Louise Sorel as Vivian Alamain
|Days of Our Lives character|
|First appearance||March 2, 1992|
|Created by||Richard J. Allen and Beth Milstein|
Casting and characterization
Louise Sorel, who was previously best known for playing Augusta Lockridge in NBC soap opera, Santa Barbara, was cast in the role of Vivian in 1992. The Days of Our Lives casting director contacted Sorel's new agent about the role of Vivian and described her. Sorel's agent explained that they managed the actress to the casting director, who was familiar with Sorel's work in Santa Barbara. Other actresses were being considered for the role, but Sorel was eventually cast as Vivian. Sorel signed an initial one-year contract with the show. Sorel was released from her contract after only five months. However, producers reversed their decision after learning that they would have to continue paying Sorel despite her departure. In 1993, it was announced that Vivian's nephew, Lawrence Alamain (Michael Sabatino), and her nemesis, Carly Manning (Crystal Chappell), were to both leave Days of Our Lives. Sorel's future with the show was subsequently in doubt. However, it was confirmed that Sorel would remain on the show regardless. In December 1993, The Herald Journal reported that Sorel had signed a new multi-year contract. In 1995, Sorel signed a third contract term with the show.
Vivian is described as "conniving, stubborn, selfish, flamboyant, manic, childish, seductive and vindictive, all with a core of evil humour". Sorel told The Free Lance–Star that she loves the role of Vivian because she is "so horrible". Sorel opined that Vivian is similar to Augusta, saying "She's sophisticated; she's rich. She's a good, strong character." Sorel said that Vivian is a "little more gothic" than Augusta, calling her "darker". The actress added that Vivian would become humorous in the future. Sorel later revealed that Vivian was never intended to be "funny" and that the characteristic was developed after the appointment of new head writer, James E. Reilly. Sorel later thought that the writers "went overboard" with Vivian's humor, making the character "ludicrous" and "like a caricature". Vivian was labeled a villainess by viewers, which Sorel said was "appalling". She told the Chicago Tribune "Vivian happens to be very devious and cunning, yet a woman who ultimately has not learned how to behave. She always wants to get her way." Sorel said she "fight[s] like hell" with the writers "to present [Vivian] on several levels". Upon her 2009 return, Sorel described Vivian as "passionate and fearless". During an interview with Soaps.com, Sorel said of Vivian: "She is certainly on her own track and she’s arrogant, well traveled, and has a peculiar sense of morality. Vivian is very brave and is probably someone that you would want to have on your side."
In October 1999, it was announced that Sorel was to leave Days of Our Lives when her contract expires in January 2000. Of Vivian's departure, executive producers, Ken Corday and Tom Langan, said "We love the character of Vivian, and hopefully she will return sometime in the near future." Producers confirmed that the role would not be recast. Vivian and Sorel were axed from the show and the actress admitted that it felt "horrible". Vivian departed on February 22, 2000.
In July 2009, it was announced that Sorel would be reprising the role of Vivian. Executive producer, Gary Tomlin, contacted Sorel and invited her to return to the show. Sorel was surprised as Tomlin invited her to return over the telephone without seeing her current appearance. Sorel told TV Guide "[Tomlin] didn’t ask me how I’m looking these days. For all he knew, I’ve gained 250 pounds." The actress commutes from New York to California, where Days of Our Lives is filmed, for the role. Sorel signed an initial one-year contract. Sorel was initially planning to sign a longer contract, but since relocating to New York, she could not speculate on her long-term future with the show. Sorel returned to filming in September 2009. Vivian's return was broadcast on October 30, 2009.
In June 2011, it was revealed by TV Guide that Sorel was let go from the show following the departure of Head writer Dena Higley and last aired on September 22. In August 2017, six years after her departure the soap announced Sorel's return. Sorel is expected to reappear in January 2018. Sorel would make her first appearance on December 29, 2017.
Sorel made her last appearance on May 23, 2018 when the character was presumed dead.
In February 2019, it was reported that Robin Strasser, known for her roles on One Life to Live and Another World, had joined the cast in an unknown role; months later it was revealed that she had joined the cast as Vivian.
Vivian, the aunt of Lawrence Alamain arrives in Salem on March 2, 1992. She is determined to take over Alamain corporations, but is foiled when John Black inherits them. Vivian looks to be rich, and powerful, so she pursues wealthy crime lord, Victor Kiriakis. Vivian marries Victor for business purposes, but the marriage is short lived. After Victor leaves her for Kate Roberts, Vivian sets out to destroy Carly Manning. Vivian is taking herbal pills from Dr. Wu, which makes her loopy. She begins to target Carly's patients, by injecting them with cleaning fluids. The police begin to investigate Carly for murder. Carly learns Vivian is the one killing off her patients, and sets out to prove it. A crazed Vivian gives Carly a strong dose of morphine to put her in a very deep sleep. Vivian gives Carly a serum that gives her a deathlike paralysis. Carly is pronounced dead, and Vivian buries Carly alive in a coffin, built with a low oxygen supply, and little water. Vivian stops taking her herbs, and realizes what she is doing is crazy, and with the help of Lawrence she digs Carly up. Vivian is arrested and put in Pine Haven Sanitarium where she meets and befriends Laura Horton. Laura sees Vivian as her ticket out of the Sanitarium, and so Laura continues her friendship with Vivian in order to get out of the Sanitarium and get back to Salem.
