Mary Beth Evans
She has been playing "Sierra Montgomery" on CBS's soap opera "As The World Turns" since December 2000. In her role, Sierra periodically returns to the town of Oakdale to check in on her daughter Lucy and ex-husband Craig as well as her mother, Lucinda Walsh. From the time Evans was voted Best Actress by her fourth grade classmates, she set her sights on a performing career. Following her graduation from Huntington Beach (CA) High School, Evans spent five months in Europe before joining the prestigious South Coast Repertory Conservatory. Best known to daytime audiences for her portrayals of Kayla Brady Johnson on Days of Our Lives and Katherine Bell on General Hospital, her other television credits include the series, Rituals, and episodic work on Murder, She Wrote, Remington Steele, Crime and Punishment, and the movie-of-the-week, Secrets of A Mother and Daughter. She has also appeared in the films Toy Soldiers, Lovelines and Protocol. On stage, Evans has appeared at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in All This and Moonlight and in a production of Love Letters at the Canon Theatre. Born in Pasadena, CA,on March 7, 1961 the blonde-haired, blue-eyed actress is married to Dr. Michael Schwartz ( very successful plastic surgeon) since 1985, with whom she has three children Danny (b. 1987), Katie (b. 1989) and Matthew (b. 1992). The self-described "whimsical, impulsive" actress, who will celebrate her 20-year wedding anniversary in 2005, recently signed a year-long contract and faces a 3000-mile commute to work from her family back on the West Coast.
Her Memorable Quotes:
"I'd rather die than sit around waiting for my next job. It's the worst, especially when you live with somebody who goes off to work every day and you stand there saying, 'Well ... well ... bye!' It's tough when it's never you that's leaving first." — SOAP OPERA DIGEST, 10/7/86
"I don't care if it's daytime, nighttime, movies or Taco Bell. I just want to work." — DIGEST, 1/31/95
"Working in a [TV] studio is like going to work in somebody's garage. A lot of times, you don't really see people other than the ones you work with, so you don't see the impact [of your work] on the outside world." — on being oblivious to the popularity of DAYS's Kayla and Patch, DIGEST, 3/30/99
Mary Beth Evans to Reprise Role of Sierra
It's a case of out of sight, but not out of mind for As the World Turns' Mary Beth Evans (Sierra Esteban Montgomery). The actress, who hasn't had any on-air time since January 2003, will reprise the role of Sierra several times in the next few months.
Evans is on recurring status with As the World Turns - even though she hasn't been see on-screen in over a year. While contract players are usually guaranteed to appear in a certain number of episodes each week, recurring players appear only when required by scripts. Some recurring players, like Evans, appear sporadically. Others, like Cady McClain (Rosanna Cabot) appear more frequently than some contract players. Under the terms of most contracts, performers are limited in the scope of their outside projects. Recurring players have no obligations to their respective soaps and can take on other projects usually without approval.
A message on Evans' official web site says that the actress has two upcoming engagements on As the World Turns. She will resume taping this month and appear on-screen beginning May 27th, 2004.
Mary Beth Evans to Join OLTL Cast
Soap veteran Mary Beth Evans has been signed to appear as a doctor on One Live to Live starting later this year. The move to One Life to Live comes as the actress is wrapping up a four-year recurring run as As the World Turns' Sierra Montgomery.
For Evans, the One Life to Live gig marks a return to ABC; from 1993 through October 1999, Evans played Katherine Bell on the network's General Hospital.
Evans is also well known to fans of NBC's Days of our Lives. For six years, Evans played the role of Kayla Brady. According to setside sources, Days of our Lives execs tried to lure Evans back to the show for a brief stint. The return would have been tied to the show's Captive Island plot, where several other former DAYS characters will be popping up. Evans is said to have passed on the offer.
While on the topic of rumors, As the World Turns head writer Hogan Sheffer reportedly had a front burner story that was to have included Evans. The storyline, however, is said to have been nixed by network execs. Evans wraps up her latest wave of appearances on As the World Turns in early fall.
