IN LOVING MEMORY
JULY 15, 1927-NOVEMBER 19, 2008
Wayne Heffley, who
portrayed Vern Scofield on "Days of Our Lives" from 1988-1993 and again for
brief stints in 2002, 2003 and 2006, has died. Heffley, who had been on
dialysis in recent years, died of kidney failure on November 19,
2008. He was 81.
Arnold Wayne Heffley Jr. was born on July 15, 1927 in Bakersfield, California. In a 1991 interview for DaytimeTV's "The Best of Days of Our Lives", Heffley said that "At the age of seven, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to write. I wanted to get married, settle down and that was it. I never wanted to travel! So, when I was old enough, I moved to Hollywood and produced (and acted in) one of my plays in a tiny theater...After the show one night, a lady came up to me and said 'I would like to represent you...as an actor.' I started acting in 1952, hardly anybody knew who I was, but I worked all of the time! I did a lot of war movies, a few episodes of 'The Twilight Zone' and a couple of episodes of 'The Fugitive.' In 1965, I had an (acting) book published. The checks for the book and 'The Fugitive' arrived on the same day...the check for 'The Fugitive' was for $19 more than the one for the book, so I decided to stick with acting!"
Heffley surmised that his constant travel for various acting jobs prevented him from staying married for too long. In all, he was married five times and had five children. Heffley married his first wife, Mary Holder, in the late 1940s. The marriage produced two children, Michael in 1948 and Patricia in 1949. In 1951, he was briefly married to Dorothea Hess. In 1954, he married Jeanne Gash and they had two children, Devon in 1954 and Kendis in 1956. Heffley married his fourth wife, Ilene Nemerski, in 1962. Finally, he married Lynne Dalton in 1977, and they had a daughter, Dominique. While none of his marriages lasted too long, he was always the most proud of being a father. In the 1991 interview, he stated that: "It is a glorious thing to to be a parent and raise kids. That's the most exciting accomplishment in my life...If a man is expected to have some kind of final monument, I suppose these five kids would be mine."
Heffley's first acting appearance came in 1952 on the series "Racket Squad." He would be a constant presence on primetime television over the next 35 years, guest starring on countless series such as "Have Gun, Will Travel", "77 Sunset Strip", "Highway Patrol", "Bat Masterson", "Perry Mason", "Gunsmoke", "Ben Casey", "The Twilight Zone", "The Fugitive", "My Three Sons", "The Andy Griffith Show", "Gomer Pyle", "The Invaders", "The Mod Squad", "Family Affair", "Ironside", "Marcus Welby", "Cannon", "Bonanza", "Kung Fu", "Kojak", "Little House on the Prairie", "The Waltons", "Lou Grant", "Barnaby Jones", "Dallas", "Hill Street Blues", "Hart to Hart", "Airwolf", "Matlock", "Hunter", "Simon & Simon" and "Murder, She Wrote." He also appeared in the history-making miniseries "Roots" in 1977.
In July 1988, Heffley was hired to play Vern Scofield, the editor of The Salem Spectator, on "Days of Our Lives." Originally slated for just a few episodes, Heffley's role grew as he became sidekick to Jack Deveraux. In 1990, the Scofield clan grew as Vern's three children, Cassie, Brian and Tanner, arrived in Salem. Vern's children left Salem in 1992, but Vern continued to appear regularly for another year. He was paired romantically with Jack's mother, Jo Johnson, and the two eventually married. Heffley returned to play Vern for brief stints in 2002 and 2003, and his last appearance came in September 2006 to say goodbye to Jack and Jennifer Deveraux, who moved to England.
In his 1991 DaytimeTV interview, Heffley stated that "I love playing Vern...I like that he's a father figure...I also like the security of Days. They give you a lot of creative leeway here, which is great." In a 1992 interview for DaytimeTV's "Everything You Want to Know About Days of Our Lives", Heffley continued with his love for "Days of Our Lives": "I think I enjoy Days of Our Lives more than any other acting job I ever had. I think it's remarkable for a guy my age to work everyday around the most beautiful women in the world!"
Heffley is survived by his five children, Michael, Patricia, Devon, Kendis and Dominique; and many grandchildren.
ABOVE: 2-year-old Wayne Heffley, then going by his first name, Arnold, in the 1930 census. Also listed are his parents, Arnold Sr. and Annie, and brother Carl.
LEFT: Wayne with his youngest daughter, Dominique. Dominique appeared on "Days" in 1990 as a candy striper at University Hospital. RIGHT: Wayne appears in the 1993 cast photo with his on-screen romantic interest, Marilyn McIntyre who played Jo Johnson. Also pictured: Bryan Dattilo (Lucas), Crystal Chappell (Carly), Michael Sabatino (Lawrence), Deborah Adair (Kate), Matthew Ashford (Jack), Melissa Reeves (Jennifer) and Lisa Rinna (Billie).
ABOVE: An autographed photo of Wayne from 1991.