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 MacDonald Carey

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MacDonald Carey

  • Birth 15 Mar 1913 Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa, USA
  • Death 21 Mar 1994 Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Burial Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Plot Grotto, 19, L196
  • Memorial ID 1548

Actor. His career spanned 5 decades and is best remembered for his role as the patriarch 'Dr. Tom Horton' on NBC's daytime television soap opera "Days of our Lives." Born Edward Macdonald Carey, he graduated from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa with a Bachelor's Degree in 1935, after attending the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin for a year. He first made his acting career starring in various B-movies of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s and was known in many Hollywood circles as "King of the Bs", sharing the throne with his "queen", actress Lucille Ball. A successful radio actor and stage performer whose credits included the hit Broadway show "Lady in the Dark" (1941) and the 1942 film "Wake Island." He also appeared in "Take a Letter, Darling" (1942) and Alfred Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt" (1943). In 1943 he joined the US Marine Corps and stayed on active duty until 1947. After his discharge from the Marine Corps, he returned to Paramount Studios in "Suddenly, It's Spring," with Paulette Goddard and Fred MacMurry. In 1949 he co-starred in the role of 'Nick Carraway' in Alan Ladd's version of "The Great Gatsby." Continuing with Paramount into the 1950s, he took more noticeable character roles in Westerns, including "The Lawless" (1950), "Copper Canyon" (1950), "Comanche Territory" (1950), "The Great Missouri Raid" (1951), "Outlaw Territory" (1953), "and Man or Gun" (1958). In 1955 he appeared as 'Fred Gaily' in The 20th Century-Fox Hour remake of the 1947 film classic, "Miracle on 34th Street," starring opposite Teresa Wright and Thomas Mitchell. In 1951 he appeared in the comedy film "Let's Make it Legal" and in 1953 he was featured in the crime drama "Count the Hours." In 1956 he 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. He portrayed 'Dr. Christian' on syndicated television for one season. He also held the starring role of crusading 'Herb Maris' in the 1950s syndicated series "Lock-Up" but did not appear in all of the episodes that ran from 1959 until 1961. He played the role of patriot 'Patrick Henry' in "John Paul Jones" (1959) and 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). For the remainder of his career, he focused primarily on playing 'Dr. Tom Horton' on "Days of our Lives," from 1965 until his death in 1994. During this time, he 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 the show in order to remove a cancerous tumor from one of his lungs and returned to the show in November of that year. He is most recognized today 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 his death, the producers, out of respect for his 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 leaving the voice-overs intact. He also served as voice-over for the very first PBS ident, in which he said "This is PBS....the Public Broadcasting Service." He wrote several books of poetry, and a 1991 autobiography, "The Days of My Life." His other television credits include "Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater," "Appointment with Adventure," "Rawhide," "Wagon Train," "The Bing Crosby Show," "The Outer Limits," and "Mr. Novak." For his contributions to television, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He received the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series for "Days of our Lives" in 1974 and 1975. In 1984 and 1985, he received the Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Actor in a Mature Role in a Daytime Serial for "Days of our Lives" and in 1990 he received the Soap Opera Digest Editors Choice Award. He died of lung cancer in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 81.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1548
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for MacDonald Carey (15 Mar 1913–21 Mar 1994), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1548, citing Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .