|Paul Anthony Stewart as Danny Santos|
|Portrayed by:||Paul Anthony Stewart|
|Duration:||1998-2005 & 2009|
|First appearance:||November 11, 1998|
|Last appearance:||September 18, 2009|
|Created by:|| James Harmon Brown |
Daniel "Danny" Santos is a fictional character on the CBS daytime soap opera Guiding Light.
- Paul Anthony Stewart (11/1998-11/2005; contract & 07/2009-09/2009; recurring)
Danny Santos, a member of the infamous Santos crime family, arrived in Springfield in November 1998 to avenge the death of his brother, Mick. To get some evidence at the Millennium nightclub, he began working as a bartender there and soon came to the conclusion that Jesse Blue killed Mick in a fit of jealous rage after seeing him with Michelle Bauer. To see if Jesse's temper was in fact bad enough, Danny began to test him by making advances toward Michelle. Soon after, Jesse left town, which convinced Danny even more that he was guilty. Fearing for Jesse's safety, Drew Jacobs told Danny that it was Michelle who killed Mick, conveniently leaving her part in the incident out of the story. Days later, at the start of 1999, a distraught Danny went after Michelle, found her at the beach and confronted her about what had happened with Mick. First denying any part in it, Michelle finally broke down and told Danny the whole truth and begged him to spare her life. Believing her story, and obviously torn over his growing feelings for her, Danny agreed to help her. Danny told Michelle that the only way he could keep from being forced to kill her would be to marry her; as his wife, Michelle would be safe from his family. She agreed and the two were married in a civil ceremony.
Unfortunately, Danny’s mother, Carmen, hated Michelle for killing her first-born son and set out to prove that she and Danny's marriage was one of convenience. In order to throw Carmen off, Michelle agreed to another wedding ceremony with Danny, a religious one. As Michelle agonized over her marriage and her separation from Jesse, she began to realize that Danny was actually falling in love with her. Wanting to get her life back, Michelle decided to work with the FBI against the Santos family to free herself and return to Jesse. However, soon after her church wedding to Danny, Michelle started to feel guilty for working to betray the man she'd come to care about. Meanwhile, at Carmen’s urging, Danny set a trap for Michelle to see if she was working with the FBI by telling her that he was overseeing an illegal shipment of cigars coming into Springfield. At first, Michelle fell for it and had Drew call the Feds. Later, back at the Santos house, she heard Danny admit to his grandmother, Maria that he was in love with her. Touched by his admission and falling in love with him at the same time, Michelle tried to get Drew to call off the Feds but it was too late.
To keep Danny from getting arrested, she faked going blind again so that he would go with her to the hospital. Later, Carmen's employee, Dietz, informed Danny that the FBI had shown up at the docks for the arrival of the "shipment". Believing that Michelle had deceived him, Danny prepared to punish her but then found out that Carmen had actually called the FBI. Angry, Danny vowed never to forgive his mother and left the family business. Eventually, a guilty Michelle confessed her deception and begged Danny to forgive her, confessing her love for him. However, a heartbroken Danny wouldn't listen and had a one-night-stand with Drew. Jesse, who was now in love with Drew, learned about the night and reunited with Michelle, while Danny walked out on Michelle when he sensed that she was afraid of him. Although Michelle later realized that she had feelings for Danny, he refused to go back to her since he knew she was trying to change him and so he served her with annulment papers. However, when he discovered that Carmen was plotting to kill Michelle, Danny rushed in to save her and declared his love, promising that he'd leave his family for her.
Meanwhile, Rick Bauer was convinced that his sister's life was in danger, and he pleaded with Michelle to leave the Santos home, but she refused. After failing to convince Danny to send Michelle away, Rick committed her to the psychiatric ward at Cedars under false pretenses, hoping it would protect her. In an effort scare Rick, Abby Blume Bauer, staged a kidnapping from Danny so that Rick would know what it felt like to have his wife taken away. Soon after, Rick decided that he wasn't being fair to Michelle, and made plans to have her released. However, he was horrified to learn that Michelle had been sedated by the doctors there! Not long after, Danny took Michelle out of the hospital and challenged Rick to call the police. However he refuses, saying that he'd taken full responsibility for everything - and he finally realized he couldn't keep Michelle and Danny apart. The ordeal over; Michelle and Danny married in a private ceremony at Laurel Falls.
That summer, Michelle and Danny helped to rescue Reva Shayne in San Cristobel (where the Santos owned property and were acquainted with the royal family, the Winslows). At the same time, Carmen came up with another idea to get rid of Michelle. After Danny and Michelle got to San Cristobel on their honeymoon, they were visited by Alden Heath, an old friend of Danny’s who was now the President of the Santos Bank of San Cristobel. After some small talk, Alden offered Michelle a "box of chocolates", personally made by Alden's wife, Antonia. What neither Michelle nor Danny realized was that the “chocolate” actually contained bearer bonds that Carmen wanted to use Michelle to smuggle, hoping that Michelle would be arrested. Later, when Danny and Michelle were trying to help Jim Lemay get Cassie Layne and the Lewises out of San Cristobel , in the Santos yacht, Michelle opened her "box of chocolates" and discovered the bearer bonds. Just as Danny realized that Michelle was set up by Carmen, the police arrived and arrested Michelle for smuggling. Luckily, Danny, Jim and Josh would later be able to break Michelle out of prison and smuggle her out of the country.
