written by: Debra
Born: Thaddeus James Gardner on 1 Sept. 1963 Nickname: Tad the Cad Mother: Opal Sue Gardner Purdy Cortlandt Father: Ray Gardner Adoptive Mother: Ruth Parker Brent Martin Adoptive Father: Joe Martin Other Mothers: Nola Orsini Siblings: Jenny Gardner - full sister Adrian Sword - half brother Peter (Petey) Cortlandt - half brother Jeff Martin - adoptive brother Tara Martin - adoptive sister (Bobby Martin) - character disappeared Joey/Jake Martin - adoptive brother Phil Brent - adoptive brother Married to: Dottie Thornton 1984-85 Hillary Wilson 1986-86 Dixie Cooney 1989-90 Brooke English 1993-94 Dixie Cooney 1996-97 Dixie Cooney 1999-2002 Children: James Edward Martin (Jamie), with Brooke English, b. 1991, Stepson Adam Chandler Jr. (Junior then became JR) with Dixie Cooney b.1989.
1973: A young Tad is found on the side of the road having been beaten and abandoned by his abusive father Ray Gardner, a traveler passing through town. He was rushed to Pine Valley Hospital where young Dr. Jeff Martin fought to save his life. Growing more and more attached to his patient, Jeff and his wife, nurse Mary Kennicott Martin decided to adopt him. When tragedy struck and Mary died, Jeffs father and step mother Joe and Ruth Martin decided to adopt him instead and were granted legal custody of him until his natural parents could be found. In 1975, upon finding out that a well-to-do family wanted to adopt his son, Ray shows up in town to take advantage of the situation and asks the Martins for $15,000 to turn his son over to them. They refused which made Ray angry and he took it out by brutally beating and raping Ruth. He ended up in prison. In 1978, Joe and Ruth became Tads legal parents.
In 1981 (should be 18 at this point but was being portrayed as about 14) a teenaged Tad started having self worth issues. He began smoking marijuana and stealing. After stealing and crashing the family car, he runs away from home. At this point Tad's natural mother Opal and sister Jenny have come to Pine Valley to re-establish a relationship with Tad - and to take advantage of Tad's new family's affluence. Tad returns in 1982, older and wiser and sporting a vigorous attraction for the opposite sex. He sets his sites on the wealthy Liza Colby who is in love with Greg Nelson who is in love with Tads sister, Jenny Gardner. Liza soon becomes attracted to Tad's bad boy image and they begin a relationship. Tad goes to work for his mother Opal at her beauty parlor the Glamorama where he meets Marian Colby. Marian starts to hit on the dashing Tad and he begins a sexual relationship with both mother and daughter unbeknownst to Liza. When Liza finds this out, she leaves town and Tad dumps Marian.
1984 while on a jet ski trip at Willow Lake with sister Jenny and her husband Greg, Jenny is tragically killed. '84 also finds newcomers to PV, Edna Thornton and her pretty but self-conscious daughter Dottie who develops a huge crush on Tad. To make her daughter happy, Edna pays Tad 'to date Dottie but then he meets Langley Wallingfords estranged daughter, Hillary Wilson and falls madly in love with Hillary. Dottie, not wanting to lose Tad to Hillary, purposely becomes pregnant. Tad is forced to marry Dottie. Meanwhile, Hillary gets involved with and marries Tads friend Bob Georgia. When Dottie miscarries she and Tad divorce. Hillary decides she really loves Tad and divorces Bob so she and Tad can be together and they finally marry in1986. The marriage doesn't last though and the divorce finds Tad wanting to get away from Pine Valley for awhile and he heads out for California.
He returns to Pine Valley in 1988 and opens up shop as a Private Investigator. He soon meets Palmer Cortlandts niece Dixie Cooney who is married to Adam Chandler and expecting a baby. Knowing what a manipulator Adam is he takes pity on Dixie. After she has the baby, Adam tries to have Dixie committed to a mental institution so he can have sole custody of the baby. Tad helps her to escape and to eventually get her son, Adam Jr. back. Their love grows and they marry in 1989. Unhappy with this union, Palmer tries to break the two up and offers Opal money to help him. They finally get what they want when a woman (paid by Palmer) lies to Dixie and says she's slept with Tad. A sad Dixie then rejects Tad and he goes to his friend Brooke English for comfort. On a night of drunken celebration after successfully solving one of his cases, the two make love. Dixie learns of this and divorces Tad.
