In 1983 Stefano brought his nephew, André DiMera to Salem. As Stefano and his "son" Tony had very different opinions on how the DiMera Empire should be run, Stefano wanted a "soldier" and enlisted ruthless Andre's help by having him undergo plastic surgery to look exactly like his cousin Tony. Their first plan was to frame Stefano's archenemy Roman Brady for the "Salem Slasher" murders. While wearing a mask of Roman, Andre killed Daisy Hawkins on the pier in front of Marlena Evans-Brady and Sandy Horton and, as a result, the real Roman was jailed. During this time, André also had Tony chained up in his own penthouse apartment and took over his cousins identity. One day when Anna was snooping around for Alex she came upon Tony and André imprisoned her with him. Ultimately, Roman managed to free Tony and Anna, yet after a duel with Tony, André managed to slip out of Salem.
André returned to Stefano's island compound where the two formulated their next plan. Their goal was to acquire three prisms designed by Larry Welch's father in order to heal an inoperable brain tumor Stefano had. One prism was in the belly of an alligator, another in a necklace owned by Daphne DiMera which fell into Calliope Jones' hands and the third in Russia. André and Stefano also planned to use the opportunity to get revenge on their enemies by luring them to Stefano's secret compound and soon the timing seemed perfect for them to carryout their vengeance.
In 1984, Tony, Anna, and Alex Marshall formed a fashion company and picked Haiti for one of their photo shoots. In addition to Tony and Anna, aboard the plane to the shoot were Eugene Bradford, Calliope Jones, Bo Brady, Hope Williams, Liz Chandler, Carlo Forenza, and Daphne DiMera. Unbeknownst to the others, Andre stowed away! While in flight, he shocked his enemies by emerging and demanded the pilot to change courses. Because of his threatening nature, the pilot died of a heart attack and the plane crashed on a remote island. As a result of injuries obtained in the crash Daphne died in his arms. When Tony learned about his mother's fate, he and Andre fought which ended with Andre's demise in a patch of quicksand … or so everyone thought. In reality, Andre had escaped death and he and Stefano continued to plot revenge against their enemies. In 1985 Tony was forced to leave Salem, but was soon kidnapped by Stefano and Andre and stranded on a deserted island where he would spend the next twenty-two years of his life. With the "real" Tony out of the way, Andre's vengeance would be nearly unstoppable.
The Tony-Impersonation Years
(Please note, any time the name "Tony" appears in quotes it reflects Andre posing as Tony).
Under the guise of Tony, Andre returned to Salem in 1993 to marry his fiancée Kristen Blake. She and her brother, Peter, were adopted by Stefano as children when their parents were killed, yet Stefano had plans for her and "Tony" to wed someday. Stefano, once again on the verge of death, had told Kristen that he wanted to see them marry before he died. Kristen agreed to marry him, even though she was in love with John Black. However, on the day of the wedding, Kristen left him at the altar to help John find Marlena and Roman's daughter, Belle.
Meanwhile, Billie Reed decided to turn her life around and start her own cosmetics company, Countess Wilhelmina. To fund her venture, Billie convinced Alice and Maggie Horton to become investors. Unfortunately, Kate Roberts bought out Countess Wilhelmina to spite Billie for posing as the author of Jack's manuscript. Later that year, Billie befriended "Tony." He bought up 49% of Titan Industries and then brought Billie in to run the Countess Wilhelmina division.
"Tony" and Kristen were attempting to marry for the second time when John showed up at the wedding claiming that he had evidence linking Stefano to Curtis Reed's murder. However, when Stefano hopped in a car and drove off, John shot at the tires. Stefano had planned it so his car would go off the road and he would be "killed" in the crash. Kristen, blaming John for her father's death, married "Tony" on February 18, 1994. "Tony" learned later that Stefano was alive, but he kept it a secret fearing Kristen would leave him.
In late 1994, Kristen, "Tony," Peter, Jen, Bo, and Billie ventured to Maison Blanche, the DiMera Family home in the Louisiana bayou, for a charity event Kristen was holding there. Unbeknownst to the guests, John and Marlena were being held captive there by Stefano, but they weren't the only ones as Billie saw a woman who looked exactly like Bo's deceased wife Hope wondering the grounds. Unfortunately, nobody would believe her, yet an amnesiac Hope, called Gina by Stefano and his assistant Celeste, was in fact there. As the event went on, Roman arrived to arrest Peter for trafficking drugs through one of his nightclubs. Meanwhile, a jealous Celeste leaked gas into the cell where John and Marlena were being held and started a fire, but Roman managed to rescue them. When John emerged from the rubble, both Kristen and "Tony" were shocked and horrified to see him in shackles. Kristen was also shocked when she spotted her father Stefano who was supposed to be dead! "Tony" ran back into the fiery house to retrieve his father's computer which contained a file on John's past. He managed to get the computer, but Maison Blanche burst into flames before he could escape and, as a result, "Tony" went blind.
