Emmy Winner Tamara Braun Returns to ‘Days of our Lives’

Photo Credit: © Howard Wise/JPI

A year after exiting ABC’s General Hospital and winning another Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress, veteran actress Tamara Braun will be making a return to NBC’s Days of our Lives as mob princess Ava Vitali.

Soap Opera Digest exclusively broke news of her return in the upcoming issue of their magazine, on sale tomorrow. Days of our Lives showrunner Ken Corday previewed her return stating, “Tamara Braun is coming back and that’s important, not only for Steve and Kayla, but for her son, Tripp, and others to be determined. Mr. Carlivati [head writer] has a big story there. It’s exciting.”

Tamara Braun burst into the soap scene in 2001, assuming the role of Carly Corinthos from Sarah Brown. Braun’s dynamic performance and electric chemistry with leading men Maurice Bernard (Sonny), Steve Burton (Jason) and later Ted King (ex-Alcazar) earned her the love and adoration of fans. Her exit in the spring of 2005 was felt in more ways than one, with fans souring on the panned recast that immediately followed.

In 2008, Braun was cast as Days of our Lives’ venomous, mentally unstable mob princess Ava Vitali. 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. 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 wasn’t seen again until 2015, when Braun returned for a three-month arc from December 2015-March 2016, ending with her character’s murder after a seduction gone wrong. Viewers later suspected Ava was alive when her initials appeared in a DiMera facility holding resurrected people such as EJ DiMera in 2018.

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. The actress later joined All My Children for a short-run as Reese Williams, taking part in the soaps’ historic lesbian wedding featuring her character and Eden Riegel’s Bianca Montgomery. In 2011 she returned to Days of our Lives, but not as Ava, replacing former GH co-star Natalia Livingston as Taylor Walker, and exiting the series later that year.

Braun returned to soaps in 2017 when she was cast as Dr. Kim Nero on General Hospital. She exited the soap in 2019 after creative changes. The actress didn’t leave empty handed, she was nominated for and won her second Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress at the 2020 ceremony.

Days of our Lives airs weekdays on NBC. Episodes are available on NBC.com and Peacock streaming.

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About the Author

Ryan White-Nobles is Editor-in-Chief of TV Source Magazine. He's began covering entertainment and soap operas in 2005. In 2009 he co-launched Soap Opera Source, and led the TV Source rebrand in 2012. 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.