A Portrait Of Dorian, Not Gray
Originated by Nancy Pinkerton in 1973, the role of Dorian has also been played by Claire Malis (1977-79) and Elaine Princi (1990-92). Strasser grabbed the role in 1979, let it go in 1987, returned in 1993 and stayed until 2000. “She’s a classic climber,” says Strasser. “She’s fueled by this hunger for more, more, more.” As are we. A stroll through Dorian’s decades:
1970s: Dr. Dorian Cramer and her sister Melinda came to Llanview after their parents died in a plane crash. Dorian fell for married doc Mark, as did Melinda, who tried to off the adulterers, but was committed after she went into a catatonic state. Later, the lovers accidentally killed a patient with too much medicine. When the wrong man was convicted, Dorian admitted culpability and was stripped of her license. She blamed Viki, who sat on the hospital board…. Dorian wed the ailing Lord patriarch, Victor, and became his private nurse. When Tony, Victor’s long-lost son, came to town, Dorian worried that she’d be cut out of the will and stirred up trouble. Victor had two strokes; one night, Dorian withheld medicine that would have prolonged his life, and he “died.”
1980s: Dorian wed D.A. Herb Callison, and her daughter, Cassie, came to town. When Viki and Clint wed, Dorian was literally carried out of Llanfair, where she had been living as Victor’s widow…. Pianist David Renaldi (a.k.a. Reynolds), Cassie’s father, took a job in Llanview. Jealous, Dorian worked at splitting up David and his girlfriend, Jenny — she brought his wife, Liat (their annulment had never been signed), to David and Jenny’s wedding. When that didn’t work, Dorian faked being paralyzed from a fall “instigated” by David. Didn’t work — when Herb was in danger, Dorian “rose” to the occasion…. Cult leader Mitch almost raped Cassie, but Dorian hit him in the head and was convicted (then cleared) of murder. (Good thing: Mitch wasn’t dead.)
1990s: Dorian became a Mendorran ambassador…. She tried to use a delusional Alex to split up Cassie and Bo, but failed…. Newcomer Blair (whose mother, Addie, was Dorian’s sister), thought she had caused Addie’s mental illness, but it was all cleared up…. Sloan Carpenter’s book, Lord of the Banner, accused Dorian of killing Victor, and she went on trial. An exhumed Victor turned out to have “died” from smothering. A diary revealed that Irene (Victor’s mistress) had “killed” him. Cleared (again), Dorian took up with Viki’s teen son, Joey. Viki went crazy and locked up Dorian, but she escaped. Another niece, Kelly (Melinda’s daughter), came to town…. Dorian married journalist Mel. Her mom, Sonya, was still alive, but she attacked Cassie, and Dorian killed her. Mel died in a plane crash, and Dorian blamed Viki (so what else is new?).
1999-2000: Dorian accidentally ran down an in-labor Jessica and killed baby Megan, then confessed on the stand when Lindsay went on trial for the crime. R.J. bribed the judge to get her set free (again!)…. Charming stranger Drake claimed to be a friend of Mel’s and swept Dorian out of town.
And then she came back….This article originally appeared in the May 20, 2003 issue of Soap Opera Digest.