It is not unusual for an actress to play two roles on the same daytime drama if the second role is an evil twin. Renee Jones has the distinction of playing two totally separate characters on Days of our Lives and, although the characters are not related, the women do have something in common - they both worked for the Salem Police Department and were in love with the same man!
Renee was initially cast in the role of Salem PD secretary Nikki Wade. Her character came from a wealthy family and had a major crush on her boss Abe Carver. Abe experienced the push-pull of desire for his youthful secretary coupled with the knowledge that Nikki was too young for him.
Cut to: Ten years later, and the role of Lexie Carver, Abe's wife. A more experienced and sophisticated Renee Jones is the perfect actress to play the role.
Born in Opa Locka, Florida, Renee was the youngest of five sisters and one brother. Her parents separated when she was an infant and her mother took the children to live with their grandmother in Sparta, Georgia. Growing up on her grandmothers farm with 13 kids (lots of cousins) and no indoor plumbing, Renee quickly learned to handle chores such as chopping wood and drawing water from the well.
When she was 10 years old, Renee's mother moved her family to Mt. Vernon, NY and worked two jobs to support her six children. It was a big culture shock for a girl raised on a farm, but Renee adjusted and began earning straight A's in school. By the time she reached high school, Renee was driven to succeed. Influenced by the strong role model her mother provided, she began to double up on her schoolwork by taking night classes, which enabled her to graduate high school at the age of 16.
Following her graduation, she landed a position at Yonkers Professional Hospital as an admitting clerk. With some work experience on her resume, Renee soon obtained a secretarial job at a radiology lab and set her sights on becoming a radiology technician.
But fate intervened, in the form of a friend, who suggested that Renee give modeling a try. He introduced her to the Black Beauty Modeling Agency and she decided to pursue the new career opportunity. She took a night job as a grocery store cashier to pay the bills and to give her free time during the day to make the one-hour commute into Manhattan to pound the pavements on go-sees in search of modeling assignments. Her diligence paid off and she was rewarded by a contract with the renowned Ford Modeling Agency. By age 19, she was supporting herself modeling full time and had garnered the distinction of being the first black model to appear on the cover of Teen Magazine.
During this time, Renee worked hard during the day and at night studied acting, dancing and singing in order to make the transition to an acting career. She soon decided it was time to try her luck in California. The tenacious, young girl who had already come so far from her humble beginnings, got her life in order and made the move to Los Angeles, where she landed her first acting role on The White Shadow. Renee recalls, "All I had to say was one line, but I'll never forget it."
That one line led to dozens more television guest spots, including Murder She Wrote, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Star Trek, Bodies of Evidence, In the Heat of the Night, 21 Jump Street, Highway to Heaven, Hardcastle & McCormick, Trapper John, M.D., recurring roles on Santa Barbara, the previously mentioned role of 'Nikki' on Days of our Lives, and two-and-one-half seasons on L.A. Law. Renee was also a regular on the short-lived Lindsay Wagner series, Jessie.
Renee completed two television movies for Disney, Tracks of Glory, and one of her most cherished roles, Lilah, in The Liberators, with Robert Carradine. But the part which brings her the most on-the-street recognition is her feature film debut as one of Jason's victims in Friday, the 13th, Part 6.
As well as her dramatic work, Renee is no stranger to comedy, having appeared as a series regular in Honeymoon Hotel with Isabel Sanford and in episodes of The Jeffersons, Marblehead Manor, What's Happening Now, Different Strokes, WKRP In Cincinnati, and Night Court.
Off screen, Renee delights in reading, dancing and playing tennis. But like Lexie, Renee believes that hard work and determination will lead to success, which is why she enjoys the challenge of working on Days. "Daytime is a big challenge," says Renee. "Shooting an episode in one day is like cramming for an exam. But it definitely pays off in fulfillment."
Renee's philosophy of believing in oneself, and maintaining a positive attitude, has made her a successful woman.
In the Heat of the Night
Candace Slone ("Legacy")
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Lt. Aquiel Uhnari ("Aquiel")
Bodies of Evidence
Kim ("Afternoon Delights")
Tracks of Glory (TV Mini-series)
21 Jump Street
Yvonne Andrews ("Crossfire")
Diana Moses ("True Brit")
In the Heat of the Night
Topaz ("Stranger in Town")
Lenore ("The Last Temptation of Mac")
Highway to Heaven
Gloria ("Country Doctor")
Elizabeth Liz Spivey ("I Led Three Wives")
21 Jump Street
Darlene ("Beseiged: Parts 1 and 2")
Mary ("Return of a Copy")
Ellie Mack's secretary
Tenspeed and Brown Shoe