Macdonald Carey

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Macdonald Carey
Macdonald Carey 1969 (cropped).JPG
Macdonald Carey in 1969
Edward Macdonald Carey

(1913-03-15)March 15, 1913
DiedMarch 21, 1994(1994-03-21) (aged 81)
Burial place Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California, U.S.
Alma mater University of Iowa
OccupationActor, Singer
Years active1938–1994
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Heckscher (19431969, divorced)
Partner(s)Lois Kraines (1973-1994) (his death)
Awards Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series
1974 Days of Our Lives
1975 Days of Our Lives

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. [1]

Tom Horton fictional human

Dr. Thomas "Tom" Horton is a fictional character and patriarch of the Horton family on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives. He was played by Macdonald Carey from 1965 until his death in 1994.

NBC American television and radio network

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.

<i>Days of Our Lives</i> American daytime soap opera

Days of Our Lives is an American daytime soap opera broadcast on NBC. It is one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world, airing nearly every weekday since November 8, 1965. A co-production of Corday Productions and Sony Pictures Television, the series was created by husband-and-wife team Ted Corday and Betty Corday. During Days of Our Lives's early years, Irna Phillips served as a story editor for the program and many of the show's earliest storylines were written by William J. Bell.


He first made his career starring in various B-movies of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s (with a few A-picture exceptions like Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt ). He was known in many Hollywood circles as "King of the Bs", sharing the throne with his "queen", Lucille Ball.

Hundreds of full-length films were produced during the decade of the 1940s. The great actor Humphrey Bogart made his most memorable films in this decade. Frank Capra's masterpiece It's a Wonderful Life and Orson Welles's masterpiece Citizen Kane were released. Citizen Kane made use of matte paintings, miniatures and optical printing techniques. The film noir genre was at its height. Alfred Hitchcock made his American debut with the film Rebecca, and made many classics throughout the 1940s. The most successful film of the decade was Samuel Goldwyn's The Best Years of Our Lives; the film was directed by William Wyler, and starred Fredric March, Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo, and Harold Russell. The film won nine Academy Awards.

The decade of the 1950s in film involved many significant films.

Beginning in the middle of the decade due to the start of the cultural revolution and the abolition of the Hays Code, films became increasingly experimental and daring and were taking shape of what was to define the 1970s.


Early life

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 became involved with the drama school at the University of Iowa and decided to become an actor. [2]

Sioux City, Iowa City in Iowa, United States

Sioux City is a city in Woodbury and Plymouth counties in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 82,684 in the 2010 census, which makes it the fourth largest city in Iowa. The bulk of the city is in Woodbury County, of which it is the county seat, though a small portion is in Plymouth County. Sioux City is located at the navigational head of the Missouri River. The city is home to several cultural points of interest including the Sioux City Public Museum, Sioux City Art Center and Sergeant Floyd Monument, which is a National Historic Landmark. The city is also home to Chris Larsen Park, commonly referred to as “the Riverfront,” includes the Anderson Dance Pavilion, Sergeant Floyd Riverboat Museum and Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Sioux City is the primary city of the five-county Sioux City, IA–NE–SD Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), with a population of 168,825 in 2010 and a slight increase to an estimated 169,405 in 2018. The Sioux City–Vermillion, IA–NE–SD Combined Statistical Area had a population of 182,675 as of 2010 but has decreased to an estimated population of 178,448 as of 2018.

University of Iowa Public research university in Iowa City, Iowa, United States

The University of Iowa is a public research university in Iowa City, Iowa. Founded in 1847, it is the oldest and the second largest university in the state. The University of Iowa is organized into 11 colleges offering more than 200 areas of study and seven professional degrees.

Iowa City, Iowa City in Iowa, United States

Iowa City is a city in Johnson County, Iowa, United States. It is the home of the University of Iowa and county seat of Johnson County, at the center of the Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 76,290 in 2018, making it the state's fifth-largest city. The metropolitan area, which encompasses Johnson and Washington counties, has a population of over 171,000.

