vs. audience

how disingenuous to expect … ?

i’m indignant riled and in an uproar to cave

“…Quite simply: Kassie DePaiva was one of the best things to have ever happened to DAYS “

Darren
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Darren

We need Erika as the new Laura Horton and Jerry Ver Dorn as the new Bill Horton. That would make my day. Also bring Leann Hunley back as Anna Dimera.

Darren
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Darren

I meant Erika Slezak ex Viki OLTL. Lol

Marc
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Marc

Heard a lot about the “excitement ” happening at Days. Well it certainly isnt exciting to the fans of the show who havent watched since 1985 . All I see are great actors and characters being sacrificed for the relics and fossils of decades long ago .

Apparently Corday and the powers that be learned absolutely nothing from the summer disaster of Genie Francis returning in Port Charles when ratings hit an all time low 🙁

Mike
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Mike

I get what you are saying in your first paragraph. TPTB are putting an awful lot on characters that haven’t been on screen or driven story in several years. Once all these 50 – 60 year old actors are brought back, and the initial love fest is over … then what? There is a place for them for sure, but between them, the new kids being brought on, the show is missing a chunk of actors in the age group in between 18 – 50. Glaring problem there. But I have to disagree what you seem to be saying in… Read more »

Joel
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Joel

In a perfect soap world, there always needs to be a good balance of age groups with the characters featured. You have audiences that have watched since the beginning who know and love these veteran characters, some that started watching in later years and continue to do so, and you have your new watchers. Everyone should have story opportunity, but returning veterans shouldn’t be brought on just as a gimmick to prop up another character’s story or for a temporary ratings spike! They should have purposed, whether it be for a limited run or on contract to further their own… Read more »

Lellingw
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Lellingw

The show needs its vets and restructure the entire GH. The younger characters don’t have much bite and everyone just wants to fight and kill each other. Today the show went on and on about If Morgan kills Julian he’ll go to prison. No concern of Julian as a human being and saving his life because he matters. If Morgan had killed Julian, then he should go to prison but we know on GH that is the thing that will happen. The older characters have a lot of value to build community and and family structure. Morgan should be going… Read more »

KAREN
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KAREN

DDOL……HUGE MISTAKE!!! YOU JUST LET GO OF THE BEST ACTRESS ON YOUR SHOW!

Emma
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Emma

Days made the right decision period, Kassie was not right for the role as Eve. I love Kassie, but she was totally wrong for the role.

Tim S.
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Tim S.

I agree with you Emma!! Great actress and she did a good job, but there was not connection as Eve.. Eve was very impactful years ago and us who watched then…. were def vested in the actress who played her.. Never thought Cassie was in the right role …..I am excited to see what Cassie will do next.. I will be watching!!

carol
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carol

I think Days is not doing a very smart thing in letting Kassie go.I loved watching her perform and in the past week I have cried along with Eve .Good lord Days why?.She was the best one on your show.To be honest I never heard of Kassie until days but I quickly became a huge fan.I for one will miss her.

Linda
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Linda

I dont watch Days but was glad Kassie got a soap role after OLTL. I loved her on that show and was surprised that she never got an emmy. I wish ABC would offer her a role on GH.

Betty
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Betty

I think eve played her part ,I didn’t think that she should have slept with J J ….. that was just sick ….. I believe she was a true drama queen with Jennifer ….it won’t be the same without her or Piage I’m glad Eve is done …I only wish Piage hadn’t left and her and J J didn’t get back together.. now can we please get rid of Treasa.

Pamela
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Pamela

Me too Betty, happy Eve will be gone. Theresa needs to be killed off the show. She is annoying and needs to be murdered. Theresa needs to go away.

Willa Sargent
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Willa Sargent

I like Kassie, i sure did not like her role as Eve… if her character could have been redeemed and at least act more decent than to sleep with her daughter boyfriend JJ..i am really shocked DAYS let Kassie go…a shocker!!! she very classy professional, her kind words is huge plus as it shows her true self to be loving, kind. & she is great actress!!!…unlike EVE!!! i sure wish she is not killed off, but who knows right now…i wonder why DAYS let her go…..

