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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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