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'Days of our Lives' Casting Shake-Ups: Crystal Chappell On Her Soap Retirement

by Michael Maloney, posted Jun 6th 2011 5:00PM
crystal_chappell_cbsFan favorite (and that's an understatement) Crystal Chappell (Carly) recently stunned fans when she Tweeted on her husband's (Michael Sabatino of 'Knots Landing' fame) account that she would be leaving 'Days of our Lives' later this summer when her contract expires.

The good news is that given how far ahead the show tapes Carly could remain on-screen for quite some time. Another casting shocker quickly occurred when Louise Sorel (Vivian) told TV Guide that she, too, was on her way out.

Sorel revealed in the exit interview that the much-missed Drake Hogestyn and Deidre Hall, who play supercouple John and Marlena, are coming back to 'Days' this summer.

Chappell and Sorel will be deeply missed. Carly is the one true viable threat to super-duo Bo and Hope. Vivian entertains viewers with comedy one moment and turns calculatingly evil the next. (Was there ever anything more chilling in soaps than Vivian taunting Carly via walkie talkie after she buried her alive back in 1993?)

Read on to hear Chappell's thoughts on leaving Salem a second time and what her plans are for the future.

How are fans reacting to your news about leaving 'Days'?
They're being lovely and supportive. I'm basically retiring. That's my news.

You are not.
I am. I'm going to focus on my family and focus on the Web. (Chappell executive produces and stars in the popular Internet series 'Venice.') If something comes along that's short term, I have no problem with that. This has been a wonderful career -- I'm writing a book about my experiences in daytime. Without sounding too crass, I've gotten around. (In addition to two 'Days' stints Chappell also appeared on 'Santa Barbara,' 'One Life to Live' and 'Guiding Light,' where she won an Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2002.) I have a lot that I want to say and this is a time in my life where I want to do the things that I want to do and create the vision that I want to create and go from there.

We're in a time of great change with soap operas being canceled and new ones starting on the Web like 'Venice.' People are looking to you because you've made a success of it.
I feel like I've learned a lot in the last two years. That's all it's been, a learning experience. I feel we're in a place where we understand how to make this work. It's taken a lot of people, a lot of great minds, but yeah, I feel good about what we've done and where we are headed.

How would you like to see Carly leave Salem?
I always used to say to [head writer] Jill Lorie Hurst on 'GL' that it would be great for [my character] Olivia to get hit by a bus filled with student clowns going to a clown convention. There's something about Carly stepping off the curb and getting rid of her by a bus [that's oddly appealing]. I have loved playing this character. I had another job offer [after 'GL'], but the reason I went back [in 2009] to 'Days' is that I had created such bad energy when I was there before. I was a young, messed up person. I really wanted to go back and give this crew and these people good energy, laughs and entertainment. I know it sounds weird -- I'm an actor out of work -- but I feel I accomplished that. I walk away feeling so proud of what I did. I've had a long career. My family and I are in a very lovely place and I get to do these wonderfully creative things with great people [with my Web series].

I'll always be a part of the daytime community because I'm going to [take] these lovely faces and this talent and put them to work in something that allows them the freedom to do really anything they want to do. That's where my heart is. That's what my goal is.

Have you read 'I'm Just Sayin,' your former 'GL' co-star Kim Zimmer's upcoming memoir?
I've read some excerpts. I haven't seen my name yet, so I'm a little bit put off by that. [Laughs] My sweet Zimmer and I were texting today. She said, "Now what role are you writing for me in your [next Web series] 'The Grove?'" And I have!

'The Grove' isn't based on the outdoor shopping mall in Los Angeles' Fairfax area, is it?
No. It's not. It's more about a small community, actual groves, lemon groves, orange groves. It's based on my Irish Catholic upbringing and it's about two Irish Catholic families. It's working class versus the nouveau-riche. They're connected through history.

Will you miss Carly on 'Days'? Sound off in the comments.

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I wil not miss Carly on Days simpy because I could not stand her. She was not a good actress. She had the same expression for everything good or bad. I am happy that she will not be back on Days.

March 20 2012 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We will miss you Carly on Days, was looking forward for a reunion of you and Daniel getting together when you came out of rehab so strong and sexy as you always were. Jennifer would return to her boring life with Jack, and being with the hot Dr. Jonas would made Bo all jealous over you again, driving Hope insane. lol

November 01 2011 at 11:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Omg! She is such a great actress and so is the actress that play Viv they can not be replaced want be the same :-(

October 12 2011 at 9:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ps: to my other email....really like Dr. Dan with Jennifer!!!!!Give us some smokin hot scene with
Brady and Nichole....hot!!hot!!! maybe he will stop drinking .and make mad love to Nichole......

August 26 2011 at 1:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

been a fan since 1976...wish they would keep Vivian around...things are always up in air when she's around.
Happy that John and Marlena are coming back...love romance between Victor and "REDS" been cheering..
Love the young actors in summer......but will b happy to see a mature love afair... need some satin sheets,
strawberries for dipping and rose petals.....

August 26 2011 at 1:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kim Zimmer fans will also enjoy the Mr. Media VIDEO interview in which she talks about working with her friend Alec Baldwin on "The Doctors," replacing Kathleen Turner on "The Doctors" and playing her double onscreen in "Body Heat," her 26 years on "The Guiding Light," and her struggles with alcohol in the show's final years. Check it out: http://www.mrmedia.com/?p=2172

August 08 2011 at 10:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rita Jorgenson

I'm shocked and saddened to see "Carly" leave again. Golly Melanie and Doc Jonas need her to complete the triangle of turmoil and events.

August 03 2011 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love Days and its characters! especially Carly, Sammy, EJ. Stefano, Hope, Bo and bad Kate Rafe really surprised where his character went (I loved it) As a retiree and a fan for 35 years. Keep up the good works, welcome back Marlena a John.

July 24 2011 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think that is high time that Carley departed. Sadly Vivian will be missed greatly...She adds such spunk to the show......Lets get rid of Wimbledon so we can have our Days Fix every week day....Tennis should be on the sports channel.....

July 04 2011 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I will miss Carly as a very talented actress. But, I will NOT miss the drug story. It is so stupid to make her a junkie. They could come out with something better than that, don't you think so ??

June 18 2011 at 6:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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