Melinda Trask on DAYS OF OUR LIVES is a recurring character so it’s understandable if even longtime fans aren’t quite sure of her history in Salem. But that’s where we come in! The character first appeared back in 2013 and was played by Laura Kai Chen. She reprised the role in 2016 and continued to recur until 2019. However, in 2020, the role was recast with actress Tina Huang, who has plenty of daytime experience from playing Dr. Campbell on THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL and Dr. Linda Chu on GENERAL HOSPITAL.
Melinda is the aggressive district attorney who first showed up in Salem to prosecute Sami Brady for the murder of Joseph Bernardi. But Sami was eventually cleared when evidence proved she’d shot the guy defending Rafe Hernandez.
In 2016, Melinda was more successful in prosecuting Hope Brady for killing Stefano DiMera and got her sentenced to 25 years in prison (though she was soon released when it appeared Stefano was still alive). After Abigail Deveraux murdered Andre DiMera and was later diagnosed with DID, Melinda attempted to convince Chad DiMera to send his wife to Bayview permanently, hoping to protect him and his son, Thomas.
Melinda tried to keep the fact that Haley Chen was her sister quiet as she ran for mayor of Salem as the young nurse was an illegal immigrant. After Eve Donovan learned the truth, she shared it with Jack Deveraux who used it against his opponent. Melinda dropped out of the mayoral race, and it was then revealed that Haley was actually her daughter! After a year passed in the blink of an eye, Haley was dead and Melinda had left Salem.
But in September 2020, Melinda returned to Salem because Kristen DiMera had been arrested for another crime, and she wanted to ensure that she also paid for pushing Haley down the stairs to her death! As the D.A., Trask also went after Tripp Dalton for raping Allie Horton and then pressured Rafe to find Charlie’s killer, ordering him to arrest Belle when she became the prime suspect. But she also doesn’t mind bending the rules when it suits her purposes, striking a deal with Victor Kiriakis to help get Justin Kiriakis and Xander Kiriakis out of jail in exchange for Kristen. However, she later used Gwen’s secret to blackmail Xander into giving her his briefcase full of money! (To use for an organization helping undocumented immigrants, but still!)
Next, Trask’s goal of bringing down the DiMeras looked like it was working when she managed to get EJ DiMera convicted of kidnapping Sami, unaware that he’d been framed. She also pursued an investigation to expose Rafe Hernandez as a corrupt cop, though like many of her prosecutions, it didn’t quite work out. In the spring, she agreed to a plea deal for Lani Price and in the fall, she arrested her mother, Paulina Price, for covering up a murder.
In 2023, EJ and Nicole Walker were scheming to have Li Shin catch Gabi Hernandez with Stefan DiMera, but instead, the guy was sleeping with Melinda! It was all part of a misdirect so he could spend time with Gabi, and Trask was going along with it because once he and Gabi were in charge of DiMera, they’d help her get EJ, who she still wanted to pay for his crimes. Although she began developing feelings for Stefan, she urged him to go be happy with Gabi… but still reminded him that they owed her a favor now and one day, she’d collect!
Melinda wanted to get Rafe fired, but Abe refused. She later informed Rafe he had to fire Shawn Brady because he was drinking on the job. Trask was annoyed when she went on a date set up by a matchmaker and saw that she’d been set up with Li. But after agreeing to sit down and have some wine that reminded her of her youth, she found that they had some things in common. Unfortunately, when her questions began to sound more like an interrogation, he blew up and stormed off!
Stay tuned to DAYS to see what happens next!