Josh Taylor roman "Days of our Lives" SetNBC Studios3/24/03©Paul Skipper/JPI310-657-9661Episode # 9537
Credit: Paul Skipper/JPI

On July 18, 1997, one of the soap’s most popular leading men of the late 1970s and ’80s replaced… Huh. Another popular leading man of the ’80s and ’90s. Confused? Just wait!

Look, we all know that anything can happen on Days of Our Lives. The dead can be brought back to life. People’s “essence” can be transplanted into new bodies. Masks can change not only their wearers’ faces but their heights and voices, too.

But back on this day in 1997, viewers were wholly unprepared for what the show had in store. The character of Roman Brady was resurrected — no big shock, that — but with a new actor playing him. Instead of Wayne Northrop, who’d originated the role and returned for a second tour of duty in ’86, it was Josh Taylor… who’d played Chris Kositchek on the show from ’77-87.

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days of our lives roman brady wayne northrop josh taylor

To put it mildly, it took some getting used to. Chris, longtime viewers will recall, had even been buddies with Roman — the guy his portrayer was now… well, portraying!

All these years later, of course, we fully accept Taylor as Roman. Heck, we’ve even gotten kinda used to the soap bringing back former cast members in new roles, as it did with Northrop (who went to the dark side as Alex North), Judi Evans (who’s pulled double duty as ill-fated Adrienne and her lookalike, Bonnie) and Kyle Lowder (who, after playing Brady, accepted the part of Rex).

And how cool was it when the soap had a bit of fun with this bit of history by having Taylor appear as Chris in a recent installment of the Days spinoff, Beyond Salem? (If you missed the fun, check out our photo-filled recap of the episode in question.)

More: The bizarro Days exit that infuriated fans

Not to be outdone, Tamara Braun made her Days of Our Lives debut in ’08 as Ava Vitali, reappeared three years later as Nicole’s sister, Taylor, then came back again as Ava in ’15. And, for those keeping track, 2020. (She also played two characters on General Hospital: Carly Corinthos and Kim Nero. It’s sorta a thing with the Emmy winner!)

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While you’re here, reeling from the recollection that Roman used to be Chris, stop off, why don’t you, at the below photo gallery, which counts down other actors like Taylor who have “two-timed” — that is, played two parts on the same show.