Michael
Guest
Michael

Sad news. Sooner or later, Days ALWAYS does the same thing. They bring back a popular character from the past, hoping to strike gold one more time. Inevitably, for one reason or another- usually poor writing if storyline- and the character leaves the canvas again. DePavia is such a really good actress, they could have done so much more in writing for her character.

Torqumada
Guest
Torqumada

Aptly put.

I also agree with the person who said she only had scenes with a handful of actors. The was stuck playing the same three scenes over and over.

She’s a fine actress. It’s the writing that let her down.

Ces
Guest
Ces

she was never right for the part of Eve.

Lia
Guest
Lia

Going to miss her….There were more stories for Eve. Would love to see Bold and the Beautiful hire this lady as a love interest for Ridge or Bill. So sick of Caroline and Katie on that show.

Karen
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Karen

Her Daytime career is over. Kassie had a good run
time to move on.

Lia
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Lia

Not sure how you know her career in Daytime is over unless you’re privy to information the rest of us aren’t. Until you share…I will continue to believe such a great actress will continue working in Daytime or in any other genre. Thanks for replying…

Jack Burke
Guest
Jack Burke

How do YOU know that her daytime career is over? What’s that supposed to mean – no offense, but frankly, that’s a worthless, inane comment. I thought she did well with the role of the not terribly likable Eve. I am sorry to see her exit the canvas, while the writers are concentrating on archaic characters from many years ago, trying to re-energize old storylines that probably should remain where they were left. I, as a newer viewer, do not particularly find the scenes between Marlena and John all that enthralling, nor do I especially care that “Patch” is back… Read more »

DYLAN
Guest
DYLAN

What?!?!? An age appropriate love story on Bold and Beautiful? Do those happen? LOL. They would cast her as yet another transgender character and tell another fairy tale that has Ridge and Bill fighting over him/her. If B and B had normal writers with any talent, they could write a cool story for Kassie…maybe she could be Kristin Forrester! The last one was certainly not a very good actress. She could be a really commanding presence, and yes, her and Don Diamont would be good together! but that show has an incredibly embarrassing track record of wasting some of the… Read more »

Mo
Guest
Mo

It does seem peculiar to let her go now that they’ve brought on an ex-husband. Why didn’t they just have Eve and Paige leave town rather than kill Paige if Eve was going to leave too? It just doesn’t make sense.

I wish Kassie much success.

Gmbenet
Guest
Gmbenet

I thoroughly enjoyed Kassie as Eve. Not upset about her departure from Days IF there is the possibility of a return. The writers and/or producers messed up when they had Eve sleep with JJ. Eve leaving Salem after Paige’s death is a logical ending to that story, if that is how it will play out.

I would like to see Eve return at some point in the future and get a fresh start in Salem. So I hope the writers did not kill her off.

Dino
Guest
Dino

I saw this coming, Kassie is a wonderful actress. She was miscast as Eve, Charlotte Ross was the original eve, she played the role from 1987 to 1991. she was the best Eve, but Kassie grew on me as Eve. When her daughter paige was murdered, and Eve went to the morgue I started crying. Kassie needs to win a emmy next year. I loved Kassie on OLTL as Blair Cramer. GH or The Bold and The Beautiful need to hire Kassie Depaiva.

brian
Guest
brian

Let’s live in soap fantasy….now with Kassie being let go, Melissa also being let go, Ron being fired….one can only hope a ONE LIVE TO LIFE re-re-boot is coming.

Wendy
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Wendy

No no no, I have mourned OLTL. Time to move on. OLTL is never coming back, I have accepted it finally.

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

Oh Brian, let us pray!!!!!!!!!

brian
Guest
brian

and I forgot Michael Easton. Sorry, but it just seems all the OLTL cast is available

Jack Burke
Guest
Jack Burke

I wish that were true…well, one never knows.
I will say, as I have said too many times, that ABC-TV made a mistake in letting both All MY CHILDREN and OLTL go.

JJ
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JJ

Yes let’s hope so!!! OLTL is the best soap to ever air!!

