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Martha Madison as Belle Black
|Days of Our Lives character|
|First appearance||October 21, 1993|
|Last appearance||September 12, 2016|
|Created by||James E. Reilly|
|Introduced by||Ken Corday and Tom Langan|
|Classification||Former; regular (returning)|
|Residence||Hong Kong, China|
Kirsten Storms as Belle Black
Belle Black is a fictional character from Days of Our Lives, an American soap opera on the NBC network. Created by head writer, James E. Reilly, she was born on October 21, 1993, as the only child of supercouple, John Black and Marlena Evans. She is also one half of the supercouple, Shawn Brady and Belle Black. Belle was rapidly aged to a teen when Kirsten Storms was hired to portray the character from August 5, 1999, to July 16, 2004. Charity Rahmer briefly played the role from July 19 to August 9, 2004. Martha Madison appeared in the role from August 10, 2004, to March 21, 2008. In June 2015, Madison confirmed she would reprise the role of Belle in November, as part of the show's fiftieth anniversary celebration. In March 2016, it was revealed that Madison was among four actors who been let go from the soap. However, on September 7, 2016, it was confirmed that Madison had been re-hired shortly following her firing and would remain on the soap indefinitely.
Belle is the daughter of John Black (Drake Hogestyn) and Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall), making her the half-sister of Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney), Eric Brady (Greg Vaughan), Paul Narita (Christopher Sean) and Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) (the only sibling with whom she was raised). Originally, the residents of Salem believe that Belle is the daughter of Marlena and Roman Brady (Wayne Northrop). Belle however is conceived on John's private jet on the night of Marlena's wedding anniversary to Roman. John and Marlena's airplane encounter also marks the beginning of a torrid affair which Sami witnesses when she sees the couple having sex several weeks later on the Titan Industries board room table. Aware of the affair, Sami, keeps the knowledge secret for several months. When Marlena discovers that she is pregnant, John asks for a blood test that will determine if he is the father of the unborn child. By then, Sami is working as a volunteer at Salem Hospital. She accesses the results of the paternity test that confirms John as the father and changes the results. Later, the distraught teen kidnaps Belle and tries to have her legally adopted. Stefano DiMera (Joseph Mascolo) eventually forces Marlena to confess to Roman and all of Salem the truth of her affair with John. Later still, Stefano reveals the truth of Belle's paternity to the Brady family after reading Sami's diary.
As a teen at Salem High School, Belle begins an ill-fated relationship with bad boy Philip Kiriakis (Jay Kenneth Johnson) but soon falls in love with Shawn-Douglas Brady (Jason Cook). Best friends with Mimi Lockhart (Farah Fath), Belle's peers are shocked to see her burgeoning friendship with "Ghoul Girl" Chloe Lane (Nadia Bjorlin). In 2001, Belle goes on a class trip to Puerto Rico. Belle, Shawn and Philip embark on their own on a missing-jewel hunt in search of a ruby that belongs to Alice Horton. After a near-drowning, the teens are successful and Shawn is able to return the ruby to his great-grandmother. Once back in Salem, a troubled classmate, Jan Spears (Heather Lauren Olsen), confides to Shawn that she had been raped by the father of recent arrivals to Salem, siblings Nicole (Arianne Zucker) and Brandon Walker (Matt Cedeño), and is now pregnant. Shawn agrees to claim paternity, thereby destroying his blossoming relationship with Belle. Despite her sense of loss, Belle is accepted to Columbia University, and makes it through her senior year as class valedictorian. Moreover, after Jan's miscarriage and the truth of her rape comes out, Belle forgives Shawn and tentatively reunites with him at the "Last Blast" Dance. Later that summer, during meteor showers on the Fourth of July, Belle and Shawn rescue the faux-alien-Gemini-twins, Rex Brady and Cassie Brady (Alexis Thorpe), who as it turns out were the children of Roman and Kate Roberts (Lauren Koslow).
