Well, folks, it looks like Days of our Lives' 2019 is going to be one for the books. Hot on the heels of the news that the NBC soap opera has been renewed for another season comes confirmation that popular daytime star Judith Chapman is heading back to Salem. Only this time, she'll be playing a brand-new character that sounds like trouble with a capital T!
Chapman played former DAYS character Angelica Deveraux from 1989 to 1991 and made a return to the series as a "blithe spirit" for Halloween last year. However, rumors about a different return altogether have been swirling since her October appearance, and the actress just took to Twitter to announce that those rumors are true: she has taken on the role of Leo Stark's (Greg Rikaart) mother, Diana Cooper.
"What a great way to start 2019!" Chapman enthuses on Twitter about the casting news.
And I don't have to keep the secret either Mitch Sandusky! What a GREAT way to start 2019... More articles to come in TV Guide Magazine and Soap Opera Digest... and to be reunited with my TV... https://t.co/MXY28sdFDh- Judith Chapman (@real_jchapman) January 16, 2019
The South Carolina native is said to be making her debut as Diana on Tuesday, January 29, and it will be revealed that the new character shares a romantic history with John Black (Drake Hogestyn), who is described as the love of Diana's life. And if that isn't shocking enough, get this: teasers reveal Diana will once again sink her teeth into John and will stop at nothing to steal him away from Marlena (Deidre Hall).
Chapman has a long history in the daytime world, having gotten her start in the genre as Natalie Bannon Hughes on As the World Turns before going on to play Sandra Montaigne on One Life to Live, Charlotte Greer on Ryan's Hope, and Ginny Blake on General Hospital. Her most recent soap opera role is that of The Young and the Restless' Gloria Abbott, which she has played since 2005.
As Soap Central previously reported, the casting of Chapman as Leo's mother on DAYS isn't just fun for storyline reasons; it's also amusing due to the fact that Chapman's Y&R character, Gloria, just happens to be the mother of Greg Rikaart's Y&R character, Kevin Fisher. At this time, it's unclear if Chapman will continue to recur on Y&R as Gloria. If so, she wouldn't be the first Y&R star to pull double duty at DAYS; Eileen Davidson famously played both Y&R's Ashley Abbott and several of her DAYS characters (Kristen DiMera, Susan Banks, etc.) at the same time.
What do you think about Chapman taking on the DAYS role of Leo Stark's mother, Diana Cooper? How do you feel about Diana's plans to steal John from Marlena? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.