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Eric Brady
Eric
Greg Vaughan As Eric Brady
Days of our Lives
Portrayed by Jensen Ackles (1997–2000)
Greg Vaughan (2012–16)
Current status Present; Regular (Contract)
Duration 1984–92, 1997–2000, 2012–
First appearance October 16, 1984
Created by Margaret DePriest, Sheri Anderson and Thom Racina
Introduced by Betty Corday, Al Rabin (1984)
Ken Corday, Tom Langan (1997)
Ken Corday, Lisa de Cazotte, Greg Meng (2012)
Profile
Fullname Eric Roman Brady II
Gender Male
Occupation Priest
Photographer
Residence Salem, Illinois
Eric Brady 01
Jensen Ackles As Eric Brady
Relationships
Family Brady family
Parents Roman Brady
Marlena Evans
Alex North (1984–2006) (step)
John Black (1986–91, 1999–) (step)
Kate Roberts (2003–05) (step)
Siblings Sami Brady
D.J. Craig
Rex Brady
Carrie Brady
Cassie Brady
Belle Black
Romances Nicole Walker
Serena Mason
Jennifer Horton (ONS)
Grandparents Shawn Brady I
Frank Evans †
Caroline Brady
Martha Evans †
Aunts and uncles Bo Brady
Frankie Brady (adoptive)
Max Brady (adoptive)
Kimberly Brady
Kayla Brady
Samantha Evans
Nieces and nephews Will Horton
Johnny DiMera
Allie Horton
Sydney DiMera
Claire Brady
Grace Brady (legal) †
Noah Reed
First cousins Andrew Donovan IV
Theresa Donovan
Stephanie Johnson
Joey Johnson
Shawn Douglas Brady
Chelsea Brady
Zack Brady
Ciara Brady


Eric Roman Brady II is a fictional character from the NBC soap opera, Days of Our Lives, portrayed by Jensen Ackles from 1997–2000, and by Greg Vaughan since 2012.

BackgroundEdit

Created by head writers, Margaret DePriest, Sheri Anderson and Thom Racina, Eric is the only son of supercouple, Roman Brady and Marlena Evans. Introduced onscreen by Betty Corday and Al Rabin in 1984 along with his twin sister, Sami Brady, the twins are rapidly aged, and Jensen Ackles stepped into the role of the teenage Eric in 1997. Eric's saintly behavior immediately sets him up as the better half to his very troubled sister Sami. Eric falls in love with Nicole Walker; however the relationship ends in heart break which leads to Eric's departure.

In 2012, Greg Vaughan stepped into the role and the character is re-introduced as a priest. He also reconnects with a now reformed Nicole and even works with his mother's longtime rival Kristen DiMera to help establish a new school in Salem. The dynamic leads to a constant struggle between Eric and Nicole, as both still seem to have strong feelings for each another.

CastingEdit

Since the character's onscreen birth in 1984, the role was portrayed by several child actors. Rory Beauregard originated the role in 1984. Others actors include Jesse Davis (1985 to 1986), Edward Palma (1986), Bradley Hallock (1986 to 1992). In 1997, Scotty Hauser portrayed Eric in a voiceover.

Jensen Ackles auditioned for the role of Eric several times before was actually hired. The extensive process led to him rethinking his budding career as an actor. Ackles stepped into the role of Eric on a contractual basis on July 28, 1997. In the summer of 2000, during an interview Soap Opera Digest, Ackles confirmed that he would soon exit from the series after obtaining a development deal with ABC. Ackles made his last appearance on July 31, 2000. However, Ackles admitted that he could return. In December 2000, it was reported that NBC had approached Ackles to reprise the role in early 2001, but he respectfully declined. Reports also surfaced that the producers considered actor Shane McDermott, who was previously known for his portrayal of Scott Chandler on ABC's All My Children to take over the role, but executive producer Ken Corday immediately shot down the rumors, revealing that there were no plans to recast the role.

