Friday, November 14, 2008


These days, actress Judith Chapman, who is set to appear at the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council's 2nd Annual Smart Cookie Chef's Challenge and Holiday Silent Auction on December 7, is best known for her role as the duplicitous, and not particularly sane, Gloria on Y&R.

GH fans may remember her as Ginny Blake, Mike's natural mother and Rick Webber's last wife. (Wonder if anyone told her that Rick was dead? Or that his previous wife, Lesley, was alive, for that matter?)

She also appeared on Ryan's Hope, OLTL and DOOL. But, in 1975, Chapman made her daytime debut on As The World Turns as Natalie Bannon, the first ever client of fledging lawyer Tom Hughes.

After clearing Natalie of a grand larceny charge, Tom fell in love with her. Making Natalie not only Tom's first client, but also his first affair. While falling for Natalie, he happened to also be married to Carol.

Meanwhile, Bob was treating Natalie for Wilson's Disease, and keeping her illness a secret from his son. Once Tom found out, he resolved to divorce Carol and marry Natalie.

Lisa was not thrilled. There was something about the young woman she didn't like. Something she couldn't quite put her finger on. Something that reminded Lisa... of herself.

Soon, it came out that Natalie had been married before. Tom forgave her after she confessed that her husband had been a drug addict, that's why she kept her marriage and divorce a secret -- out of shame. She apparently was less ashamed of the fact that, while married, she'd also carried on an affair with her husband's brother (and that's what drove her husband to suicide; not drug use). But Tom didn't know about either about the brother or the suicide, so he went ahead and married Natalie over Lisa's protests.

Soon Natalie found herself being drawn to Jay, the current husband of Tom's ex-wife, Carol (these folks really ought to get out and circulate more). Natalie and Jay eventually slept together. Tom found out. He divorced Natalie but promised Jay he wouldn't tell Carol about the one-night-stand as long as Jay kept away from Natalie in the future.

Jay tried.

Jay failed.

Natalie managed to convince him that Carol still had feelings for Tom, and this suspicion obviously justified Jay and Natalie launching into a full-fledged affair. When Carol found out, she left Jay. This made Jay sad and he resolved to win Carol back. This made Natalie sad and she resolved to keep Jay for herself.

After much back and forth, crying, manipulating, blackmailing and, as a last resort, truth-telling, Jay and Carol reconciled. Even Natalie's pregnancy failed to derail their reunion. Carol offered to adopt the baby. Natalie explained that she could never, ever give up her child. Unless, of course, someone were to offer her $10,000. At which point she would give it some serious consideration.

Jay didn't want to give in to blackmail. But Carol, who was desperate for a child, did. Natalie took the money. And left town.

Carol and Jay were in the process of a divorce when Natalie dumped baby Amy on the Stallings' doorstop. A broke Jay wanted to give his own daughter up for adoption. Carol refused, even going so far as to stop divorce proceedings in order to hold on to Amy.

They remained together (even through Jay's subsequent jail stint), until Jay was killed in a mine explosion in 1980.

Natalie (now played by Janet Zarish; currently the evil nurse Janet on OLTL and perhaps best known as the car rental agent whom Jerry accused of being able to take a reservation but not of keeping a reservation on Seinfeld) resurfaced briefly in 1981 when Carol's new love, Steve (later of Steve & Betsy fame) was involved with returning a stolen necklace to Natalie's latest husband. After scheming to see Amy several times without Carol and Steve's permission, Natalie gave up and left town.

And this is the sort of women they're planning to let around impressionable Girl Scouts?

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