Danny's parents and sister Gina were "con artists" when he was a child, and the three of them all did time for their crimes. Danny, not wanting to be a part of it, ran away from home as a teenager and ended up in Genoa City working as a waiter at Jonas's Restaurant with Paul Williams. Danny and Paul became fast friends.
Gina, (with shortened last name Roma), came to Genoa City after getting out of prison, wanting Danny's help to "go straight." Danny didn't trust her, but got Gina a job singing at Jonas's. Later, when Jonas decided to move on, Gina bought the restaurant and renamed it Gina's Italian Restaurant.
Danny began his career as a teenage rock star doing concerts in Genoa City. He was often joined by sister Gina Roma, and friends Tracy Abbott, Lauren Fenmore, and Amy Lewis, who sang with him when he performed on stage. Lauren also joined him on the road for a time. (Members of Danny's band included Michael Damien's real life brother and sister.)
Danny married friend and fan club president, Traci Abbott, when she became pregnant by her college professor Tim Sullivan. Danny's had been seeing Patty Williams who left town devastated. Danny and Traci's marriage was later annulled after she miscarried. Danny became a rock star, toured worldwide and recorded many albums, but home was always Genoa City, where he returned nearly ever summer to do a big concert. He once lost his voice after being slowly poisoned by Shawn Garrett who was jealous of his relationship with Lauren, and was told he'd never sing again, but had a miracle recovery during a Christmas Eve church service.
In 1987, Danny and Gina's father Brian turned up in Genoa City, a homeless drifter just out of prison. He was molded and renamed by Jill Foster Abbott as "Rex Sterling" to con Kay Chancellor. But Rex and Kay fell in love, and he became a "good guy" after all. Danny, Gina and Rex ended up becoming very close until Rex's untimely death by gunshot as he surprised a burglar.
Though the much younger, Cricket Blair (now using her given name Christine) had previously been just a kid in Danny's eyes, now dated, and fell in love. Cricket's recently widowed best friend Nina Webster was being pursued by David Kimble. Danny and Christine were convinced he was a gold digger after her inheritance, and tried to interfere with their getting married, so David set Danny up to be arrested on cocaine possession. The setup was exposed at the trial, and Danny got off, but David was never implicated. Danny and Christine were wed with a lavish Hawaiian wedding and honeymoon, and Nina Webster and David Kimble stood up for them. Kimble went so far as to attempt murder of Christine and Nina at a masquerade ball while wearing the same costume as Danny to inherit Nina's wealth. But Paul Williams foiled the plot, and David ended up being crushed to death in a trash compactor.
Christine became a lawyer, and she and Danny were happily married, even though he spent a lot of time on the road. Then Chris's boss Michael Baldwin became totally obsessed with having her, to the point of sexual harassment. Chris filed charges, and Michael was fired. Michael quickly married Hillary Lancaster and brilliant lawyer that he is, got another law firm to give him a job. In retaliation against Christine, Michael arranged for a woman named Rebecca to pose for photos with the drugged Danny, which he used in his trial to insinuate that Christine made the advances since Danny was cheating on her. Christine got Michael's new wife to testify, and Michael was found guilty and censured by the State Supreme Court.
Danny temporarily left town to appear on Broadway in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," (as did Michael Damian in real life). The show was renewed, Danny stayed away much too long causing their marriage to suffer, and Christine began spending a lot of time with Detective Paul Williams. While in New York, Danny was stalked by Phyllis Summers, an obsessed fan. She drugged his drink, got him into her bed, then claimed to be pregnant by him. Danny divorced Christine and joined Phyllis in a "trial marriage" to "do the right thing" for the child. Once Danny realized how manipulative his new wife was, he divorced her.
