|Jen Lilley as Theresa Donovan|
|Days of our Lives|
|Portrayed by|| Hannah Taylor Simmons (1990–91)|
Emily and Alicia Pillatzke (1991–92)
Caitlin Wachs (1992)
Gabriella Massari (1992)
Jen Lilley (2013–16, 2018)
|Current status||Former; Recurring|
|Duration||1990–92, 1996–97, 2013–16, 2018|
|First appearance||September 3, 1990|
|Last appearance||July 19, 2018|
|Cause/reason||Left Town with Tate Black to be with her parents in California.|
|Created by||Richard J. Allen and Anne Schoettle|
|Introduced by|| Ken Corday and Al Rabin (1990)|
Ken Corday, Lisa de Cazotte and Greg Meng (2013)
|Fullname||Jeannie Theresa Donovan|
|Alias(es)||Jeannie Caroline Donovan|
|Namesake(s)||Margaret "Jeannie" Donovan|
|Born||September 3, 1988|
|Occupation|| Businesswoman (2015–16)|
Fashion designer (2015–16)
Personal assistant (2013–15)
|Residence||Kiriakis Mansion, Salem, USA (formerly)|
Jeannie Theresa Donovan is a fictional character from the NBC soap opera Days of our Lives. Introduced in September 1990, she was portrayed by several child actors until the character left the series in 1992, with further guest appearances in both 1996 and 1997. She was most recently portrayed by actress Jen Lilley, best known for her portrayal as Maxie Jones on the ABC Daytime soap, General Hospital. Lilley has portrayed the role (now going by her middle name, Theresa) from July 3, 2013, to November 18, 2016. She returned to the role in May-July, 2018.
In April 2013, it was announced by Soap Opera Digest and several other sources that actress Jen Lilley, who was previously known for temporarily filling in for Kirsten Storms in her portrayal of Maxie Jones on ABC's General Hospital, was announced to have joined the cast of Days of Our Lives in a newly created role with ties to the canvas. Due to the show's advanced filming schedule, Lilley began filming in the (then-unknown) role in March 2013. Lilley made her on-screen debut as Theresa on July 3, 2013.
In May 2016, it was announced that Lilley had quit the soap. Her last air date was November 18, 2016 when the character left town.
In November 2017, it was announced that Lilley would return to the soap first airing in May 2018.
With the casting of Lilley, executive producer Ken Corday admits that seeing the actress' work on General Hospital helped with the casting of the actress in the role of Theresa. Upon Theresa's re-appearance on the canvas, she was characterized as the "bad girl". In an interview with MSN Entertainment on her role, Lilley spoke: "Part of me doesn't want to make excuses for her, because you can have horrible upbringing and make something positive of it. Some of the most amazing, well-grounded people have come from the wrong side of the tracks. Obviously, the Brady- family is a great family, but her dad Shane is a spy and I watched the episode where he leaves the kids with Marlena. Theresa was probably one, at most, so she didn't have a dad growing up, which is a formula for trouble. Typical psychological path for a girl like that is to look for love in the wrong places and look for a father figure in older guys." The role of Theresa has been described as "Sarcastic, calculating, mischievous" and "mysterious". Lilley also called her "such a badass".
For her casting, Lilley stated she originally went in for two roles, the roles of both Theresa and Jordan Ridgeway. At the time, she was hoping to book the "good girl" role; however for her second audition, was asked to amp it up to a more bad girl persona and concentrate on Theresa. She revealed: "I got to skip the first audition, which is called a pre-read and is an audition to audition. So then I auditioned with everyone else, and I got to do my screen test twice, which is very unusual. I was the only girl who got to do that, so I went first and last. The reason they had me do it twice is that I wore my hair curly, and I have a really young face, and they said that I looked too sweet and innocent and young with the curly hair. So they straightened my hair and had me do it again. On the second take, I knew that I had nothing to lose. I had already done a perfect first take, and they told me it wasn't going to get better than that so I could do whatever I wanted. I just did everything out of the box, and that's what got me the job. I mean I took the guy's shirt off in the scene! I told the actor that this is a character with no concept of personal space, so I asked him if it's ok if I touch him. He said that was fine and it was my screen test. So I took his shirt off and I threw some props at him at the end. I broke all the rules, and I think [the casting staff] thought, that is that character."
Jeannie Theresa Brady was born on September 3, 1990, to Kimberly Brady (Patsy Pease) and was originally believed to be the daughter of Cal Winter. However, paternity tests and a confession from Cal proved her father to be Shane Donovan (Charles Shaughnessy). She grew up with her parents in Salem, before relocating to Los Angeles. In her teenage years, when she was in Mexico, she got involved with Mateo, who was at the time the son of one of the most dangerous drug lords in the world. She soon escaped him, after realising the kind of man he was.
Upon the news of Lilley joining the cast, Michael Fairman of On-Air On-Soaps credited her casting as, "fantastic news for [Jen Lilley] fans". Despite rumors of Lilley joining the cast as a recast for either Belle Black or Cassie Brady, it was informed she would portray a new character. Janet DiLauro of About.com praised Theresa as a "riveting character", writing: "Days of our Lives has been seriously lacking in the bad girl department [...] Enter the deliciously naughty Theresa Brady and suddenly it seems like Salem will never be the same."
