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STEPHEN NICHOLS ONLINE

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Welcome to RENEGADE :: STEPHEN NICHOLS ONLINE

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 @ stephennichols.org 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.

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So both Steve and Bo (Peter Reckell) finally got away, though we didn’t see how they broke their chains. Me guesses somewhere along the line back to Victor’s (John Aniston) plane they managed to find either a good bolt cutter or the key to those very heavy and serious looking padlocks. The title of the post refers to of course the Victor Hugo hero of Jean Val Jean in the epic story Les Miserables. Love to hear Stephen pronounce that one. Though I feel it would sound a lot like La Liaison Dangereuse (pssst, Stefan Cassadine reference). Also for you, Stephen as well as Deidre Hall (Marlena Evans), Galen Gehring (Rafe Hernandez), Thaao Phenglis (Andre and Tony DiMera), Billy Flynn (Chad DiMera), Kristian Alfonso (Hope Brady) and Lauren Koslow (Kate Roberts) were on the extension of the Today Show with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford. I’ll have both the screencaps and the clip up after this post. The appearance was in celebration of DAYS OF OUR LIVES 50th Anniversary next month and to promote the Greg Meng book Days of our Lives 50 Years.

  • [274] SCREENCAPS: DAYS OF OUR LIVES 10/27/2015


Here is the preview for the coming week on DAYS OF OUR LIVES. Looks like Steve and Bo (Peter Reckell) finally get away from Bo’s captors, however, they find themselves in a bit of a pickle on board Victor’s (John Aniston) plane. Yikes!


I was going to have one of my snarky add on title, but since this episode was somewhat serious, I thought better. Okay my reason for wanting to provide a snarky add on has to do with this fact: Why couldn’t they have had Steve actually find Bo (Peter Reckell) and bring him back to Salem? What would have been the harm in having him be changed in Kayla’s (Mary Beth Evans) eyes and those of the fellow Salemites who seem to think that both Bo and Steve are deadbeat dads and neglectful husbands? Also my gosh, is Victor’s (John Aniston) plane suddenly supersonic? Is it an Avengers Quinjet or something? Didn’t take Steve long to get back to Salem from the Yucatan Peninsula. In the amount of time it took to give Caroline (Peggy McCay) the serum and have it take effect, it seemed like only an hour or so, considering when Steve had the fight with the guard over Bo in Mexico…. Well math is math and distance is distance. Unless as I said Victor’s jet is somehow able to make it from say Sakovia to New York City, then Steve’s travel time was amazingly fast to be there for when Caroline made her recovery. But then I have to say this is a soap opera. The elements of time and space have no presence. Figures. A good performance by Stephen today though. He can cry like no other, and I did love how he was comforting Victor.

  • [343] SCREENCAPS: DAYS OF OUR LIVES 10/07/2015


Today’s screencaps are up. Looks like Steve is becoming a little more persistent in his search for Bo (Peter Reckell). Loved Victor’s (John Aniston) shot at him about wanting to impress Kayla (Mary Beth Evans). Though I’d say Steve is trying to do exactly that, I’d say it’s more for Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and Ciara (Lauren Boles). By the way, I’m in the process of getting the media site set up. When it’s done, I’ll post. Keep checking back.

  • [278] SCREENCAPS: DAYS OF OUR LIVES 09/08/2015


I just loved the game of sly Steve played with Victor (John Aniston) today. It was a lot of push and pull, but the capper had to be when Steve made himself at home at Victor’s. That is going to be my picture of the day. When Steve sat down on Victor’s couch and put his feet up on the table…priceless. Steve sure knows that Bo (Peter Reckell) wouldn’t have left his family without letting them know he was safe. And that Steve made out the clues in Bo’s letters means The Patchman is definitely on the case. Good for our one-eyed guy. Also to let you know something. I’ve changed over the gallery to a new layout. I’m not sure if it’s temporary or not. When I started it the idea was for it to be temporary, but looking at it makes me think it might be up for a while. I’m thinking of changing the main site over to something a little more like what the gallery looks like. This theme is sort of old now. It was done almost a year and a half ago and it looks like it. So I’m going to work on it a bit. I hope you like the changes.

  • [406] SCREENCAPS: DAYS OF OUR LIVES 09/04/2015


Today’s screencaps are added. Love when Steve gets all up in Victor’s (John Aniston) face about Bo (Peter Reckell). Either Victor knows something he isn’t telling, or Steve knows something. Loved Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) welcoming Steve back to Salem. And man is Joey (James Lastovic) getting all Nikolas Cassadine (played on GENERAL HOSPITAL by Tyler Christopher) on Steve. I’m sensing a slight Nikolas vibe in Joey. Casting for this character was spot on. Also, I made a huge mistake when uploading the screencaps from Stephen’s DAYS episodes so far since his return. I had to delete the albums in the gallery and reupload them. So I’m sorry for any inconvenience caused by the confusion. All episodes are back up in the gallery and today’s caps added. As well, I’m also trying to decide about putting up a new media site for Stephen’s work. For any of my old visitors, you know I had a media site that disappeared somewhere around the Jurassic period. For the reasons surrounding why it went belly up, check out this post here. For now though please enjoy the daily screencaps.

  • [318] SCREENCAPS: DAYS OF OUR LIVES 09/03/2015