Tuesday, January 5, 2010

50 Greatest Soap Actresses: #48 Mary Beth Evans

NAME: Mary Beth Evans
RANK: 48
SOAP ROLES: Kayla Brady, DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1986-1992, 2006-2009); Katherine Bell, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1993-1999); Sierra Esteban, AS THE WORLD TURNS (2000-2005); Dakota "Koty" Lane, RITUALS (1984-1985); CAPITOL

1990 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Favorite Super Couple: Daytime
1989 Soap Opera Digest Award win for Favorite Super Couple: Daytime

Nelson Aspen: Having only been a peripheral DOOL viewer, I only began to take notice of MBE when she assumed the role of "Sierra"on ATWT. She seemed to inhabit Finn Carter's memorably portrayed character with such grace and strength that I had to go back and look at some of her previous work as "Kayla." She has a very natural style that would be well suited to film and ATWT, as they so often have, really blew it by not holding on to her and utilizing her skills. Having a character with that much history to the show, so exquisitely played, would have given some stability to the casting-go-round. It was sad that when she did go back to DOOL, the writers again mismanaged her character. I'd love to see her on the big screen.

Roger Newcomb: I first saw Mary Beth as the second actress to play Dakota on RITUALS. When that show went off the air Ken Corday quickly cast her as Kayla on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, again a recast. As with her RITUALS character, I quickly forgot there was another actress to have ever played the role. After a stint on GENERAL HOSPITAL, Evans played yet another recasted character on AS THE WORLD TURNS, Sierra. She won me over instantly and gave some powerful performances opposite some of the best actors in the industry.

Damon L. Jacobs: In her first round on DAYS, Mary Beth demonstrated a kindness and sensitivity and relentless faith that made Kayla's affection and devotion to "Patch" believable.  There was not a dry eye in the house the day she married the man of her dreams, and used that love and courage to be able to speak again.  Her seamless transformation from selfless Kayla to selfish Katherine on GENERAL HOSPITAL was one of the great surprises in daytime and Mary Beth clearly relished the role of playing a manipulative blackmailing red sports car driving vixen who took on the Quartermaines.  Her ability to make you cry in one role and cringe in the other makes her a gem on daytime, or anytime. 

Thom Racina: (who wrote for Evans on DAYS) Having had a little creative influence in "creating" Patch and Kayla, I have to tell you that Mary Beth exceeded all our hopes--she fit the bill exactly, bringing the character to life from our pages that made us all fans.

Kin Shriner: (who worked opposite Evans on RITUALS) Goofy! I took her out on my boat a couple of months ago and soaked her down. She's always a good sport, and always makes me laugh.

Tom Casiello: (wrote for Evans on both ATWT and DAYS) There's a natural quality to Mary Beth's work that I just adore. Doesn't matter how soapy the situation her characters find themselves in, you believe this could be happening to your best friend, your sister, your daughter, your mother. And no matter how tragic a story might be, there's a constant spark in her eyes that tells you that her Kayla, her Katherine, her Sierra, always has some fight left in her.


  1. Mary Beth rocks and i miss her terribly on my Daytime TV SCREEN.She brings it to every role she plays.I think she would do well in Nightime TV or film .Her acting looks so easy that i think sometime's she's under appreciated for that reason.I WOULD love to see her back doing what she loves BEST and thats Daytime.Whose gonna be smart and SNAP up MBE first ?Y&R AMC,B&B.. I want to know?lol Thanks to the Panel for the great comment's on MBE y'all rock .

  2. She should be in the top 10, in my opinion.

    I've watched soaps for 50 years now - and out of all of the couples over the years, Steve and Kayla will be my all time favorite - and it's because they were real - and their acting was real.

    My teenage son called me at work the day they made love for the first time on Days lol, it was a complete hoot that he felt that was phone worthy - and of course then I could not WAIT to get out of work and get home.

    I was so excited when Days brought them back - I started watching it for the first time since Steve died - and they wasted the opportunity.

    I'll never forgive them, and I'll never watch it again.


  3. I still want her as Liza Colby on AMC. (No offense to Jamie Luner)

  4. Mary Beth should have been in the top ten. She's a much better actress than being listed as #48. I've looked at your list and I certainly don't agree with listing her at the end. She can go toe to toe with any of the actresses on this list and come out ahead IMO.

  5. I think Mary Beth Evans should have been in the top five. Her work made me want to watch everyday, 52 weeks a year. She was PHENOMINAL as Katherine Bell especially when Claire Labine was at General Hospital and her character was paired with Mac and Robin. However, all of her portrayals are engaging, complex, and nuanced. So, I hope the P.T.B. put her on a show worthy of her talent and, while they are at it, bring Claire Labine back to create character driven story. These talents could save the genre from extinction.