Long-ago Recast Finally Announced
Last April, I posted about a casting call for a classic Days role that hadn’t appeared onscreen in decades. Finally, we know who will be playing the character…
Vanessa A. Williams — no, not the Miss America/”Save the Best for Last” singer/Ugly Betty actress, but the other one — will first appear as Valerie Grant later this month, as was posted on her personal Instagram. If she looks and/or sounds familiar to you, there’s a reason: not only has she worked pretty steadily over the years, but she played Rhonda Blair, a.k.a. The Aerobics Instructor Who Only Lasted One Season, on Melrose Place.
Presumably Valerie will still be a doctor and not a “funk aerobics” instructor, but this is Days, which never met a trend it wasn’t at least 10 years behind, so who’s to say for sure? She’s definitely a bit on the, er, young side for the character of Valerie, having been born in 1963 (making her 53 years old now), as opposed to original portrayer Tina Andrews’s 1951 birthdate. I suppose it’s a bit of a stretch that Valerie, who was a doctor by the early 80s, would only be in her early-to-mid-50s in 2016, but her age also isn’t explicitly tied to anyone else’s, so it isn’t the end of the world. Making her a little younger than she should be gives me hope that they’ll play the Julie/Valerie history (Valerie was engaged to Julie’s son, David, in soaps’ first-ever interracial romance), so this might be a way of handling David’s outrageous SORASing and its subsequent effect upon Julie, who is not actually 85 years old.