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’sMichael 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!