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Eileen Davidson Reflects on Forty Years in Soaps

Eileen Davidson

Eileen Davidson

Eileen Davidson has done it all, from starring in reality TV and soap operas to writing novels and appearing in movies. Now, the two-time Daytime Emmy winner is looking back on her four-decade-long career in daytime with Soap Opera Digest's Dishing with Digest podcast.

Of course, Davidson got her big break in 1982 as The Young and the Restless' Ashley Abbott. But she almost ended up on another soap. Asked if she really wanted the Y&R job, she said:

The year before that, I’d been waiting tables at a restaurant in Westwood, and I was working for my father. I was cleaning the toilets of the acting studio for free acting classes, so I was busting my buns. So are you kidding me? I just wanted to work. And actually Marvin Paige was the casting director on General Hospital and he took a liking to me and he would just have me and he would work with me for hours. He was trying to get me on GH for so long, and I got very close on a couple of the roles, but he helped me really in just working with me and stuff.

In the '90s, Davidson moved to Salem. She reminisced on her bond with Days of Our Lives co-star Joseph Mascolo, who played Stefano DiMera (adoptive dad of Davidson's character Kristen). She said:

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He was a very, very brusque, kind of domineering presence, but basically just a pussycat. He loved the show so much; he loved working so much, and we had a fantastic dynamic. I loved the fact that she would kind of, Kristen would kind of cower with him but also come back and strike at him. It was kind of a nice thing. And he was a consummate professional, super-easy to work with, very, very funny. He’d always bring out the accents and stuff.

Recently, Davidson appeared in Peacock's Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem and Days of Our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas. She said:

It was fun. I mean, Beyond Salem was super, super fun. When that came about, it was just a call out of the blue; it was crazy. They actually asked me to come back for the Satan thing and I had a lot of reservations about it because of the lingerie thing and Kristen again with the frickin’ Satan thing. And at first I was like, I don’t want to play that up; I’m not comfortable; I’m not sure if I want to do that. And then I thought about it—'cause of my age, too; I'm like, do you really want to see it?—and I said, 'Screw that. I’m just going to jump back in and commit and I’m not going to be afraid.' And it scares me, so then I had to do it.

Take a listen to the full interview below.