donald may mashup texas edge
Credit: NBC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection; NBC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

“You get married, and all of a sudden, it’s just breakfast-table talk.”

Before Luke and Laura, John and Marlena or even Victor and Nikki, there was The Edge of Night’s Adam and Nicole. As millions of viewers watched, the handsome attorney and his beautiful client went from bickering their way through her murder trial to falling in love. As brought to life by Donald May and Maeve McGuire, Adam and Nicole were a supercouple for the ages.

So it is with great sorrow that we share the news that May passed away in his upstate New York home on January 28 at the age of 94.

The all-too-brief Wikipedia page devoted to May will tell you that he served in the Navy before becoming an actor. It then lists a dozen or so of his credits before briefly mentioning that he “was featured on several soap operas.” But what it doesn’t tell you is just how loved he was by the fans who watched him as not only Edge of Night‘s Adam but, years later, Grant Wheeler on the Another World spin-off, Texas. 

It won’t tell you how thrilling it was to watch May’s Adam bring down one baddie after another in a soap on which, unlike today’s dramas, the leading men were actual heroes, not anti-heroes. (You can check out May in action in the stunning clip below, in which Adam unmasks — or rather unwigs — a murderess played by Emmy winner Louise Shaffer.)

It won’t tell you that despite the popularity of Adam and Nicole, May was against the idea of the pair marrying. As he explained to Adam B. Smith in a documentary which can be found on YouTube, “You get married, and suddenly, it’s just breakfast-table talk.”

It won’t tell you just how seriously May took his profession, to the point that despite teleprompters being in use during his stint on The Edge of Night, he refused to use them. “You’re either paid to act or you’re paid to read,” he told Smith. “I was paid to act!”

THE EDGE OF NIGHT, from left: Dixie Carter, Donald May, 1970s, 1956-1984. © ABC /Courtesy Everett Collection

Above: When Nicole was mistakenly presumed dead, Adam got involved with Brandy, played by future Designing Women star Dixie Carter.

Credit: ©ABC/Courtesy Everett Collection

More: Why it’s time for an Edge of Night reboot

Heck, it won’t even tell you that it was on the set of Texas that he met his second wife, Carla Borelli (who played Reena). “I was mighty struck by her,” he told Smith of the woman who was by his side at the time of his passing.

Most importantly, it won’t tell you how loved he was by the millions of fans who will, upon hearing of May’s passing, take a moment to reflect on the many hours of entertainment he provided them. As we keep in our thoughts not only Borelli but May’s sons from a previous marriage, Christopher and Douglas, why not join us in looking back at some of the other soap stars we’ve lost in recent months.