"Breaking Out: Mark's Last Day on 'Days of Our Lives' Set"

by Lorraine Zenka | Soap Opera Magazine
September 30, 1997, p.7

Mark Valley thought it was 'kind of cool' to be on the set for the first day Steve Wilder, the actor replacing him as Jack Deveraux, worked. "It was like passing the torch," he said with a smile, "and nice to talk to him." Valley taped his portion of the scene and walked off, as Wilder took his position where Valley had previously stood.

As Valley completed his last scene, cast and crew applauded and a cake was wheeled onto the set. "It was strange," he explained. "I'd seen so many other people come and go. This was like I was having an out-of-body experience seeing them wheel out my casket!" he says with with his trademark devilish chuckle.

The cake was personalized, with Valley's name and a prison cell with its door open and a fleeing figure. The inscription read: "Breaking Out". [My own comment: there's a picture in this article of Mark wearing his glasses, standing in front of the cake -- and by the way he has the most incredibly handsome smile on his face -- and the cake actually says "Mark Valley Good Luck On Your Breakout."]

After supervising producer Steve Wyman delivered his farewell laudation, Valley thanked each crew member by name for their support and for 'making him look good,' as well as his castmates for their warmth and support.

As for 'breaking out,' Valley said, "I feel more that I'm simply moving on. And when I become really famous and you see me, and you might feel a bit strange about coming up to me, please do," he joked.

Leaving brought forth some melancholy feelings for Valley, especially with twin girls Paige and Ryanne Kettner, who play his screen daughter, Abigail. "They were pretty sad, too, but I reminded them that we'll spend time (together) in more fun places," as the friendship they share continues.

Valley, who spent three years on Days, has a small role in HBO's yet-to-be-released Breast Men (formerly The Silicone Wars) with David Schwimmer. Valley plays a medical student dating a woman Schwimmer is interested in, too. Of future roles, Valley hopes he can land "something Shakespeare, maybe Hamlet or Henry IV. Or any small, meaningful role in a good project.

"I'm not jumping from Days into a comfortable new situation," Valley said. "I want to experience taking a chance, jumping out there without knowing what I will be doing next. I've saved my money and have been planning this for three years. I'm a lucky guy."

articleRead related article: "Transcript: Mark & Braden Matthews Answer Questions at 'Daysfest' in Salem, Illinois"

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