Stephen Nichols celebrates 33 years with DAYS while exit rumors circulate

Posted Friday, June 15, 2018 4:37:52 AM
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Days of our Lives' Stephen Nichols (Steve "Patch" Johnson) is grateful for the "good fortune" that has kept him in Salem for 33 years -- but does this year signify the end of his run on the NBC soap?

It's hard to believe it's been 33 years since Steven "Patch" Johnson's merchant marine days, but it truly has been that long since he and best friend Bo fought over a girl named Britta and Bo knifed out his eye.

Portrayer Stephen Nichols took to social media to celebrate his notable anniversary with the NBC soap opera, sharing that he has much love and gratitude for all of the people who have supported his 33-year-long journey on the show.

"Beautiful people, I just want to tell you thanks," he shares in a video post. "I can't believe how many beautiful messages I've received today. Thirty-three years ago on this day I walked into the Brady Fish Market in Salem, USA and started my journey as Steven Earl Johnson. So many people were responsible for my good fortune, and I'm here to say my heart is full, and I love you all. Let's keep on keeping on."

Nichols originated his Salem alter ego back in 1985, and it's been one hell of an adventure from day one. As we mentioned above, Steve got his nickname "Patch" after he lost his eye during a knife fight with Bo (Peter Reckell) shortly after he debuted on the soap. Other major moments include him trying to take the blame for his father's death when it was really his sister, Adrienne, who killed him in self-defense; a decades-long roller coaster romance with Kayla Brady (Mary Beth Evans); a long bout with amnesia brought on by years of torture and brainwashing by the DiMera clan (which helped explain one of the actor's long hiatuses from the series); family drama that included Steve trying to take the blame for Ava Vitali's murder when it was really his son, Joey, who committed the crime; and his latest catastrophe: going blind due to poisoning, which may or may never be reversed.

His current storyline has some fans worried, especially because it comes in conjunction with a rumor that Nichols has decided to walk away from DAYS following a disagreement about the amount of screen time he is guaranteed. According to reports, the Ohio native turned down the series' offer of a one-episode a week guarantee and opted to leave instead. Neither he nor reps for DAYS have commented on the rumor, meaning fans will have to wait to find out whether or not the information is true.

In celebration of Nichols' anniversary, Steve's on-screen soulmate, Mary Beth Evans (Kayla), took to social media with a heartfelt message of congratulations for her longtime costar.

"How it all changed when I met you," she wrote. "You have always challenged me to be my very best ... we share the hustle and hard work. The love and the trust have always shined through. I love you! Happy 33 years!!"

In addition to playing DAYS' Steve, Nichols has portrayed The Young and the Restless' Tucker McCall, General Hospital's Stefan Cassadine, and Santa Barbara's Dr. Skyler Gates.

Would you like to leave a congratulatory message for Nichols regarding his anniversary with DAYS? How would you feel if he decided to leave the NBC soap opera? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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