Throughout the annals of soap opera history, there have been scores of lovable murderesses, unfaithful spouses, put upon heroines, and steely matriarchs. But it’s rare to find a single character who can embody all of those seemingly contradictory traits. But find her Santa Barbara did and her name was Sophia Capwell.
Who Is Sophia Capwell?
Once a celebrated actress of the silver screen, Sophia Wayne found herself questioning her choices when she discovered that her beloved Lionel was actually already wed to another woman.
Still, she packed her belongings and relocated to Santa Barbara to be closer to her paramour. But, while she spent her days pining for Lionel, Sophia also began to fall under the sway of another married businessman.
And unlike Lionel — who was never going to give up his wife Augusta — CC had no qualms about divorcing Pamela so he could wed Sophia. Although torn, Sophia said yes to CC’s proposal. When she learned that she was carrying Lionel’s baby, she lied and claimed the baby was his. Keeping up the deception, she even named the child after CC — Channing Creighton.
In the ensuing years, Sophia would give birth to three other children: Eden, Kelly, and Ted. But she couldn’t stay away from Lionel. The pair resumed their affair, though their illicit trysts would end in unmitigated disaster.
During an outing at sea, the two argued and a violent shove sent Lionel headfirst into a pole and Sophia into the ocean. When Lionel came to, there was no sign of his lover.
In the Interim
Sophia emerged from the drink but developed amnesia. She was taken in by Marcello Armonti — a young Italian doctor — and taken back to his native home. There, Sophia married his adoptive father (who was a Count) and — upon widowhood — became controller of his company, Armonti Industries.
Over the years, Sophia’s memories began to slowly return. By the time the Count had passed away, Sophia remembered everything about her past life. She became determined to return to Santa Barbara and punish Lionel for his role in her near death.
After learning that her daughter Kelly had become engaged, she snuck into the Capwell mansion where a party was being held to celebrate the occasion. She planned to scare Lionel by pretending to shoot him and then reveal herself to the family.
But, when someone entered the room she was hiding in, Sophia turned around and fired her gun. She was shocked to realize that not only had it been loaded with live ammunition, but her victim — now lying dead on the floor — was her son, Channing!
Consumed with grief, Sophia suffered a complete mental collapse and was spirited away by Marcello. For years, he nursed her back to health all the while feeding her lies that it had been Lionel who killed her precious son.
After sufficient recovery, Sophia once again returned to Santa Barbara. But this time she was disguised as a bearded man named Dominic. In her drag, Sophia played Deep Throat to Joe Perkins, the man who had been imprisoned for Channing’s murder.
“Dominic’s” clues — some real and others fabricated — pointed Joe in Lionel’s direction. The Lockridge patriarch was arrested. Her goal achieved, Sophia made her presence known to her family and slowly began the process of reintegrating herself into their lives.
Sweet Child O’Mine
However, when new evidence seemed to suggest Lionel was innocent, police officer Cruz Castillo staged an elaborate recreation of Channing’s murder and the truth about Sophia was revealed. Since Sophia had not acted with malicious intent, she was given community service as punishment.
In a further stunning twist, it was soon discovered that Channing wasn’t even Sophia’s child. Instead, as an infant, he’d been switched with her biological child, who was alive and well and living under the name Brick Wallace! Mother and son reunited and he took care of her during her battle with breast cancer.
In time, Sophia and CC rekindled their love but their path to romance was anything but assured. He was blackmailed into marriage by Gina Demott (TWICE!) and even after they wed for a second time, Sophia spoiled it. First over her mistaken belief that CC would leave her for his first wife Pamela and then by cheating on him with TJ Daniels.
Reversal of Fortune
After dealing with the fallout of Eden’s battle with DID (supposedly caused when her younger self spotted her mother cheating with Lionel), Sophia wed the much younger Ken Mathis. Her spouse proved to be a near ‘do-well who drugged her and extracted the rights to her company. Then his lover tried to murder Sophia with strychnine!
Santa Barbara Comes To An End
CC consoled Sophia in her time of need and by the soap’s final episode, they had reunited — hopefully, for the final time.