Caroline Brady

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Caroline Brady
Caroline Brady.jpg
Peggy McCay as Caroline Brady
Days of Our Lives character
Portrayed by
  • Peggy McCay (1983, 1985–2016)
  • Jody Carter (1983–84)
  • Barbara Beckley (1984–85)
Duration 1983–2016
First appearance February 7, 1983 (1983-02-07)
Last appearance August 24, 2016 (2016-08-24)
Created by Margaret DePriest and Sheri Anderson
Introduced by Betty Corday and Al Rabin
Classification Former; regular
Occupation Pub owner
Fish market owner
Junkyard owner

Caroline Brady is a fictional character from the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives, a long-running serial drama about working class life in the fictional United States town of Salem.[3] Matriarch of the series' Brady family, the character has been continually featured since her debut. Created by writer Margaret DePriest, the role was originated by actress Peggy McCay on February 7, 1983.[4][5] Jody Carter stepped into the role briefly in 1984, followed by Barbara Beckley from 1984 to 1985.[5] McCay returned to portray Caroline from July 17, 1985 to December 5, 2003,[4][6] when the character was seemingly murdered by a serial killer.[6] McCay returned in 2004 when Caroline turned up alive, and currently remains in the role.[4]

McCay was nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the role in 1986, 1987, 2013 and 2015.[4][7][8][9] Actor Peter Reckell, who has played Caroline's son Bo Brady on and off since 1983, named the scenes of Caroline's 2003 death as among his top five storylines.[10]


Caroline Brady is one of the early characters introduced by Betty Corday, and Margaret DePriest.[11] The show was slowly starting to introduce a new family to the canvas, The Brady Family and needed a matriarch. As such, Caroline's children are Roman Brady, Kimberly Brady and Kayla Brady (with Shawn), Bo Brady (with Victor Kiriakis), and adopted children Frankie Brady and Max Brady. She also has a special place in her heart for John Black, whom she once believed was Roman. Over time, the Brady family cemented their place as the second core family on the show.[11]

Caroline's storylines focus on family troubles. She is portrayed as a stoic, opinionated battle-axe—a family-oriented woman. Caroline's marriage to Shawn Brady was central to the character for her first years on the program, until his onscreen death in 2008. A famous episode in 1986 included Bo discovering that his mother's ex-lover, Victor Kiriakis, was his father. Peggy McCay announced Caroline's retirement from the serial in 2003, and the character was killed off in a "whodunnit?" murder storyline,[12] with McCay making her final appearance in 2003, returning the following year when Caroline turned up alive, and currently remains in the role. McCay left the role in October 30, 2012, but announced she would return in late November.[4]


Caroline was "killed off" in a whodunit? murder storyline in 2003. The storyline was extremely controversial, and featured the firing of seven veteran actors over the course of a year. Caroline was poisoned at Maggie Horton's funeral.[6] McCay returned in 2004 when Caroline turned up alive, and currently remains in the role.[4] In a surprise twist, all the killed off characters returned to the show in 2004 alive on the island of Melaswen (New Salem spelt backwards). Actor Peter Reckell, who has played Caroline's son Bo Brady on and off since 1983, named the scenes of Caroline's 2003 death as among his top five storylines.[10]

McCay last appeared on August 24, 2016.[13]


Caroline and her husband Shawn Brady, the parents of Roman, Bo(Victor's child), and Kayla Brady, arrive in Salem on February 7, 1983 (their estranged daughter Kimberly comes to town later in 1984). Crime lord Victor Kiriakis appears in 1985 and pursues old flame Caroline. She refuses him, and a vindictive Victor becomes romantically involved with Kimberly and opens a business to compete with the Brady Fishmarket. Police officer Bo hopes to arrest Victor for his many crimes. When he nearly shoots Victor, Caroline suddenly reveals that Bo is Victor's son, the product of a secret affair. Though Bo hates Victor, he agrees to allow Victor into his life as a means to protect Caroline from him. Seeing how tormented Bo is by the truth, Victor eventually pretends to have had a vasectomy in the past so that Bo can believe that Shawn is actually his father.

Caroline and Shawn adopt orphaned brothers Frankie and Max around 1987. Kayla is wrongly arrested for the murder of Marina Toscano in 1989, and Caroline makes a false confession in order to save her. Kayla is convicted anyway and gives birth to her daughter Stephanie in prison in 1990, though she is ultimately exonerated. That year Shawn and Caroline also meet Dr. Carly Manning, who soon becomes involved with Bo after the presumed death of his wife Hope. Kayla's husband Steve Johnson is also presumed dead in 1990; Caroline is furious when Kayla becomes involved with Kim's ex Shane Donovan, and when Kim romances the sinister Lawrence Alamain. In 1993, Vivian Alamain attempts to kill a sedated Caroline as part of her plan to frame Carly for a series of murders, but Carly walks in before Caroline is harmed.

