The Pine Valley Bulletin

FARGATE, Myrtle Lum
Portrayed by
: Eileen Herlie (1976-2008)
Family: Gretal Rae Cummings (Daughter); Skye Chandler-Quartermaine (Granddaughter); Lila Rae Alcazar (Granddaughter); Brian Bodine (Ward); Ceara Connor (Niece)
Marriages: Nigel Fargate
 
 

1976: Myrtle Lum was lost without the carnival. When it disbanded, she was living on the streets. Phoebe Tyler invited Myrtle in on her latest plot. She needed to break up her son Lincoln Tyler’s marriage to Kitty Shea. Kitty’s mother, Lucy Carpenter, had gone missing years ago. Myrtle was to pose as Lucy in Minneapolis, and lure Kitty into living with her there. Myrtle called Phoebe out on her plot to break up her son's marriage, but Myrtle also needed the money. She agreed to the plot, and set up a fake home.
Myrtle had no idea she was going to fall in love with Kitty as a daughter. The kind hearted woman wanted nothing more in life than to know her mother. Myrtle could not keep up the charade, but was fearful of the hurt she had already caused. Kitty insisted “Lucy” return to Pine Valley, but Myrtle knew she could not compromise Phoebe’s plot. She had a friend, Nigel Fargate, pretend to be a doctor and diagnosis her with a heart condition that made travel impossible.
Lucy’s old friend, Mona Kane, came to Minneapolis to reunite with the missing woman. Myrtle realized her charade was over. She pleaded with Mona not to tell Kitty. Mona could tell Myrtle honestly loved Kitty. She agreed to let Myrtle break the news to Kitty in anyway that would hurt her the least, but the charade had to stop.
The last time Kitty came to visit Myrtle, she hid in the shadows. Nigel told Kitty Lucy had died of her heart condition. Myrtle cried in sorrow as she saw her newfound daughter suffer. After the Tyler’s left, Myrtle and Nigel decided to go to Hollywood with Phoebe’s money and start a new life there.

1977: Nigel left Myrtle in California. About to fall off the wagon and back into alcoholism, Myrtle got a call that turned her life around. Kitty wanted Myrtle to come to Pine Valley. Kitty knew Myrtle had loved her like her real mother, and wanted her in her life.
But, their happiness was short-lived. Kitty began to have flashes of blindness. She was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Kitty did not want to spend her last days in the hospital, instead opting to live out her life with Lincoln and Myrtle by her side. Kitty died in Lincoln’s arms.
Nigel tracked Myrtle down and promised to never leave her again. They married and moved back to Minneapolis. Before Myrtle left, she sold Kitty’s shares in The Boutique to divorcee Ellen Shepherd.

1978: Myrtle frantically called Lincoln when she saw something she never thought she would see again: Kitty, alive! Lincoln dismissed Myrtle’s assertion as grief over Nigel’s sudden death earlier that year. Myrtle went on her own search and came up with surprising results.
Myrtle knew she could turn to no one else but Lincoln with her discovery. She arrived at his and Kitty’s home with a surprise: Kelly Cole, Kitty’s twin sister. Lincoln welcomed both women into his home. Phoebe confronted Myrtle and wanted her and Kelly out of Lincoln's home. Myrtle put her foot down to her one time benefactor. Phoebe had ruined Lincoln’s chance at a happy life with Kitty, and she was not about to let her interfere again.
Myrtle began working at The Boutique again. With some seed money, she opened the Fargate Boarding House. Kelly decided to leave Lincoln’s home and be Myrtle’s first boarder.

1979: At the Boutique, Myrtle became very involved in the life of her new business partner, Ellen. Myrtle encouraged her to date Paul Martin, even though Phoebe disapproved. She had faced off with Phoebe before, and was not afraid to do it again.
But her animosity for Phoebe would soon change when she met a figure from her past. She recognized Langley Wallingford as someone she had met before, but could not put her finger on the instance. Then, she realized the esteemed professor was Lenny Wlasuk, a pickpocket she had met in the carnival. Langley begged Myrtle not to break his cover. He had fallen in love with Phoebe. Myrtle agreed but sternly warned him that any funny business was not going to be tolerated. Even Phoebe did not deserve to be conned.