Vivian is released, and sets her sights on destroying Kate, and Victor's marriage. She finds out that Kate can't produce a male heir, so she carries Kate & Victor's baby. Vivian is now pregnant with their child, and tries to seduce Victor who doesn't fall for her tricks. Vivian gives birth to Philip Kiriakis, and Kate tries everything to get custody. Vivian also tricked Victor into marrying her by replacing Kate during the wedding rehearsal and made it the real deal. When Kate finds out, Vivian drugs Kate's coffee, but the coffee is given to the pilot of a plane Kate is on. The plane crashes, but Kate lives although they can't find her body. She and Victor make love, after they can't find Kate's body. Kate returns, and wants custody of Philip, and gets it. Vivian takes comfort in Rudolfo (who is actually Stefano Dimera) and unwillingly helps with his plan. She and Ivan are accused of helping Stefano kidnap Marlena Evans, but Stefano signs an affidavit exonerating them. She and Ivan are named accomplices in Kristen DiMera 's scheme trapping Marlena in a secret room and are arrested. In exchange for her freedom, Vivian agrees to divorce Victor and gives up her wealth.
Vivian receives bad news when she learns she is fired from Titan. She and Ivan begin taking odd jobs to make ends meet. She meets Steven "Jonesy" Jones, an elderly man whom she thinks is wealthy, but is merely a caretaker for Stefano Dimera. She marries him after a brief romance, and he dies on their wedding night after making love to her. She inherits his belongings, which makes Stefano romance her in order to get his possessions back. He implants a device in her tooth allowing him to control her moods. After they are married, she discovers what he did and files for divorce. He gives her the townhouse and money in exchange for her silence. She begins to look for alternative methods to cure Victor after he suffers a stroke. Once Victor recovers, he returns to Kate. Vivian leaves Salem with her sidekick Ivan to get a fresh start. They travel around the world, and live off Ivan's lottery winnings.
Vivian returned to Salem in 2009, seeking revenge on Carly Manning for killing her nephew Lawrence. She arranges for someone else to take the fall for her nephew's killing, however, as she wants to deal with Carly personally. She discovers that Carly had an illegitimate child, the result of an affair, and that Lawrence had forced her to give up the child. Vivian resolves to find the now grown child, and kill her in order to hurt Carly as revenge for Lawrence's death. A vision of Lawrence encourages her in this scheme. Victor Kiriakis, her old flame and a fellow adversary of Carly, invites Vivian to live in his mansion and offers to help her in her vengeful scheme. With the help of her new manservant and henchman Gus, Vivian learns that Carly's daughter is Melanie Layton, who is engaged to Victor's son Phillip. Victor forbids her to kill Melanie, and tells Viv to focus on Carly instead. Vivian ignores him and befriends Melanie. She helps with the wedding and poisons a comb that she gives Melanie to wear on her wedding day. Gus holds Carly hostage in a warehouse where she will watch her daughter's death. Carly attacks Gus and steals his phone. She texts Vivian, calling her to the warehouse. Vivian arrives and is attacked by Carly, but Hope has discovered Vivian's plot also.
Hope arrives and stops Carly from killing Vivian by revealing that Melanie is fine. Victor discovered Vivian's scheme and switched the poisoned comb with a safe one. Hope begins to cuff Vivian and arrest her, but Gus awakens behind a stack of crates and topples them onto Hope and Carly. Vivian returns to the wedding at the Kiriakis mansion and lures Melanie to the rooftop terrace to hurl her off. Carly follows with Hope's gun and is about to shoot Vivian but Melanie steps in front of Vivian and is shot and falls into a coma. Victor scolds Vivian for defying him and threatens to turn her over to the police if Melanie dies. If Melanie lives however, he will get her off and ensure that Carly is sent to prison for the shooting. Vivian and Carly are both arrested after Hope's statement implicates Vivian. Bo interrogates Vivian to no avail. Victor has hidden all evidence pointing to Vivian's involvement and she is freed. Phillip and Daniel Jonas, who has recently learned that he is Melanie's father, also threaten Vivian. Melanie lives and Victor warns her that he will hand the police the evidence against her if she makes another attempt on Melanie.
