She was an overindulged princess and one of the most caustic bitches in all of soap opera history. But for all her peccadillos, Tracy Quartermaine – a perennial General Hospital favorite – was, in reality, the embodiment of a classic storytelling trope: a daddy’s girl in desperate need of paternal affection.
Who Is Tracy Quartermaine?
Tracy Angelica was the youngest child of Southampton socialites Edward and Lila Quartermaine. While her brother Alan shunned the family-owned business – ELQ – in favor of attending medical school, Tracy did her best to earn a top spot at the company.
However, her father refused to acknowledge her business prowess because of her gender so despondent Tracy wound up taking a succession of wealthy lovers to satiate her desire for love, affection, and acceptance.
She married young – to wealthy scion Lord Lawerence “Larry” Ashton – and produced a son (Ned), but the union was doomed to failure. After a divorce, Tracy foisted her sire onto Edward and Lila and then enrolled him in a posh boarding school. All the while, she cut a swathe across Europe and multiple principalities in an elusive search for emotional fulfillment.
The Great Quartermaine Migration
In 1978, Tracy heeded her parents’ relocation to Port Charles, New York and soon followed in their stead. She established herself in the upstate hamlet and made the acquaintance of Alan’s new intended, Dr. Monica Webber.
Although initially welcoming to the prospective Quartermaine bride, Tracy’s more manipulative nature emerged when the two love birds pledged their troths and Monica announced that she was expecting.
Knowing that Edward had set aside a substantial trust fund for a male Quartermaine heir, Tracy utterly refused to sit back and allow Monica and Alan’s spawn to inherit at the expense of her own flesh and blood.
To that end, Tracy set about trying to prove that the pregnancy was the result of a renewed affair between Monica and her former paramour Rick Webber. She even went as far as launching a paternity suit against her sister-in-law which would ensure that blood was drawn from all interested parties and subjected to DNA testing.
A Test of Character
A furious Edward ordered Tracy to cease and desist but she refused. In retaliation, he had a new will drawn up that excluded his daughter from receiving any financial bequeathment.
He brought the offending document to Tracy’s apartment and threatened to add his signature unless the court case was dropped. When Tracy refused to acquiesce, Edward picked up a pen and began to sign his name. But suddenly he clutched his chest in abject agony – he was having a heart attack!
Edward begged Tracy to hand him the pills that were supposed to stave the more serious damage to his heart but she would only agree to fetch the medication if he promised to not sign the new will. When a defiant Edward refused, Tracy moved the pills farther away from her father’s reach and remained immobile.
As Edward collapsed onto the floor breathing his last breath, Tracy coolly watched. But suddenly Edward was back on his feet spry as ever and fighting a case of the giggles. The entire scene, he revealed, had been a ruse designed to test Tracy’s loyalty and she had failed miserably.
As compensation for her removal from the will, Edward gifted Tracy with two million dollars on the proviso that it be used to further the political campaign of her new beau Mitch Williams.
Despite knowing that Mitch did not love her and was using her for monetary gain, Tracy revealed the situation and told Mitch that he could have her and the money or remain with his mistress, Susan Moore. Mitch choose the money, and they relocated to Albany.
First Return to General Hospital
Tracy remained in exile for nearly a decade but finally returned to the family fold in 1989. Her return wasn’t exactly welcome news and only Lila seemed pleased to see her – would-be murder victim Edward took to his bed and stubbornly refused to rise for several days.
Ostensibly Tracy had returned to right wrongs and mend fences, but she was soon scheming with her first husband Larry and interfering in Ned’s new relationship with Dawn Winthrop, who was revealed to be Monica’s biological daughter.
Still possessing a terrible taste in men, Tracy found herself romantically linked to some of Port Charles’ most slimy individuals, including career criminal Nicholas Van Buren AKA Domino and counterfeiter David McAllister.
When David’s illegal enterprise was rumbled and he was found murdered, Tracy stood accused of the crime and wormed her way into Scotty Baldwin’s bed after he agreed to represent her.
After David’s real killer was unmasked, Tracy became entranced with Paul Hornsby and accepted his proposal, unaware that he was marrying her on orders from a consortium of evildoers.
Tracy became pregnant with Paul’s baby and tried to keep him from the woman he really loved – Jenny Eckert – by maligning the woman’s character. When she accidentally ran Jenny over, Tracy found herself banished from the family once again and she absconded with her newborn son (Dillon).
Trouble in NYC
When a bid to take over ELQ via a hostile takeover failed, Tracy moved to the SoHo district of New York City and attained the position of “Godmother” to the Soleito crime family after wedding – and burying – its caporegime, Gino.
Tracy returned to Port Charles and General Hospital years later with Dillion in tow, claiming to want her son to get to know his extended family. In the ensuing years, Tracy would find herself blackmailed into marrying mobster Anthony Zaccara and falling for another “made man” in Joe Scully Jr.
But it would be the on-again, off-again romance with rascally Luke Spencer that would define Tracy’s later life. Initially duped into a Las Vegas wedding, Tracy soon found herself falling in love with her “con artist” spouse.
After choosing to leave Port Charles behind and travel the world, Tracy found a traveling (and romantic) partner in “Mr. Tracy Quartermaine.” General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.