SOAP OPERA DIGEST, April 9, 1996
WHY THEY REALLY LEFT
(EX-TONY DIMERA, DAYS OF OUR LIVES)
"[I left DAYS OF OUR LIVES] due to a combination of storyline and personal reasons. My contract was up in September, but DAYS asked me to stay on. I told them I wanted to leave before 1996, because 1995 had been so painful." (Penghlis's parents both passed away within days of each other last year.)
"[Head Writer] James Reilly brought Tony on as conflict for John & Kristin, so it was a lot of hard work to get the audience on Tony's side. The show gave me a good-bye party and what I call 'the cake of death.' It had my face on it. Someone said it didn't look like me. I joked, 'It does on a bad lighting day.' I have to say I left feeling loved and respected, which was nice. There's nothing unresolved."
TOM LANGAN, DAYS CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, SAYS:
"Thaao's departure was dictated by the fact that it was an irresistible story that affected many characters. It paid off in a big way."
WHAT HE'S DOING NOW:
"I went home to Australia last December to discover how to say good-bye to my parents in my own way," the actor shares. Penghlis has also co-written a script with former DAYS Head Writer Sheri Anderson. "The story's about a Greek family trying to live in Australia, when it was still a very Anglo-Saxon world." Is Penghlis open for a return to soaps? "I don't know," he replies. "I enjoy the idea of going to work a lot. But I'm looking to see what other challenges arise."
SOAP OPERA, September 3, 1996 (all Soap Opera parts courtesy of Carol)
WORST WEDDINGS: Tony & Kristin (1994)
Beautiful but with so much deception, bad vibes, and death in the air, the wedding day was tainted, dooming the marriage from the start.
BEST (and therefore the WORST) VILLAINS: Tony DiMera
Tony, in the end, proved he was indeed a black-hearted DiMera. His final suicide ploy to frame rival John Black is a soap-writing masterpiece from James E. Reilly's inexhaustible bag of tricks.
SOAP OPERA, September 17, 1996
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Thaao Penghlis could be back on DAYS as Tony DiMera or maybe on GH as Victor Cassidine. Looks like the popular actor could use a twin of his own--an evil one, of course.
Although there was certainly a body--and a funeral and trial for his murder--might Stefano's dead son Tony (Thaao Penghlis) return? "Yes," Langan says without any hesitation. There's still a "little mystery" about Tony's death, he points out. "There's a real twist to that story."
SOAP OPERA, October 29, 1996
DOUBLE-DUTY FOR THAAO?
Q: Why can't Thaao Penghlis come back to daytime as Tony DiMera on DAYS and Victor Cassidine on GH? It would be a real treat. Thaao would have to juggle his schedule--and we'd have to settle for a couple days on each show--but Heather Locklear did double-duty on T.J. HOOKER and DYNASTY, as did Ken Howard on DYNASTY and THE COLBYS--E.W. Honolulu, Hawaii
A: Both shows you cite were owned and broadcast by the same network. Unfortunately, in Thaao's case, DAYS and GH are on competing networks--NBC and ABC--so don't hold your breath. No crossover for Thaao Penghlis.