Frances Reid
(Alice Horton, 1965-2007)
December 9, 1914-February 3, 2010

     Frances Reid, the beloved star of "Days of Our Lives" since its inception in 1965, has passed away. Reid died on February 3, 2010 at her assisted living home in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 95. Known to millions of fans throughout the world as Salem's favorite grandmother, Alice Horton, Reid was the last remaining original castmember of "Days", having been on contract since the series premiered on November 8, 1965. In total, she was the star of "Days" for 44 years, 3 months. While Alice Horton had many offspring, Reid never had any children of her own. After her husband, Philip Bourneuf died in 1979, she never remarried. She is survived by her niece, Laurie Rocha, and her great nieces, April, Christie, Leanne and Marie. Donations may be made in her memory to Habitat for Humanity and Save The Children. 
     Frances Reid was born to Anna Priest and Charles Reid on December 9, 1914 in Wichita Falls, Texas. She was the third of four children for the Reids, all daughters. Her sisters were Dorothy, Mildred and Anna May. When she was a young child, her family moved to Berkeley, California. After attending the University of California and Pasadena Community Playhouse, Reid pursued her acting career immediately, appearing in the West Coast production of "Tovarich." 
     Reid moved to New York in 1938 and made her Broadway debut on January 17, 1939 in "Here There's a Will." A critic reviewing the play that evening stated that: "She is a pretty and agreeable young actress who manages to conduct herself simply and well." The famed columnist Walter Winchell had this to state about Reid's Broadway debut: "Frances Reid as the young secretary is an attractive actress, whose natural pretending kept at least one reviewer interested when she was on view." In later years, she would appear in Broadway productions of "Cyrano de Bergerac", "Little Women", "King Richard III", "Twelfth Night" and as Ophelia in "Hamlet." While appearing in a summer stock production in Connecticut, she met her future husband, fellow stage actor Philip Bourneuf. The two were married on June 27, 1940.
     Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, while she was appearing on Broadway, Reid also had countless roles on radio soap operas, including "Prologue to Glory", "Charlotte Corday", and "Mrs. Moonlight." In April 1954, Reid made the transition from radio soaps to television soaps when she was cast as the lead in "Portia Faces Life." She was picked to play Portia because the producer thought she looked the part. She then went on to portray Grace Baker on "As the World Turns" from 1959-1962 and Rose Pollock on "The Edge of Night" in 1964.
     In June 1965, "Days of Our Lives" taped its pilot episode, with Macdonald Carey as Tom Horton and Mary Jackson as his wife, Alice. When NBC ordered the pilot as a full-time series, Frances Reid was hired to play Alice and the pilot episode was re-shot on October 29, 1965. Throughout the years, Alice Horton was the true heart of Salem, always willing to lend an ear and help her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all of the other citizens of Salem.  And, of course, Alice was always ready to bake her famous Horton doughnuts.
     Over the years, Reid was honored with four Soap Opera Digest Awards as outstanding actress in a mature role. She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy as supporting actress in 1979 and as lead actress in 1987. In 2004, she received the Emmys top honor, a Lifetime Achivement Award.
     In one of her few non-"Days" appearances after 1980, Reid appeared on a special episode of "American Dreams", an NBC series which was set in 1965, the year "Days" began. When once asked about retirement, Reid said that age was no reason to retire from the thing she loved to do best: act. She taped her final episode of "Days" just before her 93rd birthday in December 2007. The episode aired on December 26, 2007. In her final scene, she hugged a picture of her late husband, Tom. Fittingly, her last line as Alice was "Merry Christmas, Tom."

Madlyn Rhue
(Daphne DiMera, 1982-1984)
October 3, 1935-December 16, 2003

     Madlyn Rhue, whose acting career spanned three decades and scores of television appearances on shows ranging from "Perry Mason" to "Murder, She Wrote," died here on Tuesday. She was 68. Ms. Rhue, who had multiple sclerosis, died of pneumonia at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital, the hospital announced.         
     Born in Washington, Ms. Rhue moved as a teenager to Los Angeles and later went to New York to act. At one point she was a showgirl at the Latin Quarter nightclub.
Ms. Rhue made her television debut in the late 1950's on shows like "Have Gun, Will Travel" "Cheyenne" and "Gunsmoke." She often appeared as a guest or supporting actress as well as in small parts in movies like "Operation Petticoat" (1959) and "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (1963). She had roles in the television series "Bracken's World," "Houston Knights" and "Days of Our Lives" and as the Cabot Cove librarian in "Murder, She Wrote." 
She was married to actor Tony Young, but they divorced. He died last year. Ms. Rhue is survived by a sister, Carol. (New York Times, December 20, 2003)

