Kimberly Brady was one of the most fascinating heroines in all of soap opera history. As played by flame-haired Patsy Pease, she was a scrappy and fearless adventurer who fought a hard-won battle with Dissociative Identity Disorder and confronted the crippling sexual abuse that she suffered as a child head-on. Kim is also one half of an uber-popular super coupling that still resonates with Days of Our Lives fans all these decades later.
Kimberly – the second eldest child of Shawn and Caroline Brady – returned to her native Salem in 1984 on invitation from European acquaintance Daphne DiMera. Kimberly, an amateur photographer, landed a plum job at Anna DiMera Designs and through her association with Daphne and the company, she came into contact with a large, gaudy piece of jewelry that Stefano had sent to Daphne’s address.
The tacky bauble that no one found attractive – except Kimberly and Calliope Jones – turned out to be one of three mysterious “prisms” that were coveted by Stefano and the International Security Alliance (ISA).
One of the ISA agents, Shane Donovan, showed great interest in Kimberly but she feared that he was a blackmailer intent on revealing her deepest shame – while in Europe, with her photography career stalled, Kimberly had resorted to prostitution and she had even continued to ply her trade in Salem.
But rather than expose Kim, Shane actually needed her help. While taking photographs for a fashion spread down in the Caribbean, Kim had inadvertently snapped some pictures of Stefano’s private hideaway. Kim agreed to give him the negatives but in the ensuing adventure on the island, her brother Roman was presumed dead.
My Fair Lady
In time, Kim and Shane’s relationship deepened but just before they admitted their true feelings for one another, Kim became a witness to a murder committed by The Dragon – an anti-monarchist determined to snuff out the entire British Royal Family. In the midst of this new chaos, Kim began to suffer attacks of temporary blindness linked to a disease called Papillitis.
Despite her newest setback, Kim accompanied Shane to his ancestral home in England and the two made love for the very first time. However, a further complication arose when Emma Donovan – Shane’s presumed dead wife – returned home alive and well – or as well as a brainwashed assassin can be.
With Shane feeling duty-bound to Emma, Kim returned to Salem and made the acquaintance of her brother Bo’s natural father Victor Kiriakis. Kim continued to suffer from bouts of blindness but her disease was now in remission and her current state was ascribed to hysteria. She accepted Victor’s invitation to become his houseguest, and she came to enjoy his company until she realized the extent of his dirty business dealings.
Kim planned to leave Victor but agreed to stay so Shane could have inside assistance in gathering enough evidence to bring the mobster down. While staking out Victor’s Miami complex, Shane found himself trapped inside a fortified study. Desperate to save her one true love, Kim slept with Victor to distract him from carrying out his threat to kill Shane once the doors opened.
After their latest adventure together – and a divorce from Emma – Shane and Kimberly reunited. But their happiness was marred by the revelation that Kim was pregnant since there was doubt about whether Shane or Victor was the baby’s father.
And matters were further complicated when the former Mrs. Donovan tampered with not one but two tests to identify the correct papa. The bouncing baby boy – Andrew Donovan the fourth – was, eventually, revealed to be Shane’s.
Many years – and one marriage – later, Kim became pregnant again but there was once again a question about the baby’s paternity. Kim believed in her heart of hearts that Shane was Jeannie Theresa’s father but Cal Winters, an unscrupulous rogue who had kidnapped Shane and allowed Kimberly to think him dead, was also a possibility. Blood tests proved Kim’s suspicions correct.
One of Kimberly’s greatest triumphs was testifying in open court about the sexual abuse she had suffered at the hands of her uncle, Eric Brady. The revelation nearly tore her family apart but Kimberly persevered, determined to never let the man who had violated her harm another child.
It would be another decade before Kim’s full psychological trauma manifested itself in the form of Dispositive Identity Disorder and the emergence of two alternate personalities: Lacey and Clare. With proper counseling, Kim was able to take full control of her mental health and she, in turn, acquired her therapist license. Days of Our Lives airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.