Days of our Lives' Stefano DiMera was known as the Phoenix because of his uncanny ability to return from the dead, and it looks like the special talent just might run in the family. Both Tony and Andre are supposedly dead, but Thaao Penghlis took to social media to announce that he is returning to Salem -- as is Tony's wife, Anna (Leann Hunley).
The longtime DAYS actor, who was somewhat ironically nominated for Outstanding Guest Performer at this year's Daytime Emmy Awards, posted on Instagram with the exciting casting news, writing: "Thank you all from Leann and myself for your continued support. We had a great time celebrating DAYS and its nominees. You will see us on screen in July. But is it Tony or Andre?"
Soap Central spoke with Penghlis on the red carpet at this year's Emmy Awards, and he briefly went into character as Tony DiMera to tease what could happen if his alter ego ever returned to Salem: "I'm still waiting to return as the head of the family; it was my father's wish. But somehow, other things happened along the way," he says with a coy laugh. "But I've always been a long-distance runner."
As for earning an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Performer, Penghlis tells Soap Central that it was completely unexpected: "After 37 years on the show? I never saw that coming," he jokes, adding that it was honor "to die -- again!"
Penghlis took on the role of Stefano's son, Tony, in 1981 and played the character until his death in 2009. The character returned to the screen in March of 2019 to help Marlena (Deidre Hall) return from a short death experience. Penghlis has also played Stefano's nephew Andre since 1983. The character was killed in 2018.
Leann Hunley took on the role of Carrie Brady's mother and Tony DiMera's wife, Anna, in 1982. She has played the character on-again, off-again since that time, with her last appearance happening in 2018.
What do you think about Thaao Penghlis and Leann Hunley returning to Days of our Lives? Do you think Penghlis is reprising the role of Tony or Andre? Which would you prefer? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.