Grace Ippolito
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Grace Ippolito

I have been a fan of Miss DePaiva, and her resl life husband (Max, on OLTL) for many years. I was very happy she had joined Days and hate that she has been let go. Her character had alot to look forward to as one of the “bad guys” which she played so well. Her acting ability reaches its height when she is dealing with the death of her daughter. She had me in tears. Good luck in the future.

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

I agree with everything you said.

Jamesj75
Guest
Jamesj75

Soap producers and network executives make idiotic decisions all the time.

This news about Kassie DePaiva is just the latest.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

The new writers are taking away any good potential for story line and adding old, overused characters to just make DOOL much worse…very frustrating show and very disappointing.

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

Having only watched Days for a little over a year, I tend to agree with you. But, I’m trying to keep an open mind. I really enjoyed Stephen Nichols on GH and Y&R. Here so far, I’m underwhelmed. I’m trying to give it time.

JJ
Guest
JJ

It just keeps getting worse. I will stop watching on Kassie’s last day. Eve is the only character that is exciting and can hold my attention. No wonder DOOL is last in the ratings. I bet they’ll lose even more viewers too.

Laurie
Guest
Laurie

Super sad to see her go. Loved her as Eve, it is not the actresses fault that her material was terrible. Would rather have had her given a longer chance with a better story. Her parting words are gracious, and prove what a class act she is.

meg g
Guest
meg g

I love Eve ! She is a great character played by a great actress, I cried along as she grieved for Paige, I am pretty sure she had everyone bawling. Sorry to see her go. I hope she shows up on Y&R,,the only other soap I am hooked on.

Ellen
Guest
Ellen

I would love to see Kassie on The Young and The Restless. Cast her as a new Character.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

“…It saddens me to have been let go from the show just as Eve was finally finding her footing… ”

bar none… she’s “one” of, if not the best, of the entire genre…

she carried
she caught my attention
she never let up
she shared her presence

Days production erred on their part

I haven’t been this caught up in a leading lady… in a very long time

and it’s Ms. DePaiva

“Thank You, Kassie”

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I wholeheartedly agree. Kassie is a powerhouse and deserves better story and a show that treats her like royalty. Brava, Kassie! We will mIss you and look forward to your next endeavour.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

she… may…. not have…. been “right” … for the role

but she sure made us watch

I was riveted… because DAYS after EJ and Sami / and / Will and Sonny / and Kristen departure

who did DAYS have left…

Kassie DePaiva’ Eve

that’s saying something… that put her at the top of the cast LEAD

DAYS Production ? figure that out !

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

I have been so very upset since I first heard this news. Kassie is a wonderful actress with a tremendous range. The scenes since Eve learned of Paige’s death have been so raw, so real and so heartbreaking. Kassie knocks every scene out of the park. There is so much potential for Eve’s at least partial rehabilitation after the tragedy of her daughter’s death. I was so hoping to see her develop some kind of relationship with Justin. The powers that be certainly missed the boat again on this decision. Her comments demonstrate once again what a truly closely lady… Read more »

mike
Guest
mike

She was the bright spot the last few months when the show was not that watchable. The are not many actors of her caliber around, some other show should snap her up. The lady is a true class act.

Lew S.
Guest
Lew S.

Again, desperate times equal desperate actions. The problem was not Kassie, but the writing. Bad decision by DAYS and I wish her the best. Oh, how I miss the old days of OLTL.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

NEW talent NEW artists NEW fans NEW renewed interest NEW blood NEW lifeline so many actors coming and going, in and out, of, said studio(s) this is at or near the biggest let… yeah, I was watching… as Eve , was home alone… mourning Paige and whats left of her life… and it was obviously clear… she had no one on that cast in which to share or bereave…. yet… I was riveted just watching Kassie DePaiva as the cast around her… was rallying … bringing in old is new talents as the cast around her… was celebrating … vim… Read more »

Paula
Guest
Paula

I loved her, she was so pretty and talented. I saw her just last night on an infomercial
for time life love songs. She was on with her husband and they were both very charming. She played Eve to perfection. Good Luck

