Shirley Jones talks to Soaps.com! image

As Colleen Brady (Photo: Chris Haston)

Courtesy Shirley Jones website.

As Soaps.com had reported a few weeks ago in our comings and goings, the legendary Shirley Jones is coming to Days of Our Lives to portray Colleen Brady - tomorrow! Guess she really didn't go off that cliff and die! Luckily for us, she'll be appearing on the show, though just for a short time, in order to have Colleen further explain what happened all those years ago when it was thought that she committed suicide by throwing herself off a cliff in Ireland.

Ms. Jones has had the make-up department's work cut out for them. Note the differences between the two photos! Jones has been studying for the part with well known actor and dialogue coach to perfect an Irish brogue. I had the opportunity today to speak with Shirley on a conference call and she answered several questions regarding Colleen and working in daytime.

Jones was invited through her agents, to join the cast at Days of Our Lives to portray Colleen Brady for a short period of time. She says, "In the beginning, I declined. I wasn't sure she wanted it and was very indecisive." She says that Ed (Scott, producer) called her and we gather it took off from there. She doesn't work for the money anymore and says it's the part that attracts her to the work. About the part, Jones says, "It's a wonderful part. She's a 90 year old lady; she's dying and has an Irish brogue and an unbelievable story to tell."

We know that she was a novice but after hearing Santo DiMera was married we wonder now how Colleen turned out. Jones describes her character. "She has a lot of b*tchiness," But finds it fun to play!

Since we all thought Colleen threw herself off the cliffs, Jones says, "How Colleen survived is a secret until you see the show but I didn't throw myself off the cliff. I faked my suicide. I didn't become a nun because I fell in love and decided that's not what nuns do!"

Since Shirley had only worked in primetime soap previously, doing a short stint on Melrose Place, she had no idea that the work was so demanding on daytime. "I came away with great admiration for everybody who does this. It's a lot of memorization. I just enjoy doing it," She says. Her first day left her a nervous wreck! "I had never done six shows in six days. I had page after page after page of dialogue to learn. It was not easy. I ended up loving it and had a great time with everybody." She's old school- she doesn't believe in cue cards either so when you're watching her story unfold, note that it's all from memory!

When asked if she'd do another soap opera, she replied that she has a lot of respect for actors in soaps. "I love new challenges and welcome them. I loved the character, who she was," and says if she believes in a part then she'll do it.
And we're sure she'll do it well. Jones worked with a famed dialogue coach Robert Easton to get her Irish brogue down pat. Jones says she has never done a role where she had an accent before. Turns out she was a natural. Easton praised her work and says, "You're a natural because you're a singer."

Shirley Trivia:

Shirley says her favorite Partridge Family memorabilia is the lunch box which is now in the Smithsonian and she also likes the dolls and paper dolls!

Most memorable part in her career- "Elmer Gantry changed the course of my career. The musicals... Music Man, Carousel and Oklahoma. "It's been a good combination. I've gone from one medium to another rather successfully." she adds.

With her part on Days, she worked closely with Ed Scott. They talked daily and worked on the script together - she cut out parts and added to it and they joked that she took all the "soap" out of it!
She tells us she'll be working with "just about everybody on the show and certainly the last one (show)." Interesting. Foreshadowing?! Remember, she's only around until February 7th.

Shirley Jones was never a soap opera addict but watched them. "Intermittently," she says. "I watched all of them once or twice but mostly because I worked during the day." She ended up loving doing it.

She tells us about her favorite Valentine's Day - we'll leave that for our themed article, coming out early February - it involves a candy store! Stay tuned!

Soaps.com wants to again thank Shirley Jones for the lovely interview and we're looking forward to seeing this legend on the show.

Christine Fix
Editor-in-Chief/Writer/Reporter
Soaps.com