Evan's One Life to Live character will be a doctor, whose name has not yet been revealed. Her character's story will involve her with Asa and Bo Buchanan. Evans first airs in October, 2004.
Not So Fast -- Evans Is Staying At ATWT
Mary Beth Evans appears to have had a change of heart about setting up shop in One Life to Live's Llanview. Just two weeks after the announcement that the veteran soap star was going to appear on the ABC soap comes words that Evans will remain in place on CBS's As the World Turns.
For the past four years, Evans has been appearing off-and-on in the recurring role of Sierra Montgomery on As the World Turns. The actress has just wrapped up what were to have been her final episodes with the show. It was widely rumored that Evans was to have been prominently featured in a future storyline pitched to CBS executives by Hogan Sheffer, the Emmy-winning head writer of As the World Turns. According to insiders, that storyline was scrapped.
A show insider now tells SoapCentral.com that CBS execs have offered Evans a contract in order to keep the actress from jumping ship. In all of the time that Evans appeared on As the World Turns she was never under contract.
Evans is no stranger to long-running roles on daytime television. From 1993 through October 1999, Evans played Katherine Bell on ABC's General Hospital. However, Evans may be best known to daytime viewers for her six-year run as Kayla Brady on NBC's Days of our Lives.
NBC execs had reportedly approached Evans about a short-term gig on Days of our Lives slated for later this year. However, the actress passed on the offer and then apparently agreed to a recurring role on One Life to Live.
A spokesperson for As the World Turns declined to comment on Evans' status with the show, saying only that Evans is "staying with the show." Meanwhile, a spokesperson for ABC did not return requests for a statement about Evans' "exit" from the One Life to Live role.
Mary Beth Evans Returns to ATWT -- As a Contract Player
Mary Beth Evans returns to Oakdale later this month in a new capacity: She'll be a contract player for the first time since joining the show in 2000.
For the past four years, Evans has been appearing off-and-on in the recurring role of Sierra Montgomery on As the World Turns. According to sources, Evans was reluctant to move from her homebase in California and set up shop permanently on the East Coast, where As the World Turns is filmed.
In August, Evans wrapped up what was believed to be her final As the World Turns storylines. Despite the fact that As the World Turns' head writer Hogan Sheffer lobbied CBS execs for more airtime for Evans, the actress was told that there was no immediate story in her future and advised to look for work elsewhere.
Shortly thereafter, ABC announced that it had signed Evans to appear on One Life to Live. A week later, however, the announcement was revoked and it was revealed that Evans would not be leaving As the World Turns after all. A show insider told SoapCentral.com that CBS execs have offered Evans a contract with As the World Turns in order to keep the actress from heading to the competition.
Evans, who was signed to a one-year contract with the show, first airs on November 15th, 2004..
Mary Beth Evans Speaks About Peyton List leaving ATWT
I sit at my computer conflicted about what to write about dear, sweet Payton leaving ATWT.
I love her, we all love her. She truly is as beautiful inside as she is out. She is light years beyond her chronological age.
When she was 17 maybe even 16 she lived by herself in NY City, got to work on time, always prepared, and with a smile for everyone. We have watched her grow and blossom into this amazing young woman. It is so sad to let her go (sort of like your own child)....but there is such a bright future for her that we are all excited to see.
Luckily for me she is moving to LA, so I will be able to see her. I told her to tell her mother not to worry.."her other mother will be by if she needs anything." I wish her so much luck!!!!!
Mary Beth Evans' Life After "Death"
Mary Beth Evans has nothing but nice things to say about her stint as GENERAL HOSPITAL's ill-fated Katherine Bell — which may explain why she never felt that she fit particularly snugly into the role of the backstabbing gold digger. "I think in my heart I always wanted to make her good, "she admits with a giggle, "so I was always trying to make her cuter. I always tried to add humor to her because they made her bad for no reason. She'd be intermittently bad and good. I found her very confusing that way."