Upon returning to Salem, Kristen began sleeping with John. She had learned that "Tony" knew Stefano was alive all along and that he had also switched her birth control pills with placebos. Kristen left him and began living with John at his loft. She also managed to crack the notebook computer from Maison Blanche and was horrified to learn that John was a priest. Kristen told John the truth, but he refused to believe it. In search of the truth, they traveled to a parish where he served and his mentor, Father Francis, recognized him as Father Black. A woman from the parish also recognized him. John had put his handprints in a wall near the parish and he was shocked when they matched and he was forced to accept that he was a priest. Though he wanted to be released from his vows, a friend told John to live as a priest for awhile in order to see what he was giving up. Kristen returned to "Tony," who had bought a gun and was planning on killing John. When Kristen told him about John, he abandoned his plans. Later that year "Tony" regained his site, but he continued to lie in hopes of catching Kristen and John together.
When John was released from his vows as a priest, Kristen left "Tony" again to be with him. Meanwhile, "Tony" learned that he had a rare, but fatal blood disease and only had a short time to live and formulated a plan in which he would frame John for his own murder. "Tony" wrote his entire plan down in his diary and he also confessed his plans to Father Francis. When he learned that Father Francis was going to tell John the truth, "Tony" confronted him. "Tony" took Father Francis' blood pressure pills and agitated him until he had a heart attack. Later, "Tony" cut of Father Francis' oxygen at the hospital causing him to lapse into a coma.
"Tony" then journeyed to Aremid for Peter and Jennifer's wedding, yet his true intentions were to set his trap at the Blake House for John. At the wedding reception, "Tony" picked a fight with John and got him worked into such a frenzy that John shouted out he wanted to kill him. "Tony" then went up to his room and lured John there with a phone call. "Tony" disguised his voice and told John that "Tony" was the one who attempted to kill Father Francis. Up in his room, "Tony" and John fought. John eventually left through another door which "Tony" had sprinkled gunpowder on. He then began begging John not to shoot him as various Salemites listened in. "Tony" then activated a device that caused his gun to fire. When the Salemites finally got into the room, "Tony" was mortally wounded and died shortly after. Everything was going according to his plan except one thing - The "Woman in White" got a hold of his diary. Eventually, John was cleared of the murder charges and everyone assumed they had heard the last of "Tony DiMera."
It was seven years before the citizens of Salem learned that "Tony" was not dead, but had been kept alive and nursed back to health by Stefano. Although he still believed he suffered from the blood disease, a lie which Stefano convinced him of, he was otherwise healed from his gunshot wounds. "Tony" made his grand re-entrance at John and Marlena's anniversary party. He not only stunned everyone with his "resurrection," but with his new-found obsession with Marlena. He found out that the "Gemini Twins," Rex and Cassie, were his children with Marlena and used them to get closer to her. However, a short time later, he had another shock coming when he found out that John was his half-brother, from his mother Daphne's side. Since John believed "Tony" capable of anything, the newfound siblings were unable to form a relationship. Things quickly got worse for "Tony" and he was devastated to learn that Rex and Cassie were not his children after all and was furious with Stefano who knew the truth all along. Later, Stefano escaped to Europe and he was unable to get his revenge.
As the "Salem Stalker" murders began in 2003, "Tony" was quick to become the number one suspect until Mickey Horton agreed to defend him and got him out on bail. The night of the Horton Circus, "Tony" took center stage promising to reveal the killer. While dragging out the moment for dramatic effects, a bucket of blood was dumped on him and he was attacked by a tiger. While in the hospital recovering from his wounds, the Salem Stalker came in to administer a fatal dose of drugs. "Tony's" last words to the killer confirmed his knowledge of who the Salem Stalker was as he looked up into the eyes of Marlena Evans. "Tony" died while trying desperately to communicate the truth to the others.
Months later it was discovered that "Tony," as well as all of the other victims of the "Salem Stalker," had survived their attacks and were being held captive on the island of Melaswen. The island itself was designed to look exactly like Salem. He had hidden himself for quite sometime and, when he made himself known, the others didn't trust him. After sabotaging every attempt the captives made to escape, "Tony" finally revealed himself as the mastermind behind the whole shebang - a plot he cooked up to get back at everyone he felt had wronged him. As it turns out, he had never forgotten about his ex-wife, Kristen, who left him for John years earlier. He again faked his death after a duel with John, making certain everyone believed he was gone for good. Nevertheless, when the captives were making their escape, he set off a device that caused a massive explosion which, in turn, caused the sea around the island to become choppy and many of the hostages were feared dead once the others were rescued. In reality, "Tony" had some of them re-captured and sent to a DiMera Castle in Europe.