Then after seeing Phyllis "in a new light" during their baby son, Daniel's life-threatening illness with bacterial meningitis, Danny remarried her. Christine and Paul Williams stood up for them. Chris and Paul were able to plant enough doubt in Danny's mind that he got a blood test done on Daniel. Danny was devastated to discover that their son was really the child of a man in Phyllis' past named Brian Hamilton, and that she had set him up all along. However, because Danny was the legal father on the birth certificate and had always acted as such, he still had rights. A vicious divorce and custody battle ensued, with Christine as Danny's lawyer, and the recently paroled Michael Baldwin assisting Phyllis' legal council. Phyllis and Michael began a wild affair. With the help of Brian Hamilton, all of Phyllis's lies and manipulations were brought out in court - including the fact that Danny had been drugged that first time and never even made love with Phyllis as she claimed. The court found her to be unstable and an unfit mother. Danny won custody of Daniel, whom he still considered his son, although Phyllis was allowed visitation.
Just as Paul and Christine were about to be married, Danny decided he wanted her back. He and Christine got to talking about the past, one thing led to another, and Paul ended up walking in on the two of them making love. Paul forgave Chris, and he and Danny began a contest for Christine's love, pressuring her for a decision. Before she could make up her mind, Danny was attacked by a mugger and received major kidney damage. He needed a transplant to survive. Gina, Paul, Phyllis and Christine were all ruled out as possible donors, and things were looking bleak. In a last ditch effort to prove to Christine that he was a changed man and worthy of being reinstated as a lawyer after his prison term was served, Michael Baldwin came to the rescue and donated the needed kidney. After Danny's recovery, Chris made her decision and chose Paul. Danny left with toddler Daniel for a European tour as a rock star. Danny coerced Phyllis into agreeing that it was not in Daniel's best interest for Phyllis to stay in contact with them.
In the fall of 2003, Danny returned to Genoa City to lend moral support to help Gina get her life back together after the devastating loss of her restaurant by arson. Apparently now a washed up has-been, Danny stayed on. Of course the first person he visited was Christine, once again physically separated from Paul, though not emotionally. After reuniting with Gina, Danny ran into Phyllis. Although pleasant, he refused to give her any information about her son, Daniel. It turned out that while Phyllis had spent years pining for the child who was taken from her, Daniel had grown up in a Swiss boarding school. Danny had seldom seen Daniel, and had never even told him that he was not his real father. Whenever Phyllis inquired about Daniel of Danny's sister Gina, she was given the cold shoulder, and was not even given photos of her own son. Left to believe that his mother had abandoned him, and his father didn't have time for him, Daniel resented both parents.
Several months later, son Daniel returned to Genoa City, a 16 year old with raging hormones, to visit his father for spring break. Phyllis heard he was coming, and was desperate to get to know her son again. But Danny and Christine thought it better to wait until they could break it to Daniel. Meanwhile, Daniel was befriended by Colleen Carlton, Sierra and Lily Winters. When Daniel fount out that Colleen's boyfriend J.T. had gotten a recording contract and was off to LA to be a star, Daniel told her she best cut if off now before he abandoned her too. Colleen began to see signs that Daniel was right, so she broke it off with J.T. and returned to New York City to live with her mother Tracy. J.T., who had left his chance at stardom behind to return for Colleen, was furious with Daniel for influencing her. Daniel began accompanying the girls to the Rec Center where they were volunteering for the summer, and met and fell for 20 year old Mackenzie Browning - neglecting to tell her his age. With a similar parent-less background, Mac and Daniel began to get close. J.T. was only too glad to spill Daniel's secret to his close friend Mac.
Phyllis ran into Daniel at Crimson Lights, realized who he was, and began making contact. She told Daniel she was his mother, and eventually he asked her to tell him the truth about his family. Once Daniel heard Phyllis's side and discovered that Danny was not his real father, he took off to confront Danny and Christine, who had resumed their romance. Daniel decided he and Phyllis should move in together so they could bond. Unable to find a suitable apartment, Phyllis and Daniel moved into Victoria Newman's house on the Newman Ranch. After being exposed as a neglectful parent who dumped the kid in boarding school his entire life, Danny went back on tour.
