Ava and Steve on Days of our Lives

Image: Howard Wise/JPI

How and why Ava Vitali could return to Days of our Lives.

Daytime Emmy award winner, Tamara Braun is making a big comeback to the NBC soap this fall. Salem won’t know what hit it them when Ava Vitali returns, especially considering she was dead the last time we saw her. Or should we say “dead,” because we all know by now that on Days of our Lives, “dead” is never really permanent for most characters.

Ava and Steve Johnson (Stephen Nichols) were a couple during that time that Steve was brainwashed by Stefano and didn’t know who he was. For those wondering which time, it was offscreen when most of Salem believed Steve was dead. It was his brother Jack Deveraux (Matt Ashford) who found Steve calling himself “Nick” and brought him home. Steve and Ava were to elope, but he stood her up and never saw her again. Ava had some mental health issues as it was and Steve’s disappearing act did a number on her. It didn’t help that she had a crazy mob boss for a father in Martino Vitali (Joe Penny), who ingratiated himself into her life in the sickest ways, keeping her under his thumb by drugging her and all sorts of horrible things. Don’t worry. If you don’t recall, he got his when Bo (Peter Reckell) shot and killed him.

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Ava wasn’t completely innocent and as the years went on, she became delusional and obsessed with Steve. She stalked him and saw him with Hope Brady (Kristian Alfonso) and assumed wrongly that Hope was Steve’s wife Kayla Brady (Mary Beth Evans). She also tried to seduce Steve and Kayla’s son Joey (James Lastovic) as part of her obsession with the Johnson family. Ava eventually kidnapped Hope and would only release her if Steve gave in and had sex with her. Nasty! But the last time we saw her was when a drunken Joey smothered her in her hospital bed, to keep Ava from harming his mother Kayla.

Our big question is will she return as herself, a ghost, or a twin? And why? Ava Vitali’s return will not only affect Steve and Kayla, but she’ll also be back for her son, Tripp. Browse our gallery below of how Ava could return, and why. Then get your free daily soap-opera fix for Days of our Lives — and all of the other daytime dramas — delivered straight to your email inbox by signing up for Soaps.com’s newsletter