1980: All the Tylers seemed to be making plans to marry. Myrtle worried about Langley and Phoebe’s upcoming marriage and confided in Lincoln the secrets about Langley’s sordid past. She knew that he would better handle the situation, especially if it came to telling the truth to Phoebe.
But Myrtle was much more looking forward to Mona’s impending nuptials to Charles Tyler. Charles asked for Myrtle’s help after Phoebe made Mona agree to postpone the wedding. Myrtle got Mona’s dress finished early as Charles made arrangements with the church to move up the wedding. In the end, Charles and Mona beat Phoebe to the altar.

1981: After many up's and down's, Kelly and Linoln married and left Pine Valley together. They made frequent trips to visit Myrtle and Phoebe.

1982-83: When Greg Nelson’s mother Enid Nelson was admitted to the hospital for an overdose, Greg found another maternal figure in Myrtle. Myrtle watched helplessly as the different forces of their lives tore Greg and Jenny Gardner apart. Opal had houses Jenny and her mother, Opal Gardner, shortly after they moved to Pine Valley. She knew Jenny as well as Opal did. Myrtle saw through Jenny’s hesitations and fake engagement to Tony Barclay.
Myrtle's home also became a haven for Jenny's friend Angie Baxter. Les Baxter disapproved of her relationship with Jesse Hubbard. Myrtle knew Les' apprehensions stemmed from Jesse's less than ideal upbringing. Just like with Jenny and Greg, Myrtle was not about to let class eltism keep them apart.
Another part of Myrtle’s past turned up in Pine Valley. Verla Grubbs was the daughter of a snake charmer from Myrtle’s days as a fortune teller in the Carnival. Verla had a secret that she just uncovered: Langley was her father. Myrtle helped to reunite daughter and father, but not everything went as planned. Worried that Phoebe would reject him, Langley asked Myrtle not to tell her about Verla.
Myrtle used the information about Langley's past to convince him to give Opal a job as a maid at the Wallingford Estate. Myrtle did not anticipate Opal becoming Langley's mistress.

1984: Myrtle stood by Greg after Jenny’s tragic death. Greg became obsessed with a look-alike woman named Sheila, whom he met at Jenny’s gravesite. Myrtle knew there was nothing she could do to convince Greg to leave Sheila without fueling his grief, so she begged Shelia to leave town on her own.

1990: Myrtle adopted Brian Bodine when his older brother and legal guardian, Trask Bodine, left Pine Valley to join the military.
She also welcomed her niece, Ceara Connor. Ceara was hired as a fundraiser for Pine Valley University. Myrtle recognized something had scarred Ceara in her past. Her promiscuity with men was an indication of an underlying problem.

1991: Myrtle helped Ceara come to terms with demons of her past. George Connor came to Pine Valley intent on continuing the abuse he had initiated years ago. George had molested Ceara as a child. This time, Ceara defended herself by killing George.

1993: Myrtle and Mona went in together for adjoining condominiums at Willow Lake Acres. Only, these condominiums wear all but a scam to separate elderly women from their life savings. Fortunately for Myrtle, a Tempo expose exposed the scandal.
Myrtle was concerned with her new boarder, Kendall Hart. The young woman had a big chip on her shoulders, and Myrtle hoped she could help by reaching out to her. While cleaning her room, Myrtle discovered some paperwork that linked Kendall to Erica Kane, Mona's daughter. Myrtle read on, realizing Kendall was Erica’s child that she had put up for adoption. Kendall begged Myrtle to keep the truth a secret. She wanted to tell Erica the truth on her own terms.

1994: Myrtle tended to Mona as she valiantly battled cancer. Mona worried that her days were numbered and begged Myrtle to care for Erica in case anything happened to her. Mona made a remarkable recovery.
Later that year, the news was not as good. Mona died peacefully in her sleep. Myrtle reached out to Erica as she grieved the loss of her mother. She would become Erica's closest confidant.

1995: Verla returned to Pine Valley to seek Myrtle’s help. She was getting married and did not know how to tell Langley. Verla was content to not have her father walk her down the aisle. To make her feel better, Myrtle let her pick out a wedding dress. Langley surprised them with an appearance. Verla and Langley finally admitted their relationship to Phoebe. Now Langley was free to walk his daughter down the aisle.
Myrtle allowed an underage Laura Kirk to move into the Boarding House so that she could attend Pine Valley High School. The runaway teen had been living in the woods. Laura had known an old carnival friend of Myrtle’s, Nellie.