Not long after, Michelle was dismayed when Danny returned to the family business, in order to protect it from the duplicitous Ben Warren. Disheartened to learn that Danny was involved in illegal smuggling again, she gave him a choice--her or his family. Ultimately, Danny chose her and the two made plans to build a home. Not long after, Danny's ex, Theresa Sandoval, was hired by Carmen to break up Michelle and Danny, Although Michelle was suspicious of Theresa, Danny trusted her and let her help him find a new career for himself. Unfortunately, his trust in Theresa almost cost him his life when a drug slipped in his drink by Theresa almost killed him. Luckily, Michelle and Rick showed up and were able to save him. Spotting the drugs on the floor, an incensed Michelle confronted Theresa who confessed that Ben Warren gave her the drugs. Angry, Michelle went to Ben's with a knife, trying to force a confession out of him, but he kept quiet and her threats were witnessed by Drew and Danny. Not long after, Ben was found murdered! When a pair of bloody gloves was found in her room and a witness identified her as being at Ben's apartment building, Michelle was arrested! Discovering the witness was a woman named Ruth Lockhart, Danny tried to locate her to talk to her, but was clubbed by behind while Ruth disappeared.
As the year 2000 began, Michelle found herself on trial for the murder of Ben Warren. Defended by Ross Marler, Michelle received support from most of the town, except for Drew who chose to believe that she killed her new-found father. After several weeks, Pilar came forward in the courtroom with a startling revelation--Carmen had shot Ben! Unfortunately Pilar hallucinated while on the stand and her testimony was deemed unreliable. Meanwhile, Danny confronted Carmen and demanded that she confess in court that she killed Ben. When she protested, Danny informed her that he couldn't ensure her continued health and threatened to expose Carmen's secrets to the other crime families in town. Although she made a play of going to the court and confessing, Carmen immediately double-crossed Danny by "refusing to lie" about her shooting Ben and after a day of deliberation, the jury found Michelle guilty of murder. Later, Danny met with Theresa's father, Bernardo, and offered him all of Carmen's business holdings in exchange for Michelle's freedom. Unfortunately, Danny was forced to secure her freedom another way since Bernardo wanted Danny to marry his daughter. Later, while Michelle was transferred outside the police station, Danny distracted the police with help of Rick and Jesse, who faked a heart attack, and threw Michelle into the police van. Then Danny contacted his cousin Ray who helped the pair escape to San Cristobel (while disguised as a priest and a nun) where Cassie Layne hid them. When Prince Richard Winslow found them, he wanted to get them out but thanks to Cassie, he let them stay for two weeks.
However, Theresa, who learned about their whereabouts from Drew, found Michelle and Danny in their cabin. She then held them at gunpoint. Danny tried to convince her to put the gun away, but was forced to wrestle the weapon away from her. During the ensuing chaos, someone banged on the door and began to break through the window. Believing it was Bernardo’s henchmen, Danny fired at the intruder and was stunned when Jesse crumpled to the floor, shot in the chest. To get him help, Danny and Michelle left the island and took him to Cedars. He and Michelle then brought him to Cedars, Meanwhile, suspecting that Carmen paid the witness Ruth to lie, Danny located her and convinced her to come forward with the truth. At the same time, a recovered Vanessa, who was hidden away so Carmen couldn't get to her, confessed her involvement in Ben's murder. Finally, five months after Ben's murder, a now-pregnant Michelle was finally cleared and Carmen was arrested.
However, now Danny was receiving threats from Theresa's Uncle Carlos, who seeing a weakness, wanted the Santos family business. Seeing a way to end the threat of the other mob bosses, Danny approached Carmen with an idea--her freedom in exchange for testifying against the other families. Although she refused at first, when he asked her to do it for her first grandchild, she relented. However, on the day she was to be released into the Witness Protection Program, Carmen was apparently killed in a drive-by shooting. Although he promised Michelle that he wouldn't seek vengeance for Carmen's death, he was finding it hard to keep his promise. Making it especially hard, was Carlos who offered to help Danny discover who killed his mother. Knowing he was being sucked back into the mob life, Michelle pleaded with him not to accept Carlos's offer and put the welfare of his family first. However, an angry Danny couldn't resist and accept the offer, at the same time Michelle was suffering a miscarriage. While mourning the loss of their unborn child, Danny tried to reassure Michelle that they can still have the life they dreamed about. When Michelle suggested that she knew he was going to after his mother's killer, he shocked her by calling Carlos and breaking all of his ties to the family business. Not long after, Michelle started having disturbing visions of Carmen watching her.