In July 2013, Jeannie returns to Salem, this time going by her middle name, Theresa. Initially, she strikes up a connection with resident bad boy JJ Deveraux (Casey Moss) while trying to secure some pot. During a confrontation with JJ and his mother Jennifer Horton (Melissa Reeves) in her office, her aunt Kayla confirms that Theresa is in fact Jeannie and that Jen promised to hire her as her assistant, a promise she reluctantly agrees to. Kayla reminds Theresa it is her last chance at a fresh start. Theresa also strikes up a bad first impression with Jennifer's daughter Abigail Deveraux (Kate Mansi) when Abigail smells pot on Theresa in her mother's office.
To continue to battle against Jennifer, she teams up with Anne Milbauer (Meredith Scott Lynn) in hopes of exacting her perfect revenge. In a ploy, Theresa reveals her intentions to hopefully woo Dr. Daniel Jonas (Shawn Christian). After sleeping with JJ, Theresa overdoses on marijuana and GHB. Upon hearing of their daughter's overdose and continuing problems, Shane and Kimberly return to town in the hopes of handling their daughter's problem, together. After believing that Theresa has a handle on her addictions, Roman and Marlena town together. Theresa then teams up with hospital co-worker Anne Milbauer to conspire against Jennifer, using Daniel as a way to hurt their relationship. In early 2014, following a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting, she begins a sexual and drugged-fused relationship with Brady Black (Eric Martsolf).
In 2015, after it is found that Kristen DiMera (Eileen Davidson) stole Theresa's embryo and carried it to term, Brady and Melanie Jonas return her son, Christopher, to her and Brady, and the pair rename him Tate. Theresa threatens Melanie into leaving Salem, saying she will take Tate and leave Salem, if she didn't break up with Brady. Theresa had hoped that if Melanie broke up with Brady, she could win him back, but Brady quickly realized what Theresa was up to, and rejected her. Theresa continued to scheme to get Brady's sympathy by faking a broken ankle, and even went onto seduce Xander Cook (Paul Telfer), and then accuse him of raping her, so Brady would save her. That scheme works and Brady finally have Theresa a chance. Theresa shunned her previous bad behavior, so she could keep her family together, and even offered Melanie her condolences after Daniel was killed in a car accident.
When Theresa moves into the Kiriakis mansion, tensions arise between her and Victor. She eventually expresses her interest in purchasing Basic Black and running it as her own fashion company, with financial backing from Maggie Horton (Suzanne Rogers). In the hopes of finding the right partner, she teams up with Kate Roberts (Lauren Koslow) and Nicole Walker (Arianne Zucker) to achieve the goal of purchasing Basic Black, with Kate and Nicole's business background and her own interest in fashion design. As she and Brady share several instances of rekindling their romance, she is kicked out of the mansion by Victor; as a result, Brady quits Titan and moves in with Theresa and Summer and Tate, in their own penthouse. They are forced to move back into the Kiriakis mansion when a vengeful Xander escapes from prison, and nearly kills Theresa on the day she and Brady were supposed to be married.
Theresa and Brady have a pretend marriage ceremony, and live in temporary bliss before Shane returns with some bad news: her ex-boyfriend, Mateo, has tracked her down to Salem and he wants her back. Theresa asks Victor to help her deal with Mateo, but Victor says he can't, and that Mateo is even more powerful than he. Shane and Kim think Theresa's best option is to leave Salem, so Theresa does everything she can to push Brady away, but he won't give up on her. Theresa agrees to use herself as bait in a plot to take down Mateo, so she can return to her family. Shane hopes it will only take a month. Theresa shares a heartfelt goodbye with Victor and her son Tate. Victor, who finally respects her, hopes for her eventual return. Theresa promised her son Tate that she will return. However she coldly says goodbye to Brady, before leaving town with Mateo on November 18, 2016.
In May 3, Theresa revealed herself to Chloe Lane whom became Mateo's new obsession. She explained everything to her, of why she's in Mexico with Mateo and how he forced her to leave Brady and Tate. On May 14, Theresa finally finds a drive that might be the key to ending Mateo. However, she runs into Xander, whom she believed was dead. After catching up, they made a devil's bargain, she would give him the drive to deliver to her father so Mateo would get arrested and in exchange she would help him finally become accepted in the Kiriakis family. Unfortunately, Mateo came in and Xander revealed everything including the drive. However, he was able to convince Mateo to give him Theresa and when they were left alone, Xander finally agreed on getting Theresa back to Salem. Theresa tried to convince Xander to help her get Chloe out too, but he refused and so they left without her.
Crimes and MisdeedsEdit
- Stole a car (not show onscreen)
- Broke into Vargas's apartment
- Framed Vargas for drug possession
- Blackmailed J.J. Deveraux into supplying her with drugs.
- Hit John Black in the back of the head with a fire poker.
- Told the police Brady Black had hit John while he was drunk.
- Seduced Xander Kiriakis and then accused him of raping her.
- Faked an ankle injury
- Falsified an X-Ray to make it look like she had actually broken her ankle.
- Called Mateo and tipped him off that John Black and Paul Narita were on their way to rescue Chloe Lane from captivity in Mexico [May 25, 2018]