Midweek Madness: Soaps' Craziest Characters


Credit: ABC


Janet Marlowe Dillon. Where to begin? Affectionately known to ALL MY CHILDREN fans as “Janet From Another Planet,” this kooky character started out a little crazy, went full psycho, came down to earth, then inexplicably went nutso again. Janet came to town in 1991 to be with her twin sister, Natalie, but soon became jealous of her and set out to steal everything she had. Janet kidnapped her sister and left her at the bottom of a well and assumed Natalie’s identity, fooling everyone, including Nat’s hubby Trevor. The only one who knew something was off was Trevor and Natalie’s dog, Harold. Natalie was found and Janet was arrested, but escaped and killed Will Cortlandt. After plotting to kill Natalie, a pregnant Janet went into labor. Natalie helped deliver the baby and Janet agreed to let her raise the baby, Amanda. 

While in prison, Janet agreed to an experimental surgery in exchange for early parole. The surgery gave Janet a new face, and she returned to Pine Valley under the guise of Jane Cox. She nearly married Trevor, but Harold the dog stopped the wedding and the truth came out once again! Later, when Trevor and Laurel planned to marry, Janet considered planting a bomb in the church, but decided against it.

After being struck by lightning, Janet was presumed dead but was actually nursed back to health by Pierce. She then mellowed, bonding with Amanda and even finding true love with Trevor. They moved to Colorado and lived happily ever after … until she returned in 2005.

When Janet returned to town (with her old face, a plot development that was never explained), she was clearly disturbed. She wanted to be a good mother to a now-grown Amanda, and did so by hurting anyone who crossed her daughter. Her schemes reached a boiling point when she blew up the Mardi Gras ball, trapping half of Pine Valley. Janet kidnapped Babe, who was Amanda’s arch-nemesis at the time, and locked her in a freezer — where she was also keeping a dead Trevor! 

Janet was institutionalized at Oak Haven, where she started to get help. Over the years, Amanda slowly reconnected with her mother, who continued to smaller bouts of crazy. But in the end, Amanda came to understand that everything Janet did was for the love of Amanda. Janet blossomed at Oak Haven, even teaching a yoga class.