Believing that finding out who killed Carmen would put an end to Michelle's fears, and his own nightmares. Danny contacted the other families in hopes of finding Carmen's killer. Later, Danny began to suspect that perhaps Michelle's mother, Claire, killed Carmen, when he learned that a woman invited the Sandovals to the annual Bauer Barbecue. His suspicions grew when Abby told him that Claire had tried to smother Michelle when she was a baby. Later, while Abby distracted Rick, Danny obtained another signature from Claire and it matched the signature on Carmen's cremation order perfectly. Later, Danny confronted Claire in front of Michelle and accused her of murdering Carmen and covering it up. After Danny confronted Claire with the two documents bearing her signature, Claire admitted that she forged Carmen's signature on the consent form, but insisted that she was carrying out Carmen's dying wish. Danny, though, didn't believe her.
Despite returning to the mob life, Danny was unsettled to hear that his family could be involved in an illegal immigrant ring in San Cristobel , but when he confronted Maria about it, she seemed insulted at his questions. Meanwhile, during Michelle's absence, a cigarette girl named May Merisi came to town and began to work in Millennium, which was now owned by Danny. Danny was attracted to May and soon they made love. Soon, after Michelle returned to town, still unsure about whether to go through with her pregnancy. However, soon after, Michelle was hospitalized for complications and Danny learned the truth. Her pregnancy brought them closer together and when Danny confessed his affair with May to Michelle, she surprised him by forgiving him. Not long after, Michelle was kidnapped! Believing that Maria knew something about this, Danny confronted her and was told that he could find Michelle at the docks. At the docks, Danny was shocked to find a very much alive Carmen holding a gun on Michelle. Apparently Carmen faked her death with help from Michelle's biological mother, Claire Ramsey. Fortunately, Danny located them. Poised to shoot his mother, Danny was shocked when Carmen announced that she'd get rid of Michelle like she should have gotten rid of her husband's mistress. That's when they learned that Danny's father wasn't killed by a rival family; Carmen killed him! Desperate to save Michelle, Danny shot and killed his mother.Upon learning that Maria knew all along that Carmen was alive, Danny vowed to keep her locked up as punishment for her deceit. Sickened by what he'd done and by his mother's confession, Danny told Michelle it was over between them and returned to a life in the mob.
As 2001 began, Michelle pleaded with Danny to abandon his old life and start a new one with her, but Danny continually refused, but, after helping Tony rescue Marah Lewis from a mob-related kidnapping Danny unexpectedly decided again to make the Santos business Legit. Although Maria begged him to leave the business as it was, a shaken Danny refused. Shortly after the birth of their son, Robert Fredrico, Michelle and Danny reunited and she told him what she'd learned about May Merisi-----May was actually an FBI agent named Mary Murto who was investigating the mob in Springfield. When Danny refused to testify against the other families to avoid prosecution, Michelle convinced Danny to marry her so that she couldn’t testify against him. Soon after, FBI agent Gus Aitoro arrived and was determined to have the Santos family brought down by whatever means necessary. In addition to dealing with Aitoro, Danny also had to deal with his family, specifically Maria. Unwilling to let go of the Santos criminal empire, Maria offered Tony the opportunity to head up the family. But Maria knew Danny wouldn't just walk away and allow the business to remain in the mob, and so she felt she had no choice but to place a hit on the grandson who had betrayed the family. Her plan was foiled however, when Tony couldn't go through with the hit.
Determined to have her way, Maria was set to kill both of her grandsons, but her assassins were overpowered and the plan failed. Danny then told Maria and Carlos that they would have to disappear to Cuba for their own safety, since the FBI had a tape of them planning the hit on Danny. He then informed them that should anything happen to him or his family, he has arranged for the FBI to receive information informing them of the illegal activities of all the families Meanwhile, after months of bullying the Santoses, Gus finally had the evidence he needed and arrested Danny for Carmen's murder. However, he planted the evidence against Danny since he couldn't find Carmen's body. Armed with this knowledge, Danny began to suspect that perhaps Carmen wasn't dead after all. Without Michelle's knowledge, he continued his investigation and found Carmen alive and well at Laurel Falls! Ironically, Michelle had been conducting the same investigation and got to Carmen first. Though Carmen tried again to kill Michelle, Danny saved her and they both escaped. Since Carmen was alive, the murder charges against Danny were dropped. Later, Danny and Michelle were shocked to learn that Carmen was released from prison after cooperating with the police.
At the same time, Danny and Michelle were threatened by Carlos Sandoval who forced Danny to steal $ 25 million from Spaulding Enterprises. If he did, the mob would leave him alone, if he didn't his family would be killed. When Carlos stated that this ultimatum came from someone named "Mr. Big", Danny was sure that Mr. Big was actually Carmen. Unfortunately, there was no evidence and so he decided to go along with the heist, with the cooperation of the police. Finally, when Danny and Michelle broke into Spaulding’s computers to embezzle the money, the police were forced to back out and the FBI showed up! Danny then realized he was right: Carmen was Mr. Big, but he wasn't the target of the sting, the Sandovals and the Muchatas were. Danny now patched up his differences with Gus, and spent several months living as "normal" a life as possible with Michelle and Robbie while he started working at Spaulding Enterprises as a security consultant.
