||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (April 2014)|
Alison Sweeney as Sami Brady
|Days of Our Lives character|
|Portrayed by||Alison Sweeney (1993–2014)
(and child actors)
|First appearance||October 16, 1984|
|Last appearance||October 30, 2014|
|Aliases||Stan (male alter ego)|
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
Samantha Gene "Sami" Brady DiMera is a fictional character from the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives, portrayed by Alison Sweeney. The character was born on-screen during the episode dated October 16, 1984, and her birth date was later SORASed to October 16, 1977. Introduced by then head writer Margaret DePriest, Sami has been portrayed by Sweeney since January 22, 1993. Sami is known for her failed relationships with men, her children and her manipulative trouble-making ways. She has been described as vindictive and the girl "you love to hate".
The character was portrayed by seven child actresses. They were: Ronit Arnoff (1984), Lauren Ann Bundy (1985), Jessica Davis (1985–86), Tiffany Nicole Palma (1986), Ashleigh Blair Sterling (1986–90) and Christina Wagoner (1990–92). In January 1993, Alison Sweeney took over the role of Sami as a teenager. This was not her first role on the show; she had previously portrayed Adrienne Johnson as a child in 1987. Sweeney has cited Deidre Hall (Marlena), Drake Hogestyn (John) and Wayne Northrop (Roman) as influences on her career playing the role, stating: "I learned so many lessons from them". Sweeney has said "I remember my first day at work. I was so excited to be a part of a show that I'd been a fan of". The actress also recalled her audition, and said "My first two weeks on the show I was sneaking around Salem, so there weren't a lot of lines to memorize. My first scene was with Wayne Northrop (then-Roman Brady), who pulled a gun on me and said something like 'Freeze or I'll shoot!'"
Sweeney's 20-year anniversary in the role arrived in early 2013. Fans speculated that she might depart from the series, but Sweeney managed to ink a new deal with the show. She said, "I am super-excited to stay, and I am so honored that they asked me to stay. The job continues to surprise and challenge me. I have already shot my 20th anniversary episode, which airs on January 6, so I had this huge milestone and it's been such an amazing journey. I love my job, I love the people I work with and I love Sami." In January 2014, Sweeney announced she will quit the series after 21 years. She revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, "I've been on Days of Our Lives for 21 years. I'm celebrating my 21st year and I decided that it's going to be my last year with the show," Sweeney announced. "I've been on Days of Our Lives since I was 16-years-old, and I have never had more than a two-week vacation in that whole time. It's awesome. I love Sami, I love Salem, I love my job, I love daytime, I love the fans—I love everything about it." Sweeney's final episode aired October 30, 2014.
Since Sweeney has stepped into the role, Sami has been showcased as the series' primary troublemaker and "the girl you loved to hate" through her lying and scheming. In recent years, Sweeney has established herself as a leading heroine, with the show centering on the popular and controversial relationships between Sami and her love interests Austin Reed (Patrick Muldoon), Franco Kelly (Victor Alfieri), Brandon Walker (Matt Cedeno), Lucas Roberts (Bryan Dattilo), EJ DiMera (James Scott), and Rafe Hernandez (Galen Gering). Originally characterized as the iron-willed daughter of Dr. Marlena Evans, Sami was transformed by writer James E Reilly in the summer of 1994, converting the character from a stubborn teenager to a conniving high riding bitch, having her kidnap her baby sister, Belle and break up supercouple Carrie Brady and Austin Reed, including blackmail Billie Reed and Lexie Carver on numerous incidents. However, as ratings declined in the mid-2000s, Sami's storylines proved to be "worn out" and in 2006, new Days head writers Hogan Sheffer and Meg Kelly converted to the character to be heroine by pairing her with EJ Dimera and later Rafe Hernandez. Recently, in 2013 head writer Gary Tomlin turned Sami back into a scheming vixen. With her son Will being tormented by Nick Fallon and her fiancé, EJ Dimera sleeping with her babysister, Abby Deveraux, Sami returned to her evil ways and culminated in her committing crimes such as planning a vengeful revenge towards Abby and EJ for their affair and convincing Adrienne that her husband, Justin was having an affair with her husband, Justin, the father in law of her son, Will . The character has been described as "vindictive"; a writer from the American newspaper Asbury Park Press wrote that: "she's so bad, she's good". According to Austin American-Statesman in 1996, Sweeney had talked about "longing to play a conniving troublemaker" and she got her wish and more. Sweeney stated: "It's kind of funny that I said that [sic] I had no idea that (the writers) would take me literally". Sweeney has said to have given a new word to "manipulative" during her portrayal of Sami. In 2005, Sami manipulatively created a male alter ego, Stan. During this period of time, from February to August, Dan Wells took over the role. Sami is known for her rivalry with Nicole Walker (Arianne Zucker) and Sweeney has said that Sami has never had "female friends".
