Renee Jones lexie "Days of our Lives" SetNBC StudiosBurbank3/16/09©Paul Skipper/jpistudios.com310-657-9661
Credit: Paul Skipper/JPI

When Days of Our Lives pays tribute to James Reynolds in the Monday, October 25, episode celebrating his 40th anniversary as Abe, the NBC soap will also celebrate the character’s tragic love story with late wife Lexie. But before you pop the bubbly and cheer the idea of Renée Jones reprising the role that she played from 1993-2012, we’d better break it to you that… um, she won’t be playing Stefano DiMera’s daughter this time around.

The actress, who was Salem PD secretary Nikki Wade on Days of Our Lives a decade before being cast as Lexie, wasn’t available to “resurrect” Abe’s ill-fated missus for the visions that, per Soap Opera Digest, he will have after being shot. However, Reynolds tells the magazine that the sudser found a great replacement for Jones. “The young actress they brought in to be part of this was just wonderful,” he says, “in giving the essence of [Abe and Lexie’s] relationship and communicated beautifully, just beautifully, in her face and her eyes, as Renee did quite so often.

“I was kind of transported, actually,” he adds.

Renee Jones, James Reynolds "Days of our Lives" Set NBC Studios Burbank 12/10/10 © Paul Skipper/ 310-657-9661

In fact, if it was up to Reynolds, Lexie would appear to Abe more frequently in the future. “She was such a special character,” he says, “and like Stefano, she continues to have a presence on the show. I would like to see it become more multidimensional as Abe explores his relationship with Paulina and his growing family.”

While you absorb the fact that Lexie is returning, but Jones isn’t, check out our photo gallery of all of Days of Our Lives’ most recent — and imminent — comebacks.