The Actors That Have Played Vivian Alamain On Days Of Our Lives

What would Salem and "Days of Our Lives" be if Vivian Alamain never arrived in town 30 years ago in 1992? Carly Manning (Crystal Chapel) surely would never have been buried alive, and neither would Maggie Kiriakis (Suzanne Rogers) have, for that matter. Philip Kiriakis (Jay Kenneth Johnson) would have never gestated inside her, and Gabi Hernandez (Camila Banus) wouldn't have a boyfriend named Jake (Brandon Barash) in 2022, as Jake is oddly Vivian's son. (Yes, the Kiriakis family tree on "Days of Our Lives" is wild.) Ultimately, Vivian has definitely had an impact on this soap in a myriad of exasperating and entertaining ways.

Always flamboyant, always plotting, and frequently followed around by a manservant named Ivan (Ivan G'vera), who finally admitted he was in love with her, Vivian is a force to be reckoned with no matter who plays her (via Soaps in Depth). In the three decades she's been an off-and-on Salem menace, one actress has held the role for much of that time, but when that iconic actress can't work, another soap legend always takes her place.

Louise Sorel is most identified as Vivian Alamain

Louise Sorel came to "Days of Our Lives" by way of two other soap operas. Sorel began her soap opera career in 1984 on a brand new soap called "Santa Barbara." As part of its original cast, Sorel played the conniving and calculating Augusta Lockridge, who famously cooked her teenage daughter's pet pigeon and then served it to her for dinner. Sorel would come and go from "Santa Barbara" in the same way she comes and goes from "DOOL," and in between "SB" stints, she appeared as Judith Sanders on "One Life to Live," before finally arriving in Salem in 1992 as the original Vivian (via IMDb).

Except for a few episodes in 1992 and 1993 when she needed a temporary sub, Sorel played Vivian off and on until 2018. After that, two other legendary actresses took the role when Sorel couldn't work, just like a legend took her place for those few days nearly three decades ago.

Marj Dusay was a quick substitute Vivian

Like Louise Sorel, Marj Dusay got her soap opera start in the 1980s, but on a short-lived CBS drama called "Capitol." Also like Sorel, Dusay spent some time as Pamela Capwell Conrad on "Santa Barbara" before moving over to "Guiding Light," where she made the part of Alexandra Spaulding her own after Beverlee McKinsey abruptly quit the soap (via Soap Opera Digest). Dusay played Alex off and on from 1994 until 2009, while also bringing another memorable soap character to life on "All My Children." There, she played Vanessa Bennett from 1998 to 2002 (via IMDb).

Dusay had several recurring primetime roles as well, and played Blair Warner's (Lisa Welchel) mother, Monica Warner, on the NBC sitcom "The Facts of Life." In an iconic "Star Trek" appearance, Dusay, who passed away in 2020, played an alien who committed a high crime when she stole the brain of one of the show's most famous characters, Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Robin Strasser made her daytime comeback as Vivian

In 2019, Vivian got a new face for the first time in nearly three decades. Legendary soap actress Robin Strasser was cast in the role for a short arc when Louise Sorel claimed the show had not given her enough notice that they wanted her back (via Entertainment Weekly). Strasser had been a soap opera star since the 1960s (via IMDb), playing the iconic role of Rachel Davis on NBC's "Another World" before Victoria Wyndham took the character from vixen to heroine. Strasser then went on to play another famous soap vixen, Dorian Lord, on "One Life to Live" from 1979 to 2013.

When Strasser took on the role of Vivian Alamain, she even got to reunite with one of her closest friends, former "OLTL" co-star Kassie DePaiva, who played Dorian's niece, Blair. On "Days of Our Lives," they shared scenes as Vivian and Eve Donovan, another Salem outcast. Strasser's version of Vivian accidentally shot her own son, Stefan O. DiMera, and hightailed it out of town so she wouldn't be caught.

Linda Dano played another hilarious version of Vivian

In 2021, "Days of Our Lives" needed Vivian again for another short story arc, and Louise Sorel could not return, so another soap vet was called upon to bring Vivian to life. Linda Dano, who made her daytime mark as Felicia Gallant on "Another World" from 1984 to 1999, became the fourth actress to play Vivian Alamain. In fact, since the soap world is such a close community, it was Robin Strasser who announced the news on Twitter.

"BELOVED Soap Diva #LindaDano, who joined up with beloved #AlisonSweeney in 2018, will in 2021 be joining the cast of beloved long running #DaysOfOurLives as the new VIVIAN," Strasser tweeted. "Linda has timeless energy-pizzazz-& marketing skills in addition to her acting sizzle."

In between playing Felicia and Vivian, Dano made her way around ABC soaps as Rae Cummings on "One Life to Live," "Port Charles," "All My Children," and "General Hospital" (via IMDb). Now, the retired cast of "Days of Our Lives" lives however they want, as they're soap royalty and earned their rest.