29 Years of Days of Our Lives by Chris Alexander

from 29 Years of Days of Our Lives

In Salem, Julie’s son, David, had become engaged to a young troublemaker, Brooke. Julie discovered she was pregnant with Bob’s child. A stunned Julie decided to stay with Bob and keep the child. One day, overhearing Doug and Julie discussing the pregnancy, Brooke incorrectly assumed the baby was Doug’s and spread the rumor. This false claim caused a rift between Julie and her grandmother, as Alice believed Julie had continued to have an affair with Doug after his marriage to Addie. The story also caused a fight between David and Julie.
Afterward, David rushed out of the house, got into his car, and had an accident. David was taken in by the Grants, a black family with whom he found the love and support he had missed his whole life. His own family, believing David dead, held a memorial service. When the Grants discovered who David really was, the father, Paul, went to Julie with the truth. Julie, meanwhile, had fallen at the lake house and lost the baby.
Brooke soon discovered that she was pregnant with David’s baby, but now David was living with the Grants and falling in love with their daughter, Valerie. Brooke had other problems at home; her mother, Adele, was an alcoholic. In high school Adele had been involved with Bob, and Brooke soon discovered that she was Bob’s daughter. David finally decided to marry Brooke for the baby’s sake, but Brooke realized how unhappy the decision made him and arranged for an abortion. Brooke, too, now turned to the Grants for solace, and the mother, Helen, took Adele to a self-help group for alcoholics. Adele, however, continued to drink, which complicated her medical problems. When Brooke discovered how serious her mother’s condition was, she stole some blank checks from Anderson Manufacturing and planned a cruise for herself and her mother.
David and Paul, Bob’s bookkeeper, were the only two people with known access to the Anderson accounts, and both went under suspicion for embezzlement. Bob uncovered the truth before Brooke’s cruise ship sailed, and he flew to New York to confront her. There he found a dying Adele, who, on her deathbed, told Bob that he was Brooke’s biological father. Bob decided not to prosecute Brooke, understanding why she had taken the money, and agreed to give her a job and let her pay the money back. Brooke, however, was injured in a car accident and did not survive.
David finally realized his love for Valerie and proposed. Her parents opposed the interracial marriage, but after much agonizing Valerie agreed to the engagement. Their happiness was short-lived. Valerie was offered a four-year medical scholarship at Howard University. David persuaded Valerie to accept the scholarship and move to Washington, D.C., but he vowed to continue their relationship.
Maggie and Mickey adopted a sweet little girl named Janice. One day, a mystery woman came to town and struck up a friendship with Janice, but the woman turned out to be Joanne, Janice’s biological mother. It seemed that Joanne had given up Janice for adoption because Joanne believed herself to be terminally ill. When she discovered her daughter in Salem, Joanne wanted to see her one last time before she died. While in Salem, the Hortons discovered that Joanne could have an operation that would save her life. They agreed to pay for the operation (Joanne was poor) on the condition that she leave Salem after her recovery and never tell Janice the truth.
Joanne’s surgery was a complete success, but she did not leave Salem. Janice discovered the truth, and the confused child started to spend more and more time with Joanne. Maggie, unable to cope with the strain, began to drink. Joanne discovered Maggie’s drinking problem and decided to sue for custody of Janice. Joanne had a strong legal case because of Maggie’s drinking and Mickey’s history of mental instability. Janice loved both Joanne and Maggie, and the strain took its toll on the little girl, who began to have nightmares. Maggie began to feel like an unfit mother, which caused her to drink even more. A bitter custody battle ensued and Joanne won, even though Maggie by then had sworn off drinking. Joanne took Janice to San Francisco. Maggie and Mickey were devastated, but found comfort in each other’s arms.
Doug was slowly recovering from the death of his wife. Addie had been killed in a car accident, sacrificing her own life to save her baby daughter, Hope. Doug had given Hope’s care over to Tom and Alice while he grieved. But now he wanted Hope back, and he needed someone to care for her, so he hired Rebecca as his housekeeper. Rebecca’s husband and child had been killed in a car crash, and Rebecca desperately wanted another child. Doug, mourning for Addie, wanted a baby brother or sister for his little princess. Doug arranged for an artificial insemination with an unknown surrogate mother. He had no way of knowing that that woman was Rebecca.
Rebecca used the money to send her boyfriend, Johnny, to study art in Paris and told everyone that the baby was his and that she would give it up for adoption. Because the baby was Doug’s, Rebecca knew she would end up raising the child herself. However, Robert, Doug’s best friend, assistant manager and singer at Doug’s Place, knew none of this. He loved Rebecca and, thinking she would be forced to give up her child, contacted Johnny in Paris. Johnny returned to Salem and, believing the baby to be his, asked Rebecca to marry him. Rebecca was thrilled when her doctor, Neil, told her that Doug no longer wanted the child because of his increasing closeness to Julie and his hope that he and Julie would one day have their own children.