In arly in 2002, with Phillip Spaulding's approval, Danny quit his job. To try to get Danny to change his mind, Alan Spaulding gave Michelle a rare Peruvian artifact. Though he didn't change his mind, the artifact got Danny wondering if Carmen had really gone legit. As a matter of fact, Carmen was indeed smuggling artifact. In order to cover up her crimes, Carmen had her henchman, Maurice, destroy the evidence by blowing up the warehouse. Still suspicious of Carmen, Danny went to examine the crates in Carmen’s warehouse, unaware that her henchman, Maurice, was preparing to blow the place up. Although Maurice was alerted to Danny’s presence and tried to drag him to safety, Danny refused to listen to Maurice’s warnings. The men scuffled, and Maurice was forced to leave an unconscious Danny trapped to save himself. Luckily for Danny, as the fire started to ignite the warehouse, Gus arrived. He saw Danny lying unconscious and risked his own life to try to save him from the burning building. At the hospital, Danny slipped into a coma. Upon being questioned, Danny told Gus that he had no knowledge of Carmen’s involvement in the warehouse fire because his memory was very foggy from that night.
Later, Danny got some time alone with Carmen where he told her that her fate was in his hands because he believed that she did set the warehouse fire. Danny assured Carmen that he wouldn't turn her over to the police if she agreed to walk out of their lives and leave him. When Danny told Michelle about his ultimatum to Carmen, Michelle was upset that Danny didn’t take the opportunity to send Carmen to jail. Meanwhile, that spring, Tony was arrested for his wife Catalina's murder, and Danny had to worry about his trial and running Infierno. This frequently brought him into contact with Carmen and other mobsters. When Tony jumped into Danny's car for an unplanned escape from jail, Robbie was in the car with Danny. Michelle found out about this and was furious at Danny, even though he had no way of knowing Tony was going to meet him. After Tony's name was cleared, he left town for a month, and Danny was forced to continue his mob duties, among them loaning money to a destitute Cassie and trying to keep Edmund Winslow from sticking his nose into the family business. At this time, when Michelle was longing for her missing father Ed, Danny investigated and learned that Ed had been taken hostage in Africa.
Danny began taking more of an active role in the business and Cassie's troubled personal life. She had borrowed money from his family, against his repeated warnings and advice, and was now getting death threats. Danny knew Carmen was responsible and also knew that he could never reunite with Michelle unless Carmen was out of the picture. After embezzling money from Carmen's accounts to pay off Cassie's various debts, he went to the FBI and Gus to work out a plan to entrap Carmen. Carmen realized she was being duped sooner than any of them expected, and pulled a gun on Danny one night at the cliffs overlooking the beach. She accidentally shot him in the stomach, and he fell, presumably to his death. Cassie found him, actually barely alive and took him to the wine cellar at the Beacon to nurse him back to health. He didn't want to put her in danger, but had no choice but to depend on her for everything. As he continued to let the town believe he was dead, Cassie relocated him to Reva's poolhouse to avoid Carmen's goons. After his own funeral, Danny appeared in a hologram and guilted Carmen into confessing her crime. Danny made tentative plans to begin dating Michelle again, even though she was still getting over his betrayal of her by keeping her in the dark about his mortality. The last tattered threads of this relationship were torn apart when Carmen escaped police custody and stormed the Bauer home, planning to kill Michelle and kidnap Robbie. Intervention by Bill Lewis put Carmen in a coma, but Danny's relationship with Michelle was taken off life support as she told him she could never reconcile with him and they had known they were incompatible for years.
Devastated, in 2003, Danny decided to do the best he could to move on with his life. In an attempt to do just that, he entered into a business arrangement with Cassie to renovate the Towers Club. In addition, Danny came up with the revolutionary idea to fix up a run-down neighborhood near 5th Street. Unfortunately, the mob used to conduct a lot of dealings on 5th St. and so Danny traveled to New York and made mobster Vinnie Salerno a deal--he'd give him the Santos's illegal operations in exchange for Salerno staying out of Springfield. On a personal note, Danny and Michelle finally reconciled and after Michelle agreed to another wedding, they were treated to a surprise wedding by Tony and Marah at the Bauer Barbecue.
That fall, Michelle was mugged on 5th Street by a street kid named Nico Costaña. Unfortunately, in the scuffle, Michelle fell down and appeared hurt. Concerned, Nico stayed to see if she was alright and upon seeing she was fine, he ran off. Unfortunately, his concern cost him needed minutes to escape and his caught by the cops. Apprehended, he found himself being defended by Ray, who knew Nico and his situation. Ray tried to explain to Danny that Nico's parents were killed a few years earlier in the crossfire during a mob hit instigated by the Santos family and that Nico was essentially a good kid. Though Danny felt losing his parents was no excuse for criminal behavior, Michelle realized that Santos family was responsible for Nico's circumstances, and taking Ray's word that Nico was a good kid (which he proved to her by being concerned for her welfare), she refused to press charges. Not only that, she offered to let Nico to stay with her and Danny. Though neither Danny nor Nico were happy with that situation, Michelle insisted that they owed the boy something. However, even though she offered to take responsibility for the boy, Michelle left town shortly after to attend a psychology seminar, leaving Nico with Danny.
Resentful of the Santos family, Nico kept up a tough veneer and a tough attitude. However, at times he would let a soft spot show, such as when he sang for a 5th Street resident on her birthday (something he loathed to do in front of Danny). He also showed a soft spot for Marina Cooper, the teenaged nanny of Robbie, Danny and Michelle's son. That fall, Danny was very surprised when Bill suggested that he run for mayor of Springfield. Though Tony was shocked at the suggestion, he seriously considered it and threw his hat into the ring. Concerned about whether he could win the support of the people of Springfield, because of his past, he was pleasantly surprised when the people of 5th Street overwhelmingly supported his campaign. A pleasant surprise was Nico publicly telling the press that although the Santoses killed his parents, he thought Danny was a good guy and offered his support. The one person though who didn't support Danny's campaign was Ross Marler, who seemed to believe that a former mobster didn't have a chance in winning.
Months later, Ross shocked Danny and Michelle when he announced that he was running against Danny. Although Danny anticipated support for his campaign, it became clear in 2004, that many influential people would be backing Ross. That included the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, who decided to back Ross despite the fact that they initially offered their support to Danny. Very soon after, Danny received a visit from Salerno offering to lend his financial support to Danny's campaign, an offer that Danny refused. That same day, Danny and Bill would be surprised to learn that Ross had financial leverage over them since he was able to go around campaign restrictions by using money left over from his prior financial campaign. In the midst of this political intrigue, Danny was also concerned about Michelle whose relationship with Ed was becoming strained. The same evening that Danny and Bill saved an unconscious Michelle after the gas valve was shut off in their home, Tony became involved in a scuffle with a mobster named Angelo Bruzzi that left him hurt. Although he turned out fine, the incident was leaked to the press. With that information made public, Ross was able to convince the mayor to support him instead of Danny by stating that having Danny as mayor could be detrimental to Springfield. Suspecting that Ross leaked the story to the press, Danny related his disappointment and when Ross stated that he believed Danny could hurt Springfield if elected mayor.
Danny vowed to prove him wrong, and added that he's not above playing hardball. Later, after Nico almost died while accidentally ingesting a drug called Delirium, Danny vowed, again against Tony's advice that he stay out of it, to rid Springfield of the mob-controlled drug problem. Despite all these obstacles, by Election Day, Danny, who by now had learned the truth from Michelle about what was going on between her and Ed, was gaining on Ross in the polls. Although as the day progressed, it looked as if he would lose to Ross, a sudden upswing in votes from 5th St. led to Danny's totally unexpected win!
Unfortunately, his success was bittersweet when that evening D.A. Jeffrey O'Neill informed Danny that he was a federal agent and he wanted Danny to infiltrate the mob. Although Danny initially refused, Jeffrey blackmailed Danny with faulty "evidence" that the mob funded Danny's campaign. Realizing, he'd been set up, Danny tried to call Jeffrey's bluff to have him arrested, but was forced to comply with Jeffrey's demands when Jeffrey announced that he knew that Danny had used mob money to finance the rebuilding of 5th Street. Faced with Jeffrey's threat that as co-signer of the loan, Cassie could be jailed as well, Danny had no choice but to comply and infiltrate the mob. So, putting on the persona of a bitter, disillusioned man, Danny went to work for Salerno and was shocked to see Salerno's other employee--Tony! Apparently, Tony's claims of going straight were a lie and he'd been working for Salerno ever since he returned to town. As shocked as Danny was to see Tony, Tony was equally shocked to see Danny and tried to dissuade him by going back into the life, even going as far as to hold a gun on him. But despite Tony's pleas that Danny get out for the good of his family, Danny was determined to gain employment with Salerno.
Although Salerno was initially wary of Danny, Danny was able to earn his trust. Although the DA's office was almost able to get the goods on Vinnie, when he received a shipment of the drug Antimonious, the investigation was compromised by Eden August when she angrily flushed the drugs down the toilet! Enraged, Vinnie ordered a hit on Eden, and wanting to earn Vinnie's trust, Danny volunteered to do it. However, unbeknownst to Salerno, Danny was in constant contact with the DA's office and he was instrumental in faking Eden's death and getting her into the Witness Protection Program. Unfortunately, Danny's actions would have tragic consequences since hid what he was doing from Michelle. Knowing that Danny was up to something, the night of the explosion, which would "claim" Eden's life, Michelle followed Danny and was caught in the explosion!
