After 4 years, she's back from the dead and back 'home'
By Jay Bobbin
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 28, 1991
Deidre Hall is back from the dead - well, from the presumed dead - in her old role as Dr. Marlena Evans Brady on DAYS OF OUR LIVES.
At the end of Friday's episode, Hall returns to the show (2 p.m. weekdays on Channel 5) after a four-year absence. When last seen, she was in a helicopter that exploded before the anguished eyes of her husband, Roman Brady, played by Drake Hogestyn.
Hall left DAYS in 1987 to devote herself to the prime-time series OUR HOUSE, after appearing on both shows for a year. (Part of that time, her daytime character was in a coma.) Ironically, OUR HOUSE was canceled after that season.
But ongoing conversations about a possible DAYS reprise eventually led her to agree to a six-month return engagement.
"The door always had been left open to me," Hall says, "and they made me very comfortable that if I ever wanted to go back, that door would stay open.
"I think we all find that we evaluate and re-evaluate things in our lives at certain times, and every few years I start thinking, 'Where do I want to be? What have I done that I don't want to do? What have I not accomplished yet, and how can I get there?'
"I had wanted to do a nighttime show, which I did for two years, and OUR HOUSE was something I was really proud of. I'd done a lot of movies for television and a critically acclaimed miniseries, and I had a wonderful time.
"There were still things I had not yet done when DAYS executive producer Ken Corday called, and he wanted to have a serious conversation about what could be done to interest me in coming back for a short time. I said, 'Short of reaching the remaining goals I want to reach, my life is full. I'm fine and I'm happy.' He said, 'Well, let's sit down and hear what those things are and see how we can help you.'
"That's really what it came down to," Hall said, "because I've always loved doing DAYS. I love Marlena, and I've always been forthcoming about the fact that doing daytime allows you to play wonderful, dramatic and full-blown storylines all the time.
"Nighttime television is a different sort of medium with different things to offer, but it does not offer that in all cases."
Hall adds that her six-month stint is all she was asked to do, "and that was fine with me."
Marlena's big love story on DAYS was played out with Wayne Northrop as Roman Brady, but he left and was replaced by Hogestyn the year before Hall departed. In a twist, Northrop is also returning to the show this summer, but Hogestyn is remaining. How that will be worked out is still to be revealed.
Meanwhile, Hall reports that she had to ask about many characters to catch up on all that has developed since her departure: "Are these still my children? Is this still my husband, and has he remarried? What's happened?"
Returning to the show was like coming home, Hall says. She was greeted by many familiar members of the cast and crew when she reported for her second tour of DAYS duty.
"It was the most emotional time," she says. "I have hugged so many old friends, and it's just been quite a reunion. A part of me really feels like never having been gone, and it is like stepping out of a time capsule. Some people have changed and some have not, but the kinship and constancy that I felt for 11 years is still here.
"I was prepared to have it be a little difficult and a little tense, and it was just the opposite. It was so welcoming and embracing, it will be hard to leave again. These people do remain your family, and you care about them enormously."