Dark Secrets Of The Days Of Our Lives Cast

"Days of Our Lives" is one of America's best known and most enduring soap operas, a program that has existed for more than half a century and touched the lives of millions across multiple generations. The show began airing in 1965, and it has churned out over 14.5 thousand episodes since. Though some people look down their nose on the genre, soaps have been a staple of American television for longer than many Americans have even been alive — and we can't hate on any show that has become an institution. With the number of characters on a traditional soap numbering in the dozens, and the genre's tendency to recast characters rather than get rid of them entirely (or bring back characters after prolonged absences), long-standing series like "DOOL" now have thousands of people on their historic cast roster.

It is common knowledge that many great actors — including Julianne Moore, Judith Light, Kevin Bacon, and more — have gotten their starts in soaps. And while "DOOL" has itself been home to some future film or primetime stars, like Vivica A. Fox and Jensen Ackles, a greater number of "DOOL" actors have either chosen to remain on the show for long periods — like Dierdre Hall, who has been there since 1976 — or failed to take off after leaving their roles. Here are some of the darkest secrets of "Days of Our Lives" cast members past and present.

Casey Moss was arrested for trying to fight a bartender

As of this writing, actor Casey Moss has only five credits listed on his IMDb, and of those credits, "Days of Our Lives" is by far the most noteworthy. Moss has appeared in over a whopping 600 episodes of the show, beginning in 2013 when he was only 19. His character, J.J. Devereaux, has been played by multiple actors, but Moss was the first adult to take on the role after the character was aged up — a term for when characters rapidly age from childhood to adulthood, messing with their birthdate and timeline. Moss has left the show numerous times (per Soaps.com) but most recently popped back up for a multi-episode stint in the summer of 2022.

On-screen, Moss has been praised for his work as a young actor and was even nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for his work on "Days of Our Lives" in 2018. His offscreen life has not been as smooth, as the actor was arrested in 2015 after a particularly nasty night out in Scottsdale, Arizona. Per The Republic, Moss drunkenly got into a fight with a bartender at a W Hotel, and he needed to be restrained after he reportedly pushed a hotel staffer. He also tried to punch the bartender and missed, but the most embarrassing part of the story is probably that he called out his acting credits when officers asked his name. "I'm Casey Moss, and I'm an actor on 'Days of Our Lives'," he said, as if that mattered.

Billy Flynn thought his addiction would kill him

For years, actor Billy Flynn hid his addiction to drugs and alcohol from the public, opting only to speak about his struggles once he felt he was on the other side. In June 2021, Flynn went on fellow soap star Maurice Bernard's YouTube show, "State of Mind," and divulged that he had been in recovery for three years. "I mean, there were times when I would drink and use, to a place where thought I was going to die quite literally in the moment," he said. "And I would keep going ... I took as much as I could, and when I woke up, I was shocked."

To "Days of Our Lives" fans, Flynn is famous for playing Chad DiMera, a character he began inhabiting in 2014 and which he still plays to date. He has also appeared as Chad on the soap opera miniseries, "Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem," and on other one-offs like "Days of Our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas" and "Chad & Abby in Paris." According to a separate interview Flynn gave, he was using drugs and alcohol long before "DOOL." In fact, he told the hosts of the podcast "The Freddie & Alyssa Show," one of whom is his co-star Freddie Smith, that he started doing drugs by age 16 but that his addiction got really bad around 2018, when he temporarily left "Days of Our Lives" and had money to burn.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Brenda Benet's young son died on a family trip

By the time Brenda Benet died in her mid-30s, she had already established herself as a prominent daytime star. She appeared on 298 episodes of "Days of Our Lives" between 1978 and 1982, starring as Lee DuMonde Carmichael Williams. She would likely have continued playing the villain if not for her death by suicide (via We Love Soaps), as she was still on the show at the time. Her character was not popular with fans, but villains are, of course, necessary for any soap opera to function.