Nonetheless, the actress was perfectly content to seek out the silver lining in the dark cloud that was Katherine. And she was downright delighted when GH paired off her conniving character with brooding Stefan Cassadine, thus allowing her to act once more opposite Stephen Nichols, the leading man with whom she rose to fame as Patch and Kayla Johnson on DAYS OF OUR LIVES — even if not a whole lot of storyline ever came their way. "They could have done so much more with Katherine and Stefan'" she notes, "but they didn't." In any case, that's all water under the bridge now. Since GH killed off Katherine not once, but twice, her portrayer has moved on. "People who recognize me from GH ask me if I'm going to come back as a twin sister," she relates. "I can safely say, 'Probably not."
In A Lather Again
In fact, Evans already has turned up on a different soap: AS THE WORLD TURNS. She never had seen the show before being asked to guest star as manipulative Craig Montgomery's ex‑wife, Sierra, but turned that to her advantage. "There was no pressure, " she explains. "I took it because they had this great character planned. Sierra had so many things that I understood — mothering and, to some degree, difficulties in relationships. For me, it was fun to do all those aspects of a character. It was nice because fans of the show seemed to have so embraced it."Yet, though Evans returned to ATWT again last week, fans shouldn't necessarily anticipate a longer-term visit. ATWT tapes in Brooklyn, and Evans, M.D. husband Michael Schwartz and their children — Danny, 13, Katie, 11, and Matthew, 8 — reside on the West Coast. "[The first time I went to New York, the kids] kind of freaked," she laughs. "But they rose to the occasion. It's a good example to see a working mother, and it's good that I talk about everything with them. I listen to everything."
"It's so fleeting," she continues. "In what will seem like a minute, they're probably not even going to call us once a month. Won't that be weird!"
Plying Her Craft
Evans already has experienced some weirdness. Upon leaving GH a year and a half ago, she was out of the soap biz for the first time in an eternity. But she embraced the opportunity to stretch her wings a bit. "I loved daytime, and it was an incredible job," she reflects. "But it had also been about twenty years since I had worked on my acting. On a soap, you're so bogged down with lines — it's all about learning the words. I wanted to study more and get back to figuring out what characters are about." So it was a real treat for Evans, this past January, when she and pal Stephen Nichols did a scene from Night of the Iguana in front of an audience. "It was incredible to take that 15-minute scene, work on it a thousand times and actually think about how to execute it," she says. "You don't get a chance to do that in the daytime medium. It was incredibly rewarding."
The DAYS Ahead
However, that's not to say that Evans never would clean up in suds again. After all, daytime is the medium that made her famous. "I still get recognized more for DAYS [than anything]," she shares. "A few times a week, at least.
In fact, the other night, my son tripped off our panic button alarm," she continues. "Three minutes later, I got a call from the police saying they were at my front door, and when I walked out, the policeman looked up and said, 'Weren't you on DAYS?' I guess that character will live on forever. People loved her so much and loved that story."Since two other DAYS grads, Melissa Reeves (Jennifer) and Matthew Ashford (Jack), recently re-signed, rumors have run wild that Evans will rejoin Salem's lot. "I get asked that all the time," she says. [Executive producer] Ken Corday and I have this joking conversation every year, and nothing ever comes of it.
The truth of the matter is, he doesn't call me," she concludes. "If the opportunity ever arose, then I'd have to consider it."
More fun stuff about Mary Beth Evans
Seeing Green: When told that Katherine's former GH boy toy has a new squeeze, the actress cracked, "Nikolas has a new Gia pet?"
The ex-men: Stephen Nichols wasn't the only leading man from Evans' past with whom GH re-paired her the show initially — coupled her with Kin Shriner (Scotty), who once was her love interest on the syndicated soap RITUALS.
What's Cookin’: With the idea of opening a new restaurant always in the back of her mind, Evans looked into chef school. "But the time commitment stopped me. It's a 15-month, full time thing. If I got an audition or booking, I couldn't miss a class."
There's Something About Mary Beth
Last summer, when Katherine reeled off a parapet, General Hospital fans were stunned — as were her castmates — that Mary Beth Evans was written off the soap. She was a star and stars weren't supposed to be treated that way. After all, Mary Beth was half of a Days of Our Lives super couple — as Kayla, and General Hospital had reunited her with the other half of that famed super couple — Stephen Nichols (ex-Patch). As the weeks went by even Mary Beth began to wonder what was going on — even though the writers had told her that her soap opera demise was temporary.
