Catherine “Cathy” Craig Lord
Time span:
Jennifer Harmon (1976-1978; pictured above) • Dorrie Kavanaugh (1972-1976) • Jane Alice Brandon (1971-1972) • Amy Levitt (1969-1971) • Catherine Burns (1969)

Cathy Craig—{originally portrayed by Catherine Burns}—was introduced as the troubled and often emotional teenage daughter of Dr. Jim Craig, chief of staff at Llanview Hospital, in 1969. Her mother had died some years earlier, leaving Jim to raise her as a single parent. As Cathy got older, she became increasingly needy and starved for attention. This became a problem when Jim met, fell in love with, and subsequently married Anna Wolek. Cathy was furious to now have to share her beloved father with another woman and did not cope with the situation well.

In 1969, an increasingly despondent Cathy—{now played by Amy Levitt}—decided to experiment with drugs. She turned to Artie Duncan, a dealer, who kept her supplied with all the substances she needed. Pretty soon, unbeknownst to everyone, Cathy was a full blown addict. Artie, meanwhile, began using Cathy’s step-uncle Vince Wolek to unknowingly transport drugs for him during his truck driver runs. When Cathy caught wind of what was happening, she attempted to stop him. Artie didn’t take to kindly to Cathy’s meddling and plotted to kill her, while setting Vince up to look like the murderer.

In a volatile confrontation, Artie physically attacked a very high Cathy. In the face of her haze, Cathy managed to kill him in self-defense. Since she had been so high during their altercation, when later contacted by the authorities, Cathy couldn’t recall what had happened. Vince wound up being charged with Duncan’s murder. In the meantime, Cathy’s best friend Julie Siegel ultimately informed Jim of his daughters drug problem. Though wanting to handle the problem behind closed doors, he was eventually persuaded to check Cathy into the Odyssey House rehabilitation center in New York City. [Note: Odyssey House is a real drug rehabilitation center. OLTL, at the time, used accounts from real substance abusers during the group counseling scenes]. While seeking treatment, Cathy eventually remembered the events that had taken place the night of Artie’s murder. Vince was then cleared of all charges.

After returning from NYC, Cathy started dating Julie’s twin brother Tim Siegel, who was a law student. Tim stood by Cathy in the rough days following her rehab and encouraged her to let go of the animosity she had toward many of her loved ones. After making amends with Julie, Cathy—{now played by Jane Alice Brandon}—served as matron of honor during her wedding to Dr. Mark Toland. Following the wedding though, Tim returned to law school. Once more, Cathy was on her own.

In late 1972, after having worked briefly as a reporter at The Banner, Cathy—{now played by Dorrie Kavanaugh}—decided pursue a writing career, and began penning a novel. For assistance, she turned to seasoned reporter Joe Riley to serve as her editor. Joe, at the time, was reeling from the rejection of his former wife, Victoria Lord—who was now married to Steve Burke. During a trip to New York to met with the books publisher, Cathy and Joe made love.

Upon returning to Llanview, Cathy discovered she was pregnant. Initially she kept the news from Joe, who was making headway in reuniting with Viki, now separated from Steve. Growing to love Joe, Cathy was greatly hurt when she learned that he was back together with his ex-wife. Soon after, she told Joe that she was expecting. Being the upstanding guy he was, Joe offered to marry Cathy. She, however, turned him down…not wanting to be trapped in a loveless marriage to a man who wanted another woman. Cathy later changed her mind, deciding that she indeed wanted to be with Joe, but it was now too late. He and Viki had remarried. A dejected and pregnant Cathy, ironically, began spending time with Steve.

