Throughout soap opera history there have been characters who started out ambitious but turned into good guys. One such character is Ross Marler, played by two-time Emmy-winner and fan-favorite Jerry verDorn of Guiding Light.
Who Was Ross Marler?
Ambitious Ross Marler, brother of good guy Dr. Justin Marler, defended Roger Thorpe in a landmark spousal rape case. His client, Roger, “died” before he could be convicted. Ross dated kind Evie, but she was no match for Ross’s old flame, Vanessa Chamberlain, who dropped by his place wearing a fur coat – and nothing else!
Witness For The Prosecution
Now the district attorney, Ross craftily had Amanda Wexler McFarren sit by his side in court as he prosecuted Jennifer Richards for the murder of Lucille, Amanda’s mother. Ross’s case went out the window when Mike Bauer forced Jennifer to admit that Amanda was her birth daughter!
The Love Of Good Women
Ross Marler fell for and married joyful Carrie Todd, who had a sad past and split personalities. Reluctantly, they divorced after she moved to England for aid. Tragically, Ross’s sister-in-law Jackie was presumed dead in a plane crash but he carried on. Ross ran for reelection as D.A. with the help of campaign manager/girlfriend Trish Lewis. Alan, obsessed with Trish, planted drugs in Ross’s car, so he lost the election.
Bittersweet Justice on Guiding Light
Alexandra Spaulding, Alan’s sister, returned to Springfield and conspired with Ross to bring her brother down. In return, Alex gave Ross the presidency of Spaulding Enterprises. He accepted, in part, to keep an eye on the interests of his nephew Phillip Spaulding (Justin’s biological son). Ross pled with Trish to stop playing family peacekeeper and make a future with him. Alas, he lost his case and Trish moved to Europe.
Once again, Ross and Vanessa were brought back together when she asked him to defend a brainwashed Billy in court for attempted murder. Ross sliced and diced Vanessa on the witness stand in a mock cross-examination to show her what they were up against.
Alex booted Ross from Spaulding, sending him back to private law practice. He started dating Alex’s social secretary and his old flame, Calla Matthews, standing by her despite her getting a venereal disease from her ex-husband Gordon.
Someone’s In The Kitchen
Vanessa confessed to Ross that she’d given birth to his daughter, Dinah, in their younger years. Once reunited, Dinah was cool towards Vanessa but warmed to Ross, who embraced his role as father to a teenage girl. He and Vanessa rekindled their romance, but she dumped him for Alan before leaving town.
Ross entered into relationships with Nadine Cooper and Holly Lindsey, who returned to Springfield after nearly a decade away from Springfield. Ross felt betrayed by Holly when she appeared to side with her ex, Roger (the one Ross defended against her rape charges), back from the dead. Ross defended Phillip after he was accused of murder and played surrogate dad to niece Samantha.
Ross Marler became D.A. again not knowing his assistant Suzanne Deveraux was Roger’s spy. But the two men actually called a truce for a few minutes when they had to rescue Holly from her deranged boyfriend Daniel St. John. Blake successfully seduced Ross, as he ran for the Senate and won, to hurt Holly.
Along the way, Ross and Blake fell in love for real. Ross walked away from a life in Washington D.C. to protect Blake, who broke the law to help him win the election. Dinah returned and complicated Ross’s life by marrying Blake’s father Roger. Ross’s frustrations over not being able to help Dinah showed what a caring dad he was.
You ARE The Dad!
Blake gave birth to Ross’s twin boys, but later one was revealed to have been fathered by Rick Bauer. Later, that test was found to be rigged. Even though Ross was the D.A., he got Annie Dutton to crack on the witness stand that she’d framed Reva for the death of her unborn child, reminding everyone that nobody commanded a courtroom better than he did. Next, Ross’s long lost brother Ben came to town and took the job as D.A. after Ross left the office.
A Passage To India
On the outs with Blake, Ross entered an unlikely and near-comical romance with India Von Halkein, Phillip’s former wife. India realized that Ross and Blake still loved one another and helped get them back together. Alas, Ross accidentally shot Blake as tensions between Ben and Ross elevated. Later, Ben was killed, and Blake gave birth to Clarissa, Ross’s daughter.
Final Cases on Guiding Light
Ross got mixed up with Tory Granger, an obsessed law student, who made Blake and Ross’s life a living hell. In a surprise move, Dinah returned after years of being on the lam for killing Hart. Ross chastised a gleeful Phillip and Alan after news came that Roger died for real.
Ross resigned from his role as Springfield’s mayor to take a job in Washington. Tragically, he died in a plane crash, just as Jackie had. Guiding Light ended before a miraculous return could occur.