The Pine Valley Bulletin

DALTON, Ellen Tucker Shepherd
Portrayed by
: Kathleen Noone (1977-89, 1995)
Family: Harlan Tucker (Father), Devon Shepherd (Daughter); Julie Rand Chandler (Adopted-Daughter)
Marriages: Mr. Shepherd; Mark Dalton; Ross Chandler; Mark Dalton

1977: Recent divorcee Ellen Shepherd moved back to Pine Valley to start her life anew. She bought The Boutique from Myrtle Lum after the death of one of its owner, Kitty Tyler.
Ellen became smitten with her teenage daughter, Devon Shepherd’s, music teacher, Mark Dalton. Though he was ten years her junior, she could not deny their mutual attraction. She worried about what people would think about their relationship, especially her daughter.

1978: Ellen felt like she had failed Devon when she learned her daughter was pregnant. Ellen’s engagement and romance to Mark had taken up all her attention. Now an expecting grandmother, Ellen found it hard to rationalize her relationship with the much younger Mark.
She found her listening ear in childhood friend, Paul Martin, who was suffering the loss of his wife, Anne Tyler Martin, to a bout of insanity. Paul was much closer to her age, and they had many of the same interests. Though they were only friends, Ellen could see them being something more.

1979: Everyone had something to say about Ellen’s love life. Maureen Dalton, Mark’s mother, openly voiced her opposition. Erica Kane, Mark’s sister, was not supportive as well. She decided it was best for both she and Mark to end their relationship.
Instead, she began seeing Paul, who was still very much married to his manic wife, Anne. Phoebe Tyler made this fact very apparent. Phoebe thought Ellen was taking over Ellen’s life. Already, she was running The Boutique, Anne's old business, with Myrtle; and now she had Anne’s husband. Phoebe’s intervention was enough for Ellen to push Paul away.

1980: Wally turned to Ellen when Devon’s destructive decisions began to affect their home life. Wally knew about Devon's affair with Sean Cudahy, but that was not what bothered him. Devon’s alcoholism had gone too far. He was going to leave Pine Valley with their daughter, Bonnie McFadden. Ellen convinced Wally to stay and help Devon for the sake of their daughter.

1981: Ellen and Mark rekindled their flame. Ellen put aside her insecurities to be with the man she loved.

1982: Ellen finally agreed to marry Mark. But, consummating the marriage became a whole other issue. Ellen and Mark had talked about starting a family; but Ellen worried about carrying a child at her advanced age. She removed herself from all forms of intimacy with Mark. Instead, she threw herself into her work. Erica’s rising modeling career gave her many an opportunity to work as a fashion stylist in New York. She met Lars Bogard, Erica’s new boss at Sensuelle, and man after Ellen’s heart.
Ellen caught Mark and a student, Pamela Kinglsey, in a compromising situation. Mark was able to talk his way out of the situation. But, when Pamela overdosed on pills Mark admitted to Ellen his secret: they were having an affair. Ellen decided they needed a temporary separation, and moved to New York.

1983: Moving to New York, Ellen and Lars were growing very close. She could not forget about Mark when she learned she was pregnant with Mark's child. She left Lars and New York hoping for another chance with her husband.
Returning to Pine Valley, Ellen found Mark strung up on cocaine. Ellen wanted to help Mark, but the stress of the situation proved too much for her and her high-risk pregnancy. When Ellen miscarried, she finally filed for divorce from Mark. She never wanted o see him again.
Devon moved back to Pine Valley. Ellen wanted to turn to her for support, but she had her own issues to deal with. Ellen became very protective of Bonnie when Devon told her that Wally had left her.

1984: After letting Erica care for Bonnie at Chandler Mansion, Ellen wondered who her imaginary friend Willie was. Ellen decided to explore Chandler Mansion herself, where she met Ross Chandler. Willie turned out to the gentle artist Stuart Chandler. Ross and Ellen’s one time meeting lead to many other rendezvous. They began dating and not soon afterwards, were engaged to marry.
A surprise guest, Ross’ ex-wife Cynthia Preston, interrupted their wedding at Cortlandt Manor. This aspect of Ross’ past put off Ellen. But, she went through with the nuptials, content to be married again.

1985: Ellen took in runaway Julie Rand. Ellen missed having a daughter in her home. She convinced Ross to adopt Julie and take her off the dangerous streets.

1987: Erica turned to Ellen when Mark’s drug addiction became too much for her to handle. Erica had been hiding Mark in her attic for the last year. They staged an intervention with Jeff Martin and Brooke English, where they all told Mark that they loved him and did not want to see him suffer anymore because of his addiction. Ellen realized that she was still very much in love with her ex-husband. When Mark agreed to go to treatment, Ellen became his main form of support.
Ellen and Ross’ marriage suffered from Ellen’s need to tend to Mark. One night, Ross called out Natalie Cortlandt’s name in his sleep. Ellen realized her husband had been having an affair with her. Ellen packed her bags that night, and left Ross.

1988: Ellen realized the biggest mistake she ever made was letting Mark go. Their love was still very much alive. Mark proposed to Ellen again, and she was quick to accept.
Their new marriage met an early hurdle when Ellen learned that Mark was Julie’s biological father. Julie had trouble accepting Mark as part of her new life. She went so far as the marry Nico Kelly to escape living with them. Ellen loved her daughter, but could not bear the thought of loosing Mark again.

1989: Ellen was asked by a high fashion firm to work for their offices in Hong Kong. She was afraid that Mark would not want to leave his family in Pine Valley; but, he was willing to go wherever Ellen wanted to as long as she was happy. They left for Hong Kong.

1995: Ellen came back to Pine Valley for what was supposed to be Erica’s latest wedding day. As Erica had eloped with Dimitri Marick the night before, the Daltons instead attended the Martin family housewarming.