The following article was written by Kristyn Burtt for Soaps She Knows | Soaps.com. To view the original article, click here.
Deidre Hall is celebrating 5,000 episodes on Days of Our Lives this week, but she dropped some jaw-dropping news to Soaps.com that even we couldn’t believe. She turned down the job as Marlena Evans — and it’s shocking to think that the iconic role could have gone to someone else in 1976.
At the time, Hall was looking for a place to call home — she wanted a steady paycheck and a regular schedule. So, she told her agent, “I want to do a soap.” That’s where Days of Our Lives enters the picture. Her first audition went so well, she “was invited to screen test,” but self-doubt crept in. “When I got there, you do, unintentionally, bump into some of the other women who are also testing at the same time. I recognized a few of them and I thought, ‘Oh man, this just isn’t going to be easy.’ And so, I was so persuaded that I wouldn’t beat out those women,” she admits to us.
Hard as it is to believe, John’s beloved “Doc” almost had a completely different face!
Well, she must have done pretty darn well because she finally got the phone call that she was waiting for. Hall recalls, “My agent called a few weeks later and said, ‘You got it.’ I said, ‘No, that must mean that everybody else I thought would have gotten it, turned it down, so there must be something wrong with that part.’” So, she did the absolute unthinkable and said, “I don’t want to do it.” What?!!!!
Three long weeks go by, and Day of Our Lives producers circle back to Hall’s agent, hoping that she would reconsider and take the role of Marlena. That’s when she revealed why she didn’t want to take the part. “I said, ‘Well, because I wasn’t their first choice. Everybody else turned it down,’” she explains. Her agent’s mind was blown because Hall really was “their first choice.” Calling it her Sally Field, “You like me, you really like me” moment, Hall finally gave everyone at Days of Our Lives a heart attack and the answer they were looking for. Phew, what a wild ride that was!