James McDonald
Guest
James McDonald

The scene where Eve just had enough of it all and started to tear apart her living room was good acting. Compelling.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

“… where Eve just had enough”

made, me, cry

Eve’ journey

cut so short
as to affect my willingness to laud DOOL

yet I’ll circumvent a travesty and never forget .. may dim… to…

Days of OUR Lives is forefronting their vision

it’s a serious dismissal that firing something amiss stalls

Lindley Pablo
Guest
Lindley Pablo

Kassie is my absolute FAVORITE actress! She is kind and an just an incredible person all around. I will definitely miss her when she leaves Days Of Our Lives.

bnnie small
Guest
bnnie small

always liked Kassie no matter who sshe was playing. glad to see eve go but not Kassie. Wish her the best in her future

Tom
Guest
Tom

Big big rumor is, One Life To live could come back online or on ABC. They are trying to revive the soap. If this is true, we are all going to be happy. Heard this on the 6o clock news. I live in Vancouver BC Canada. what they are saying is, its going to be 30 minutes.

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

How I pray this will actually happen.

DYLAN
Guest
DYLAN

Hi Tom. I live in Canada too. I loved those shows as much as anyone else, but do you really not feel that those ships have sailed? I am not trying to be rude, or quash your enthusiasm. Those shows left the airwaves at a certain moment in time, with certain actors, and certain storylines. Time has passed, actors have moved on, fans have new shows to love. After being screwed around for so long, what makes anyone think that the actors from OLTL would even WANT to gear up for a fourth attempt at reviving that show? I liked… Read more »

M
Guest
M

Talented lady. She is available GH!!!! Make your move!!!

Mike
Guest
Mike

Sorry to say I could never get past thinking Kassie was all wrong for Eve. And her relentless hatred of Jennifer and JJ didn’t help. If I tried to think of her as a completely different character, I could accept her a bit more, but at the end of the day, the shadow of Charlotte Ross just hung over the role and the delicious story it would have been had she come back. That being said, Kassie BROUGHT IT to the scenes of Paige’s death. I fast forward through much of Eve’s scenes, but stopped for those – and the… Read more »

DYLAN
Guest
DYLAN

Hey Mike! Good casting suggestions!!!! Scroll down and read my long post about suggestions I made! I never really got the character of Jenny Eckert at all. But I LOVED Celia and Jimmy Lee! I don’t know what Steve Bond is doing these days, but I have been saying for years that Tom Eplin, formerly Jake on AW, should be the new Jimmy Lee. Last I heard he was not acting anymore, but there are a lot of rugged men in that 50 ish age range who could play redneck Jimmy Lee! Kassie as Celia would be awesome! They would… Read more »

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

Kassie’s acting is flawless, but this incarnation of Eve was poorly written. She had the unfortunate luck of the draw.

ivorylilly
Guest
ivorylilly

Theres nothing wrong with kassie acting the problem is the writers they give parts then they fade her then bring her back doing the same things that only works for a part for a young actor growing up shes just too old for the parts .

Eddie
Guest
Eddie

Another example of a wonderful talent who was given a role and a story line that wasted her acting skills. And, now that she’s finally getting scripts that make use of her abilities they decide to let her go.

Unbelievable.

I know she sings in the Christmas episode, which should be wonderful.

Jackie flowers
Guest
Jackie flowers

Glad she’s gone. I thought she was a bad actress. I tape it so I buzzed through her character when on. I didn’t dare for Paige either so don’t feel bad.

Rj
Guest
Rj

Kassie made a very nice statement. I wish her well. She is a strong actress, and she needed a bigger role, and more interaction with more characters. Her character was kept in a box with a limited storyline. I just keep thinking of her in that apartment. She was great as Blair on OLTL. Look forward to seeing her in other roles.

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

Kassie’s scenes today with A. Martinez were riveting. When Eve collapsed in grief into his arms, I almost collapsed on the couch. Eve has been a hell raising vixen that i’ve wanted to strangle. But now, her entire world is destroyed. You can’t help being moved for her. Kassie is doing a magnificent job.

