Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie): “For the last six years or so any time we would meet fans of Days of our Lives, the first question was always, ‘How is Grandma Alice … Frances? Where is she? Is she alright? Oh I’m glad she’s alright. Is she going to be on the show some more? And, of course, in the past five years she wasn’t able to be on the show anymore. Her saddest moment that I’m aware of was when her character was killed in the mass bludgeoning under the (James E.) Reilly writing regime. Frances took that rather personally. It was obvious that everyone was getting knocked off, but Frances said, ‘You’re firing me.’ It was like a knife through her heart. She couldn’t believe it. She wasn’t philosophical about it. She was hurt. Everyone was hurt, but she was really hurt because the show meant so much to her. Her presence meant so much to the people who have loved Days for large portions of their lives. She was eternally beautiful on camera and her character generally was written as a wise, forgiving matriarch. Sometimes her own flash and opinion would shine through some rather maudlin dialogue. She had claws and sparks and ferocity that Alice has never shown. She also was the focus of all the love that Days has earned from its fans over the last 45 years. She’s irreplaceable and her kind of character is no longer on the map.”“Frances Reid, although the consummate actor’s actor, was far from the donut baking, apron clad wife of Tom Horton most of America knew and loved,” Deidre Hall (ex-Marlena) shares with Digest. “She was a saucy, wildly outspoken and politically incorrect woman. Frances was never shy about speaking her mind openly and passionately — even as we counted down to tape. She called it like she saw it, whether she was taking on the union, or critiquing your hairstyle — mincing her words was never an option. She earned the respect and admiration of her friends and peers with her candid approach to life, work, and philosophy.”
“Whether you loved or feared her, you always respected her — and if you had the courage, she was a magnificent teacher, mentor, friend,” Hall continues. “I feel a strong sense of personal loss as Frances makes her way to Heaven, and know that we shall not look upon her like again.”“She was honest, spunky, and had such a wonderful sense of humor,” says Peggy McKay (Caroline). “She was so present, so there. One of the things I really admired about her was her support for her fellow actors. She provided a strong voice for our union. She was a great, great woman.”“One thing I remember about her was that she was full of useful tips for her co-stars,” notes Leann Hunley (Anna). “I remember her telling me that as an actress it was very important to take at least a 20 minute nap during the day, but it was just as equally important not to mess up our hair and make-up. She was able to teach me a little trick of how to sleep completely still so when I woke up from my nap I didn’t have a hair or eyelash out of place! I love her, she was just lovely.”
“Frances was always a source of joy and inspiration to me,” lauds James Reynolds (Abe). “Her professionalism always inspired me to be better. Her joy and interest in life was such a pleasure to be around. I miss our conversations on politics and life. What a wonderful person.”“Frances Reid was a force of nature, part scamp, highly intelligent, funny, and spirited,” says Louise Sorel (Vivian). “We were blessed with her smile and compassion. What a lovely spirit we have to cherish.”“Since my mom lived on the East coast I always felt that Frances was my California mom,” says Suzanne Rogers (Maggie). “She always put me in my place but only in a nice, constructive way. We discussed everything from politics to religion. I miss those conversations. The hardest part about all this is not being able to talk to her again.”“She was, has been, and always will be an inspiration to me — both as an actor and as a person. We will miss her,” says Peter Reckell (Bo). “This is a very sad day, indeed; not only for me personally, but for the DAYS OF OUR LIVES family and the entire Hollywood community,” says Executive Producer Ken Corday. “From day one until she taped her last scene, Frances epitomized the past, present and future of the show. Frances was truly one of a kind. Her class cannot be matched and her shoes cannot be filled… We will miss her all the rest of our days.”“I just loved her so much,” Kristian Alfonso (Hope) tells Digest. “There was just so much about her to love. It’s so rare that someone has so much to say with their eyes. They were just so bright and she was just so sharp and fun and smart and worldly and a live wire. I would do scenes with her and I knew that we were acting, but I knew that she loved me and I loved her! When I first moved out here or when I was feeling a little sad, just like a kid, I wanted to crawl up on her lap like it was my grandmother’s. It’s very sad and it’s a great loss.”Bill Hayes (Doug, DAYS): “Frances was certainly a genius actress and a lovely lady. When I joined the show in 1970, she had already been on it for five years and she was just perfect. Every year, for the first dozen years that I was on the show, she gave the Christmas party for the cast and really made everybody feel like they were a family. She was always funny. She was always direct. She could zero in on her part and other people’s parts with such focus. It was just wonderful to watch her. Her last birthday I teetered on the brink of going to call on her, and I didn’t. I’m so sorry…”“The news of Frances Reid passing breaks my heart,” wrote Melissa Reeves (ex-Jennifer) on her Facebook page. “She was an incredible friend and mentor, not to mention an incredible ‘Gram’ with a wicked sense of humor! What an honor and blessing to have known her for so many years. I pray she is in great peace now. What a beautiful woman! I am so glad many of you got to know her through ‘Days of our Lives.’ I love you, Frances! xoxo, missy” “My very first day on DAYS I was exceedingly nervous,” recalls Jason Cook (Matt, GH; ex-Shawn, DAYS) to Digest. “Big studio, big cast, two shows to memorize…a lot going on. As Peter [Reckell, Bo] called it, induction by fire. He proceeded to laugh at me, pat me on the back and then left me with my script. I’m sure he thought he was being comforting (in the following weeks I would learn how cool he was, despite an odd sense of humor I would learn to love), however, at the time, it was anything but.