Benet had famously been married to Bill Bixby, of "My Favorite Martian" and "The Incredible Hulk." Their only child, Christopher was only six years old when he died on a family vacation in 1981. According to reports from the time, Christopher and his mother were at Mammoth Ski Resort when he suffered acute epiglotitis, which required a tracheotomy that led him into a coma and then cardiac arrest (via UPI). Evidently, the pain of losing her son was too much for Benet, and she killed herself the following year.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Tyler Christopher was arrested for public intoxication

While many soap fans know him as "General Hospital's" Nikolas Cassadine — a role he played for two decades — Tyler Christopher has more recently appeared as a cast member on "Days of Our Lives." He started on the show in 2018, and by his final appearance in 2019, had 157 episodes under his belt. On "DOOL," Christopher played Stefan O. DiMera, son of legendary villain Stefano DiMera and the equally dubious Vivian Alamain. Christopher also appeared as a separate character back in 2001, but that was for one sole episode.

Christopher was ultimately let go from "Days of Our Lives" because of his addiction issues, which similarly impacted his work on "General Hospital" years before, as he discussed on the YouTube show "State of Mind." "It crushed me because I took for granted the one thing I love the most ... It was devastating for a myriad of reasons. One, the thing that I love the most was taken away. Two, I threw it away. Nobody took it away from me. I dropped it," he said. "Having to walk out those doors under that circumstance, was like, 'Wow, this is for real, dude. This is for real." 

His firing from "DOOL" coincided with a rather embarrassing incident that led to his 2019 arrest for public intoxication. Per Fox News, Christopher was celebrating his 47th birthday in Indiana when he was arrested, a few months after leaving the show.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Leigh Ann Bauman hired a hitman

This story reads much like — well, a plot from a soap opera — but it is very much the truth. In June 2022, ex-actor Leigh Ann Bauman was arrested after authorities alleged she had paid a hitman $1,500 to take out her mother-in-law (per The Sun). The case has not yet progressed through the courts as of this writing, but it's a damaging accusation that will no doubt impact Bauman's life going forward, even if she is cleared of all charges. It was Bauman's former friend that allegedly tipped off the police, leading to her conspiracy to commit murder charge.

Bauman is now a realtor in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, but was once an actor. She has no active IMDb page, but many credible news outlets such as People have reported that she was on "Days of Our Lives" in the past. Her character may not have been substantial enough to be given a name, but the story is too dark and twisted not to include on our list. In fact, we urge "DOOL" to now write about a cheer mom/realtor who pays a very minimal amount to have her children's grandmother killed, allegedly believing that she can "ask for forgiveness" even though her deeds go against her Christian faith (per The Sun).

Melissa Reeves was recast after liking anti-BLM posts

Melissa Reeves spent decades at the top of the heap of soap actors, but it all came crashing down when it came to light that she had liked a number of hateful social media posts. Reeves is known to "Days of Our Lives" fans for playing Jennifer Horton Deveraux, a central character that she originated back in 1985. A few other actors have stepped in to play Jennifer throughout the years, but Reeves has dominated in the role, playing the character on-and-off up until 2022. All told, she appeared in a whopping 2,897 episodes of "DOOL," per IMDb.

Reeves has been no stranger to controversy over the years. In 2012, she received flak from many fans for her support of Chick-fil-A, a company that has been outspoken denouncers of same-sex marriage (via Daytime Confidential). But it was not until 2022 that her social media activity got her fired. The powers-that-be bowed to public pressure to recast Jennifer after Reeves liked a number of posts that were critical of the Black Lives Matter movement (via People). Jennifer is now played by Cady McClain, though that is not to say that Daytime Emmy nominee Reeves won't someday return to the role.

Alison Sweeney struggled with an eating disorder for years

Alison Sweeney is one of "Days of Our Lives" most notable stars, not only because of her long history on the soap, but also because of her many Hallmark movies and especially her hosting duties for "The Biggest Loser," which she hosted from 2006 to 2015. The show was an interesting choice for Sweeney, who herself has struggled with her weight. Many have been critical of "The Big Loser" format, its exploitation of contestants, and its promotion of unhealthy weight loss — none of which deterred Sweeney from participating.

Sweeney has described nuggets of her eating disorder, such as when she told the Los Angeles Times that she often judged herself by how well she could restrict her eating. "I was so regimented for so many years with my eating. If I was sticking to my diet, I was good; if I wasn't, I was a failure. But it was that approach that was setting me up for failure. I really had to change my mind-set," she said. 

