Longtime Days of our Lives character Jennifer Horton is about to get a brand-new face. Portrayer Melissa Reeves has opted to briefly step aside from the NBC soap opera, and All My Children star Cady McClain (ex-Dixie Cooney) will be temporarily taking her place.
The news was confirmed by Soap Opera Digest, which reports that Reeves -- who commutes from Tennessee to Los Angeles to film her DAYS role -- chose not to return to California when the NBC soap opera resumed production earlier this month in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Reeves also recently became a grandmother when her daughter, Emily, welcomed a son last month. Meanwhile, Reeves's son, Larry, and his wife, Olivia, are set to welcome their first child this month.
The recast is reportedly unrelated to a controversy earlier this year when Reeves came under fire for "liking" several anti-Black Lives Matter Instagram posts by conservative activist Candace Owens.
There's no word yet on when Reeves will last air and when McClain will make her debut as Jennifer, but the latter has already begun filming. Normally, DAYS' taping schedule is about six months ahead, but the soap's recent hiatus means that the timespan between tape and air is much shorter. So, could fans see McClain in time for the holidays? If so, it would be a perfect Christmas gift for Pine Valley fans!
McClain began playing Dixie Cooney in 1989 and shot to fame as part of the show's popular Tad (Michael E. Knight) and Dixie supercouple. She was infamously killed off in a "death by pancake" storyline in 2007 (which she says was punishment for stepping out of line), but returned to AMC after her character's death, both as a ghost and when Dixie was later revealed to be alive. She also appeared in the soap's 2013 online revival following its cancellation by ABC in 2011. In addition to AMC, McClain is known as Rosanna Cabot on As the World Turns, a role she played from 2002 to 2005 and again from 2007 to 2010. From 2014 to 2015, McClain appeared on The Young and the Restless as Kelly Andrews.
McClain's work on ATWT earned her an Outstanding Supporting Actress Daytime Emmy in 2004. Her very first Daytime Emmy win came in 1990 for Outstanding Juvenile Female.
Melissa Reeves has been playing the role of DAYS' Jennifer since 1985. At this time, it's unclear when (or if) the actress will resume her role at the NBC soap opera. Keep checking back to Soap Central for updates as they come!
How do you feel about Melissa Reeves's decision not to return to DAYS at this time? What do you think about AMC alum Cady McClain briefly taking over the role of Jennifer? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.