"First they said it was going to be for ten days, then it certainly went on a lot longer. The thing is it was all for story — it was nothing about me. They work that way there. It's all for the story. So it was okay for a while because I had some things I needed to get done, but I really love working. That's a big thing for me. I think I'll always work — even when I'm a grandmother. I'll do a 'Where's the beef?' commercial," she laughs. "I love working so I was really chomping at the bit to get back. That's why I was glad they wrote those fantasies in and let me come back at least a little bit."
And as the weeks dragged on, Mary Beth just waited and waited. "I kind of wish it would have been a little different, that they would have said, 'It's five weeks,' then it would have been easier to do something else. But it was going to be ten days, then another ten and it went like that. As it did drag on I suppose I did think well maybe the writing's on the wall.
"I never thought it was a real kill off. Being on a soap opera is like reading the middle page of the book. You never get anywhere," laughs Mary Beth, who resumed her role last summer.The storyline took an exciting turn at the end of last year when Katherine and Nikolas — Stefan's son — made love! Mary Beth had reservations at first. "When I first heard about that I kept saying, 'Oh no, no. I hope they don't do that,' because it's the furthest thing from my personal mind. Then it sort of looked like it was going that way and I was very nervous about it. When we started doing the story it seemed okay. In a situation like that it's sort of like your hearts are connecting or your souls are connecting. Especially since it's just the two of them, it's not necessarily a public thing. I think a lot of things leave, you're caught up in the moment, and you forget about the age difference. They have always been very close and he's always been the one person who knows her and loves her. She needs that in her life. There is no one like that for her. With him she can be who she wants to be," explains Mary Beth.
The fans are split down the middle. "Some people love it and some people don't at all. They think I'm Dastardly Do Right and that's hard for me because it's a story that's written for me. When people write and disagree and they think I'm terrible that I did that, they have to realize it's written for me. There is a writer and it's not me. I'm just trying to make it believable. I think the characters don't look ridiculous together. I think his character sort of blossoms in this. The two have had some really honest, nice scenes together. For me, as an actress, I feel I've grown in some of the scenes I've done with Tyler (Christopher). I feel we really connect and out work is good together, but would that ever happen to me in real life? No. My son is only seven years younger!
"I don't want to be anybody's older woman personally. I'd be more inclined to go with someone like Stuart Damon (Alan) or John Ingle (Edward) and feel young. I'd rather feel young than old," she says honestly.
One bone of contention with Mary Beth is that her storyline with Stefan was left unfinished. "It's been played that he's been angry with her and has been with Genie. I always thought there should have been some element that he still loved Katherine or at least those strings that pull him. "That's the weird thing for me, my training being from Days where you would be with one person for your life," she laughs. "Their thrust is super couples. On General Hospital that is not the case. Everybody has been with everybody.
"With so many former Days co-stars now on the canvas at GH, is there anyone else Mary Beth would like to join the cast? "I was hoping Richard Biggs (ex-Marcus) would come on. He's great. He's incredibly sexy and he's good looking. I think he would just be great — another hunk
"Working on GH provides just the right schedule for Mary Beth, the mother of three children, Danny, 11, Katie, 9, and Matthew, six. "When I have to be at work at 1:30 I feel like I've already put in a day's work. I've gotten the kids ready for school. I've done the carpool, gone to the market — the day starts early around here. It's a scramble trying to get the kids out the door by 7:30 and on the road," says Mary Beth, who found the experience of having her brood in school rather liberating.
"Then that makes my nanny have the easiest job on the planet because there are often times she doesn't have to come because I don't work that day or I get out of work in time to pick them up, so she's got it pretty easy. But because of the job I have they have to be ready to rally at any given moment and work long hours if I have a five day week. I need someone who's flexible. That's what I always say in my interview for someone — you need to be flexible."
