50 Years of Soap

Patch and Kayla back on screen….but for one night only

By Mary Beth Evans

TV Soap, December 1994

Stephen Nichols and I just shot a soap opera look-back for CBS called 50 YEARS OF SOAP. The gala overflowed with Daytime stars spanning the decades.  Everyone was eager to participate because it was not an award show.  The elaborate cocktail party before the shoot added to the very relaxed and happy atmosphere.

I get so sentimental whenever I act with Stephen and I often wonder if I’ll ever “connect” with another actor as I do with him.  As Stephen says, we’re both “instinctual” actors.  When we get together the chemistry is there and it is as if we’ve never been apart.  That chemistry clicked during this evening just as it did during our visit to Australia last year.  We love and trust each other and it shows.

Stephen and I participated in the portion of the show devoted to reuniting former couples. After film clips of a famous pair — some dating back 20 years! – that couple came on stage for some repartee.  Many bore no resemblance to their former selves.  I leaned over and whispered to Stephen:  “Oh, no, I hope when they shoot 75 Years of Soaps we still look like us!”

On stage, Stephen called me “Sweetness” and I thanked him.  As Katherine on GENERAL HOSPITAL I get called many things – but sweetness is not one of them!

When people stop me on the street, they always say they loved me as Kayla on DAYS OF OUR LIVES and no two people could ever replace Patch and Kayla.  When I started on GH fans wrote expressing their hopes that Stephen would join our show.  I think people want us reunited, whatever the show.

I felt so loyal to Kayla when I started on GH that it was hard to let that person go.  Now, I’m having a great time playing her opposite, Katherine, who’s so wicked and bitchy!  I’m getting the chance to say things and act in ways unimaginable for Kayla Johnson, or even Mary Beth Evans!

Stephen and I have felt the pressure to reunite as Kayla and Patch.  The people at DOOL have felt it too:  “If they can bring back so-and-so…..why not Patch and Kayla?”  We’ve both contacted and been contacted by DAYS OF OUR LIVES.  What with contracts, and writers, and this and that, so far the timing hasn’t been right.  But who knows what will happen?

Stephen tells me the current writers on DOOL emphasize storylines over characters and simply don’t believe in supercouples.  Stephen and I were imagining what Patch and Kayla would be doing back in Salem.  We believe the storyline and the characters would have to be consistent.  They’d have matured and their lives would be richer for the experience of the years they were gone.  No-one can stay the same forever.

If Ken Corday was to ask me or Stephen, I’m certain we could come up with a terrific story.  Wouldn’t it be exciting!