Marcus Hunter, played by Richard Biggs, joined the cast back in 1988, in what seemed to be a good faith effort to beef up the non-white population of Salem. Lexie joined the cast around the same time (played by a different actress), plus a social worker named Vanessa Walker. A few more family members popped up here and there. Marcus and Abe were both interested in Lexie before Marcus started dating Vanessa. After that Days even teased us with an interracial romance, when Faith, corrupt preacher Saul Taylor’s naive daughter, developed a crush on Marcus. Marcus seemed interested (despite, I must say, Faith’s utter vacuity), but Saul put the kibosh on that one.
Speaking of Faith, she was played by Melinda Clarke—John Clarke’s daughter!. A quick Google search today yields some interesting results:
What would Preacher Taylor say????
What I loved best about Marcus, of course, was his relationship with Steve. I loved that he grew up in the orphanage with him, because that was something Steve couldn’t share with anyone else. There were things they understood about each other that no one else could get. His introduction scene, during the Kayla poisoning story (when Steve had Kayla hidden at the safehouse) is a thing of soap beauty:
A great fight between Jack and Steve. Steve is trying to play innocent and keep Jack’s suspicions to a minimum, but he can’t help throwing it in Jack’s face that he knows he’s been having him followed, and then throwing that last barb about how if he did have Kayla, he would take a lot better care of her than Jack did. Marcus appears and breaks up the fight, and I love how he and Steve stand there catching up as Jack stares at them. Ha!
Then, in the next scene, back at the safehouse, we see Marcus as a sounding board and supporter, who could also challenge Steve when he needed it. I love that Steve is able to open up to someone about how much he loves Kayla and how worried he is about her. At this stage of the storyline, he’s had no one to confide in for months. (Well, other than Jo—a dubious comfort in this case.)
Marcus was paired with a number of different short-term characters on the show, but none of them lasted—which I always thought was a shame. He was always very upfront about the fact that he wanted what Steve and Kayla had. He never found it. In the end (after Steve’s death) Marcus actually fell for Kayla. She was with Shane by then, and apparently (according to soapcentral—I haven’t seen this part yet) it’s what made Marcus leave town. I must admit that the idea of Kayla and Marcus together intrigues me. Would “Karcus” (hee!) have been better received than Shayla?