Nicole Travis, one of the most popular characters from The Edge of Night, had quite the transformative experience during her tenure in Monticello. Initially introduced as a wantonness jezebel, she matured into the perfect wife and mother and emerged as both the town’s most trusted newswoman and one of the most beloved heroines in all of soap opera history.
When Nicole first arrived in Monticello, she was the embodiment of the liberated, swinging ’60s female. With her mini skirts and go-go boots, Nicole was certainly a wake-up call for the town’s denizens – especially for the married ladies who wanted to hang onto their husbands!
Nicole purchased McGrath’s Boutique from its departing owner and, after establishing herself as a competent businesswoman, set about finding a man. Already a one-time loser at love – and with the ink barely dry on the documents dissolving her marriage to Duane Stewart – Nicole set her sights on the very taken Mike Karr.
Although Nancy trusted Mike implicitly, she still resented being the butt of gossip. After word reached Nancy that Nicole had been shamelessly flirting with him in a shop full of customers, the flame-haired reporter warned the proprietress to keep her hands to herself!
It takes a special kind of woman to inspire murderous rage in two fellow females by just being. But poor Nicole found herself dodging numerous attempts on her life – arsenic-laced chocolates, poisoned spiders delicately gift-wrapped and even a bullet that injured Nancy – and a series of threatening phone calls that were being executed by two persons working independently and totally unaware of the other.
The biggest threat to Nicole’s safety was Stefanie Martin, a grieving wife and mother consumed with avenging her family’s assassination by targeting their killer’s daughter. Stephanie’s fellow sister in mischief was Pamela, Duane Stewart’s new bride. Pamela became unwaveringly convinced that Nicole still had designs on Duane, so she set about to permanently snuff out her rival.
Both women converged on their target one fateful night when Nicole was toiling alone at McGrath’s. But, in the confusing melee, Pamela wound up stabbing Stephanie to death!
Coming upon the scene, Nicole was startled by the appearance of Stephanie’s sole remaining offspring – who had managed to escape the car bomb arranged by Ben Travis – and pulled the murder weapon from the corpse’s back.
Oil and Water
With her fingerprints now all over the offending item, Nicole was charged with the murder of Stephanie Martin. She implored Mike to take her case but he instead handed it to his junior partner Adam Drake.
Adam and Nicole had a long-standing disdain for one another as he couldn’t stand her manipulative nature and interest in breaking up the Karr marriage. She found him a stuffy bore. However, these two shared combustible chemistry and by the time Adam proved Nicole innocent of the crime she stood accused of, it was obvious that they were in love with each other.
The two dated for a number of years but a difference in opinion on how to proceed – he wanted to remain casual and she wanted a substantial commitment – led to an ultimatum: Adam was to propose marriage by 11:59 pm on December 31, 1972, or lose her forever.
Adam resisted being backed into a corner and remained resolute in his decision to abstain from popping the question – that is, until the very last second. Realizing he wanted to wed his lady love, Adam raced through crowded New York streets to track Nicole down and he asked her those four precious words – will you marry me? – just as the countdown clock ushered in New Year’s Day 1973.
Before and even after the Drake wedding, the road to happiness was littered with roadblocks. They had to contend with an obsessive psychopath named Jake Berman who had already divested himself of one spouse and became intent on making Nicole wife – and victim – number two.
Then they had to battle the mob who was out to scuttle Adam’s budding political career. Desperate to ensure that Adam would never win his senatorial bid, crime lord Walter LePage had a bomb rigged to the boat that the Drakes were chartering for a long-delayed honeymoon trip.
Nicole was presumed dead in the blast and found herself rescued by crime baron Claude Revenant. When Nicole eventually escaped his tropical paradise – known as Limbo Island – Claude hired a host of assassins to permanently silence her, least she reveal the location of his secret lair. Nicole managed to survive the plethora of attempts on her life but many Monticelloites – including Tiffany Whitney – weren’t as lucky.
Widowhood, Second Marriage, and Continued Suffering
After reuniting with Adam, and regaining her memory following a bout of amnesia, Nicole was thrilled to learn that she was pregnant with her husband’s child. But joy turned to sorrow when Adam was shot and killed.
Suffering through a difficult pregnancy, Nicole found comfort at a cushy hospital – The Clairmont Clinic – and with Miles Cavanaugh one of the institution’s best physicians. The two bonded and fell in love but they were felled by Miles’s demented wife Denise, who committed suicide in a bid to frame Miles for murder.
With Denise no longer an obstacle – and her horrible plan outed – Miles and Nicole married. But with one crazed blonde exiting the fray another entered and this one – Margo Dorn, Nicole’s new boss at the WMOM TV station – formed an alliance with slimy pornographer Wade Meecham to break up the Cavanaugh marriage.
Wade wound up murdered and Nicole learned his assailant’s identity and then had to battle for her life with the perpetrator. And yet another psychotic female – Nora Fulton – soon stood poised to tear the couple apart. But Miles and Nicole persisted.
However, they were finally torn asunder when criminal mastermind Louis Van Dine ordered Nicole’s death. Flunky Stan Hathaway poisoned Nicole’s face powder and after applying the tainted application, Nicole succumbed to its deadly effects while giving an on-the-air news brief.