Jay Kenneth Johnson (Philip) and Shelley Hennig (Stephanie) to depart ‘Days of Our Lives.’
Shelley Hennig & Jay Kenneth Johnson To Exit DAYS
On the heels of Mark Hapka’s surprising exit from Days of Our Lives comes news of more departures. Shelley Hennig (Stephanie) and Jay Kenneth Johnson have decided to depart the long running NBC soap.
“It just feels right,” said Hennig to Soap Opera Digest. “I’ve been preparing for this for a while, so I have said my mental goodbyes.” Jay Johnson also spoke to SOD regarding his exit. “It feels perfect. The story ended and there’s a lot of stuff going on out there. I thought about it a lot, it just felt like the right time.” For more on their departures, be sure to check the issue of Soap Opera Digest available on sale February 1.
For the last four years, Hennig, a former Miss Teen USA, has portrayed race-car driver turned business woman Stephanie Johnson. Originally a feisty adrenaline junkie, viewers watched as Stephanie coped with being raped in college and eventually mature into a confident business woman. Recently Stephanie has taken a page from her cousin Sami when it comes to scheming, lying and manipulating get the man she wants. In 2010, Hennig was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Younger Actress category.
Johnson left DAYS in 2002 after a three year run, going on to appear on The O.C., North Shore , CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, Charmed, and Scrubs. He would return to Days of Our Lives in 2007, reprising his role as Philip. Since his return, Johnson’s has been featured prominently in the show’s major storylines.
Digest reports Hennig’s last taping date is February 2. No word on Johnson’s last taping or the final airdate for both stars.
Editor’s POV: I’m very disappointed to see these two actors leave, however it’s better to leave on your own accord. Johnson has been a favorite of mine for years, and his work since 2007 has shown just how much he’s grown as an actor. Recasting Philip could prove challenging as Johnson was a big fan favorite. However, should DAYS decide to go the route of a recast, there are plenty of stars who could be up to the task. Could you see Eric Sheffer Stevens (ex-Reid, ATWT), Thad Luckinbill (ex-J.T., Y&R) or Greg Vaughan (ex-Lucky, GH) as the new Philip?