Tony DiMera came to Salem in 1981 to get his wife Liz back, and to check on his assets that were being handled by Stuart Whyland. Tony noticed that Stuart Whyland had made a 25,000$ error in the hospital's financial records.
After Stuart got into illegal operations he quickly left town and Tony took over his own finances. Later Tony bought the Twilight Bar and made Trish the manager and hired Danny Grant as the bartender.
Tony also became infatuated with Renee Dumonde, and began wooing her with gifts.
In 1982 Tony kidnapped Liz Chandler, who was still legally his wife since they never divorced. Tony wanted Doug's place, and with Stefano's help he forced Liz to spy on Doug for him, threatening Neil with harm if she didn't. Stefano and Tony had learned that there were titanium deposits underneath Doug's Place, and they intended on finding them. They found a passage from a secret room in the DiMera mansion (which Stuart Whyland had built) to the basement of Doug's Place, but in the end the entire thing ended up to be a big hoax.
When Liz asked for a divorce from Tony he refused, and eventually beat and raped her. Later Stefano tried to have Neil killed by planting a bomb in his room.
Tony continued to pursue a relationship with Renee, even though Lee warned him to stay away from her. Renee was attacked by the strangler again, but this time she saw his faced, but repressed the memory. Fearing the strangler would try for a fourth time Tony DiMera hid Renee in his house.
In 1982 Tony proposed to Renee, who accepted. However, Renee discovered Lee's diary, and not only learned that Lee was really her mother, but that Stefano DiMera was her father, making Tony her half brother. Renee quickly broke things of with Tony, not telling him the real reason in order to spare his feelings. Tony refused to let Renee go, and when she told him the truth he refused to believe they were siblings. Tony blamed Stefano for breaking them up, and when Tony tried to leave town Stefano faked a heart attack.
Tony later learned that he and Renee were in fact not related, and he had the blood tests to prove it. However, Renee had moved on and married David Banning. Even though Tony told Renee about the new evidence she refused to leave David.
Around the same time Liz Chandler became pregnant with Neil's child, though Tony believed it was his. Tony would grant Liz her divorce, but only after the baby was born, because wanted the baby.
In 1983 Liz gave birth to her baby, and when Tony realized it was Neil Curtis' child he quickly divorced Liz.
In his will Stefano said in order to earn their inheritance Tony and Renee had to live under the same roof for one year, and Renee had to stay married to David Banning. Also, the will stated the first couple to have a child would receive an extra five million dollars.
Anna soon became pregnant with Tony's child, and jealous Renee tried to kill Anna in a boating accident. Unfortunately Tony was on the boat with Anna when an explosion went off. Tony and Anna were rescued by David, but Anna lost her baby.
Later that year Tony learned exactly how Anna got him to marry her, by drugging him. Tony quickly divorced Anna, even though Anna had fallen in love with him by that time.
In 1984 Tony was chained up in his penthouse apartment by his evil look-a-like cousin Andre, who took Tony's place. Tony was eventually rescued by Roman, and after a duel with Andre, Andre managed to slip away.
Andre returned to Stefano's island compound were the two planned on acquiring three prisms designed by Larry Welches father. Stefano wanted these prisms to heal an inoperable brain tumor he had. One prism was in the belly of an alligator, another in a necklace owned by Daphne Dimera which fell into Calliope Jones' hands ,and the third in Russia.
In 1984 Alex, Anna, and Tony picked Haiti for a photo shot for their newly formed fashion company. On board the plane flying to Haiti was Eugene Bradford, Calliope Jones, Bo Brady, Hope Williams, Anna DiMera, Liz Chandler, Carlo, Daphne DiMera, Andre DiMera, and Tony DiMera. On the way to Haiti Andre DiMera surprisingly popped up, and when he threatened the pilot to change his course the pilot died of a heart attack, and the plane crashed on a remote island. As a result of the plane crash Daphne DiMera died in Andre's arms. When Tony learned about this the to fought, and Andre met his demise in a patch of quicksand. Tony gave the necklace with the prism to and island girl, but Stefano managed to get the prism back. Roman Brady showed up, and fought with Stefano atop of a nearby cliff as Bo watched from below. Roman eventually fell, and died on the beach in Bo's arms. When Bo left Roman to get help, Roman's body was gone when he returned. Eventually the Coast Guard arrived, and everyone was rescued.
In 1985 Tony and Anna became engaged once again. Their first marriage was thwarted by Alex Marshall, who hired an actor to play the part of the minister. Their second wedding was thwarted when Anna was kidnapped by an Asian potentate. Eventually Tony and Anna were married, and returned to Salem.
