What Happened To Eric Brady On Days Of Our Lives?

This article contains a reference to sexual assault.

Eric Brady is a huge fan favorite on "Days of Our Lives." The character was born to parents Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) and Roman Brady (Josh Taylor) in October 1984 alongside his twin sister Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney), per Soap Central. Over the years, "DOOL" viewers have watched a handful of actors portray Eric Brady, including Rory Beauregard, Jesse Davis, Edward Palma, Bradley Hallock, and Scotty Hauser (via Days of Our Lives Wiki). In 1997, actor Jensen Ackles — best known for playing Dean Winchester on "Supernatural" — took over the role on "Days of Our Lives." Ackles portrayed the character until 2000.

In 2012, fans watched as Eric Brady returned to the canvas once more with Greg Vaughan in the role (via Soaps in Depth). Since that time, Vaughan has continued to portray the character off and on and has delivered some very emotional and powerful storylines for daytime viewers to enjoy. Although Eric isn't a character who has always been in Salem, his time in the fictional midwestern town has been anything but easy, starting with his childhood.

Eric left Salem as a child and didn't return until he was a young man

When Eric Brady and his twin sister, Sami, were young, their mother Marlena Evans was presumed dead. During this time, the twins were sent to Colorado to live with their grandparents, and "Days of Our Lives" viewers didn't see Sami again until she returned to attend high school in Salem in 1993. A few years later, in 1997, Eric also returned to Salem to reunite with his family. Upon coming home, he made it clear that he believed his parents, Marlena and Roman, should be together, and that he was unhappy that his mother was in a relationship with John Black (Drake Hogestyn) (per Soaps in Depth).

Upon Eric's arrival in Salem, Sami had created a scheme to fake amnesia so that her sister Carrie's boyfriend, Austin Reed, would marry her. However, Eric eventually saw through Sami's lies and told Carrie that Sami was not only faking her amnesia but that she also lied about her son, Will, being fathered by Austin (via Soap Central). Carrie then stopped Sami and Austin's wedding, and Eric felt guilty for hurting Sami. However, she later forgave her brother.

Eric fell in love with Nicole, but left Salem heartbroken

Not long after his return to Salem, Eric met Nicole Walker (Arianne Zucker). Nicole was introduced to "Days of Our Lives" viewers as a waitress working at the Java Café. The two had instant chemistry and after Eric landed a job as a photographer for the brand Countess Wilhelmina, he recommended Nicole as a model. Eric and Nicole eventually began dating and fell madly in love with one another. However, secrets from Nicole's past put a strain on the young couple's relationship, per Soap Central.

Additionally, Eric's sister Sami had been framed for the murder of her fiancé, Franco Kelly. Sami was convicted of the murder and sentenced to death. Eric told Nicole that he wanted to take a break from their romance and focus on Sami's trial and legal issues. So, Nicole moved on to Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo) and the two eventually got married. After Lucas saved Sami's life by confessing to the murder — and later recanting his confession — Eric moved on as well. He began dating "Swamp Girl" Greta Von Amberg (via Soaps in Depth). Although Eric had strong feelings for Greta, he couldn't move past his love for Nicole. Greta eventually broke things off with Eric and he decided to leave Salem, telling Nicole that he would always love her before heading out of town in 2000.

Eric reunited with Nicole and lost his job as a priest following a scandal

While Eric was mentioned by family members on "Days of Our Lives," fans didn't see him for 12 years after his departure. In 2012, Nicole thought she saw a glimpse of Eric running through Salem and followed him to the Brady Pub, where she was shocked to come face-to-face with her former love. Of course, Nicole was even more surprised to see that Eric had become a priest since she last saw him over a decade earlier. Eric moved back to town and took a job as a priest at St. Luke's church (via Soap Central)

Eric and Nicole rekindled their friendship, and Eric even hired Nicole to work as a secretary with him at the church. However, it was clear that both parties still had deep feelings for one another. When Eric's stepbrother, Brady Black (Eric Martsolf), began dating Kristen DiMera, the family was up in arms. Eric tried to smooth out the situation. Eventually, Eric's mother, Marlena, exposed Kristen for lying to Brady, and Kristen sought revenge. Kristen drugged and raped Eric (via Soaps in Depth). The scandal cost Eric his job and he began to struggle with his future plans. Eventually, he decided to leave his career as a priest behind and pursue a romance with Nicole.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Eric's alcohol use had tragic consequences

Meanwhile, "Days of Our Lives" viewers watched as Nicole tried to clear Eric's name. Once she finally had the documents that proved Eric was telling the truth, she decided to destroy them so Eric wouldn't go back to the priesthood. The couple began dating again and were quickly engaged. However, once Eric found out the truth about Nicole's deception, he was furious and the couple ended their romance (via Soap Central).

Eventually, Eric was thrilled to see an old friend named Serena Mason come to Salem. The pair had met and dated during Eric's time in Africa. Since Eric was single, he and Serena rekindled their romance, but their relationship came to a tragic end when Serena was murdered by a serial killer dubbed The Necktie Killer, which was later revealed to be Ben Weston (Robert Scott Wilson), per Soaps in Depth.

Eric felt horrible guilt after Serena's murder and began to drink heavily. He had also realized that he was still in love with Nicole, and after seeing her with her fiancé, Daniel Jonas, together on New Year's Eve, he drove drunk and killed Daniel in a car accident. Eric eventually turned himself in and was sentenced to five years in prison. Nicole wanted nothing to do with Eric after that, and the two drifted apart.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Eric married and divorced Nicole after being released from prison

Eric was eventually released from prison and returned to "Days of Our Lives" in 2017. Nicole wasn't happy about his return to Salem, but the two were forced to work together at the Horton Center when Nicole was sentenced to community service (via Soaps in Depth). During this time, their old spark was reignited and the pair fell back in love. However, Nicole was in a relationship with Eric's stepbrother, Brady, at the time, which complicated their romance. Brady was angry and blackmailed Nicole into ending her relationship with Eric and leaving Salem.

After Nicole left, Eric leaned on Jennifer Horton (Melissa Reeves) and the two grew close. He also developed feelings for Sarah Horton (Linsey Godfrey). However, when Nicole came back to Salem, Eric reunited with her and left Sarah heartbroken. Eric and Nicole went on to get married, and even decided to help Eric's niece Allie Horton raise her baby, per Soap Opera Spy. However, Eric eventually opted to return to Africa for work, leaving Nicole with the child in Salem. The couple began having problems with a long-distance relationship, and Nicole made the mistake of sleeping with Xander while Eric was away. When Eric found out he was furious. He divorced Nicole and left Salem. Eric returned months later as a priest and performed an exorcism on his mother, Marlena, who had been possessed by the devil.

Eric's time in Salem has been jaw-dropping, to say the least, but fans continue to root for the character to find happiness.