By Michael A. Lipton
August 11, 1997 12:00 PM

IN HER FOUR YEARS ON DAYS OF OUR Lives, Eileen Davidson has married her adopted brother, locked her beau’s ex-lover in a wine cellar and swapped identities with a crazed mom obsessed with Elvis. Jon Lindstrom, for his part, has split his time—and personality—playing good and evil twin brothers on General Hospital. By soap standards, then, the couple’s real-life wedding on May 3 was a mercifully normal, three-hankie, no-panky event on Davidson’s 5-acre retreat in Cambria, Calif., before a gathering of 70. “Fifty of which were her family,” jokes Lindstrom. “Shut up,” Davidson ripostes. “I can’t help it. I’m Catholic.”

These days it’s a smaller family affair, with Davidson and Lindstrom, their two cats and three dogs sharing a three-bedroom rented bungalow in Sherman Oaks, Calif. (The newlyweds are house-hunting for a beachfront home.) “They say if you want happiness, you should have one major life change a year,” says Lindstrom, 39, sitting on a love seat beside his bride. “We’ve had three: a new show for me [ABC’s Port Charles, a General Hospital spinoff that premiered in June]; a possible fourth character for Eileen; getting married and moving.”

A fourth character? Well, yes. Recently, Davidson, 38, ended a hectic three months playing three wildly different women on NBC’s Days. There was, of course, Kristen Blake, the seductive schemer Davidson has portrayed since 1993; Kristen’s doppelganger Susan Banks, a deeply troubled mom who sold her newborn baby to Kristen; and Susan’s twin, Sister Mary Moira, a no-nonsense nun with teeth only Austin Powers could love. Completing the quartet, there could be a new man in Davidson’s life—a character she might take on sometime this fall. “I wanted to show that Eileen could be more than just a femme fatale,” says Days executive producer Tom Langan. “It got to be so much fun casting her [in the other parts].”

Fun is a relative term. The 16-hour days took a toll on Davidson, who developed digestive problems and insomnia. A typical day can still last up to 10 hours, which means a lot of time apart from Lindstrom, who averages only 20 hours a week on Port Charles as Dr. Kevin Collins (and still pops up occasionally on GH). “Jon’s very supportive,” says Davidson. “I recently told him ‘I’m so glad you’re in the business and you understand this.’ ”

Davidson’s parents—Richard, an airplane parts manufacturer who died in 1981, and Charlotte, a homemaker—never imagined that Eileen, the youngest of seven children growing up in La Mirada, Calif., would become an actress. “They thought it was ridiculous,” says Davidson, who moved to L.A. in 1978, at 19, to take drama classes. After starring in a slasher flick (The House on Sorority Row), Davidson saw her luck change in 1982, when she beat out hundreds of others auditioning as Ashley Abbott, The Young and the Restless’s resident vixen.

About that time, Lindstrom, a native of Medford, Ore., who moved to L.A. in 1975, was bartending and waiting for a break as an actor. It arrived in 1985, when he landed the role of Dr. Mark McCormack on NBC’s Santa Barbara. Seven years later, Lindstrom checked into General Hospital as demented pediatrician Ryan Chamberlain. Ryan’s twin, Kevin Collins, arrived in 1993. But the biggest plot twist of Lindstrom’s life came the following year, when a mutual friend set him up with Davidson. After their first date, she recalls, “I told my friend, ‘Yeah, there’s an attraction, but I don’t see a future in this.’ We dated for six weeks and then I broke it off.”

They met again four months later at a fund-raiser for inner-city kids and resumed dating. But on an April 1996 ski trip, the two began to quarrel over something neither can recall. Hours later, says Lindstrom,” we were still arguing, and it became: ‘I love you!’ ‘No, I love you, dammit! Let’s get married!’ Looking back,” he adds, “we were mad at being at the midway point between a commitment and not knowing what it was. Once we made the commitment, the walls broke down.”

This December the couple will face another milestone when Davidson departs Days to become more of a homebody and, hopefully, an adoptive parent if all goes according to plan. “Most men I’ve talked to are really reticent about adopting, but Jon wants to adopt,” says Davidson. “He’s an incredibly loving person with a big, fat heart. What can I say? I fall in love again every day.”


PAULA YOO in Sherman Oaks