Michele and Elayn's
Soap Mag Connection
September 15, 1998

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Soaps In Depth

TOUGH LOVE - Faced with obstacles that would make Romeo and Juliet cut and run, these duos fought to be together. DAYS' Carrie and Austin now are faced with their most daunting challenge: her changing feelings.

Bride Lies, Bigamy City - Austin & Carrie

He was a pugilist who like to roll with the punches; she was the arrestingly beautiful daughter of Salem's top cop. In fact, when this couple first met, Austin was preparing to take a dive for a crooked mobster. But the tough guy ended up falling for kindly Carrie instead.  They came from separate worlds, but their differences would make their romance all the more special. Through the years, it wouldn't be global crime syndicates or megalomaniacs that would seek to K.O. their relationship; no, it would just be a girl named Sami. Carrie's half-sis would pull out all the stops in her quest to win over Austin in the final round. And she would almost succeed. Several times. These days, however, Carrie and Austin have new opponents to conquer, namely her growing feelings for Dr. Mike, and his compulsive desire to enter the ring again and again, behind her back. Their relationship is against the ropes now. Can they tough it out until the bell rings?

Soaps In Depth

Readers' Poll

Top 5 Couples - #1 Carrie Reed & Mike Horton, DAYS (Austin & Carrie are not on the list.)

Top 5 Actors - #1 Roark Critchlow (Last issue: #5)

Top 5 Actresses - #4 Christie Clark (Last issue: #2)

To vote for your favorite actor, actress and couple for the next NBC Soaps issue of SID, please send your responses by Sept 17. To vote, write:  

Readers' Poll
c/o Soaps In Depth
270 Sylvan Avenue
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632

Or E-mail: SOAPSID@COMPUSERV.COM

Soaps Opera Digest

REAL-LIFE STATUS - OH, BABY!

DAYS OF OUR LIVES' Roark Critchlow (Mike) and his wife, Maria, are expecting a son in January. The couple already has two daughters, Jara, 6, and Reign, 4. "They're way into it," Critchlow says of the girls. "We're very straightforward with our kids. We asked them what they thought about having another kid in the house, and they liked it. Maria tends to get quite sick during her pregnancies, so that's the only down side. Otherwise, we're just really excited."

Soaps Opera Digest

VCR Alert - Must-see episodes

The Bradys pray for Will's recovery on Friday, September 11. That same day, Carrie seeks comfort from Mike.

Soaps Opera Digest

QUESTION….

Does Mike want to tell Carrie how he feels? Roark Critchlow replies: "He doesn't have to. She knows how he feels; she knows he loves her."

Soaps Opera Digest

SOUND OFF…. Letters

Days of….

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of Mike and Carrie on DAYS OF OUR LIVES. It was appropriate for Mike to give Carrie an hourglass on her first day or work at University Hospital. It symbolized DAYS itself, the foundation built by Tom and Alice and now, Mike and Carrie.  The fans believe in Mike and Carrie as the future of the show. This couple embodies the success of the Brady/Horton pairings we have seen and loved so much in the past. For over a year, we have watched Mike and Carrie grow from friends into would-be lovers. Now, it's obvious that they are soul mates, and share family values, common friends and dreams. Daytime is about romance, and this couple demonstrates the essence of true and everlasting love. F.B., Merrimack, NH

Soaps Opera Digest

…. Future passed

DAYS is all about the family values that have been passed down through the generations of the show's characters. Watching Austin and Carrie exchange sacred wedding vows reminded devotees that true love will always win out. And despite current obstacles, we have to believe it will again. It is so nice to see a new generation on the show, and know that a Brady can indeed know romance with someone other than a Horton. It has taken over five years for Austin and Carrie to figure out that they are not just friends, but perfect together romantically, as well. Please, DAYS, do not allow outsiders to come between this magical duo. They need a story that illuminates their love, not one that tries to make it flicker out.  Name Withheld

Soaps Opera Weekly

MILESTONES - DAYS OF OUR LIVES' ROARK CRITCHLOW (Mike) and wife Maria expect their third child in January. The Critchlows have two daughters, 5-year-old Jara and 3-year-old Reign.

Soaps Opera Weekly

SNEAK PEEKS - Week of Sept. 7

Carrie watches helplessly as Sami seeks comfort from Austin. Carrie turns to Mike for support.

