Edward Macdonald Carey
March 15, 1913-March 21, 1994
"Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives."
This simple statement has been spoken at the beginning of every single episode of "Days" since it premiered in 1965. It is the voice of the true heart and soul of Salem, the late Macdonald Carey, who portrayed the town patriarch Dr. Tom Horton, Alice's husband, from the premiere episode in 1965 until his death on March 21, 1994. At that time, the ending tag "This is Macdonald Carey and these are the days of our lives" was removed but his voice remains to this day. He has spoken it over 10,000 times, thus making his the only voice heard in every single episode of the series. As a tribute, "Days" ended the March 23, 1994 episode with a portrait of Mac and then faded to black in silence. He was in failing health the last few years of his life, but he continued to appear on the show, with his last episode airing just weeks before his death. Suzanne Rogers (Maggie) was the last castmember to see him. She visited his home a week before his death to deliver to him a portrait of Tom, Alice, Mickey and Maggie. Frances Reid (Alice) remembers her on-screen husband of nearly 30 years: "He was so gorgeous, a very handsome young man. He was always so charming to me from the day that NBC married us." John Clarke (ex-Mickey, Tom's son) remembers Mac: "I was closer to Mac than I was to my real father. Mac offered advice, both fatherly and professionally." He remembers Carey was speaking of returning to work at "Days" just four days before his death, but "He knew he wouldn't be back. It was that stiff upper lip of his. He didn't want us to feel bad. He didn't want us to participate in his suffering." Deidre Hall (Marlena) recalls Mac: "I knew Mac for 18 years. He was as gentle and nurturing and charming a man as you would ever want to meet." When the news broke, Clarke said that the cast and crew "were biting their lips and going about their business" but Mac would want the show to go on, so they gathered around the set and sang Mac's favorite song "Danny Boy", and then went back to work. Bill Hayes (Doug) returned to sing that same song at Tom Horton's funeral. Needing everyone back in Salem for the funeral, "Days" needed to wait until Marlena and John could return from the Maison Blanche storyline so Tom did not pass away until three months later, in June 1994. In that episode, Alice went upstairs to see him, but came back down the stairs in shock and sat down in Tom's chair to tell Maggie and Mickey that "Your father's gone." It was a simple, yet elegant way, of ending the reign of Salem's most beloved citizen.
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