All The Times Marlena Has Been Presumed Dead On Days Of Our Lives

In the world of soap operas, it is not uncommon for characters to seemingly die, only to return again later. On "Days of Our Lives," this happened often with several characters including Jack Deveraux (Matthew Ashford), Nicole Walker (Arianne Zucker), John Black (Drake Hogestyn), and Steve Johnson (Stephen Nichols) coming back from the dead, per Nine. The villain Stefano DiMera (Joseph Mascolo) was nicknamed the Phoenix because he rose from the dead several times, via Soap Hub

Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) is part of the club of characters that have been resurrected over the years. However, her first death was not really hers at all. Marlena had a twin sister named Samantha Evans (Andrea Hall) who was an actress that used her skills to take Marlena's place. She'd escaped from a mental hospital and sent Marlena there where she was subjected to electro-shock therapy. Eventually, the truth was revealed, and Marlena returned to forgive her sister, per Soap Central. However, as Soap Hub recapped, in 1982 there was a killer stalking the streets known as the Salem Strangler (Jack Coleman). He had targeted Marlena and went to her house one night, killing her. In reality, Samantha was the one who was killed. The murderer was identified as Jake Kositchek and attempted to off Marlena again. But Roman Brady (Wayne Northrop) jumped in and dispatched the evildoer.

Orpheus sought revenge against Roman

When John Black (Drake Hogestyn) came to town, he had no memory of who he was. Because Marlena was a psychiatrist, she worked with him, eventually coming to the conclusion that he was, in fact, her husband Roman who had been presumed dead, per Soaps.

In years past, Roman worked for the ISA with his partner Milo Harp — aka Orpheus (George DelHoyo). During a botched mission against the KGB, Orpheus' wife was accidentally shot by Roman and died. Orpheus left the agency, planning to avenge his wife, and sought retribution against his erstwhile partner. In 1987, he captured Marlena so Roman would go after her. To make the man suffer as he did, Orpheus let her go and then shot her in the back as she ran to her husband. It was only a tranquilizer gun, though, and Roman escaped with Marlena. At their house, Orpheus blew it up and kidnapped her again, making Roman think she was dead, via Soap Central.

Orpheus planned to have her be a mother to his kids, but he couldn't help himself and continued to torture Roman with videos of Marlena. Realizing she was still alive, Roman tracked them to Sweden where he shot Orpheus. However, the villain clandestinely had put her on a plane, and a helpless Roman watched in horror as it exploded. No bodies were recovered, and Marlena was presumed dead.

Evil attacks in Salem

Marlena turned up alive in 1991. She'd been kept prisoner by Stefano DiMera (Joseph Mascolo), eventually managing to escape and return to Salem. There, the real Roman also returned and she realized that the man she thought was Roman was actually John Black. Although attempting to reunite with Roman, Marlena and John were actually in love with each other, and the two eventually married. Three years later, Stefano couldn't let go of his obsession with the good doctor and secretly entered her home at night, drugging her. He wanted to make her receptive to his brainwashing attempts so she'd fall in love with him. What Stefano didn't realize was that his techniques had also made her susceptible to otherworldly influences. Thus, the devil himself entered Marlena's mind, taking control, per Soaps in Depth

By this point, John and Marlena had broken up and it was learned that he used to be a priest. He had returned to his vocation just in time. Per Soap Central, a possessed Marlena had terrorized many Salemites using paranormal powers. She even strangled Stefano once when he was still sneaking into her house. Fortunately, the Archangel Gabriel (Mark Colson) had been appearing to John and warned him of the impending evil that was unleashed on the world. John performed an exorcism on Marlena, ridding her of the supernatural menace.

As The Washington Post reported, the exorcism killed Marlena, but she was ultimately revived by doctors.

The Salem Stalker strikes!

According to Collider, in 2003 a mysterious assailant called the Salem Stalker preyed upon the good townspeople on "Days of Our Lives." Stalwart citizens such as Maggie Horton (Suzanne Rogers), Roman Brady (Josh Taylor), Abe Carver (James Reynolds), and more died in various, grisly ways. The killer was eventually revealed to be Marlena Evans! Pursued by John Black (Drake Hogestyn) and Bo Brady (Peter Reckell), Marlena was knocked out on the police rooftop and a gun was placed near her. However, as the Chicago Tribune reported, static interference on the police radio caused a sniper to think Bo ordered Marlena to be shot — and she was killed. Psychic Celeste Perrault (Tanya Boyd) was with Marlena's body in a church when not only did her ghost appear to the frightened woman swearing vengeance, but Marlena also sat up and spoke to her. 

It turned out that the whole thing was orchestrated by Tony Dimera's evil twin, Andre (both Thaao Penghlis). No one had actually died, and all woke up on an island called Melaswen which was a perfect duplicate of Salem. It was realized that the island's name was New Salem backward. Eventually, the good guys figured things out and after a major battle that ended with the island blowing up, everyone escaped alive and unharmed, per Soaps.

Marlena dies three more times

In 2020, John and Marlena planned to get remarried. But bad girl Kristin DiMera (Stacy Haiduk) — who had been obsessed with John for years — planned to intervene. Disguised as Susan Banks (also Haiduk), she went to the wedding intent on killing Marlena. However, John and Marlena's daughter Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney) figured out Kristen's plan and tried to stop her. In the struggle over Kristen's gun, Sami accidentally shot Marlena sending her to the hospital. In the ER, Marlena flatlined and everyone thought she was dead, but this time she was resuscitated, per Soaps. Sami would later apologize for the snafu, according to Soap Hub.

Marlena had eaten cookies laced with penicillin in 2019, and once again was at death's door. She flatlined and found herself in purgatory with Tony DiMera and Princess Gina, the brainwashed alter-ego of Hope Brady (Kristian Alfonso). Tony's evil twin Andre also showed up, reminding Marlena of some of the horrible mistakes she's made in life, beckoning her to go to hell. Luckily, Tony encouraged her to fight her way back to Earth, and John Black was ecstatic when she awoke.

A year later, John had been kidnapped and tied up by Hope. She told him Marlena was dead at Stefano's hands, however, this was a ruse and she was very much alive (via Soaps).

Is this truly the end for Marlena?

Orpheus (George DelHoyo) returned from the dead recently, seeking vengeance against all of those who fought against him over the years, on "Days of Our Lives." Capturing Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall), Kayla Johnson (Mary Beth Evans), and Kate Roberts (Lauren Koslow), he planted clues for their husbands to find the women. Their respective partners –John Black (Drake Hogestyn), Steve Johnson (Stephan Nichols), and Roman Brady (Josh Taylor) — tracked them down and rescued them before Orpheus' bomb went off. However, that was just a cover for the villain's more insidious plot: he infected them with a rare disease, and only the properties of a unique plant could save them. Luckily, the last of the lotus flowers were found and the cure was used on the women, per Celeb Dirty Laundry.

But what wasn't known was that the three ladies would need a second dose soon, or they would relapse and die. Sadly, Kate and Kayla succumbed to the biotoxin and perished. Kristen DiMera (Stacy Haiduk) had the only remaining plant on the planet, but it mysteriously disappeared. Although trying to skip town, Kristen was caught and arrested. Now it's become a race against time to find the rare cure, as John helplessly sits by Marlena's side, praying that she doesn't die, via Soaps She Knows. Again.