Through a tragic turn of events, [see Cassie Newman profile] his son Daniel was charged with vehicular manslaughter in the death of Cassie Newman, and Christine was his attorney. Both Christine and Phyllis contacted Danny about it. But when Daniel and Lily Winters ran away together and were fugitives from the law, Danny stayed put in case they fled to his place. The kids turned up in Los Angeles, were camping on the beach and enjoying themselves, awaiting the return of Brendan, a musician friend of Danny's. Daniel began having dreams with flashes of the accident, finally realizing that it was not him, but Cassie driving the car. Meanwhile Brendan returned home to find Phyllis, Nick and Neil Winters waiting for him. Nick brought in the police, and all went searching for the kids nearby. Phyllis discovered them working on the beach dressed in fruit costumes promoting a beachfront cafe, but didn't realize it was them until they disappeared. Daniel talked Lily into going to the cafe where the 3 awaited them to claim their paychecks, and Neil was reunited with Lily. Nick spotted Daniel watching, and chased and caught Daniel. Phyllis managed to stop Nick from beating up the kid. They turned the kids over to the police, and both were returned to Genoa City. Lily was out on bail, and Daniel went on trial for vehicular manslaughter where Christine and Paul failed to prove that Cassie was driving the car. Daniel was in contact with Danny by phone and begged him to stay away. But in a last minute save, Nick Newman turned over the evidence he'd been withholding - the clothes Cassie was wearing that fateful night. The boot she was wearing matched a piece of a heel found under the accelerator, so the judge let Daniel go free. Lily's parents made a deal to send her away to boarding school in New Hampshire to get the DA to drop the charges against her. Lily and Daniel vowed their undying love and were torn apart at the airport.
In March 2008, Danny returned to Genoa City to appear at the opening party for Restless Style Internet/Print Magazine as a favor to Phyllis and to make up with his son Daniel who still resents him for lying to him about his real paternity all those years. He left for the road again, then in May 2008, Just as Daniel and Amber declared their love, and he appeared to be discovering a hidden talent for drawing and caricature, possibly leading to a new career, Danny made a surprise visit and asked him to go on the road as tour photographer for six months, which he did.
In November 2008, Danny returned to Genoa City from his home in Malibu to attend the funeral of his step-mother Katherine Chancellor (who was not really dead, it was her doppelganger, Marge). He mentioned that it was like a reunion tour to be there with Gina, Paul, Nina, and his son Daniel. Paul said that Christine was in Europe and could not attend. Among the bequests in Kay's will, Danny and Gina received one-half of one percent of the huge estate in cash. (They were allowed to keep them after Katherine was declared alive.)
In May 2012, Danny held a concert near Genoa City, and his son, Daniel, visited him to introduce him to his granddaughter, Lucy. Since Daniel was in the same circumstance with Lucy's mother, Daisy, he asked Danny the poignant question of how Danny had managed to live with Phyllis when he had not loved her, just so that he could be with Daniel. Danny told Daniel to keep his focus on Lucy, and he would survive it, that he was proud of him, and how lucky Lucy was to have him. Concerned about Daniel, Danny showed up in Genoa City, and spoke with Phyllis. Phyllis admitted to Danny and Nick that she hated Daisy because she reflected the worst of herself at the same age. Later after meeting Daisy, Danny told Daniel that he was right about her, and to be careful.
Christine Blair was also in town on business, and they met and hooked up again during his short visit. They agreed that their connection was still there and stronger than before. Danny asked Christine to be together as they were always meant to be, to go on the road with him, and maybe they could finally get it right. But Christine convinced him of how unrealistic that was, that they both had other priorities. They tearfully kissed and promised to see each other again soon. Afterward, Christine reminisced with Michael about what might have been with her and Danny, and mentioned the car that tried to run her down in 1994 which changed her life.
Danny returned again to Genoa City in 2012 as soon as he could after Christine informed him that Phyllis was about to go on trial for being the driver of the car who ran down her and Paul 20 years ago. Danny verbally attacked Phyllis when they happened to meet, and Daniel had to intervene.
The judge was taken ill as Phyllis' trial began, and he was replaced. After looking over the case file, the new judge dismissed the case, citing the fact that Christine was not a Federal agent at the time, but just working as a consultant on a federal case; therefore the statute of limitations had run out, and Phyllis was set free.
In September 2013, Danny was a guest at the celebration of life for Katherine Chancellor following her death. Following the service, an impromptu marriage was held for Christine and Paul, at Katherine's suggestion. Danny wished them well, and claimed that he had moved on, but his wistful expression during the ceremony said otherwise.