Sami is known for her relationships, and many "failed trips to the altar". Janet Di Lauro of About.com said "No matter, Sami's always been a character who's fun to watch and root for as she's searched for her soul mate, time and time again." As a teenager, she developed a crush on Austin Reed (Austin Peck), but was "devastated" when he began dating her sister Carrie Brady (Christie Clark). She worked with Austin's brother Lucas to break up the couple. She ended up having a one night stand with Lucas. Di Lauro said Sami's most "diabolical plot" was drugging Austin to have sex with her, which was "the start of an elaborate scheme" where she ended up pregnant and named Austin as the father, although Lucas was the actual father. The truth was eventually revealed and Austin, after nearly marrying Sami without loving her, reunited with Carrie.
A bitter custody battle ensued between Lucas and Sami, who had a "love/hate" relationship over the years. Of the pairing, Sweeney said "their past is such a deep relationship and ultimately a friendship and a trust that they have with each other." They ended up marrying, but it was "permanently ended" when EJ entered the picture. EJ, the son of longtime Crime lord Stefano DiMera (Joseph Mascolo), developed an obsession with Sami, and ended up controversially "raping" her. Sami became pregnant and gave birth to twins; her daughter's father is Lucas, and son's paternity belonged to EJ. EJ had asked Sami for sex to save Lucas' life, while he was trapped and nearly died. This led to a sham wedding between EJ and Sami, in exchange for the DiMeras ending the fifty-year family feud between the Brady family. Although she initially hated him, the couple ended up in a "night of passion" resulting in another pregnancy. Of whether EJ or Lucas was Sami's "true love," Sweeney said "I personally think Sami and Lucas truly love each other, but obviously a lot has gone on between them that has pushed them apart. Right now, they are writing Sami more focusing on EJ." She also said that she enjoyed working with Scott, and called him "enchanting." Of working with Dattilo, Sweeney said "I am definitely a long-standing Lumi fan and I miss working with Bryan every day. He is so fun! I was in a scene the other day and looking around, like he and I have such a history together, for some inside joke and he wasn’t on the set. It’s just strange when I don’t get to work with him all the time."
TV Guide 's Nelson Branco named Lucas and Sami one of soap's greatest supercouples, and said "For years all this couple could think of was breaking up Austin and Carrie, until one magical day, partners-in-crime and cohorts Sami and Lucas realized they were in love with each other! Now as Days’ reigning super couple, they face the evil wrath of EJ and his family, The DiMeras. Will Sami marry EJ, the man who raped her to end this family feud forever — and will Lucas be able to forgive her?" Despite this, the couple divorced and despite minor reunions since, haven't been a couple. James Scott said "They’re not really re-visiting it. They have never done it. I think it’s about time, frankly. There is a good opportunity for story there. Alison Sweeney (Sami) and I work very well together. It’s sort of a fairy tale. They don’t play it so much now, but the Bradys and the DiMeras have a history." Scott also noted that EJ and Sami "love each other" but not necessarily in a romantic way. On-Air On-Soaps said "legions of fans are waiting for their beloved EJami duo to finally start a full-blown romance ... something that has been teased, and teased, and teased for years." He romances with Lucas and EJ have been popular with viewers, who call the pairings 'Lumi' and 'Ejami.'
Upon Lucas' return to Days of our Lives in 2012, a poll ran by Soap Opera Digest revealed that majority of fans wanted Lucas and Sami back together. While in the Witness Protection Program while pregnant with her second child with EJ, Sami fell in love with her body guard Rafe. When asked who out of Lucas, EJ or Rafe should be with Sami, Sweeney said "You can't ask that," because "that is one topic I am now scared to talk about because you say one thing and the fans get all kinds of crazy on you." She said that it's so interesting to see how Sami has "grown and changed" and feels that the "relationship with Rafe is definitely a different one from the way she’s been in the past." Fans refer to Sami and Rafe as 'Safe'. Sweeney said that it's been fun getting "to know Galen" and said "We have fun working together, and it’s nice. It’s a new, different storyline for Sami."
