Augusta Wainwright Lockridge – one of Santa Barbara’s most fascinating characters – was a woman overflowing with eccentricities. She outfitted her beloved Doberman Pinscher with a diamond-studded collar. She frequently bathed in high-quality champagne. And she delighted in the uproarious arguments that she and her husband frequently indulged. Although she was frequently portrayed as a put-upon protanonist, she could also give even the cruelest villainess in soap opera history a run for her money.
Who Is Augusta Wainwright Lockridge?
At the time of Santa Barbara’s debut, Augusta had been married to roguish adventurer Lionel for almost 20 years and had given birth to their two children: Warren and Laken. Alongside her young ones, Augusta resided with Lionel’s elderly mother Minx, who delighted in sparring with her daughter-in-law.
Frequently abandoned by her globe-trotting husband – whose brief reemergences brought more strife than pleasure – Augusta was left to her own devices and she had to look outside her marriage for male companionship and a sympathetic ear.
Upon learning that convict Joe Perkins has gained his freedom thanks to early parole, Augusta makes a valiant effort to keep him from returning to town. When her machinations failed, she installed him as the Lockridge estate’s newest handyman – and later, the newest notch on her bedpost.
Augusta managed to avoid explaining her actions for quite some time, but she finally had to reveal that she was employing a strategy of keeping one’s enemy extremely close. In her heart of hearts, Augusta believed that her beloved Warren was actually the person who had committed the crime for which Joe was imprisoned and she figured that by keeping Joe nearby, she could control his investigation into his false arrest.
Teaching A Valuable Lesson
After learning that her daughter was besotted with Ted Capwell, Augusta forbade Laken from having any further contact with the boy. There was a longstanding feud between the two clans dating back decades, and Augusta refused to have the family’s youngest generation mingling.
When she discovered the two lovers were staying in contact thanks to the assistance of a carrier pigeon, Augusta captured the bird, slaughtered it, and had the chef render it into specialty hors d’oeuvres which she personally served alongside an afternoon aperitif.
The Conquering Hero Returns
When Lionel finally deemed to return home, he found himself facing an uphill battle to win back Augusta’s affections. And matters were not helped when he developed an attraction to Eden Capwell, the daughter of his former mistress Sophia.
When Augusta found herself perched on the side of a cliff following an earthquake, Lionel came to her rescue and admitted to his assignation with his paramour. Dejected and humiliated, Augusta threw her husband out of the mansion.
Then Augusta found herself facing an even greater trial when she was caught in an explosion inside an underground tunnel connecting the Capwell and Lockridge mansions and emerged from the incident without her sight.
She summoned her younger sister Julia, hoping that she could rely on her help rather than having to condescend and accept Lionel’s. While she impatiently waited for her vision to return, Augusta found herself being courted by a supposedly smitten Frank Armsted.
However, upon regaining her sight, she found out that Frank was actually a milkman whom Lionel had hired in an attempt to prove to Augusta that she was still desirable even with her disability. Tickled at the deception, Augusta and Lionel reconciled.
But trouble was just around the corner. Together the couple discovered the back-to-back shockers that not only had Sophia given birth to Lionel’s baby but said baby had been substituted for another by Minx. Furthermore, Lionel’s spawn was alive and well and living in the Lockridge home under the identity of Brick Wallace!
Goodbye, Hello, and Goodbye
After Sophia resurfaced in Santa Barbara, Augusta divorced Lionel, convinced that he wanted to return to his lover. However, after having to sell CC Capwell their mansion to pay off Warren’s gambling debts, the warring Lockridges reunited.
In an audacious double-cross, Augusta faked her kidnapping and then used the ransom money – supplied by CC – to recoup the family’s fortune. But, even with this victory under her belt, Augusta became disillusioned with her life and decided to flee town with her partner in crime, Joseph.
A short time later, Augusta returned to town ostensibly to help her sister prepare for her wedding to Mason Capwell. She was appalled to discover that Gina Capwell was now the proprietress of the Lockridge mansion, which had been remodeled into a boarding house.
Still, Augusta took a room and indulged in some bizarre antics which included an affair with the considerably younger TJ Daniels and a spot of grave robbing.
Augusta somehow managed to worm her way into the affections of mafioso Anthony Tonell and extracted a marriage proposal. Upon the death of her new hubby, Augusta learned that she would inherit the bulk of his estate unless the man’s second in charge – Robert Barr – attended the will reading.
Wishing to remain the sole beneficiary, Augusta hired an assassin to off Robert but the man failed so Augusta gained only a $50,000 per year stipend.
While Augusta did not mourn Anthony’s passing, she was devastated upon hearing that Lionel had been killed in a car accident. So, imagine her surprise to find the not-so-dearly departed chauffeuring her supposedly graveside-bound limousine!
The couple reunited for a time but when blackmail letters – curtesy of Keith Timmons – arrived claiming Augusta had arranged for Tonell’s death (as well as Robert’s), Lionel left her.
A brokenhearted Augusta also had to confess her greatest shame: Warren was not fathered by Lionel. Consumed with grief at her multitude of deceptions as well as her all-consuming fantasies of Dash Nichols – the man who had raped Julia – Augusta developed a dependency on alcohol and fled Santa Barbara intent on seeking help.