Soaps Opera Weekly

COMING ATTRACTIONS

ROARK CRITCHLOW (Mike, Days of Our Lives) appears with JASON BROOKS (ex-Peter Blake, Days) in the feature Making It Home, scheduled to run at the Las Vegas International Film Festival Sept. 17, and the Sacramento, Calif, Film Festival Sept. 25-Oct. 3. The move was written and produced by Roark's wife, Maria Critchlow.

Soaps Opera Magazine

SHORT TAKES

DAYS' Roark Critchlow (Mike) and his wife, Maria, are expecting their third child in January. We're told that tests reveal the addition to the family will be a boy.

Any name picked? "We've tossed several around," admits Critchlow, "but, ultimately, you have to look at the little person and see what he looks like and how he feels."

The Critchlows have two daughters: Jara Shea, 6, and Reign Eden, 4-1/2. As for future babies, Critchlow says, "A five-member family: two adults, three children, is just fine."

Soaps Opera News

DAYS STAR BARES HIS SOUL... AND MORE... IN PLAYBOY MOVIES

Fans can new see more of Kevin Spirtas than they'll ever see when he's portraying Dr. Craig Wesley on Days of Our Lives.  Spirtas displays his body - and acting ability - in two movies for Playboy Home Video.

He plays twins Michael and Mitchel lin the film Striking Resemblance, released on video last month.  "Michael is a photographer who shoots top models, then seduces them and videotapes the lovemaking - and he's the 'good' twin!"  says Spirtas.  "Mitchell, the evil twin, is locked up in an institution.  He escapes, kills his twin brother and takes over his life."

He has also completed Embrace the Darkness for Playboy, which is about a vampire who loses his lust for blood as he finds himself lusting for a mortal woman.

Spirtas knew he'd be expected to do nude scenes for Striking Resemblance, although there are no "full Monty" shots.  "it's not hardcore," he explains.  "It's very erotic, but all simulated.  I don't have any issues with my body.  I don't have issues about being naked.  We're born naked.  We just put clothes on."

One of the biggest acting challenges, he says, is remaining completely relaxed when you're naked with a virtual stranger.  "You have to look as if it's real and authentic - and act, too - so being naked wasn't the difficult part!"

Jason Adams, who played John Reid Ryan on Ryan's Hope, is also in the movie.

As for Embrace the Darkness, "I've wanted to play a vampire for so long." Spirtas says.  "They're very sensual, very sexual, very attractive characters to play."

Does he worry that the sexy movies will come back to haunt him?  "What is there to haunt me?"  he asks.  "I'm an actor.  I took on a role.  You see me without clothes on.  Big deal.  It was part of the role.  The scenes were done very well, and I'm very proud of them." -Jeffrey Epstein

Soaps Opera News

KING-SIZE EXCITEMENT

Kevin Spirtas (Craig) is thrilled to be spending his days on DAYS, but the former Broadway singer/dancer admits he's discovered a musical that could tempt him back to the Great White Way.

"When I was in New York for the Daytime Emmys, I went to see The Lion King," confides Spirtas, who once starred in A Chorus Line.  "That story!  Maybe it's more of a guy thing, but I really became involved with the story of a boy becoming a man and the rite of passage.  Another reason I love the show so much is because it's a visual spectacular.  It's the first time in many years that I've wanted to jump up on stage and dance and move and be a part of something." - P.C.

Soaps In Depth

EXPLOSIVE SECRETS!

Everybody's got a secret, and as a result, everybody stands to lose, big time. On DAYS, Carrie's feelings for Mike are growing like wildflowers - and as such, are getting harder to hide. Plus, now that Austin has aligned himself with Sami, Carrie just might give in to her feelings, forfeiting her husband for the man who seems to understand her best.

Switching Partners - Austin's loyalty to Sami drives Carrie to Mike!

As the tragedy of two events - Franco's death and Will's accident - unfolds this week, Carrie watches alone from the sidelines while Austin is drawn once again to Sami. The situation only deepens the emotional divide between Carrie and Austin, and while he is comforting a distraught Sami, Carrie turns to Mike for a little comfort of her own.

However, unlike past times when Carrie sought support from Mike, this time she is no longer blind to her feelings for him. Despite having fantasies about Mike, Carrie had been in serious denial that her attachment to him was romantic - and was contributing to her marital woes. That recently changed with a little counseling from Marlena, who forced her stepdaughter to admit that she harbored a secret desire for her childhood friend.

