Tuesday, August 14, 2012

50 Greatest Soap Couples: #14 John & Marlena From DAYS OF OUR LIVES

COUPLE: John Black & Marlena Evans
RANK: 14
John: Drake Hogestyn
Marlena: Deidre Hall
YEARS: 1986-1987, 1991-2009, 2011-present (including the years John was thought to be Roman Brady)

Marlena's husband, Roman Brady, died tragically in late 1984.  The next year a mysterious man arrived in Salem with no memory of who he was.  He was known as "The Pawn" but came up with name John Black and worked with Marlena to regain his memory.  John had a Phoenix tattoo which led some to speculate he was Stefano DiMera.  But it was soon revealed that John was actually Roman, not so dead after all, whose appearance had been altered with plastic surgery.  Roman and Marlena reunited and renewed their wedding vows but it wasn't long until Marlena was presumed dead leaving Roman heartbroken.

Roman found comfort with Diana and Isabella, but Marlena returned a few years later alive and well after being held hostage.  Soon she discovered that the real Roman Brady (Wayne Northrup) was alive and that John was not Roman after all.   She reunited with Roman but couldn't deny her feelings for John and the two of them made love.  Marlena and Roman's daughter, Sami, saw the affair and was devastated and angry.  Marlena became pregnant with Belle and it was later revealed that John was the father.   Eventually Marlena and Roman divorced.  Her life was never easy though and she soon became possessed by the devil (really!).  John (and God) helped pull her through but Kristen's (Eileen Davidson) manipulations kept them apart.  Roman returned again (confusingly played by Josh Taylor, who had starred on the show for many years as Chris Kositchek), dying from an illness, and Marlena devoted herself to him.   Roman survived and John and Marlena reunited.  They next decade brought many complications including Princess Gina, Rex and Cassie, Alex North and, of course, Stefano.  John and Marlena left town in 2009 but returned two years later at the dedication of Horton Square.  They remain together and in love to this day.

The character of Marlena was successfully paired with Don, Roman and John.  All three pairings received votes from our panel (all three were in the Top 100) and the fans who enjoyed the couples for different reasons.  Despite the confusing writing around John's past, and the perplexing casting of Josh Taylor as Roman, it was Marlena's romance with John that stood the test of time and inspired the fans' passionate support.

John and Marlena won the Soap Opera Digest Award in 2005 as Favorite Couple.  In 1998 they were nominated as Hottest Romance.

In a testament to their lasting popularity they have dominated the We Love Soaps weekly poll as Favorite Couple week after week.

Early highlights including learning John is Roman (1986) 
Marlena returns from the dead and reunites with Roman/John (1991)
Marlena is possessed (1995)
John and Marlena weddings

Share your thoughts on John and Marlena in our Comments section below or on our message board.

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  1. I can see why the Marlena couples split the vote. My favorite was Don but I liked her with all three.

  2. I love John and Marlena and they made me not being able to wait to find a love like that one day. I wish they were at least in the top 10 but 14 is great too.

  3. As for myself, John and Marlena will ALWAYS me Number One.
    Nobody holds a candle to their romance and undying love.
    Just my opinion of course. Lol.

  4. They're numero uno for me. Hands down. The best chemistry in Daytime, by such gigantic margins, that it's almost embarassing, and a beautiful, beautiful love story. They fell in love when she thought he was the man who killed her husband, and 26 years later, here we are...

  5. You can not top John and Marlena for supercouples. They are magic onscreen together not matter what the storyline.