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a website dedicated to American actor/writer/director/producer Stephen Nichols. Best known for his varied roles on daytime television, Stephen has just returned to his iconic role of Steven Earl "Patch" Johnson on the daytime soap opera DAYS OF OUR LIVES. Stephen also played the parts of uber-tychoon Tucker McCall on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS, as The Dark Prince Stefan Cassadine on GENERAL HOSPITAL and Dr. Skylar Cates on the cancelled SANTA BARBARA. Stephen has also appeared in films and in episodic television such as CRASH, THE NANNY, EMPTY NEST, SECOND CHANCES, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, RENEGADE, WITCHBOARD, & THE PHOENIX. This is strictly a fan site and NOT Stephen's official site. This site has a strict no paparazzi policy and will not publish photos of Stephen during his private time.

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STEPHEN NICHOLS ONLINE @ is a website dedicated to the work of American actor Stephen Nichols. I am in no way affiliated with his person, his management, nor his family. All content, except otherwise noted, is copyrighted to their original owners and no infringement is intended and no rights implied. Content contained within are subject to fair use and used here either in whole or in part as a commentary on the work and career of Stephen Nichols.

So, I wasn’t going to to do this but with a recent private message I received on a message board and what with the new promo for the week of February 1st having come out, I thought I needed to do this. So here it goes…..

There is a proliferation of message board posts that continue to state they are Steve and Kayla fans and anyone else who does not buy that party line are more or less told to shut up, and that cacophony has never been more virulent since it was announced back in July 2015 of the return of Tamara Braun in her Emmy Award Winning role of temptress Ava Vitali. Here are the things that are being said:

        • “What the hell are they bringing her back for? We didn’t need her the first time.”

        • “OMG Why?”

        • “What? They’re bringing back the wrack of bones?”

        • “Steve and Kayla belong together. Why are they doing this?”

        • “There goes Dena [Higley] again. What she really wants to see these two in bed together.”

        • “This is a repeat of what happened in 2008.”

And while the comments regarding the repeat of the 2008 storyline where Ava forced Steve to sleep with her is valid and I’m a little pissed at the notion that Ava hasn’t moved on since she left Salem back in August of 2008, the comments that are mostly negative directed at the character of Ava or specifically at Tamara Braun and her perceived thinness are alarming. There is no delineation of character from actress and the overt slams directed at Tamara for everything she does on screen are coming directly from Steve and Kayla fans or specifically Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans fans who seem hell bent on shooting themselves in their collective feet. My reason for saying this is what happened when I was a member of a message board for Stephen and Mary Beth fans way back in 2008. On this forum you had to read and agree to the terms and conditions of the board in order to post. I did so and agreed to them, however, after I joined I happened to mention that I really wanted Ava and Steve together in terms of even just a little bit, however, you might have thought I’d killed the members’ collective puppies. What began was a systematic attack on both my opinion as well as my appreciation of Tamara Braun as an actress. Almost universally it’s a sin to be a) a fan of hers, and b) a fan of Ava’s or even Taylor Walker (Tamara’s second spin on DAYS OF OUR LIVES). If you’re not a card carrying, hardcore fan of Steve and Kayla, then you’re somehow a lesser soul. It doesn’t matter what you say or do to explain to them the reasons for the powers that be brought Tamara back, they don’t care to listen because to them it’s their way or the highway.

Tamara Braun as Ava Vitali and Stephen Nichols as Steve Johnson in a scene from "Days of our Lives" from April 2008.

Tamara Braun as Ava Vitali and Stephen Nichols as Steve Johnson in a scene from “Days of our Lives” from April 2008.

I recently pointed out in a posting someone made about a parallel between Ava and Kayla’s love for Steve that there was no parallel because Ava hasn’t been allowed to have Steve’s undivided love. Back in April/May 2008 when Ava explained the reason for her doing what she did to Steve, Kayla, Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and Bo (Peter Reckell) and the botched wedding between she and Steve, it was heavily anvilled that according to even an amnesiac Steve, he always believed “there was someone out there….” There was automatically an inequality between Kayla and Ava in that moment when Steve walked out of the chapel and left Ava at the altar apart from Stefano’s (Joseph Mascolo) henchmen grabbing Steve, Ava was lesser in Steve’s mind than that omniscient, diaphanous being that is Kayla Brady Johnson. Because of that Ava will never have any presence in Steve’s life outside of a child…. that brings me to……

The notion that Steve and Ava could have a child together is somehow vomit inducing? I don’t get it, and with the recent promo showing Ava forces Steve to sleep with her in order to find out where Kayla is many, and I mean many, have said they’ve taken the show off of their DVRs and will only read recaps until the character is gone. On these very same message boards there have been many a thread protesting the way Victor (John Aniston) talked about women and particularly Theresa (Jen Lilly), yet these people have no problem with the way Steve has been pushing, shoving, shaking and general violence he’s displaying toward Ava.

