Credit: JPI

Fan favorites Patsy Pease and Charles Shaughnessy (Kimberly and Shane) are back working at DAYS — and this time it isn’t for a quick visit.

Shaughnessy, who last appeared in 2013, reveals that he has received offers to return since then, but chose to politely decline. “The returns that I made were very quick,” he explains, “and I found that it wasn’t working for me. So I told them, ‘I’m very happy to come back and do something substantial, but I’m not so sure I’ll be doing one or two shows here and there.’ When I got the call this time, I was told it would be a little more substantial, and it seemed like something that would be much more in line with what I wanted to do.”

Meanwhile, Pease, who last appeared in 2015, was thrilled to hear that her longtime co-star was also coming home. “When the show called and told me, I was jumping up and down,” she recounts. “I couldn’t wait to work with Charlie again.”

Since the duo won’t appear on-screen until fall, details about why Shane and Kimberly return to Salem are being kept under wraps, but Shaughnessy teases, “There are issues when Shane and Kimberly come back. It’s not all wine and roses.”

Shaughnessy and Pease, who first made their mark on DAYS in the ’80s, appreciate that their Salem counterparts have evolved over time. “They bring a wisdom to what they’re doing,” shares Shaughnessy. Pease adds, “They still make mistakes, but they don’t waste time beating themselves up over it. Instead, there is an acceptance that, ‘Yes, we’ve made mistakes and now, what is the solution?’ ”

Both actors have been busy during their time away from Salem. Pease recently received a Daytime Emmy nomination for her performance as Lola Baker on THE BAY. “That was a wonderful surprise,” she smiles. “I thought people saw me as someone who had retired and moved to Florida [laughs]. I was telling Charlie that the great thing about the web for actors my age is that it has rejuvenated careers. You’re given more room to do a variety of different roles that maybe aren’t available to you on network TV.”

As for Shaughnessy, “My career has sort of become a patchwork of different things. I go back East and do quite a lot of stage stuff. I was at the Paper Mill Playhouse last year doing a show that was sort of a pre-Broadway tryout. I also did My Fair Lady for the third time at the Theatre By The Sea, and then I came back to Los Angeles and did some episodic television. More recently, I was on RUSH HOUR, and I did a few episodes on THE MAGICIANS. I also shot a movie in Hawaii. It’s like little bits and pieces all over the place. As Patsy said, the world of entertainment is changing so much. There are so many more outlets, whether it is on the web, Netflix or cable. There is a lot of fun stuff out there to play around in.”

But even with the expansion of opportunities, both performers are grateful that DAYS has an open door policy of bringing back popular characters like Shane and Kimberly. “Whether you’re on the show or not, the characters are never done,” he points out. “There has been so much built around these three or four families in Salem. So if you’re in any way connected to one of the families, and your character hasn’t actually been killed off, then you’re out there somewhere in Salem world. You may not be on camera, but occasionally someone will mention your character, or even make a phone call. When Shane had a medical crisis a couple of years ago, I knew nothing about it, but the people in Salem did. Shane was still having an effect in Salem world. So it’s nice.”

“Soaps are the original reality TV,” asserts Pease. “The children from these families in Salem that you first saw as babies are now in the position that Shane and Kimberly were when we first started on DAYS. The audience that was with us in the 1980s is now following them, so it involves generations of people.”

Though Shaughnessy enjoyed success in prime-time starring on the long-running sitcom THE NANNY, DAYS has always held a special place in his heart. “People say, ‘Boy, it must have been fun doing THE NANNY,’ and I always say, ‘Yes, but not as much fun as doing DAYS.’ It was a wonderful eight years in so many ways. I was getting established as an actor in this country, working with fabulous people and making friendships that have lasted forever. I can come back and immediately pick up with any one of the people I first worked with on DAYS.”

Pease is thrilled when fans approach her and say “they’re pining away for us to come back. I’ve had people tell me stories of sitting with their grandmothers, being raised on the DAYS storylines. They’re sentimental about their Salem families. So on DAYS, bringing back characters like Shane and Kimberly has become a tradition.”