While some might appear frazzled at having three kids, Mary Beth exudes a calmness that could give Dr. Spock a run for his money. "It's really the funniest thing because I am really born a happy-go-lucky person. And I realize that as I get older that's such a gift because there are people who aren't. That's the thing that is shocking to me. Children bring out a different kind of attitude with you, fabulous, and also, I don't want to have bratty kids so that brings up the disciplinarian in me and that's always scary. My husband Michael and I both, it's very important that our children are well behaved and respectful, all those old-fashioned values."AMy husband and I are extremely accessible. I kind of feel that between you, me, and the millions of readers, I can't wait until they all turn 18 so I can let a little bit of that go. Of course I'll always be their parent, but to be more of their friend. People are always still giving their kids all this advice when they're in their 20s and 30s. Of course that probably will be me, but I'm hoping that when they go off to college I can say, 'Let's all be chums now.' My husband and I have a lot of fun with the children. Our life is a lot about them obviously. I want my children to think they can always talk to me about anything," Mary Beth says.
When her husband comes home after a twelve-hour day and the kids rush to greet him, all eager to tell him about their day, Mary Beth laughs. "I've often told my husband that it's like a carousel that's going around. If you walk in the door you have to hop on. And if you don't then the horses know they're slapping you in the face. You have to rev yourself up for reentry," she laughs.
Each of the children has their own distinctive personality. "The oldest one is always in your face, but that's not a negative thing. He knows what he wants and he knows how to get it. He'll be a fabulous lawyer. And he's very talkative and active. My daughter is very calm and more of a logical thinker, but incredibly sweet. She's just a great middle child. The younger one is funny. He's a little more shy, a little more of an observer. He's a very sweet- natured child," she says proudly.
And while you'd think there would be a tendency towards feuding, that's not the case at all. "They really don't fight too much. My husband and I are very big on them respecting each other. I don't let them talk nasty to each other — or anyone else for that matter. A lot of kids say, 'I hate you.' I just do not accept that behavior." "I tell my friends and they do not necessarily do that with their kids and I think that's not a hard thing to do and it really seems to work. What's the point of everybody being nasty to each other?"
Like most mothers, Mary Beth would like to instill certain values in her children. "The main thing is respect of other people and each other and themselves. At least now in this phase I'm in of parenting, that is my biggest thrust with them. I spend a lot of time with them. I always talk about how beautiful the day is and how lucky they are to live where they live. Just start the day off happy and smiling," shares the actress.
And it looks like she's on the right track. "I made up these little songs for my kids that I sing in the morning when I wake them up. 'It's time to wake up. Get up and kiss your mommy now.' A little tune. Then in the afternoon I'll hear my son singing that song and think, 'That's it.' I just want them to have this happy, loving, appreciate your life attitude."
Sweetness Mary Beth Evans
Walking into the reception room for the "Days of our Lives" offices, a group of three are gathered around a desk eagerly watching a carefully wrapped package being torn open."Hi! I'm Mary Beth," she smiles, ripping the lid off.
"I'm just in time for the presents! "Well yesterday was my birthday. I got quite a few gifts," she said. "Twenty-seven years. Not really a landmark birthday."
I followed her down a hall, several turns, a couple of "hi's" to people with clipboards, and into her dressing room. "Quite a few gifts" was putting it mildly! There were perfume bottles, stuffed toys, baby blankets, embroideries and more — all birthday gifts from her loyal following.
Mary Beth Evans, who plays Kayla Brady on "Days of our Lives," oozes vivacity. Casually dressed, she has an air of informal, relaxed self-assurance. Smiling sky-blue eyes illuminate her flawless skin and express her outgoing sense of humor.
It has been nearly two years now since Evans joined DOOL. "I feel Kayla has matured quite a bit since the start. I don't know if I'm just getting comfortable in the part. Although she was always strong-willed, she was still afraid of Patch in the beginning. I think she was a little narrow-minded. Now it feels more like an 'adult' situation."
It's safe to say that the Patch/Kayla romance is a hot one. A classic case of "bad guy" meets a nice girl and becomes "good guy." But the story never ends with "and they lived happily ever after."
