Kristian Alfonso (Hope) and Peter Reckell (Bo) weigh in on Days' milestone 40 years
Happy Anniversary Days of our Lives
The year was 1965. The Watts riots in Los Angeles were escalating. Pampers, Gatorade, and Spaghetti-O’s were introduced. So was the Lava Lamp. An unknown Brittish band called “The Rolling Stones” hit the American scene, and out of 19- inch TV’s (25-inch if you were lucky) came the words “Like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives...”
Who would of ever thought that 40 years later those words would be immortalized on daytime TV? And are still so adamantly spoken at the beginning of every episode by the late great Mac Donald Carey (Dr. Tom Horton), making the Emmy Award winning Days of our Lives one of the most successful dramas on television with generations of loyal viewers.
Days of our Lives was the first daytime drama to air in color. The show tapes 250 episodes a year, 50 weeks a year, five days a week, and has entertained us and kept us in suspense for 10,150 episodes.
Days of our Lives is a family-created show by Betty and Ted Corday, and today is carried on by son, Ken Corday, who is the show’s executive producer. The show is seen throughout Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, and Africa.
DOOL boasts original cast member Francis Reid, who celebrated her 91st birthday, and still continues as the head of the Horton household. Here she is on the very first episode.
Many cast members like Alison Sweeney (Sami) and Bryan Dattilo (Lucas), Jason Cook (Shawn) and Farah Fath (Mimi) have grown up before our eyes. And many have returned like Josh Taylor (Roman) and Wayne Northrop (Dr. North) as different characters.
Then of course, there are the fan favorite’s like Deidre Hall (Marlena), Drake Hogystyn (John), Melissa Reeves (Jennifer), and Matthew Ashford (Jack), not to mention one of daytime’s most popular super couples, Peter Reckell (Bo) and Kristian Alfonso (Hope).
During the month of November 2005 (November 8th to be exact), Days of our Lives celebrates its 40th Anniversary on NBC . On November 11th, an elaborate “retro themed” party will commemorate the occasion with current and past series’ cast members at the Hollywood Palladium. And on November 25th a very special episode will air where Hope (Kristian Alfonso) plans a special gift for Alice (Francis Reid) along with some surprises from the Horton women.
Recently two of the show’s most beloved actors, Peter Reckell (Bo) and Kristian Alfonso (Hope) sat down via conference call with the press to talk about their last two decades with the show, dishing everything from bad hair days to most outrageous moments.
“To tell the truth, I really enjoyed all the storylines,” Alfonso said. “But if I had to pick one, it was when I was transformed into Princess Gina. It was a lot of fun, and also when I look at old videos and my hair....it’s like oh my God!”
Reckell added that he doesn’t worry about his hair, but he enjoys the show because of what he is able to do. “We get to do what we want, when we want,” he said. “If we want to ride a crocodile, we do. We’re (Hope and Bo) are very multi-dimensional characters that take risks.”
Alfonso interceded, “Well almost anything. I remember Ken Corday calling me at home telling me I will sing on the show. I mean my jaw dropped,” she laughed. “I was like...Ken no! Please no! We have good ratings, and we want to keep them. I thank God he listened.”
Reckell recalled a hilarious storyline where Bo and Hope were having a romantic love scene in a hot spring and in real life, Alfonso was pregnant, “Heck I had to wrap my legs around her waist to keep her from bobbing up,” he laughs.
Reckell and Alfonso both joined Days of our Lives in 1985. They appeared on and off the canvas, but said that they would never of imagined having a job twenty years later.
“I’m grateful everyday. I’m passionate about my work,” Alfonso said. “I had no experience when I was hired. It was my first time away from home. I had no idea what I was doing, and to think that they took a chance on me. I don’t take this job for granted.”
Reckell and Alfonso both believe that Days of our Lives is the success it is because the enduring characters and inter-twining characters. As for their characters, both believe that Bo and Hope are a phenomenal couple and feel that the writers have a challenge of coming up with new ideas which they so brilliantly do. Saying, “As a couple Bo and Hope surprise us.”
Alfonso said that when she first met Reckell her reaction was that he’s a man who knows what he’s doing, and she knew that she had her work cut out for her.
“I did. Like I said, I was new to everything. I worked hard,” she recalls. “And I think it’s both of our hard work and dedication that makes us endure.”
Soapdom asked, how have soaps changed over the years? “Well, there is definitely more action, less sets, and more on location and outdoor scenes, ”Alfonso said. “The working days are still long, and instead of stories dragging, today if a viewers misses a show you miss a lot. Every episode has something to tell.”
Alfonso and Reckell both said that through the grapevine of what they hear in the halls, Bo and Hope are to become involved in a monumental upcoming storyline said to be something that has never happened before. “But again. I know nothing, and like I said, until it’s written on paper, it hasn’t happened,” Alfonso joked.
Away from the soap world, Alfonso is busy with the debut of her own self-titled clothing line in Spring 2006.
“I was approached and thought it would be interesting. It will be a line for all body types. As you know...I’ve had a weight problem, and know the feeling of (it being) hard to find clothes,” Alfonso said. “The clothes will also be what I would wear, and they will be versatile, meaning from shopping at the mall to dinner with your husband.”
Reckell is busy designing his dream home. “Yea! For two years. I'm doing most of the work myself. It’s a green home, from the ground up,” he said.
Reckell and Alfonso both feel blessed to be a part of Days of our Lives, a show that is not only a household name, but is so rich in family history, knowing that it will go on and on entertaining new generations of viewers.
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