17 ‘Days of our Lives’ stars we’ve loved the most and why

“Days of Our Lives” premiered on November 8, 1965 on NBC. Created by Ted Corday and Betty Corday, the daytime drama follows the lives, loves, careers and crises of the citizens of Salem. And though it was part of an NBC family of soaps over the years that included “Another World,” “The Doctors,” “Generations,” “Santa Barbara” and “Sunset Beach,” it has been all alone on the NBC lineup ever since “Passions” was cancelled by the network in 2007.

The series has proven resilient, weathering myriad changes in the television landscape over more than half a century on the airwaves. So we asked our readers who they’ve loved the most on the soap and why. Scroll down to see who they picked, and let us know who would be on your list of “Days” faves, past or present.

“Days” originally centered on the Horton family led by doctor Tom (Macdonald Carey) and his wife Alice (Frances Reid). It later introduced a rivalry between additional core families the Bradys and DiMeras, whose good-vs.-evil battles fueled myriad storylines ever since. The show has tackled a wide variety of storylines from the realistic to the outlandish — remember when Marlena (Deidre Hall) was the victim of demon possession in the 1990s, or the Salem residents who were supposedly offed by a serial killer but were actually kidnapped to the secret island of Melaswen in the 2000s?

But there have also been beloved romances, from the adventures of supercouples Bo and Hope (Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso) and John and Marlena (Drake Hogestyn and Hall) to the groundbreaking gay love story between Will and Sonny (Chandler Massey and Freddie Smith). It’s characters like that, and more, who have kept the show alive for so long. Below are a few examples.