Fans got their wish for EJ DiMera to return when, in 2021, Aussie Dan Feuerriegel filled the massive hole James Scott’s departure left. The actor fit right as he brought the fire to EJ and Samantha’s stormy relationship and added even more dysfunction to the already-messy DiMera family.
Bryan Dattilo as Lucas Horton
Bryan Dattilo has been a mainstay on Days of Our Lives since he was a young twentysomething. Now, as Lucas Horton, he’s helping to usher in new generations as his character’s children maneuver through the trials and tribulations of their own dramas and families.
Arianne Zucker as Nicole Walker
Crying on cue is a skill not all can pull off but, as Nicole Walker, Arianne Zucker has mastered the art of the believable sob. When she’s not in tears, the actress is just as good at showing off her character’s bitchier, scheming and even loving sides. She’s what ya call multi-faceted that way.
Galen Gering as Rafe Hernandez
Galen Gering acted opposite an orangutan on Passions. Over a decade later, he’s sharing scenes with a teddy bear. Whatever the task his FBI agent-turned-Salem detective-turned-police commissioner character is given, the actor manages to pull it off — heck, even playing Robo Rafe.
Tamara Braun as Ava Vitali
The General Hospital and All My Children alum has been in and out Salem as Ava Vitali (and even Taylor Walker) for more than a decade. The Emmy winner has played Ava as an obsessed stalker, a doting (in her own way) mother and sympathetic love interest. Who knows what’s next!
Robert Scott Wilson as Ben Weston
Ben Weston has come along way from his days as the Necktie Killer. With the help of Dr. Marlena Evans’ therapy, Ciara’s love and portrayer Robert Scott Wilson’s charm, the character has become a bonafide soap-opera hero.
Camila Banus as Gabi Hernandez
James Reynolds as Abe Carver
In his more than four decades on the daytime drama, James Reynolds has taken Abe Carver from cop to police commissioner to Salem’s mayor. He’s even navigated the challenges presented by his character meeting two out of three of his children when they were full-fledged adults. Now, if he can just get his love life on track.
Lauren Koslow as Kate Roberts
Over two decades ago, Lauren Koslow was recast in the role of Kate Roberts (which had been originated by Deborah Adair). Whether scheming, falling in love or playing the doting mother and grandmother (in Kate’s own way), Koslow has more than made the role her own — complete with her trademark blue hair streak.
Lindsay Arnold as Allie Horton
Little Allie Horton is all grown up in the form of Lindsay Arnold. The actress was immediately thrown into the fire with dramatic frontburner storylines, easily cementing her status as a beloved member of both the Brady and Horton families.
Matthew Ashford as Jack Deveraux
Matthew Ashford’s Jack Deveraux started out on Days of Our Lives as nothing short of vile. However, a great love with Jennifer, an unstoppable sense of humor and a couple of children helped turn the character into a lovable goof and (mostly) upstanding citizen.
Cady McClain as Jennifer Horton
She had the unenviable task of temporarily taking over a beloved role from a Days of Our Lives veteran. However, soap pro Cady McClain easily took over as Jennifer Horton — and made such an impression, she won a Daytime Emmy for her efforts.
Emily O’Brien as Gwen Rizczech
The former Young & Restless actress brought her delicious knack for playing the bad girl to Days of Our Lives. Of course, as Gwen Rizczech, she had to bust up Chad and Abigail’s marriage and almost sabotage her long-lost father Jack’s relationship to do it. But, ya know, it’s all in good, soapy fun.
Marci Miller as Abigail Deveraux DiMera
Despite Marci Miller having swapped in and out of the role of Abigail DiMera with Kate Mansi over the years, the appeal of Days of Our Lives supercouple Chad and Abby endures. That’s thanks in part to the on-screen chemistry Miller shares with Billy Flynn (Chad), who describes their version of “Chabby” as an “evolved type of love.”
Stephen Nichols as Steve Johnson
All one has to do is say the name Patch, and even non-soap fans know who you’re referring to. Stephen Nichols has been playing the iconic Steve Johnson for decades, cementing his status as one half of the supercouple “Stayla” in the process.
Mary Beth Evans as Kayla Brady
The actress who portrays the other half of “Stayla,” Mary Beth Evans, has played the heart of the Brady family since the mid-1980s. Not only is she Patch’s “Sweetness,” but as Kayla Brady, she delivers babies, performs heart surgery and removes the occasional microchip from her fellow Salemites’ brains. Hey, it happens!
Josh Taylor as Roman Brady
Josh Taylor had big shoes to fill when he took over the role of Roman Brady from Wayne Northrop in the 1990s. The recast was made even trickier by the fact that he had previously played Days of Our Lives‘ Chris Kositchek. However, some 20 years later, Josh Taylor simply is the family patriarch and unlucky-in-love Brady Pub owner.
Isabel Durant as Claire Brady
After firestarter Claire Brady went away to a psychiatric hospital, she returned with a new outlook and a new face. With Australian actress Isabel Durant in the role, a reformed Claire made amends with those she had wronged and looked ahead to her future. Her love life could still use some help, though. Come back, Claire! Come back!
