This article comes with an update from its original posting.
Fans of Days of our Lives were gobsmacked when longtime Salemite Adrienne Kiriakis died as part of the soap's time jump story, bringing her 33-year run on the series to an end. Everyone hoped that the character's death would somehow turn out to be one big joke, but alas, it seems like Adrienne really is dead -- which not only disappoints her fans but also her portrayer, Judi Evans.
In a new interview with Soap Opera Digest, Evans admitted that Adrienne's death was a total shock. "It's pretty devastating, I can't lie," she says. "You don't know what to think...It's like a part of your life, a big part, is gone."
Part of what made the news so shocking was that the actress heard rumors about her alter ego's demise long before she got the official confirmation that Adrienne was indeed going to die. After catching wind of the unexpected news on set, she spoke with co-executive producer Albert Alarr, who admitted it was true. "It's just sad, because I loved working there," Evans laments.
However, the one bright spot about Adrienne's final moments in Salem is that the heartbreaking storyline took fans on an emotional journey and gave her on-screen husband, Wally Kurth (Justin Kiriakis), some extremely meaty material.
Evans originated the role of Adrienne Kiriakis in 1987 and played the character until 1991. She returned to DAYS for story that lasted from 2007 to 2008 and once again returned in 2010, playing the character since that time. During her years on DAYS, Evans also had the opportunity to play a second Salem character, Bonnie Lockhart. Some fans are hoping that even though Adrienne is gone, Evans could bring scheming Bonnie back to Salem. Time will tell if the powers that be will surprise viewers with that particular twist.
In addition to her DAYS roles, daytime fans know Evans for playing Maeve Stone on As the World Turns, Paulina Carlino on Another World, and Beth Raines on Guiding Light.
UPDATE (January 27, 2020): Good news, DAYS fans! Wally Kurth (Justin Kiriakis) took to Twitter to assure fans that this isn't the last that viewers have seen of Judi Evans. He reveals that the actress will be returning to Salem -- but it's left us with so many questions.
When will she be returning? How long will she be sticking around? Will Evans be appearing as Bonnie? Will Evans be taping new flashback scenes as Adrienne? If it's Adrienne, will she appear as a ghost... or will some sort of miracle be taking place? See! We told you we had lots of questions. Keep checking back to Soap Central for updates as they come!
What do you think about DAYS' decision to kill off Adrienne? How much will you miss the character? Do you think the writers will bring Evans back in the role of Bonnie Lockhart? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.