The Villain Evolution Of Days Of Our Lives' Victor Kiriakis

When it comes to villains, "Days of Our Lives" knows how to bring the drama. The soap opera has been delivering shocking moments and devious characters for decades. Over the years, fans have watched Salem troublemakers such as Vivian Alamain and Kate Roberts stir up controversy around town. Others like Sami Brady, Nicole Walker, Claire Brady, and Gabi Hernandez have also gotten a reputation for causing chaos wherever they go, per Fame 10.

Other villains like Xander Cook, Kristen DiMera, Orpheus, Clyde Weston, and Andre DiMera have also left destruction in their paths (via Nine). However, the two biggest villains to ever step foot into Salem are Stefano DiMera and Victor Kiriakis, the latter of which was played by the talented John Aniston. The two men caused an unbelievable amount of devastation over the years. While Stefano was arguably the most dangerous and notorious big bad to ever appear on the sudser, per TV Overmind, Victor wasn't far behind with his criminal activities and devilish schemes.

Victor began causing trouble from the moment he stepped into town, and while he had his moments of redemption through the years, his villainous side was never hidden far under the surface. Despite all of the pain he caused during his lifetime, Victor proved to be one of the most beloved characters in the show's history.

Victor's early years in Salem were full of chaos

"Days of Our Lives" viewers first met Victor Kiriakis (John Aniston) when he arrived in Salem in 1985. The character was revealed to be a close friend of the Brady family, per Soaps in Depth. However, viewers soon learned that Victor didn't share the Brady's moral code and ethics, as it was revealed that he was involved in many illegal activities around Salem, such as trafficking drugs and owning a pornography ring.

During Victor's early years in Salem, he set his sights on Shawn and Caroline Brady's daughter, Kimberly Brady (Patsy Pease). The two dated, and Victor even coerced her into getting intimate with him. However, Kimberly soon left Victor behind to reunite with the love of her life, Shane Donovan. Shockingly, Kimberly wasn't the only Brady woman whom Victor had a romantic past with. Fans later found out that Victor and Caroline (Peggy McCay) had carried on a secret affair years before, which resulted in Caroline getting pregnant with their son, Bo Brady (via Soap Central). Caroline and Victor opted to keep Bo's paternity a secret. However, Bo eventually found out the truth as a young adult.

According to Soaps, Bo (Peter Reckell) used his newfound connection to Victor to get close to him in hopes of bringing down all of his illegal operations. A year later, when Caroline asked Victor to steer clear of Bo, he had papers forged to claim he was sterile at the time of Bo's conception and disowned Bo.

Victor brought The Pawn to Salem

During a time when Stefano DiMera (Joseph Mascolo) was presumed to be dead, Victor Kiriakis saw the opportunity to rise to power in Salem. With "Days of Our Lives" villain Stefano out of the way, Victor could rule over Salem with his illegal businesses, but he needed one of Stefano's assets to do so. With Stefano dead, Victor competed in a game called The Purse, The Power, and The Pawn, where he bid against his rivals to obtain some of Stefano's most valuable assets. Victor won The Pawn, who turned out to be John Black (Drake Hogestyn), a man who was brainwashed into believing he was the presumed dead Roman Brady, per Soaps.

Around that time, Victor also made a play to find a computer disk that contained information about where to find a valuable mineral. This allowed him to get close to Serena Coleville and her daughter Diana. Later, when Diana's father died, Serena and Victor plotted to steal the fortune he had left her. However, they ultimately failed, per Soap Central.

Eventually, Victor made the decision to go legit and began his business empire with Titan Industries. However, he still continued to fight and claw his way to the top without regard for those he was hurting (via Soaps in Depth). This trend continued on for years and even included Victor hurting his own family members.

Victor's feud with Justin Kiriakis was brutal

Victor Kiriakis began to concentrate on his business and his family. When his nephew, Justin Kiriakis (Wally Kurth), moved to Salem and into Victor's mansion, "Days of Our Lives" fans watched things get a bit complicated. Victor loved Justin but didn't approve of his choice of women. Justin met and fell head over heels for Adrienne Johnson (Judi Evans), and Victor believed that she wasn't good enough for his nephew. Victor did everything he could to tear Justin and Adrienne apart, and he even drugged Justin to make him impotent (via Soaps). Eventually, Victor grew used to the idea that Justin and Adrienne were a couple and even made amends with them.

However, when Anjelica Deveraux (then Jane Elliot) became pregnant with Justin's child, Victor schemed against Justin yet again. Victor decided that he wanted to pass off the child as his own and even proposed to Anjelica. However, she decided to marry Neil Curtis instead, and Victor vowed to get revenge on her by ruining the marriage (via Soaps). Justin eventually learned that Anjelica's child was his, and they welcomed a son together named Alex Kiriakis.

When Adrienne feared that she would lose Justin to Angelica, Victor advised her to fake a pregnancy to hold Justin's attention, per Soap Central. However, when Anjelica exposed the truth, Justin and Adrienne split.

Victor fought Bo for Carly's affection

In the late 1980s and 90s, Victor Kiriakis' wrath continued on "Days of Our Lives." He worked with Marina Toscano (Hunter Tylo) in hopes of finding her family's hidden treasure. Marina hid the key in Steve Johnson (Steven Nichols) and Kayla Brady's (Mary Beth Evans) home and was later found dead. Victor then took matters into his own hands by kidnapping Kayla and forcing Steve to find the key. When Steve finally gave Victor the key, Kayla was released, but the Toscano treasure had disappeared (via Soaps). After finding out that his own daughter, Isabella, had killed Marina, he knew he had to protect her. So, he targeted Kayla once again and framed her for the murder.

Eventually, Victor mended fences with both Justin Kiriakis and Bo Brady. Sadly, he suffered a stroke soon after, which left him paralyzed. He began working with a physical therapist named Dr. Carly Manning (Crystal Chappell), and Victor fell in love with her. However, the situation was complicated as his son, Bo, was also in love with Carly. Despite Bo's feelings, Victor proposed to Carly, and she accepted (via Soap Central). Before their wedding, Bo wrote Carly a letter begging her not to marry Victor. However, Victor intercepted the message. 

Victor and Carly went on to tie the knot, but when the truth about the letter was revealed, she left him and reunited with Bo.

Victor never stopped scheming

After the death of Victor Kiriakis' daughter, Isabella, he decided to turn his life around. He even tried to find wedded bliss with the likes of Vivian Alamain, Kate Roberts, and Nicole Walker. However, those relationships didn't work out. He and Kate welcomed a son together, Philip, and years later, when Philip believed he was the father of Belle Black's daughter, Claire, Victor kept the secret of her paternity quiet, per Soap Central. Over the years, Victor continued to participate in shady dealings, including a feud with the DiMera family. However, when he fell in love with and married Maggie Horton (Suzanne Rogers), things settled down for him. Sadly, he still had some schemes left in him.

When Victor believed that Maggie had caused a car accident that killed Adrienne Kiriakis and Sarah Horton's newborn baby, he sprung into action (via Soaps in Depth). Victor framed Will Horton for the accident and swapped Sarah's daughter with Brady Black and Kristen DiMera's daughter, Rachel. When the scheme fell apart a year later, Maggie was furious at Victor. However, they worked through their differences and remained together.

Victor will certainly go down as one of the greatest characters in "Days of Our Lives" history, and fans will never forget the impact he's had on the long-running soap opera.