With the return of acerbic, comical newspaper man Jack Deveraux (Matt Ashford) to Salem on Days of Our Lives, one of soap's smartest, sexiest pairings, Jack and Jennifer (Melissa Reeves), have been reunited. Well, not quite. There is the matter of Jenn's hairy, hunky new boyfriend Dr. Daniel Jonas (Shawn Christian) for the roving reporter to contend with.
Never fear. Our boy Jack's no stranger to having to use his brains to best another man's brawn when it comes to Jennifer Rose. Remember Emilo Ramirez or Hawk Hawkins? Yeah, neither do we. In celebration of Jack and Jenn getting another shot at a little, ahem, intelligent interaction, let's look back at 10 of daytime's smartest couples.
10.) Jennifer Horton and Jack Deveraux, Days of Our Lives
There's absolutely no way this pairing should have worked. He was the insanely jealous, political scion, who had raped his first wife, town sweetheart Kayla Brady (Mary Beth Evans). She was the plucky, virginal granddaughter of Salem's most prominent family on NBC's Days of Our Lives. Yet from the moment Jennifer Horton started an internship at Jack Deveraux's newspaper, The Spectactor, there was no denying the combustible chemistry that flowed beneath every snarky barb Jack shot in Jennifer's direction.
Though everyone tried to warn Jenn, her Grandmother Alice ( the late Frances Reid) and her cousin Melissa (then Camilla Scott) to name a few, she was determined to make Jack admit he had feelings for her, and to see himself the way she saw him. When Jenn grew weary of waiting on Jack to finally realize he was just as crazy for her as she was for him, she opted to marry good-natured Latin heartthrob Emilio (Billy Hufsy), causing Jack to do what any sensible man in love would. He hijacked a fire engine and kidnapped Jennifer on her wedding day!
In Jennifer, Jack found the redemption he was so desperately searching for and in Jack, Jenn found the greatest love (and challenge) of her life. In the over two decades that have followed, Jack and Jenn have endured Cruises of Deception (complete with diaphragms!), marriages, divorces, the births of two children, childhood cancer, a couple of returns from the dead and even Peter Blake, but through it all, they've always managed to make smart look hella sexy. Okay, except for when Steve Wlder and Stephanie Cameron were in the roles...
9.) Tracy Quartermaine and Luke Spencer, General Hospital
Laura Vining Webber Baldwin (Genie Francis) may have been Luke Spencer's (Tony Geary) "angel," but devilish Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Elliot) is without a doubt his whip smart, sexy soulmate and equal on ABC Daytime's General Hospital. Every bit as nefarious, black-hearted and self-interested as the spouse who first tricked her into marriage for her millions, Tracy managed to do the unthinkable — she provided Luke with a post-Laura love interest fans not only accepted, but came to root for. Oh and did I mention they're both over 50? Someone should alert Madison Avenue that smart is sexy, no matter the demo!
8.) Brooke English and Edmund Grey, All My Children
Although Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) lived for throwing accusations that rival Brooke English (Julia Barr) was forever going after Erica's cast aside men on All My Children (Okay, there was some truth to that. Tom, Jack, Dimitri?!), our Ms. Brooke managed to find quite a few men during her time in Pine Valley whom La Kane hadn't gotten to first. One such gentleman caller was dashing investigative journalist Edmund Grey (John Callahan), who worked with Brooke at her magazine Tempo.
This smart, sexy duo was so hot together, even Brooke's meddling Aunt Phoebe (the late Ruth Warrick) couldn't help but approve! It's too bad Edmund's obsession with finding out about his Andrassy birthright and the return from the dead of Brooke's baby daddy Tad Martin (Michael E. Knight) came between the two Fourth Estaters.
Edmund and Brooke did get a second shot at love some years later, but that romance was thwarted by another return from the dead, when Edmund's not-so-late wife Dr. Maria Santos (Eva La Rue) returned to Pine Valley, bosoms the ready. There must be something in the water in that town...
7.) John Dixon and Lucinda Walsh, As The World Turns
A guy had to be pretty sure of himself to stand beside publishing barracuda Lucinda Walsh (Elizabeth Hubbard) on the defunct CBS sudser As The World Turns. Considering he'd likely never be as rich or powerful as the former Mary Ellen Walters, a man would have to settle on being just as clever. Lucinda found just the man in town scoundrel Dr. John Dixon (Larry Bryggman).
Even after Lucinda's meddling in John's relationship with his son Duke cost the tycoon her marriage to the doc with the worst beside manner ever, the two remained the best of friends and eventually reunited just before the "World" stopped turning for good in 2010.
6.) Lionel and Augusta Lockridge, Santa Barbara
Any high school teacher having trouble getting his or her students interested in Shakespeare needs to head to You Tube and search for old clips from the NBC cult soap classic Santa Barbara. The show gave us so many smart, sexy. classic literature-spouting couples in the 80's, I could have easily filled all 10 slots on this list!
