The Hortons have always been Days of our Lives’ first family. But long before the Bradys, the DiMeras, or the Kiriakis clans became regular Salemites, the Anderson family provided friendship, love, and drama to the lives of the denizens of Salem.
Soap Opera Families: The Andersons
Bob Anderson (Mark Tapscott) was the wealthy head of Anderson Manufacturing, one of the most successful businesses in Salem. When Scott Banning (Mike Farrell, Robert Hogan, Ryan MacDonald) went to work at Anderson, he and his wife Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) befriended Bob and his wife, Phyllis (Nancy Wickwire, Corinne Conley).
Unfortunately, a freak accident at a construction site for Anderson left Julie a widow. Bob and Phyllis offered comfort and financial help to Julie, but Bob soon found himself falling in love with her. He realized that his long marriage to Phyllis was over and asked for a divorce.
Julie, meanwhile, hadn’t been in love with Scott. Her true love was Doug Williams (Bill Hayes), but he was married to Julie’s mother. When Bob asked Julie to marry him, Julie realized that she’d never be with Doug, so she accepted Bob’s proposal. Bob and Julie’s marriage was troubled from the start. Julie enjoyed the lifestyle Bob could provide, but there was no passion for the much older man.
Phyllis, meanwhile, was devastated and enraged, both by the end of her marriage and by Julie’s betrayal. Phyllis made an attempt to kill Julie but wound up shooting her and Bob’s own daughter, Mary Anderson (Karin Wolfe, Barbara Stanger, Melinda Fee), instead. Luckily, Mary survived, but Phyllis would never truly recover from what had happened. For his part, Bob felt guilty for causing such distress in Phyllis’s life and tried to help her become an independent woman.
David Banning Returns
Julie’s estranged son, David Banning (Richard Guthrie, Gregg Marx) returned to Salem with his girlfriend, Brooke Hamilton (Adrienne LaRussa), just as Julie was dealing with a surprise pregnancy. Bob was the father, but Brooke, a troublemaker who became jealous of David’s relationship with his mother, spread lies that it was really Doug’s baby.
David believed Brooke and became disillusioned with Julie. He took off in a car, got into an accident, and was presumed dead. When it was eventually discovered that David was alive, the shock caused Julie to fall and have a miscarriage.
Brooke realized that David no longer loved her, so she turned her attention to her alcoholic mother, Adele (Dee Carroll), who had returned to Salem. Adele was dying, so Brooke stole from Anderson Manufacturing to take her mother on a cruise. Bob flew to New York to confront Brooke, but he found Adele, who confessed to Bob that he was Brooke’s biological father.
Bob decided not to prosecute Brooke and gave her a job at Anderson. Not long after, Brooke began scheming again, this time by selling copies of documents from Anderson’s files. Before she could be brought to justice, Brooke left town and was presumed dead after a car accident.
Phyllis Falls Again
Phyllis, meanwhile, was becoming involved with Dr. Neil Curtis (Joseph Gallison), a womanizer and gambler. Neil found himself with a ton of debts, so he proposed marriage to the wealthy Phyllis. Fortunately, Phyllis’s love for Neil didn’t cloud her thinking; she forced him to sign a prenuptial agreement. The marriage was rocky from the start.
Neil had been in love with another woman and Phyllis was uncertain of his commitment to her. When Phyllis found herself pregnant, she considered ending the pregnancy, but Neil assured her he was pleased with becoming a father. Unfortunately, one night when Neil got drunk and fell down, Phyllis went into premature labor while trying to help her husband back up. The baby boy, whom they named Nathan, died after a few days.
Bob and Julie’s marriage ended soon after her miscarriage. Julie wound up marrying Doug and Bob found himself alone. He became the perfect prey for Linda Phillips (Margaret Mason, Elaine Princi), a conniving woman who had tried to ruin Mickey Horton’s (John Clarke) life.
