During her initial three year tenure on Days of Our Lives, Dr. Carly Manning found herself front and center in one of the most popular – and macabre – storylines in soap opera history when the mother-in-law from hell planted her six feet under.
An Intriguing Background
Carly – christened Katerina Von Leuschner – was an aristocratic heiress betrothed to wealthy scion Lawrence Alamain. The two adopted fictitious personas, James and Carly, and dallied for a time but Carly quickly came to realize that her fiancé harbored a horrifying sadistic streak. After she became pregnant with a child who died at birth, Carly fled her home county and her arranged marriage.
While vacationing in Tahiti, Carly – a newly minted physician – made the acquaintance of newlyweds Justin and Adrienne Kiriakis. Captivated by the honeymooners extolling of their quaint hometown, Carly decided that Salem would be the perfect place to plant roots and make a fresh start.
Carly made the treck, resettled, and to her great astonishment, she recognized two other Salem denizens: Jennifer Horton (whom she had attended boarding school with) and Bo Brady (who had interceded during a particularly nasty fight between herself and “James”).
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Luckily for Carly, Bo did not remember their early connection but an antagonism developed between the two none the less. The relationship softened however when Carly began to tend to Bo’s young son Shawn Douglas who had been rendered deaf during an accident at a construction site.
Carly became hopeful that her budding romance with Bo would blossom into something more but he was still consumed with grief over the passing of his wife Hope. When it seemed that there was no hope for a future, Carly accepted a marriage proposal from her wealthy physical therapy patient, Victor Kiriakis, who just so happened to be Bo’s biological father.
On the eve of the Kiriakis/Manning wedding, machinations on the part of the groom kept Carly from receiving a letter, penned by Bo, that implored her to halt the ceremony. When the truth was revealed, Carly tried to extricate herself from Victor’s grasp but even after a divorce, the crafty villain tried to thwart a reconciliation between his ex and her true love.
First, he tried to kill Bo in a rigged elevator and when that ploy failed – and resulted in Carly being injured instead – he faked his own murder in a bid to have Carly take the blame and wind up imprisoned.
Now she was free to reunite with Bo – the man she had exchanged “spiritual vows” with while atop a Mayan pyramid (during an adventure to smoke out a still alive Victor). Except Carly found herself inexplicably drawn to Lawrence, despite his vast litany of sins which included raping Jennifer, causing Steve Jonson’s (presumed) death, and kidnapping Francois “Frankie” von Leuschner, Carly’s younger brother.
While vacationing with Bo in France, Carly learned that the baby she had given birth to all those years ago had actually been born alive and well and its death had been faked. Upon arriving back in Salem, they met Nicholas Alamain – a boy being raised by Lawrence’s Aunt Vivian – but remained unaware that he was the child in question.
A desperate Vivian – having already become complicit in a murder to keep the secret – decided to abscond with Nikki. When Lawrence learned of her plans and deduced that Nikki was biologically his, he interrupted Carly and Bo’s wedding to reveal the shocking truth.
With her plans rumbled, a despondent Vivian fought to remain Nikki’s legal guardian and then learned some devastating news: she was dying. Diagnosed with fatal heart disease, Vivian began to experiment with alternative medications and fell under the sway of Dr. Wu, who plied her with mysterious “therapeutic herbs.”
Now half-crazed from the toxic foliage, Vivian made plans to commit suicide in a bid to frame Carly for her murder. When that plan failed spectacularly, she set about introducing cleaning fluid into the I.V.’s of patients being treated by Dr. Manning, hoping to paint her as an Angel of Mercy out to snuff terminally ill patients.
Six Feet Under
When Carly caught Vivian poised to make Caroline Brady her next victim, she was knocked unconscious and plied with some of Dr. Wu’s herbs that induced a death-like slumber. Vivian arranged to have Carly buried in a coffin rigged with a limited oxygen and water supply as well as a walkie-talkie, which she used to taunt her victim.
After the effects of her new treatment began to wear off, Vivian became horrified at her actions and revealed to Lawrence the fact that Carly was still alive despite her entombment. Lawrence raced to dig Carly out of her grave before her air supply was completely cut off. After her rescue, Carly broke Bo’s heart by choosing to stay with her savior.
Return to Salem
The reignited romance between the Alamains significantly cooled over the years and turned abusive. Carly sought solace with Daniel Jonas, a fellow doctor. Their affair resulted in a daughter whom Carly put up for adoption.
When Lawrence discovered this fact and threatened to harm the young woman, Carly stabbed him to death. She made her way back to Salem to seek assistance from Bo in tracking down her child. She found him reunited with Hope, whose death had been faked all those years ago.
Carly eventually made contact with her daughter, now known as Melanie, and she had to shield the girl from a vengeance-minded Vivian who wanted “blood for blood.” After losing Daniel to Jennifer, Carly found herself becoming addicted to drugs and it took a harrowing reunion with her son Nikki to finally sober her up.
After making peace with both of her children, Carly and her eldest set off for Europe where they were eventually joined by Melanie. Days of Our Lives airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.