Melanie “Lanie” Cortlandt moved in with her uncle, Palmer
Cortlandt, so that she could attend Pine Valley University that fall.
As she played the piano for her loving uncle she saw a face she had not
seen in years. It was her sister, Dixie Cooney, dressed as a maid in service
to Palmer. When Lanie was a child she was known as Della Cooney. Her mother,
Bess Cooney Hunkle, could not afford to care for her and her siblings,
Will and Dixie. Luckily, another distant aunt offered to raise Lanie in
Europe. Meanwhile, Dixie and Will grew up impoverished in Pigeon Hallow.
Palmer promised his nephew and nieces would never want again. Palmer became
the father figure that the Cooney children never had.
1989: Lanie met David Rampal at the Cortlandt Stables. David’s
mother, Marissa Rampal, and Palmer were working together to break up Natalie
and Jeremy Hunter. Lanie realized how much she had in common with David.
They both grew up in Eruope and had a shared love for classical music.
Palmer discouraged Lanie from dating David. Though he had allied himself
with Marissa, he thought Lanie could do better than their type.
David sunk into a deep depression after he witnessed his mother’s
death from falling down a flight of stairs. Lanie tried to reach out to
David, but he wanted to be alone. Lanie found a comforting ear in Trask
Bodine, someone she had been tutoring for the GED. Trask was nothing like
David, but Lanie could see a relationship working between them too.
Lanie broke things off with Trask when she realized she still had feelings
for David. But, David had moved on with Ceara Connor.
Dixie’s life was turned upside down when her husband, Tad Martin,
was presumed dead after a bridge explosion. As she helped Dixie mourn,
Lanie befriended Charlie Brent, Tad’s nephew.
1991: Lanie and Charlie began seeing more of each other.
But, after they consummated their relationship, Lanie came to a startling
realization. She did not love Charlie; she loved David. Lanie reached
out to David again. Realizing the error of their ways, they married before
leaving together for France.
Lanie took care of a pregnant Dixie at her clinic in Switzerland. Dixie
was excited to approach her third trimester so that she could tell Tad
that they were having a baby girl, Kate Martin. But while driving on the
Alps, Dixie’s car swerved off the road and off a cliff. Lanie had
the difficult role of calling Pine Valley to tell everyone that Dixie