|Days of Our Lives character|
|First appearance||February 8, 2008|
Ava Vitali is a fictional character from Days of Our Lives, an American soap opera on the NBC network. Created by and introduced by then-executive producers Ken Corday and Edward J. Scott, she is portrayed by Tamara Braun, who won a Daytime Emmy Award for the role in 2009. Introduced as a "mysterious woman from Steve's past," Ava was later revealed as a woman from a Mafia family.
In January 2008, it was announced that Tamara Braun, best known as the second actress to portray the character of Carly Corinthos on the ABC Daytime drama, General Hospital, had been cast. The casting of Braun originally brought up fan speculation that she would be coming in as previous established character, Sarah Horton, daughter of veteran character, Maggie Horton. This speculation was quickly put to rest when it was announced that Braun would join as Ava.
Following the completion of her run as Ava, it was announced in September 2008 that Braun would join All My Children as Reese Williams, current girlfriend of the show's iconic Bianca Montgomery. Braun went on to win a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Ava.
In July 2015, it was announced that Braun is reprising the role of Ava, as part of the show's fiftieth anniversary celebration, first airing on December 9. Braun departed on March 1, 2016.
Ava first appears in early February 2008, stalking Steve Johnson, a man she called "Patch" and the Brady family with whom he was traveling with in Ireland. Obsessed with Steve, she continues to stalk the hotel where he was residing. In an attempt to delay Steve and the rest of the Brady family's departure from Ireland, she sabotages their plane. Her plan, however, was sabotaged when the plane began experiencing problems in mid-air, causing the death of Brady patriarch Shawn Brady. After following Steve back to Salem, she sees him hug Hope Williams Brady outside of Steve's apartment door. She then interrogates Hope, asking if she was in love with Steve. Scared off by Hope, Ava immediately leaves the grounds. Ava then runs into Steve, promising to exact her revenge against him and his family for leaving her without a goodbye. Looking at photos of the crash victims, she stops at Hope's, wondering who she was and why she loved her dear, "Patch".
Convinced that Hope is Steve's wife, Ava is visited by a shrink who then questions her sense of reality. Escaping from her guards, Ava kidnaps Hope, whom she believes is Steve's wife Kayla Brady, and holds her hostage at the Vitali compound. Driven with rage, Ava demands Hope call Steve, who catches onto the scheme and calls Hope's husband, Bo Brady and tells him to not involve the police.
Ava then pressures Steve to have sex with her, a suggestion Steve denies doing, blaming his injuries from the plane crash. Ava, however, plans to seduce Steve in hopes of making whom she believed as Kayla, jealous. Before she can execute her plan, Bo and the real Kayla infiltrate the Vitali compound. Ava, in turn, orders her guards to kill them all. When they fail, Ava shoots Hope; Bo then goes to shoot Ava, but is protected by Steve. When questioned by a hurt Hope about why she hates Steve so much, Ava goes into detail about her "almost wedding day" of how Steve left her. Steve explains that while he had doubts about the wedding, he was abducted by Stefano DiMera's henchmen. Though shocked by the revelation, Ava becomes agitated and pops pills. Able to escape, Bo calls Abe Carver, who arrives to the Vitali compound with Roman Brady. Abe and Roman are able to calm the situation, arresting Ava. While under arrest, Kayla reveals that the pills Ava was taking, were the cause of her paranoia over Steve and the Brady family. As a result of her actions, Ava's father, Martino Vitali, shows up in Salem.
Later, Dr. Lexie Carver releases Ava into police custody. Roman then informs Ava that her bail had been paid and that she was free to go. Ava's cousin, Angelo, then reveals that it was her father Martino who had her drugged. When Martino pulls a gun out, he is shot and killed by Bo. Putting her past behind her, Ava accepts a date with John Black. When it is revealed that a warehouse shipment of John's has gone up in flames, Ava urges John, with the assistance of Philip Kiriakis to fight back. When John's estranged wife, Marlena Evans, shows up and sees him entertaining Ava, he makes it clear that they haven't been husband and wife since his accident earlier in the year, and that he was now moving on with his life with Ava. When news of a disk comes out that may contain the key to restoring John's memories, he admits to Marlena, Philip and Ava that he knew about said disk, and in a shocking decision, kisses Ava.
Moving on with their lives, Ava and John later toast to their new found relationship. Trusting Ava, John reveals his plans concerning the recent disappearance of Paul Hollingsworth and his plans to pin the disappearance on Philip. When Ava's faced with possible charges of the plane crash earlier in the year, she hires EJ DiMera as her attorney. When EJ alerts Ava that the new judge in her trial could not be bribed, she jumps bail and made the decision to leave the country.
In December 2015, Ava manipulates Joey (James Lastovic) Steve and Kayla's underage teenage son into "helping" her reunite his parents to orchestrate her plan of revenge. Joey is unaware of her past. Steve and Kayla discover Ava is back in Salem and assume Joey has been working with her, but he denies it. After months of Ava preying on Joey, he admits to her that he is in love with her and he kisses her but Ava rejects his advances and reveals that she is "dying" (she faked having leukemia). Kayla finds them together talking in her hotel room and demands that he stay away from her. Ava continues to manipulate Joey's romantic feelings for her and his attraction to her only grows stronger. Joey confides in Steve about his feelings for Ava and is shocked to learn about Ava's past and that she may have given birth to Steve's son. Ava knocks Kayla unconscious (causing a hematoma) and kidnaps her. Ava then coerces Steve to either have sex with her or she'll let Kayla die to which Steve agrees under duress in order to secure Kayla's release. She then gives Joey Kayla's location to free her. Steve is reunited with his family but Steve's "betrayal" leaves Joey angry and bitter. Learning that Ava planned on framing his mother for attempted murder (she drugged herself with morphine in Kayla's home) a drunken Joey smothers a drugged Ava in a hospital bed, with Steve willingly implicating himself in the murder.
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- SOD (July 6, 2015). "TAMARA BRAUN BACK TO DAYS!". Soap Opera Digest. American Media, Inc. Archived from the original on July 6, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
- Logan, Michael (July 6, 2015). "Exclusive: Emmy Winner Tamara Braun Returns to Days of Our Lives". TV Insider. United States: CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on July 6, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
- "Comings and Goings: Tamara Braun (Ava Vitali)". Soap Opera Digest. (Vol. 40, No. 50). December 14, 2015. p. 10.
- "Comings and Goings: Tamara Braun (Ava Vitali)". Soap Opera Digest. (Vol. 41, No. 10). March 7, 2016. p. 15.
- Ken Corday, Albert Alarr and Greg Meng (Executive producers); Dena Higley and Ryan Quan (Head writers) (April 10, 2017). Days of Our Lives. Season 52. Episode 13063. Days of Our Lives Transcript Monday 4/10/17. NBC.
Ava: My precious baby boy. I honestly think my whole life has been building to this. I can't wait for you to be born. I'm going to love you so much. One thing, though, honey, you need to know. There are people out there who are going to say they love you... when they don't. They just want to get close to you so they can hurt you. Trust your mom on this. She knows. But not to worry. I'll be there to help you. It's so exciting. Once you're born, people are gonna see how much I can love. I'm gonna give you this recording on your 21st birthday. Won't that be something? To know how much I loved you before you were even born?
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- "Yearly Update for 2008 – May". Sony Pictures Television. Daysofourlives.com. May 2008. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
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- "Yearly Update for 2008 – August". Sony Pictures Television. Daysofourlives.com. August 2008. Retrieved July 3, 2012.