It comes as no surprise to some that Days of Our Lives has axed yet another group veterans from their cast. According to reports from Soap Opera Digest, daytime vets Mary Beth Evans (Kayla Johnson) and Stephen Nichols (Steve “Patch” Johnson) have been fired.
This news comes on the heels of the firings of co-stars Deidre Hall (Dr. Marlena Evans), Drake Hogestyn (John Black) and Thaoo Penghlis (Tony/Andre DiMera). Given the state of the economy, daytime has been forced to tighten their budgets and as a result, higher paid actors and actresses are being let go.
Stephen and Mary Beth have been a fixture on Days of Our Lives since 1986, Stephen leaving the show in 1990, but Mary Beth stayed another two years on the show before leaving in 1992. After 14 years, the two returned to DAYS in 2006. During their absence from the NBC soap, Stephen and Mary Beth found work on the ABC soap, General Hospital. Mary Beth joined the cast in 1993 as Katherine Bell. Stephen joined his former castmate in 1996, when he debuted as Stefan Cassadine, son of the infamous Mikkos & Helena Cassadine.
The two were once again paired together but not before Katherine stole the hearts of a few other gentlemen in Port Charles, including Police Commissioner Mac Scorpio and Stefan’s nephew Nikolas. Mary Beth remained on General Hospital until September of 1999. She then made the move to New York and joined the cast of As The World Turns as Sierra Esteban Montgomery from 2000-2005. In 2006, Mary Beth had been chosen by One Life to Live to fill the role of Dr. Paige Miller, but she backed out at the last minute and the show replaced her with Kimberly Brown. Stephen left the role of Stefan in 2002, but returned in 2003 for a short visit.
Upon their return in 2006, Evans and Nichols enjoyed airtime as their characters were reunited since Patch’s “death” in the 90’s. Though the pair has enjoyed occasional frontburner status since their return, they mainly played supporting roles. Fans speculated they would soon exit given their lack of storyline and hefty pricetag. It’s unfortunate these talented actors will be out of a job. There is plenty of story left to tell for Steve and Kayla…if only the writers would put some effort into it.
So with John and Marlena gone, Tony exiting soon, and now Steve & Kayla on their way out, who’s next? Bo and Hope? TVSourceMagazine.com hopes Nichols will return to his old GH stomping grounds — Nikolas, Sam and Alexis could use some more family. As far as Evans goes, we’d like to see her head to “The Young and the Restless,” where she’ll be treated with the respect she deserves.