All the captives eventually escaped, but "Tony" wasn't finished wreaking havoc on the citizens of Salem. Using an intermediary, he enlisted Sami Brady into a scheme to punish all of those who had done her wrong, which satisfied his own need for revenge. After getting John hooked on painkillers as well as an assortment of other crimes, Sami eventually turned on him after he took Lucas, Brady, Philip, Shawn and Rex hostage. Because she was involved for months, "Tony" held it over her head and, once he was incarcerated, used the information to blackmail her into helping him break out of jail. Unfortunately, he was ultimately unsuccessful.
By using the DiMera wealth and power, "Tony" was eventually able to get out of jail so he could attend to Stefano, who was once again dying of an incurable disease. At first he was part of a plan that involved stealing John's comatose body from the hospital, removing one of his kidneys and transplanting into Stefano. When that didn't help, Stefano knew what it would take to cure his sickness - stem cells from Sami's unborn child whom she conceived with his son, E.J. "Tony" was enlisted to help get the cells by any means necessary and often tortured and tormented Sami. Ultimately, E.J. foiled all of "Tony's" kidnap attempts on Sami and they turned the tables on him and kidnapped Stefano in hopes that they could convince him to end the Brady/DiMera "Vendetta," thus getting Sami and her unborn child out of harms way. Stefano was released, but had not cooperated, yet his actions prompted the Brady family to investigate the cause of the war between their families.
A short time later, while searching for clues to end the feud, Bo, Hope, Doug and Julie discovered Lexie, whom every believed had died months earlier in a car accident, imprisoned in tunnels which ran from the DiMera Mansion to the abandoned Doug's Place on the lake. Despite narrowly escaping an explosion set by "Tony," Bo and Hope managed to rescue Lexie and reunite her with her family. To the Bradys, Stefano claimed that no one in his family was responsible, but privately blamed Andre and was furious with him for harming one of his children. Andre, still acting as Tony, declared he was doing it for the good of the family, yet Stefano was beginning to realize he had created a monster.
It would be Anna DiMera's return to Salem that would ultimately lead to everyone discovering that the man they believed was Tony was actually someone else. Once she arrived in town with letters she believed would help the Brady family uncover the truth about the Vendetta, Anna was asked to see Tony and get more information from him. As the plan was unfolding she soon began to suspect the man everyone called "Tony" was not, in fact, the real Tony DiMera. After convincing the Bradys of this, Bo confronted the imposter, who revealed himself as Andre, and demanded to know what happened to Tony. After a scuffle on a rooftop, Bo managed to get the upper hand and forced Andre to admit that Tony's whereabouts were tattooed ton Bart's back. Andre then fell from the roof and was taken to the hospital where he later escaped from as he had been faking his injuries all along. Yet the end of Andre's era of impersonating Tony was officially over, but, unfortunately, his reign of terror was not.
Because of all of his rouge actions, including his imprisonment of Lexie and stealing a piece of Benjy's liver, Stefano lost faith in Andre. Feeling betrayed, yet still wanting revenge, Andre continued to terrorize the Brady family as well as Tony, who after twenty-two years of being stranded on an island, was rescued by John, Marlena and Anna. During a duel with Tony, Andre accidentally killed Stefano's beloved, yet bumbling henchman, Bart. Stefano was distraught and, after he discovered Andre also killed Benjy, turned his back on him. Andre then went into hiding. Later, when an unbalanced Steve Johnson kidnapped Stefano and hijacked a newscast to draw him out of hiding, Andre found it as his chance to save Stefano and hopefully get back in his good graces. Upon arriving at the TV station, there was a very tense standoff, but, in the end, Andre managed to escape by taking Hope hostage. On a ledge of the stations rooftop, Bo tried to make a deal with Andre in return for Hope's safe release. When it became clear that wouldn't happen, Bo had no choice but to take a shot. Andre fell from the roof and was again hospitalized, yet this time his injuries were real.
While he lay helplessly in his hospital bed, Andre was visited by Shawn Brady, Sr. who had the notion of turning off his life support thus ending Andre's reign of terror once and for all. Shawn went as far as to barricade himself in the room with Andre, but, when it came down to it, he couldn't do it. Shawn didn't want to turn into a killer himself and he abandoned his plans. Seeing one last attempt to get revenge on his enemies, Andre feebly turned off his own life support, killing himself, in hopes that Shawn would be blamed. Ultimately Shawn was cleared yet, even from the grave, Andre had one more act of vengeance planned as he had contracted his former cellmate to kill John. The hit was made and initially seemed to go off as planned as everyone believed John was dead. However, Stefano had stolen John's body and tried to mold him into what he had always wanted Andre to be - the perfect soldier.