As the district attorney and undercover agents kept watch the drop went down. Just as the drugs were given to Salerno, the cops burst in. Vinnie suddenly realized he'd been set up – and Danny was in on it! He knocked out Danny and dragged Reva outside, using her as a shield. But Reva played mind games, convincing Salerno that she senses that his gun has no bullets and therefore she'd just going to walk away. Though Vinnie didn't buy this, he was unnerved long enough for Danny to fly out the door and take him down. Although glad that the mob business was done with, Danny was dismayed when Tony announced that he would be taking over Salerno's operation. Although Danny tried to dissuade him, even using Tony's position as Tony's godfather to deter him, Tony was adamant about paving his own way into the mob, despite the consequences. Seeing Tony couldn't be convinced, Danny agreed not to push but asked that Tony stayed clean until Michelle recovered since he needed a friend he could count on.
That same night, Michelle finally came out of her coma. Although she now had no memory of her life, there was one thing she did remember--her rescuer, Tony. Feeling pressure from Danny and her well-meaning family for her to begin to regain her memories, Michelle lashed out at everyone, except Tony. Overwhelmed by stories of her former, seemingly, perfect self, Michelle rebelled and remained distant toward everyone, especially Danny. Although Danny tried to be supportive and understanding, it was obvious that Michelle was unimpressed with him. Trying to make her recovery as smooth as possible, Danny tended to keep the untidy parts of the past from Michelle, shielding her from the truth, to the extent of hiding the fact that she had a son. Although Danny wanted to help Michelle regain her memories himself, it was becoming obvious that the only person she felt comfortable around was Tony, so Danny convinced a reluctant Tony to move into his and Michelle's house. It didn't take long for Tony and Danny to clash though over Danny's delicate treatment of Michelle, since he believed Michelle should be told the entire truth about her life.
Unfortunately, the truth came out during the Bauer Barbecue, when Robbie arrived home unexpectedly. Although Danny tried to explain that he was trying to make things easier on her and Robbie, Michelle bristled under Danny's tendency to hide the truth from her, and asked Tony (the only one she felt any connection to) to take her away. After learning from Tony the truth about her past and Danny's, Michelle started to realize that may have misjudged Danny and went back and tried again. However, Danny had trouble relating to and impressing this new Michelle, who was freer emotionally. After talking to Cassie, he realized that he'd have to woo her all over again. Later, Danny set up a romantic picnic on the beach in the hopes of winning the heart of the new Michelle. Rick sensed, though, that Michelle was trying a little too hard to put on a happy face. Although she denied it, but it was obvious that Rick was right. Meanwhile, as Michelle found herself drawn to the lighthouse, Danny was struggling financially. Although Tony offered to help, Danny refused to get mixed up with dirty money again. Danny approached Bill with a legitimate business deal but Bill, still bitter about Eden, refused only to turn around and do business with Tony. By this point Danny and Michelle had finally started connecting, but Michelle was put off by Danny's refusal to make love, since he suggested they weren't ready for that step.
While trying to sort out who the new Michelle Bauer Santos was, Michelle continued to grow closer to Tony who she felt was the only one who appreciated her as she was. To Danny's dismay, Michelle's first act of friendship with Tony was to warn him that the police were about to raid his club. Angry that Tony was pulling Michelle back into the mob life, Danny confronted him and demanded that Tony keep Michelle away. Then suddenly realizing that there could be more to Tony's concern for Michelle, Danny asked what his intentions were. Tony denied having any intentions, but Danny wasn't so sure. Meanwhile, Michelle's carefree attitude continued to gnaw at Danny who was becoming angry that she would often disappear without a word to anybody. Meanwhile, Danny was looking for financial backing for the 5th Street project and after a failed attempt to woo Spaulding, he convinced the Lewis family to help. Soon after, Michelle learned that Danny set the explosion that caused her memory loss!
Shocked at first, Michelle was remarkably understanding. As Danny was struggling to get out of debt, notably by continuing his 5th Street project, Michelle announced her idea to open a restaurant at the Lighthouse with Tony! Not wanting Michelle to get sucked into the mob life again, Danny persuaded Ross to put a lid on Michelle's plans. However, later, when an angry Michelle lashed out at him for controlling her life, he relented and gave her the permit. Although Tony accused him of giving Michelle the permit simply to impress her so she'd stay with him, Danny assured Tony that the offer was sincere and all he cared about what Michelle's happiness. Later, in an attempt to pay off his debts so he could give Michelle money for the lighthouse, Danny liquidated all of his assets. Not long after, while he was away in New York, Danny was surprised to receive a call from Michelle stating that she had a memory flash of her mother. When Danny returned to town, he tried to surprise her by telling her that he'd consulted a memory specialist. Unfortunately for Danny, his interference was unwanted and Michelle angrily recoiled at Danny's implication that she was damaged and needed fixed. After arguing, the couple decided to go their separate ways. Later, Danny was shocked to learn from Blake that Michelle had left town and assumed that she went with Tony on a romantic getaway.