Radio and Broadway

Carey toured with the Globe Players. He began to work steadily on radio, including playing Dick Grosvenor on the soap opera Stella Dallas [3] and Ridgeway Tearle in John's Other Wife , [4] both in the early 1940s. He was also in Lights Out. [5]

<i>Stella Dallas</i> (radio series) radio soap opera

Stella Dallas was an America radio soap opera that ran from October 25, 1937, to December 23, 1955. The New York Times described the title character as "the beautiful daughter of an impoverished farmhand who had married above her station in life." She was played for the entire run of the series by Anne Elstner (1902–1982). Her husband Stephen Dallas was portrayed at various times by Leo McCabe, Arthur Hughes and Frederick Tazere. Initially, Joy Hathaway played Stella's daughter Laurel with Vivian Smolen later taking over the role. Laurel's husband was Dick Grosvenor.

<i>Johns Other Wife</i>

John's Other Wife is an American old-time radio soap opera. It was broadcast on NBC-Red from September 14, 1936, until March 1940. In that month it moved to NBC-Blue, where it ran until March 20, 1942.

Carey was on Broadway in Lady in the Dark (1941) opposite Gertrude Lawrence, Danny Kaye and Victor Mature. His performance led to him receiving a contract offer from Paramount. He later recalled, "1941 was probably the greatest year of my life. I got my first big hit with Lady in the Dark, I got married and I signed with Paramount Pictures. I only wish I could remember it all better." The reason was his alcoholism. [6]

<i>Lady in the Dark</i> musical

Lady in the Dark is a musical with music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and book and direction by Moss Hart. It was produced by Sam Harris. The protagonist, Liza Elliott, is the unhappy female editor of a fashion magazine, Allure, who is undergoing psychoanalysis. The musical ran on Broadway in 1941, in the United Kingdom in 1981, and was also made into a 1944 film and a live 1954 television special.

Gertrude Lawrence English actress, singer, dancer and musical comedy performer

Gertrude Lawrence was an English actress, singer, dancer and musical comedy performer known for her stage appearances in the West End of London and on Broadway in New York.

Danny Kaye American actor, singer, dancer, and comedian

Danny Kaye was an American actor, singer, dancer, comedian, musician, and philanthropist. His performances featured physical comedy, idiosyncratic pantomimes, and rapid-fire novelty songs.


Carey made his film debut in Star Spangled Rhythm (1942). Paramount gave him the third lead in Take a Letter, Darling (1942), directed by Mitchell Leisen. He followed it with Dr. Broadway (1942), which was his first starring role. He had a leading part in Wake Island (1942), directed by John Farrow, a big hit.

<i>Star Spangled Rhythm</i> 1942 all-star cast musical film

Star Spangled Rhythm is a 1942 American all-star cast musical film made by Paramount Pictures during World War II as a morale booster. Many of the Hollywood studios produced such films during the war, generally musicals, frequently with flimsy storylines, and with the specific intent of entertaining the troops overseas and civilians back home and to encourage fundraising – as well as to show the studios' patriotism. This film was also the first released by Paramount to be shown for 8 weeks.

<i>Take a Letter, Darling</i> 1942 film by Mitchell Leisen

Take a Letter, Darling is a 1942 American romantic comedy film directed by Mitchell Leisen and starring Rosalind Russell. It was nominated for three Academy Awards; Best Cinematography, Best Score and Best Art Direction.

Mitchell Leisen American film director

Mitchell Leisen was an American director, art director, and costume designer.

