Absolutely Iconic Days Of Our Lives ActressesPublished on September 8, 2016. Updated January 28, 2022
The actresses on Days of Our Lives play important roles on the show — they are the mothers, grandmothers, sisters, BFFs, wives, and provide intrigue as the mistresses of the daytime world. What would Days of Our Lives (DOOL) be without the lovely ladies that have graced Salem over the years? There would be no romance, trouble-making or drama, that’s for sure! We’ve decided to honor these ladies with a list of the absolutely iconic DOOL actresses!
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10. Melissa Reeves
For over three decades now, Melissa Reeves has wowed DOOL fans with her portrayal of Jennifer Deveraux. Playing a good girl with a heart of gold, Jenn may be best known as one half of the J&J super couple (with Jack) and her never-die attitude when it comes to good deeds and doing what’s right. Jenn has struggled with addiction in the past and fans have watched her grieve over the devastating loss of her daughter, Abigail (even though she’s since turned up alive). Reeves was acknowledged with a well deserved Daytime Emmy nomination in 1992 in the Younger Actress category, and recently made a “Christmas miracle” happen when she returned to Salem in time for festivities.
9. Christie Clarke
Anyone else miss Carrie Brady? For the longest time it seemed that the good Brady sister Carrie was simply a punching bag to little sister Sami. Carrie was smart, kind, beautiful and always had the leading men lining up at her door. More importantly, she always had the eye of Austin Reed. In fact, no matter what Sami pulled and how much she tried to break them apart, Austin always seemed to go running back to Carrie. Christie entered the role of Carrie Brady in 1986 at the age of 13 years. While playing Carrie on-and-off over the years, she has racked up two Daytime Emmy nominations in the category of Younger Actress in 1997 and 1998.
8. Molly Burnett
The sweet and sassy, beautiful and talented Molly Burnett entered Salem’s scene in 2008. She was immediately thrust into major storylines as Melanie Jonas and not only did she win the hearts of many DOOL men, but the audience as well. Molly has dabbled in prime time television, with guest roles on CSI: NY and CSI: Cyber and has also played the nemesis to nanny Jesse on the Disney Channel hit, Jesse. While she is currently not on Days, General Hospital fans were also treated to her acting style when she temporarily filled in as Maxie Jones. Burnett has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy twice, in 2010 and 2012 in the Younger Actress category.
7. Deidre Hall
Undoubtedly a soap opera icon, Deidre Hall has been entertaining DOOL fans with her portrayal of Marlena Evans since 1976. Marlena has been a part of almost every cheesy, A-typical soap plot fans can think of (and some not so typical, yet just as cheesy). Despite all of this, Hall has been able to play all these crazy storylines with style and grace. Infamous for both ‘exorcism’ storylines, not to mention being at the center of the Melaswen Island plot, Hall is undoubtedly an all-time fan-favorite and has celebrated an accomplished soap opera career. During her forty years on DOOL Hall has racked up three Daytime Emmy nods with two in the Outstanding Supporting Actress category in 1980 and 1984, and one in the Lead Actress category in 1985.
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6. Arianne Zucker
This talented actress stepped into the role of the villainous Nicole Walker in 1998 and has had a pretty incredible roller coaster ride over the years. She’s broken hearts along the way, tried to steal fortunes and actually stole Sami Brady’s baby at one point. The beauty within the evolution of Nicole has been watching this intriguing character turn from zero to hero over the past 18 years. While Zucker has yet to win a Daytime Emmy, she has been nominated for the statue three times: twice in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2010 and 2013, and once in the Lead Actress category in 2014.
5. Alison Sweeney
Speaking of Sami Brady (and going from zero to hero), Alison Sweeney stepped into the role of Sami Brady at the young age of 17, and DOOL fans literally watched the awkward (and manipulative) teenager grow into a beautiful woman over the years. Sami is known for her courage, getting what she wants at any cost and her momma bear attitude with her children. While Sweeney may be best known for her DOOL role, she’s also dabbled in other high-level Hollywood projects over the years including hosting the reality television show The Biggest Loser and starring in four movies for the Hallmark Original Series Murder, She Baked. In 2002, Sweeney was awarded a Special Fan Daytime Emmy in the category of America’s Favorite Villain and in 2015 she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Lead Actress category.
4. Susan Seaforth Hayes
One of the longest-running actresses on soap operas today, Susan made her DOOL debut in 1968. As a super couple trail blazer, Julie Williams might be best known for her love affair with Doug Williams and her mother-daughter relationship with Hope, her half-sister. Seaforth has not only snagged multiple accolades for her portrayal of Williams over the past four decades including four Daytime Emmy nods in the Lead Actress category in 1975, 1976, 1978 and 1979. The ultimate ‘prize’ was her real-life love affair with Bill Hayes (DOOL’s Doug Williams). The two got married in 1974 and have enjoyed a successful forty-plus years as husband and wife.
3. Eileen Davidson
A veteran of the soap opera world, Eileen Davidson is not only well-known for her Kristen DiMera role on DOOL, but Young and the Restless (Y&R) fans have also grown to love her as Ashley Abbott. Davidson has also been seen over the years on other popular daytime dramas to boot, including Santa Barbara (in the early ‘90s) and the Bold and the Beautiful (reprising her Y&R Abbott role). As such, Davidson has received high acclaim for her roles in both DOOL and Y&R, being nominated three times in the Lead Actress category for a Daytime Emmy — 1998 and 2014 for her Days role and 2003 for her Y&R role. It’s important to note, Davidson snagged the Lead Actress Daytime Emmy in 2014 for playing Kristen DiMera.
2. Mary Beth Evans
Playing Salem’s girl next door, Mary Beth Evans has experienced tremendous success in the Kayla Brady role on DOOL. As one half of the Patch and Kayla super couple, fans have watched Evans embark on many adventures and be romanced along the way. She also dabbled in other soap operas, including General Hospital and As the World Turns. Interestingly enough, she also played on The Bay, a soap opera web series where she also acted as producer. As such, Evans was able to rack up a slew of Daytime Emmys in 2015 for this internet show, including Outstanding New Approaches – Drama Series (as producer), Outstanding Digital Daytime Drama Series (as producer), and Outstanding Actress, Digital Daytime Drama Series. In 2016, she also won a Daytime Emmy in the Lead Actress category.
1. Peggy McCay
While most people know McCay from her work on DOOL as the matriarch of the Brady family, McCay is an accomplished actress that has also worked on other soaps as well as primetime television. Prior to her Days role, she worked on Love of Life and had roles on The Andy Griffith Show and Cagney and Lacey. Interestingly enough, McCay has won a Prime time Emmy (1991) in the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series category for a role she played the short-lived show The Trials of Rosie O’Neil. Peggy has also received three Daytime Emmy nods for her Caroline Brady role, with two in the Lead Actress category in 2013 and 2015 and one in the Supporting Actress division in 2016.