Viewers don’t see as much of Gloria on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS these days, but because of her outsized personality, even her smallest scenes make an indelible impact! The character was first introduced in April of 2004 and was played by KNOTS LANDING star Joan Van Ark. However, by January of 2005, she was replaced by seasoned daytime actress Judith Chapman. And over the years, Gloria has gotten into no end of trouble!
Kevin Fisher found his mother living in Detroit and brought Gloria back to Genoa City to live with him and her other son, Michael Baldwin. She very quickly set her sights on John Abbott and they returned from a cruise as man and wife. Her ex, Tom Fisher, followed her to town and blackmailed her into stealing money from her new husband. Tom also teamed up with Sheila Carter to hurt Michael and Lauren on their wedding day. John eventually shot Tom dead, and ended up in prison.
Gloria tried to get on Jack and Ashley’s good sides by tainting a Jabot product with the intention of catching the mistake in time but the samples went out early and a woman died from using it. Then, Gloria was devastated when John suffered a stroke in prison and they had to take him off life support. Although she was supposed to receive half of John’s fortune, it turned out he’d made an addendum in prison that cut Gloria out of his will entirely. Jack then rubbed salt in the wound by kicking her and Kevin out of the Abbott mansion, forcing them to move in with Michael and Lauren.
Wasting no time, Gloria began romancing district attorney William Bardwell, and had to fight Jill Abbott for him. Unfortunately, he was also investigating the tainted skin cream case, but when he learned Gloria was the guilty party, he loved her too much to turn her in. But the stress caused him to have a stroke, and he passed away. Gloria received his fortune, and then learned that John’s “modification” to his will wasn’t real and she got half of his fortune as well.
Will’s twin, Jeffrey, came to town hoping to get his hands on his brother’s money, and learning about Gloria’s guilt in the skin cream scandal, blackmailed her into marrying him. She took over the Abbott mansion, but later felt guilty and gave it back to Jack, moving into the pool house. Jeffrey filed for divorce and Gloria lost her fortune, but he reconsidered and got back together with her. They eloped in Las Vegas, and Little Richard officiated the ceremony!
Gloria’s life was further complicated by the return of River Baldwin, who was Michael’s father and a wanted criminal. Jealous of River, Jeffrey exposed Gloria’s part in the tainted skin cream, sending her to prison. Michael managed to clear his mother’s name and get her out of jail, but upon her release, she found Jeffrey in bed with Jill, River skipped town, and Kevin was put in a mental institution!
Jeffrey and Gloria found themselves mixed up in complicated business battles between Jabot and Newman, and were left penniless. After a series of failed schemes, Gloria was relieved when Victor’s plot was exposed and their stolen money returned. Jeffrey bought the nightclub Indigo to give to Gloria, and she renamed it Gloworm. But Jeffrey used it as a front for illegal activities, and it nearly bankrupted the club as they got involved with mobsters. Thankfully, Jeffrey prevented Gloria from marrying Angelo Veneziano, and made her his wife instead.
A year later, Gloria returned to Genoa City to reveal that she’d left Jeffrey after he’d spent her fortune. Now broke, Gloria concocted a scheme with Jack to help him get controlling interest in Fenmore’s in exchange for a job. Although he initially tried to back out of the deal, Jack and Gloria ended up having an affair and he agreed to make her his executive assistant. Although they eventually called off their “friends with benefits” arrangement, Gloria continues to work at Jabot and occasionally finds herself mixed up in the corporate and family intrigue.
Stay tuned to see how Gloria’s story continues, and for more Y&R news, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!