Carey's career received a boost when borrowed by Alfred Hitchcock at Universal to play the romantic lead in Shadow of a Doubt (1943) with Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright. However the momentum was halted when he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He had two months before he left, which enabled him to star in a musical for Paramount, Salute for Three (1943). Carey was commissioned and served in Air Warning Squadron 2 in the Pacific. [7] He stayed on active duty until 1947 obtaining the rank of captain. [8]

In 1947 Carey returned to Paramount. They put him back into leading roles: Suddenly, It's Spring (1947), directed by Leisen, co-starring Paulette Goddard; Hazard (1948), again with Goddard; and Dream Girl (1948), supporting Betty Hutton, directed by Leisen.

Carey played Cesare Borgia in Bride of Vengeance (1948) alongside Goddard, directed by Leisen, but it was a flop. More popular was a Western, Streets of Laredo (1949), but William Holden was the hero; Carey was the villain.

In 1949 he co-starred as "Nick Carraway" in Alan Ladd's version of The Great Gatsby . Carey followed this with Song of Surrender (1949), once again directed by Leisen.

Universal and Fox

Universal borrowed Carey for two films: a Western with Maureen O'Hara, Comanche Territory (1950), and South Sea Sinner (1950) with Shelley Winters.

Back at Paramount he was in a low budget Western, The Lawless (1950) directed by Joseph Losey. Back at Paramount he was a villain to Ray Milland in Copper Canyon (1950), directed by John Farrow. At Universal he was in Jesse James in The Great Missouri Raid (1950) then he did Mystery Submarine (1950) at Paramount.

Carey supported Red Skelton at MGM in Excuse My Dust (1951).

At 20th Century Fox Carey supported Betty Grable in Meet Me After the Show (1951) and Claudette Colbert in Let's Make It Legal (1951). He went back to Universal for Cave of Outlaws (1951)

Carey began appearing on television in episodes of The Christophers , Celanese Theatre , Hope Chest , and Lux Video Theatre .

He continued to appear in films like My Wife's Best Friend (1952), at Fox with Anne Baxter; Count the Hours (1953), with Teresa Wright at RKO; Hannah Lee (1953), a Western with John Ireland; It's Everybody's Business (1953), and Malaga (1954) with Maureen O'Hara.

Carey returned to Broadway in Anniversary Waltz (1954–55), directed by Moss Hart, which was a big hit and ran for two years. [9]


Carey's work was increasingly on the small screen: The Quiet Gun , Stage 7 , Science Fiction Theatre , Hour of Stars , Celebrity Playhouse , and The 20th Century-Fox Hour . For the latter he appeared as Fred Gaily in a remake of the 1947 film classic, Miracle on 34th Street , starring Maureen O'Hara and Thomas Mitchell. He was also in General Electric Theatre , Screen Directors Playhouse , The Alcoa Hour , and Climax! .

He did make some features such as Stranger at My Door (1956), a Western for Republic Pictures, and Odongo (1956) for Warwick Films.

Dr Christian

In 1956 Carey took over the role of the kindly small-town physician Dr. Christian, a character created in the late 1930s by actor Jean Hersholt on radio and in films. Carey portrayed Dr. Christian on syndicated television for one season.

Carey guested on The Kaiser Aluminium Hour , The Joseph Cotten Show , Jane Wyman Presents the Fireside Theatre , Zane Grey Theatre , Wagon Train , Studio One in Hollywood , Playhouse 90 , The Frank Sinatra Show , Suspicion , Target , Pursuit , Schlitz Playhouse , The Dupont Show of the Month , and Rawhide .

Carey was in the Western film Man or Gun (1958), for Republic. and The Redeemer (1959). He played patriot Patrick Henry in John Paul Jones (1959), directed by John Farrow who had worked with Carey at Paramount. He appeared in Blue Denim (1959).

Lock Up

Carey starred as crusading Herb Maris in the 1950s syndicated series Lock-Up . A total of seventy-eight episodes were made between 1959 and 1961. [10]

Carey guest starred on Alfred Hitchcock Presents , Moment of Fear , Thriller ("The Devil's Ticket"), The United States Steel Hour , Insight , Target , Checkmate and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour .

Carey went to England to make the films The Devil's Agent (1962_ and The Damned (known as These Are the Damned in the US) (1963), for director Joseph Losey. He was also in Stranglehold (1962),

In the first season of The Outer Limits , Carey starred in the episode titled "The Special One". He was also in The Dick Powell Theatre , Kraft Mystery Theatre , and Arrest and Trial ,

Carey supported Sandra Dee in Tammy and the Doctor (1963). He guest starred in the 1964–1965 sitcom The Bing Crosby Show on ABC. He appeared as Mr. Edwards in the 1963 episode "Pay the Two Dollars" of the NBC education drama series, Mr. Novak , starring James Franciscus. He could also be seen on Burke's Law , Branded , Kraft Suspense Theatre , Run for Your Life , Ben Casey , Lassie , and Bewitched .

Days of Our Lives

Carey started playing Tom Horton on Days of Our Lives in 1965. [11] He says he took the show "because I couldn't get a movie at the time". [2] He ended up playing it until his death from lung cancer [12] in Beverly Hills, California, in 1994, six days after his 81st birthday.

During this time, Carey suffered from a drinking problem, and eventually joined Alcoholics Anonymous in 1982. [13] [14]

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. [13]

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 Carey's death, 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". [15] 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."[ citation needed ]

Other appearances

Carey continued to act in other productions during his run on Days. He had roles in Gidget Gets Married (1972), The Magician , Ordeal (1973), Owen Marshall, Counsellor at Law , Who Is the Black Dahlia? (1975), McMillan & Wife , Police Story , Switch , The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries , Fantasy Island and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century .

He later appeared in many all-star television miniseries, such as Roots , The Rebels , Top of the Hill and Condominium .

He was in the films Foes (1977), End of the World (1977), and Summer of Fear (1978), and had a small part in American Gigolo (1980).

Carey was in the TV movie The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything (1980) and the films Access Code (1984) and It's Alive III: Island of the Alive (1987). He guest starred on Finder of Lost Loves , and Murder, She Wrote . His last non-Days role was in A Message from Holly (1992).

Carey did the onstage introduction for the "Stars of the Days Of Our Lives" and musical artist/director Ricky Dee at the Greek Theatre (1992) [16]


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

Personal life

Carey was married to Elizabeth Heckscher from 1943 until their divorce in 1969. They had six children: Lynn (born October 29, 1946), Theresa (born July 12, 1952), Lisa (born 1949), Steven (born March 12, 1950), Edward Macdonald Jr. (born April 22, 1954), and Paul(born February 7, 1956). Later, he dated Lois Kraines. The couple remained together from 1973 until Carey's death. [17]

Theresa Carey is the mother of Survivor: Panama winner Aras Baskauskas. Baskauskas later went on to play in Survivor: Blood vs. Water with his brother, Vytas, finishing in 10th and 11th place respectively. Vytas returned to compete in Survivor: Cambodia where he was the first person voted out. Lynn Carey was a 1970s Penthouse Pet and singer of rock, blues and jazz music, providing lyrics and vocals for Russ Meyer's legendary cult classic film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and The Seven Minutes as well as acting roles in other films and TV shows. She has fronted the bands Mama Lion and C.K. Strong in the 1970s, releasing albums and performing in world tours. [ citation needed ] He has a godson, Maurice Heckscher. He was a Roman Catholic, and a member of the Good Shepherd Parish and the Catholic Motion Picture Guild in Beverly Hills, California. [18] He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California, alongside a space already set aside for his daughter Lisa.[ citation needed ]

Selected filmography

Radio appearances

1952 Stars over Hollywood Under a Lucky Star [19]
1952Stars in the Air Suddenly, It's Spring [19]
1953 Stars over Hollywood I Found Glenda Roberts [20]
1953 Cavalcade of America Bless This House [21]
1953 Cavalcade of America Dangerous Mission [22]
1953 Stars over Hollywood A Bunch of Keys [23]


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