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Emmy Winner Tamara Braun Returns to ‘DAYS’ as Ava Vitali

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The returns to Days of our Lives continue! Daytime veteran Tamara Braun (ex-Carly, GH; ex-Reese, AMC; et al) who portrayed mob princess Ava Vitali in 2008, is returning this winter!

TVInsider’s Michael Logan broke news of the actress return to the NBC sudser. The fan favorite began shooting June 17 and will first air December 9. Braun is the latest in a string of returns for the show’s upcoming 50th anniversary celebration, including Stephen Nichols (Patch), Peter Reckell (Bo), Alison Sweeney (Sami) and more!

Ava, the slightly psychotic (and murderous) ex-lover of Steve “Patch” Johnson, came to Salem hell bent on seeking revenge against Patch for standing her up at the altar. In her quest for revenge, she sabotaged a plan that resulted in the death of Grandpa Shawn Brady. She later set her sights on Hope, believing she was in love with Patch. A kidnapping, failed seduction and a couple of shootouts later, viewers learned more of Ava’s backstory, including the reveal that her psychosis induced by her father (think Revenge’s season 4 plot with Louise Ellis). While awaiting trial for the plane crash, Ava embarked on a dark romance with John Black (who had lost his memory again) as the two schemed for power in the brewing war between the DiMeras and Kiriakis families. Ava skipped town when she learned things weren’t going her away and was never to be seen again.

Tamara Braun’s breakout role earned her a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress at the 2009 Daytime Emmy Awards. She brought DAYS it’s first female acting win in over 20 years, and put her in company of other DAYS actresses to win a statuette including Susan Flannery (1975 win for Best Actress as Laura Horton), Suzanne Rogers (1979 win for Supporting Actress as Maggie Horton) and Leanne Hunley (1986 win for Supporting Actress as Anna DiMera).

Though Ava wasn’t seen again, Braun did resurface on DAYS three years later when she took over the role of Taylor Walker from former General Hospital co-star Natalia Livingston (ex-Emily, GH), who was fired three weeks the character’s return. Though her performance was top notch, she couldn’t overcome the doomed-from-the-start storyline and was written out during the great cast purge of 2011.

Author’s Note: Admittedly, this is the first return I’m super excited for. The #MassVetResurgence doesn’t appeal to me very much, as it was tried in 2011 and failed rather epically. I’m sorry, that critical assessment might be deemed unprofessional too harsh. Let me do better. The last time the show embarked on a massive fan favorite return during the #GreatRebootof2011, it didn’t exactly light the ratings in a positive direction. That said, I’m certainly willing to give it an old college try; and the return of Braun’s portrayal of the sassy, complex and deeply disturbed Ava is just the thing to keep me tuned in post-anniversary celebration. 

Photo Credit: Chris Haston/NBC

About the author

Ryan White-Nobles

Ryan White-Nobles is Editor-in-Chief of TVSource Magazine. He's a natural #Heel who loves a spirited debate and probably watches too much TV. Follow him on Twitter at @SourceRyan to discuss all things TV, soaps, sports, wrestling and pop culture.