It has been insanely fun to see daytime veteran Linda Dano back on soap screens again, this time as Days of our Lives' devilish villain Vivian Alamain. The actress stepped into the role for just a couple of weeks as a favor to her friend and original portrayer, Louise Sorel, and the result was spectacular.
Dano -- whose previous soap credits include Another World's Felicia Gallant, As the World Turns' Cynthia Haines, Guiding Light's Lena Kendall, and One Life to Live's Gretel Cummings (a character she later took to General Hospital, Port Charles, and All My Children under the name Rae Cummings) -- says she still can't believe how incredible her Salem experience turned out to be.
"It was a glorious time," she shares with Soap Opera Digest. "I walked in there like I had been there all my life. They couldn't have been more wonderful to me. They couldn't do more for me. I would finish a scene, and a couple of the crew guys would stop me and say, 'Linda, that was so good.' And that went on every single day. And the hair and the makeup and the laughing? It was a glorious time. It really, truly was."
Probably the most spectacular thing of all about her DAYS experience, say the actress, was getting the call in the first place.
"It was reaffirming. I'm 77 years old. Who gets a call at 77, 'Listen, would you like to have a job for a couple of weeks?'" she says in disbelief and gratitude. But she also confesses that she had to hurry and lose several "COVID pounds" before reporting to work. "Getting the job made me lose the weight, so thank you, DAYS. It was the motivation I needed. Even at my age, I'm still vain enough to want to look a certain way!"
Though her time on Days of our Lives was brief, Dano relishes the fact that she was able to get back into the soap opera mix.
"I have had a love affair for 35 years in daytime," she points out. "It's my family. And it's not just my family on Another World or ABC -- you become friends with people that aren't on your show and it becomes one huge family and that family understands each other. We know the labor it takes to pull off an hour show. We know how difficult it can be and how tired you can get. And it becomes a safe haven, if you will, for actors because we're part of this giant family. For me, it was, 'I'm going to go to California. I'm going to see some friends of mine who I haven't seen in a long time. I'm going to have fun.'"
For Dano's full SOD interview, click here.
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