Sami is mother to four children: Will Horton (Guy Wilson), Johnny DiMera (Aaron and Griffin Kunitz), Allie Horton (Carolyn and Campbell Rose), Sydney DiMera (Berlyn and Brooklyn Baca), and believed that Grace Brady (Ailish and Julia O'Connor) was her daughter as well. Grace had been switched at birth with Sydney. Grace has since died and Sydney returned to Sami to raise. Janet Di Lauro of About.com said "While Sami wouldn’t exactly be called lucky at love, let’s face it, most of her couplings have been wildly dysfunctional, her romances have produced four beautiful children: Will, Allie, Johnny and Sydney."
By 2009, Will was 16 years old; Sweeney said "It’s sort of overwhelming to me sometimes to realize my character has a sixteen-year-old," considering she started working on Days of our Lives at 16, but she enjoys the dynamics between Will and Sami. In 2012, Sami and Lucas' son Will came out as gay. While Lucas was accepting, Sami was initially "responsible for the other point of view," according to Dattilo. Sweeney said viewers can expect Sami to "have a traditional Sami reaction," because it's "such a vulnerable moment." Sweeney explained that Sami thinks it's because of her, and "She has to sort through all of those feelings and talk to lots of people in Salem about it." She added "Sami loves her son so much, but she just always seems to say the wrong thing. She always puts her foot in her mouth."
Samantha Gene Brady is born on October 16, 1984, changed to October 16, 1977, with her twin brother Eric Brady to Marlena Evans and Roman Brady. Sami is named after her deceased aunt, Samantha Evans and Marlena's best friend, Eugene Bradford. A feud between the Brady family and the powerful DiMera family puts the infants in danger. Roman sends them to live in Colorado after their mother's disappearance. In 1993, Sami reappears in Salem as a teenager. She develops a crush on her sister's boyfriend, Austin Reed (Patrick Muldoon). She is traumatized after seeing her mother having sex with John Black (Drake Hogestyn) which leads to an affair that results in the birth of Sami's sister, Belle. At the time, Marlena was "married" to Roman. Sami's mental health spirals downward, and she becomes a bulimic in an attempt to lose weight. Sami later tells Marlena that she witnessed her having sex with John. Knowing that she is John's child, Sami, who volunteers at the Salem Hospital, switches Belle's blood test. She then kidnaps Belle and places her on the black market. John rescues Belle on Christmas Eve. On Belle's christening, Stefano DiMera (Joseph Mascolo) shows Roman Sami's diary which reveals the affair and Belle's paternity. Roman leaves Marlena, devastating Sami.
Sami befriends Lucas Roberts (Bryan Dattilo) and dates his friend Alan Harris (Paul Kersey), whom her family strongly opposes. Sami's best friend Jamie overhears Alan talk about being in love with Carrie, but keeps this from Sami. Frustrated by his unrequited love for Carrie, Alan rapes Sami. Sami confides in Lucas, but without corroborating proof, the press vilifies Sami as a liar once the news gets out. Alan tries to rape her again, and she stops him by shooting him in the groin. Distraught, Lucas manages to comfort Sami; and they have sex. She still, however, has a crush on Austin and drugs him into bed so he would believe she was Carrie. After her divorce from Roman, Marlena became vulnerable and was possessed by the devil. While possessed, Marlena told Sami to seduce Austin. She tried, but Austin rejected her. Sami left town in February 1995.
Sami returned in July 1995 and crashed Austin's wedding to Carrie where she revealed that she was carrying his child. After a rough teen pregnancy, Sami gave birth to William Robert Reed on November 16, 1995. Sami hides the fact that Will is actually Lucas' son, and passes him off as Austin's. Austin and Sami are engaged and plan to wed. However, he left her at the altar after Carrie uncovers the truth about Will's paternity. Sami renames her son William Reed Roberts and leaves town. She returns and befriends Franco Kelly (Victor Alfieri). They are engaged; Franco uses her to get a greencard and stay in the country. He is murdered on their wedding day. Sami sees the body and faints near it. Lucas' mother Kate Roberts (Lauren Koslow) frames Sami for the murder so that she would go to jail and Lucas could have full custody of Will. Sami is convicted and sentenced to death for the murder. In the middle of her execution via injection, Lucas confesses to the muder in an attempt to save her life. Unbeknownst to Lucas, Roberto signed a false confession on his death bed which leads to a stay of execution from the governor. Sami is freed and falls in love with Brandon Walker (Matt Cedeno), who helps her regain full custody of Will. Brandon and Sami are married briefly. However, her lies and schemes end the marriage. Sami has an accident at the DiMera mansion and falls through the window. Lucas helps her recover and they fall in love. The become engaged, much to Kate's chagrin. Kate drugs Sami and places her in Brandon's bed the night before her marriage to Lucas in a bid to end the engagement. Lucas leaves Sami.