Jay Robinson
(Monty Dolan, 1988-1989)
April 14, 1930-September 27, 2013

Jay Robinson, who portrayed Monty Dolan (the father of April, Emilio and Julio Ramirez) on "Days of Our Lives" from 1988-1989, has passed away.  Robinson died at his home in Sherman Oaks, California on September 27, 2013. He was 83.

Robinson, a character actor who had a burst of fame after his film debut as Caligula in the 1953 biblical epic "The Robe" but saw his career take a downturn following his arrest for drug possession, died September 27 at his home in Sherman Oaks, said longtime friend Lee Brandon. Robinson had congestive heart failure and had been in poor health since suffering a fall last year.

Robinson, a New York native who was born April 14, 1930, was routinely labeled the "boy genius" of Broadway after a string of noteworthy performances in the early 1950s, highlighted by his role as the fop Le Beau in a 1950 production of Shakespeare's "As You Like It" that starred Katharine Hepburn. He was 23 when "The Robe," starring Richard Burton, Jean Simmons and Victor Mature, was released, and his performance as the tyrannical Roman Caesar earned praise from critics. He reprised the part of Caligula the next year in a follow-up film, "Demetrius and the Gladiators."

But Robinson's life took a turn in the late '50s. He was arrested in December 1959 at his home in Bel-Air and charged with possessing and selling heroin. He was found guilty the next spring, sentenced to a year in jail, released on bond expecting probation and began the appeals process. He said years later that frustration at being typecast led to his drug use. But after his arrest, there was no work at all. "I lost everything in Hollywood," Robinson told The Times.

He took menial jobs, working as a short-order cook and a veterinarian's assistant. In 1966 he was arrested on a bench warrant for failing to appear for a retrial of his original case and was sent to the state prison in Tracy, where he was put to work as a firefighter. Paroled after 15 months in the spring of 1968, he began to rebuild his life and career.

He won guest spots on "Bewitched," "Mannix," "The Waltons" and other TV series, landed a regular role on the daytime soap "Days of Our Lives" and was cast in small parts in "Shampoo," "Big Top Pee-wee" and a handful of other movies. "I feel like the ultimate survivor," he told United Press International in 1988.

He hosted the reality series "Beyond Bizarre" in 1997 and then retired from show business. He is survived by his wife, Gloria Cassas, and a son, Jay Paul Robinson. (Obituary courtesy of Los Angeles Times)

Lanna Saunders
(Marie Horton, 1979-1985)
December 22, 1941-March 10, 2007

     Lanna Saunders, who portrayed Marie Horton on "Days of Our Lives" from 1979-1985, has died. Saunders died on Saturday, March 10, 2007 in Sherman Oaks, California after a 25-year battle with multiple sclerosis. She was 65.
     Saunders was born on December 22, 1941 in New York City. She started performing on Broadway at the age of 13. Years later, while studying with Elia Kazan, she would meet her future husband, actor Lawrence Pressman. They were married in 1973. Saunders began her television career as Ellen Williams on the daytime drama "The Brighter Day" from 1960-1961. She also made appearances on primetime shows such as "Marcus Welby, M.D.", "Barnaby Jones" and "Fantasy Island" before beginning a six-year stint on "Days of Our Lives" as Marie Horton, Tom and Alice's daughter, in April 1979. In 1954, Ms. Saunders and Macdonald Carey had appeared in a play called "Anniversary Waltz" where they portrayed father and daughter. 25 years later, they were portraying father and daughter again, this time on "Days."
     During her time on "Days", Saunders was paired with two leading men, Quinn Redeker (Alex Marshall) and Joseph Gallison (Neil Curtis). In 1982, Ms. Saunders was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but she continued for another three years on the show, making her final appearance in April 1985, when she became too ill to continue acting. Ken Corday, executive producer of "Days of Our Lives", issued this statement on her passing: "As an actress, as well as a person, Lanna Saunders had an elegance and grace that bespoke the deepest qualities of her soul which made her character, Sister Marie, honest and believable, yet so easy to look at."
Saunders leaves behind her husband, Lawrence Pressman; a son, David Pressman; and her mother, Gedda Petry.

