DANI COMES HOME!
Daytime newcomer Deirdre Skiles joins the cast of As The World Turns in the role of forensic expert Dani Andropoulos beginning on Friday, August 15.
Born on-screen in October of 1983, Dani (short for Danielle, after her grandfather Daniel) is the daughter of Betsy Stewart (Meg Ryan) and Steve Andropolous (Frank Runyon), though at the time of her birth she was believed to be Craig Montgomery's child. Newer ATWT viewers who think that Craig only becomes obsessed with his biological off-spring -- Exhibit A: Lucy; Exhibit B: Johnny -- will be happy (or disturbed) to hear that Craig's feelings extend to his non-biological children, as well.
Though he knew that Dani wasn't his, Craig kidnapped her -- more than once -- in order to hold on to Betsy (in Craig's defense, he seemed to have genuine feelings for the baby).
After a few years of life in Oakdale, when Dani's dad was sent to jail and her mother's relationship with Josh Snyder (Lily's biological father, Meg's future ex-husband) went kaput, mother and daughter left town. (Random fun fact, Lindsay Frost, who played Betsy at the time of their departure, has dealt with many a forensic expert due to her appearances on CSI, Without a Trace and Crossing Jordan.)
Im 1994, a now teen Dani returned alone to live with her great-grandmother, Ellen Stewart. The insecure girl spent most of her two years in Oakdale being jealous of best friend, Nikki Munson, and trying to steal Nikki's boyfriends. On this go-around, Dani was played first by future Terminator Kristanna Loken, and then by frequent sitcom guest-star Ashley Williams (above right, with Jordana Brewster who played Nikki).
Though her last name is Andropolous, Dani is actually Oakdale royalty, being related to an original ATWT core family, the Stewarts. Emily is her aunt -- Betsy's younger sister, who believed Dad, and most of the known universe, liked Betsy best. Alison and Daniel are her cousins, Kim is her step-grandmother (she raised Betsy after Betsy and Emily's dad, Kim's husband Dan died), which means the Hughes are family as well.
All the connections should serve Dani well, especially when the first person she annoys professionally upon arriving in Oakdale is no less than Chief of Detectives Margo!