Marlena’s (Deidre Hall) arrival in Salem and on Days of Our Lives (DOOL) in 1976 was quite inauspicious, but her life there has been anything but.
She moved to the small Midwestern town as a young psychiatrist and quickly caught the attention of attorney Don Craig (Jed Allen).
The two married and she gave birth to their son, Donnie. When Donnie died of SIDS, that put a rift in the Craigs’ marriage, and Don had an affair with Liz Chandler (Gloria Loring), causing Marlena to file for divorce.
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Serial Killer Time
In 1981, Marlena was stalked by the Salem Strangler and met police officer Roman Brady (then Wayne Northrop), who was assigned to protect her. Many people thought Marlena was killed by the strangler, but it was actually her twin sister, Samantha, who was visiting from out of town.
Thinking he almost lost Marlena, Roman declared her love for her and the couple married in 1983. In 1985, Marlena gave birth to their twins, Eric and Samantha (nicknamed Sami). Roman was presumed dead when they were a few months old, after Stefano DiMera (Joe Mascolo) allegedly killed him on a remote island.
An Even Newer Romance
In 1986, Marlena met a man who couldn’t remember his identity and went by the name John Black (Drake Hogestyn). She soon deduced this was Roman and the pair renewed their vows and started marriage anew.
Death Didn’t Become Her
Not long after, Marlena was presumed dead once again and did not make her return to Salem until 1991. Soon after, the real Roman returned to town. It was revealed that the man who had called himself John Black was not Roman at all, but instead Forest Alamain, brother of Lawrence Alamain.
Roman and Marlena reunited, but her attraction to John remained strong and a one-night stand resulted in the birth of Isabella, nicknamed Belle. Through the years, Marlena has waffled between the man who decided he loved the name John Black and Roman.
During that time, she has had a bout of Satanic possession, has been presumed dead twice more, raised three children, and helped raise five grandchildren, four of whom are Sami’s sons and daughters.
She kept her psychiatric practice intact through most of this and came to realize the true love of her life was John Black, with Roman becoming a constant friend and confidant.
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