Notably, Sweeney's "Days of Our Lives" character Sami Brady also suffered from an eating disorder (bulimia) at one point. Between 1987 and the present day, Sweeney has appeared as Sami in over 3,500 episodes, and being on screen for much of her life has no doubt contributed to Sweeney's body and eating issues. "I've been on 'Days' since I was 16, and being surrounded by such thin, gorgeous actresses made me so insecure and self-conscious," she once told Daily Mail.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

Linsey Godfrey has bravely come out as Borderpolar

Some of the secrets you'll find in this article are "dark" in that they are tragic personal or family tragedies. This secret is neither tragic nor shameful, but it is still representative of a stigmatized issue that remained clandestine until Linsey Godfrey decided to speak up. Godrey has bravely discussed her mental health issues on social media, giving a name and face to a disorder combination that is rarely a topic of conversation. We commend her for sharing this secret with the world.

Godfrey came out as "borderpolar" in a March 2021 Instagram post, which means that she has the dual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. This has led the actor to suffer from depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and she has continued to discuss mental health ever since coming out. "I had been struggling for so long, and I knew I wasn't okay," Godfrey told People in 2022. in "Even though it was a big, awful pill to swallow, I was relieved to finally have an answer and not just, 'You're a s—– person.'" Though she is no longer a series regular, Godfrey has played Sarah Horton in 300 episodes of "Days of Our Lives," beginning in 2018, and is also known to soap fans for her work on "The Bold and the Beautiful." She has received four Daytime Emmy Award nominations, one for "DOOL" and three for "B&B."

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Freddie Smith drunkenly injured a passenger while driving

Freddie Smith played Sonny Kiriakis on "Days of Our Lives" from 2011 to 2020, with only one small break from 2015 to 2016. His character appeared in 864 episodes over that course of time, and it was also historically important. Sonny was "DOOL's" first gay contract role, per Entertainment Weekly, and a sign that the soap was ready for change. Smith received two Daytime Emmy Award nominations for the role, winning one in 2015.

Smith's past is not all sunshine and roses, however. In 2014, the popular daytime actor crashed his car while driving with his then-girlfriend Alyssa Tabit. Tabit was badly injured, and Smith was found to have been under the influence of alcohol (and speeding) at the time of the crash. Smith pleaded guilty to vehicular assault and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, per Star Beacon. He narrowly avoided jail time, Tabit recovered, and the pair got married. They now host the podcast "The Freddie & Alyssa Show." Smith has not acted since leaving "Days of Our Lives," and since Sonny is now being played by another actor (Zach Tinker), a return seems unlikely.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Roscoe Born died by suicide

The secret here is not that soap opera star Roscoe Born died by suicide, it is that he lived with a mental illness that remains stigmatized and under-discussed. "Roscoe has long struggled with bipolar disorder, a shadow that he succumbed to when he took his own life on Tuesday March 3, 2020," wrote his family on Facebook (as reported by TVLine). They then called for more mental health awareness. Born was only 69 when he died and, the earliest reports of his death did not list a cause. It was days later that the family's statement came out.

Born was very active in the soap opera genre — so much so that it kind of feels like he has done them all. He is perhaps best known for his work on "Ryan's Hope" and "Santa Barbara," but he also appeared on "The City," "One Life to Live," "The Young & the Restless," and "As the World Turns," amongst other shows. On "Days of Our Lives," Born played Trent Robbins in just under four dozen 2008 episodes. He also played a separate character in a one-off 2001 episode. Per his IMDb, he had not acted since 2012, eight years before his tragic death.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Cody Longo was arrested for domestic assault and, later, sexual assault of a child

Cody Longo's dark history may be incredibly triggering, so we want to give you an extra warning here. Longo is an actor with a considerable amount of credits under his belt, including the television series "Hollywood Heights" and guest stints on everything from "Nashville" to "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." The actor starred on "Days of Our Lives" from 2011 to 2012, where he played Nicholas Alamain in 80 episodes of the soap. He somehow has three active projects listed on his IMDb, but given how the rest of his story goes, we cannot imagine those will get made with him in the cast.

