WTF Wednesday: The Curious Case of Kate Winograd

This is one of those Days historical loose ends that has nagged at me forever, but a recent AfterbuzzTV interview with Lauren Koslow (which is a lot of fun and worth watching if you have an hour to spare) ripped open the wound again. If you want to check out the relevant part of the interview, it begins right around the 24:00 mark.

The hosts are grilling Koslow about Kate’s various last names over the years, and when they mention the name Winograd, she’s like, “Um, what?” Of course, they’re referencing the internet and don’t exactly know what they’re talking about, but the Wikipedia entry for Kate Roberts does include the history of Kate Winograd as part of the character’s life. It lists Elaine Princi as having played Kate from 1977-79, with Deborah Adair picking up the role in 1993.


Per that entry:

In 1977, Dr. Kate Winograd (Elaine Princi), an anesthesiologist at Salem University hospital began having an affair with her married co-worker, Dr. Bill Horton.[8] Bill blames his wife, Laura, claiming that she had been neglecting him and working too much. He then turns to alcohol and his medical career begins to suffer. He eventually walks out on Laura and moves in with Kate, but soon after realizes he still loves his wife and leaves Kate, hoping to repair his marriage. When the town is hit by a flood, Kate and Bill work together again to help restore the town, causing Laura to become suspicious when she notices tension between them. Kate was married, at the time, to the abusive Curtis Reed and they had two children together. Soon, Kate learned she was pregnant and when Curtis learned of her affair he beat her brutally and left her on the side of the road. He then faked their [children’s] deaths, leaving Kate devastated. Kate gives birth to a son, Lucas, in the late 1970s off-screen. Bill’s affair, along with other things, leads to Bill having his wife committed.

What’s that, you say? Kate was a doctor? Kate? Not so fast. Whoever wrote the Wikipedia entry did an admirable job of weaving in all the relevant story threads, but none of this has ever been explained or linked up onscreen. Here’s what we know for certain:

  • Bill Horton had an affair with an anesthesiologist named Kate Winograd in the late 70s. Their affair led to the undoing of his marriage to Laura, as well as the emergence of Laura’s (inherited) mental problems, causing her to be committed.
  • Kate Winograd was never said to be married or have children during her 1977-79 run.
  • Kate Roberts appeared in 1993 and was said to have lived in Salem “18 years ago.” It was later revealed that she’d had an affair with Bill Horton that produced a son, Lucas. Kate’s affair with Bill was said to be the straw that broke the camel’s back with regards to Laura’s sanity, and Laura — finally released around the same time — blamed Kate for her years in the sanitarium.
  • There has never, ever been any reference to the Kate who’s been onscreen since 1993 having any sort of background in medicine, not even when she went through treatment for lung cancer several years back.

So what’s the deal? As best I can tell, James E. Reilly — headwriter in 1993, when Kate Roberts was introduced — wanted to create some intrigue and a new Horton grandchild. He played upon Bill’s history of infidelity and, either by coincidence or as a vague reference to history, gave Bill’s mistress the name Kate, without any real intention of establishing her as the character who had appeared on the show in the late 70s. That, or Kate Winograd was a successful medical professional married to abusive trashbag Curtis Reed, whom she never mentioned, just as she failed to mention her two beloved children even during the time she lived with Bill, and Curtis’s reaction to her affair and pregnancy somehow ruined her life to the point that she became a DiMera prostitute. Okay, sure. This is Salem, after all.

Explore posts in the same categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

Tags: , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

6 Comments on “WTF Wednesday: The Curious Case of Kate Winograd”

  1. Shea Says:

    That’s interesting. I have never researched the history of Kate…she is not a favorite of mine. In fact I typically forget that Lucas is even supposed to be Horton until someone mentions it. I would like to know if that storyline is truly Kate’s backstory or if some internet fan was just linking two unrelated but obviously very similar storylines. I guess only JER would know.

    The thing about writing or re-writing backstory is that they frequently have gaps or they get changed over the years. Take Steve and Bo. The backstory for years was that Bo put out Steve’s eye with a knife…at first it was supposed to be jealousy over catching Britta and Steve in bed but it evolved to him finding them in bed and believing that Steve helped Britta set him up to take the fall for committing espionage and then when Steve’s first wife Marina shows up and Steve has had his new glass eye ripped out of his head he tells Marina she should have seen him the first time he lost his eye and says something like a broken bottle went straight through?

    And John being Paul’s father when the time frame for when Paul would have been conceived was during a time when John was living in Salem. Sometimes you just have to accept what they tell us and go on even though we know it doesn’t make sense.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Yeah, they are always so fast-and-loose with backstory, especially as successive regimes add on to it. This one is definitely a case of amending what aired in the past, if it’s even supposed to be the same character at all. If it is, then it definitely feels retconned that a) she wasn’t an anesthesiologist and b) that she was married and had two kids.

  2. ADW Says:

    Thanks for doing a blog entry regarding the Kate(s) conundrum I really enjoyed it. 😀 I was born during Dr. Kate’s tenure so, naturally I didn’t see Winograd first hand and I could never seem to find video clips of Princi as Kate. It’s so soapy to have a new character be a long lost legacy of a philandering core family character! I can’t tell if that was the original intent or not with bringing Kate Roberts into the mix although Lucas’s age is close (maybe add a few years) to the time of Kate’s and Bill’s affair. I did find this though, I remember this arc, so nostalgic. I miss Laura and her crazy eyes. 😉
    I can safely say based on some observations at the beggining that the writers probably didn’t originally intend on having Paige be Eve’s daughter and a half sibling of the Hernandez bunch.

    • mykleraus Says:

      The Youtube link won’t load right now, but I loved 90s Laura — huffing and puffing, running around town in her silk pajamas, screaming at everyone about what a lying whore Kristen was, etc. Her scenes at the Nightmare at Graceland wedding are HILARIOUS.

      I think they definitely intended from Kate Roberts’s intro to have her be the mother of Bill’s illegitimate child. Her early storyline leans pretty heavily on how she once lived in the house that Jack and Jen lived in in the 90s (now Hope’s house) and this manuscript Jack found in the attic. It was all leading up to the Lucas reveal. All the Paige crap was so cobbled-together. I remember her saying at one point, early on, that she’d gone to Salem High for four years, and she and Theresa crossed paths a few times without recognizing one another. The Eve relationship was totally a retcon.

      • Dan Says:

        I’m also not convinced that Paige and Eve as a mother-daughter duo was the original intention. Personally, I felt Paige was mandated by Corday or the network. Prior to Paige, none of the new characters created or introduced by Tomsell were as poorly conceived as Paige. I felt someone said “Give Casey Moss something to do,” and this was the result. Also, they brought back John Black in the same week so you know someone was pushing an agenda.

        Regarding Kate Winograd, I don’t think she and Bill actually had sex. I think there were some emotional stirrings, but otherwise I think it was mainly a forbidden love that wasn’t acted on.

        I don’t think JER planned on the Kates being one and the same. I think it’s just fanwanking that has gone too far. Eventually, it may come true. After all, Alamania was only the fan name for the Alamains’ homeland prior to MarDar.

      • mykleraus Says:

        Paige came into the story at a pretty natural turning point for JJ — he had just been sentenced to community service and was done with the Dannifer meddling — so I think they planned to introduce a good girl love interest for him, but I’ll be damned if I have any idea what the long story was going to be there. I can imagine that someone thought, “We’ll have her reject him because of his past, and then we can play the Jack-raped-Kayla backstory,” and it sounded like a story even though it wasn’t. The music stuff with Ben 1.0 and Eve didn’t pop up until a few months after Paige’s intro, right?

        There’s no way they originally intended for Paige to be Eve Donovan’s child. That felt like such a thrown-in thing to give the story some depth.

        Interesting about Kate and Bill never having had sex. Thanks for filling in that blank. I’m of the same mind re: the Kates — JER created a new character who happened to have the same name, and people ran with it. But I’ve had the same thought, that one day Kate’s sister with the last name Winograd is going to show up…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: