Vanessa Williams days valerie
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

On October 25, Vanessa Williams revealed on her Instagram page she was “back on my day job” at Days of Our Lives, where she’s played Eli’s mom, Valerie Grant, off and on since 2016. After giving “mad props and gratitude” to her hairdresser “for coming through with a quickness” — and a gorgeous ’do — the Melrose Place alum shared a backstage video in which she described the “new world order” on the set. In addition to cast and crew wearing facial coverings, there’s testing before you even go in… you do your own makeup.” But she was “happy to be working.”

No word yet on what brings Valerie back to Salem, but if we had to guess, we’d imagine it has something — everything? — to do with daughter-in-law Lani expecting twins. Maybe Val’s swinging by for the birth of her grandchildren? Or — dare we hope? — she’s gonna give old flame Abe’s love life a kick in the pants? (Wait, that doesn’t sound right. You know what we mean.)

Since her first airdate is Christmas Eve, perhaps she’s just back for the holidays?

Williams is the fourth actress to play Valerie, a key character in Days of Our Lives history, owing to her romance with Eli’s father, David Grant — the first interracial relationship in daytime history. When Williams first took on the part, it had been decades since she’d done daytime — and production moved a lot faster than it had when she was on Another World (or so she remembered). “Oh my God! It was a trial by fire,” she told Soap Opera Digest at the time.

While you’re here, maybe you’d like to check out a photo gallery of some other roles that, like Val, were successfully recast.

– Charlie Mason