1976: 16-year-old Donna Beck was a teen
prostitute who wound up at Pine Valley Hospital. Her pimp, Tyrone, had
thrown her out of a car, shattering her leg. Dr. Chuck Tyler was assigned
to Donna’s case. He was concerned with Donna’s well being.
While at the hospital, Chuck helped Donna recover and study for her GED.
He was sure that Donna’s life on Locust Street was over.
But Tyrone was not ready to let Donna go. Tyrone tracked Donna down. Chuck
tried to protector her, but this put him in harms way. Donna was guilt
stricken every time she saw Chuck with another injury. As much as she
wanted to leave that part of her life behind, she was sure Locust Street
was her fate.
Donna was ready to marry Chuck. But Erica was determined in winning her
college sweetheart back. At her 18th birthday at the Chateau, Chuck's
ex-girlfriend Erica Kane came to Donna’s table with a special guest.
Donna immediately recognized him as one of her former Johns.
Donna loved Chuck, and his son, Phillip Tyler. Thanking Chuck for her
second chance, she decided to see her parents in Chicago. When they learned
of Donna’s life as a hooker, they kicked her to the curb. Donna
ran back to Locust Street, where she felt she belonged. She was arrested
for hitchhiking. She called her old friend, Estelle LaTour, who bailed
her out. She stayed with Estelle and her new pimp, Billy Clyde Tuggle.
Billy Clyde had taken Tyrone's place as Locust Streets number one pimp.
Billy Clyde slipped her some mind-altering drugs to make her turn tricks
for him. Estelle found Chuck, and he and Benny Sago stormed in for a rescue.
When Donna recovered, Chuck professed his love for her. They were engaged
Phoebe tried to pay Donna off, but she was not going to leave Chuck again.
Phoebe believed that Donna was going to ruin Chuck’s chances at
gaining custody of Phillip from his ex-wife, Tara Martin. Donna and Chuck
eloped, and soon Donna was pregnant. Or so she thought. Though she showed
all the signs and symptoms, this was an impossible feat, as Tyrone had
her rendered sterile.
When Donna found out that her pregnancy was all in her mind, she decided
to leave Chuck. Donna turned to Estelle again, who warned her about falling
back into her old ways. Donna was surprised when Chuck found her again.
He convinced her that her infertility was reversible. They decided to
make another go at their marriage and having a child.
But, Chuck’s life was still very much tied up in his son, Charlie’s,
drama. Donna was always worried that he still had feeling for his first
wife, Tara. These were realized when Tara’s marriage to Phil Brent
come apart. Chuck admitted his infidelity to Donna. She left him again.
Donna and Estelle were in her car when it stalled on a railroad track.
A train was heading right at them. Both women survived the crash, but
Donna was in a coma. When Donna awoke, she saw Chuck by her bedside. But
this time, he was not her husband, he was Dr. Tyler, the man who saved
her after Tyrone had thrown her out of a car. She asked Estelle if she
thought she would still be good enough to work on Locust Street. Donna
had short-term amnesia. She had blocked out the last two years of her
life; and, Donna was now really pregnant with Chuck’s child.
Donna’s amnesia had Chuck working overdrive to reconnect. They went
into the backwoods of Pine Valley for a picnic, when Ray Gardner abducted
both of them. Chuck tried to negotiate with the escaped convict, but was
shot in the process. At that very instance, Donna’s memory returned.
She realized that Chuck was her husband and that she was pregnant with
Phil Brent saved Chuck, but he was delusional because of his injury. In
his hazed state, he called out for Tara. Donna’s insecurities returned.
It was Tara this time that would calm her fears. Tara realized how much
she loved Phil when she almost lost him again in the hostage crisis.
Chuck was present for Donna’s delivery. The couple eagerly anticipated
the birth of their son. But, when the baby was born, no cries were heard.
The child was stillborn.
Tara returned to Pine Valley when Phil went missing in an undercover operation.
Chuck began to spend more time with Tara, fueling Donna’s old feelings
1980: Donna was sure Chuck was going to leave her for
Tara. She looked to adopt a black-market baby so as to keep Chuck. In
truth, Chuck did not need any of this; he only needed Donna. Feeling like
a failure, Donna petitioned for divorce. The Tyler’s new neighbor,
Palmer Cortlandt, saw the down and out former Mrs. Tyler and invited her
to stay in Cortlandt Manor as his special guest.
Donna found herself becoming the newest Mrs. Cortlandt. But all was not
well in her new home. Palmer was perturbed by his daughter Nina Cortlandt’s,
marriage to Cliff Warner. Palmer’s scheming was enough to drive
Donna away; however, before she could break up with him, Palmer went missing
in Center City.
Palmer was found an amnesiac working as a bus boy at Foxy’s. Donna
took her husband back to help with his recovery.
Donna and Palmer finally went on their long delayed honeymoon to Switzerland.
Little did they know, Chuck had planned a similar vacation with his new
girlfriend Melanie Sawyer. Palmer insisted Chuck and Melanie tag along
on a cross-country ski trip. Melanie sprained her ankle and stayed at
home. All along the trip, Palmer tried to prove his superiority over Chuck.
Donna was frustrated and wanted her husband to stop his jealous tirade.