When Dixie finally learns that her uncle Palmer had tricked her she decides to forgive Tad his involvement with Brooke and goes back to him. But Dixie was now being stalked by a crazy pimp named Billy Clyde Tuggle who eventually kidnaps Dixie and intends to force her to marry him. Tad risks his life to rescue her and they make plans to re-marry. On the day of their wedding Billy Clyde shows up. He and Tad get into a fight which ends up with them brawling on the Lockport Bridge. They slip and both fall off the bridge and into the raging waters of the Sycamore River below. Billy Clydes body turns up, Tads doesn't and he is taken for dead as everyone believes that no one could survive that fall. Dixies heart is broken and Brooke discovers that she is pregnant with Tad's baby.
1992 finds Ted Orsini, of Orsini Vineyards - the spitting image of Tad - doing business in NYC with fairly new resident to Pine Valley, Dimitri Marick. *You see, Tad, suffering from amnesia after the fall from the bridge, ended up in Northern California. Looking for work, he meets vineyard owner Nola Orsini who believed Tad to be her own son, Ted, who was kidnapped when he was just a child. She took him in and taught him the family business which he ended up running.* Dimitri invites 'Ted' to Wildwind. Brooke sees him and discovers that he is really Tad - he didn't die afterall! Brooke helps him to regain his memory and introduces him to his two year old son Jamie. Meeting up with Dixie again his feelings for her were coming back, but all three decide that he belongs with Brooke and their son. So in 1994, Brooke and Tad marry, with his love for Dixie still weighing strong. Eventually, Brooke realizes the marriage won't work and tells Tad to go back to Dixie and so they divorce. Tad and Dixie get back together and in 1996, they get married for the second time. Meanwhile, Nola shows up in town to tell Tad even though he wasn't Ted, she still loved him as her own son. Later she dies of natural causes.
The real Ted Orsini who does turn out to look exactly like Tad then shows up in Pine Valley after he reads an article about Tad's ordeal. He's a troubled man having been brought up by his not so kind kidnappers and causes trouble for Tad. Tad tries to help him, but after trying to kill Tad, Ted runs away. Tad turns over Orsini Vineyards to the workers and settles for a job at the local PV television station WRCW which is owned by Adam Chandler. He is producing/directing Erica Kanes hit talk show The Cutting Edge In 1996, when the position of station manager becomes available, a job Tad seeks, he finds he has competition - one Liza Colby has returned to Pine Valley with better qualifications and Adam gives her the job. There are some hard feelings between the two at first. Soon Tad finds himself in front of the camera hosting The Cutting Edge when Erica Kane can no longer handle it. He does well at hosting and ratings hit the roof. Tad and Liza become obssessed with their jobs - trying to raise ratings all around for WRCW. They go a step too far while trying to get a scoop when a friend, Laurel Dillon, accidently gets killed. Dixie holds Tad responsible and she rejects him once again when he tries to go to her for comfort. So Tad turns to Liza and they try to console each other. In a moment of tender bonding, they make love. Later, Dixie finds out about Tad and Liza's one night stand. She gives him an ultimatum he could not keep - to never hurt her again - so she packed up her son JR and moved back to her hometown of Pigeon Hollow, W. Virginia.
Tad soon finds comfort in nurse Gloria Marsh. They have fun together until Dimitri Marick enters the picture and Gloria marries him. Tad then becomes obsessed with a strange woman who was lurking around town named Camille. She was in town trying to put her life together when unfortunately it was ended instead in an explosion at the restaurant Holidays. In 1998 Adam Chandler needed Adam Jr to come home and along with him came Dixie, who refused to have anything to do with Tad at first. Tad's mother Opal had married Dixie's uncle Palmer and when things started to sour in their marriage, Tad and Dixie got together to help them out. After tailing Palmer to NYC, they found themselves sharing a hotel room. Their true feelings for each other finally surfaced and they kissed. Needing time to think things out, they make a plan to meet at the top of the Statler Building if they each decided they really loved each other and want to be together. Separately, they each decide that is what they want. Tad sits waiting to see if she'll show but while on her way to meet Tad, Dixie falls ill and wasn't able to make it. Tad believed she did not come because she had decided she didn't care afterall. In reality, Dixie cared so much for Tad that she didn't want to burdon him with her health problems - a failed kidney and then a weak heart. They remained apart which was tearing Tad up inside. He longed to be with his true love Dixie again. With Liza's help, Tad soon learned about her condition and he went to her. He stayed by her side proving his undying love and then, once again, proposed marriage to her. She accepted and in 1999 they were a happy family again.
