Suzanne Rogers: 35 Years as Maggie Horton on "Days of Our Lives"
August 20, 1973-August 20, 2008
Suzanne Cecelia Crumpler was born on July 9, 1943 in Midland, Maryland. Suzanne began her dancing career when she was just two years old. She and her family moved to Colonial Heights, Virginia a few years later. Suzanne continued with her dancing throughout her teens, and upon graduating from high school, she moved to New York City and auditioned for the famed Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. She got the job and performed as a Rockette for the first time on July 6, 1961. At age 17, just three days before her 18th birthday, she became the youngest Rockette ever. Suzanne spent the next three years as a Rockette. In 1964, Suzanne left the Rockettes and began appearing in several Broadway shows, including "110 in the Shade", "Funny Girl", "Hallelujah Baby", "Cleopatra", "Her First Roman", "Coco" and "Follies."
In 1968, as she began making her first television appearances as a dancer on "The Ed Sullivan Show", Suzanne Crumpler, as many actors do, decided to choose a new last name. To honor one of her favorite dancers, Ginger Rogers, she decided to use Suzanne Rogers as her stage name. In 1969, Suzanne was the "trophy girl" at the 21st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, carrying out the Emmy as each winner was named. She didn't realize then that just one decade later, she would be receiving an Emmy Award herself.
Suzanne relocated to California and, in July 1973, she auditioned and won the part of Maggie Simmons, a new character being added to the "Days of Our Lives" cast. She taped her first episode, # 1946, on July 18, 1973. A full month's worth of Watergate Hearing preemptions on NBC pushed her debut back from late July until Monday, August 20, 1973. Her first scene was with her long-time on-screen partner, John Clarke (Mickey Horton). At the time, Mickey was suffering from amnesia. He wandered onto her farm, calling out "Hello...anyone home?" and Maggie then spoke her first line: "Yes, what is it...?" This was the beginning of a relationship which still exists today, 35 years later. John Clarke, Richard Voigts, John Ingle and Kevin Dobson have all played Mickey throughout the past 35 years, but there's only ever been one Maggie: Suzanne Rogers.
Suzanne survived her first two-and-a-half years on "Days of Our Lives" on crutches, as Maggie did not have the use of her legs. An ironic coincidence for this long-time dancer. Maggie finally regained the use of her legs and Mickey regained his memory and they made their way back to Salem. In 1979, Suzanne won for best supporting actress at the Daytime Emmy Awards. For a brief time, Maggie was paired with Don Craig (Jed Allan) while Mickey was presumed dead (Mickey had been kidnapped by Stefano DiMera). Mickey eventually made his way back to Salem but, in 1984, Suzanne abrubtly quit "Days" after 11 years on the show. Back then, she publicly stated that she wanted to persue new interests, but in reality, she had been diagnosed with a rare muscle disease known as myasthenia gravis, which affected the muscles in her face (Rogers has been in remission since 1995). A year passed, and in August 1985, she returned to her role of Maggie. Maggie and Mickey remarried on Valentine's Day, 1986.
Maggie and Mickey continued to be a long-standing couple on "Days" until November, 2003. In a shock to everyone, the character of Maggie was killed off by the Salem Stalker. The "Days" staff gave Suzanne one last going-away present: They premiered her final episode as a red-carpet affair at a theater in Los Angeles and treated it as a movie premiere. Rogers never truly left "Days", as she would appear as a ghost for the next six months, until June, 2004, when Maggie and everyone else killed off by the Salem Stalker were found to be alive. By 2005, Maggie and Mickey had re-married and have stay married to this day.
Congratulations, Suzanne Rogers, on 35 years with "Days of Our Lives!" 8,949 episodes have aired since her debut in 1973. Here's to many more episodes and many more years with "Days!"
Fan Tribute: 35 fans give tribute to Suzanne Rogers' 35 years on "Days!"
Suzanne's First "Days": Episode # 1946 complete script
Suzanne's Soap Opera Digest Interviews
July 3, 1984: "Suzanne Rogers: Sometimes, Nice Girls Finish First" by Barbara DeNatale (Suzanne Rogers' first in-depth interview with Soap Opera Digest)
May 31, 1988: "Suzanne Rogers Faces Life" by Mimi Leahey (Suzanne Rogers discusses how she coped with having myasthenia gravis)
February 25, 1997: "Horton Heaven & Hell" by Stephanie Sloane (Take a walk down memory lane with John Clarke & Suzanne Rogers)
November 25, 2003: "Rogers and Out" by Stephanie Sloane (Suzanne Rogers discusses her last days before being "killed off" in the Salem Stalker storyline)
Maggie & Mickey: A Brief Timeline of their 35 Years
August 20, 1973: Maggie Simmons (on crutches) meets Marty Hansen (Mickey Horton with amnesia).
January 25, 1974: Maggie Simmons and Marty Hansen marry on her farm.
Early 1976: Maggie regains the use of her legs while Mickey regains his memory, divorces his wife Laura, and he and Maggie get married legally.
June 1977: Maggie and Mickey move away from Maggie's farm and move to Salem.
September 1978: Maggie becomes an alcoholic and is arrested for drunken driving. (This storyline gets Suzanne Rogers a Daytime Emmy in 1979).
November 1982: With Mickey presumed dead (having been kidnapped by Stefano), Maggie begins dating Don Craig.
April 1983: Mickey returns to Salem, but it takes several years for him to reunite with Maggie.
October 1984-August 1985: Maggie is off-camera for a year (while Suzanne Rogers is away from "Days").
February 14, 1986: Mickey and Maggie wed for the third time.
November 2003: Maggie is "killed off" by the Salem Stalker.
January 2004: John Clarke retires after playing Mickey for over 38 years.
June 2004: Maggie returns alive to Salem, but finds that Mickey (now played by John Ingle) has moved on and married Bonnie Lockhart. He later divorces Bonnie.
July 18, 2005: Maggie and Mickey are married for the fourth time.
April 2006-March 2008: Mickey stays married to Maggie but is off-camera and never seen (no one plays the role for two years).
April 1, 2008: The character of Mickey returns to the canvas as Kevin Dobson debuts in the role.
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