Tamara Braun as Ava Vitali and Stephen Nichols as Steve Johnson in a scene from

Tamara Braun as Ava Vitali and Stephen Nichols as Steve Johnson in a scene from “Days of our Lives” from January 2016.

While I do understand whatever Ava has been doing might elicit something of desperation in Steve, but to condone that kind of behaviour is jarring, and that no one is calling Steve out on that shows it doesn’t matter what Steve or Kayla do, it’s perfectly fine because they “belong together”. And look at what Kayla did as far as taking Daniel’s (Shawn Christian) heart to give it to Brady (Eric Martsolf). There’s no indignation over her flouting hospital and transplantation policy, then the absolute surety that the transplant people in Washington will see it Kayla’s way, this from Steve as one of many of her cheering section. Last in my book that was what is called a Mary Sue. Yet no matter what Ava does for whatever reason, she’s trash, crap, or outright shit. And I’ll just mention the plethora of people posting idiocy about Ava trying to bed Joey (James Lastovic) in what people are terming rape or pedophilia on her behalf. Obviously they love that “p” word a little too much.

Back to what I was saying about the reason Tamara was brought back this time around. First of all she won a coveted Emmy Award for this role. The notion DAYS would bring her back as Taylor, a character no one cared for outside of a smaller number of Taylor and EJ (James Scott) fans (and don’t get me started on the cacophony of the Sami (Alison Sweeney) and EJ fans who had a black mass with their Taylor dolls, sticking pins in her effigy) is nonsense. Tamara won that award for a reason and that reason is the cause to bring her back as Ava, not Taylor. Now I made a prediction back in 2008 on those Steve and Kayla message boards that came true. That was if you take Ava out of Steve and Kayla’s story, you reduce them to nothing but parental units to at that point Stephanie (Shelley Hennig) and her personal issues. And that came to pass. Steve and Kayla were only on once or twice a month after Ava left their story, compared to the airtime they got at about four or five times a week while engaged in the story with Ava, these so-called fans got what they didn’t expect. Ava out of their couple’s story and lesser screen time. Weigh that with the fact that John (Drake Hogestyn) and Marlena (Deidre Hall) got more screen time with Ava in their story…. Well you tell me. But the fact that Tamara being back is a boon to these Steve and Kayla fans who are doing themselves a disservice by wanting her gone, or not even there. What other story could they have come up with? And to call Dena Higley out on favouring a Steve and Ava pairing is foul. She is allowed to write what she sees for her show, ultimately. Or what she’s told to by Greg Meng or Ken Corday.

I will also say this: I was a card carrying member of the Steve and Kayla fanbase back in the day. They were my favourite couple in the 80s on this show. While I liked Bo and Hope and other couples, Steve and Kayla were my favourites because of the chemistry between Stephen and Mary Beth, however, that chemistry can have a rebound effect. As you’ve noticed this site does not include Mary Beth Evans. Why? Because while I believe she’s a good actress, I’m not wowed by her. I feel that in the three decades Stephen and Mary Beth have been paired together and or had this close friendship, it has meant a shift in the amount of “wow” Steve and Kayla have now. I see Steve and Kayla not so much as lovers, but rather having a sibling-like relationship. Like someone posted on a message board, that was called out as sacrilegious, there is a drive toward wanting Steve to drop Kayla and get with Ava because of the knock out chemistry Stephen and Tamara have, and they do. And this has been my dream as a fan of both Stephen and Tamara. For them to have a story where they get to show what they can do and the reason Tamara won her Emmy for this role. While I do understand the love for Steve and Kayla, it’s time to change it up. Instead of having Steve come back and get back together with Kayla, considering her ambivalence when he first came back, have her have to fight for him this time around, and if Steve is with Ava, have it be a legitimate reason not this rehash. That’s my only gripe.

So there is my commentary on this. I know you likely didn’t want to read it, but I’m beyond caring since I’ve seen people continue to trash Tamara and Ava and her place on this show. Having won that award means something and if Dena Higley wants to write for Ava and Steve, buck up and stop acting like children people, because that’s what you sound like to me. Ultimately Steve and Kayla will end up back together and all will be right with the world and mom and dad because Tamara never signs a long term contract anymore, which is sad, but given how badly she’s been treated on all the shows she’s been on thus far in the daytime theatre, I can’t say that I blame her. For all of you who read this and think I’m bellyaching, I say to you walk a mile. You’ve had your time on your Politically Correct message boards, and even had many of the positive posts for Tamara and Ava deleted because you can, but here it’s my space. I pay for it and can post whatever I like. You don’t like it, tough. I’ve had to listen to you and your stupidity for long enough. If you want to have a legitimate discussion about this, then comment away, but I’m tired of having to keep my peace on those very same message boards that will ban you for speaking up and defending your position. These sites that want to suck up to the business to the detriment of some fans who feel alienated for speaking their minds. You don’t want me or others disrespecting the stuff you like or don’t like, or your love for Mary Beth Evans…. Don’t disrespect those of us who love Tamara and the character of Ava Vitali.