After returning from Salem Anna was accused of murdering her an art dealer, Claud Van Zandt, who swindled her out of profits from pieces of hers he sold. Anna was innocent, and while trying to prove her innocence Tony disappeared. Anna was also blamed for her husbands disappearance, but in truth Tony was held captive by a very much alive Claud Van Zandt.
Claud was eventually discovered as being alive, and Anna was let off the hook. Tony was blackmailed by Emma Donovan to divorce Anna and leave Salem.
Tony DiMera returned to Salem in 1993 to marry his fiancee, Kristen Blake. Stefano told Kristen that before he died, he wanted to see them marry. Kristen agreed to marry Tony, even though she loved John Black. However, Kristen left Tony at the altar to help John Black find Marlena and Roman's daughter, Belle.
Billie reed decided to turn her life around and started her own cosmetics company called Countess Willamina. To fund her company, Billie convinced Alive and Maggie Horton to become investors. Unfortunately, Kate Roberts bought out Countess Willamina to spite Billie for posing as the author of Jack's manuscript. Later that year, Billie befriended Tony DiMera. Tony bought up 49% of Titan Industries and then brought Billie into Titan to run the Countess Willamina division.
Tony and Kristen were about to marry when John showed up at the wedding, claiming that he had evidence linking Stefano to Curtis Reed's murder. When Stefano hopped in a car and drive off, John shot at the tires. Stefano had planned it so his car would go off the road and he would be "killed" in the crash. Kristen, blaming John for her father's death, married Tony on February 18, 1994. Tony learned later that Stefano was alive, but he kept it a secret because he feared Kristen would leave him.
In late 1994, Kristen, Tony, Peter, Jen, Bo, and Billie all came to Maison Blanche for a charity event Kristen held. While there, Jen and Peter made love. Also, Billie saw a woman who looked like Bo's dead wife Hope, but nobody would believe her. Hope was at Maison Blanche, but she was called Gina by Stefano and Celeste. Roman also showed up, but to arrest Peter Blake for trafficking drugs in one of his clubs. A jealous Celeste leaked gas into the cell where John and Marlena were being held and started a fire. Roman managed to rescue them. John came out and shocked both Kristen and Tony, who were horrified to see John in shackles. Kristen looked up and screamed when she spotted her dead father, Stefano. Tony ran back into the house to try and retrieve his father's computer, which contained a file on John's past. Maison Blanche burst into flames. Tony got the computer, but went blind in the process.
Kristen Blake began sleeping with John. Later Kristen learned that her husband, Tony, knew that Stefano was alive all along and he had switched Kristen's birth control pills with sugar pills. Kristen left him and began living with John Black in his loft. Kristen also managed to crack the notebook computer from Maison Blanche and was horrified to learn that John was a priest. Kristen told John the truth, but he refused to believe it. John and Kristen traveled to a parish where John served and his mentor, Father Francis, recognized him as Father Black. He was also recognized by a woman from the parish. John had put his handprints in a wall near the parish and he was shocked when they matched. John was forced to accept that he was a priest. Though he wanted to be released from his vows, a friend told John to live as a priest for awhile in order to see what he was giving up. Kristen returned to Tony, who had bought a gun and was planning on killing John. When Kristen told Tony that John was a priest, Tony backed off from killing him. Later that year Tony regained his site, but he continued to lie in hopes of catching Kristen and John together.
When John Black was released from his vows as a priest, Kristen left Tony to be with John. Toni soon learned that he had a rare and fatal blood disease that would end his life very soon. Tony formulated a plan in which he would frame John for his own murder. Tony wrote his entire plan down in his diary and he also confessed it to Father Francis. When Tony learned that Father Francis was going to tell John Black the truth, Tony confronted Father Francis. Tony took Father Francis' blood pressure pills and agitated him into a heart attack. Later, Tony cut of Father Francis' oxygen at the hospital and caused him to lapse into a coma.
Tony went to Aremid for Peter Blake and Jennifer Devereaux's wedding and he set a trap at the Blake House for John. At the wedding reception, Tony worked John into a frenzy and got him to shout out that he would kill him. Tony then went up to his room and lured John up there by placing a phone call to John. Tony disguised his voice and told John that Tony was the one who attempted to kill Father Francis. Up in his room, Tony and John fought. John eventually left through another door, which Tony had sprinkled gunpowder on. Tony then began begging John not to shoot him as various Salemites listened in. Tony then activated a device which cause his gun to shoot at him and then fall to the floor. When the Salemites had finally gotten into the room, Tony was mortally wounded. Tony died, but one thing ruined his plan, the Woman in White got a hold of his diary.