One of the two pairings that did make the cut, Lionel and Augusta Lockridge (played masterfully by Nicolas Coster and Louise Sorel), was allegedly inspired by the soap's creators (Bridget and Jerome Dobson) own tempestuous, urbane union. While Lionel never could seem to stop that pesky eye of his from roving in the direction of Sophia Capwell (Judith McConnell), wife of his bitter rival C.C. Capwell (most notably Jed Allan), it was Augusta, the regal, pet bird-cooking, Queen Gertrude to Lionel's King Claudius, who kept him and viewers on our toes, in and out of Circles of Truth.
5.) Cass Winthrop and Kathleen McKinnon, Another World
While voracious Cass "Cassanova" Winthrop (Stephen Schnetzer) had many a memorable romance during his time in Bay City, Illinois on NBC's Another World, his dalliance with one Kathleen McKinnon (Julie Osburn) proved his smartest, sexiest pairing. Cass first bonded with Kathleen, gal Friday to his ex-lover-turned-BFF Felicia Gallant's (Linda Dano), when he enlisted her help in finding Cecile DePoulignac (Nancy Frangione).
While pining over Cecile, Cass almost didn't realize true love was comedically snarking right in front of him. It wasn't until Kathleen helped Cass out a sticky situation with a loan shark named Tony The Tuna that he finally started to see her in a new light. Hey, if a girl sticks around after seeing you dress up as a drag queen named Krystal Lake, she's definitely a keeper!
Although paralysis (hers at the hand of Carl Hutchins) and wedding day kidnappings (his courtesy of Cecile) threatened to come between them, Cass and Kathleen eventually found their happily ever after. That is of course until she was presumed dead and he found another smart redhead to love named Frankie Frame (Alice Barrett). I guess being smart isn't exactly a guarantee to forever...
4.) Alexandra Spaulding and Fletcher Reade, Guiding Light
You'd think the very fact that it was journalist Fletcher Reade (Jay Hammer) who proved heiress Alexandra Spaulding's (the late Beverlee McKinsey) believed deceased father Brandon was not only alive and well, but living in Barbados with his black mistress—and their daughter—would have prevented Alex from ever having a romantic thought about Fletch. Luckily Alex decided not to shoot the messenger!
Years later, the pair found themselves once again in close quarters (How close is a crashed plane for ya?), while trying to rescue Alex's dastardly brother Alan. The duo fell madly in love, however a not-quite-dead Roger Thorpe (the late Michael Zaslow), passing himself off as a man named Adam Malik on the Carribbean isle where Alex and Fletch were stranded, managed to come between them.
Although Alex went on to marry Roger, much to the entire town of Springfield's dismay, she always carried a torch for Fletcher, even after her schemes against Roger resulted in Fletch bedding Roger's ex-wife Holly (Maureen Garrett) and getting her pregnant! In the end though, Alex (Marj Dusay) and Fletch were reunited during Guiding Light's last few episodes and left Springfield for a smart, sexy love affair abroad in 2009.
3.) Dorian Cramer Lord and Mel Hayes, One Life to Live
It took a real smarty pants to contend with Dorian Lord (Robin Strasser). Good thing even in a drunken state, reporter Mel Hayes (Stephen Markle) was as sharp as they came. The romance between the tortured, alcoholic widower and the volatile schemer gave One Life to Live one of the soap's smartest, sexiest pairings of all time. Even in death, Mel never missed a chance to keep Dorian honest, popping up (sometimes as himself, sometimes as a black woman!) often to serve as her conscience. Lord (and Cramer) knows she needed one!
2.) Tom Hughes and Margo Montgomery, As The World Turns
Decades before Carrie Bradshaw was obsessing about Mr. Big on Sex and the City, another Big was inadvertently bringing together a witty, passionate couple on CBS Daytime's As The World Turns. Okay, so the Mr. Big whom Tom Hughes (then Justin Deas) and Margo Montgomery (then Margaret Colin) investigated all those years ago was a diminutive evil doer, not a relationship-phobic, Gotham playboy, ATWT's Mr. Big knew how to stir up just as much trouble for smart women as SATC's version did!
While kidnapped by Big, Tom and Margo had to figure out riddles based on classic literature in order to stay alive. It's a good thing Margo's guy knew more about the works of Robert Browning than Carrie's did. Talk about love letters from great men!
1.) Mason Capwell and Julia Wainright, Santa Barbara
It's quite the lofty distinction to be the smartest supercouple on the smartest soap opera ever created. From where I'm blogging though, no couple in the history of suds made smart look as sexy as arrogant, Shakespeare-quoting, boozing, rich boy Mason Capwell (Lane Davies) and feminist, neurotic, hot-tempered lawyer Julia Wainwright (Nancy Lee Grahn) on Santa Barbara.
What started as a simple business arrangement—Julia wanted Mason to father her child then bow out with no pesky emotional attachments—eventually turned into soaps' greatest, brainteaser of a love affair. Even though Mason married Tori, the woman who was pregnant by his sister Eden's (Marcy Walker) true love Cruz (A Martinez), he couldn't stay away from Julia and later their daughter Samantha. Eventually, Mason and Julia wed in one of the funniest nuptials ever on daytime or primetime TV. In fact, this couple loved getting married so much, they did it over and over again, only the groom kept changing faces for some odd reason...