Monday, Dec. 08, 2008

Marlena Evans

By 1987, she had already been kidnapped, presumed dead, stalked by a strangler, mistakenly subjected to electroshock therapy and sent into a two-month coma after falling off a building. Even by the standards of her highly dangerous profession — fictional soap opera character — Marlena Evans was living on borrowed time. So when the psychiatrist at Days of Our Lives' Bayview Sanitarium was presumed dead (again) after a secret agent blew up her family's house and kidnapped her, and presumed deader when the plane she was being spirited away on exploded, it was a shock (although probably not to longtime viewers) when she awakened in a Carribbean clinic in 1991, having been in a coma for nearly four years. Still, for an industry that relies on spontaneous and conveniently-timed comas as essential plot elements, Evans' hiatus is one of the longest in soap opera history. Deidre Hall, who plays Evans, will be leaving Days of Our Lives in January after 28 years in the role. That might not be a coma Marlena wakes up from.