The eye-opening revelation sent Carrie reeling. But that was nothing compared to the confusion that she felt when she encountered Ali at the hospital, and the pretty nurse confided her own burgeoning romance with Mike. Of course, Carrie didn't know that Ali had locked lips with Mike at the urging of Nancy. She and hubby Craig are sure that if Ali makes a play for Mike, Carrie will fall into a jealous frenzy and admit her adulterous feelings for him.

But bad timing foiled Nancy and Craig's plot. Unfortunately for them, they had set their scheme in motion around the first anniversary of the Reeds' wedding. Guilt alone sealed Carrie's straying lips, particularly after her loving husband brought her breakfast in bed to celebrate the milestone.

Still, much to Craig and Nancy's glee, the young couple's marriage is about as stable as the Titanic, and, surprisingly, it may be Franco's shocking death that strikes the final blow to the union.

Austin's Vow To Sami

Carrie certainly felt the crushing weight of guilt for the tragedy. Not knowing that Lucas had pulled the trigger, she believed that her sister had killed her philandering fiance, and she blamed herself for preventing Austin from rushing after the avenging Sami. And while he doesn't vocalize it, Austin actually agrees with his wife.

However, Austin stops short of casting blame on Carrie. Rather, he gallantly steps forward to take responsibility for Franco's demise. After all, he argues, he had been the one to fan the flames of Sami's anger when he revealed Franco's affair.

Feeling guilt, Austin promised Sami that he will be at her side during this terrible time. And it's a good thing that he is, too, when she finds out that Lucas not only tried to kidnap Will, but that they both were seriously hurt in a car accident. Upon arriving at the hospital and seeing her son in a coma, she collapses in Austin's arms.

Sami Arrested!

Standing alone, Carrie watches as her husband comforts Sami. Austin is as torn apart by Will's accident as Sami, and the crisis forges a bond between the two as they stand vigil. Austin Peck (Austin) says that it is only natural for them to gravitate toward each other now. "Austin has seen Sami when she was vulnerable," he notes. "He's closer to her than anyone. And for the first two years of Will's life, Austin thought he was his father. He's going to do whatever he can."

Still, Austin can't help but be moved by Sami's plight, particularly when Abe is forced to arrest her for Franco's murder. A tearful Sami refuses to leave Will's bedside, but Austin steps in and promises her that he will stay at the hospital for Will.

Carrie Runs To Mike!

While Austin spends precious moments comforting Sami, his wife finds herself drifting to Mike. Recognizing how vulnerable Carrie is, Mike encourages her to pour out her troubles to him. Like a dam bursting, she admits that if only she hadn't stopped Austin from reaching Sami, Franco would still be alive.

Shocked that she would believe herself culpable in the tragedy, Mike alleviates her guilt by telling her no one could have foreseen what happened. The assurance is just what Carrie needed to hear, and she is forced to admit something else - how important Mike has become in her life.

A strained marriage. Switching allegiances. Raise a toast, Craig and Nancy - the Bradys' marriage may never be the same!

Soaps In Depth

Critchlows Expecting! - There's another baby on the way.

Roark Critchlow (Mike) and wife Maria are expecting their third child in January. The couple has two daughters, Jara Shae and Reign Eden.

Soaps In Depth

Critchlow Film A Hit!

Making It Home, the movie starring Roark Critchlow (Mike, DAYS) will be shown at several film fests next month. The picture, written and produced by Critchlow's wife, Maria, will be shown at the first Las Vegas International Festival, on Thursday, September 17, and at the third annual Sacramento Film Festival, from Friday, September 25, to Sunday, October 3. It was released last year on video. "We started on video because we didn't meet any [studios'] criteria for marketing," he tells Soaps In Depth. "But we've had very good feedback." To order the Critchlows' film, call (888) 497-9678.

Soaps In Depth

On The Town

On The Hot Seat: Roark Critchlow (Mike, DAYS) played Q&A with funnyman Howie Mandel during his recent guest appearance on THE HOWIE MANDEL SHOW.

Soaps In Depth

Feature Interview

BAD BOY - Whatcha gonna do? If you're Kevin Spirtas, and you're playing the crafty Craig Wesley…your [darndest] to pair up and bring down Mike and Carrie!

