John Aniston just celebrated his 35th anniversary as Days of Our Lives crime lord Victor Kiriakis, having debuted in the high-powered role on July 19, 1985.
The actor, who briefly played a prison doctor named Eric Richards on the soap in 1970, rose to daytime fame as Eddie Aleata on Love of Life and Martin Tourneur on Search for Tomorrow. That is, before returning to DAYS and tackling the part that would come to define his daytime legacy. Here’s a look back at some of Aniston’s top moments as Victor.
John Aniston As Bo’s Dad
It was pretty much hate at first sight when Bo (Peter Reckell) met Victor and immediately got involved in trying to stop his machinations. A trip to Miami to destroy Victor’s plan to get his hands on a treasure cemented those feelings.
Bo and Hope (Kristian Alfonso) nearly died when Victor’s henchmen trapped them in a room rigged with explosives. Back in Salem, the animosity between the two men continued, culminating with a confrontation at a party in 1986. Bo pulled a gun on Victor much to his mother Caroline’s horror. She screamed out for him not to shoot, revealing that Victor was her son’s biological father.
The Embryo Switch
Victor was prepared to take the next step in his romance with Kate and marry her if she bore him a child in 1994. Desperate to deliver — literally — Kate went to a fertility clinic for in-vitro fertilization.
A devious Vivian (Louise Sorel), who wanted Victor for herself, intercepted Kate’s pregnancy plans and managed to get Victor and Kate’s embryo implanted in her uterus and gave birth to their child. Then Vivian tricked Victor into marrying her by replacing Kate during their wedding rehearsal.
Ultimately, Kate uncovered all and planned to expose her nemesis upon returning home from a business trip. However, Vivian sabotaged things by drugging Kate’s coffee, which she inadvertently gave to her pilot, resulting in a plane crash. Kate was presumed dead, leaving Victor to Vivian.
Victor and Stefano: All Out War
After a long break, Victor was at his mobster best in 2009. Stefano (Joseph Mascolo) started a war with the Kiriakis kingpin, blaming Philip (Jay Kenneth Johnson) for the death of his son, Tony (Thaao Penghlis). Stefano retaliated by having Philip shot, and Victor countered by kidnapping Stefano. When Stefano slipped into a diabetic coma, Victor gave him just enough insulin to keep him alive.
Then he ordered EJ to sign over control of DiMera Enterprises to him in 48 hours or vowed to let Stefano die. Victor’s plan ended up foiled by EJ, who kidnapped Philip’s girlfriend, Stephanie. Eventually, Stefano and Stephanie were both rescued, and EJ and Philip met, brokered a truce, and ended the war between their fathers and families.
Days of Our Lives Wedded Bliss
After years of wining, dining, and marrying duplicitous women – think Kate, Vivian, and Nicole, Victor finally started a relationship with a Salem paragon of virtue, the widowed Maggie Horton (Suzanne Rogers).
Their out of left field romance totally surprised viewers, not to mention Maggie’s family; yet, they eventually warmed up to the twosome. Victor was the first man to make Maggie feel alive again, after Mickey’s death. And, in Maggie, Victor found a truly equal and a self-sufficient woman, who stood up to him and held him accountable. The pair happily tied the knot in 2011.
Xander And The Baby Switch
Led to believe Maggie had been driving drunk and caused the crash that claimed Adrienne’s life and forced Maggie’s daughter, Sarah (Linsey Godfrey), to give birth on the side of the road and deliver a baby that tragically died, Victor went into damage control mode. And it was diabolical.
He got Maggie and her wrecked car home before the cops discovered either of them. Then Victor and Xander (Paul Telfer) bullied Dr. Raynor into swapping Sarah’s dead baby with Brady (Eric Martsolf) and Kristen’s (Stacy Haiduk) healthy one, so Maggie would never know she inadvertently killed her own grandchild.
And, as a kicker, Victor allowed Will (Chandler Massey) to take the fall for the accident and go to prison for murder. When the truth finally came out in 2020 (but Salem’s 2021), a few lives had been ruined. But Victor stood by his actions, insisting he’d done it all to protect his beloved Maggie.