"As much as I think being a married person is a great thing, because I'm very happily married, on soaps they don't think it's such an interesting thing. They think it's almost like the death of the characters when they get married. I'm not sure how they'll go about doing it because we certainly don't want it to be the end of our romance. There's always got to be a conflict, which is a shame. Although they want Patch and Kayla to stay together, people really like the conflict."
The real relationship of Mary Beth with screen-love Stephen Nichols, is what makes the combination a winning one. "We really love each other personally. I think we're very lucky that we get along so well as a couple. We really care about each other and give so much. When we're doing a scene, we zero in on each other. It really is between us. We're always in it together. We really pay attention and tune into one another."
Mary Beth laughs as she thinks about some of the fun they've had on the set. "We had a great time when we did the old people (during Patch's out-of-body experience). I could barely look at him because the wig was so horrible. And I sounded like I was from Kentucky or something. It was a real hoot. We really enjoyed it."
Looking back, Evans recalls a time when, for some reason, they liked keeping Kayla wet. "I was always wet. If it wasn't raining, I was in the shower. Or, remember the tunnel?" She reminds me of a scene in which she was banging on Patch's door in the rain. "The rain was coming down hard. My hair was limp and hanging and hairspray was dripping down my face. I had black circles around my eyes from the non-waterproof mascara. Stephen opened the door and I just stood there and looked at him and we started to laugh."
Though Kayla has made it through poisoning and bombings, being chased by good guys and shot at by bad guys, Evans has found that the rape story line was the most difficult she had to do. "Now, in retrospect, I think it was a good experience for me. I stretched a bit and did things I had never done before. When I first went into it I dragged my feet. I didn't want to do it. But it turned out to be a good story. Emotionally, it was hard for me because I'm a very happy person and I had to be so unhappy for so long there. It was a good solid month of being just miserable. I'd go home drained."
I sat back in my chair and looked around her dressing room. "What? No baby pictures?" I asked. She grinned and reached in her purse.
"The big one on the right is my husband," she joked. Needless to say, their baby, Daniel Luke, is adorable. (Her husband, Michael, isn't bad either!)
"I had my baby here today and we went to lunch with Stephen. Stephen held him the whole time. He's madly in love with my baby. I think, in a way he feels like it's his, too. I was pregnant the whole time with him."
"Are you a good mother?"
"I'm a very calm mother. Nothing really fazes me. Certain things I don't think are important. You have to be happy and supportive of him. I'm relaxed and very loving with him. And kiss him all the time! So we want a million kids now! The next one probably won't be so mellow and then we'll say, 'Okay this is it.' We're all kind of adjusting. At first Michael and I, after being alone for so long, we're saying, 'Who's that little guy over there on the couch?' "
"Tell me a little about Michael."
She smiles. "He's the greatest. We've been together for a really long time. I met him when I was 19. We've changed so much since then, but we grew together. We have a fabulous relationship. We hardly ever argue because we've done all that. We went through all the horrible things before we got married. Now it's basically smooth sailing. It was love at first sight for both of us. We had a couple of dates and I moved back to Chicago where he was. It was a spur of the moment thing. We knew. And it certainly worked."
Since earliest childhood, Evans has always known that she wanted to be an actress. "I've never wanted to do anything else. Even as a child, I wrote, produced and starred in my own variety shows."
After high school, a trip through Europe and studies at the South Coast Repertory, Evans became a sought-after commercial actress and also guest-starred in such popular shows as "Father Murphy," "Knight Rider," and "Remington Steele."
After a year as Dakota Lane on the syndicated soap "Rituals" Evans starred in the film "Lovelines" as the lead singer in an all-girl rock band. What's left for her to do?
"I don't know what's next. I can't plan tomorrow. I sort of live for the minute. I'm open to anything. But I'm not in a rush to leave here. For me, it's great right now. I live close to the studio. I can work three days a week. I can be a mom and have a nice job. This is a great time in my life. I feel very lucky. It's scary sometimes. I think, 'I'm too happy, I'm going to wake up from all of this.' " So far, though, Mary Beth's dream is her very real life.