days of our lives melissa reeves as jennifer leaving recast
Credit: Image: John Paschal/JPI

Word is, the Emmy winner has already begun taping at her new soap! 

In a shocking move, Days of our Lives mainstay Melissa Reeves is temporarily exiting the role of Jennifer Horton. But if you think her character will simply be leaving Salem, think again: Soap Opera Digest reports that the part is being taken over by Cady McClain, the Emmy winner best known to soap fans as All My Children heroine Dixie Cooney Martin.

The veteran actress is no stranger to stepping into parts created by other actors. She took over for Yvonne Perry as Rosanna Cabot on As the World Turns, succeeded Cynthia Watros (now Nina, General Hospital) as Kelly Andrews on The Young and the Restless, and heck, she was even a recast as All My Children’s Dixie. (Kari Gibson briefly played that part first.)

More: All the Stars Returning to Days of our Lives [PHOTOS]

As for Reeves, who is married to soap alum Scott Reeves (ex-Steve, General Hospital), she’s played Days of our Lives’ Jennifer on and off since 1985, after ending her first soap stint (as Jade Perkins on Santa Barbara). While the character and her portrayer are much-loved by a whole lot of the NBC soap’s audience, her political views have come under fire on several occasions. Most recently, she stirred up controversy earlier this year when she “liked” several anti-Black Lives Matters social-media stories posted by a conservative blogger.

Reportedly, the decision for Reeves not to return when the soap resumed production several weeks ago was her own. This is not entirely surprising, given that for several years, she has commuted from Tennessee to Los Angeles to tape the show. With so many questions swirling regarding the safety of air travel during these strange days, it’s easy to see why one might want to limit their potential exposure.

The actress may also have decided that she wanted to spend more time with her family. Last month, she and her spouse (once Jake Hogansen on Days of our Lives) became first-time grandparents when daughter Emily Smith and her husband, Nate, had a son, Woods. They’ll add another “World’s Greatest Grandparents” trophy to the collection when son Larry and his wife Olivia’s bundle of joy arrives later this month. And it isn’t as if Reeves hasn’t been recast before: Stephanie Cameron took over from 1995-98.

What do you think, Days of our Lives fans? Is McClain a good choice to pick up where Reeves left off? While you drop your comments below, you might also enjoy this photo gallery, an updated list of all of the actors who have recently left and/or are leaving Days of our Lives.