Chris Haston / NBC
Stephen Nichols, 'Days of Our Lives'
Stephen Nichols has played many other roles, including a seven-year tenure as Stefan Cassadine on "General Hospital," but the role that made him a daytime institution was that of Steven Earl Patch Johnson on "Days of Our Lives." The popular bad boy anti-hero quickly became a fan favorite and a "Days" staple. During Nichols first stint as Steve in the 1980s, he helped establish "Days" as a leading producer of super-couples through his popular and enduring pairing with Mary Beth Evans as Kayla. He garnered four Soap Opera Digest Awards, as well as a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor, before leaving "Days" in 1990. Nichols returned to the role of Steve in 2006, and by that years end, Steve and Kayla had been reunited. Unfortunately for the beloved duo, 2007 was not the happily ever after they would have hoped for.
Steve had regained his memory of his happy and tumultuous life with Kayla, but uber-villain Stefano DiMera had brainwashed Steve into being his personal mercenary. The battle for his freedom and his sanity took Steve to dark places, from nearly murdering his best friend to being committed to a mental hospital. Nichols played Steves confusion, desperation and edginess beautifully, always conveying the thoughts behind Steves actions. Once this battle was over, Steve became the ultimate family man, fiercely overprotective of his wife, adult daughter, and foster child. Sometimes in a single episode, Nichols showed viewers that Steve is an intensely loving, sentimental, romantic, charismatic, courageous, dangerous, frustrated, capricious, and angry man, shadows of whom lived in many of us.
(Written by "EmmyLoser")
(Pictured with Clay Aiken)