Phil Brent had fallen for his classmate, Tara Martin, his senior year
in high school. Everything was looking good for Phil, as long as he could
keep his obsessive crush, Erica Kane, at arms length. Erica wanted Phil
to be her hero, so she would place herself in harms way for Phil to rescue
Phil’s relationship with Erica made him encounter Nick Davis, her
mother Mona Kane’s old friend. One day, he had left his notebook
at Nick's dance studio. That mistake would save his life. Nick arrived
at the Brent home to see Phil passed out on the floor. A gas leak left
Phil near death.
When Phil awoke, he knew something was awry. His parents, Ruth and Ted
Brent, were acting awkwardly around his hero, Nick. His Aunt Amy Tyler
was quiet and sullen. It took a few weeks for him to learn the truth of
what had happened the night he was at the hospital. Amy admitted that
she and Nick were Phil's biological parents. Erica sprung the news on
Phil to win him over, but really, it drove him away.
When Ted found out that Phil knew the truth, he went ballistic and got
in a drunken car accident. Amy left town in shame. Phil felt he had nothing
left in Pine Valley. He decided to leave for New York after graduation.
Tara made an emotional plea, but Phil decided to call off their impending
engagement to start his life anew.
In a tragic accident, Phil suffered injuries that caused temporary amnesia.
Lucky for him, Nick returned to New York to save him. He convinced Phil
to come back to Pine Valley to relearn his past. When he met eyes with
Tara again, the love he had once felt was gone.
Back from New York, Phil took a slow road to recovery. Nick helped him
to realize his feelings for Tara. But, he did not want to hurt Tara or
his best friend, Chuck Tyler, as they were now engaged to marry. Phil
was resolved to remain quiet. At Tara and Chuck’s wedding ceremony,
Nick nudged him to intervene. When he refused, Nick called out the truth:
Phil was in love with Tara. Chuck collapsed at the altar as a result of
kidney failure, and was rushed to the hospital.
It was Chuck’s illness that brought Tara and Phil back together.
Keeping vigil over Chuck, the couple grew closer. When Chuck recovered,
Dr. Joe Martin admitted it was probably his love for Tara that brought
him back. Phil decided to let Tara go again for Chuck’s safe recovery.
At the end of the year, Phil got his draft notice. He lost his college
exception when he left for New York. By this time next year, Phil would
be in Vietnam.
asked Phil to be his best man in his yet to be rescheduled wedding to
Tara. Phil could not admit to his best friend that he and Tara and rekindled
their flame. On the night before Phil was to leave for Vietnam, he decided
to resolve his issues with Tara. But, he was in love more than ever. He
and Tara planned to elope that night.
But the fates were not with the young couple. A snowstorm hit Pine Valley,
and they were stranded in a small chapel. Tara and Phil decided to marry
themselves. After declaring each other husband and wife, they made love
for the first time. The next morning, Phil was gone.
A few weeks later, Phil’s family got terrible news: Phil was presumed
dead in Vietnam.
Valley was abuzz with the news that Phil was found alive, and coming home!
As he was lost in the south Asian jungle, thoughts of Tara kept him strong
and determined to get home. His dreams were shattered when he saw Tara
holding a child: Chuck’s son, Phillip Tyler.
1974: Phil was feeling like the odd man out. In the Martin
home, the focus was always on Tara and her marriage. Phil found his new
home with Nick. Nick understood what it felt like to loose the woman he
loved. He had divorced his wife, Anne Tyler, thinking that he could not
provide her with the child she longed for.
Phil did not know if it was his loneliness that now made Erica so appealing.
Erica’s recent murder allegations and crumbled marriage made her
an outcast just like Phil. When they were together, it felt like high
school all over again.
Phil loved Erica, or so he thought. He actually loved seeing Tara jealous
even more. For the last year, she had ignored him for her new family.
Now that he was going out with Erica again, Tara’s attentions were
back on him.
Erica was pregnant and wanted nothing to do with the baby. Phil convinced
her this was the perfect time to start a family. They married, but quickly
their union went sour. Erica miscarried and had a break from reality.
Phil and Mona Kane admitted her to a hospital.
While Erica as away, Phillip Tyler fell ill and needed a blood transfusion.
Phil was the only match, but he did not know why. He ran to his mother
who had been very quiet since he came back to Pine Valley. In a confrontation,
Ruth admitted Tara’s son was actually Phil’s child. Phil ran
to confront Tara who could not deny the truth any longer. Phil understood
why Tara and Chuck did what they did. After all, they thought Phil died
in Vietnam. But his biggest question was if Tara still loved him. Tara
and Phil knew their respecyive marriages were over.
