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Days of Our Lives Star Arleen Sorkin Dies at 67

Sorkin was known for playing the role of Calliope Jones in the NBC soap opera. 

By Jackie Manno

Days of Our Lives actress Arleen Sorkin has died at the age of 67. She is survived by her husband, producer Christopher Lloyd, and her two sons, Eli and Owen.

Sorkin was known for playing the role Calliope Jones on the NBC soap. Her debut was in 1984, and she continued on it until 1990. She then reprised the role for guest appearances in 1992, 2006, and 2010. 

Sorkin's character was known as the comic relief on Days of Our Lives who often got into goofy antics. In fact, an episode where Jones dresses up as a court jester apparently inspired the creators of Batman: An Animated Series to create the role of Harley Quinn just for her. Sorkin voiced the role of Harley Quinn in the show from 1992-1995. 

"She is a very funny talent, kind of a live wire," Batman: An Animated Series creator Paul Dini told EW in 2017. "She can do that snappy blonde Judy Holliday persona very easily, and that was part of her performance style when I came up with the character."

Calliope Bradford with Martha the dog during a scene in Days Of Our Lives.

He continued, "With Harley, thinking about that character, I was like, 'Gosh, she sounds like Arleen.' Around that time [Sorkin] had appeared as a wacky jester on Days of Our Lives in a costume series. She was wearing this Pied Piper outfit, and I was like, 'Well, there she is. She should run around with the Joker dressed like that.'"

Sorkin earned two Daytime Emmy nominations for her Days of Our Lives role in 1988 and 1989. She appeared as a background character in a 1982 episode of Saturday Night Live and also had a guest appearance in the finale of the NBC sitcom Frasier, where she played an owner of a monkey. 

James Gunn, co-chairman of DC Studios (Batman: An Animated Series is part of the DC universe) was the first to break the news of Sorkin's death.

"Rest in Peace, Arleen Sorkin, the incredibly talented original voice of Harley Quinn, who helped to create the character so many of us love. Love to her family and friends," he said in an Instagram caption.

Over the years Arleen Sorkin’s boundless talent and immense creativity as the beloved ‘Calliope Jones’ gave us countless smiles, laughs, and tears,” said Days of our Lives co-creator Ken Corday. “Our deepest sympathies to Arleen’s family and loved ones. On behalf of the entire Days of our Lives community, all our hearts are aching.”

Arleen Sorkin's family releases statement about her passing

Arleen Sorkin appears in a pink suit at the LES GIRLS 11th annual cabaret.

"We will always remember our dear Arleen for her immense generosity of spirit," the family said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. "Talented, yes, and dogged, too, as evidenced by her tenacious, decades-long fight with a terrible disease. But more than that, she was a loving presence in the lives of her two boys, Eli and Owen; her mother, Joyce; her brothers, Robert and Arthur; and the countless other children, old and young, whom she took under her beautiful wing over the years."

"It's a sad day for us, but a joyous one, too, knowing how many people today are summoning her memory and smiling."