Neil also convinced Rebecca to tell Johnny the truth. She did, but Johnny could not handle it and left her at the altar, leaving behind a note of explanation in the apartment they planned to share. Robert stepped in and married Rebecca, hoping one day she would return his love. He even helped in the natural childbirth of little Dougie. Rebecca and Robert might have been happy, but Johnny returned. Torn between love and loyalty, Rebecca finally fled Salem with Johnny and the baby, leaving behind a heartbroken Robert.
Meanwhile, Greg and Susan’s marriage had fallen apart. Greg blamed it on Susan’s frigidity, but she blamed it on Greg’s growing involvement with the beautiful and wealthy Amanda. Amanda had been having a passionate love affair with Neil while her older, wealthy husband was still alive. After her husband’s death, a guilt-ridden Amanda broke off the relationship. However, she eventually realized she loved Neil and agreed to marry him. But, on the night before their wedding, she found him with another woman.
Neil was a compulsive gambler and, after losing Amanda, turned his charms on the well-to-do Phyllis because he needed money to pay his gambling debts. Neil and Phyllis married, but on that very night Amanda realized that she loved Neil unconditionally. She called Neil’s service and left a message saying she would marry him any time, any place. Knowing that Amanda loved him, the newlywed Neil was unable to consummate his marriage to Phyllis.
Phyllis tried to buy the new chief of staff position at University Hospital for Neil, and he was furious at her bribe attempt. But the night of the hospital dinner, to the surprise of Phyllis and the entire Horton clan, Tom was given a gold watch for 35 years of meritorious service and Greg was named new chief of staff. Tom was crushed, but tried to hide his disappointment from his family. Alone in the living room, he suffered a stroke. Tommy found Tom, who was rushed to University Hospital. Fearing his father would die, Tommy called Marie and asked her to leave the convent and return to Salem. Tom survived and eventually made a complete recovery due to the constant attention and devotion of his family, especially Marie.
Soon Amanda was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She refused surgery because her mother had died following a similar operation. Neil and Greg joined forces to convince Amanda to have the surgery and to fight for life. Amanda finally had the operation and made a full recovery, despite some initial confusion and memory loss.
Susan gave Greg a divorce so he would be free to marry Amanda. She then moved to California with Eric, whom she loved, and their daughter, Anne. Unaware of Amanda’s condition, Phyllis became increasingly jealous. Phyllis soon discovered that she was pregnant and, afraid that Neil was not happy, went to Chicago for an abortion. Unable to get one, Phyllis considered an overdose, but Neil arrived, assured her he was happy about the baby, and they returned to Salem. Neil was stunned when he then discovered that Amanda had accepted Greg’s proposal of marriage. He got drunk, was mean to Phyllis, propositioned her daughter, Mary, and passed out. Phyllis tried to move her drunken husband and went into premature labor. Despite all efforts, the premature infant, Nathan, died.
After Addie’s death, the grieving Doug had been cheered by the friendship of the new singer at Doug’s Place, Jeri. Jeri left town when her husband, Jack, told her daughter, Trish, that she had once been a prostitute. When her mother left, Trish had Don track down her father, James. But James wanted nothing to do with Trish. Jeri returned to Salem in an effort to reunite Trish and her father, but she too failed. Feeling unloved, a frustrated Trish turned to her platonic roommate, Mike. Their attempt at love-making was a disaster, and Mike fled the apartment in humiliation.
Linda, his “father’s” former lover, discovered that Mike’s failure with Trish had convinced him that he was a homosexual, so she took him to bed to “prove his manhood.” Linda was unprepared for Mike’s newborn obsession with her. Trish, upset by her encounter with Mike, found solace in David’s arms. David, who believed his relationship with Valerie to be over, welcomed Trish’s attentions.
Jack, Trish’s stepfather, had been lurking outside the apartment the night Trish and David spent together and became obsessed with finding out whether she was still a virgin. He began writing anonymous threatening notes to her. One night he broke into the apartment and attempted to rape Trish. A hysterical Trish hit him with an iron. Mike returned home to find Trish wearing only a slip, shaking and incoherent. Jack lay dead on the floor. When the police arrived, Mike claimed that he was the one who hit Jack. Unable to cope with the trauma, Trish developed multiple-personality disorder. During the trial and through therapy sessions with Laura, Trish remembered what really happened, and the truth was revealed. During the ordeal, Mike and Trish discovered how much they truly loved each other and vowed to spend the rest of their lives together.