In February 2011, Greg Vaughan, who was previously known for his roles as General Hospital's Lucky Spencer and The Young and the Restless Diego Guittierez had turned down a testing deal with Days. It was then announced that Vaughan would star alongside Alison Sweeney, who portrayed Eric's twin sister, Sami Brady in the Hallmark movie, Second Chances, which fueled rumors that the series was interested in Vaughan for the role of Eric. In late June 2012, TV Guide's Nelson Branco confirmed in his publication, Soap Opera Uncensored that several sources has revealed Vaughan had signed on as Eric Brady, despite no confirmation from NBC. In early July, Soaps In Depth confirmed that Vaughan was set to join the cast, but his role had yet to be confirmed, with some speculating that Vaughan could be playing an entirely different other than Eric. The July 16 issue of Soap Opera Digest reported that several sources had Vaughan in the role of Eric, but NBC had yet to confirm Vaughan's role. The magazine hinted that Eric would return as a "very changed man." On August 8, 2012, Soap Opera Digest confirmed that Vaughan had officially began taping in his role as Eric Brady and was slated to first air in November 2012. Vaughan's first air date was later confirmed as November 13, 2012. Vaughan revealed that when he initially auditioned for the role of Eric, he was rejected. However, he was happy that he earned the job instead of having it handed to him.

In August 2015, Vaughan extended his contract with the show for an unspecified amount of time. However in November 2015, it was announced that Vaughan will be departing from the show.

DevelopmentEdit

On April 30, and May 1, 1998, LeAnn Rimes made a two episode guest appearance in the series as a teenage runaway, Madison, and Eric keeps her from getting arrested when she steals some food. Eric is drawn to Madison because she reminds him of Sami. Eric takes her to his grandparents home and lets her spend the night before his aunt Kimberly Brady (Patsy Pease) convinces her that living a life on the street isn't what she wants. Eric goes to take Madison to the bus stop so she can return home and she apparently develops some romantic feelings for him. She promises to return to Salem some day.

Eric always appears to be the more level headed of the twins and usually tries to talk sense into his sister, Sami. At the time of Eric's departure in 2000, he is very confused about his life. In mid August, Kristian Alfonso posted a picture on Twitter of herself, Vaughan and a few co-stars, with Vaughan wearing a clerical collar which immediately led to speculation that the character of Eric had become a priest. Greg Vaughan revealed in an interview with Soaps In Depth that "Eric had been at a place in his life where his relationships had all gone awry." Eric needs a more clear cut path for his life and goes off to a third world country to work as a photojournalist. The unstable environment triggers something in Eric and he enters the priesthood. In December 2012, Vaughan revealed to TV Source Magazine that the series would soon delve into Eric's past, and what led to him becoming priest. Vaughan like many others was skeptical about the character of Eric being re-introduced as a priest. However, Vaughan looked at the plot twist as a challenge. "It's been a growing process for the character," said Vaughan. Upon Vaughan's introduction, Eric and Sami are still very close as she is the first person that he informs about his decision to become a priest. Despite him being away, Sami is "confidant and connection" to their family and the rest of Salem. When asked about Eric possibly falling for Nicole again, Vaughan said that Eric was a lot older and wiser, and could see Nicole's schemes coming. However, Vaughan said that the duo would be very plotonic friends and praised the writers for the pacing and allowing the relationship to grow organically. Vaughan said that viewers would begin to notice an emotional "tug of war" between Nicole and Eric as they try to work out their feelings.

ReceptionEdit

Ackles was described as a "heart throb" and became very popular during his time with the series. His popularity also leads to guest appearance by LeAnn Rimes. Ackles received three Daytime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Ackles also won "Best Male Newcomer" at the 1998 Soap Opera Digest Awards. Ackles was also named by TV Guide on its list of the "12 Hottest New Stars" in 1998.

Jamey Giddens scolded the series for offering a veteran actor like Vaughan, with a huge fan base, a testing deal as opposed to an actual role. Giddens also urged the producers to cast Vaughan in the either the role of Eric or Philip Kiriakis. The picture of Vaughan wearing a priest's collar stirred up some controversy among fans and critics, with some believing it would limit the kind of storylines that Eric could be involved in. Jillian Bowe responded to the picture with this statement: "Bless Me Father: Why is Greg Vaughan Wearing a Clerical Collar on Set of Days of Our Lives?!" Ackles personally called Vaughan to wish him well in his portrayal of Eric. Speaking of their exchange, Vaughan stated: "The character is near and dear to his heart and he said, 'Greg, it just gives me a little more gratification knowing that somebody I respect in the business is playing the part."