Caroline suffers a heart attack in 1994 after Roman's young daughter Sami reveals that she is pregnant by her half-sister Carrie Brady's fiancé at their wedding. At the same time, it is revealed that Roman's daughter Belle is actually the product of an affair between his wife Marlena and John Black. In Winter 2003, several Salem residents are murdered by the Salem Stalker, and Caroline herself is poisoned and dies in church on December 5, 2003.[6] Marlena is revealed to be the serial killer and murders a few other people before being killed herself.[6] After her burial, Marlena awakens in Melaswen, a copy of Salem built on a remote tropical island by the villainous Tony DiMera.[14] Caroline and all of Marlena's "victims" are alive and living there as captives, Tony having faked their deaths and manipulated a drugged Marlena.[14] As everyone tries to escape, Tony initiates a volcanic eruption that itself causes a tsunami to strike the island. Some people are saved, but Caroline and Victor are among those presumed dead. They later appear as captives at a European castle, and are rescued in August 2005; in 2007 it is revealed that Tony's cousin André DiMera had been impersonating him during that time.

Caroline is devastated in 2008 when Shawn dies; he had given Bo his oxygen mask as their sabotaged plane was going down. Caroline continues running the Brady Pub with the help of her returned son Max, who learns that his biological father is Salem University Dean Trent Robbins. Max is soon furious with the unsavory Trent, whom Caroline warns away from Max. After several confrontations with Trent, Caroline sees him while visiting Shawn's grave; having been stabbed, he stumbles toward her and dies, and Caroline is arrested for his murder. She is later exonerated when Nick Fallon is revealed to be the murderer.

In 2010, Caroline switches the pregnancy results of the real father of Chloe's baby.[15] On November 11, 2010, Chloe gives birth to Philip's son Parker Jonas, whom Chloe names after Daniel's mother's maiden name. Chloe and Philip are still unaware that he is the real father, since Caroline switched the pregnancy results.[15]

In October 2012 Caroline starts having memory lapses, these increase over time with Caroline calling Bo 'Shawn' and 'Roman' and referring to Victor as 'My Shawn.' Bo is concerned by this and Caroline see Kayla and they are all concerned that it could be the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Caroline returned from her treatment on November 29.

Caroline became a great-great grandmother to Arianna Grace, from Will.


  1. ^ Ken Corday, Albert Alarr and Greg Meng (Executive producers); Dena Higley and Ryan Quan (Head writers) (January 23, 2017). Days of Our Lives. Season 52. Episode 13008. Days of Our Lives Transcript Monday 1/23/17. NBC. 
  2. ^ Dena Higley and Ryan Quan (Head writers); Sonia Blangiardo (Director); David Cherrill (Script writer) (January 23, 2017). Days of Our Lives. Season 52. Episode 13008. NBC. 
  3. ^ Corday, Ken (2010). "Days of our Lives". The Days of our Lives: The True Story of One Family's Dream and the Untold History of Days of our Lives. Sourcebooks. ISBN 1-4022-4222-0. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "SOAP STAR STATS: Peggy McCay (Caroline, DAYS)". Retrieved January 21, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Waggett, Gerard J. (November 1997). "Days of our Lives". The Soap Opera Encyclopedia. Harper Paperbacks. pp. 87–111. ISBN 0-06-101157-6. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Days of our Lives: Salem Stalker Murder List". 2004. Retrieved January 21, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1986". Retrieved January 21, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1987". Retrieved January 21, 2010. 
  9. ^ "The 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Award Nominations" (PDF). New York: and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. March 31, 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 31, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b DiLauro, Janet. "Days of our Lives: Peter Reckell's Top Five DAYS". Retrieved January 21, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b Days of our Lives - Bios - Peggy McCay as Caroline Brady. Retrieved on 2010-06-13.
  12. ^ "Days of Our Lives – Salem Stalker Murders – Soap Opera Digest and Weekly". Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  13. ^ Ken Corday, Albert Alarr and Greg Meng (Executive producers); Josh Griffith, Dena Higley and Beth Milstein (Head writers); Noel Maxam (Director); Melissa Salmons (Script writer) (August 24, 2016). Days of Our Lives. Season 51. Episode 12905. NBC. 
  14. ^ a b Fonseca, Nicholas (May 28, 2004). "Daytime's Secret Weapon". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 21, 2010. 
  15. ^ a b "Sweet Caroline?". Retrieved November 15, 2010. 

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