Sergeant Abe Carver                      Mayor Abe Carver
                                                                                                1981                                              2011

"I am very touched by your tribute to my 30th anniversary on the show.  What a gracious and thoughtful thing to do.  Truthfully, I did not realize that was the day.  You can imagine how honored and proud I am to have portrayed Abe Carver for so long.  I now work with Melissa Reeves and Christie Clark as adult equals and they were kids when I was just beginning.  Time flies but it can be fascinating and enriching.  I would say these last 30 years was my great fortune.  Thank you again.  Take care Jason, I am very appreciative."

James Reynolds


     James Reynolds celebrates his 30th anniversary in the role of Abe Carver on October 29, 2011. This page is a tribute to his many years with the show. Not only is Jim celebrating 30 years with "Days of Our Lives", but he is also continuing his record-breaking streak as the longest-running African-American actor in the same role in television history! Reynolds also has the fourth-longest tenure in the history of "Days." Only Frances Reid (Alice), John Clarke (Mickey) and Suzanne Rogers (Maggie) have been on the show longer. As of October 7, 2011, Reynolds has appeared in 2,240 episodes of "Days."
     Reynolds was born on August 10, 1946 and grew up in the small town of Oskaloosa, Kansas. Right after high school, at the age of 17, Reynolds joined the Marine Corps. After boot camp, he spent his first year in Hawaii. Then, he was sent to Vietnam, where he served as a journalist for eight months. He accompanied the troops whenever they went out into the bush and reported what happened, writing feature stories for "The Sea-Tiger." During his short time there, he was injured three times and the third wound caused him to be sent back home to the United States. Reynolds recovered from his wounds and then went on to attend Washburn University, not far from his home, in Topeka, Kansas. There, he studied pre-law and journalism. Discovering that the best place to meet girls on campus was in the theater department, he began auditioning and performing in plays, and unexpectedly developed a passion for acting.  
     In 1979, both his career and personal life began to take off. His first marriage produced a son, Jed. He appeared on series television for the first time, guesting on both "The Incredible Hulk" and "Diff'rent Strokes." He also had a series-regular role on the short-lived "Time Express", co-starring with Vincent Price. As the 1980's began, he made guest appearances on "Hart to Hart" and "The Dukes of Hazzard."
     Reynolds once recalled how he landed the part of Abe Carver: On Wednesday, October 7, 1981, "Days" asked his agent if he'd be willing to do daytime. He thought to himself "Well, nobody else has offered me any show this week, so I think I'll take this one!" He read for the part that night. On Friday, October 9, he read a second time and was chosen to portray Abe over dozens of other actors. On Monday, October 12, 1981, he taped his first episode, which aired on Thursday, October 29. Just three weeks after first being approached by "Days" out of the blue, he was on the air as Abe Carver.
     In 1986, he married actress Lissa Layng, who in 2006 shared scenes with Abe as a motel manager on an episode of "Days." In 1989, after eight years of playing Abe, his contract (along with several others) was not renewed and he decided to stay on a recurring basis. In August 1990, Reynolds left "Days" to star as Henry Marshall on NBC's half-hour soap "Generations." Six months later, in January 1991, the show was cancelled. The six months however was long enough to garner Reynolds' first-ever Daytime Emmy nomination. Eleven months after leaving "Days", Reynolds returned home to Salem in July, 1991 and hasn't left since (even Abe's "death" in 2003 couldn't keep him away from the show, as he continued to appear as a ghost). In early 2004, Reynolds received his second Daytime Emmy nomination, his first for portraying Abe. Abe returned to the land of the living when many characters were found alive on an island in June 2004.
     In a 2003 interview, Jim summed up why playing Abe for so long has meant so much to him: "Many times, I've met people who have told me that my character has made a difference in their lives, people who have turned their lives around because this character has convinced them of a specific way to be. The integrity that Abe shows, the courage that he shows, has given them the impetus to make the right choices in their lives. That has been tremendous. It's one of those things that makes it all worthwhile. You think you're doing a little bit more than just entertaining people." (The Ultimate Days of Our Lives Fan Guide, 2003, page 51)
     Through the years, Abe Carver has been promoted from sergeant to lieutenant to commander to police commissioner, to his current job as mayor of Salem. He has also survived four different Lexie's (Cyndi James Gossett, Angelique deWindt Francis, Shellye Broughton, and Renee Jones)! Here's hoping Abe (and Jim) will stick around for many more years, protecting Salem as he has done for the past three decades!

Jim's Debut as Abe Carver on "Days": October 29, 1981

October 29, 1981 Script: Read every scene of Abe's first episode!

Where Are They Now?: A Look at Where the Cast is Today

Cover page of Episode # 4051

Scan of Abe's First-Ever Scene!

Three Decades of Pictures:

The Life of Abe Carver, 1981-2011

Jim's First Soap Opera Digest Interview: December 21, 1982

"James Reynolds Is Going Places" by Linda T. Hersch

Abe's First Appearances in Soap Opera Digest

     Doug and Julie have a talk with Police Sergeant Carver. They tell him about the mysterious couple who stayed near Alex's room the night he was shot. Doug and Julie think the fact that David was shot proves he's innocent. But Sergeant Carver disagrees. He doesn't believe David's shooting had anything to do with Alex. Tom calls Carver to report that the medical storeroom at the hospital has been broken into. There's blood on the cabinet and walls! Fingerprints are taken. (SOD, 1/5/82)
     Marlena enters her office to find that her papers are scattered on the floor. She gasps when she spots a trail of blood leading to her closet. Frightened, Marlena summons security. Police Sgt. Abe Carver, who's in charge of finding David, goes to her office. With gun in hand, he opens the closet door. There's no one there! Abe assumes the wounded man who broke into the hospital's medical storeroom and Marlena's office has escaped. While Abe, Marlena and Tom are talking, a policeman enters. He informs Abe that the fingerprints found on the medical cabinet's door belong to David! (SOD, 1/19/82)