Susan Seaforth Hayes as Julie Williams
Julie Williams has never met a person she didn’t judge. And Susan Seaforth Hayes has never met a scene that she couldn’t perfect, not since she started playing the part when Julie was a rebellious youngster. Days of Our Lives has given the actress not only a successful career but also a husband as she’s married to her on-screen partner, Bill Hayes (Doug).
Bill Hayes as Doug Williams
Speaking of Seaforth Hayes’ on- and off-screen love, Bill Hayes hit Salem in the early 1970s, just a couple of years after his future wife. To explain his longevity, Days of Our Lives‘ executive producer Ken Corday explained, “His faith is very, very deep. His love for his wife is very, very great. And he is an eternal optimist.”
Lamon Archey as Eli Grant
Lamon Archey’s Eli is one of Salem’s, and the Horton family’s, finest. One of his defining qualities is the love he has for his wife and family. Well, that, and his penchant for taking off his shirt… and towel. Just ask hissister-in-law Chanel.
Sal Stowers as Lani Price Grant
Eli’s better half, Lani, played by Sal Stowers, has had a rough go of it this past year, what with her babies getting kidnapped and learning her parents aren’t really her parents. Good thing soap operas thrive on angst!
The Littlest Hortons
After months of Eli and Lani tending to swaddled blankets and mannequin babies, their twins, Jules and Carver, finally made their debut in the form of actual twins Arya and Winter Wells. They couldn’t be cuter if Eli and Lani were real people who made real babies together.
Lucas Adams and Lindsay Arnold as ‘Tallie’
Tripp and Allie have come a long way since the days of her suspecting he was her rapist. But can the couple overcome her crush on BFF Chanel? Whatever happens, the actors sell the heck out of the young lovers’ sweet chemistry.
The Other Man in Allie’s Life
Tripp might be her boyfriend, but the main man in Allie’s life is her son Henry, played by Nash Gunderson. Clearly, Tripp is no competition for this little guy.
Raven Bowens as Chanel Dupree
Chanel has had two quickie marriages, and two actresses portray her in less than a year. Since Raven Bowens took over the role, she’s proven she has chemistry with everyone, making it hard to decide who she should be with — BFF Allie or Allie’s twin brother Johnny.
Carson Boatman as Johnny DiMera
Johnny finally returned to Salem as an adult in 2021 and, with Boatman in the role, he is as devilishly charming as you’d expect EJ DiMera’s son to be. Now, he just needs to literally rid himself of the devil.
Suzanne Rogers as Maggie Kiriakis
Who doesn’t love Maggie Horton? Sure she has her demons, but she’s got a big heart ready to offer words of comfort and guidance — even to bad boy Xander Cook. Her marriage to ruthless Victor Kiriakis came as a shock, but with Suzanne Rogers selling Maggie’s love, it was easy to believe.
Stacy Haiduk as Kristen DiMera/Susan Banks
Whether playing Kristen DiMera or Susan Banks, Stacy Haiduk has more than exceeded expectations after taking over the iconic roles from Eileen Davidson. Heck, she even crushed it when her predecessor was onscreen at the same time, playing a possessed version of Kristen.
A Scruffier EJ
A few months after Dan Feuerriegel settled into his recast role of EJ DiMera, he let his hair down — literally. Sporting a beard, and longer, wavier hair, the actor’s take on Samantha’s estranged husband is cheekier to say the least.
And Baby Makes Three
Ben and Ciara finally got their happily ever after — despite the MarDevil’s best efforts. Now, they just need to keep their unborn baby out of JoDevil’s path. If they can, Victoria Konefal and Rob Wilson will soon have a teeny, tiny co-star to work opposite.
Nadia Bjorlin as Chloe Lane
From goth to glam, Nadia Bjorlin has taken Chloe on quite the evolution. Now, if only the character can finally choose between Philip and Brady, there might be some peace in her life. Oh, who are we kidding?
Martha Madison as Belle Black Brady
If there’s one thing we know about Martha Madison’s Belle, it’s she loves her husband Shawn. If there’s another, it’s that Jan will always be a threat to their happiness. Will 2022 be different for the embattled couple?
Brandon Beemer as Shawn Brady
The son of supercouple Bo and Hope, Shawn Douglas Brady has a lot to live up to. As did his portrayer, Brandon Beemer who took over the role from the popular Jason Cook. All these years later, Beemer made the role his own. Now, if Shawn can just shake Jan for good one of these days.
Emily O’Brien as Gwen Rizczech
The latest addition to the Deveraux family hasn’t exactly ingratiated herself to the entire clan. Especially not to her sister Abigail. But that’s where the fun comes in as Emily O’Brien’s alter ego schemes and plots, all in the name of seeking love and acceptance.
One Big Happy Family
Well, sometimes they’re happy. Chad and Abigail have a lot of love for each other, and especially their kids Thomas and Charlotte, but they just can’t always get their relationship together. But that doesn’t stop fans from rooting for Billy Flynn and Marci Miller’s fun, flirty onscreen chemistry from prevailing.
The Mother/Daughter Bond Is Strong
Sami and Marlena rarely see eye to eye, but that doesn’t mean the love isn’t strong between mother and daughter. For decades, Alison Sweeney and Deidre Hall have entertained fans with their often contentious, but loving onscreen relationship.