Longo's first brush with the law occurred in November 2020, when he was arrested in Tennessee after a fight with his wife. The drunken brawl became physical, and Longo was booked on a domestic assault charge (per Page Six). According to the Daily Mail, Longo pushed his wife in the face after accusing her of cheating on him. Things took an even more sickening turn a week later when Longo was charged with sexual assault of a minor, reported to be a nine-year-old female (per Clarksville Now). These charges stem from a 2019 visit to Colorado in which Longo allegedly molested the young girl. Per Clarksville Now, Longo took a plea deal in early 2021, which allowed him to get off on a misdemeanor assault charge versus a felony sex charge.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website. If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Tracey Bregman lost her home to a wildfire

California wildfires are notoriously harsh, and we have all heard stories about the people who have been affected by them. In 2018, a giant fire affected large swaths of Malibu, where many celebrities have homes. Many saw damage to their abodes and for some, everything was burned to the ground. That is what happened to Tracey Bregman, a popular soap star. Bregman posted photos of the devastating loss on social media, and she posted again on the two-year anniversary of when she said "everything changed." In 2020, she sued her home's insurer, though we are unsure where that case stands today (per Soaps.com).

Bregman is a big name in the soap world, though she is most often associated with her work on "The Young & the Restless," where she has appeared in more than 1,700 episodes as Lauren Fenmore Baldwin. She first started in the role in 1984 and has left numerous times. She has also appeared as the same character on "The Bold & the Beautiful," racking up over 300 episodes there. Prior to becoming Lauren, however, Bregman was a "Days of Our Lives" staple for a couple of years. From 1978 to 1980, she played teenager Donna Temple Craig on the series, appearing in 166 episodes before moving on.

Steve Burton's wife got pregnant by another man

Steve Burton's recent scandal just goes to show that the lives of soap stars are sometimes as messy and outrageous as those of their characters. Burton made the news in July 2022 after filing for divorce from his wife, Sheree Gustin, after nearly 23 years of marriage (per The Sun). This in itself would not be huge news, if not for the small detail that Gustin is expecting another man's child. "Sheree and I are separated," Burton posted online a few months before, in May. "She recently announced that she's expected her 4th child. The child is not mine. We are still co-parenting our three beautiful kids" (the story was captured by The Sun).

Aside from posting many, many shirtless and workout photos on his Instagram, Burton also acts — something he has been doing since 1986. Burton is a two-time Daytime Emmy Award winner (with another seven nominations under his belt), and he is best known for playing Jason Morgan on nearly 2,300 episodes of "General Hospital" between 1992 and 2021. Burton also played Dylan McAvoy on "The Young and the Restless" for four years (from 2013 – 2017), and has branched out of daytime on occasion as well. As for "Days of Our Lives," Burton first appeared as Harris Michaels in 12 episodes back in 1988. Recently, he reprised this role for the five-episode miniseries "Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem," which aired in summer 2022.

Marcus Patrick was (possibly) fired for posing naked

Marcus Patrick started his acting career in 2005, and he made his first foray into soaps with two episodes of "Passions" the following year. Then came nine episodes of "All My Children," before Patrick landed at "Days of Our Lives." On "DOOL," he played Jett Carver in just under 50 episodes in 2006 and 2007. He did not last long on the show, and many assume it is because of a naked pictorial he did around that same time.

In September 2007, Patrick was the cover model for Playgirl, the now-defunct adult magazine featuring naked males. Soap Central published a piece that directly linked Patrick's firing with this photo shoot, noting that it occurred while he was employed by the daytime show. And while we will never know if Patrick's nudie magazine was the reason for his dismissal, it had to sting, because the actor has not done a lot of notable work since. "I'm probably much more geared towards HBO or Showtime where they can say a curse word [or do a] sex scene and it looks very realistic," he told Soaps.com in 2007. He's still waiting on his "Game of Thrones," years later.

Amy Yasbeck sued a hospital after her husband's death

Amy Yasbeck has had a varied enough career that you might know her from any number of things. She has been on primetime shows like "Wings," and appeared in small parts in big movies like "Pretty Woman" and "The Mask." Amongst her dozens of acting credits is the role of Olivia Reed on "Days of Our Lives," which Yasbeck inhabited for 31 episodes in 1987. Beyond her career, Yasbeck's name may seem familiar because of her marriage to TV legend John Ritter.

