Suzanne Rogers Dishes 40 Years on Days of Our Lives

Days of Our Lives matriarch Suzanne Rogers will hit quite the milestone on July 13. On that date, Rogers will celebrate 40 years as lovable, busybody Maggie Simmons Horton Kiriakis. TV Guide Magazine’s Michael Logan spoke with the Emmy-winning actress about her longevity in Salem and some of the wackiest storylines her alter ego was involved in.

TV Guide Magazine: What do you remember about your audition for Days?

Rogers: When I was doing my screen test, Susan Flannery [then playing Laura] walked through the control booth and said to the producers, "Well, if you don't pick her for the part, y'all are crazy!" And then she walked out the other door. [Laughs] Don't you love it?  Maggie was such a wonderful character and really different for daytime. Her parents were killed in an auto accident and she was in the back seat and suffered a really severe back injury. They didn't want me in a wheelchair because everyone would have to sit down to do scenes with me, so I spent my first two and a half years of the show on crutches, until Maggie had miracle surgery. They had me running a household, cooking meals, setting the table, cleaning house — all on crutches. Physically, it was very tricky. Thank God they hired a dancer!

Rogers also reveals her thoughts on the infamous serial killer storyline, which had Marlena (Deidre Hall) presumably whacking the soap's veterans.

TV Guide Magazine: You even survived Maggie's death! What was it like to be part of the notorious Marlena Massacre?

Rogers: [Laughs] The worst! The audience was horrified and so were we when they started firing us, one by one, and killing off our characters. At least I was in fabulous company — James Reynolds, Peggy McCay, Bill Hayes, Thaao Penghlis, Matthew Ashford. We didn't know that we weren't really dead, so I was in a panic, thinking I'd have to sell my house and maybe move back to Virginia. John Clarke [Mickey] begged to be killed off in my place. He was fine about going, but I wasn't. I love this job! And then when they killed off Frances Reid's character — sweet, dear Alice Horton — well, it was unbelievable!



13 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Yoryla

    Love her! Whether she wants it or not, she IS now the Salem matriarch.

    The Salem Stalker storyline was one of Days’ best ones! I do think it’s horrible that they actually fired the actors and then just hired them back. I hope they realize how lucky they were to get all these people back. I mean, many people would have moved on.

  2. Profile photo of blake3b

    That is horrible that they fired those actors and had them panic, then to hire them back. I hope their pay wasn’t lower to bring them back! Surprised Ellen Wheeler didn’t think of that in Guiding Light’s last years! lol

  3. Profile photo of hey mon
    hey mon

    I wish that the whole bunch of them would have been gone, except for Maggie and Victor. The New Days, which existed for about a month, which pitted Julie vs Bonnie for control of the Horton Family was top-notch and fantastic.

    We wouldnt have to put up with Mumbles Brady (Roman), either.

  4. Profile photo of LizzieVee

    I remember when Maggie Simmons came to the show with her crutches and a pair of red dancing shoes that she dreamed of wearing if she could ever walk again. She fell in love with Marty Hansen (Mickey) who showed up at her door step at the farm. He didn’t have his memory — just found out his son, Michael Horton, was not his son but his brother Bill’s. It was such a trumatic thing for Mickey that he ran, took on the name of Marty Hansen because of the initials on his belt buckle (MH). What a wonderful story line it was. Wow, I’m going back and haven’t thought of this in decades, I’m pretty sure it was Laura who found Mickey. And, he went back to Salem, Maggie followed and that’s how she came into the Horton FAmily. I’m pretty sure it was becaues of Tom Horton that she had the surgery that enabled her to walk again. Was it Bill who performed the surgery? This was in the days of 1/2 hour shows. It took like 8-9 soap years before Michael’s paternity came out.

    I love that Maggie is still a strong part of the show but I always thought that Julie and Doug should be the heads of the family.

  5. Profile photo of

    Yeah I bet Susan Flannery was very excited to get such an attractive red head on the show!:)

  6. Profile photo of SoapArmageddon

    Days would not be the same without her.

    I wish they would undo the whole thing about Doctor Daniel Jonas’ being Maggie’s son. Suzanne Rogers has proven time and again that she can be used as much more than a prop or a talk-to; and if she is used as one, it should be for her character’s daughters, Melissa and Sarah, that we longtime fans of the show have a history with.

  7. Profile photo of SonnySprocket

    Happy 40th anniversary to Suzanne. So glad that Maggie is more involved in the show the past few years after spending a good chunk of the 90s just holding up the scenery. She is an amazing actress and a great cheerleader for the show.

  8. Profile photo of jeremy in chicago
    jeremy in chicago

    She is awesome. The Salem Stalker storyline was freaking amazeballs, though. But gosh, how awful they all got fired! I remember how great the reveal was though – I flippin’ tunnel under the ground that led to a secret island? WTF, Days!?!? That’s the kind of story that made me fall in love with this show, though. When it gets too similar to the other soaps, it doesn’t work as well. It has to be over the top.

    As great as that story was, it was a bummer that some of the characters came back – such as Abe and Roman.

  9. Profile photo of Jon

    JER’s classic Salem Stalker storyline kicked off 10 years ago next month. 10 years ago this month we were watching the last few weeks of Dena Higley’s craptastic material. Anyone remember Bo & Hope as bounty hunters running after the goop? And Ken Corday actually hired her back after the Hogan Sheffer debacle!

  10. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott

    At the time, it was my understanding that the Salem Stalker story was to clear some of the canvas for budget reasons.
    It started off strong and had some real nailbiter moments….Kate screaming when she found Roman….Cassie falling out of the pinata…..Alice telling Marlena “You need help”….but then the explanation came and it was pretty bad and rather stupid.

    I do remember getting the issue of SOD announcing everyone was coming back on the cover. That was great.

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