Emmy Award nominee Frances Reid, who has played Alice Horton for the entire 35 years Days of our Lives
has been on the air, is daytime television's most beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. As one of only two remaining original cast members, she is indisputably one of the most revered veterans in soap opera history. She has won the Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Actress/Mature Role in 1985, 1984, 1979 and 1978 and was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1986/87 and for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a drama series in 1978/79.
It is a surprise to many long-time Days
viewers who only know her as Alice that Frances had an accomplished acting career prior to her debut on Days on November 8, 1965. Her Broadway appearances include Hamlet
with Maurice Evans
, Cyrano de Bergerac
with Jose Ferrer
, Twelfth Night
and a Theater Hill production of The Rivals
with Mary Boland
. Frances also won the role of Mrs. Moonlight in Mrs. Moonlight
and Charlotte Corday in Charlotte Corday
. Little did she know at that time how the name Corday was
to play an important role in her life.
Frances' television credits include the Eleventh Hour
, Little Mister
, Wagon Train
, and the movie-of-the-week Mercy Or Murder
Frances' film debut was in the 1937 feature Stage Door
with Katharine Hepburn
, Lucille Ball
and Ginger Rogers
. But it was in the 1966 film Seconds
, in which Frances played Rock Hudson's
wife, where one scene took days to shoot, that pushed Frances in the direction of television, where things move at a much faster pace.
Frances' initial entrée into TV soap opera was in 1953, when she starred in Portia Faces Life
. The show had just converted from radio to TV and was only 15 minutes per episode. Frances, who felt pressured doing one show per day, left after only six months.
In 1965, when Ted Corday
offered Frances the role of Alice, Frances was hesitant about signing on with Days of our Lives
. She was familiar with the pressures of doing a daily show and, at that time, working on a soap opera was not the thing to do. However, roles for women over 30 were not copious and Frances, who always needed to be working, accepted his offer. It's been a great run.
And one that Frances takes seriously. To help look out after her fellow actors, she is an active member of the American Federation for Television and Radio Artists, serving as first vice president of the local.
Frances was born in Wichita Falls, Texas and raised in Berkeley, California. After graduating from Pasadena Community Playhouse, Reid pursued her acting career immediately, landing a role in the West Coast production of Tovarich.
Her father had always told the Reid sisters that they must grow up and take responsibility for their lives, which meant supporting themselves. In Frances' generation it was typical for women to get married, raise children and never hold a job outside the home.
But thanks to her father, Frances didn't follow the conventional social wisdom. Although she was married to the late actor Phillip Bourneuf for 43 years, the couple never had children. Most people might find it hard to believe, considering she epitomizes matriarchy on Days of our Lives
. But Frances makes up for it by being a terrific aunt and constantly entertains her nieces and nephews.
When not acting, Frances is an inveterate traveler. Her vacations find her in such exotic locales as South Africa, Peru, China and Egypt and the more mundane but no less exciting cities of Europe, most recently those in Italy. Perhaps the words about independence that Reid's father used to preach to her is the reason why she is still in Salem. According to Frances, age is no reason to retire from the thing she loves to do best - act.