Ross Chandler knew he was an unwanted child. Growing up poor in Pigeon’s
Hallow, he believed his uncles and mother to be his siblings. He learned
the truth of his conception when Lottie Chandler committed suicide after
her fiancée left her. Her fiancee had happened upon the truth about
Ross, he was really Lottie's son with an unamed service man. This rejection
of his mother gave Ross to drive to succeed, just like his uncle that
raised him, Adam Chandler. Ross became Adam’s right hand man at
Chandler Enterprises. Adam was determined to earn a market share in the
small town on Pine Valley. Though Ross did not believe this to be a strategic
move, he went along with his uncle and moved there.
Ross thought the only Chandler secret there was, was the existence of
Adam’s mentally challenged twin brother, Stuart Chandler. In fact
the greatest secret had to do with Ross. Ross’ biological father,
Pete Cooney, lived in Pine Valley. Adam was determined to ruin Pete. Only
now, he was known as business mogul Palmer Cortlandt. Palmers presence
is what drove Adam's decision to move to Pine Valley. Though Adam vowed
revenge, Ross looked to make up for lost time with his father.
Ross met Ellen Shepherd when she came to Chandler Mansion with inquiries
about her granddaughter, Bonnie McFadden’s, new imaginary friend
Willy. Ross revealed this kind soul to be none other than Stuart. Ellen
began dropping off Bonnie more frequently for play dates with Stuart,
but it was really Ross she wanted to see. Ross proposed to Ellen, and
they were set to marry.
On the day of Ross’s wedding to Ellen, Palmer dug up a surprise
guest from his past. Cynthia Preston, Ross’s hateful first wife,
and her spoiled son Andrew Preston, made their appearance in Pine Valley.
Even her unsolicited aggressions could not damper Ross’s happy day.
He and Ellen married at Cortlandt Manor.
Ross wanted Cynthia out of Cortlandt Manor. Cynthia, who was now Mrs.
Palmer Cortlandt, was shameless. She reminded him about how passionate
their marriage was. He succumbed to his lust, and slept with his ex-wife.
Hoping to put the ordeal behind him, Ross worked to repair his marriage
to Ellen. He agreed to taking in a runaway girl Ellen had met named Julie
Rand. It did not take long for Ross and Ellen to see Julie as their own
daughter, and offer to adopt her.
But Ross’s one unfaithful night came back to haunt him when he learned
Zach Grayson had taken incriminating photos of he and Cynthia in bed together.
Cynthia wanted Ross to put a hit man on Zach, but Ross did not want to
take that risk. He decided the best thing to do was to confront Zach himself
and come to some sort of agreement. When he arrived at his apartment,
Zach was dead and Daisy Cortlandt stood over his body, holding a bloody
Donna Beck exonerated Daisy for Zach’s murder. Still, Ross’
infidelity came to light. Not soon after the trial, Palmer and Cynthia’s
marriage fizzled, and she left Pine Valley. Palmer had grown fond on Cynthia’s
son, Andrew. Ross and Andrew’s relationship had always been estranged.
Andrew appeared to be determined to cut Ross out of Palmer’s life.
1986: Ross blew off Andrew’s constant need to embarrass
him in front of Palmer as a sign of his immaturity. Ross never thought
his plots would prove to be life threatening. Andrew cut Ross’ saddle
on the horse he was to use in the Wallingford Foxhunt. Only, Alex Hunter
took Ross’s mount instead. When Alex fell off, he suffered a fatal
heart attack. Andrew was sent to prison for his role in the Alex's death.
Ross realized his marriage to Ellen was over. She was too preoccupied
helping her ex-husband, Mark Dalton, come to grips with his drug addiction.
Ross found comfort in the arms of Palmer’s personal nurse, Natalie
Hunter. Their secret affair occurred only doors down from where he slept
beside his wife every night. Ross thought his secrets were safe. Little
did he know, Julie had caught his father and Natalie together. She recorded
the incident in her diary. Adam read the entry and confronted him. Apparently,
Natalie was working as a spy for Adam at Cortlandt Manor. Adam did not
want Ross to compromise this.
Palmer was set to marry Natalie. He asked Ross to be the best man at the
wedding. Even her marriage to his father could not stop Ross’ lust
night, Ross called out for Natalie in his sleep. Ellen could not believe
what she had heard. Their marriage was over. In a rage, Ross stormed the
Manor to Natalie’s room. That night, he raped her.
Natalie filed formal charges against Ross. Ross knew it was his word against
Natalie, and she did not exactly have the best reputation. Ross was going
to be set free until Julie arrived with her diary. She had run away after
witnessing her father rape Natalie. Julie’s plea was enough for
Ross to breakdown and admit to his crime.
In prison, Ross relived the traumsa of his childhood. His rage stemmed
from his own abuse as a child. He was transferred to a treatment center
for intense therapy.
1989: Realizing he had nothing left in Pine Valley, Ross
was reassigned to the Chandler Industries branch office in the Middle