Frances Reid, Longtime Star of "Days of Our Lives," Dies at 95

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05 Feb 2010

Frances Reid, a stage and television actress well known to soap fans as Alice Horton on "Days of Our Lives," a role she played for 40 years, died Feb. 3. She was 95.



Ms. Reid joined "Days of Our Lives" in 1965. The sweet, donut-baking Alice Horton had such longevity on the show that her character became a great-grandmother during the actress' tenure. Only a handful of actors have played a soap opera character longer. Reid was awarded a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004

Ms. Reid spent a couple decades on the stage before venturing into daytime television. Born on Dec. 9, 1914, in Wichita Falls, TX, and raised mostly in Berkeley, CA, she trained as an actress at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Her Broadway debut came before she was 20, in 1933's The Dream of Sganarelle. There were many a short-lived play in the next ten years or so, including Revenge With Music, Where There's a Will, The Rivals, Bird in Hand, The Patriots, Listen, Professor, A Highland Fling and Little Women. She worked with some fine talents, however, including George Abbott, Mary Boland, Osgood Perkins and Kirk Douglas.

With the mid-1940s came a string of Shakespearean turns, including Ophelia in a Mike Todd production of Hamlet starring Maurice Evans, Lady Anne in Richard III and Viola in Twelfth Night. In the New York Times, Brooks Atkinson wrote that "Miss Reid's petite Viola is both cunning and beguiling."

Ms. Reid was also Roxane to Jose Ferrer's famous Cyrano in the 1946 revival of Cyrano de Bergerac. She repeated her performance, again opposite Ferrer, in a 1949 one-hour Philco Television Playhouse adaptation.

Ms. Reid married actor Philip Bourneuf in 1940 and remained with him until his death in 1979. She had no children.