Diane Sommerfield
(Valerie Grant, 1981-1982)
October 24, 1949-March 9, 2001

     Diane Young, 51, a former television actress who most recently was an associate producer with MJT/Television, died March 9 at home in Washington. An autopsy is being conducted by the D.C. medical examiner's office. Ms. Young, who acted under the stage name of Diane Sommerfield, was a Washington native. As a child, she was a stage actress in Washington, and she had lead roles in dramatic productions as a student at Calvin Coolidge High School.She attended Howard University, appeared at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario in a lead role in "Satyricon," and later moved to Los Angeles, where she graduated from California State University at Los Angeles.
     On television, she had roles in "Days of Our Lives," "The Jeffersons," "The Sundance Women" and "All in the Family." Her films included "Backwoods," "Love in an Taxi" and "The Black Godfather." She also appeared in stage productions in Los Angeles. In 1986, Ms. Young returned to Washington. She had been a theater stage manager and studied film at the University of the District of Columbia. She was involved as an executive producer and actor in "African Divas" at the National Theatre. From 1997 to 1999, she was a volunteer acting teacher at Coolidge High School.
     At her death, she was an associate producer at MJT/Television, where she produced documentaries for public television.
Survivors include a brother, Stanley E. Young, of Hyattsville. (Washington Post, March 31, 2001)

Christopher Stone
(Bill Horton, 1987-1988, 1994)
October 4, 1940-October 29, 1995

     Actor Christopher Stone, 55, died Saturday night of a heart attack in his sleep after watching Game 6 of the World Series, an ironic end for a man his father described as ''very sports-minded.''

     Born Thomas Bourassa, he was the son of C. Edward and Mildred Bourassa. Stone - then known as Tommy Bourassa - attended Trinity High School and Central High School and played Babe Ruth, high school and American Legion baseball. A former U.S. Marine who served on Okinawa, Stone was ''discovered'' when he and some friends stopped to help a man whose car was stuck in Hollywood. Stone and his friends helped out. The man, who said he was a producer, offered to pay, but Stone said no. The producer offered his business card and told the handsome young man to report to the studio the next day. That was the start of a career that spanned about two decades and included guest shots on shows such as ''Spenser's Pilots,'' ''Murder She Wrote,'' ''Simon and Simon,'' ''T.J. Hooker,'' ''The Bionic Woman'' and others. His film credits include ''The Howling,'' as well as spots on television movies ''The Blue and the Gray'' with Gregory Peck, and ''White Dragon.''

     In addition, he was married to Dee Wallace Stone, probably best known for her work in ''E.T: The Extraterrestrial.'' They had a daughter Gabrielle, who was to turn seven next month, said his father last night. Stone came home to Manchester to visit at Christmas almost every year, Mr. Bourassa said. Stone, who suffered an aneurysm in 1975, had been hospitalized for a bypass operation recently, his father said last night. He watched the baseball game Saturday night, then died in his sleep.

     Stone is survived by his wife, actress Dee Wallace Stone; daughter, Gabrielle; and two sisters. (Union Leader, October 30, 1995)

Mark Tapscott
(Bob Anderson, 1972-1980)
December 15, 1924-September 10, 1993

     Mark Tapscott was born in Bell, California. Following a tour of duty in World War II, he married Frances Mae Ferrell, his high school sweetheart. They had a daughter named Teddy. He returned to the Marine Corps for a tour of duty in Korea. Shortly after his return the family moved to Eugene, Oregon where Mark attended the University of Oregon as a journalism major. After graduation, he returned to California, in 1957, to seek a career in film and television.
     His first wife died in 1969 and Mr. Tapscott then married Sibyl Line. In 1972, he joined the cast of "Days of Our Lives" as Bob Anderson, a role he would continue to play for eight years. He later appeared as Earl Bancroft on "The Young and the Restless" and retired from acting in 1987. He died of lung cancer on September 10, 1993.
     Tapscott is survived by his wife, Sibyl; and a daughter, Teddy.