Dani Andropoulos spent the first five years of her life in Oakdale with her mother, Betsy. Born when Betsy was married to Craig Montgomery, Dani was believed to be was Craig's child although Craig knew that wasn't possible since, at the time, he was left sterile from an accident. Betsy wouldn't discover the truth for over a year after Dani's birth. While Betsy floundered in an unhappy marriage while pining for the love of her life, Steve Andropolous, things came to a head when an unstable Craig kidnapped Dani in order to keep Betsy near him. In the end, Craig turned himself in to the police and Dani was returned to Betsy. Soon after, Betsy and Steve married in a beautiful Greek wedding. Unfortunately, money problems prompted Steve to engage in illegal activities and he ended up imprisoned in a Greek jail for drug trafficking. Saddened, Betsy divorced Steve and left town with her daughter to start a new life.
Years later, Betsy sent a teenaged Dani to Oakdale to live with Dani’s great-grandmother, Ellen Stewart, since she believed that that would give the girl stability. Appearing to be a sweet innocent girl, Dani was in truth troubled and immature. Despite knowing that her father was in prison, Dani told her friends that he was an international spy, even when her best friend, Nikki Munson, forced her to face the truth. Despite her friendship with Nikki, Dani was immensely jealous of her relationships with Jeremy Wheeler and Ryder Hughes and destroyed their friendship by going after both young men. Though Kim Hughes (Betsy's former stepmother) offered to provide Dani with a disciplined environment by inviting her into her home, it soon became apparent that Dani needed her mother's guidance and Kim demanded that Betsy take responsibility for her daughter. Seeing no reason to stay in town, Dani, now out of high school, left Oakdale.
Years later, Dani returned to Oakdale after getting a degree in criminal justice and immediately began working at the Oakdale PD. After working at the police department for months, Dani was called upon to investigate the murder of a woman named Spencer McKay. Dani cited the cause of death and provided the evidence that linked Brad Snyder to the crime. However, unbeknownst to everyone, Dani helped Spencer fake her death at the behest of Dani's lover--Craig Montgomery who wanted Brad framed for murder. When Craig got what he wanted from his sister, Brad's wife, he suddenly had Dani find Spencer alive and well. Dani's job complete, Craig cooled their affair in order not to raise suspicion. With no reason to stay, Dani quickly disappeared from Oakdale.