EVANS HANDLES SAINT-TO-SINNER TRANSFORMATION WITH APLOMB
By Lynda Hirsch
November 8, 1993
In less than two years, Mary Beth Evans has gone from Salem saint (Kayla Brady on DAYS OF OUR LIVES) to Port Charles pariah (Katherine Crawford on GENERAL HOSPITAL).
"I never said I wouldn't return to DAYS OF OUR LIVES," she says. "I was pretty sad to leave the show, as it was very good to me and I think I was good to it."
No arguing that. Evans and her love interest, Patch (Stephen Nichols), were daytime's hot couple, topping the daytime television magazine polls for years. Evans is a real-life wife and mother whose husband is an orthopedic surgeon. DAYS OF OUR LIVES fans saw her play out two of her pregnancies on the air.
While rumors swirled that DAYS wanted Evans to return, it was GENERAL HOSPITAL casting director Mark Teschner who came calling.
"I didn't know what to do. Signing a long-term soap contract is no small decision, and that is what the producers at GENERAL HOSPITAL wanted. But first, I had to audition. Nope, they didn't care what I had done on DAYS. Katherine is so different from Kayla. Kayla was into forgiveness. She even forgave Jack for raping her. Katherine is into what she can get."
Evans had to test twice for the GENERAL HOSPITAL role. "They wanted to be certain that I could go from sweet to sour - since Katherine has both aspects."
Once she had the part, Evans had to deal with feeling like the new kid on the block. Shelley Curtis (GENERAL HOSPITAL's supervising producer) and Evans had worked together on Days. Evans says, "With Shelley at GENERAL HOSPITAL, I didn't feel quite so alone. Shelley knows how to work with actors, but GH is a tight cast. Everyone was welcoming, but they have known each other for a long time. They knew nothing about me or my work."
Lee McCloskey, who joined the show as Katherine's lover after Evans came on, calls her "an actress who is always there. Evans is a marvel. Professional, talented, a dream combination." Evans says the casting of McCloskey gave her more insight into her character.
"Katherine was off on her own at first, trying to get Scott to believe that she was his late wife's best friend. Then Damian arrived, and Katherine became this sex kitten.
"When Katherine started to fall for Scott, I thought, 'Oh, no, she's going to be a good girl after all.' So far, that has not happened." Evans is sorry that Kin Shriner, who plays Scott, is leaving. "What a great actor he is and so much fun. I understand his decision to move on. I was worried what it might do to my character. I've been told Scott's leaving town is not the end for Katherine but in fact is a new beginning."