After turning down an art scholarship to Ohio State University, Stephen Nichols traveled west, studied Yoga and lived as a monk while preparing vegetarian meals for the monks and nuns in a Hollywood ashram. After three years of celibacy, a steady diet of ice cream and the films of Truffaut and Bergman, he landed at the Theater Academy of Los Angeles City College where he studied for two years. He went on to study with Stella Adler, Jack Colvin and Harry Mastrorgeorge.
Stephen began his acting career in Los Angeles theater during its renaissance in the early eighties. Throughout the course of the many productions in which he has appeared, Stephen has been honored with three Drama-logue and two L.A. Weekly Awards for his performances in such notable productions as Pieces of Time and his portrayal of real-life killer, Donald Bashor; for Delirious, directed by the late Ron Link; and as Jim Morrison, in the last thirty-six hours of the rock star's life, in The Lizard King. Stephen also appeared at LATC in Rick Clutchey's The Cage, in the award winning production of Michael Cristofer's The Shadow Box at Theater East, and in Love Letters during its initial run at the Canon Theater. More recently, Stephen appeared in He Hunts at the Geffen Playhouse and was seen in the U.S. premiere of Joe Pintaro's electrifying The Dead Boy, for which he received a Maddy Award.
One of the most enduring stars of daytime television, Stephen has twice portrayed Steve "Patch" Johnson on Days of Our Lives, a role which earned him status as one of the most notable presences on television (second only to Bill Cosby in the TV-Q ratings) along with an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role and five Soap Opera Digest Best Actor Awards. During his most recent three-year run on Days, he was consistently voted favorite Days actor by the readers of Soap Opera Digest.
Other TV appearances have included two stints on ABC daytime's General Hospital as Stefan Cassadine, Matlock, L.A. Law, Diagnosis Murder, The Nanny, Second Chances, Sisters, a recurring role on Empty Nest, and playing Jesse James opposite Pierce Brosnan in the NBC mini-series Around the World in 80 Days, to name a few.
Stephen has appeared in several feature films, first co-starring with Demi Moore in Choices. He was also in Witchboard; Soapdish with Kevin Kline, Whoopi Goldberg and Robert Downey Jr.; Heaven’s Tears; Cover Me with Paul Sorvino; Phoenix with Brad Dourif and William Sanderson; and the Showtime short A Hard Rain with John Mahoney, which earned best film honors at the British Film Festival for director Dennie Gordon.
He has directed several stage productions including Sixty Minutes from L.A. and a presentation pilot for television, Wild Horses (co-director). He wrote and directed the dramatic short film Get the Dime, starring Daniel Bess and Robert Picardo. Currently, Stephen is directing the play Birds Do It at Pacific Resident Theatre in Venica, CA.