Patrika Darbo

Patrika Darbo (born April 6, 1948) is an American actress. She is known for her roles as Nancy Wesley and Shirley Spectra in the television soap operas Days of Our Lives and The Bold and the Beautiful, respectively.

Patrika Darbo
Darbo in 2008
Born (1948-04-06) April 6, 1948
EducationGeorgia Southern University
Years active1983–present
Rolf Darbo (m. 1973)

In 2016, Darbo won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for her role in the online comedy series Acting Dead, becoming the first winner in that category.

Early life

Patrika Darbo was born in Jacksonville, Florida, the daughter of Patricia, a restaurant hostess, and "Chubby", a nightclub manager. At age six her birth parents divorced; her mother then remarried Donald Davidson when Darbo was 11.[1][2] She grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She studied theater at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia, graduating in 1970,[3] and later attended the Atlanta School of Drama.[3] She worked as a credit manager until 1984, when she began a professional acting career.[4]


By 1991, Darbo had featured in numerous stage, film and television credits and was contracted to the ABC network.[4] In 1991, the Los Angeles Times reported that Darbo was undertaking a personal campaign to seek nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Daddy's Dyin': Who's Got the Will?, written by Del Shores.[4]

Darbo appeared as Penny Baker on Step by Step (1991–1992). In 1992 she appeared in the feature film Leaving Normal under the name 66 with Meg Tilly and Christine Lahti. In 1993 she played Pam Magnus,banking employee killed by John Malkovichs' character in the Clint Eastwood film "In the Line of Fire"...In 1994, she starred as Roseanne Barr in an NBC television movie, Roseanne and Tom: Behind the Scenes.[5] She starred as Miss Spencer in Ruby Bridges (1998). From 1998 to 2005, Darbo played Nancy Wesley on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives, a role that earned her an Emmy nomination for outstanding supporting actress in 2000.

Darbo was a guest star in two Seinfeld episodes; "The Revenge" (1991) and "The Sniffing Accountant" (1993). Later, in 2010, she also guest starred in Showtime's Dexter as a landlady.[6] Between 2010 and 2012 she portrayed the recurring role of Dr. Freed in the teen drama web series Miss Behave.

In 2012, Darbo played Grams in Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Conspiracy.[7] In November 2012, it was announced that Darbo would reprise her role as Nancy Wesley on Days of Our Lives in 2013.[8] After a three-year absence, Darbo returned to the series in the fall of 2016.

In 2016, Darbo won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for her work in the series Acting Dead. She is the first winner of this category.

Since February 2017 to March 2018, Darbo has been starring as Shirley Spectra on The Bold and the Beautiful. She briefly returned in November 2018.

In 2018, Darbo played Rosie in God Bless The Broken Road.[9]

Personal life

Darbo has been married to director Rolf Peter Darbo since 1973.


  • 1987: Troop Beverly Hills (as Marvista)
  • 1993: In the Line of Fire (as Pam)
  • 2004: Madhouse (as Betty)
  • 2005: Mr. & Mrs. Smith (as 50's Woman)
  • 2005: Rodney (TV Series) (as Irene)
  • 2005: Carpool Guy (as Patty)
  • 2006: Hatchet (as Shannon Permatteo)


  • 1991-1992: Step by Step (as Penny Baker)
  • 1998-2005: Days of our Lives (as Nancy Wesley)
  • 2010-2012: Miss Behave (as Dr. Freed)
  • 2013: Days of our Lives (as Nancy Wesley)
  • 2016-2017: Days of our Lives (as Nancy Wesley)
  • 2017-2018: The Bold and the Beautiful (as Shirley Spectra)
  • 2019-present: Days of our Lives (as Nancy Wesley)

Awards and nominations

Year Award Work Result Ref
Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Female Newcomer
Days of Our Lives
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series
Acting Dead


  1. "Breaking the Mold".
  2. IMDb Patrika Darbo,
  3. SOAP Central bio,; accessed May 13, 2014.
  4. Broeske, Pat H.; Wilson, John M. (January 15, 1991). "Her Oscar campaign is personal". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Florida. p. 30. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
  5. Richmond, Ray (October 31, 1994). "'Behind the Scenes' reveals Roseanne at her very worst". Ocala Star-Banner. Ocala, Florida. p. 30. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
  6. Branden. "'Dexter' Season 5, Episode 2 review: Getting back to normal". Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  7. "Mickey Matson: Cast". Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Conspiracy. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
  8. "Patrika Darbo Returns to Days of Our Lives". Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  9. God Bless the Broken Road (2018), retrieved 2019-05-14
  10. Associated Press (February 28, 1999). "'General Hospital' named favorite soap at awards". The Argus-Press. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  11. Havens, Candace (May 12, 2000). "Lead actress Emmy race too close to call". The Union Democrat. Western Communications. p. 55. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  12. Judy Dry (September 12, 2016). "'Patrika Darbo Won the First Acting Emmy for a Short-Form Indie – And She Wasn't Even Paid". Indiewire. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
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