Dr. Valerie Grant returned to DAYS OF OUR LIVES in 2016 and is back in Salem again now. But some newer viewers might not be aware that the character has quite a history on the soap. In fact, she first appeared way back in the '70s! And while she's been through quite a bit of drama in her life, now that Val's back on screen, there's going to be more to come!
Valerie was introduced in 1975 as the love interest for David Banning and the pair created a stir as daytime’s first interracial romance. When the character first appeared, she was played by Tina Andrews, but in 1977, Rose Fonseca took over the role. During this time, Valerie’s family took in David after a car accident and she fell in love with him. But their romance was derailed by his infidelity and when David got Trish pregnant, Valerie accepted a scholarship to medical school and left town.
Valerie returned in 1981 with Diane Sommerfield in the role, and while working as a medical intern at the hospital, she began a romance with Abe Carver. But her lingering feelings for David complicated things, and the character was written out of the soap a year later.
In October of 2016, actress Vanessa Williams assumed the role of Valerie when the cardiologist was brought to Salem to help save an ailing Abe’s life. The couple rekindled their romance, despite his son Theo’s disapproval. News of David’s death brought her son Eli Grant to town for the memorial, and he was furious with his mother for not telling him who his real father was.
Valerie eventually won Eli over, as she had done with Theo, and continued her relationship with Abe. Working at the hospital also kept her busy saving the lives of many of Salem's residents when they were on the verge of death. But then Valerie got a job offer to become chief of staff at her old hospital in D.C. and she was torn between her dream job and a life with Abe. Since he couldn't go to D.C. with her, Abe agreed to try a long-distance relationship with Valerie.
Now, Valerie has returned home just as Abe's mayoral campaign sees him clashing with Jack Deveraux and his dirty tricks to win the race for himself. Will she be a help or a hinderance? Stay tuned to see how her story unfolds and for more DAYS news, keep reading Soaps In Depth magazine!