Guest Author - Alice Rienzo
Emmy Award nominee, Frances Reid, who has portrayed Alice Gray Horton on Days of Our Lives since 1965, passed away on February 3, 2010 at a Beverly Hills assisted living facility. She was 95 years old. Born in Wichita Falls and raised in California, Frances graduated from The Pasadena Community Playhouse. Her acting career started in 1938 with a bit part in the movie Man-Proof. Reid was married to actor Philip Bourneuf from June 27, 1940 until his death in 1979. The couple did not have any children. Reid is survived by her niece, Laurie Rocha, and her great nieces, April, Christie, Leanne, and Marie.
She appeared in several Broadway plays including Hamlet with Maurice Evans, Cyrano de Bergerac with Jose Ferrer, Twelfth Night, and a Theater Hill production of The Rivals with Mary Boland. Frances’ career began to accelerate during television's "golden age" in the late 1940s and early '50s. She appeared in such dramatic series as Lights Out, Studio One, Philco Playhouse, and Kraft Television Theater before segueing into daytime drama. She appeared in the title role of Portia Faces Life in 1952, and then moved to As the World Turns in 1956 followed by the role of Rose Pollack on The Edge of Night. Then in 1965, she accepted the role of Alice Horton on Days of Our Lives and remained on that series for 42 years. Her first radio job was at NBC as Ann Rutledge in Prologue To Glory, which was followed by her role of Mrs. Moonlight in Mrs. Moonlight and Charlotte Corday in Charlotte Corday. Her television credits include The Eleventh Hour, Little Mister," Wagon Train, and the movie-of-the-week, Mercy or Murder?.
Frances has portrayed daytime television's most beloved mother and “gran” since the second episode. As one of the two remaining original cast members, she is indisputably one of the most revered veterans in soap opera history. Described by her cast mates as witty, wildly outspoken, and a politically incorrect woman, Frances was never shy about speaking her mind openly. She was the type of woman who would put a person in his or her own place without causing the scolded to feel offended. She had a venerable force that was much admired.
Reid has won the Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Actress/Mature Role in 1978, 1979, 1984 and 1985, and was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1986-87, and for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1978-79. In 2003, she was inducted into the Television Academy's archives.
Frances’ longtime role as the Horton family matriarch was not an anticipated aspiration for the actress. She has been quoted as saying that she would never work on soap opera because the hours were too grueling.
When asked if she had any fears, she replied, "I don't think I have any fears left. Death no! That's very calm, everything being the end. Except I resent that I'll be dead and won't be able to see certain things. I was thinking today about the expansion and contraction of the universe and if they'd find out more about the black hole. I thought, "Damn it. I won't be around for that."
The author believes that Frances now knows all there is to know, wherever she may be.