Dr. Valerie Grant has come and gone from DAYS OF OUR LIVES so often it’s understandable if some viewers aren’t familiar with her history in Salem. Especially since she’s had quite a few faces over the years! The character first appeared in 1975, played by Tina Andrews, but Rose Fonseca took over the role in 1977. Valerie returned in 1981 with Diane Sommerfield in the role, and when DAYS brought the character back in October of 2016, actress Vanessa Williams took over and continues to make occasional appearances to this day.
Valerie was introduced as the love interest for David Banning and the pair created a stir as daytime’s first interracial romance. Valerie’s family took in David after a car accident and she fell in love with him. But their romance was derailed by his infidelity and when David got Trish pregnant, Valerie accepted a scholarship to medical school and left town.
Valerie returned in 1981 and began working as a medical intern at the hospital and sparking a romance with Abe Carver. But her lingering feelings for David complicated their relationship and she once again said goodbye to Salem after only a year.
In October of 2016, Valerie was brought to Salem so the cardiologist could help save an ailing Abe’s life. The couple rekindled their romance, despite his son Theo’s disapproval. News of David’s death brought her son Eli Grant to town for the memorial, and he was furious with his mother for not telling him who his real father was.
Valerie eventually won Eli over, as she had done with Theo, and continued her relationship with Abe. Working at the hospital also kept her busy saving the lives of many of Salem’s residents when they were on the verge of death. But then Valerie got a job offer to become chief of staff at her old hospital in D.C. and she was torn between her dream job and a life with Abe. Since he couldn’t go to D.C. with her, Abe agreed to try a long-distance relationship with Valerie.
However, while Val was away, Abe shared a kiss with his assistant, Sheila, and that was exposed during his mayoral press conference that Valerie had come back to town for! Upset, Valerie ran off and Abe chased her down to explain. They both agreed that the long-distance relationship thing wasn’t working for either of them and they called it quits. Valerie returned to Salem in February 2020 to attend Eli’s wedding to Lani Price, which didn’t end up happening thanks to Gabi’s interference. But she came back in the spring when the couple gave it another shot!