Ritter and Yasbeck met when they starred in the film "Problem Child," and the two were married for four years when Ritter unexpectedly died in September 2003. According to Today, Ritter died from "an undetected aortic dissection" while on the set of his hit show, "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter." Yasbeck then went on to sue two of Ritter's doctors for wrongful death, asking for $67 million in restitution. Per People, she lost this case in March 2008, when both doctors were cleared of all wrongdoing. She (and Ritter's family) still got $14 million in settlements from other sources, such as the hospital, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, which she also sued.

Hunter Tylo's son drowned in their pool

Hunter Tylo is a huge name when it comes to soap operas, particularly because of her starring role as Dr. Taylor Hayes on "The Bold and the Beautiful." Between 1990 and 2019, Tylo appeared in a staggering 2,518 episodes of the series. She has dabbled in other television projects, both in daytime and primetime, but her other noteworthy role was in "Days of Our Lives," where she appeared as Marina Toscano across 40 episodes in 1989 and 1990.

Tylo is also known for suing television producer Aaron Spelling, after Spelling cast and then fired her from "Melrose Place" after learning she was pregnant. Per the AP, Tylo was awarded $4.9 million for this wrongful termination. Tylo's other big secret is darker, a family tragedy that no monetary sum could right. In 2007, Tylo's teenage son, Michael Tylo Jr., drowned in a pool after reportedly having a seizure (per People). "She's had one tragedy in her life after another, more than her share," said Tylo's manager, Marv Dauer, to Us Magazine. And he is right — it has not been an easy road for Tylo. Another of Tylo's children had previously been diagnosed with a cancer that caused her to lose an eye, and she has had an acutely messy love life that has included three marriages and at least one restraining order (per Soaps Central).

Kirsten Storms was arrested for a DUI

Nowadays, Kirsten Storms is very much associated with "General Hospital," where she has appeared as Maxie Jones in nearly 1,500 episodes since 2005. She has also appeared in fare like "Kim Possible" and "Clubhouse," but for many daytime fans, she is still Belle Black from "Days of Our Lives." Storms played Belle from 1999 to 2004, appearing in 779 episodes of the show and establishing Belle as a major character. Martha Madison now plays the character, but Storms is the first actor to have played her after she was rapidly aged.

After her time on "DOOL," Storms ran into some issues with the law when she was arrested for driving under the influence. Per People, the then-23-year-old actor was pulled over in 2007 after littering (she threw a cigarette out of her car window) and proceeded to fail a sobriety test. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Storms was sentenced to 90 days of Alcoholics Anonymous and a small fine, as well as three years of probation. Given that she has steered clear of trouble ever since, Storms seems to have learned her lesson — though she is lucky that no one was hurt due to her lack of judgment.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Chrishell Stause's family struggled with poverty

Chrishell Stause has been vocal about her family's struggles when she was growing up, discussing this on her hit show "Selling Sunset," as well as in interviews and in her memoir "Under Construction." At times, Stause's family was so impoverished that they had nowhere to live. "It was just really hard to live the lie at school and make sure no one knows and being really embarrassed about it. Even talking about it now I start to sweat," she told Page Six in 2018. "I definitely relate to any kid who has lived without running water or electricity or having to be the smelly kid going to school because you don't have the resources."

Before she was the breakout star of Netflix's reality show, "Selling Sunset," Stause had established herself as a popular daytime TV actor. She did 10 episodes of "The Young and the Restless," but is most often associated with the role of Amanda Dillon Martin on "All My Children," which she played from 2005 to 2011. She is also known for her work on "Days of Our Lives," which remains her most recent acting gig. Between 2013 and 2015, Stause appeared as series regular Jordan Ridgeway, and she went back to the role on a recurring basis in 2019, as well as for a guest stint in 2020 through 2021. The guest stint earned her a 2020 Daytime Emmy Award nomination.

Jay Robinson's drug arrest derailed his career

Jay Robinson had 76 acting credits when he died in 2013, and so "Days of Our Lives" is just one of his many endeavors. Robinson appeared as Monty Dolan in 50 episodes of the soap opera back in 1988 and 1989, when he was well into his 50s. In fact, he remained working up until 1998, despite a dark past that at one time threatened his career. And sure, we will never know what trajectory he would have taken had he not been arrested, but he certainly turned his life around from where it was. A household name he was not, but it could have gone a lot worse.