StorylinesEdit

Eric Brady was one of twins born to Roman and Marlena Brady. He and his sister were extremely close as children, and were sent together to Colorado shortly after starting school. Although Sami returned to Salem during high-school, Eric was well out of school by the time he finally came home, when John and Marlena became officially involved because Eric believed that his parents (Roman and Marlena) belonged together. He also believed that his amnesiac sister Sami was faking her memory loss. With Carrie and Mike, Eric tried to find out what Sami's big secret was, and on the day that Sami was set to marry Austin, they realized that Will could not possibly be Austin's son, and that Sami knew. Carrie rushed to the Church to stop the wedding and to humiliate her sister. Although Eric felt horribly guilty for the role he had played in his sister's pain, Sami soon forgave him, because she realized he didn't do it to hurt her.

Not long after, Eric realized that someone was following him everywhere. It turned out to be an old schoolmate, Jed Fox. Eric had initially been accused of date rape when Jed was really the rapist, and lost his position in school as a result. Jed threatened to kill Sami if Eric didn't say it was really him, but Eric was able to convince Jed to accept his crimes and move on. Shortly thereafter, he met Nicole Walker, a waitress at the Java Café. When he started working at Countess Wilhelmina as a photographer, he thought she would make the perfect model. The two became romantically entangled, although their relationship was strained when Nicole's past started cropping up. When Eric had to focus all his attentions on Sami's upcoming trial for murdering Franco Kelly, Nicole got involved with Lucas, and Eric got involved with an older woman, Greta Von Amberg. Nicole and Eric were finished when Eric learned that Nicole had married Lucas Roberts.

Eric was then free to focus all of his concerns on Sami's trial. Sami had escaped and gone on the run, but after being recaptured by the police, she was sent back to prison to await lethal injection. Just as the injections were being given (as a shocked Eric looked on), Lucas burst in to take the blame, but later recanted when Roberto Barelli also confessed. Although Greta and Eric were spending a lot of time together, he couldn't keep Nicole out of his mind. He began sleeping with her again, and when Greta realized Eric still loved her, she broke things off. After having a near-fatal accident at a railway crossing and a heavenly trial with Isabella Toscano Black as his counsel, Eric decided to leave Salem. Before he left though, he told Nicole he would always love her.

Since leaving, Eric sent a letter to town when Roman was presumed dead (Roman was later found alive) remembering some of the good times. Marlena and Sami also made several trips to Colorado to visit Eric.

In November 2012, Nicole Walker thought that she saw Eric jogging through Salem. She later saw him in the Brady Pub and was shocked to see that he was wearing a priest collar. It turned out that Eric had returned to join the priests at St. Luke's in Salem.

Eric and Nicole began to talk. He listened to Nicole's sordid tale of the past few months and encouraged her to seek forgiveness from those who she had wronged. When Nicole took Eric's advice, he started to see that she wanted to change. Eric offered Nicole a job as a secretary at the church and a place to stay in the convent. Nicole agreed and started her life over. She also became a confidant for Eric, who was living with his own demons of violent acts he'd witnessed while working as a photographer in the Congo.

Opening up to Nicole helped Eric start to heal. He began sleeping through the night, rather than waking up from nightmares. He thanked Nicole by giving her one of the photos he took in Africa.

The two continued to work closely together on the new school, St. Luke's Academy. Eventually, Eric grew stronger feelings for Nicole. He admitted to Father Matt that he loved her as a friend and was upset to hear of various relationships that Nicole had with other men. But he would not take their relationship further. Still, Nicole's feelings grew.

Meanwhile, Eric tried to play peacemaker in his family when his step-brother, Brady, began dating Kristen DiMera. Kristen had terrorized John and Marlena for years and Marlena was certain that Kristen was doing it again. In light of their scandalous relationship, Eric asked Brady and Kristen to resign from the church council. When Brady and Kristen's relationship ended (due Marlena exposing Kristen's lies), Kristen blamed Marlena and set out for revenge.

