June 21, 2021, marks Deidre Hall's 45th anniversary as Dr. Marlena Evans on NBC's Days of our Lives. The beloved heroine first appeared in Salem on June 21, 1976, as one of Mickey Horton's psychiatrists while he was a patient at Bayview Sanitarium. The storyline also involved Marlena's twin sister, Samantha (then-portrayed by Hall's real-life twin sister, Andrea Hall-Gengler), who drugs and keeps the good doctor in Bayview while she impersonates her sister's life.
In 1986, Hall pulled double duty when she was cast as Jesse Witherspoon on the NBC primetime series Our House. In 1987, she left Days to focus on her primetime career. She later returned and stayed on the soap from 1991 to 2009. She has remained in Salem since returning in 2011.
One of Hall's most talked about storylines was -- no surprise here! -- Marlena's demonic possession, which ran from 1994 to 1995. Who can ever forget Marlena levitating over her bed or causing a heatwave and drought? Another storyline that caused a lot of shocking moments was the story of the Salem Stalker that ran from 2003-2004. Andre DiMera, pretending to be Tony, drugged and brainwashed Marlena into believing she was responsible for killing many of the town's beloved citizens. It turned out they all ended up on an island called Melaswen, which is New Salem spelled backwards.
Marlena has walked down the aisle a few times since arriving in Salem. Most of the weddings were deemed invalid, due to her first marriage to Alex North, which took place off-screen before Hall joined the soap. Two of her most popular pairings were with Roman Brady and John Black (there is so much to unpack there). While married to Roman, Marlena had a tumultuous affair with John, which her daughter Sami witnessed. Since 1986, the supercouple of Marlena and John has dealt with several soapy twists, including presumed deaths, kidnappings, brainwashings, comas, and more.
Along with the numerous OMG moments throughout Marlena's history, she has also been Salem's rock. She is a confidante and shoulder to cry on for many of the town's citizens. She was the first person her grandson Will Horton confided in during his coming out story, and she officiated both of his weddings to Sonny Kiriakis. We also can't forget Hall's occasional turn as the troublesome and zany Hattie Adams (originally portrayed by Hall's twin sister, Andrea, from 2000 to 2001).
Hall is a five-time Best Actress Soap Opera Digest award winner. She has received Daytime Emmy nominations in the Outstanding Actress and Supporting Actress categories. She was named Best Television Role Model and received the American Women in Radio and Television award in 1994. Hall also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016. Her other television credits include The Young and the Restless, Never Say Never: The Deidre Hall Story, Perry Mason, Columbo, and Electra Woman and Dyna Girl.
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