1996: Erica turned to Myrtle when she bottomed out from her addiction to painkillers. Myrtle took Erica to the Betty Ford Clinic to recover.
At Christmas time, Myrtle took in a boarder named Red Kilgren. Red had a remarkable resemblance to Santa Claus. Red was estranged from his wife. Myrtle did not want to admit it, but she had feelings for Red. Though it broke Myrtle’s heart, she encouraged Red to go back to his wife.

2000: Myrtle was drawn to Pine Valley visitor Rae Cummings. Rae was looking for the daughter that she put up for adoption. Rae made mention of the Fannie Battle Home. The name hit a cord with Myrtle. Rae arrived at the home only to find Myrtle looking through the records. Myrtle revealed Rae was drawn to the home because it was the orphanage she was raised at. Myrtle was drawn to Rae because she was her daughter that she had put up for adoption years before.
After a shaky start, Myrtle and Rae began to share a mother-daughter bond. Myrtle made frequent visits to Llanview to help Rae in her search for her daughter. The link to Pine Valley became evident when Rae learned that Skye Chandler, one of Myrtle's former residents, was Rae's daughter.
Bianca Montgomery came out of the closet. Erica had a hard time accepting Bianca’s sexual orientation. Myrtle offered Bianca a place to stay and listening ear during the trying time.

2001: Myrtle stood by Erica as she went to trial for the murder of Frankie Stone, Bianca’s new girlfriend. Myrtle acted as the mediator to their already fragile relationship.

2002: Kendall stormed back into Pine Valley to testify against Erica at the Frankie Stone murder trial. Myrtle confronted Kendall about her intentions. When Kendall asked for a room at the Boarding House, Myrtle told her that her money was not good at the Boarding House.
Myrtle welcomed Dr. Frank Hubbard to the Boarding House. He was Angie and Jesse's son. Myrtle caught him on the couch with an overnight guest, Simone Torres, which was against the guest policy. Myrtle gave him the benefit of the doubt because she knew his parents. Frank asked Myrtle if Simone could have a place to save too. Myrtle knew of Simone very public fall from grace since the Proteus scandal and her affair with Roger Smythe. In spite of this, she welcome Simone and quickly became her confidant.

2003: Myrtle was devastated when she learned that Michael Cambias had raped Bianca at the Boarding House. Luckily, Myrtle had the support from her favorite resident, Boyd Larraby, to help her pull through. She kept her composure knowing Erica, and Bianca would need her more now than ever.

2004: Jackson Montgomery reached out to Myrtle when Erica sunk into alcoholism. Bianca’s rape and the death of her baby, Miranda Montgomery, left Erica fragile. Myrtle assisted in Erica’s intervention. That night, Myrtle learned the truth behind Erica’s rape. Her father, Eric Kane, had bartered Erica virginity to an actor, Richard Fields, so that he would star in his next film. Finally admitting the truth helped Erica confront come to terms with her problems.
Myrtle befriended Zach Slater after he was revealed to be Alexander Cambias, II, Michael’s brother. Zach did not understand why Myrtle was so kind to him after all Michael had done. But Myrtle was able to separate Michael’s crimes from Zach. She only hoped that he would learn to do the same.

2005: Zach and Myrtle’s bond grew as he pursued his wife, Kendall. Myrtle was the first to recognize that Zach had genuine feelings for her. She encouraged him to follow his heart, in spite of the fact that Erica disapproved of their marriage.

2006: Myrtle put out a personal ad in the newspaper. Surprisingly, Palmer Cortlandt responded. Myrtle agreed to go out on a date with him.

2007: Myrtle worried for Zach after the birth of Ian Slater, his child with Kendall. Ian was born so prematurely the doctors did not think he was going to make it. Myrtle remained away from the hospital because she was sick and did not want to risk infecting anyone. Not soon after, Zach was run down and left for dead by Richie Novak. When Zach was found on Christmas Eve, Myrtle was one of the first people he was reunited with.

2008: Myrtle died peacefully in her sleep. Erica had the difficult task of telling Zach what had happened. He dedicated a room in The Season East Casino to Myrtle and her carnival past.
The Boarding House was left damaged after a tornado came through Pine Valley. Many of Myrtle’s former residents made their way back to honor her. Amongst them was Kelly, who came back to Pine Valley to pay tribute to her mother.