Here are a list of Days of Our Lives characters that appeared in the 1960s.
Craig Merritt, played by David McLean, was a ruggedly handsome airline pilot. Although his career was viewed as exciting and impressed many folks in Salem, he remained a humble family man and a single father. His wife had died years before when their son, Tony, was jupst fourteen. Because of her death, he and Tony developed a very close bond, and there wasn’t anything Craig wouldn’t do for his son.
In 1965, Craig was thrilled that Tony was set to wed Marie Horton on Thanksgiving. Not only was he happy that his son was deeply in love, but Craig had a close relationship the Horton family based on mutual admiration and respect. He and Alice were very close friends. He simply adored Marie. And he tried to help troubled teen Julie, who had a crush on him. Craig was one of the few people who could give Julie advice she would actually take, and the rest of her family appreciated his patience with her.
Tragically, the night before the ceremony was set to take place, Craig, as well as Marie and the rest of her family, were blindsided when Tony called things off and abruptly left Salem. Craig was devastated by his son’s puzzling actions, but soon began to focus his attention towards Marie. When Tony left, she fell into a deep depression and tried to commit suicide.
After Marie’s attempt, Craig helped her through the dark times. While doing so, they fell in love and married in 1966. Soon after, Craig was delighted when Marie became pregnant. Unfortunately, she suffered a miscarriage, causing her to fall into yet another depression. This one was worse, and, not only did Marie avoid intimacy, she began hallucinating the sounds of babies crying.
Craig thought he could help Marie through the darkness as he did before, but things had changed. Tony had returned home and told Craig the truth about why called of his marriage to Marie. His son explained that he thought he was dying of a rare blood disease and didn’t want Marie to watch him die, but had since fully recovered. When it became clear that Tony and Marie still loved one another and their reuniting would help Marie, Craig made the ultimate sacrifice for the two people he loved the most.
Although he loved her deeply, he told Marie that he didn’t and their relationship was simply based on mutual respect and helping each other through hard times. He also cited their age difference. When Marie tried to apologize for their lack of an intimate connection, he encouraged her that it was not her fault and even offered her alimony and the house. Marie refused both, but the divorce was soon finalized.
Afterwards, Craig sold the airstrip he had purchased in order to work out of Salem to be closer to Marie. He also decided to return to piloting and accepted a job that would relocated him to Asia. Marie saw him off the day he departed, but he never revealed his true feelings for her. Instead, after turning away from her, he silently professed his eternal love for her while clutching his wedding ring in his pocket as he walked to his plane. He left Salem that day, never to return.
Helen MartinEditHelen Martin was played by K.T. Stevens from 1966-1967, and in 1969. Helen was the wife of John Martin, mother of David Martin, and grandmother of Richard Martin and David Banning. Helen and John to celebrated their son's wedding to Susan Martin, and became a grandmother to Richard Martin in 1967. David eventually wanted out of the marriage and Helen supported her son's decision. David was murdered by Susan, who blamed him for the accident that led to Richard's death. After Susan and was acquitted, she went to apologize to Helen, only to be shot by her.
Janet Banning (deceased)Edit
Janet Banning came to Salem with her husband Scott and planned to adopted Julie Olson's son by David Martin. However Janet's happiness was short lived; she died in early 1969 as the result of an inoperable brain tumor.
Jessica Von AmbergEdit
John MartinEditJohn Martin, played by Robert Brubaker from 1966-1971 and Ed Prentiss in 1966, was the father of David Martin. He and his wife, Helen, attended David's wedding to Susan Hunter, and he became a grandfather to Richard Martin in 1966. He forgave Susan when she killed his son, and continued to support her after Helen shot her for killing David.
Richard "Dickie" Martin was the son of David Banning and Susan Martin. He was played by Budd Stewart in 1967. David gave Richard a little push on the swing set in the backyard. When David wasn't looking, fell off the swing set and hit his head on the ground. Richard died soon after and Susan blamed David for their son's death.
Tony Merrit was played by Dick Colla in 1966. Tony grew up in Salem as an only child. Tony's mother, whom Alice Horton once described fondly as a “gentle lady,” passed away when he was fourteen years old. That left Tony to be raised by his father, Craig, an airline pilot. His father made the best of a bad situation and formed a close bond with his son. He also relied on the courtesy of neighbors, such as Alice, to give Tony an occasional female perspective.
By the fall of 1965 Tony’s future seemed bright. He was graduate student on a short list to obtain one of Harvard University’s teaching fellowships and engaged to his sweetheart, Marie Horton. He was deeply in love with her and she full-heartedly returned his feelings. Along with Alice, who was an over-eager mother of the bride at times, they began planning their Thanksgiving wedding and subsequent relocation to Boston.
As wedding plans continued to be made, Tony began having dizzy spells, but kept them hidden from his loved ones. When his condition worsened, he finally saw a doctor and was diagnosed with a potentially fatal blood disease. Tony was distraught and, in a panic, he made a hasty decision. The night before the ceremony, he called off the wedding and left Salem. In his fragile, mixed-up state, he decided it was better to leave Marie than let her watch him suffer and die. What Tony didn’t realize is how deeply Marie’s love for him ran. When he left, she fell into a deep depression and tried to commit suicide.
When Tony returned to Salem in 1966 things had drastically changed. Not only was his health improving, but his father was married to Marie. As it turned out, Craig was there to support her when Tony left. Craig had pulled Marie out of her depression and they wed soon afterwards. Tony was shocked, but never told them about his illness. Instead, he moved home to rebuild his relationship with his father and new stepmother, who he was still deeply in love with. He also received the news that his illness had gone into remission and obtained a clean bill of health.
A short time later, the tension of the three of them living under the same roof proved too much to handle. Tony moved out of the Merritt house and into an apartment building. There he met Laura Spencer. They dated briefly, but it was clear Tony’s heart still belonged to Marie. His father noticed this too and, when Tony finally told him the reason he abruptly called off the wedding, Craig made the decision to step aside to let the two people he loved the most find their way back to one another. He divorced Marie and left Salem shortly afterwards.
Throughout 1967, Tony and Marie tried rebuild their relationship. However, she had grown from her eye-opening life experiences. Not only had Tony broken her heart, but she had also suffered a miscarriage while wed to Craig which sent her into another deep depression she narrowly escaped from. She was not the same naïve woman as before and Tony sensed the changes.
His relationship with the Horton family had also changed. Bill disliked him for what he had done to his sister as well as the time he spent with Laura, whom he was dating, and Alice who once his biggest supporter, had grown skeptical of him. She warned Tony that Marie would not survive another heart break and made it clear she could not forget what he put her daughter through. Marie couldn’t forget, either. With the trust gone, Tony and Marie ended their relationship. He left Salem later that year never to be heard from again.