|Lamon Archey as Eli Grant|
|Days of our Lives|
|Portrayed by||Lamon Archey|
|Current status||Present; Regular|
|First appearance||February 23, 2017|
|Created by||Dena Higley and Ryan Quan|
|Introduced by||Ken Corday, Albert Alarr and Greg Meng|
Eli Grant is a fictional character from the long-running NBC daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives, portrayed by Lamon Archey. Created by head writers Dena Higley and Ryan Quan, Eli was introduced in 2017 as the previously–unknown son of Valerie Grant, who had recently returned to Salem and the late David Banning — a member of the show's central family, the Hortons. David and Valerie romance in the late 1970s is recognized as the first interracial romance in the history of American daytime television.
In July 2016, it was reported that the serial had released a casting call for the role of "Levi". The recurring role, which could possibly become regular, was due to begin taping in late August and expected to begin appearing by early 2017.
In December 2016, it was reported that Lamon Archey, known for his portrayal of Mason Wilder on The Young and the Restless had been cast in a role and would debut in early 2017. Archey had previously appeared on Days of Our Lives in an "under-five" role which he says lead to his casting on The Young and the Restless. Seaforth Hayes announced the casting on December 11, 2016, and revealed he would portray the role of Eli Grant. Archey's debut was slated for February 2017. "I was really looking to get back into a stable job where I could really sink my teeth into a character" the actor said in statement to Soap Opera Digest.
While Archey had recently appeared in episodes of 2 Broke Girls and Roadies, he craved the stability that came with a soap and he was "super-excited" to win the role of Eli. He wanted a role that he could make his own and Archey also reveled that Eli's story "hits close" to his own experiences. "Out of all the character DAYS has written for black males, it would be this one that I get." It was "destiny" he declared. Archey auditioned opposite his co-stars, Banus and Williams, and taped his first scenes the day after he got hired. The actor was relieved that most his audition material appeared in his first scripts so memorizing came easy. "It's taken forever!" Archey said of his debut as he had been filming for nearly six months. The actor reflected on his first day: "I was shaking in my boots. I was really nervous." He continued, "Now I'm much more comfortable and much more comfortable with the character. I understand a lot more about Eli, and I'm able to shape him in ways that blend with me."
The casting and character was announced in early December 2016. Archey had previously appeared on Days of Our Lives in an "under-five" role which he says lead to his casting on The Young and the Restless. Days veteran Susan Seaforth Hayes confirmed the casting on December 11, 2016 and revealed he would portray the role of Eli Grant. "I was really looking to get back into a stable job where I could really sink my teeth into a character" the actor said in statement to Soap Opera Digest.
Eli is an FBI agent, who Valerie is seen talking to on the phone with from time to time, in private. Theo Carver thought Valerie had a boyfriend while she was getting closer to his father, Abe Carver.
On February 23, Eli, arrives at the funeral at St. Luke's for David Banning. He tells his mom he's there to bury his father. Julie approaches and introduces herself. She asks if they've met before. He seems so familiar to her. Eli says they haven't and gives his condolences. They all take their seats. Julie gives a eulogy, telling family and friends that they loved each other but had a difficult time getting along. She regrets not seeing him in recent years and hopes he knew how much she loved him. Eli is visibly affected by her candor. She breaks down and Doug hugs her. Later, Ciara and Claire make up and she takes off with Theo. Abe meets Eli and it's awkward. Val goes to Julie and assures her that David knew she loved him. Julie tells her to cherish Eli. "Family is everything." Val uncomfortably looks away.
Eli and Valerie walk to the park where she asks why he would think David Banning was his father. When he applied to FBI school they did some testing which concluded there was no way he could have been Terrance's son. Eli argues and he spits that he's good at lying because of her. He's done and walks away, leaving her to cry. Eli watches Julie and Doug leave St. Luke's and goes to his father's casket to say goodbye. He's sorry he never got to know him. Lani appears and watches.
Later in March, Eli reveals himself to Julie as her grandson through David, she is ecstatic. Soon he gets to meet the entire Horton family in Salem as well as meet his cousin Abigail and her best friend Gabi. Abigail sets them both up for a date in which they agreed on. Eli continues to reject his mother, despite her pleads through Abe Carver and his daughter Lani given because of her he will never get to meet his real father. He soon considers joining the Salem P.D. especially since he plans to move in Salem. He befriends Rafe who is also an FBI agent like himself.
Despite encouragement from Val's boyfriend Abe Carver and his daughter Lani Price, Eli struggles to trust Val. Eli later agrees to use his connections to help his cousin JJ Deveraux breakup the local mob war between the DiMera, Kiriakis and Hernandez families. Eli heads up the investigation which doesn't sit well with Lani. He also comforts Gabi as she struggles to get over Chad DiMera and grieves the loss of her dad when he goes to prison. Despite warnings from Julie and Abigail, Eli is determined to continue seeing Gabi and wants to help her get over Chad. Eli serves as a federal liaison in a drug investigation when Lani is exposed to a synthetic drug and also helps Lani cope with her withdrawal syndrome in secret. After being ambushed with a breakfast date orchestrated by Abe and Gabi, Eli begins to understand Val's actions but he still needs time work through his feelings.
While investigating Deimos Kiriakis, he, Lani, JJ, Sonny, Paul and Hope were lead to Greece where they managed to apprehend Deimos and Xander for kidnapping Nicole and her baby, Holly. While in Greece, Eli broke up with Gabi knowing he can't make her forget about Chad and decided that he didn't want to fight in a losing battle, and he wished Gabi good luck. Unexpectedly, the plane that Eli and the rest of the gang were on crash landed on a deserted island.
For most of June, the Castaways; Chad, Paul, Sonny, Lani, JJ, Eli and Gabi struggle to survive on the island, till help arrives. During there time there Paul is stung by a bee in which gives him a certain illness that causes him to have hallucinations. Later, JJ and Lani found a skull of a human being and next to it they found the diary of the previous visitors of the island. The diary revealed to them that one of their own was infected with a certain illness called Jungle Madness, this sounded familiar to Chad for his brother Peter was infected by it decades ago. They began to worry for they realized that the island is more dangerous than they thought. A little while later, they found out that Paul was infected with Jungle Madness for he attempted to kill Eli and had Gabi knocked out hard. The others decided to do whatever it took to save Paul from himself, there were debates as how to handle the situation for Eli believed if necessary Paul should be put down. But Sonny was against that decision completely. In the end, Paul was captured and tied down to ensure that he won't harm anyone else including himself. On June 21, Eli and the rest of the gang were saved and when he returned to Salem, he did not immediately reunite with his mother, but after some persuasion from Lani he went to her and he finally reconciled with her.
In late June, Eli was given the Martin House as a gift from his grandmother Julie. In addition during a party he made for the return for the castaways, he was drugged along with everyone else in the party with Halo 2.0, courtesy of Deimos Kiriakis. While under the Halo effect he kissed Lani, after she realized under the Halo effect that JJ doesn't really love her. An hour later, he was found by Hope and Rafe sleeping on a chair with Lani on him. Later, he was made a suspect in the murder of Deimos Kiriakis, after his dead body was found in the living room of the mansion.