Anjelica Deveraux was a type familiar to soaps: the older, but still attractive, rich bitch who spends most of her time plotting to break up a couple or couples on the show. This could be on her son or daughter’s behalf (like Kate), or because she wants the male half of said couple for herself. Such was the case with Anjelica, and the couple she was trying to break up was Justin and Adrienne Kiriakis.
I often find these (and other) spoiler characters tiresome, as I watch them reach ever higher levels of psychotic delusion, trying to break up the same couple over and over again. What set Anjelica apart, at least at first, was that she didn’t seem to believe that Justin really loved her, or that he would surely turn to her if only Adrienne were out of the picture. She didn’t even seem to be particularly in love with him herself. Justin the playboy pursued her relentlessly when he first came to town, and she enjoyed being in the position of being sought after. Even after they slept together, she mostly treated him as a disposable boy toy. But when he met Adrienne and broke off their affair, Anjelica resented being dethroned—and for such a nonentity as Adrienne Johnson! She seemed to feel she should just be able to squash Adrienne like a bug, and when she couldn’t, rather than walking away, she just kept trying harder and harder. (There was also possibly a sense of an extraordinarily capable woman having too few outlets for her energies, and messing with Adrienne was a source of diversion and amusement.)
There was also far more to her character than just her attachment to Justin. We saw her running her business. We saw her be a warm, supportive senator’s wife—and we saw that marriage disintegrate for reasons that had little to do with Justin. We saw her being a loving stepmother to Jack. There is scene that I don’t have on my DVDs, but is available on Devoted to Deveraux. It takes place soon after Jack finds out he’s Billy. Anjelica and Jo square off, and Anjelica says that Jo might be Jack’s mother by blood, but she’s the one who raised him, who sat up with him when he was ill. It’s an extraordinary scene for Days, where usually Biology is All.
Here is another great Anjelica scene, this one also right after Jack finds out he’s Billy. She confronts Harper about the fact that he is sterile, and therefore can’t be the father of the child she is carrying. She also puts it together that Harper was the one who tried to poison Kayla:
Jane Elliot—more commonly recognized as Tracy Quartermaine from General Hospital—played Anjelica for the first two years she was on the show. Judith Chapman played her after that, and though she was competent, I never felt she brought as much to the part. She had little of Elliott’s sly humor or intelligence, and she had no chemistry with Wally Kurth. The writing for the character also deteriorated: Anjelica’s layered motivation for meddling with Justin and Adrienne slid into Delusions of True Love territory. I just watched a scene on my DVDs, where Anjelica makes a videotape for her son, telling him Justin is his father. Anjelica says, “Your father was a wonderful man … with the cutest dimples. We had so much love when we made you.” Ugh.