This week, daytime mourned the loss of actress Patricia Barry who died on Tuesday at the age of 93. A soap opera veteran with an incredible list of television and motion picture performances and appearances, Patricia was best known for her role as Addie Horton Williams on Days of our Lives.
It was a role she played for more than 3 years, and a pivotal one. Addie and her daughter, Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) were competing for the love of the same man, Doug Williams (Bill Hayes) . Soap fans also loved Barry as Peg “Cobra” English on All My Children, who was Brooke’s mother and ended up being revealed as the head of drug cartel.
On-Air On-Soaps sat down with legendary Days of our Lives veterans, Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes, to honor Patricia Barry by having them share some memories working alongside their one-time co-star in one of daytime’s hottest storylines of that time, written by the late, great Bill Bell.
Here are excerpts from our conversation below …
Bill and Susan share their thoughts upon learning the news of Patricia’s passing:
BILL: It’s a loss in our life. I started on this show in 1970, and Patricia started around 1971. For Doug’s character, Addie was someone to work against. She was talking down to Julie, and Doug was rude to her and called her “The Dragon Lady”. (Laughs) But Addie was a very important and a very loving character. We had a love triangle: Addie/Doug/Julie. It was beautifully written and very involving to all of us. Within it, Addie became more loving and Doug changed when they got married, and they had their child, Hope. Patricia was a really nice lady, a good actress, professional, and always prepared.
SUSAN: She was very classy and funny. I can remember her suggesting a storyline at the time. She was the older woman to Doug. Patricia played Julie’s mom and she was one of the original five Horton children. She suggested we do a scene in a gymnasium where she would be on an exercise bike, and she would be trying to lose all the weight in order to catch Doug. Patricia had a lighthearted approach to the material which was refreshing. and fun to be around. I remember, Patricia gave parties for the cast. Her class was evident in everything she did: the way she treated others, and the way she required being treated. She was just tops!
Susan recalls the story about how Addie was originally suppose to die from leukemia on DAYS, but because of Patricia’s misstep, eventually Addie was killed instead by a hit and run driver while saving her baby, Hope:
SUSAN: Patricia had opened a script and realized Addie has been beset with leukemia, and was very shocked and upset about this. She told this to a columnist, where it was immediately printed … and then immediately was read by our then head writer, Bill Bell. He didn’t appreciate it and had another plan entirely, which ultimately got carried out. So ultimately, while she did not get killed by leukemia, the character was later hit by drunk driver and Bill Bell killed the character, anyway. She didn’t see that coming, but she had seen the writing on the wall. You don’t leak a storyline. It was a very long time ago, where the secrecy of a storyline was very sacred, and you got punished for opening your mouth.
BILL: I have a funny story about Patricia: Addie was in the hospital and she just given birth to Hope. She was very ill and Doug went to see her. It was a wonderful tender scene. But she was speaking so softly, and they did not have microphones that could hear her back then. They had microphones about three feet away from her. So what they did was; they took a tiny microphone and placed it right in her “happy valley”, so they could now here her every well! (Laughs) BUT… she had not had anything to eat since 6am and her tummy started growling, and the growl did not sound like a tummy, but the roar of a lion. It was coming out through this microphone that was turned way up to catch her soft whisper. It was hysterical. (Laughs)
In the early 70, fans of DAYS were engrossed in the love triangle of Addie/Doug/Julie, but somehow Doug ended up with Addie! Bill and Susan discuss the story turn, while Susan was hoping to work more with Bill on-screen even more:
BILL: Doug loved Julie, but Addie had five million dollars! Julie was ready to run away with Doug, but was planning on taking her son, David with them. And Doug said, “No” to bringing him along. Doug had these plane tickets to Portofino for “Mr. and Mrs. Doug Williams”. So at that point, Addie said to Doug: “How about you marry me?” Doug said, “Yes”. He had the tickets, and Julie had said, “I will take David with us, or I won’t go.” Doug at the time was a questionable, bad guy. But when Addie and Doug married, Doug’s character started to evolve. He became nicer, especially when she got pregnant, and had Hope. Then he was a good guy from that time forward.
SUSAN: At the time, I would be getting the scripts thinking, “Oh, my God. I’m losing him. I’m losing him!” I remember going to our producer at the time, Jack Herzberg, and saying, “What’s this? I’m not going to work with Doug?” And Jack said, “No! You are never going to work with Bill Hayes again.” I was so on the floor! I was crazy about him and Julie’s mother’s got him! It was painful in every way! (Laughs) But, Patricia Barry was a joy to have around, and the character was very memorable to the people who watched DAYS at the time.
BILL: Julie and Doug were not supposed to get involved romantically. Originally, Doug was brought on for Marie Horton and to get her defrocked! When we started working together, Bill Bell while writing from Chicago saw something between the two of us (Susan and Bill) that said, “Those two! I can write for those two!” He then threw away the other plots and began to write the story for Doug and Julie. It was masterful.
SUSAN: Doug had been in prison, and he had been given $10,000 to break up Julie’s marriage. So, he was hired to pay attention to Julie and lost his way, and fell in love with her.
BILL: Doug loved Addie and respected her and they had a child, but it was not like the Doug and Julie kind of love which was passionate.
In closing, Susan reminds us all of a terrific performance of Patricia’s which summed up just how great an actress she was:
SUSAN: Patricia was in the motion picture Sea of Love with Al Pacino. She had a wonderful scene where Pacino is trying to catch a murderer and places an ad. Patricia is one of the ladies that answers the ad and she realizes in the scene it’s a set-up, and she is prepared to expose herself romantically, but instead she kind of comes on to him, and he kind of comes on to her, and then he excuses himself. She doesn’t leave the restaurant. She just stays behind while he interviews another woman. The expression on her face of let down, despair and cynicism, and depression, was wonderful in just that one cameo scene. That’s how good she was.
What did you think of the sentiments and stories shared by the beloved and incomparable Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes as they recall their late co-star, Patricia Barry? Share your thoughts in the comment section below! But first watch a portion of the scene where Doug comes to visit Addie in the hospital from Days of our Lives, and then Barry’s cameo in Sea of Love as mentioned by Susan.