Nancy of “Days”
A stage-trained actress, Patrika Darbo had numerous theatrical successes in Los Angeles before breaking into film and TV. She had her first taste of fame as Penny Baker (1991-1992), the sister of Suzanne Somers' character, on the ABC sitcom "Step by Step," and was nominated a Daytime Emmy for her portrayal of the ruthless Nancy Wesley (1999-Present), on NBC's long-running soap "Days of our Lives."
This 5' 3" pudgy comic actress, who portrayed stand-up comedienne Roseanne Barr in the 1994 NBC unauthorized biopic "Roseanne and Tom: Behind the Scenes," also appeared in such TV shows as "Seinfeld," "Sisters," "Growing Pains," "Grace Under Fire" and "General Hospital."
As for her big screen works, Darbo has been in the films "Daddy's Dyin' ... Who's Got the Will?" (1990; reprising her role in its stage version as Marlene), "Leaving Normal" (1992), "In the Line of Fire" (1993), "Corrina, Corrina" (1994), "Speed 2: Cruise Control" (1997), "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" (1997), "Madhouse" (2004), "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" (2005), and "Moving McAllister" (2007).
Darbo's stage credits include "Never Too Late," "The American Dream," Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Don't Drink the Water" and "Club Indigo, Revisited." Recently, from March to April 2006, she headlined the play "Sordid Lives" at The Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
Childhood and Family:
Born in Jacksonville, Florida, on April 6, 1948, Patrika Darbo grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a younger brother named Daniel and a younger sister named Peggy. Her parents, 'Chubby' and Patricia Davidson, have divorced and remarried. Patrika was later raised by his step-father, Donald Davidson, a traveling secretary for the Milwaukee (later Atlanta) Braves and a dwarf (standing only 4'2'' tall) who taught her to pursue her dreams at all costs.
Patrika studied theater at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia, and graduated in 1970. She then pursued additional study at the Atlanta School of Drama, Atlanta, Georgia.
Patrika has been married to photographer/actor Rolf Darbo since 1973. They first met during the Burbank Little Theatre production of "Anything Goes," in which she starred. The couple, who has one dog, a female rescue mixed breed named Bailey, currently reside in suburban Atlanta.
Days of our Lives
While working as a credit department supervisor during her first first arrival in Los Angeles, Patrika Darbo spent every spare minute canvassing the town for creditable acting gigs and eventually decided to pursue acting career full time.
The aspiring actress made her Los Angeles stage debut with the musical "Anything Goes" in 1970. She began appearing on television in the early 1980s, with guest roles in such NBC's shows as the detective series "Riptide," the popular sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," the short-lived superhero fantasy television series "Misfits of Science," and the sitcom "You Again?"
In 1987, Darbo landed a recurring TV role on ABC's sitcom "Growing Pains" and stayed in the show until 1990. Meanwhile, she acted on stage in a production of "Cheatin" and starred as Marlene, the wife of Beau Bridges' greedy and abusive character, in the stage version of "Daddy's Dyin' ... Who's Got the Will?" in 1987. She later re-created her "Daddy's Dyin' ... Who's Got the Will?" role in its film version in 1990 which was directed by Jack Fisk.
During that time, Darbo also did some film works. She could be seen in the independent films "The Night Before" (1988), a comedy starring Keanu Reeves and Lori Loughlin, "It Takes Two" (1988), a road trip comedy starring George Newbern, Leslie Hope and Kimberly Foster, "Troop Beverly Hills" (1989), an adventure comedy starring Shelley Long, and "Spaced Invaders" (1990), a science fiction comedy starring Tony Cox, Royal Dano and a young Ariana Richards.
Darbo had bit parts in Joe Dante's dark psychocomedy starring Tom Hanks, "The 'burbs" (1989), Joe Dante's live action horror-comedy film "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" (1990; starring Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates and John Glover), a sequel to "Gremlins" (1984), and Sidney Poitier's comedy film starring Bill Cosby, "Ghost Dad" (1990). She was also spotted as a guest on such TV shows as NBC's medical drama "St. Elsewhere," NBC's sitcom "Punky Brewster," "Growing Pains" spin-off "Just the Ten of Us," NBC's sitcom "Mama's Family," "CBS Summer Playhouse," NBC's cop drama "Adam 12," ABC's hit sitcom "Roseanne" and NBC's sitcom "Saved by the Bell." Additionally, she appeared in the crime/drama TV movie "Nashville Beat" (1990), starring Kent McCord and Martin Milner, and did a TV commercial for Tetley Tea.