Sami's sorely compromised psychological state deteriorates to such a degree that Sami begins to work for Tony DiMera (Thaao Penghlis), becomes a transvestite under an assumed name, "Stan", and sells illicit drugs to a pain-wracked John Black, all out of a base-born, suppositious need for revenge. Attempting to redeem herself, Sami convinces Lucas that Kate had set her up; that she was never unfaithful. The two reunite and agree to marry once again.
Lucas believes that Sami has changed for the better, but Kate reveals Sami's misdeeds as "Stan," and Lucas calls off the wedding. Austin Reed returns to Salem and befriends Sami. Carrie Brady also returns after ending her relationship with Mike Horton. Lucas and Austin, now business rivals, attempt to buy out Carrie's company. Lucas backs out, finding out that Carrie runs the entire company, and that once again, Sami manipulated him. Austin and Carrie fall back in love and plan their future together when Carrie learns that Austin's company has taken over Highstyle. Carrie dates Lucas on the rebound. Austin does the same with Sami, and both couples become engaged.
Sami's relationship to Austin is tested however, when E.J. Wells (James Scott), an English race car driver, moves into the apartment next to theirs. When Sami and Austin's wedding ends in disaster, EJ and Sami kiss for the first time. Carrie ends her relationship with Lucas and remarries Austin. They leave to start a life together in Switzerland.
Sami turns to E.J., and the two begin dating. Sami then discovers that not only is E.J. the son of Stefano, but that he is also sleeping with Kate. Sami and Lucas rekindle their love in spite of Kate, and the two decide to take a road trip. Their car breaks down in a snow storm, and they seek shelter in an abandoned cabin where they make love. Weighed down by snow, the crumbling ceiling caves in. Lucas is trapped, Sami runs to get help, meets up with E.J. in a snow drift, and asks him to help her. Revealing himself as a true DiMera, E.J. agrees to help Sami only if she has sex with him. In subsequent weeks, E.J. continues to taunt Sami with reminders of the deal they made that night. Sami tells Lucas about her pregnancy and they get married; the night of their wedding, he learns about E.J. raping her. Her pregnancy was full of speculation about who the father of her unborn twins were. She later gives birth to: John "Johnny" Roman Roberts (later legally changed to John Roman DiMera) and Alice "Allie" Caroline Horton. It was revealed after a paternity test that E.J. was Johnny's father and Allie was Lucas' daughter. Sami makes the painful decision to end her marriage to Lucas and marry E.J. to end the Brady-DiMera feud. At her wedding to E.J., Lucas, Marlena and Kate attempt to shoot E.J. Lucas is arrested and sent to prison, and Will leaves for Switzerland. It was revealed that Will was the actual shooter and Lucas went to prison to protect his son.
E.J. tries to take custody of Johnny, but as immigration wanted to deport him, Sami moved into the DiMera mansion with her child and they had to prove that they were happily married couple. They later had sex, and Lucas, released on house arrest, saw them. Sami ends her marriage to E.J., but Lucas doesn't forgive her. E.J. moves on to Nicole Walker (Arianne Zucker), and Sami finds out she is pregnant again. She doesn't tell E.J., and after witnessing a murder, goes into witness protection. There, she meets her guard, Rafe Hernandez (Galen Gering), and later gives birth to a daughter. Nicole had miscarried E.J.'s child but pretended to still be pregnant. She decided to adopt a child, but switched it with Sami's child. Nicole's switch works and she begins raising Sami's child, Sydney DiMera, as her own, while Sami raises a baby girl named Grace with Rafe. Grace dies and E.J. finds out that it was "his" child. Eventually, the baby switch is revealed and Sami is reunited with Sydney. However, for revenge, E.J. kidnaps his own daughter and makes everyone think she is dead. However, he falls back in love with Sami and returns Sydney to her, pretending to be the hero. The couple reconnect and after her relationship with Rafe had ended, she became engaged to E.J. However, at the wedding, Rafe presented evidence to Sami about Sydney's real kidnapper. She left him for Rafe, and discovers that he had a plan to kidnap his children and take them away forever. To stop him, she shoots him in the head. Rafe proposes to her while E.J. narrowly escaped death. He later won full custody of the children and Sami married Rafe. Johnny was diagnosed with eye cancer and she regains joint custody. After allowing Johnny and Sydney back into their mother's life, Stefano and E.J. switch Rafe with an impostor whose face they surgically alter to pose as Rafe's double.
