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Macdonald Carey

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Macdonald Carey

Macdonald Carey (March 15, 1913March 21, 1994) was an American actor best known for his role as the patriarch Dr. Tom Horton on NBC's soap opera Days of Our Lives. For almost three decades, he was the show's central cast member.

He first made his career starring in various B-movies of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. He was known in many Hollywood circles as "the B-Movie king", sharing the throne with his "queen", Lucille Ball. A most unlikely leading man, even in his earliest films, Carey surely owed what screen success he enjoyed to some mysterious "everyman" appeal that overshadowed his vapid appearance and seemingly diffident manner. Certainly no one could have thought of his early film performances, as a mild-mannered medico in Dr. Broadway (1942, his film debut) or a love-smitten cop in Shadow of a Doubt (1943) as "dynamic" or "riveting." A successful radio actor and stage performer whose credits included the hit Broadway show "Lady in the Dark," Carey joined the Marines in 1943, staying in uniform for four years. He returned to Paramount in 1947, subsequently appearing-with competence, certainly, but little distinction-in Suddenly, It's Spring (1947), Dream Girl (1948), Bride of Vengeance (1949, as Cesare Borgia), and The Great Gatsby (1949, as Nick Carraway), among others. Carey also worked in many Westerns, among them Streets of Laredo, Comanche Territory, Copper Canyon (all 1949), The Great Missouri Raid (1950), Outlaw Territory (1953), and the unheralded sleeper Stranger at My Door (1956). Carey played patriot Patrick Henry in John Paul Jones (1959), having by that time settled comfortably into character roles. He also appeared in Blue Denim (1959), The Damned (1962), Tammy and the Doctor (1963), and End of the World (1977).

Carey also played a crusading attorney in the 1950s syndicated series Lock-Up. He played the starring role of attorney Herb Maris. A total of 78 episodes (then considered to be only two full seasons) were made 19591961, but apparently Carey did not appear in all of them.

For the remainder of his career, he played Tom Horton on Days of Our Lives, from 1965 until his death from lung cancer in 1994.

He is most recognized today, over a decade after his passing, as the voice who recites the epigram each day before the program begins: "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives". From 1966 to 1994, he would also intone, "This is Macdonald Carey, and these are the days of our lives." (After Carey's passing, the producers, out of respect for Carey's family, decided not to use the second part of the opening tagline). At each intermission, his voice also says "We will return for the second half of Days of Our Lives in just a moment". Since the Horton family is still regarded as the core of Days of Our Lives, his memory has been allowed to remain imprinted on the show by the voiceovers remaining intact.

He is also known for his voice-over from the 1970 PBS station ident, which served the network for its first year. Carey wrote several books of poetry and a 1991 autobiography, "The Days of My Life."

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