Vivian, nevertheless, makes another attempt on her life, but Melanie wakes as Vivian is about to suffocate her in her hospital bed. The dazed Melanie tells Vivian to kill her, and reveals her tormented childhood to Vivian. Vivian is moved and relents. She tells the vision of Lawrence that she refuses to kill the young woman and, with Victor's encouragement, she focuses on Carly. Gus is arrested and questioned by Bo and Hope, but does not give up his mistress and is released. Vivian moves out of the mansion temporarily when Phillip tells Victor that he will not return with Melanie while Vivian is there. She soon returns, however, and makes a deal with Carly. She will leave Carly and her loved ones alone if Carly will plead guilty to shooting Melanie. Melanie, angry at finding out that Carly is the mother who gave her up, does not help and is hateful towards Carly, to Vivian's delight. Hope, however, brings Melanie around, and as Carly is about to be sentenced, Melanie exonerates her by telling the judge that the shooting was an accident. Vivian is not pleased, and threatens to kill Carly, and continues to torment her, even in spite of Bo's warning to leave her alone.
Bo goes to Vivian and threatens to kill Vivian, even if it means jail time, in order to protect Carly. Victor, who does not want Bo in jail or Vivian dead, offers to marry Vivian if she will stop her vendetta, and she agrees. She learns, however, that Carly has been threatening to ruin Chloe Lane's relationship with Daniel due to an affair Chloe had with Phillip. Vivian offers her support to Chloe in dealing with Carly. Vivian is married to Victor in a somber ceremony, both Victor and the attending guests are bitter and cynical about the bizarre proceedings. Chloe, however, turns to Vivian for help. Vivian gives Chloe the number of one of her past henchmen and tells Chloe to ensure that Carly is in an elevator at the hospital when the henchman instructs. Chloe is uncomfortable with killing Carly, but Vivian convinces her that it is the only way. When the time comes, however, Chloe attempts to stop the killing several times, finally pushing Carly from the elevator and ending up being dropped herself when the cable malfunctions.
Vivian, meanwhile, is on her honeymoon and Victor notices her preoccupation. He threatens to end the marriage and make her life very difficult if anything happens to Carly. Vivian, however, discovers that Chloe was in the elevator and has survived. She vows to punish Chloe for failing to kill Carly. Now, Vivian wants to get rid of Maggie, whom she thinks Victor has eyes on. Her evil plan is similar to Carly's but putting her in a sarcophagus and try to bury her alive. With her henchman, Gus, she may be able to pull it off, but Melanie thinks Maggie is leaving town. Under the ruse of creating a celebration of Isabella Toscano's (Brady's mother and Victor's daughter) life, Vivian commences her plan to kidnap and entomb Maggie in a new sarcophagus, which has supposedly been purchased to contain Isabella's remains. Vivian gets overly confident, and, hence, sloppy in the final stages of her plan. Her trusty assistant, Gus, gets cold feet and quits. Brady happens upon her plan and discovers what Vivian has planned and that she has deposited his mother's remains in a pet cemetery. Brady ends up interring Vivian in the sarcophagus rather than Maggie, to Vivian's horror. Vivian is freed by Gus and they entomb Maggie. Victor frees Maggie and plans for Vivian to be arrested but Brady decides she deserves to be free. Vivian and Gus are then dropped on an island but Brady rescues him in June. We discover that Vivian had an affair years ago and has a son Quinn who is a pimp. Quinn is blackmailing Chloe into becoming a prostitute but no one besides Chloe and Taylor knows what his occupation is. At first he doesn't get along with Vivian because she abandoned him but he soon turns around and agrees to give his mother a second chance much to Gus's dismay. Carly develops a drug addiction to Vivian's delight, however Quinn helps Carly through it and Vivian disowns him. Months later, Vivian and Quinn reconcile and Vivian's side-kick, Gus frames Quinn for a series of assaults on prostitutes when in reality, he is the culprit. On September 21, 2011 it is revealed that Quinn is innocent and Gus is guilty when Gus' latest victim (Chloe Lane) comes out of the coma caused by his attack on her, at which time Gus takes Nicole Walker hostage in the police station. Gus is eventually wrestled to the ground and hauled off to a jail cell to await trial. Vivian’s friend/former-henchman, Ivan suddenly returns to Salem, shows her the great wealth he has acquired as a Bollywood movie director/producer, expresses his undying love to her, and then takes her with him to India to make her a movie star, and open a new chapter in their lives together as equals.
On New Year's Eve, Vivian crashes the DiMera family's New Year's Eve party claiming to have been accompanied by Stefano. In actuality, she is accompanied by her and Stefano's son, Stefan O. DiMera (Tyler Christopher). Vivian watches in admiration as Stefan seizes control of DiMera Enterprises and lays claim to the DiMera mansion. In 2019, Vivian is revealed to be alive after previously believed to be dead, living in Chicago.
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