A sudden avalanche threw Palmer off a Cliff. Chuck and Donna watched helplessly
as a helicopter rescued him but left she and Chuck stranded. Chuck’s
kind words calmed Donna’s fears. Thinking they were going to die,
Chuck and Donna succumbed to their old attraction and slept together.
The next morning, they too were rescued.
Estelle gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Emily Ann Sago. Estelle and
Donna wear watching over Emily Ann when she swallowed a safety pin. They
rushed to the hospital, but got in a car accident on the way. In her dying
breath, Estelle pleaded with Donna and Benny to never let her child know
the truth about her parentage. They were to raise her child as their own.
Donna learned she was pregnant again and was sure it was Palmer’s.
Palmer bestowed every gift he could on their unborn child. Donna gave
birth to a healthy baby boy, Palmer John Cortlandt. She asked Chuck and
his new wife Carrie Sanders to be Johnny's godparents. Palmer and Chuck
surprisingly were getting along better now.
Donna went about her life at Cortlandt Manor ignorant to the truth. That
all changed when Phoebe stormed the manor desperately wanting to speak
with Donna. Donna had always dreaded the presence of her former mother-in-law.
Phoebe pleaded with Donna to listen to her: Johnny was Chuck’s son
and not Palmer’s. Not only that, Chuck had known the truth the whole
time and agreed with Palmer to keep the secret.
Donna confronted her husbands. Nothing Palmer could say made Donna stay.
But her hate for Palmer did not amount to anything compared to her hate
for Chuck. The man she had loved for so long had lied to her for the last
year. Donna vowed that he and his crazy family would have nothing to do
with her son.
Time began to heal their conflict. Donna needed someone to help her balance
her new job at the Glamoramma and motherhood. Not only that, she was falling
in love with Chuck all over again.
One night, Donna was singing at the Chateau when Chuck arrived with Johnny.
He had an emergency call from the hospital and needed Donna to watch him.
That night, the Chateau caught fire. Donna ran out with Johnny, but something
was still wrong. Johnny died of smoke inhalation. The loss of another
child threw Donna back into a temporary state of psychosis. She believed
a rag doll was her son. She refused to let anyone near her, including
1984: Tom Cudahy opened his home to Donna. Tom was married
to Phoebe's niece, Brooke English. Phoebe wrongfully blamed Donna for
breaking Tom and Brooke's marriage. Phoebe threatened to sell her half
of the Glamoramma to a stranger. Donna had been co-owner since Opal Gardner
Benny stood by Donna through her grief over loosing her son. He reminded
her of their child, Emily Ann, and how she still needed her mother. Donna
moved in with Benny to spend more time with Emily Ann.
Donna turned to Benny when she began having lapses of memory loss. She
began piecing together a night she had spent back on Locust Street. Benny
found photos of Palmer’s new wife Cynthia Preston and son Ross Chandler
in bed together, hidden in Donna’s closet. Locust Street conman
Zach Grayson was using these photos to blackmail the Cortlandt family.
Zach had recently turned up dead, and Daisy was the primary suspect.
Donna agreed to take truth serum to help piece together the pieces of
her memory. She realized she had confronted Zach the night of his murder.
She also remembered a pocketbook with the letter “W” on it.
Donna was sure she had seen the pocketbook before at the English Estate.
Whoever owned the pocketbook was the murderer. The owner turned out to
be Marian Colby, another victim of Zach’s charms.
It had been more than a year since Chuck left town. Benny and Donna finally
made plans to marry for Emily Ann’s sake. At their wedding ceremony,
Nina Cortlandt stormed in declaring Donna was going to pay for the pain
she had cause Daisy during the trial. Daisy narrowly escaped with her
life. Still shaken, Benny and Donna married that evening.
Third time was a charm for Donna when it came to husbands. Benny was her
best friend. That seemed to be the extent of their relationship. Though
happy, the couple had problems with intimacy. Surprisingly, Benny turned
his attention to Nina while Donna focused on raising their daughter.
Donna also welcomed her little brother, Mitch Beck, to Pine Valley.
1989: Benny fell back into his bad habits. He secretly
began to gamble again. He hit a winning streak after meeting a strange
woman. Donna grew weary of Benny’s relationship with this new woman.
Donna gave her husband an ultimatum: he had to choose between his family
or the money.
Donna reconnected with Chuck after he made the decision to move back to
Pine Valley. Phoebe made one last attempt to drive Donna away. She was
willing to cut Donna a check with the sum of her choice as long as it
meant that she would stay away from Chuck. But, there was not enough money
in the world to keep Donna and Chuck apart. Donna and Chuck finally remarried.
Another man from Donna’s past threatened to ruin everything. It
was Billy Clyde, out of prison and hell bent on revenge. He had masqueraded
as John Rockefeller, befriending Emily Ann. He put Donna out of commission
by staging her suicide. He revealed to Emily Ann the truth about her parentage,
he was her father. All that Benny and Donna had done to protect her was
undone. Emily Ann pushed her parents away. She eloped with her boyfriend,
Billy Clyde’s body was found dead in a river. Finally, her family
was safe from his terror.
1992: Donna and Chuck left Pine Valley to help Emily
Ann recover from the mental breakdown she suffered trying to deal with
Billy Clyde's revelation.
1995: Donna and Chuck attended the Martin family housewarming.