With Michelle gone, Danny grew closer to Marina Cooper, who was watching Robbie. Over the next few weeks, their friendship turned into a mutual attraction. Later, the night that Danny kissed Marina under the mistletoe, he got a strange call from Michelle who kept calling him "dad", mentioned Sebastian Hulce, and then hung up. Although he tried to dismiss it as Michelle calling the wrong number, something about the call kept gnawing him. Wanting some answers, since he knew how much Robbie missed his mother, Danny went to Blake and asked why Michelle would be mentioning Sebastian. Blake then told him the entire truth about Michelle's trip--Michelle had gone on an excursion to Santo Domingo with Sebastian and Blake's mother, Holly. Concerned for Michelle, Danny went to Santo Domingo, with Marina volunteering to come along. At the hotel in Santo Domingo, Danny found Tony and decked him for taking advantage of Michelle when she was only trying to find out who she really was. But Tony explained the situation--that Sebastian had kidnapped Holly and Michelle and was holding them hostage in exchange for them finding Ed who could develop a cure to save his life. Danny headed off in his plane to rescue Michelle, but, Sebastian’s men tampered with the plane and Danny found himself in grave danger. Realizing he was going down, he first called Robbie to say goodbye and then Marina and Tony to tell them that it was up to them to save Michelle.
At start of the New Year, 2005, Danny miraculously survived and went to rescue Michelle, only to be imprisoned himself when he collapsed from his injuries. By then, Tony had volunteered to go to Africa to find Ed to get the cure. When Michelle was able to recreate the cure based on Ed's notes, Sebastian ordered Danny to try it first since he suspected it could be poison .Danny agreed but only if Sebastian released Michelle and Holly first. Michelle, not willing to let Danny take that risk, downed the medicine herself. At first it seemed as if it would kill her but she revived and Danny tossed the last dose at Sebastian. When Danny tended to Michelle, she told him about an odd dream she had, but when she described it, Danny realized it was an actual memory of a moment the two of them had shared! Before they could discuss it further, Tony arrives. Finally cured, Sebastian released them all and Danny returned to an ecstatic Marina. Back in Springfield, Danny and Michelle finally decided to end their marriage, but held off telling Robbie since he was distancing himself from Michelle because she'd been gone for so long. Although he was ready to begin a new relationship with Marina, Danny found resistance from the Cooper family.
Although Marina's grandfather quickly got over his misgivings, Marina's father, Frank, warned Danny to stay away from his daughter. Although Danny thought perhaps it was a good idea, Marina assured Danny that she didn't care what her father thought; she wanted to be with him. Though things with Marina were progressing smoothly, things with Michelle were rough since Danny decided that he wanted sole custody of Robbie, mainly because he felt Michelle was too impulsive and irresponsible. At the same time, Tony's jealousy of Danny was increasing and he told Danny that he wanted him out of the Lighthouse project. Danny had no problem with it but when Michelle stated that she wanted Danny to finish the job, Danny eventually agreed. Later, Marina tried to help Danny find a new apartment but every place they looked at fell short of the home Danny once had. Later, Danny was not pleased to find Tony with Robbie in the park but the two cousins reached something of an understanding. They then went back to the house and with everyone there, Robbie mistakenly assumed that his parents were getting back together. When Michelle and Danny tried to explain things to him, Robbie ran away.
As the foursome prepared to search for a missing Robbie, Sebastian safely returned him! Danny and Tony were ready to hurt Sebastian but it was soon evident that he was the hero. A few months later, Michelle (whose memory had been slowly returning) shocked Danny when she arrived at a site he was renovating and informed him that Tony had proposed marriage. After absorbing the information, he gave her his blessing. Then suddenly, the braces holding up the ceiling of the townhouse gave way and Danny and Michelle found the roof caving in on them. Danny pulled Michelle from the wreckage of the collapsed roof. After coming to, Michelle shocked him by pulling him into a breathtaking kiss and telling him that her memory was completely back! Caught up in the moment, Danny and Michelle made love amid the wreckage. But, in the afterglow of their blissful moment, reality set in and they remembered Marina and Tony. They then kept the entire incident secret. Confused about whether to stay with Marina or go back with Michelle, Danny would share another kiss with Michelle, this one secretly seen by Tony. Soon after, Danny and Michelle decided to let their divorce go through but since the judge was sick, there'd be a delay. Wanting to get the situation resolved as quickly as possible, the pair went to Las Vegas for a quickie divorce.
Days later, Tony and Michelle had returned from Vegas, unmarried due to Michelle’s realization that she still loved Danny. While Danny went off hiking, Tony begged Michelle to remember that she loved him also. Unfortunately, things got heated between Tony and Michelle when she continued to insist that she loved Danny. Finally, Michelle broke the news that she slept with Danny the night she got her memory back. She then confessed that she and Danny had made love the night her memory returned. At that moment, Danny returned from his hike. In his rage, Tony hurled himself at Danny and during the struggle, they both went over the edge. Michelle managed to grab each of them but their combined weight was too much to bear. Realizing that Michelle couldn't save both men and was at risk of falling over herself, Tony made the sacrifice and let go of Michelle’s hand, only to plummet into the water. Once safe, Danny climbed down to retrieve Tony from the water and he and Michelle desperately began CPR. Tragically, it was too late--Tony was dead. That same night, Michelle shocked Danny by confessing what she told Tony--that she was in love with Danny. However, thanks to Tony's death, that knowledge didn't bring the happiness it might have once and Danny chose to resume his relationship with Marina. A few weeks later, Danny would finally confess to Marina that he and Michelle had made love. Angry, Marina walked out on Danny, yet soon forgave him.