Bob hired Linda to be his assistant and she immediately got to work trying to worm her way into his personal life. It didn’t take long before Linda was manipulating Bob into marriage as well as a more powerful position at Anderson Manufacturing. She and her daughter, Melissa (Debbie Lytton, Lisa Trusel), settled into their new life as Andersons.
Mary Anderson — Troubling Move
Mary Anderson didn’t trust Linda for a minute, but she had her own problems to deal with. She’d embarked on an affair with her mother’s husband, Neil, which caused that marriage to end and put a strain in the mother-daughter relationship. Then Mary began dating Anderson foreman Chris Kositchek (Josh Taylor). Theirs was a passionate and tempestuous relationship.
Chris and Mary both had problems working with Linda, which led them to leave Anderson to start their own company. But when Bob had a heart attack, he asked them both to come back, which they did. Now they had to deal not only with Linda but with a new woman at the company, Stephanie Woodruff (Eileen Barnett), who, despite dating David, set her sights on Chris. When Mary refused Chris’s proposal of marriage, the two went their separate ways.
Linda, meanwhile, had started an affair with Neil while Bob was in the hospital. Mary found out about Linda’s betrayal and told her father. When Bob confronted Linda, she took a fall and then claimed to not remember the affair. Bob, no longer trusting his wife, replaced Linda with Stephanie as his executive assistant.
Something about Stephanie seemed oddly familiar to Mary. When con man Alex Marshall (Quinn Redeker) came to town, he noticed the same thing. He realized that Stephanie had been the subject of an article on plastic surgery and was actually Brooke Hamilton. Alex had been working at Anderson and when he realized who Stephanie was, he blackmailed her into helping him get control of the company. He also hedged his bet by romantically pursuing Mary.
Where There’s A Will…
Linda, meanwhile, was trying to get back into Bob’s good graces. She seduced him and then pretended to be pregnant, but her lies were soon found out and Bob cut her out of his life. He promised to leave Linda and Melissa in his will if she would leave Salem. Linda agreed and she and her daughter left town. Phyllis, who had returned to Salem, moved in with Bob to take care of him. A grateful Bob soon realized that he and Phyllis should remarry.
Life for the Anderson family was about to take a tragic turn. After Stephanie finally confessed to Bob that she was really Brooke, she got into a car accident for real this time and died of a brain hemorrhage. Meanwhile, Alex and Mary got engaged and at their wedding, Bob had a fatal heart attack. A devastated Phyllis left Salem once again.
Bob had left Anderson Manufacturing to Chris Kositchek. Ever the schemer, Alex convinced Chris to make him a partner. It didn’t take long for Mary to see through Alex’s shenanigans; she threw him out and filed for divorce. Chris, too, had tired of all the business machinations and left the company. Soon, a new player came to town who wanted Anderson. His name was Stefano DiMera (Joseph Mascolo) and he ordered Alex to pursue Mary in order to get back in her good graces.
Sadly, the Anderson family was to be dealt one final blow. A serial killer known as “The Salem Strangler” was terrorizing the town and Mary became his latest victim. Upon Mary’s death, both Phyllis and Linda returned to Salem. Mary left half of Anderson Manufacturing to Phyllis and the other half to Melissa, whom Mary thought of as a little sister. In order to protect Melissa’s interests in the company, Chris returned to Anderson.
The Last of the Andersons
Melissa’s best interests were also the reason Mickey and Maggie Horton (Suzanne Rogers) wanted custody of the girl. Mickey thought of Melissa as his daughter ever since Linda lied about her paternity years earlier. After the Hortons were granted custody, Linda left Salem once again.
In a last gasp, Alex tried to romance Phyllis. But the woman had had enough and decided to sell her half of Anderson Manufacturing to Stefano. Once she was rid of the company, Phyllis left town for good. The Anderson family was no longer a part of the Salem tapestry. As for Stefano and Alex, they remained in Salem to cause trouble for years to come.