When Erica recovered, Phil asked her for a divorce. Knowing Tara was back
in the picture, Erica refused.
Phil needed to change his life to make room for his son and Tara. He quit
working at Nick's restaurant, The Chateau, and began working as a police
office for the Pine Valley Police Department. Thought Phil and Tara were
together, Erica was relentless in her mission to hold onto Phil. It took
Nick’s intervention to get Erica off of Phil’s back. Nick
offered her the prestigious and visible job of hostess at the Chateau
on the condition that she leaves Phil.
Phil and Tara announced their engagement. Little Phillip began acting
up. He suffered from severe asthma attacks at the very thought of his
mother marrying Phil. Joe diagnosed the illness as psychosomatic. Tara
left briefly to help Phillip recover at a special clinic in Arizona. When
that proved to be futile, Tara and Phil went ahead with their plans to
marry. As much as he wanted his son to know the truth, Phil did not want
to risk more injury to him. He was going to grow up thinking Chuck was
On the day of their wedding, Phillip was nowhere in sight. He left the
church to be with Chuck.
1977: Phil and Tara’s honeymoon was cut short when they
caught wind that Phillip was in a car accident with Phoebe Tyler, Chuck's
alcoholic grandmother. Chuck insisted that he be allowed to handle his
grandmother. Not much later, Phil would catch Phoebe driving on a revoked
license. Phil was not as forgiving as Chuck and had her sentenced to three
weekends in prison.
Phillip began acting out. Phil caught him playing with his cop revolver.
He wanted to discipline Phillip, but to him, Phil was not his father.
Phil was shot in the line of duty. Tara was pregnant again and pleaded
with Phillip to quit his job. Phil called on Chuck. He begged him to forget
their animosity and promise to marry Tara if he died. Chuck reluctantly
agreed. Luckily, Phil survived the injury, but he still refused to quit
The stress of Phil’s job, the situation with Phillip, and Phoebe’s
constant meddling caused Tara to miscarry. In Tara’s weakened state,
she called out for Chuck instead of Phil. Phil knew if he wanted to save
his family, he needed to cut ties with the Tylers.
Phil felt helpless in his life. Ray Gardner had terrorized his mother’s
life, and he could do nothing to help her. Ruth was in a coma after being
raped. Phil promised that he would bring Ray down.
Phil got his chance when Estelle LaTour called the Pine Valley PD after
spotting Ray on Locust Street. Phil and Ray got in an altercation. Billy
Clyde Tuggle pulled out a knife and stabbed Ray. Phil took Ray into custody.
He was found guilty and sent to prison for 25 years.
At home, his life was just as unstable. Phillip insisted on going by the
name Charlie in honor of Chuck. Phil did not approve of the name change,
but Tara acquiesced. Tara thought Phil was being too hard on Charlie,
but Phil was tired of taking a backseat to Chuck.
Charlie started acting up. When he was found stealing the hubcaps off
of Mona’s car and setting another car on fire, Phil decided he needed
to turn Charlie in. Tara insisted that they could address Charlie’s
behavioral issues at home. She told Phil that if he turned Charlie in,
their marriage was over. Phil took Charlie to the police department and
moved out of their house.
Phil wanted to reconcile with Tara, but she could not forgive his betrayal.
Tara and Chuck were seen on the town together. Phil thought his marriage
was over. One night, he got a frantic call for Tara. She had just got
word that a startling announcement was made by Phoebe at one of Erica’s
parties. Phoebe drunkenly admitted that Phil, and not Chuck, was Charlie’s
Phoebe’s declaration of Charlie’s paternity had the opposite
affect of its intent. Charlie began to see Phil as his father. It also
pulled Tara and Phil together.
Phil got word Ray had escaped from prison. He was holding Edna Thornton,
Dottie Thornton, Donna Tyler, and Chuck captive at the Thornton family
cabin. Phil went undercover as a doctor sent in by the police to help
Chuck who had been shot. Phil risked his life to save the hostages and
overtake Ray. With Ray back in prison, Phil’s mission was complete.
Tara reconciled with Phil, realizing that she could not imagine living
without him if he had died. They had a vow renewal ceremony, this time
with Charlie in attendance. Tara still worried about Phil’s dangerous
lifestyle. Phil assured her things were going to be different. He took
a job with the Narcotics Bureau, and the Brents moved to Washington, DC.
Tara’s greatest fear was realized when Phil went missing in an undercover
mission. This time, Phil was really dead.
1988: As Erica fell into a dream like state while giving
birth to her daughter, Bianca Montgomery, she was visite by visions of
all her past loves, Phil included.