Doug and Julie made yet another attempt at building a life together when their plans were destroyed by the return of Doug’s first wife, Kim. Julie did not even know that Doug had previously been married, and Kim’s claim that their divorce had never been finalized was too much for Julie. All the complications threw Julie into the arms of her lawyer Don, a widower who had lost his first wife and their daughter, Betsy, in a tragic automobile accident. When Julie accepted Don’s proposal, Doug retaliated by proposing to Kim.
The two mismatched couples constantly made clashing wedding plans. On the night before Julie’s wedding, Doug took Addie’s treasured clown pin to her; returning home, he had a car accident. Instead of going to her own wedding, Julie rushed to Doug’s side. Don, realizing Julie’s heart would always belong to Doug, told Julie to go to the man she truly loved. Doug and Julie were finally married in a beautiful ceremony. They recited their own vows, and Doug gave Addie’s pearls to Julie as a wedding present, knowing Addie would want them to be together.
Meanwhile, Don found consolation in the arms of Marlena, a local physician. When Marlena’s identical twin sister, Samantha, made a surprise visit to Salem, the sisters’ old rivalry was renewed. Samantha was a medical school dropout and an out-of-work actress. She blamed Marlena for the all ills of her life. By Machiavellian manipulations, the now mentally ill Samantha managed to get her sister, Marlena, committed to an institution as “Samantha,” while she passed herself off as Marlena. Samantha fooled everyone for a while, but was eventually discovered, and Marlena was rescued.
Marlena’s ordeal had repercussions for her close friends Bill and Laura. Marlena was so shaken by her terrifying incarceration that she needed extensive help. Laura devoted so much time to Marlena that she began to ignore her own husband. Bill turned to Kate, the head of anesthesiology at University Hospital, for friendly companionship.
Neil and Phyllis’ marriage crumbled after the death of their son, when Phyllis discovered Neil had had a brief affair with Mary. Phyllis divorced Neil and briefly left Salem on a world tour. Mary became involved with Chris, the foreman in her father’s construction firm. She was upset when her father, Bob, married the gold-digging Linda.
Meanwhile, Bob’s illegitimate daughter, Brooke, presumed dead in a car crash, returned to Salem with a new face—thanks to reconstructive surgery—and a new name: Stephanie. Linda and Stephanie tried to destroy Chris’ career at Anderson Manufacturing. Linda further betrayed Bob by sleeping with Neil. When Chris bought Mary an engagement ring without consulting her, they fought and Chris found comfort in the arms of Amanda, who was estranged from her husband, Greg. Their passionate affair finally ended, and Amanda returned to Greg.
Greg and Amanda left Salem, but not before Greg recommended that Tom replace him as chief of staff. The Hortons confronted new challenges as Alice was tentatively diagnosed with cancer. To the relief of all, exploratory surgery eventually proved that Alice was fine.
Doug and Julie faced problems as well when the liquor license on Doug’s Place was revoked. Business begin to suffer and a rival night club owner, Larry, lured away their best singers and their customers. Larry, a hoodlum, had arranged for the liquor license to be revoked, but promised to get it back if Julie would sleep with him. When she refused, he raped her. Traumatized, Julie pulled away from everyone, including Doug. When Doug received a letter from Jeri that accused Julie of having an affair with Larry, he believed it. Julie eventually told Doug about the rape, but the knowledge of the crime left Doug impotent. Soon after, Larry was found dead. Julie stood trial for his death, and during the trial her rape was made public. However, she was acquitted when Larry’s henchman, Arlo, confessed to the crime. With the pressure of the trial lifted, Doug regained his potency, and the couple celebrated Julie’s freedom by making love.
Doug and Julie travelled to Paris to put their troubles behind them. While there, they stopped to visit Julie’s brother, Steven, who ended up returning to Salem with them. Back home, Julie and Steven opened an antique shop called Chez Julie. However, the conniving Steven used the shop to scam customers by selling phony antiques. Doug confronted Steven, threatening to turn him in to the police. Steven pulled a gun on Doug and then fled Salem.
Meanwhile, Valerie called off her engagement to Julie’s son, David, and returned to Washington D.C. to bury herself in her studies. David hastily married the pregnant Trish, but even the birth of their son, Timmy, could not resolve their differences. Trish realized that she was really in love with Mike. Unable to cope with all her problems, Trish again developed multiple personality disorder. She finally left for Europe, hoping to find peace there. Trish later returned to Salem in the hope of reuniting with David and their son, now called Scotty. David was reticent at first, but eventually his love for Trish won out, and they began to live together as husband and wife. Mike, meanwhile, had fallen in love with Margo, a young woman in remission from leukemia, and they were married.
Don decided to run for the state Senate. During his campaign, a woman named Lorraine arrived in Salem, claiming that Don was the father of her child, Donna. Don lost the election because of the scandal, but Lorraine fled Salem, leaving Donna behind. Don, meanwhile, had proposed to Marlena, and she accepted. But on their wedding day, the wedding had to be stopped when Donna threatened to commit suicide by jumping off a ledge at the Salem Inn. Don rushed to Donna and helped to save her, but he fell off the ledge himself as he was hoisting her to safety. Bill’s brilliant surgical skill saved Don, who then took full responsibility for Donna as her legal father.