"I'm really a nice guy," Kevin Spirtas insists. Lounging in his dressing room, the actor wears faded blue jeans and a comfortable cotton shirt. The laid-back look is far removed from that of his uptight, suit-clad character, Dr. Craig Wesley (a role that began last summer as only a three-day stint, but was elevated to contract status this spring). But Spirtas still feels compelled to point out the differences between his own personality and that of his DAYS persona. "There's a dual life going on here. My life as Kevin goes this way, and my life as Craig goes that way."

Part of this compulsion to clearly emphasize the differences may be the fact that Spirtas plays Craig so well that his maternal grandmother admonished him once by saying, "You are not a likable person," and his colleague Lisa Linde (Ali) admits that when she and Spirtas are in a scene together, "Craig makes my skin crawl."

To Scheme A Little Scheme

For his part - aside from insisting that he is nothing like Craig - Spirtas positively relishes being the newest bad boy to hit the streets of Salem, oozing snaky charm one minute and deadly venom the next. "Craig is a chameleon," his portrayer offers. "He sort of changes colors. He'll kiss up to the people he thinks he needs, and the ones that he doesn't need, he'll basically slit your throat if he doesn't like you."

Figuratively, that is. At the moment, Craig is a manipulator, not a murderer. And since coming to Salem, he obstinately has set his sights on becoming University Hospital's next chief of staff. Of course, the position ultimately went to Craig's archrival, Mike Horton - in spite of a rather lavish setup in which Craig and his wife, Nancy, tried to tarnish the good doc's reputation by having him discovered in bed with a blonde bombshell. Yet neither Craig nor Nancy are about to acknowledge defeat.

Already, the tricky twosome are trying to encourage an affair between Mike, and his very married co-worker, Carrie - a scandal that would surely topple Mike's reign as chief of staff. "Craig is a big schemer. He's the biggest schemer I know," says Spirtas. "He sees people as chess pieces, and he plays the game. He sees a lot of people in his life as pawns, and he tests how far he can push each piece, each person, in each scheme."

Still, Spirtas explains that Craig's relationship with Mike is more complex than the need to wangle the chief of staff position. "They went to med school together, and they're obviously rivals. I have this idea in my head of why I hate Mike so much and why I do this to Mike. Because when someone's this angry, there's got to be a reason."

Who's Afraid Of The Dark?

Playing such a dark role gives Spirtas an almost therapeutic freedom to happily work out any negative feelings that he may be having personally.  Says the actor: "I come to work to play Craig's life, and I get to work out my entire anger."

Not that Spirtas needs much of a work-out. Unlike his alter ego, he is a gentle, intellectual and spiritually-centered man. To achieve this careful equilibrium took some time, he admits. Growing up in St. Louis, Spirtas was raised in the Jewish faith, but says that it was "more mandatory than inspired."

Later, however, he had a religious epiphany and began his own spiritual journey. "I believe that there is a divine spirit running throughout life," he says carefully. "This is a personal thing, and a lot of people get hung up on it. The God I know is no better or no worse than anybody else's God. But I believe there is some greatness that is influencing life as we know it."

DAYS Past - And Future

It's just this sort of thoughtful discussion that segregates Spirtas from Craig. Yet Spirtas does have one thing in common with his character:  ambition. But for Spirtas, it has been a hardy work ethic, not schemes, that has catapulted him from singing in his school choir to Broadway, where he landed plum parts in musicals such as A Chorus Line, and now to LA, where he snagged TV work (in the syndicated soap RITUALS, with DAYS alum Philece Sampler [ex-Renee]) and films (including the seventh installment in the Friday The 13th series) prior to joining DAYS.

And while Spirtas has other projects that he'd like to do, at the moment, he's content to plumb his character's depths (yes, Craig does have depth) - even if that means that he will have to spend more time in the future defending his real-life virtues. "I'll just keep telling people that I'm not really bad," he laughs, "I'm just written this way." - Julie McElwain

FYI FYI FYI

Birthday: July 29

Hometown:  St. Louis

Debut:  Worked as a song-and-dance man at a Six Flags Amusement Park when he was 17 years old. The next year, Spirtas moved to New York and landed a part in the Broadway production of A Chorus Line.

Extracurricular activities: Jet skiing, snowboarding, listening to books on tape, yoga.

Newest hobbies: "My newest fads are that I purchased a Starbucks coffee mug, and I took a spin class. I'm hooked on both. My coffee mug is always full."