How old is Stephen? Is he supposed to be in his early sixties? Is he supposed to be a grandfather of two? Well you couldn’t put that one past me. If I were so inclined I’d make this an O-M-G moment with a smiley that had a shocked face with an “O” shaped mouth because from what we saw today, Stephen Nichols could pass for someone half his age. My goodness that man is still in incredible shape. I could almost hear the sighs and at least a few gasps over the airwaves as Mary Beth Evans lay her head down on that chest. I swear there is a portrait out there a la Dorian Gray out there. I think Lisa, his wife, knows where it is. Not much for a Steve and Kayla fan to complain about today. Lots to think of in terms of them working things out and getting back together in time for Ava (Tamara Braun) to sweep in and pull a Mrs. Robinson on Joey (James Lastovic).

  • [325] SCREENCAPS: DAYS OF OUR LIVES 12/10/2015

Looks like Steve is failing very badly at tailing Joey (James Lastovic). Are his skills dulling in his old age? Nah, just trying to make conversation, but that text he received looked like something wicked this way comes. Not gonna say much more other than December 9 is coming….. Ominous music plays. You might notice I have two different station watermarks on the screencaps this time around. That’s because the NBC feed I record the show from to make my screencaps at 4:00 PM, was interrupted by the news from Paris, so fortunately I record the earlier airing from my Global feed at 1:00 PM. I’m happy they turned out seemless.

  • [278] SCREENCAPS: DAYS OF OUR LIVES 11/13/2015

Can I say how much I truly do hate Kayla (Mary Beth Evans)? I’m just going to say it, I hate Kayla Brady. I’m not even going to use Steve’s last name because quite frankly, she doesn’t deserve it. What she said to Steve today was unconscionable. Yeah, I know all the “yadda yadda” about Steve left her and she didn’t know why or where he was going, but let me say this, how many times have Steve and Kaylas been in the thick of it, yet no one bailed? And certainly there wasn’t this amount of enmity. Then the cutter Kayla issued in telling Steve to stay away from their son Joey (James Lastovic). What a bitch. I’m hoping this whole note thing is a prelude the return of Emmy Award Winner Tamara Braun as our resident Mob Princess Ava Vitali. Yeah am I hoping old flames are rekindled? You’re fucking right!

  • [319] SCREENCAPS: DAYS OF OUR LIVES – 11/09/2015

I know these are really late in the day/night but my the tool I use to upload the screencaps to the gallery was just being persnickety. Seriously, how difficult is it to get one program to cooperate? Apparently pretty difficult. I had to do some working around and I hate troubleshooting. Just hate it with a passion. Anyway, I know I’m going to draw some heat from the Steve and Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) fans, but could Kayla just shut her mouth occasionally? My god what a harpy. Does she truly expect Steve to just drop all of this with Bo (Peter Reckell) just because? While yes he made that promise to her and Joey (James Lastovic) can she not trust his instinct? Please soap gods, have mercy on this Steve fan and put him with Ava Vitali (Tamara Braun) if not for a little bit. Make Kayla jealous enough she’s going to shut her yap for a bit. So Steve and Kayla fans, have at me. I’m strong and can take it.

  • [293] SCREENCAPS: DAYS OF OUR LIVES 10/12/2015

I have been really impressed with the amount of screentime Stephen has received since his return. Good to see he’s not being employed only as a parental unit this time around. I’m loving the scenes though between James Lastovic (Joey) and Stephen. Just some standout acting thus far from that young lad. Stephen looks truly impressed. I also loved the flashbacks to classic Steve and Kayla (Mary Beth Evans). Loved Mary Beth’s big hair, though Stephen’s looked pretty full as well. I’m just so happy for Stephen’s return. If anyone knows how long he’s back for, please leave a comment. A classic featured cap today.

  • [462] SCREENCAPS: DAYS OF OUR LIVES – 09/22/2015

I called it! I called it! I knew Joey (James Lastovic) would be the one to stow away on the plane with Steve. Lovely scenes between Steve and Victor Kiriakis (John Aniston). The show is certainly heating up. And the whole Britt element…. Seems the new/old writers are giving us some classic DAYS. I’m up for it.

  • [474] SCREENCAPS: DAYS OF OUR LIVES – 09/21/2015

A very nice scene today between Steve and Joey (James Lastovic). Loved it to pieces. But come on, we all knew Steve was not going to sit idly by and accept that Scotch taped letter as proof Bo (Peter Reckell) ran out on Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and Ciara (Laura Boles) right? And even Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) doesn’t look like she is willing to take Steve’s acceptance of the letter as proof that Steve is not going to off and look for his friend. Or at least she shouldn’t. Loved that Steve made a bee line right to John (Drake Hogestyn). That’s our Patchman.

  • [519] SCREENCAPS: DAYS OF OUR LIVES 09/16/2015

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