"I remember in 1967 while I was in prison the television premiere of 'The Robe' came up," he told The Washington Post. "I had $10 to my name. I went to the warden and asked for permission to see the movie. He said 'why?' and I said, because I'm the star of it. He said he didn't think he'd ever had such an unusual request. I was allowed to watch it, and I determined then to fight my way back to success." Robinson's imprisonment was due to an addiction to drugs that led to charges for possessing heroin. In his Los Angeles Times obituary, it is explained that Robison was first arrested in 1959, and that his later imprisonment was for "failing to appear for a retrial of his original case."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Robert Clary survived Nazi concentration camps

Actor Robert Clary has appeared on a number of daytime television series, most recently "The Bold and the Beautiful," from 1990 to 1992. His longest stint was on "Days of Our Lives," where he played Robert LeClair on and off between 1972 and 1987. Beyond daytime, Clary is also known for his work on "Hogan's Heroes," from 1965 to 1971. Clary is now in his mid-90s, and he has truly lived a life worth discussing.

On numerous occasions, Clary has opened up about his tragic past as a survivor of the Holocaust. He lost his parents and most his siblings during this time, killed because of their Jewish heritage (per the Los Angeles Times). "I'm as tough as nails," he said to the Los Angeles Times. "But once in a while, I think how my parents died. They went to Auschwitz and directly to the gas chambers. Sometimes I see their last minute and it absolutely kills me." Clary himself spent time in a labor camp where, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, he made 4,000 shoe heels per day and had to steal rotting food from farm animals to supplement the bread and soup he was given.

John de Lancie did not learn to read until he was 12

John de Lancie has almost 200 acting credits on his IMDb (as of this writing), but is perhaps most associated with the role of Q, which he has played in a variety of "Star Trek" projects including "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Star Trek Picard." That is not to say that he has not done other notable work, like the years he spent playing Eugene Bradford on "Days of Our Lives." Between 1982 and 1990, de Lancie appeared in 518 episodes of "DOOL," twice winning Soap Opera Digest Awards for his work.

In recent years, de Lancie has bravely spoken about his struggle with dyslexia, which negatively impacted his experiences in school at a time when learning disabilities were far less openly discussed. "I ended up flunking out of a couple of schools," he admitted to the Dyslexic Advantage, where he also noted that people called him "slow" for years. "The last school I went to, they said 'Oh, no, no, we think he's dyslexic,' but nobody really knew what to do with that. I probably was 14 by that time." The amazing part of the story is that, though he only learned to read at age 12, de Lancie was able to attend the Juilliard School and establish himself as a successful actor.

Patsy Pease grew up in an abusive home

It is a double-whammy when it comes to Patsy Pease's dark secrets, and her life reads like something even murkier than your standard soap opera. According to an interview she did with the Chicago Tribune, Pease grew up in an abusive household up until age 16. "Both my parents were psychotics, both were satanists. I'm a survivor of ritual torture,” Pease said. ”Life was the hell pit. It seems to be my forte. I graduated from the school of 'walk through hell with a gasoline coat on.'" Unsurprisingly, Pease and her siblings suffered long-term effects of their abuse, which led to her brother's suicide (of note, her mother also killed herself) and Pease's alcoholism.

Pease's other secret has to do with her own mental health issues, which she says went undiagnosed until she was 50 (as reported by She Knows). In a since-deleted blog, Pease discussed how her bipolar disorder was the root cause for many of her past issues, including an arrest for assaulting someone and reckless sexual behavior. Despite her struggles, Pease has been able to establish herself as a successful actor. Her most noteworthy role has been that of Kimberly Brady on "Days of Our Lives," a part that she played off and on from 1984 to 2016. All told, she has appeared in over 1,000 episodes of "DOOL," and she also had a substantial role on the defunct soap "Search for Tomorrow."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Dylan Patton was arrested for selling cocaine

Dylan Patton began his acting career in 2005, just around the time that he reached his teen years. In 2009, he was cast as Will Horton (also known as Will Roberts) on "Days of Our Lives," and he appeared on the show until 2010. The role was then recast with Chandler Massey, the actor who is most prominently associated with Will. Like far too many child and teen stars, Patton's life took a turn for the worse once he was off the show.

