Friday, June 25, 2010

Farewell to Gran


I suppose I shouldn’t admit it, but for many years I planned my life to some degree around the soap opera Days of Our Lives. In college I took all morning classes so I could be through in time to watch “my soap”. As a young mother I put my children down for naps at 1:00. At the beach I came in 1:00 to escape the hottest part of the day. Coincidence? I think not. It’s okay. I’m in good company. Time reported that Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall used to call recess at 1:00 to check in on the Hortons and Bradys.


I gave up watching several years ago. It got a little wacko even for a diehard fan like me, but I still had my favorites. Today I happened to see the funeral of Alice Horton an original 1964 cast member and matriarch of the family. So I had to stop and watch…to pay my respects.


Frances Reid who played Alice for over four decades passed away in February of this year at the age of 95. Her last appearance on the show was in December of 2009. She was famous for her homemade doughnuts and sage advice in a family that often needed both. She was lovingly known as “Gran” . Kristen Alphonse’s character summed it up at the tv funeral: “She was the woman I always hoped I would be.”

DAYS OF OUR LIVES -- NBC Daytime -- Pictured: (l-r) Macdonald Carey and Frances Reid -- NBC Universal Photo --  FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY -- NOT FOR RESALE/DO NOT ARCHIVE

Now the rational part of me knows that Frances Reid was just playing a part on a soap opera….knowing Alice didn’t mean I knew Frances. But still….she was the grandmother a lot of people longed for or the one they wanted to be.


I’ll miss just knowing she is there…just in case, I wanted to tune in….



Watching Alice was definitely one of my favorite things. I am joining Laurie at Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie for My Favorite Things.


  1. I read an article that said soaps would soon be extinct. I have never watched them but DH did and he enjoyed amny of them so very much. Jessie is a doll!

  2. Hi Susan, I was a fan of the show too! I used to come home from school and my mom and I would watch it. Years and years later a group of us at work would watch it in the lunchroom so I find it amusing that Justice Marshall would make time for it too!

    Have a great weekend, Bonnie

  3. Bless her heart! I watch the show for a couple of years, about 20 yrs ago. She was such a wise & loving character. I am sure the cast feels that they have lost a special family member.

  4. You know, Susan, these people are in people's lives daily as characters on "stories," so I understand how sad it is when one of them dies. My mother was a faithful ATWT watcher, and I understand it is about to go off the air. She, my grandmother, and my cousin's grandmother and great aunt had a circle of callers who would call one another in case someone had to miss their "story." They all loved Lisa (Eileen Fulton's character), and even though they probably wouldn't have been friends with Lisa in real life, they admired her spunk. LOL! I have a friend who lived in NYC who knew Ms. Fulton well, and he said she's one of the nicest people he's ever known.

    I'm so sorry about Gran. To think her portrayer played the part that many years is something and a testament to her staying power and to the fact that we all want someone that good in our lives.



  5. I only occasionally watched Days; my husband watched it all the time. Though we don't really know these people, we bring them into our home day after a way they (their character) become part of our family...Bill Cosby was my surrogate dad...I'm sure she will be sorely missed!

  6. Awhhhh -
    I loved Gran and the doughnuts. I have wated the soaps , well days with my granny I think since I have been born:) Yes the day does stop from 1-2 ! Actually when another world was on too it stopped from 1-3 -Ha :)

  7. "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives." Yep, I watched this soap too when I was a teenager. It was my favorite.

  8. I have never been much of a day time TV person (even when off from work), and lately not night time either. However, for about 2 1/2 the 70's, when I did not work out side of my home I started watching Days of Our Lives off and on while my child napped. If missed an episode it did not bother me. I definitely remember Alice Horton. Never really got into any of the other soaps.
    Enjoy your weekend!
    It cooled down a bit after the rain. :)

  9. Susan, I couldn't believe all of the actors that they were able to bring back for this show! I wondered why they hadn't done a memorial show for her. I guess it was because it took awhile to get all of those actors together to film it. I watch it on the Soap channel most evenings when I come home from work! So glad you "paid your respects" to Alice today! I had tears in my eyes at her funeral! So glad you linked Alice to Favorite Things. It's an honor to have a memorial to the matriarch of Salem linked to my blog! laurie

  10. Thank you for visiting my blog today, on this wedding blog party today. Thank you for your sweet comments.

    I was addicted to Days from about 1977 (in high school, I had mono and missed 7 weeks of school, so I began watching) until about 1995. I was totally addicted to that show. And Alice Horton was always such a delightful part of the show. I'm sure I would have been weeping if I had been watching today. And I think it's very right of the show's producers to honor her in such a way.

    Patti (Fill My Cup with Beauty)

  11. I quit watching that many years ago too, but I grew up watching it, in fact the small town I grew up in would have it on the tv's and have lunch special while it was on. I did not know she died, I remember her character well. I always think of when they hung the Christmas ornaments with everyone's name on them.

  12. I used to never miss an episode of "Days." Had to quit watching when I started building houses.

  13. Great post. I wan't a "soap" fan but did notice she was born the same year as my mom. My mom is still living a fairly independent life. Amazing ladies!

  14. I used to watch in the 70's. I gave up on soaps long ago! It got so confusing as to who was cheating on who etc! Was that the one with Marlena and the husband who vanished and then came back, and oh no now who do I call my husb?:)

  15. I used to watch DOOL with my grandmother who was an AVID fan. This was in high school when it was the Hope, Bo and Larry triangle. Ages ago. :)

    She was a dear.

    As with most rescued dogs Rudi is always eager to please and he also got small licks of his favorite: peanut butter. :)

  16. Hi Susan,

    I used to enjoy watching Days of our lives, a long time ago, when the children were small.
    I would sit and eat my lunch, whilst watching.
    I know what you are saying that it did get a little wacko towards the end.
    What a lovely Lady, she was and lived to be a great age. Thank you for sharing.

    Happy weekend

  17. Watched "days" when my children were little and napping!! Sometimes I fell asleep too. When they gave up naps, I gave up "days". I recently read that the acting on soap operas is some of the very best. It's a real testament to the actor's skill at quickly learning a script and doing a lot of improv! Even though I don't watch, I hate to see them slowly "ride off into the sunset".


  18. She was still making appearances in her 90s? I'm in awe of that and think that the actress, as well as her character, deserves remembering.

    I never watched DOOL, but I was a Guiding Light watcher for years. My grandmother listened to it on the radio. I stopped years ago, but when it went off the air last year, I felt the need to tune in and say good bye. I can relate this post.

  19. I watched "Days" as my sister and I called it- she got me on it around 2003 and I stopped watching a few years ago--it got a little crazy for me. They used to replay Days at 10pm on the Soap Network on cable when I was teaching.

    Anyway, I loved the Alice Horton character- she was a real sweet person and grandmother we all would love to have:) In the last years, it made me sad how they would kind of prop her up in a chair and give her little short lines to say...I wondered about her health.
    She will be missed!

    Linda C

  20. Still looking good in that last photo.
    I remember watching DoOL while nursing one of the kids. I can only remember that one character had been possessed by a devil or something. Crazy show. xx

  21. Loved Frances Reid as Alice Horton! Watched it in my college days and recently got hooked again, so easy to pick up even after not seeing it for over 25 years!

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