Days of our Lives
Played by James Reynolds
It's not many acting hopefuls who get the chance to personally quiz the likes of Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas and Peter Fonda on how to make it "big" in Hollywood, so when a young James Reynolds got the opportunity, he grabbed it. Having studied journalism in college, Reynolds spent time as a film reviewer for the "Topeka Daily Capitol" and, as a part of his duties, interviewed a number of filmdom's brightest talents. Reynolds' research has paid off as viewers who have seen him regularly on NBC's "Days of our Lives" and "Generations" will attest.
Reynolds made his first appearance as stalwart police captain Abe Carver on "Days of our Lives" in 1981. After nine years, Reynolds moved to the new daytime series "Generations," where he earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. With the subsequent demise of that series, Reynolds returned to "Days of our Lives" in 1991.
In 2004, Reynolds received a NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Actor in a Daytime Drama for his role on "Days of our Lives," followed by a 2004 Daytime Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama.
In addition to starring on "Days," Reynolds and his wife, actress Lissa Layng, own and operate the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena where the couple co-starred in Oliver Hailey's "And Where She Stops Nobody Knows." The Reynolds were named Business Persons of the Year by the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and one of Pasadena Weekly's One Hundred Most Influential Couples in Pasadena. Reynolds has also turned his talents to directing. His productions of "The Tangled Snarl" and "Murder Me Once" were named "Critic's Choice" by the Los Angeles Times and Backstage West in 2004.
Reynolds was raised in the small farming community of Oskaloosa, Kansas. Reynolds enrolled in Topeka's Washburn University, majoring in pre-law and journalism.
When he moved to Los Angeles, Reynolds quickly amassed an impressive list of primetime television and motion picture credits as well as becoming one of the foundation blocks of "Days of our Lives." In addition to guest spots on such series as "Seinfeld," "Highway to Heaven," "227" and "Hart to Hart," he co-starred with Vincent Price in CBS's "Time Express" and appeared in such films as "The Magic of Lassie," "The Foundation" and "Hotline." Continuing his interest in theatre, he organized and ran the Los Angeles Repertory Theatre for seven years.
Despite his heavy schedule on the series, Reynolds still finds time to head Free State Productions, a film and TV production company involved with documentaries, movies and music videos, as well as making occasional appearances on stage in Los Angeles. He starred in "Buffalo Soldier" at Theatre/Theater in a taut drama about black U.S. Army troops in the American West following the Civil War for which he was nominated for an NAACP Theatre Award. He also starred with other Vietnam veterans in the acclaimed drama "Tracers," which was conceived by John DiFusco and created by a group of actor/veterans in 1980. When time permits, Reynolds tours colleges in his one-man show, "I, Too, Am America." The show, written and performed by Reynolds, is a commentary on the African-American experience from the time the first slaves were brought to this country up to the present day.
Deeply committed to his charitable work, Reynolds hosts an annual celebrity basketball game that raises money for South Pasadena's High School basketball team and/or the Pasadena chapter of Ronald McDonald's House. Reynolds has also toured with the USO to the Mediterranean, Kuwait and Afghanistan to meet and show support for our troops overseas. He also participated in the first USO Celebrity Education Program, traveling to Kaiserslautern, Germany and Iceland where he spoke with students regarding the importance of staying in school.
One of Reynolds' greatest honors was being added to the Kansas Historical Society's list of famous Kansans. The list includes such notables as President Dwight Eisenhower, Amelia Earhart, Langston Hughes, Barry Sanders and many others. Another honor came in 2003 when Reynolds was awarded the Heroes and Legends TV/Film Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions made in the entertainment industry.
Reynolds is still an active sportsman, enjoying basketball and racquetball on his days off. The Reynolds make their home in suburban Los Angeles. His birthday is August 10.