When things calmed down, Tad was hit with a big surprise. New man in town, and someone with whom Tad has had very little patience, Adrian Sword, it turns out, is Tad's younger brother. Opal tells how upon trying to get away from evil Ray Gardner, Opal took her young son Tad and moved in with a kind man she soon fell in love with, Frank Dawson. She had a son with him. When Ray found out where she was, she knew he would kill Frank, so she left him and their baby boy Adrian and went back to Ray. After a rough start, Tad and Adrian came to love one another as brothers. In the mean time, Liza has married Adam and when they began having marital problems, Tad conspired with Liza to take over Chandler Enterprises. They succeeded. That spring, Dixie discovered she was pregnant. Knowing it could kill her, Dixie decided to keep the pregnancy from Tad because she knew he would force her to terminate it. He did eventually find out and accepted her decision to carry the baby but the baby was not to be when that autumn she miscarried anyway.
Dixie, now feeling restless, takes a job working as an assistant for renowned cardiologist Dr. David Hayward at the hospital. Tad, knowing a cad when he sees one, became wary of Dr. Haywards need for Dixies assistance every hour of the day. Tad has the opportunity to meet David's lawyer Leslie Coulson. She turns out to be the little sister of one of Tad's old highschool girlfriends. Leslie reveals to Tad that she had always had a crush on him. Soon, with Leslies unrequited love for Tad and Davids obsession for Dixie, the happy reunion of Tad and Dixie began to crumble, once again. With a little help from Davids experimental drug, Libidizone, Leslie and Davids little plan worked liked a charm: At a party where David had dumped his sex drug into the punch, Leslie was able to lure Tad to bed. Although he couldn't recall sleeping with Leslie, it still accomplished it's goal to put yet another wedge in the relationship of Tad and Dixie. Dixie grew closer to David not being aware of his involvement with the drug and what actually happened. When all was revealed Dixie left David and went back to Tad. Leslie went crazy and was sent away to a rest home. Later Tad brought Leslie back to town to help him get even with David but instead Leslie went all psycho on both Tad and Dixie and she almost killed Tad. Dixie, not understanding how Tad could have brought the menacing Leslie back into their lives for something as stupid as revenge lost her trust in Tad once more.
In 2002 Tad and Dixie fly to the Caribbean for a quick divorce. While there, Dixie's heart condition flares up and it looks like she might die. Tad calls David Hayward, Dixies doctor, former boss and ex lover, who flies to the island to save her life. Back at home we find out that Dixie is once again pregnant with Tads baby and again, wants to keep it secret knowing that there is no way now that Tad would allow her to risk her life once more carrying this baby. David secretly arranges for Dixie to stay at a special clinic in Switzerland where her heart and pregnancy can be monitored. Tad and Dixie's son JR are puzzled by Dixie's sudden disappearance. But Dixie stays in touch with David and eventually JR. Soon, when Dixie is close to her delivery date, and everything is going well healthwise, she decides to tell Tad everything and they make arrangements for him to be there for the birth of their long awaited daughter! With everything finally fitting into place and with their future looking brighter than ever before, Opal receives a phone call. As Tad settles onto the plane heading for Zurich, Opal who is at Brookes house tells her the horrible news she has just received. With tears in her eyes, Brooke boards the plane to tell Tad that there has been a horrible accident. She wants Tad to get off the plane but he won't. She tells him that Dixie has been killed in an auto accident. The car has gone over a cliff and nothing is left - they couldn't even find her body. Tad is devastated to say the least. Stuck to his seat, unable to move from shock, Brooke buys a plane ticket and the two of them head for Switzerland. They go to Dixies apartment where they find that she had prepared a special evening. A framed baby sonogram sits on the table with the name 'Kate Martin' on it. They gather up Dixies things and return home. Tad takes a long time to mourn the death of his beloved Dixie and their unborn daughter.
In 2003 Tad starts to come around again. He dates a wacky therapist by the name of Lysistrata, but it remains a platonic relationship. Liza's new venture with the young women of Pine Valley, Fusion, enlists the help of Tad the P.I. He gets a foot in the Fusion door and finds himself slightly smitten with the marketing director, the 'hot tamale' that is Simone Torres.
Matthew Anton (1973-1977) John E. Dunn (1978-1981) Michael E. Knight (1982-1986, 1988-1990, 1992-present) Terrell Anthony (1990) (temporary substitute for MEK)
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