The Untold Truth Of Days Of Our Lives Star James Reynolds

James Reynolds is an acclaimed actor who has played the popular role of Abe Carver on the soap "Days of Our Lives" since 1981. He has been nominated for five Daytime Emmys over the years and won the award in 2018 for his work on "DOOL." Reynolds' Abe is also the longest-running African American character on any soap opera, according to Soap Opera Digest, and he's been nominated for five Image Awards given out by the NAACP. In addition to his role on "DOOL," Reynolds has appeared on other shows such as "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Seinfeld," and received an Emmy nomination for his work on "Generations" in 1991.

The character Abe Carver first appeared in Salem as a police officer on a mission to take down international criminal Stefano DiMera, but things became complicated when he fell in love with Lexie Brooks who turned out to be Stefano's daughter (via Soap Central). Though they experienced some ups and downs over the years, Abe and Lexie were married in 1989 and remained together until Lexie died of a brain tumor in 2012. Abe is the father to two sons — Brandon Walker, whom he fathered with Fay Walker prior to his marriage, and Theo Carver, whom he shares with Lexie. Abe has held many prestigious positions in Salem over the years, including police commissioner and mayor. Most recently, Abe celebrated his wedding to Paulina Price (Jackee Harry) on Juneteenth 2022 — a United States holiday that celebrates the ending of slavery (via Soap Dirt).

Though certainly not as dramatic as his on-screen persona, Reynolds himself has a rich and admirable life outside of acting which some viewers may not know about.

James Reynolds is a veteran and a writer

James Reynolds joined the Marine Corps after high school and was a reporter for the service newspaper The Windward Marine, before being sent to Vietnam to cover what was happening during the war, according to the Kansas Historical Society. Reynolds remained in this position until he was wounded and forced to end his military career.

Following his time as a Marine, Reynolds attended Washburn University in his home state of Kansas, where he majored in pre-law and journalism (via Soaps Opera Digest). While at school, Reynolds joined the theater department as a way to meet girls and quickly fell in love with acting. Reynolds starred in several plays and musicals and discovered he had a great talent for performing. After graduation, Reynolds spent time as a film reviewer for the "Topeka Daily Capital" newspaper before moving to San Francisco and then Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming an actor.

The Kansas Historical Society has honored Reynolds by adding him to their list of famous Kansans, which includes notable people such as President Dwight Eisenhower, Amelia Earhart, Langston Hughes, and others (via SoapHub).

James Reynolds and his wife Lissa Layng are business owners and theater lovers

James Reynolds married his wife Lissa Layng, who is an actress herself and a significant contributor to the theater industry in California, in 1986. The couple have co-owned and operated the Fremont Centre Theater in Pasadena, California since 1997 and act as its artistic directors (via Soap Opera Digest). Reynolds and Layng have stated their mission of the theater is to bring plays to the community that are original, unique, and culturally meaningful, according to Fremont Centre Theater.

Their theater has worked alongside the California Performing Arts Centre, the Pasadena Shakespeare Company, and Ray Bradbury's Pandemonium Theatre Company with whom they have produced or co-produced over 70 plays. It is also the home to the Metamorphosis Theatre Company's Detour Improv Company. The Fremont Centre Theater was named the Best Equity Waiver Theater by Valley Magazine and Reynolds and Layng were named on the list of 100 Most Influential Persons in Pasadena in 2000.

Previously, Reynolds was the managing artistic director of the Los Angeles Repertory Theater and also heads the production company Free State Productions, which focuses on documentaries, films, and music videos (via Soap Central).

James Reynolds is heavily involved in charity

In addition to his acting career and theater work, James Reynolds spends a significant amount of time working for local and national charities.

Reynolds is the celebrity spokesperson for the Department of Veteran Affairs and Hospitalized Vets and has traveled the world extensively with the United Service Organizations (USO) and Armed Forces Entertainment to support troops (via Soap Central). He also participated in the USO's Celebrity Education Program and he and his wife previously ran a company for 10 years called Classes Unlimited which focused on adult-learning, according to Fremont Centre Theater.

The couple is also involved in many more charities, including the Haven House Women's Shelter in Pasadena, Women's Care Cottage in Van Nuys, the Pasadena Humane Society, the Foothill YMCA, the South Pasadena Police Department, the Ronald McDonald House, the South Pasadena Educational Foundation, Pasadena High School's Career Connection Program, and the South Pasadena Arts Council. Reynolds also hosts an annual "bowl-a-thon" in support of the National Asthma Center (via SoapHub).

James Reynolds and his family have a passion for basketball

James Reynolds, his wife Lissa Layng, and their son Jed Reynolds are all huge fans of basketball.

James' interest in sports first started at his rural high school in Oskaloosa, Kansas, and he even entertained a career as a professional athlete for a time (via Soap Opera Digest). Though his love of acting slightly outweighed sports, he still enjoys playing basketball and racquetball when he's not on-set (via Soap Central).

The Reynolds family is known for raising money for camps and uniforms for the South Pasadena Middle and High School basketball teams, according to Fremont Centre Theater. For over 20 years, Reynolds has hosted celebrity basketball games in which fellow cast members from "Days of Our Lives" play against opposing teams as a way to fundraise for the programs. Jed, who shares his parents' love of theater and attended UCSB as a theater major and continues to act, is the coach of the South Pasadena High School basketball teams.

James has also participated in scrimmages at the Forum arena prior to Sparks basketball games and even once sang the National Anthem before a Clippers game. For 12 years, he has also been a coach for an all-women's basketball team that his wife Lissa is a member of. The family members are fans of the LA Lakers and KU Blackhawks basketball teams.