Days of our Lives fans are reeling from the news that the powers that be decided to kill off legacy character Abigail Deveraux, a shocking move that the soap's head writer, Ron Carlivati, reveals was made due to issues with portrayer Marci Miller's schedule. A lot of viewers are gobsmacked that it came down to a tragic death rather than a recast or some other way to keep the character around Miller's schedule, but alas, what's done is done.
Though viewers will have to deal with the loss of Abigail, they will at least see the character's parents, Jack and Jennifer, who will be devastated by the death of their beloved daughter. In an interview with Soap Opera Digest, Carlivati confirms that Cady McClain will be stepping back into the shoes of Jennifer, who's usually played by actress Melissa Reeves. McClain first took over during the COVID pandemic, when Reeves didn't feel comfortable leaving her family or filming in Los Angeles.
"Yes, Cady is coming back as Jennifer," Carlivati shares with the publication, adding, "As bad as it is to lose a character [like Abigail], it does give us the opportunity to play some very rich, emotional stuff. There is real emotional material for the actors to sink their teeth into, so, you're going to see great stuff from Matthew Ashford and from Cady as Jennifer, from Billy Flynn as Chad, from a lot of the family."
He adds, "We don't take this lightly at all. It's going to have big, long-lasting impact on the characters."
That said, Carlivati does hint that Abigail's death might not be a forever kind of thing. "There is always that possibility that death is not permanent, especially on a soap and especially in Salem, so, you feel that maybe you're not closing off the future of that character forever," he teases. But there is a caveat: "This is going to feel permanent, and we wrote it as permanent," he says. "This is a heartbreaking story."
Ashford originally joined DAYS in 1987 and has played the role on-again, off-again since that time, with a long absence between 2012 and 2018, when Jack was thought to be dead after falling down an elevator shaft.
Reeves has been playing the role of Jennifer since 1985, but she left the show in 2020 due to the COVID crisis. DAYS temporarily recast the role with AMC alum Cady McClain, but Reeves returned to the canvas for Christmas 2021 to give Jennifer fans a very happy holiday. She has appeared sporadically since then.
McClain is famous for her role as AMC's Dixie Cooney, which she originated in 1989. 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 revived web series after AMC was canceled 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.
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