Roark Critchlow of Days

Image: John Paschal/JPI

Paging Dr. Horton to Salem University Hospital!

The character of Michael Horton was introduced on Days of our Lives in 1968 as the son of Mickey Horton (John Clarke) and his wife Laura Horton (then Susan Flannery, most recently Jaime Lyn Bauer). However Laura and Mickey’s brother Dr. Bill Horton (Edward Mallory) soon discovered Mickey was infertile, and Michael was Bill’s child from a night he drunkenly raped Laura. They chose to keep the secret to spare Mickey the pain, but it eventually came out, and Mike only learned the truth as an adult. His original storyline was one of the first paternity secrets on the NBC soap opera but definitely wasn’t the last. Over the years sixteen different actors have played the part, with the most notable being Wesley Eure from 1974 until 1981, Michael T. Weiss from 1985 to 1990, and Roark Critchlow from 1994 to 1999, returning briefly in 2010 for Alice Horton’s (Francis Reid) funeral. We think it is time for Michael Horton to return to Salem.

The next Horton patriarch

The Hortons are and always will be the first family of Salem, which is why there is a Horton town square. However, over the years the Horton line has been dwindling, especially with Bill Horton’s death this past year. Julie Williams (Susan Seaforth-Hayes) is the last original character on the show, Tom (Macdonald Carey) and Alice’s granddaughter through their daughter Addie Horton (Patricia Barry). Julie and her husband Doug (Bill Hayes) have taken up as the eldest Hortons by extension, and are aided in Horton holiday functions by Jennifer Horton Deveraux (Melissa Reeves) and her cousin Hope Williams Brady (Kristian Alfonso). Of course, Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo) has recently returned, but Lucas isn’t always reliable. The Horton family definitely could use some revitalization with the return of Mike and maybe even his son Jeremy (last played by Trevor Donovan). Wouldn’t it be great to see the Horton family Christmas tree decorating ceremony have more Hortons?

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Help at the hospital

For far too long Kayla Johnson (Mary Beth Evans) has been doing everything at Salem University Hospital. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) does work there but as a psychiatrist, so she’s not much help with trauma. Over the years nurses like Haley Chen (Thia Megia) and EMTs such as JJ Deveraux (Casey Moss) have come and gone, and currently, Dr. Sarah Horton (Linsey Godfrey) pretty much does nothing but become hysterical. Mike Horton was an excellent and caring doctor, a former Chief of Staff, and was around for several storylines that played out in the hospital, instead of it being used for a backdrop. Who can forget Craig and Nancy Wesley (Kevin Spirtas and Patrika Darbo) and all their schemes in the nineties to oust Mike as Chief of Staff? Or when in the eighties Mike (played by Michael T. Weiss) found himself involved in the Ramirez family drama and assisted suicide storyline. More medically driven storylines, not involving memory implants, could spice up the show.

A ladies’ man

Mike Horton has always been a bit of a ladies’ man, around town, and at Salem University Hospital. He’s also been involved in some fan-favorite romances. In the Weiss era of the eighties Mike had two huge love stories. One was with the mother of his son, Dr. Robin Jacobs (Derya Ruggles), who struggled with the issue that her family was devoutly Jewish and Mike was not. After Robin came April Ramirez (Lisa Howard), who was a nurse at Salem University and took the blame for unplugging her mother from life support to protect her ailing father who actually did it. And when Critchlow took over he had a romance, okay an affair, with Carrie Reed (Christie Clark) that divided the fanbases between whether Carrie should be with Mike or Austin (Austin Peck). Eventually, she left town with Mike, but they sadly broke up off-screen.

Days of our Lives needs a good re-injection of hospital storylines and Hortons. We think Mike could be just what is needed right now! Join the conversation and let us know in the comments. And check out some classic clips of Mike Horton below.

Videos: Days Tripper, DiMeraLover, NightWhispers28/Youttube

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