DYLAN
Guest
DYLAN

I love Kassie. Everyone loves Kassie. At first I thought…Why Eve?? (I loathed the character in the 80’s and 90’s). I thought it woeful miscasting…but then thought…hey, Kassie is the recast Queen! Blair on OLTL was played by a short Asian actress, and Kassie is tall blonde and southern…lol…and Kassie made that role all her own. A side not to Michael Fairman…I have seen twice now that you have said Kassie played Blair for over 20 years. She didn’t, just for the record. If memory serves, Mia Korf played the role from 1991-1993, and Kassie took over in late 1993… Read more »

MBmomof3
Guest
MBmomof3

Thank you, Kassie for an amazing body of work. This long-time fan looks forward to seeing you in your next project! I’m truly going to miss you on my screen.

JJ
Guest
JJ

Good bye DOOL when Kassie is gone. I’ll have 5 more hours in my week to do other things. She’s honestly the only good thing that show has going. It’s amazing how many bores they keep on that show but let interesting characters leave. No wonder they have the lowest ratings! I bet they’ll keep dropping viewers too! Stupid mistake DOOL

Anne
Guest
Anne

I’m happy to see her go. Never did like her with her “over the top” “sweetheart” talk to Paige. But I am increasingly bored with the new writers. I used to cringe at the thought of the show being cancelled, but now it’s possible I might just decide not to watch. The story line is soooo boring, with conversations between the characters that go on for too long. It’s just bad writing overall. Sorry to say… BAD…

carol
Guest
carol

Oh one more thing ,whatever happened to the story where Eve was suppose to drive Jennifer crazy?I would have loved to have seen that.I knew something was up when they never really had Eve do or say anything about it.Whoops I forgot they did it twice .big deal.I would have rather have seen that then Abby and that creep Ben all of the time,sorry but they are so boring,Besides I think she would be better off with Chad . just saying ,Kassie I love ya and your singing,Wish that days never had stopped you from singing Days not a very… Read more »

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alison Sweeney on Working with Bryan Dattilo: “28 Years Later, Some Things Never Change. Still Laughing Between Takes and Grateful to Have Such a Talented Supportive Co-Star”

This week, Days of our Lives viewers have witnessed that Sami Brady DiMera (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo) hit the sheets, and Lumi fans everywhere rejoiced!

On and off, for almost three decades. Alison Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo have played the relationship between these two exes who share children together to the hilt, because Sami and Lucas’ history is well … complicated.

But, what will happen if and when EJ finds out that Sami had sex with her ex? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Alison took to her Instagram and shared her thoughts alongside photos of her and Bryan, then and now.

Over the years, Bryan had remained one of Alison’s good friends.

Sweeney expressed: “I have always had such fun working with @bryan.dattilo !! 28 years later, some things never change. Still laughing between takes and grateful to have such a talented, supportive costar. Thanks @nbc for this great archive photo! And so grateful to @nbcdays for the incredible opportunity to play Sami.”

What did you think of the scenes where Sami and Lucas slept together and its aftermath thus far? Comment below.

 

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A post shared by Ali Sweeney (@alisweeney)

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Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Breaking News

REPORT: Dan Feuerriegel is DAYS New EJ DiMera

Could Days of our Lives finally found their new EJ? Rumors have been circulating on the internet for weeks that the character of EJ DiMera may finally have a new face and a new actor portraying and heading back to Salem, especially since Sami (Alison Sweeney) is back on the canvas.

The role was previously played by longtime fan favorite James Scott, who had made it very clear he would never return to Days of our Lives.

Photo: DFeuerriegelIG

Now according to Daytime Confidential and their report from setside sources, the new EJ will actually be played by former Spartacus actor Dan Feuerriegel.

The Australian-born actor has been seen in Starz’ Spartacus franchise in the role of Agron.

According to the report, look for the new EJ to make his debut sometime this summer.

DAYS fans know that in story, EJ was brought back form the dead, from the serum from Dr. Rolf, but then was injured in an explosion and had reunited with Sami and had been recovery in Europe.

So, if this reports turns out to be true, what do you think of the new EJ? Comment below.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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