In December 1974, while driving with Steve during a blizzard, Cathy went into labor. The two found shelter in an abandoned cabin, where she gave birth to a baby girl, Megan Riley Craig. Once the storm subsided, they returned to Llanview and went to the hospital. While there, it was discovered that Megan was born with a congenial heart defect. Megan was operated on by her grandfather Jim and Dr. Larry Wolek. After more tests were performed, they predicted that the little girl probably wouldn’t live past adolescence. Knowing how overwrought Cathy could be, they decided to wait to inform her or Joe about Megan’s prognosis. Larry, meanwhile, also learned that Megan’s condition was genetic, passed down from Joe. He informed Viki, simply so that she would have a heads up if she and Joe decided to conceive. Wanting children of her own someday, Viki pleaded with Larry to not tell Joe, knowing that he wouldn’t allow it if he knew the truth.

Cathy and Joe were wholly dedicated to the care of her newborn, and began spending long hours together with Megan. For the time being, things were looking up for Cathy. With her book nearing publication, she was beginning to draw acclaim as a writer. Things, however, soon took a disastrous turn for the worst. One evening, while Viki baby sat Megan, she stopped breathing. Panicked, Viki attempted to rush the little girl to the hospital during a violent storm and was involved in a nasty car accident along the way. The crash killed Megan instantly, while leaving Viki in a deep coma. Completely beside herself in grief, Cathy believed what had happened was no accident, and swore revenge against Viki. Meanwhile, the traumatic loss of her child resulted in Cathy’s already fragile psyche deteriorating even more. To add insult to injury for her, despite what happened, Joe (not blaming her for the accident that caused Megan’s death) continued to stand by his wife.

While still in mourning the loss of her baby girl, Cathy—{now played by Jennifer Harmon}—was comforted by the arrival of her friend Patricia Ashley, and by charismatic newcomer named Tony Harris Lord. Though Tony and Pat were former lovers, Tony and Cathy began to bond. He helped her continue to cope with her grief over Megan, and in early 1976 they quietly eloped. After they were married, Cathy and Tony set up house and sought to live like the perfect married couple. Happiness for the two, though, was short lived when Tony later informed Cathy that Viki and Joe were now expecting their first child. Enraged, Cathy went postal…silently vowed to herself that Viki wouldn’t get to have her child the same way Viki arranged for her not to have Megan.

As the months progressed, so did Cathy’s increasingly erratic behavior. While exhibiting signs of all sorts of disturbed behavior, she often fantasized that Megan was still alive. Concerned about his wife, and particularly her obsession with disliking his sister Viki, Tony persuaded her to see psychiatrist Dr. Will Vernon. During this time, Cathy decided that was wanted another baby, but was heartbroken when Tony wasn’t as enthused over the idea of having a child as she was. Not willing to let the issue slip, she secretly stopped taking her birth control pills. During a visit with her gynecologist, Cathy was disappointed to learn that she wasn’t pregnant…but told Tony she was anyway.

On September 12, 1976, Viki gave birth to Kevin Lord Riley. The following day, Cathy told Tony she was going to meet with a literary agent, Sidney Lang, and that she’d be away for a few days. Instead, however, she made her way to Llanview Hospital, meticulously kidnapped baby Kevin right out of the nursery, and fled to Texas. While there, Cathy took a waitressing job at The Carousel Restaurant. When Cathy told Mrs. King (a woman she had befriended there) that she was trying to find a good home for her baby boy, she gave her an address of Frank and Mary McGruder, a couple who couldn’t have children of their own and were looking to adopt. Cathy went to their home and signed adoption papers to make Kevin now the McGruder’s son. Afterwards, what little left of Cathy’s sanity just about vanished. She developed amnesia and blocked out everything that had happened.

Back in Llanview, weeks passed as a frantic Joe and Viki remained panic-stricken over Kevin’s disappearance, so much so that they even went so far as to go on national TV in a plea to anyone who had any information as to Kevin’s whereabouts. Tony, meanwhile, was also worried sick about his wife, who he hadn’t heard from at all. It was Dr. Will Vernon who would eventually make the connection between Cathy’s disappearance and Kevin’s. He went to Lt. Ed Hall and the police began searching for Cathy.

