Who Was Marlena's First Husband On Days Of Our Lives?

It seems like Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) has been with John Black (Drake Hogestyn) forever on "Days of Our Lives." After all, they have been in love since 1986, but at that time she thought he was Roman Brady (then played by Wayne Northrop), the man she married in 1983. Roman allegedly died in 1984, but Marlena believed this other man had been given plastic surgery to look like someone else (via Soap Central). After all, he acted like Roman and had all of Roman's memories.

Eventually, that man turned out to have many aliases, but he mainly goes by John Black, and Marlena has married him several times over, with the last wedding taking place in 2018 in Horton Square (via Entertainment Weekly). However, Marlena had a husband before Roman who could have been the great love of her life had a tragedy not taken place that tore them apart.

Marlena was first married to Don Craig

When Marlena Evans first arrived on the Salem scene, she was Mickey Horton's psychiatrist at Bayview, the mental health facility that's been frequented by "Days of Our Lives" characters for years. She ended up falling in love with Mickey's attorney, Don Craig, but was outwitted by her twin sister, Samantha Evans, and placed in Bayview herself so that Sam could take her place with Don. Eventually Don learned the truth and reunited with Marlena. They were soon married and thrilled when Marlena gave birth to a baby boy they named Don Jr. or DJ (via Soaps In Depth).

However, the unthinkable soon happened and Marlena found DJ dead in his crib one day as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), tearing her marriage apart. As Don and Marlena grieved, Don turned to singer Liz Chandler (Gloria Loring) for comfort and they had an affair, prompting Marlena to divorce him (via Soap Central).

What happened to Don Craig?

After their divorce, Don Craig and Marlena Evans remained great friends but agreed they should go their separate ways romantically. Don married Liz Chandler, but that union didn't last long. He also ended up in a romance with Maggie Horton (Suzanne Rogers) when her husband, Mickey Horton, was presumed dead, but Maggie ultimately chose to be with Mickey when he made his way back to Salem (via Soap Central).

For the next few years, Don didn't have much of a storyline and became more of the lawyer on hand whenever someone needed one. April 17, 1985 was the last time anyone in Salem ever saw Don Craig or even mentioned him until 2022. A character who had been with the soap since 1970 didn't even get a big sendoff. Instead, he told a friend he was going to mail his tax returns and never returned, according to Soaps.com.

Picking fun at its own self, "Days of Our Lives" revived Don's exit for a brief moment in March of 2022. When Maggie's daughter, Sarah Horton (Linsey Godfrey), believed she was Renée Dumonde (via Soaps.com), a character who died in 1983, asked for a lawyer, she mentioned Don Craig specifically. Anna DiMera (Leann Hunley) then informed her that Don went out to mail his taxes one day and nobody ever heard from him again.

Deidre Hall paid tribute to Jed Allan

Jed Allan was not done with soaps when Don went to mail his taxes in 1985. Later that year, he took over the role of C.C. Capwell on the NBC soap "Santa Barbara" and remained in the role until the show left the airwaves in 1993. He also played Steve Sanders' dad, Rush Sanders, on "Beverly Hills 90210" for several seasons, as well as Ed Grant on "Port Charles" and a substitute Edward Quartermaine on "General Hospital" (via IMDb).

On March 9, 2019, Allan passed away, according to Deadline. Soon after, his long-ago "Days of Our Lives" co-star paid Deidre Hall tribute to him on her Instagram page, talking about the first time she ever met the man who would play her on-screen husband and how he made the entire soap opera production process look easy.

"It's been decades since I stepped on to the NBC sound stage to screen test for Marlena on Days of our Lives. I was given a 4-page scene to memorize and perform with Days' dashing bachelor, Don Craig, played confidently by Jed Allan," Hall wrote on Instagram. "He was deeply devoted to his sons and his darling wife Toby. When he lost her, we weren't sure how he'd go on, but go on he did. Jed was a giant in so many ways, witnessed by the huge emptiness he leaves behind."