In 2013, Patton was arrested in Agoura Hills, California, after allegedly selling cocaine near an elementary school (via E! News). According to TMZ, the arrest occurred at the actor's home after an undercover cop went in and successfully purchased drugs. Patton was sentenced to three years probation (per Patch) and seems to have left acting altogether (he has had no credits since 2013). Patton was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award during his time on "DOOL," and it is a shame that he never got to fulfill his promise as an adult actor.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Martha Nix Wade was molested by a family friend

Martha Nix Wade started her acting career in 1975, when she scored the role of Janice Barnes on "Days of Our Lives" at age 7. She appeared in 102 episodes of the show over the next few years, and then went on to appear on "The Waltons" and a handful of other programs. Nix Wade has not acted since 1985, but resurfaced in 2011 when she published a memoir, "My Secret Life: A Truthful Look at a Child Actor's Victory Over Sexual Abuse."

If you could not tell from its title, Nix Wade's book detailed a shocking secret from her past, her childhood sexual abuse, and discussed the effects of the experience. The actor also started an organization, A Quarter Blue, to help survivors of sexual abuse and trauma. "While I wouldn't wish sexual assault on anyone, I am grateful I had a team of people around me who helped me heal, so that I can encourage and empower others to fight the good fight," she says on the organization's website.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Casey Deidrick has spoken out about being bipolar

So few celebrities, particularly male celebrities, speak up about mental health issues, and it is a noteworthy thing when anyone in the public eye shares their personal health diagnoses. Actor Casey Deidrick is also supermodel handsome, with a perfectly sculpted beard and a bodacious arm filled with tattoos, so he may not be the type of man you associate with vulnerability and the sharing of feelings. And yet, Deidrick has been an outspoken mental health advocate, sharing his own struggles with bipolar disorder when he was interviewed for A Book Of in 2019.

"I view acting not as a job but a way for me to process and cope with my bipolar disorder and childhood traumas I faced as a child," he said in the interview. "Acting for me is a lot like jumping out of an airplane and gives me the freedom to be who I want to be. I'm just never satisfied, and I am always growing and learning as a person. I've always been a very emotional person and through acting I've learned to control it." When it comes to acting, Deidrick had one of his first roles on "Days of Our Lives," where he played Chad DiMera from 2009 until 2013. He most recently starred in "In the Dark," a CW drama that ran for four seasons up until summer 2022.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Brian Heidik shot a dog with an arrow

We know what you're thinking – Brian Heidik, the guy who won "Survivor: Thailand"? And yes, it is that Heidik to whom we are referring. Before winning the CBS reality show and subsequently revealing himself to be a pretty terrible human being, Heidik had a fledgling acting career that included guest stints on shows like "Dream On" and "Baywatch Nights." His most notable role was on "Days of Our Lives," where he played Tim Rollins for 33 episodes in 1992 and 1993.

Heidik made the news in 2002, around the time of his "Survivor" win, after a domestic dispute led to his wife's arrest for punching him in the face (per Entertainment Weekly). This was also around the time people found out that he had appeared in softcore pornography, which also made the news cycle. Then, in 2006, Heidik was arrested after he shot an innocent puppy with an arrow (per TMZ). He did not come off particularly well on "Survivor," but his post-show life has been anything but million-dollar worthy.

Tamara Braun felt damaged because of traumas

Tamara Braun is a two-time Daytime Emmy Award winner (and four-time nominee) who has a long history in daytime television. She started her acting career in 1997, and by 2001, was appearing as Carly Corinthos on "General Hospital." She later played a second character on the show, Dr. Kim Nero, and also appeared in 81 episodes of "All My Children" in 2008 and 2009. On "Days of Our Lives," Braun plays Ava Vitali, a role she began in 2008, reprised in 2015-2016, and reprised again as of 2020 (she is currently in the role).

Despite her glamorous life as a successful Hollywood star, Braun has expressed a history of trauma and a struggle with her mental health. She posted about these issues on her Instagram in August 2021, alongside a flashback photo of her younger self. "This young woman. I look at her now and appreciate her struggles, her dreams, her heartache, her beauty," she wrote. "The voices in her head weren't always kind to her and what she was dealing with back then. She thought her trauma defined her and she was damaged goods." Though Braun did not elaborate on her trauma, it was a powerful message that was repeated on many soap opera news sites.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.