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Macdonald Carey 1913-1994

Country : Sioux City, IA
Profession : Actor
Date of birth : 1913-03-15
Date of death : 1994-03-21
Cause of Death : Lung cancer

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Edward Macdonald Carey (March 15, 1913 – March 21, 1994) was an American actor, best known for his role as the patriarch Dr. Tom Horton on NBC's soap opera Days of our Lives. For almost three decades, he was the show's central cast member.

Early life and career

Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Carey graduated from the University of Iowa in Iowa City with a bachelor's degree in 1935, after attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a year where he was a member of Alpha Delta Phi. He first made his career starring in various B-movies of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. He was known in many Hollywood circles as "King of the Bs", sharing the throne with his "queen", Lucille Ball.

After World War II

A successful radio actor and stage performer whose credits included the hit Broadway show "Lady in the Dark" and the 1942 film Wake Island, Carey joined the Marines in 1943, staying in uniform for four years. In 1943 he appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt" filmed in Santa Rosa, California. He returned to Paramount in 1947 in Suddenly, It's Spring. He continued with Paramount into the 1950s; by this time he had slipped into more noticeable character roles, and transitioned to westerns for a time, such as The Great Missouri Raid (1951), Outlaw Territory (1953) and Man or Gun (1958). Carey played patriot Patrick Henry in John Paul Jones (1959). He also appeared in Blue Denim (1959), The Damned (known as These Are the Damned in the US) (1963), Tammy and the Doctor (1963), and End of the World (1977). Carey played the part of Brother Ben in "The Incident of the Golden Calf" on Rawhide. He also guest starred in the 1964-1965 sitcom The Bing Crosby Show on ABC.

In 1956 Carey took over the role of the kindly small-town physician Dr. Christian, a character created in the late 1930s by the Danish-American actor Jean Hersholt, who had performed the part on radio and in films, and had co-written a Dr. Christian novel. Carey portrayed Dr. Christian on television for one season. Carey also played the starring role of crusading Herb Maris in the 1950s syndicated series Lock-Up. A total of 78 episodes (then considered to be only two full seasons) were made 1959–1961, but apparently Carey did not appear in all of them.

Days of our Lives

For the remainder of his career, he played Tom Horton on Days of our Lives, from 1965 until his death in Beverly Hills, California from lung cancer in 1994. During this time, Carey suffered from a drinking problem, and eventually joined Alcoholics Anonymous in 1982. A longtime pipe smoker, he was seen in many films and early episodes of Days of our Lives with it. He was ordered by his doctor to quit in September 1991 after having to take a leave of absence from Days in order to remove a cancerous tumor from one of his lungs. He returned to the show in November of that year.

He is most recognized today, over a decade after his passing, as the voice who recites the epigraph each day before the program begins: "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of our Lives". From 1966 to 1994, he would also intone, "This is Macdonald Carey, and these are the Days of our Lives." (After Carey's passing, the producers, out of respect for Carey's family, decided not to use the second part of the opening tagline). At each intermission, his voice also says "We will return for the second half of Days of our Lives in just a moment". Since the Horton family is still regarded as the core of Days of our Lives, his memory has been allowed to remain imprinted on the show by the voiceovers remaining intact. He also served as the voice-over for the very first PBS ident, in which he said "This is PBS ... the Public Broadcasting Service."

Carey wrote several books of poetry and a 1991 autobiography, "The Days of My Life". For his contribution to television, Macdonald Carey has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6536 Hollywood Boulevard.

Personal life

He was married to Elizabeth Hecksher from 1943 until their divorce in 1969. They had six children. Later, he dated Lois Kraines, who was his significant other from 1973 on.

He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California, alongside his daughter Lisa, who died in infancy. Carey also had five other children: Lynn, Theresa, Steven, Edward Macdonald Jr., and Paul.

Carey's daughter Theresa is the mother of Survivor: Panama Exile Island winner Aras Baskauskas. Lynn Carey was a 70's Penthouse Pet and well respected singer, providing music for Russ Meyer's legendary cult classic film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.


  • Daytime Emmy Awards
    • (1974) Daytime Emmy Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series for Days of our Lives
    • (1975) Daytime Emmy Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series for Days of our Lives
  • Soap Opera Digest Awards
    • (1984) Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Actor in a Mature Role in a Daytime Serial for Days of our Lives
    • (1985) Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Actor in a Mature Role in a Daytime Serial for Days of our Lives

Days of Our Lives Tom Horton (1965-94)

It's Alive III: Island of the Alive (4-Dec-1987)
American Gigolo (8-Feb-1980)
The Girl, the Gold Watch, & Everything (1980)
Stranger in Our House (31-Oct-1978)
Roots (23-Jan-1977)
Tammy and the Doctor (29-May-1963)
The Damned (19-May-1963)
Blue Denim (30-Jul-1959)
John Paul Jones (16-Jun-1959)
Man or Gun (30-May-1958)
Fire Over Africa (29-Jun-1954)
Excuse My Dust (27-Jun-1951)
South Sea Sinner (30-Aug-1950)
The Great Gatsby (13-Jul-1949)
Streets of Laredo (11-May-1949)
Shadow of a Doubt (12-Jan-1943)
Star Spangled Rhythm (18-Dec-1942) Himself
Wake Island (11-Aug-1942)
Take a Letter, Darling (6-May-1942)

Author of books:
The Days of My Life (1991, memoir)

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