When Eric went out of town on business for the new school, Kristen followed him. She snuck into his room, shot him with a memory-erasing drug-filled dart, lured him into bed, and raped him. She video taped their sexual encounter. Nicole, rushing to bring Eric some notes that he forgot, found Eric unconscious in his hotel room. She called an ambulance and took Eric to the hospital.

Daniel Jonas treated Eric and was convinced that Eric's illness was the result of a poison. Eric made a quick recovery, which increased Daniel's suspicion. But Eric was so focused on the new school that he didn't want to bother with tests at first. But, when Eric experienced side effects from the drug -- fainting, headaches -- he agreed to let Daniel run the tests.

The test yielded no results, so Daniel hired a private investigator to look at the evidence. However, when Kristen heard about the investigation and was able to disguise herself, start a conversation with the detective, and then spill coffee all over his evidence and destroying everything.

Eric was starting to remember what happened the night he was drugged. Though, he couldn't differentiate between dreams and reality. He spoke to Father Matt about it. In turn, Father Matt went to Nicole and asked her to help convince Eric not to dwell on what happened to him that night, but to focus on the future. She agreed.

Meanwhile, Nicole's feelings for Eric were growing so much that Brady finally noticed and confronted Nicole about them. Nicole admitted that she was in love with Eric but he could never know. Brady urged Nicole to talk to Eric about it, but she was too embarrassed. Instead, she decided to take a new job with Titan TV to get away from seeing Eric everyday.

Eric was stunned when she told him that she was leaving and tried to convince her to stay. But she was adamant. She was also not pleased with Eric for agreeing to marry Brady and Kristen, as she knew that Kristen was trouble. Eric noted the tension between himself and Nicole, but thought it was because he had agreed to go through Pre-Cana counseling with Kristen and Brady.

He was also realizing that his dreams were actually memories. He knew he had been raped, but could only remember it being a blonde woman. He spoke with the hotel clerk who told him that there was a woman in the lobby that night who insisted on getting the room right next to him. When the clerk told Eric that the woman's name was Fay Taylor, Eric was scared that Nicole was the one who raped him. When he heard Brady confronting Nicole again about her feelings for Eric, he was sure that Nicole drugged and raped him.

Eric confronted Nicole with what he'd overheard. Nicole admitted that she was in love with him. Then, he accused her of drugging and raping him. He told her all of the circumstantial evidence. She denied it. But, he was certain. He told her that he would never forgive her. Heartbroken, Nicole reached out to Daniel, who believed her that she didn't rape Eric. But Eric was still sure.

On the day of Brady and Kristen's wedding, with Eric officiating, Victor had managed to get a hold of the tape Kristen made and played it at the wedding. Everyone was horrified and Kristen fled Salem. In addition to working through the crime, Eric knew that he'd also have to find and apologize to Nicole.

Hope opened in investigation into Kristen's story that the sex was consensual. One of her first acts was to question Nicole as a potential witness. As soon as Nicole found out about the video she went looking for Kristen. She found her trying to flee Salem and drive after her. Their cars got into an accident. Nicole was not badly injured. While her car was totaled, Kristen was nowhere to be found.

Nicole went back to the police station to give her statement about the accident. Eric found Nicole there and tried to apologize. Nicole told him that she was devastated about what Kristen did to him. But, she could not forgive him for accusing her and not believing her when she plead her innocence.

Back at St. Luke's, the bishop had seen the video as well and opened an investigation into Eric's actions. Eric was suspended indefinitely and relieved of all his duties at the church. Eric also moved into one of the rooms above the Brady Pub.

Meanwhile, Nicole's first assignment as a reporter was to cover the "sex scandal" at St. Luke's. She was reluctant to do the story, but her boss gave her no choice.

Daniel was also still determined to prove that Eric was drugged. So, he talked Eric into undergoing a painful test, where he would be given another drug that would attack the masking agent in hopes of revealing the drug that Kristen used on Eric. Daniel convinced Nicole to help and do the story to tell the truth -- that Kristen drugged Eric. Nicole agreed.

