Born in Virginia in the late 16th century, Darla becomes a prostitute and, as a result of this, becomes infected with syphilis. In 1609 she lies dying bed, when The Master, an ancient and powerful vampire pays her a call. After siring her, The Master gives her the name, Darla, she will eventually live so long that even she can no longer remember her true name. Darla remains with The Master until 1753 when she runs across a young tearaway by the name of Liam. Taking a liking to the handsome, if drunken, young man, she lures him into an alley and turns him into Angelus and he becomes and remains the one love of her life.
For 150 years the two roam Europe causing death and mayhem everywhere, earning her beloved Angelus the name, The Scourge of Europe. They find themselves in London in 1860 where Angelus becomes smitten with a young girl who has the gift of the sight. He sires her and the three become a family until Drusilla finds a mate of her own in Spike.
1898 finds the four in Romany and one fateful night Darla brings home a present for Angelus in the form of a gypsy girl. Though tasty, the gypsy is very much beloved by her clan who put a curse on Angelus giving him back his soul. With a soul, Angelus is repulsive to Darla and she throws him out into the street. She loves him still though, and visits the gypsy clan to try and persuade them to reverse the spell, unfortunately, Spike feeds on the rest of the clan and renders her bargaining points useless.
Seeking excitement, the three of them head to China for the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 and here Angelus tracks her down and asks to be taken back with promises that they can return to their old life. She takes him back but soon finds that Angelus will only drink from the evil doer and, when he refuses to drink from a baby, she once again kicks him out.
Leaving Spike and Drusilla, Darla returns to The Master, who during the 1930’s becomes trapped in a sunken church in Sunnydale, California. In 1997 she helps Sunnydale in his attempts to free himself from the church but their efforts are foiled by the Slayer. Learning that Angelus is in town, now calling himself Angel and dating the Slayer no less, she hatches a plot to bring him back to her and kill the Slayer at the same time. Posing as one of Buffy’s friends, she goes to her house and attacks her mother, making sure that it appears Angel is the culprit. Her attempts to bring Angel back to her are in vain, and when she tries to kill Buffy, Angel stakes her.
Three years after her death, L.A. law firm Wolfram and Hart perform a ritual to bring Darla back in human form. Their purpose in bringing her back is to torment Angel, who is now living in L.A. and has got on their bad side. Darla visits Angel while he is sleeping and disturbs his dreams with the aid of a potion. When Angel’s lack of sleep has made him just cranky enough, they move onto phase two and let Angel see Darla in public. Still very much in love with her boy, Darla has her own plans and still tries to woo Angel back to her.
Unfortunately, being human again has brought back her old human condition of syphilis which is too far gone to cure. After spending 400 years as a disease free vampire, Darla hates her human form and turns to Angel to turn her again. When he refuses, she tries her luck in a seedy demon bar, but Angel has other ideas and undertakes a series of trials in order for Darla to be cured. Having watched what he goes through, albeit in vain, to save her life, Darla decides to accept her fate. Before death takes her though, Wolfram and Hart find Drusilla who sires her once more.
Reunited again, the pair have fun pillaging L.A. and massacre many of the >Wolfram and Hart staff before Angel catches up with them and sets them both on fire. The two survive the ordeal and go into hiding for a time. Meanwhile, his efforts save Darla in vain, Angel finally goes to the dark place Wolfram and Hart wanted him to be, and, not caring for his soul, he finds Darla and the two have passionate sex, three times. To Darla’s dismay, rather than losing his soul Angel has an epiphany and, warning her he will kill her if he sees her again, returns to his friends.
Their night of passion wasn’t to be forgotten, however, and Darla conceives an impossible child. Despite her efforts to be rid of the child, nothing earthly or otherwise will kill him. Nine months later, she returns to L.A., largely pregnant. But the child that could never be has a soul, which for a time, infects Darla who begins to have intense maternal feelings for the child. Unable to give birth and knowing that, once she no longer carries the child she will no longer have a soul in her, Darla stakes herself to save her child. Still caring for her child, she returns just once more in ghost form to try and save him from taking an innocent life.