Patrika Darbo On Her DAYS Return

After a five-year absence, Patrika Darbo is back as Chloe’s high-strung mother, Nancy, on DAYS; the fun, fiery role she originated back in 1998. “I was very flattered when I was [approached by the show],” says Darbo, who began taping last September. “I thought I was coming on for a couple little scenes. I didn’t realize how big the storyline was — and what it was. I was like, ‘Holy crap. I’m a lot older now. How many lines am I going to have to learn?’ ”

Yet Darbo is eager to delve into the new plot. “Ron [Carlivati, head writer] has created a storyline that is unprecedented and is going to be fabulous, I hope,” she remarks. “It may upset a few people, and it may not. It will be an adventure.”

Darbo, whose soap roles include Sally on GH (1986) and Shirley Spectra on B&B (2017-18) and Y&R (2021), admits that “as a performer, you’re always grateful that they still want you, that your fans still love you. I can’t say enough about the fact that daytime embraced me back in 1998 and has kept its arms around me all the time. It’s very heartwarming.”

The prospect of resurrecting Nancy made the whole thing even sweeter. “I thought it would be fun,” notes Darbo. “I adore Nadia [Bjorlin, Chloe] as my daughter. We’ve kept in touch over the years. Eric [Martsolf, Brady] and I have done events together, and I think he’s wonderfully talented, so to get to come back and play with them and my darling Kevin [Spirtas, Craig] has been great.”

When it came time to actually film scenes, Darbo admits she “fell right back into character” as Nancy, although she was somewhat distracted. “Nadia is something,” she marvels. “You can’t keep your eyes off her because she’s so beautiful and she’s grown so as a performer. That was fascinating. I was looking at her thinking, ‘Oh, my God. She has grown up.’ She was just 18 years old when we started on this show together. So it was wonderful. We went right back into that mother/daughter relationship.”

During her time away from DAYS, Darbo has kept busy. “I’ve done several commercials, which are nice little paychecks,” she shares. “There’s the cat lady in Rocket Mortgage, a Butterfingers commercial that’s still running, and a CarMax ad that was a lot of fun.”

Now, Darbo is happily back at DAYS, albeit not on contract. “Anytime an actor can say, ‘I’m a working actor,’ is a very good thing,” contends Darbo. “And because I’m not under contract, it leaves me open to do other things. To be blessed enough to have the fans still want me and to have the show still want me, I am one happy camper. I truly feel blessed about that and have great gratitude to the show.”