Donna became pregnant from a one-night stand with Pete, but miscarried the baby after a motorcycle accident. When Pete left her, she began stealing from the residents of Salem. Confronted by Don, Donna agreed to straighten up and travelled to Los Angeles for an extended visit with her step-aunt, Samantha. When she returned to Salem, she was determined to become a movie star. However, she got mixed up with Earl, a loan shark and leader of a pornographic photo ring. Earl promised to make her a star, but when she refused to pose nude, Earl had her face superimposed on nude photos of other women. Her father received one of the photos in the mail, and Donna showed him her portfolio. Don realized immediately that the nude was a fake. With the hope of a better life, Donna left town to go live with Don’s parents.
Bill and Laura’s marriage was threatened when Laura began behaving strangely. Her mother, who had been in a mental institution for years, committed suicide, and Laura blamed herself. The guilt began to consume her, and she started to have visions of her mother’s ghost, who told her what to do. Her behavior, both personal and professional, became erratic. She dangled her daughter Jennifer from a window and told her to reach for the moon, but Rosie grabbed the child before Laura could drop her. Then, on instructions from her mother, Laura put Jennifer alone on a bus headed to Dayton, Ohio. Luckily, the girl was found and returned unharmed. Laura was distraught over what she had done. This, coupled with the fact that she had become convinced that Bill was having an affair with Kate, persuaded Laura, again at her mothers instruction, to commit suicide. Laura took an overdose of pills and fashioned a noose to hang herself. Bill rushed in and saved her just in time, but now he knew that Laura was beyond his help. He reluctantly agreed to send her to Lakewood Sanitarium.
Doug and Julie were also suffering. First, Rebecca and Johnny were killed in a plane crash in Tokyo. Fortunately, little Dougie was not with them. In a letter that she left in case of her demise, Rebecca informed Doug that little Dougie was really his son by artificial insemination. Doug immediately set up a trust fund for his son. However, he didn’t know how to explain the situation to Robert, his best friend and Dougie’s adoptive father. Robert began suspect the contents of the letter, and Doug admitted that he was Dougie’s biological father. The news created conflict between them, since Robert had been planning on moving permanently back to France. Doug didn’t want to take custody of Dougie from Robert, but he wanted to be a part of the child’s life. In the end, Robert agreed to remain in Salem, and Doug allowed him to retain custody of the boy. However, Robert had Dougie’s name legally changed to Charles.
Meanwhile, one night at the farm while Maggie and Julie were preparing dinner, a grease fire erupted and Julie was badly burned on the throat, chest, and face. She required a tracheotomy due to smoke inhalation, as well as dialysis, hydrotherapy, and skin grafts for injuries sustained in the fire. Julie, feeling ugly and worthless, convinced herself that Doug remained married to her for pity’s sake, and she flew to Mexico for a divorce. After much counseling from her doctor, Jordan, and several reconstructive surgeries, Julie’s scars, both mental and physical, were finally lifted.
In the meantime, however, Doug married the scheming Lee. Lee had come to town when she discovered that Doug was the long-lost twin brother of her late husband, the wealthy Byron. When Byron died, Doug inherited all his money, and Lee wanted that money. Lee seduced Doug into marrying her. Doug believed he was helping his beloved Julie by letting her go. Lee soon realized that Doug would always love Julie and conspired to have them both murdered by Brent, a hitman. Julie was shot, but survived the attack.
When her plan failed, Lee decided to kill Julie herself. However, just as she was about to strike Julie from behind, Lee suffered a stroke and was paralyzed. Doug vowed never to leave her, believing he was the cause of her stroke, and told Julie that he would never divorce Lee as long as she was paralyzed. Doug and Julie agreed they would not talk about divorce until Lee recovered. Lee continued to use her condition as an excuse to hold onto Doug, even though Julie realized that her illness was a deliberate subterfuge.

Chris Alexander says:

In “29 Years of Days of Our Lives,” I use print publications, online forums, official and unofficial soap opera databases, and other typical fan resources to cobble together a plot summary of the first twenty-nine years of the long-running soap “Days of Our Lives.” Premiering on NBC in 1965, in an era when television studios typically re-used their expensive magnetic tapes day to day, the show’s earliest episodes exist primarily as a rumor among fans: an object of collective memory whose contradictions, wrinkles, and uncertainties parallel the never-ending serial format of the soap opera itself. “29 Years of Days of Our Lives” is a novelization of a rumor of a partially lost television show — which, incidentally, I’ve never seen.

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