The DiMeras' schemes were eventually revealed, and after months, Rafe was reunited with Sami. During a family get-together for John Black, Johnny goes missing and Sami rushed to the mansion insisting that E.J. has him. They found out from a news report that Johnny had "died" and in their grief, had sex. Will witnessed them, and has held it against Sami, but later reconciled with her. However, the news report turned out to be false and Johnny was alive and well. Sami's marriage to Rafe ended, and Lucas returned to town. Sami and Lucas reconnected. They held together when Will revealed that he was gay, and eventually agreed to support Will. However, E.J. was held responsible for the murder of Stefano, and Sami decided to help prove his innocence, much to Lucas' dismay. Sami's reunion with Lucas ends. Stefano was revealed to be alive, and E.J. was cleared for murder.
Sami started to feel torn between E.J. and Rafe. Rafe & Sami agreed to give their relationship a second chance. Sami planned Gabi Hernandez (Camila Banus) & Nick Fallon's (Blake Berris) wedding, wanting to tell E.J. her decision after the wedding. However, during the wedding, it was revealed that Nick wasn't the father of Gabi's unborn baby – Will is. Sami was furious with Gabi, and Rafe defended his sister, insulting Will in the process. Sami was furious and broke up with Rafe. Sami eventually told E.J. about Rafe and her plan to leave him. E.J. forgave her, and they reunited. Nick demanded Will sign away his paternal rights to the baby. When Sami, Lucas, and E.J. try to stop him, Nick reveals that he knows Will was responsible for shooting E.J. in 2007. Will signs away his rights to avoid being prosecuted, and Sami is devastated. She and E.J. team up to stop Nick's blackmail of Will. When Stefano returns, Sami and E.J. decide to get his help to destroy evidence the police has against Will. Sami and E.J. stay together through the situation, and become engaged in April 2013.
Soon after, Rafe is attacked, and ends up in a coma. Initially, the police suspect E.J., as does Sami, but she eventually realizes his innocence. The real attacker, Jensen, is revealed to be targeting Nick. He kidnaps Nick & Gabi, and ends up shooting Will when he tries to rescue Nick. Sami comes to the hospital and finds out Gabi's baby was born; she meets her granddaughter, Arianna Grace, for the first time. Sami visits Rafe while in the hospital, and while there, sees a man come in with a knife about to kill Rafe. Sami shoots him to protect Rafe. E.J. tries to calm her down, while Roman and the police search for the missing knife. Sami and E.J. realize the man she shot was a police officer who was working for Stefano; the officer dies after surgery, and the knife is never recovered. Sami is arrested for murder by Roman. Once exonerated, Sami and EJ marry, only for EJ to be arrested for tax fraud; Sami confronts both EJ and Abigail Deveraux (Kate Mansi) for the affair the pair had behind her back, and uses her power to take DiMera Enterprises away from the DiMera family with Kate. As Sami begins to re-trust EJ, he is shot dead in cold blood. Overcome with grief, Sami accepts a deal with Hollywood executives to build a story about her life. She leaves Salem in October 2014 with the kids, and relocates to Los Angeles.
Sweeney’s portrayal of "Salem’s resident bad girl" has earned her various fan awards during her run, including five Soap Opera Digest Awards and a Special Fan Award for "America's Favorite Villain" at the 2002 Daytime Emmy Award ceremony. In 2005, the role was briefly recast with Dan Wells as the character of Sami's male alter ego "Stan" while Sweeney was on maternity leave. For her work in the role, Sweeney has won Soap Opera Digest Awards for "Best Performance in a Daytime Drama — Young Actress" (1997), "Best Youth Actress in a Soap Opera" (1994) and "America's Favorite Villain" (2002). Sweeney has also won seven Soap Opera Digest Awards, including three wins for "Outstanding Villainess" in 1996, 1998 and 1999. In 2015, Sweeney earned a pre-nomination in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Daytime Drama Series for her portrayal of Sami.
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