From 1991 to 1992, Darbo played the regular role of Penny Baker, the sister of Suzanne Somers' character, on the ABC sitcom "Step by Step." Meanwhile, she was cast in writer/director Brian Peck's dark comedy starring Sean Astin, "The Willies" (1991), and in Peter Faiman's drama comedy starring Ed O'Neill and Ethan Embry, "Dutch" (1991). She also supported Christine Lahti and Meg Tilly in Edward Zwick's female buddy movie "Leaving Normal" (1992) and acted opposite Bill Paxton in Chris Walas' dark comedy "The Vagrant" (1992). Additionally, she guest starred in an episode of NBC's soap "Santa Barbara" and appeared twice with different roles on NBC's Emmy-winning sitcom "Seinfeld."
After appearing in the Burbank Little Theatre production of "Anything Goes," Darbo was gruesomely murdered by John Malkovich's villain character in Wolfgang Petersen's Academy Award-nominated drama/thriller film starring Clint Eastwood, "In the Line of Fire" (1993). She then played Wilma, Car Hop, in writer/director Jessie Nelson's period family drama film "Corrina, Corrina" (1994), starring Ray Liotta, Whoopi Goldberg and Tina Majorino, and shared the screen with Yancy Butler and Matt McCoy in Alex Wright's independent action/comedy film "Fast Money" (1995).
Meanwhile, Darbo played roles in the TV movies "Arly Hanks" (1993), a novel-based comedy starring Kate Jackson, "The Last Chance Detectives: Mystery Lights of Navajo Mesa" (1994), Beau Bridges' "Secret Sins of the Father" (1994), and the biographical "Roseanne and Tom: Behind the Scenes" (1994), in which she portrayed the popular stand-up comedienne. She also guest starred on ABC's live-action television series based on the "Superman" comic books, "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," Fox's long-running sitcom "Married... with Children," CBS' sitcom "Evening Shade," and ABC's sitcom "Grace Under Fire."
After providing her voice for the Academy Award-winning Australian film "Babe" (1995), based on the book “Babe: The Gallant Pig” (originally “titled The Sheep Pig”) by Dick King-Smith, Darbo appeared in Harry Winer's comedy film "House Arrest" (1996; starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Pollak) and joined Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric and Willem Dafoe for Jan de Bont's action movie "Speed 2: Cruise Control" (1997), sequel to the huge hit 1994's "Speed." She was also cast in Clint Eastwood's adaptation of John Berendt's best-selling book, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" (1997), alongside John Cusack and Kevin Spacey, and in Ashton Root's family movie "Durango Kids" (1999).
During that time, Darbo co-starred with Chaz Monet, Penelope Ann Miller and Kevin Pollak in the true story-based TV movie "Ruby Bridges" (1998). She also guest starred in an episode of John Grisham's "The Client," NBC's drama "Sisters," and CBS' medical drama "L.A. Doctors." Additionally, she was in a TV commercial for Gifts.com and Off Skintastic.
In 1999, Darbo landed her most prominent role to date, as the ruthless Nancy Wesley, on NBC's long-running soap "Days of our Lives." Her performance received critical praise and won her a Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Female Newcomer. She was also nominated a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Additionally, she was named one of "TV Guide's Sexiest Stars" in August 1999 for her role in the show. As for 2007, Darbo is still working for "Days of our Lives."
Meanwhile, Darbo continued her film works. She could be seen in William Butler's horror/thriller starring Joshua Leonard, "Madhouse" (2004), Doug Liman's action/comedy starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), and Corbin Bernsen's comedy movie "Carpool Guy" (2005). She also appeared in writer/director/producer Adam Green's slasher film "Hatchet" (2006) and in Andrew Black's comedy starring Mila Kunis, Jon Heder, Rutger Hauer, and William Mapother, "Moving McAllister" (2007).
Besides on "Days of our Lives," TV viewers could catch Darbo in an episode of the WB's drama/comedy series starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel, "Gilmore Girls," Nickelodeon's sitcom starring Emma Roberts, "Unfabulous," ABC's sitcom "Rodney," Fox's comedy-drama "The Wedding Bells," and IFC's comedy starring Laura Kightlinger, "The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman."
While busy filming, Darbo also continued her stage works. Her stage credits include "Never Too Late," "The American Dream," Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Don't Drink the Water" and "Club Indigo, Revisited." From March to April 2006, she headlined the play "Sordid Lives" at The Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Darbo currently appears in advertisements for BellSouth in the Atlanta area.
Soap Opera Digest: Outstanding Female Newcomer, "Days of Our Lives," 1999