It’s been many years since Danny was on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS, so we’re here to give you a refresher on the character and his dramatic history in Genoa City! He first appeared back in 1980 and has always been played by actor and musician Michael Damian. His initial stint lasted from 1980 until 1998, though he has returned to Y&R on many other occasions in subsequent years. In 2022, Damian reprised the role again in time for the holidays, and then in 2023, it was announced the actor would return for another visit in time for the soap’s 50th anniversary. And in 2023, the soap revealed that Damian would be back for an “extended stay” in September!
Danny Romalotti was a teenage rock star doing concerts in Genoa City. He was often joined on stage by his sister, Gina Roma, and friends Amy Lewis, Traci Abbott, and Lauren Fenmore. In 1984, Danny was dating Patty Williams, but married his friend — and fan club president — Traci when she got pregnant by her college professor. After she miscarried, they annulled the marriage, and Danny went on tour, though he continued to return to Genoa City repeatedly. He nearly lost his voice after being poisoned by Shawn Garrett who was jealous of him and Lauren but made a miraculous recovery during a Christmas Eve church service.
In 1987, Danny’s father, Brian Romalotti, arrived in Genoa City fresh out of prison. He was transformed into “Rex Sterling” by Jill Abbott in order to con Katherine Chancellor, but he fell for Kay instead and reformed. Danny grew very close to his father until his death in 1994. Danny had always considered Cricket a kid, but when she began going by her real name of Christine Blair, he took notice and they fell in love. Worried about their friend Nina, they tried to sabotage her relationship with David Kimble, but he turned the tables on them and had Danny arrested on drug charges. After he was finally acquitted, Danny married Christine in an exotic Hawaiian wedding and honeymoon. David wore the same costume as Danny for an elaborate masquerade ball attempting to kill him, Nina, and Christine, but the psycho’s plan was thwarted and he died instead.
Danny’s marriage to Christine suffered as he was on the road most of the time and she found herself stalked by Michael Baldwin. While in New York, Danny was pursued by a fan, Phyllis Summers, who drugged him so she could sleep with him and become pregnant with his child! Danny divorced Christine to marry Phyllis for the sake of their child, but within a couple of years, he left the manipulative woman. However, after their son, Daniel Romalotti, Jr., contracted bacterial meningitis, Danny began to see Phyllis in a new light and they remarried. But Christine and Paul pushed him to question Daniel’s paternity and Danny was crushed when a DNA test proved he wasn’t the boy’s father. However, because his name was on the birth certificate, Danny had rights and with Christine as his lawyer, won custody of Daniel.
As Christine was about to marry Paul, Danny decided he wanted her back and went to war with Paul over her love. When Danny was attacked by a mugger, he required a kidney transplant, and Michael donated his kidney to prove he was a changed man. After Danny’s recovery, Christine chose Paul and Danny left with young Daniel on a European tour.
In the following years, Danny has returned to Genoa City on various occasions. In 2003, he came back to support Gina after her restaurant burned down and reconnected with Christine. He also refused to let Phyllis have anything to do with Daniel, who was in boarding school. In 2004, a teenaged Daniel finally met Phyllis and was stunned to learn Danny wasn’t his real father. Danny, who had resumed a romance with Christine, was shamed by the reveal he’d dumped Daniel in boarding school and went back on tour.
In 2008, he showed up for the launch of Phyllis’ new Restless Style venture and to apologize to Daniel. He later invited Daniel to go on the road with him as his photographer and returned again for Katherine’s funeral (though it was really Marge who had died). In 2012, Daniel visited Danny on tour to introduce him to his granddaughter, Lucy and the musician went back to Genoa City where he resumed his affair with Christine. He attended Phyllis’ trial when she was accused of running over Paul and Christine, and in 2013 attended Katherine Chancellor’s real funeral.
Danny returned to visit Genoa City in December 2022 and reconnected with Daniel, even agreeing to score his new videogame. He also visited with Christine and the pair reminisced about the good and bad times they shared together before he left town again. He came back to town again in March 2023 for the town’s bicentennial gala, bringing Gina along with him. After Phyllis collapsed at the party and was later declared dead, he remained long enough to attend her funeral and perform a heartfelt song in her memory.
Stay tuned to Y&R to see what happens when he comes back next!