Lauren Fenmore Baldwin isn’t seen as often on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS as she once was, so some newer fans can be forgiven for not knowing about her dramatic history in Genoa City. The character was introduced back in 1983 and Tracey E. Bregman has played the role since then, even bringing her to Y&R’s sister soap THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL in the mid-‘90s for a few years.
First appearing as a rebellious teen being raised by her father, Neil Fenmore, Lauren spent years bullying and scheming against an insecure Traci Abbott. But later, she matured and married Paul Williams, much to the dismay of his mother. Shawn Garrett stalked Lauren and threatened to kill Paul if she didn’t leave him. Paul managed to rescue Lauren after Shawn buried her alive, but tragically, she lost the baby she was carrying. Their marriage ended after Lauren sold a nude photo of Paul to a magazine. When Neil died, he left Lauren the Fenmore department store chain.
Next, Lauren fell in love with and married Dr. Scott Grainger. But crazy nurse Sheila Carter wanted him for herself and drugged the doc into sleeping with her and getting her pregnant. Scott left Lauren to be with Sheila for the sake of the child, and when she lost the baby, she swapped it with Lauren’s after her own child was born. Although devastated to believe her son had died, Lauren eventually learned the truth. After attempting to kill Lauren, Sheila disappeared, and was later found in Los Angeles engaged to Eric Forrester. When Scott died, he urged Lauren to make peace with Sheila, who he believed had changed.
Unfortunately, Sheila had not changed, and continued trying to destroy Lauren’s life, even trying to drown her in a hot tub! During her time in LA, Lauren had a brief romance with Eric, but then she came home to Genoa City. She found herself the target of an obsessed Kevin Fisher, and his brother, Michael Baldwin, rescued her when the teen kidnapped her. This led to romance between Lauren and Michael, and they soon became engaged.
Sheila resurfaced and joined forces with Kevin’s father, Tom Fisher, to blow up Lauren and Michael’s honeymoon yacht! Although everyone believed Lauren to be dead, Tom had actually abducted her and Paul again came to her rescue. Although Sheila had gone back into hiding, Lauren was still anxious, which affected her pregnancy. Although their son was born prematurely, Fenmore Baldwin was healthy. Unfortunately, Sheila (having undergone plastic surgery to look like Phyllis Summers) showed up and kidnapped Phyllis, Summer, and Fenmore. Having tracked them down, the two rivals faced off, with Lauren shooting Sheila in self-defense.
Later, Lauren was abducted by a woman who looked exactly like her. While Lauren initially believed her to be Sheila, it was really her sister, Sarah Smythe, who wanted revenge, and made herself look like Lauren to do it! Sarah took over Lauren’s life for a time, but Michael eventually managed to rescue his real wife. Lauren also shot and killed Sarah in self-defense.
Lauren’s life was briefly turned upside down when she learned that Jill Foster Abbott was her sister and she took ownership of Fenmore’s. Although they were initially rivals, the two women eventually settled into a relationship. A teenaged Fenmore fell for Summer, and they both bullied a fellow student who fell off a roof during a fight. Michael was forced to arrest Fen, which caused friction in his marriage to Lauren. She had an affair with Carmine Basco, which further strained their union. Michael and Lauren worked on their marriage and joined forces to fight back when Carmine became dangerously obsessed with her.
Lauren supported Michael when he was diagnosed with cancer, and while she was happy when her son, Scott, came home, his visit didn't last very long. When Fenmore’s had some financial trouble, Lauren was forced to accept Jack Abbott’s offer to have the store become an affiliate of Jabot. But as Jabot fell into chaos as the various family members jockeyed for control of the company, Lauren wanted out of the deal before she was dragged down with them. Jack seems to have reassured her, but Lauren is clearly keeping her eyes wide open!
Can she keep her business and marriage afloat? Stay tuned to see how Lauren’s story continues, and for more Y&R news, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!