My first scene on the show was Shawn entering the pub with Grandpa Shawn at the ready, complete with baseball bat, to knock him out. But as we often had to do, we were shooting out of order for production, and so my ACTUAL first scene to shoot was in the hospital with the entire cast. Someone had crashed a yacht into a helicopter or something, of course was in critical condition, and everyone in Salem had converged into the ER to pray. Shawn comes in, goes straight over to Great Gran, and proceeds to talk for half a page, answering to why he’s back and wondering where Belle is. Before the scene is over, before her next line, Frances responds to me by saying,
‘You’re not going to say it like that, are you?’
Nervous, green, first day — this is not the reaction you want to get out of your co-stars. Especially the matriarch, been there since episode 1, when 20 cast members and an even bigger crew are all silent listening. I thought I was going to be fired before my first scene shot.
‘Well, I…that’s what is written I think…’
‘Well change it. It’s terrible. Especially the Great Gran part. I didn’t think it was possible to age me any more than I am, but GREAT Gran? Believe me, it’s not so great.’
Frances Reid was the most comical, spunky, full-of-life woman I ever knew. Her repertoire of incredible stories seemed endless, both from DAYS and her travels throughout the world (Frances was incredibly well traveled). I feel blessed for my seven years of working with her. But more so, I’m grateful to have known her wit and warm sense of humor first hand. I’ll miss you, Frances. You’ll always be Gran to me. Just Gran.”
“She was a sassy gal and we ALL loved her,” Mary Beth Evans (ex-Kayla) tells Digest. “She was a riot and so sharp. She might not have seen you in a while — a year maybe — and she would remember details of your life and ask about them. She was funny, sassy and self deprecating; she made us all laugh. She was such a great example for all of us. Frances loved the DAYS OF OUR LIVES family and was always a professional. I know anyone that was lucky enough to know her, is sad today. She will live on in our memories for sure.”
Alison Sweeney (Sami, DAYS) tweeted: “I’m so sad to hear the news about Frances Reid. She was a truly talented actress and we are all lucky & proud to have known her.”
Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe, DAYS) added: “Rest in peace Frances Reid (Alice Horton). She was a great lady whom I feel honored to have known..the heart and soul of Days of our Lives.”Shawn Christian (Daniel, DAYS) twittered: “Rest in peace Frances Reid. Condolences to your loved ones. Your stories and your spirit live in the hearts of those you have touched.”“I’m honored to have known Ms. Frances Reid,” Farah Fath (Gigi, OLTL; ex-Mimi, DAYS) tells Digest. “She always put a huge grin on my face and being around her was nothing short of a treat. Her favorite thing to say to me was, ‘You’re not really going to wear your hair like that, are you?’ It made me laugh every time and she would crack up, too. I will always remember Frances and cherish the moments I had with her.”
“NBC is deeply saddened by the passing of Frances Reid. She was a true icon of the daytime genre and while we mourn her passing, we also celebrate her long life and the tremendous talent she shared with her generations of fans. She will be sorely missed.” Weekly/Digest will continue to update throughout the day with information and thoughts from Reid’s daytime colleagues.