But, Nicole still had to put her feelings for Eric behind her. To do so, she told Eric that she and Daniel had reconnected and were dating again. Much to Eric's shock, the news upset him. He confessed to Father Matt that he did indeed have more than friendship feelings for Nicole. But, he lamented that she no longer returned his feelings. So, he needed to focus on clearing his name and rejoining the priesthood. Father Matt suggested that everyone would understand if he wanted to find a different way to serve the church. Eric was torn on what to do. But he knew that he wanted to clear his name, even if that meant he didn't return to the priesthood.

Daniel ran a series of tests on Eric and found that there were traces of a masking agent in his blood. Working backwards, Daniel set about trying to find the limited few doctors in the country who worked with this specific drug. One of them was the doctor Kristen used, Dr. Chyka. When Stefano learned that Daniel and Nicole were snooping into Chyka, he sent Chyka to "take care" of the problem. Chyka was able to erase all of Daniel's files and flee Salem.

But, Daniel and Nicole weren't ready to give up. Using Nicole's connections at Titan TV, they were able to track the location of Chyka's safe house. They went there and held Chyka at gun point to get him to talk. When he refused, Daniel injected him with truth serum. He finally confessed to working for Kristen and supplying her with the drugs.

Just then another DiMera henchmen arrived at the safe house. Daniel managed to knock him out, but knew that he needed to get the man out of the house. So, Daniel drove the henchmen in the henchmen's car to a train station and left him there. Then, he took the train back to Salem where Nicole was to meet him with the proof. But, Chyka was able to overpower Nicole and escape. However, before he left, he gave Nicole the combination to a safe in the safe house that contained all of the documents and emails between Kristen and Chyka. Nicole knew that all of the documents would allow Eric to return to the priesthood. She was thrilled with their success.

While Nicole and Daniel were chasing down Chyka, Eric went on a retreat with Brother Timothy to talk through his growing feelings for Nicole and his anger about what Kristen did to him. Eric returned from his retreat and went straight to see Nicole. He told her that he loved her. And that it didn't matter to him if he never cleared his name. When Nicole heard that, she couldn't bring herself to show Eric the documents. So, she shredded them and threw them away. Eric and Nicole began dating and eventually became engaged. Nicole was very happy.

But Nicole's lie was going to catch up with her. One day, Daniel was drugged at work. Nicole had run into Liam Fraizer in the hallway of Daniel's apartment on the morning of the drugging. She didn't believe his lie about visiting another doctor in the building. But, when she confronted Liam about it, Liam revealed that he had blackmail information on Nicole. He had seen her disposing of the shredded paper and took them. Thus, knew that she was sitting on the proof that Eric could return to the priesthood if he wanted. Frustrated, Nicole did everything she could short of ratting on Liam to Daniel.

Eventually, things came to a head with Liam when he took Nicole and Jennifer hostage on Smith Island. Luckily, Daniel came to their rescue. Liam was killed in the struggle.

A few days later, Jennifer realized that she'd lost the necklace Daniel gave her during the struggle. The two of them went back to Smith Island to look for it. However, Daniel found some mysterious looking paperwork in the woods. He'd recognized it because he saw Nicole with the same shredded-and-put-back-together paperwork a few weeks earlier. He confronted Nicole with the paperwork. He knew it was the proof because he'd seen it in her hotel room earlier and she'd explained it away as a hoax from Stefano. This time, Nicole couldn't talk herself out of it. Daniel told Nicole to tell Eric, or he would.

Nicole didn't tell Eric the truth. Instead, she told Eric that they needed to elope because Daniel was in love with her. Eric was shocked, but agreed. They made plans to leave town. When Daniel heard this, he went to Nicole's hotel room to confront her again. However, Jennifer was standing outside the room and heard the whole story. She ran right to Eric and told him everything. Eric dumped Nicole and told her that he would never forgive her.

With the proof now resurfaced, the Vatican agreed to hear Eric's case about being reinstated to the priesthood. Nicole even travelled to Rome to testify that she'd kept the proof from Eric for selfish reasons. Moved by her testimony and the proof, the bishop offered Eric admission back into the priesthood. But, still troubled by his inability to forgive Nicole, Eric turned it down. He returned to Salem and worked as a photographer for the PR department at University Hospital.

