Let the countdown begin! NBC has reportedly set Deidre Hall
(Marlena) and Drake Hogestyn
's (John Black) final Days of our Lives
airdate on January 23. Will John finally get his memory back? Will Marlena find a way to trust John again? Many fans are pondering on what the future holds for these two. Luckily, Days of our Lives
producer Ken Corday has no intention of letting fans down.
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"The couple will be happily reunited after a long period of angst and separation and will be off-screen after January for an unknown period of time. It was a very tough decision to make," Corday said in an exclusive interview with Soap Opera Digest.
The unexpected decision to lay off the highly-paid longtime cast members came after Days of our Lives
' producers cut spending earlier this month to keep the show on the air for at least another 18 months.
Deidre Hall joined Days of our Lives
in 1976 and has the distinction of being the only actress to play this role in the character's 30 year history. Through the course of her existence on the program, she was nominated twice for a Daytime Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for a Daytime Drama Series in 1980 and Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series in 1984. She also won several Soap Opera Digest awards, including 2005's Favorite Couple which she shared with Drake Hogestyn.
Drake Hogestyn, on the other hand, joined Days of our Lives
as a replacement for Robert Poynton for the infamous role of John Black, a character who came to Salem not knowing who he was. He made his debut in 1986 and has portrayed the character up to now. His awards and nominations include Soap Opera Digest's Hottest Male Star.
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of NBC)