Deciding not to move to New York City, Belle attends Salem University where she lives in the same campus dorm with Shawn, Rex and Cassie, while more economically challenged Mimi lives at home. Belle and Shawn commit to a future together, but suffer another setback during Victor and Nicole's New Year's Eve wedding when Colin Murphy (Justin Melvey) is murdered. Though Shawn shot at Colin and missed, he still felt responsible. Meanwhile, Belle works as an intern at her father's company, Basic Black. Headed for success as a fashion designer, Basic Black opts to feature Belle's designs, but Belle becomes increasingly disturbed when some of Salem's most prominent citizens are murdered by the Salem Stalker. The killer murders nine people before police uncovered the killer's identity, Belle's own mother Marlena. A devastated Belle lies to Shawn to provide an alibi for her mother. When Alice Horton (Frances Reid), Shawn's great grandmother is murdered, Shawn leaves town. Unbeknownst to Belle at the time, Jan Spears held Shawn captive in a cage; this allowed Belle to grow closer to Philip. Harboring a secret crush, Philip provides Belle with some much-needed solace and eventually persuades her to be with him. When Shawn returns, his personality undergoes a profound change. Philip and Belle agree to marry; Shawn only realizes his true feelings for Belle on the eve of her wedding to Philip. Belle also realizes the true extent of her feelings for Shawn, but fails to tell Philip before he ships out with his Marine unit. Shawn then attempts to rescue his former friend when Philip is taken hostage.
Belle stays married given the extent of Philip's injuries. Later, Belle gives birth to Claire, who is really Shawn's daughter. Eventually, Claire's paternity is revealed, and Belle tells Phillip that she does not love him. Pregnant again, doctors tell Belle the baby would not survive. Philip makes the decision to terminate Belle's pregnancy after assuring her that he would not let the baby die. Utterly devastated, Belle leaves Philip and moves in with her parents. Ready to resume her relationship with Shawn, Belle begins to pressure Shawn to be a more responsible father. Shawn opts to respond by sleeping with former prostitute, Willow Stark. After Victor kidnaps Claire, a custody battle ensues, pitting Brady against Kiriakis. The conflict came to a head while at sea when Philip loses hold of Claire and the baby is swept overboard. Belle and Shawn eventually reunite with Claire; Shawn proposes marriage even as Belle and Philip grew closer. The passion-tossed triangle continues to undergo several more trials and predictable miscommunications when in November 23, 2007, Shawn and Belle marry even though Belle continued to have feelings for Philip. In March 2008, Shawn and Belle once again reconcile and decide to sail the world, strengthen their marriage, and bond as a family by taking Claire with them (as Bo and Hope did with Shawn), then together they are written off the daytime soap.
Seven years later she returns to Salem with Shawn and their teenage daughter Claire. In September 2016 Belle and Shawn move to Hong Kong leaving Clare in Salem with Marlena and John.
- "Kirsten Storms - Bio - General Hospital - Soap Opera Digest and Weekly". Soapoperadigest.com. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
- "Martha Madison Bio - Belle - DAYS OF OUR LIVES - Photos". Soapoperadigest.com. 2007-08-25. Archived from the original on 29 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
- SOD (June 25, 2015). "MARTHA MADISON BACK TO DAYS". Soap Opera Digest. United States. American Media, Inc. Archived from the original on June 25, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
- Fairman, Michael (June 25, 2015). "Martha Madison Returning To Days of our Lives!". Michael Fairman On-Air On-Soaps. United States. Archived from the original on June 25, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
- Giddens, Jamey (March 21, 2016). "Days of Our Lives BLOODBATH: Brandon Beemer, Martha Madison, Marie Wilson and Sal Stowers All OUT!". Daytime Confidential. Confidential Media (SAY Media). Retrieved March 21, 2016.
- SOD (March 21, 2016). "BLOODBATH AT DAYS!". Soap Opera Digest. United States. American Media, Inc. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
- "Brandon Beemer, Martha Madison, Marie Wilson, Sal Stowers out at Days". Soaps.com. United States: SheKnows Media. March 22, 2016. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
- Cushman, Dustin (September 7, 2016). "Days' Martha Madison rehired soon after being let go several months ago". Soaps.com. United States: SheKnows Media. Archived from the original on September 7, 2016. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
- "Character Bio - Belle Black". Soapscafe.com. 2006-03-09. Retrieved 2010-05-31.