Steve Johnson – a Days of our Lives antihero if there ever was one. This man evolved from goon to international spy and from a tormentor of women to one of their biggest champions.
Who Is Steve Johnson?
Steven Earl was the eldest child of Duke and Jo Johnson as well as the older brother of Billy and Adrienne. When he was still a boy, Steve was placed up for adoption alongside Billy – but the latter was the only brother to be adopted.
Subsequently, Steve joined the Merchant Marines where he cultivated a close kinship with Bo Brady. However, their desire for the same woman, Britta Englund, resulted in a violent altercation that cost Steve one of his eyes.
At some point in time, Steve wed Marina Toscano but an argument aboard a yacht ended with Marina falling overboard and being presumed dead. Consumed with guilt, Steve packed his trusty harmonica and headed to Salem, USA, where he found employment as a heavy for crime boss Victor Kiriakis.
Steve’s first assignment was to procure a roll of film owned by Kimberly Brady but he failed in that mission as well as a second one involving the handling and transporting of The Pawn, a former employee of Stefano DiMera, now owned by Victor.
The third task – terrorizing Kayla Brady and forcing her to decamp from her new apartment in Cleveland and return to Salem – he completed in admirable fashion. Next, he was ordered to follow Kayla and report her every move to Victor.
Sweetness and Patch
Despite the inauspicious beginning, Steve and Kayla began to fall in love with one another. When Steve attempted to end his partnership with Victor, he was rewarded with a brutal beatdown and it was Kayla who tended to his wounds. She even convinced him to remove his eyepatch and allow her to tend to his facial injuries.
In time, the pair were a full-fledged couple but danger and potential usurpers lurked around every corner. Their nascent romance was interrupted first by Steve’s decision to confess to his father’s murder rather than force the true culprit – his sister Adrienne – to remember her part in the crime.
Then, the duo was forced to go on the run, twice. The first resulting from Britta’s reappearance and involvement with turncoat Orpheus and then again when Steve was framed for attempted murder. With those adventures behind them, Steve then encouraged Kayla to wed Jack Deveraux, whom he discovered was his brother.
However, Kayla and Jack’s marriage, which was typified by coldness, jealousy, and violence, culminated in a rape that Steve attempted to avenge by throwing Jack from a rooftop! Eventually, pangs of guilt necessitated Steve’s donation of a kidney.
Still, more drama awaited the reunited duo. Kayla was kidnapped by Jack’s adoptive father and severely injured during the rescue mission. Luckily, she managed to regain her hearing and ability to speak on her wedding day – and afterward, they involved themselves in Nick Corelli’s financial woes and a resurfaced Marina’s treasure hunting.
Steve’s ex proved especially dangerous, and a pregnant Kayla found herself accused of killing a potential love rival. After giving birth to Stephanie while incarcerated, Kayla was secretly sprung by Steve so they could rescue the babe, who had been kidnapped by her mentally unbalanced nanny, and find Marina’s true killer – both goals easily achieved.
Steve Johnson – RIP?
Upon joining Salem’s police force, Steve was assigned to investigate Lawrence Alamain but that proved to be his ultimate downfall. While sweeping a boat, Steve was injured by an explosion and seemingly poisoned to death in the hospital room by Lawrence.
But there was more to the story. Instead of murdering Steve, Lawrence had merely drugged and spirited him away to a DiMera compound where he was experimented on. The tinkering enabled the crime family to control Steve, but it also robbed him of his memories.
Once freed, he briefly took up with mafia princess Ava Vitali with whom he had a son, Tripp – a fact not known to either party. Steve had never been told that Ava was pregnant and she believed the baby had died.
In time, Steve was reunited with Kayla, his past was remembered, his brainwashing reversed, and the Johnsons welcomed miracle baby Joseph to their brood. Years later, Tripp was discovered and also welcomed but the family was torn asunder when Joey’s murder of Ava was uncovered and he was imprisoned.
The Future Looks Bleak
Further struggles awaited. Steve was rendered sightless after John Black was forced to poison him and then the bionic eye that restored his sight was used by a third party to commit espionage.
While trying to clear his name, Steve was abducted by Stefano’s goons, who reportedly unfused Stefano’s essence into Steve’s body. Though “Stefano” claims Steve is dead, the veracity of that statement has yet to be proven. Days of our Lives airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.