Saturday, January 16, 2010

50 Greatest Soap Actresses: #25 Deidre Hall

NAME: Deidre Hall
RANK: 25
SOAP ROLES: Marlena Evans, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1976-1987, 1991-2009); Barbara Anderson, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (1973)

2005 TV Land Award nomination for Favorite Airborne Character(s)
2005 Soap Opera Digest Award win for Favorite Couple
2005 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress
2004 TV Land Award nomination for Superest Super Hero
1999 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress
1998 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Hottest Romance
1995 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress
1986 Soap Opera Digest Award win for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor/Actress to the Form of Continuing Drama who is currently on a Daytime Serial
1985 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
1985 Soap Opera Digest Award win for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Serial
1984 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
1984 Soap Opera Digest Award win for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Soap Opera
1983 Soapy Award win for Outstanding Actress
1980 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for a Daytime Drama Series

Jonathan Reiner: Her tear-stained return to the show in August 1991 was magical, but her stint as Satan sealed her role in soap history.

Thom Racina: (wrote for Hall on DAYS) Here is a trooper who, because Marlena became such an institution, often gets overlooked in the real acting assessment, which is a shame because to pull off what she did, all that she did, for all those years, is talent and ability to die for.

Roger Newcomb: Marlena and Roman (Wayne Northrop) are my all-time favorite DAYS OF OUR LIVES couple. Their courtship and the trials and tribulations they faced drew me into the show as a pre-teen. The woman played it all during her DAYS run. So many classic moments go through my mind whenever I hear the name "Deidre Hall."

Damon L. Jacobs: I must begin discussing Deidre Hall with a confession:  I announced to my parents at age five that I intended to become a therapist, and forced everyone who came through the house to tell me their problems. During graduate school people often asked how I knew I wanted to study psychology so early in life.  I made up answers about being altruistic, wanting to help others, being instilled with a sense of healing, or something logical like that.  I was too embarrassed to tell them the truth:  I was five years old in 1976, the year Marlena Evans came to help the residents of Salem.  She was beautiful, confident, intelligent, and was dating Don Craig.  Who wouldn’t want to be exactly like her?  Her portrayal of Marlena's struggles represented our own psychic apparatus containing the classic “superego” (i. e., the rational controlled self) vs. the “id” (i. e, the wild, impulsive, gratification seeking self).  It is to Hall's credit that she was able to make Marlena a blank slate upon which we could project our hopes, our sorrows, our grief, and our triumphs.  

Kale Browne: (auditioned for the role of John Black on DAYS with Hall) My audition for the John Black character on DAYS got me the job on ANOTHER WORLD, so I'll always be grateful that she was so generous during my screen test and made the new guy look good. Shooting the MOW Woman On A Ledge with her years later was icing on the cake. A real pro.


  1. How is she only #25?? That makes no sense. She is one of the only soap stars you can say their name and the person knows exactly who you are talking about! I think that number is a little low. She should have at least been in the Top 5.

  2. Hi Jamie and Maggs. Just remember, the panel was asked to rank their opinion of the Greatest Actresses. That may not have been the most popular or recognizable Actresses.

  3. Hi, there. I disagree with this ranking. What is the criteria for "greatest"? It seems to me Deidre Hall should be quite a bit closer to #1 than this under practically any interpretation of "greatest."

  4. I agree with Kirstin. What constitutes greatness??

    The implication seems to be that Hall is more of a star and a personality than she is an actress. Well, I can safely say that no soap actress has moved me as much (she cries better than any soap actress ever)as Hall as over the years.

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  6. I agree with John_Boy. I think Deidre should've at least cracked the top 20 -- and not because she played an insanely popular character. Look back at DJ's death, scenes with James Reynolds from the Roman/John revelation, singing to Sami in prison, John's death, etc. That's one of the best soap actresses in Daytime history.

    The late 90's - 00's writing didn't help, but she sold each scene ... and we followed her through possession and killing half of Salem.

  7. Can't say I was amazed when I glanced over the list and saw Ms. Hall was ranked only #25--but I was kinda surprised by the supporting "evidence" you provide to justify why other actresses' rank higher. A few comments from some of the more vocal soap fans, (yeah--writers who ONLY cover soaps are just vocal fans)and co-workers who you don't even associate with her work (Kale Brown? Really?)
    This is just a list of somebody's favorites, and has no real credibility. Those of us who have watched her for over 20 years know that there are few in the business who can hold a candle to Deidre Hall.

  8. I totally agree with you Carlie. There never has nor will there ever be a soap actress like Deidre Hall. She was one of the best. The scenes that involved John's death two years ago sealed it. I cried along with her for a straight week. She sold it!

  9. I don't understand how Deidre Hall ranks 25th. She's should at least be in the top 15. 25 is way too low.I agree with Carlie that their evidence for her being one of the greatest is quite weak. Why couldn't they interview someone more credible than an actor she auditioned with how many years ago?

  10. 25??? LMAO... Deidre Hall... is 25... how the hell did that happen?