Afterwards, Frank surprised both Danny and Marina by giving his blessing for their relationship. In the meantime, Harley had escaped from jail in an effort to prove her innocence and was on the run with Gus. Worried, Buzz asked Danny to use his underworld connections to help her but keep Marina out of it. But when Marina caught Danny making travel arrangements, she mistakenly thought he was going to Africa to visit Michelle. Wondering what was going on, Marina ended up following him to a hotel in Chicago. Certain he was there to rendezvous with Michelle, Marina decided to confront him, but before she got the chance she ran into an old friend who she realized was after the bounty on Harley's head. Luckily, Danny arrived and helped her send the bounty hunter in the wrong direction. After, she confessed that she came to Chicago because of her fears about Michelle, while Danny admitted that he was helping Buzz by trying to lay a false trail for Harley. Relieved, Marina insisted that she be included. After about a week of being undercover, Marina decided she enjoyed it and announced to Frank that she wanted to become a cop. Though Danny was worried that his past would make things rough on Marina, he ultimately decided to stay with Marina.. By the end of summer, Marina and Danny decided to move in together. At the same time, Michelle finally returned. However, Danny was committed to staying with Marina. Michelle disappeared again and Danny was shocked to learn that she called Robbie who was away at camp. Curious as to where his ex-wife was, Danny did some checking and found out the call came from Edmund Winslow's suite at Towers. However, when Danny went there to confront her, there was no answer at the door.
When Danny learned the news from Marina he made an impassioned plea for Michelle to stay and rebuild her life in Springfield so Robbie's life wouldn't be uprooted. However, Michelle was determined to stay. Finally, the two couldn't resist each other any longer and Danny pulled her into a passionate kiss. However, they were brought back to reality when Robbie had an emotional crisis over the family splitting up. It’s bittersweet as Michelle and Danny reassured their son that he would always be loved, even though his parents might not be together. Danny confessed the kiss to Marina but assured her that it was simply a goodbye kiss and he loved her. Weeks later, Danny was stunned when Dinah Marler showed up at his door and introduced him to his daughter--Hope. Dinah then spun a tale about Edmund stealing Michelle's unborn baby and telling Cassie it was their child. Though incredulous at first, Danny quickly began to believe that this could really be Michelle’s child, especially when Marina finally admitted that she'd been investigating the night of Michelle's accident since she had suspicions. She stated that Jeffrey told her he tested Cassie's baby and told her it wasn't Michelle's but realized that Jeffrey could have lied about the DNA test in order to protect Cassie. Danny and Marina then confronted Cassie and Jeffrey with Dinah’s claim that the baby is Michelle’s. Although Jeffrey admitted that he lied to Marina about Cassie’s DNA test, he stated that he then tested Michelle’s DNA, only to discover that neither woman was Hope’s mom. However, Danny didn't trust Jeffrey and Cassie, especially now that the baby in question could be his and he demanded that a DNA test be done ASAP. That same night it was confirmed--Hope was his and Michelle's daughter.
Knowing of the pain Michelle was in, Danny tried frantically to track her down but to no avail. Then he was arrested on false charges! Luckily for him, Marina risked her job to free him and Frank agreed to let him go on his search for Michelle. Upon learning that Michelle was alone at the Bauer cabin, Danny rushed there. However, upon his arrival he was knocked out by Edmund. He soon recovered and together he and Michelle overpowered Edmund, forcing him to run away. Alone in the cabin, Danny gave Michelle the startling news that their baby was alive. With Danny and Michelle bonding over their new baby, Marina finally realized that she could never compete with Michelle for Danny's affections and broke it off with him. Soon after, Michelle reached out to him and professed her love but he rejected her, unleashing his pent-up frustration over the tortuous road their relationship had always been on. But, ultimately, Danny returned to Michelle, admitting he never stopped loving her and the two finally reunited. A week before Thanksgiving, Danny surprised Michelle by bringing her to the Bauer house to renew their vows and the pair remarried. Immediately after, took their kids to the Gulf Coast to assist Ed in the recovery efforts there. Later, the family moved to California where Ed planned to to open a clinic.
Danny and Michelle returned to Springfield, in 2009, for the Annual Bauer BBQ. The pair reported that they were very happy with their lives in California and seemed to be doing well personally and professionally.The pair brought along Robbie and Hope (who looked a lot like her mother). When asked by Marina if he missed Springfield, Danny indicated that he liked having a fresh start in California. However, mere weeks later, Danny had a change of heart. In town for Jeffrey's funeral, Danny revealed to Marina that he and the famly were moving back to Springfield to do some work in the restaurant business. Over a month later, the Santos family offically moved back to Springfield. .