Now in a complete fog, Cathy silently made her way back to Llanview, but let no one know she was in town. She did, however, one day venture into Tony’s restaurant, but no one noticed her. Now calling herself “Kitty Mainwaring,” the name of the lead character in her novel, Cathy was living right up under the noses of everyone who was looking for her. Police finally tracked her down to a motel room, after she had applied for a job under her alias name. Cathy was arrested and charged with kidnapping but, still suffering from amnesia, she recognized no one. Not Joe. Not Tony. And worst of all, she had no memory of having ever seen a baby.

Dr. Vernon continued to work with Cathy, who after weeks of intensive therapy finally began to remember selected incidents from her past. She remembered Tony, and much of her prior life in Llanview, but she still had no recollection of kidnapping Kevin. One night after having making a vague remembrance of a hospital nursery, Vernon took Cathy to the nursery at Llanview Hospital. The visit triggered her memory and led the authorities to the baby. The police brought Kevin back to Joe and Viki, who were so overjoyed that they decided not to press charges against Cathy. Tony knew their marriage was over, but was tenderly empathetic of his wife’s plight, and resolved to stay with her until she was well enough to make it on her own.

As Cathy slowly rebuilt her life, she and Larry formed a close friendship—much to the chagrin of Larry’s new wife, Karen. Larry offered Cathy a job at his clinic, but she declined. With all that she had been recently been through, Cathy decided to press forward with her writing career. Meanwhile, she developed a friendship with waitress Lana McClain, who was dating the womanizing Brad Vernon. Cathy knew that Brad didn’t truly love Lana as much as she did him, and that he was only using her for sex. Lana, though, wouldn’t heed Cathy’s warnings to break ties with him. When Lana later confided in Cathy that she was now pregnant with Brad’s baby, she pushed her to tell him. This put a strain on their friendship when an angry Brad insisted that Lana abort the child.

One evening Cathy and Larry discovered Lana on the floor unconsciousness. After checking her pulse and heartbeat, Larry declared her dead. This was another devastation for Cathy, who Larry stood by. Cathy told Lt. Hall about Lana’s turbulent relationship with Brad. She then confronted Brad himself, but he made Lana out to be the nefarious one. He alleged that the relationship was only in Lana’s mind, and that he had been faithful to his fiancée Jenny the entire time. Cathy fell for his slick explanation, and later went to the police and recanted her statement.

When Lana’s mother came to town for her funeral, she gave Cathy a ring that had been in Lana’s apartment at the time of her death. Touched, Cathy said she’d always wear it. What they didn’t know though was that the ring had actually belonged Brad’s mother. He had given it to Lana shortly before she died. When Brad’s sister, Samantha Vernon, spotted their mother’s ring on Cathy’s finger, she immediately told him about it. Brad decided he wanted it back, and broke into Cathy’s apartment to retrieve it. Meanwhile, Cathy suddenly came in. In a haste to escape, Brad jumped out of the window.

Cathy was growing more and more certain that Brad indeed had something to do with Lana’s death, and that he was the one who broke into her apartment. When she later met with her former therapist Dr. Will Vernon (also Brad’s father), he told her his late wife had the exact same ring. This was enough for Ed to link Brad to Lana’s death. Though he was innocent of killing her, Brad was sentenced to four months in Statesville prison for perjury.

In 1978, Cathy decided to pursue her writing career out west. After sharing tearful good-bye’s with her loved ones, she quietly departed Llanview, never to return.

To say that Cathy Craig was a handful would be an understatement. She could be neurotic, clingy, illogical, and often times a burden to those closest to her. However, in spite of her many faults, to her core she was simply a young lady who typically felt emotionally starved, and longed for compassion from others. Though it’s been decades since she was last seen (or even mentioned) in Llanview, she definitely serves as a marker for the OLTL’s golden years: the 1970s.

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