Stephen Nichols (born February 19, 1951) is an American actor, most notable for his roles on American daytime soap operas. He played the part of Steve (Patch) Johnson on NBCs Days of Our Lives from 1985-1990; after that, he had a stint on ABC's General Hospital as Stefan Cassadine from 1996-2003. He returned to the role of Steve (Patch) Johnson on Days of Our Lives in June 2006 after 16 years, remaining through February 2009, and returning to the role again in 2015. He played (from December 2009 to January 2013) the role of Tucker McCall on The Young and the Restless.
After turning down an art scholarship to Ohio State University, he traveled west, studied yoga and lived as a monk while preparing vegetarian meals for the monks and nuns in a Hollywood ashram. After three years of celibacy, a steady diet of ice cream and the films of Truffaut and Bergman, he landed at the Theater Academy of Los Angeles City College where he studied for two years. Nichols went on to study with Stella Adler, Jack Colvin and Harry Mastrorgeorge.
For his stage work, Nichols has been honored with three Drama-Logue Awards and two LA Weekly Theater Awards for his performances in such notable productions as Pieces of Time (for his portrayal of real-life killer, Donald Bashor), for Delirious (directed by Ron Link), and as Jim Morrison in the last thirty-six hours of his life in The Lizard King. Nichols also appeared at LATC in Rick Clutchey's The Cage, in the award winning production of Michael Cristofer's The Shadow Box at Theater East and Love Letters, during its initial run at the Canon Theater. Most recently Nichols appeared in He Hunts at the Geffen Playhouse and was seen in the U.S. première of Joe Pintaro's The Dead Boy, for which Nichols received a Maddy Award.
Nichols returned to the role of Steve (Patch) Johnson on Days of our Lives. His original portrayal (1985–1990) earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role and five Soap Opera Digest Best Actor Awards. Steve and Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) remain one of the most popular couples, and the most-covered, on Days of our Lives ever.
Stephen also portrayed Stefan Cassadine on the soap General Hospital (1996–2002, 2003). This role reunited him with Evans, while his character was later paired with Laura Spencer, played by Genie Francis.
Other TV appearances have included Matlock, L.A. Law, Diagnosis: Murder, The Nanny (with former Days of our Lives co-star Charles Shaughnessy), Second Chances, Sisters, a recurring role on Empty Nest, and playing Jesse James opposite Pierce Brosnan in the NBC mini-series Around the World in 80 Days, to name a few.
Nichols has appeared in several feature films, first co-starring with Demi Moore in Choices. He was also in Witchboard; Soapdish with Kevin Kline, Whoopi Goldberg and Robert Downey, Jr.; Heaven’s Tears; Cover Me with Paul Sorvino; Phoenix with Brad Dourif and William Sanderson; and the Showtime short A Hard Rain with John Mahoney, which earned best film honors at the British Film Festival for director Dennie Gordon.
Nichols has directed several stage productions including, Sixty Minutes from L.A., a presentation pilot for television, Wild Horses (co-director) and, most recently, wrote and directed the dramatic short film Get the Dime, starring Daniel Bess and Robert Picardo. Get the Dime was a director's pick at the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films. Upcoming, Nichols will direct the feature films, Eau de L.A. and Fear of Falling. He is also developing video and mobile phone content.
On December 17, 2009, it was reported on stephennichols.net and cbs.com that Nichols joined the cast of CBS's The Young and the Restless as Tucker McCall, replacing William Russ. Nichols’ first air date was January 27, 2010. On Y&R, he would later be reunited with General Hospital counterpart Genie Francis, who played Genevieve Atkinson on the show. Nichols last day on the Y & R was Jan. 29, 2013.