Johnny DiMera on DAYS OF OUR LIVES has had quite the life, so it’s understandable if some viewers might need a bit of a refresher on the young man. Johnny was born in 2007 and the character was played by a series of twins as he grew up, most notably Aaron and Griffin Kunitz, who assumed the role from 2009-14. And after a solid case of SORAS, Johnny is back looking much older and being played by actor Carson Boatman, who debuted in August 2021.
Johnny is the son of Sami Brady and EJ DiMera, although his paternity was incredibly complicated in the beginning. Sami was on vacation with Lucas Horton when he was trapped in a roof collapse during a storm and EJ only agreed to help if Sami slept with him. So when Sami found out she was pregnant with twins, their paternity was obviously in question. Johnny was born alongside his twin sister, Allie Horton, and a subsequent DNA test proved that Johnny was actually EJ’s child!
As Johnny was welcomed into the DiMera family, Sami worried about Stefano DiMera’s influence on the little boy. Although she probably didn’t mind the sizable trust fund Stefano left his grandson to be inherited when he turned 21! In January 2009, Johnny was diagnosed with eye cancer and Lexie Carver performed surgery to remove his eye and replace it with a glass one to save his life.
Sami had moved on to date Rafe Hernandez, and Johnny grew very close to the cop, which upset Stefano and EJ, so they schemed to split up the couple. But Johnny was happy to have a relationship with both Rafe and EJ, as well as his grandfathers, including Stefano. Heck, he even got along fine with Lucas! When EJ was murdered, Sami wanted to give her children a fresh start so she moved to California with them in 2014 to make her life story into a movie.
But when Johnny arrived back in Salem, he was the one who was the budding filmmaker wanting to put his mom’s life on the screen and refused EJ’s attempts to get him to work for DiMera Enterprises. He also immediately got a crush on Chanel Dupree and ended up fighting for her affections with his sister, Allie! After learning that the part in the movie about Marlena Evans being possessed by the devil was true, Johnny changed the script to focus on that, casting the parts with his friends and family. John Black was worried about stirring things up again, but Marlena gave her blessing. Unfortunately, the devil returned to Salem and possessed Marlena again, wreaking havoc for months!
Johnny and Chanel returned from vacation to reveal that they’d gotten married, which nobody else was happy about. But when the devil took over his body, Johnny dumped his new bride at their reception! Devil Johnny plotted to steal his father’s DiMera stock and made a pass at Gabi Hernandez as they plotted together. When Tripp Dalton and Allie got engaged, Johnny sabotaged their celebration by revealing that she and Chanel had slept together! During a fight, the devil jumped from Johnny to Allie and chained Johnny up in the DiMera crypt Susan saved Johnny and used his sibling bond with Allie to find and rescue her from the devil’s influence.
Once everything had calmed down, Johnny tried to reconcile with Chanel, but she also had feelings for Allie, and ultimately chose her. Still feeling on the outs with the DiMera family, Johnny bonded with Ava Vitali and after sharing a kiss, the two nearly had sex before putting on the brakes. After EJ threw them out of the mansion, Ava invited Johnny to live with her platonically until they got back into the mansion. Eventually, EJ found out Ava wasn’t a DiMera because she hadn’t married Jake before he’d died and kicked her out again. Johnny stayed, but was determined to bring his father down. When Wendy Shin arrived at the mansion they realized they had similar goals and agreed to work together to figure out what her brother, Li Shin, was hiding.
Stay tuned to DAYS to see what happens next!