He spent months fighting with Nicole, who kept pleasing with him to try to forgive her. But he couldn't. He finally found a distraction when his ex-girlfriend, Serena Mason, came to Salem in the winter of 2014 to do medical research from a story that she was working on. Eric and Serena met in Africa, while she was there on a story assignment. They fell in love. But, when Eric felt drawn to the priesthood, Serena did not stand in his way. However, as soon as she heard that Eric had left the priesthood, she wanted to see if there was another chance for them. Eric was happy to see her when she arrived in Salem.

Their relationship moved quickly, as Serena was in town for other motives. She was on orders to swap out a piece of artwork that Eric had acquired when the two of them were in Africa.

Nicole tried to warn Eric about Serene, but he refused to listen. When Eric and Serena's old friend Xander came to Salem, Eric started to notice that Serena was acting very strange around him. Finally, he forced the truth out of Serena. He felt she had used him and broke up with her.

He also realized that Nicole may be in danger for investigating Xander. He rushed to find her and found Xander attacking her in her office. He was able to overpower Xander long enough for he and Nicole to flee. But, they couldn't get out of the building. So, they hid in a crawl space in the furnace room.

They waited to be rescued as it got hotter and hotter. While in there, Eric confessed that it wasn't Nicole's fault that he left he priesthood. He'd chosen to leave in order to be with her. The two kissed and almost slept together.

Nicole passed out a short time later. Luckily, Brady, Daniel and Serena rescued them. Eric and Nicole were taken to the hospital. Eric kept wanting to check on Nicole. When he was strong enough to move, he went to see her. But, she told him that the kiss was a mistake. She was in love with Daniel and wanted a future with Daniel.

Heartbroken, Eric accepted her decision. He eventually forgave Serena as well for the diamond scheme. Then, he suffered another blow when Serena was strangled by the Necktie Killer. Eric began drinking to deal with his pain.

On new years 2015, Eric is involved in a car accident involving Jennifer Horton, Brady Black And Daniel Jonas, resulting in his drunk driving. Daniel dies as a result and Brady needs a heart transplant. Eric himself also almost dies from an infection, but manages to pull through. Brady ends p getting Daniels heart and makes a full recovery. After Eric recovers, he is faced with the guilt over what he had done and decides to turn himself in to police.

Eric discovers that Jennifer is addicted to her pain killers from the accident, and resolves to help her break her addiction. Eric's guilt caused him to drinking and he and Jennifer have a one night stand before he is sentenced. Eric says his goodbyes before heading to court, and facing the judge alone. Eric asks Marlena to look out for Jennifer. He is given five years in prison.

2017 ReturnEdit

Eric is seen again when he rescues an injured Hope Brady, when she's on the run from the police after escaping prison. Eric explains to Hope that he was given a pardon by stopping the governor's daughter from committing suicide, but he rejects the idea of returning to Salem, believing he deserves to live alone after his actions last year. Eric sneaks into Salem University to get some medicine for Hope, and he and Jennifer have an encounter. Eric convinces Jennifer not to tell anyone she saw him.

Hope was determined to help her friend, Hattie Adams, and believed that Andre DiMera had framed Hattie for embezzlement. Eric objected to Hope visiting Hattie, after Hope heard Hattie had been beaten up, until her name was cleared. Hope slipped away, but returned after she talked to Hattie. Hope noticed Eric kept a photo of Jennifer, and suspected he still had feelings for her. She assured Eric that Jennifer was doing fine. With Eric's help, Hope for the proof she needed to clear Hattie's name, and then learned she herself had been exonerated. Hope encouraged Eric to return home with her, but he refused to return with her.

Crimes CommittedEdit

  • Drove drunk and caused the accident that killed Daniel Jonas
  • Hid Hope Brady away from police when she escaped from jail

Maladies and InjuriesEdit

  • In a car accident (Not shown onscreen - 2010)
  • Drugged and raped by Kristen DiMera
  • Assaulted by Brady Black
  • Injured in a car accident that he caused (Dec 31st 2015)

GalleryEdit

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