Cramer family

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Cramer family
One Life to Live and General Hospital family
Created byAgnes Nixon and Gordon Russell
Introduced byDoris Quinlan
First appearanceApril 30, 1973
Last appearanceAugust 19, 2013

The Cramer family is a family of fictional characters on the American soap opera One Life to Live. The family centers on the relationships of long-running character Dr. Dorian Cramer, who debuts on the series in April 1973.[1]

The long-running feud between antagonist Dorian Cramer and original series heroine and one-time stepdaughter Victoria "Viki" Lord (Erika Slezak) is central to the series plot for 40 years.[2][3] Dorian and Victoria are considered "frenemies" and share relatives through the marriages and ongoing relationship of Victoria's brother and Dorian's niece Todd Manning and Blair Cramer. Todd, Blair and their daughter Starr Manning crossover to sister soap opera General Hospital from February 2012 through March 2013.[4][5]


First generation[edit]

Second generation[edit]

Third generation[edit]

Fourth generation[edit]

Fifth generation[edit]


Enter Dorian and Melinda[edit]

Dr. Dorian Cramer arrives in Llanview on April 30, 1973[1] with unstable younger sister Melinda Cramer. Both of their parents are assumed dead in a plane crash en route to visit an injured Melinda, whose promising career as a pianist was ended by a fall that had paralyzed her arm (it is later revealed their mother survived). Having apparently lost a third sister to pneumonia, Dorian and Melinda are each other's only family.

Dorian treats Eileen Riley Siegel for her addiction to painkillers, and soon became romantically involved with Dr. Mark Toland, the husband of Eileen's daughter Julie Siegel Toland. A furious Melinda, who had also developed a crush on Mark, became further unhinged. When Melinda's plan to stab Dorian and Mark in bed fails in 1974, Dorian has her sister institutionalized.

Dorian and Mark are suspended from Llanview Hospital in 1974 for her involvement in the death of patient Rachel Wilson, and Dorian blames hospital board member Victoria "Viki" Lord Riley (who had actually voted in Dorian's favor) for the decision. She and Viki spar further when Dorian becomes the private physician to Viki's ailing father, Victor Lord, but their rivalry is cemented when Victor announces his elopement to Dorian in May 1975. Victor's long-lost son Tony Harris comes to town and Dorian, hoping to maintain her hold on Victor's fortune, soon manipulates events to make father and son bitter enemies. After Victor's mysterious death in 1976, the shadow of implicating suspicion surrounds Dorian for decades.

Blair's revenge[edit]

In 1991, former foster child Blair Daimler arrives in Llanview with a secret — she is the daughter of Dorian's previously unmentioned older sister Agatha "Addie" Cramer, who was not dead as previously assumed. Blair had Addie, mentally ill and institutionalized for years, hidden in her loft, and blamed her Aunt Dorian for her mother's illness. Seeking revenge, Blair tries to ruin Dorian by getting her aunt's signature on a document confessing to the murder of Victor Lord in 1976.

Blair seeks to marry Asa Buchanan to gain the financial security and the power she desired to care for her mother and destroy Dorian. As it was revealed, Dorian was told Addie had died by their parents, who actually institutionalized Addie. Blair marries Asa in spite of being in love with Max Holden; by the time her marriage fell apart to Asa had thrown her out of Buchanan mansion and Max moved on to date and marry Luna Moody. In 1994, Blair becomes romantically involved with Todd Manning.

Kelly and Paul[edit]

In 1995, Melinda's rebellious daughter Kelly Cramer arrives in Llanview, scarred by her childhood with her unstable mother and raised in various European boarding schools arranged by her aunt Dorian. Kelly comes to live with her cousin Cassie and Cassie's husband Andrew, and develops an infatuation with Dorian's husband David Vickers. Over time, Kelly and her family become close. Later, Kelly falls for both Joey and Kevin Buchanan.

In 1997, Melinda is finally recovering from her breakdown, and remembering her and Dorian's traumatic past at the Cramer family hometown of Canton, Ohio. Dorian, desperate not to let the dark secrets of their past resurface, begins switching Melinda's antipsychotic medication, and Melinda once again sinks into dementia.

In 2003, it is revealed that Melinda had told Dorian upon a recent hospital visit that she had given birth to a son as well as a daughter during her years in Europe, and that the boy had been given away. This child turns out to be Paul Cramer. Melinda is seen again in 2004 during the "baby switch" storyline, in which Kelly confesses her and Paul's sins to her delusional mother. A disoriented Melinda — lost in her own world — mistakes Kelly's son Ace for her own son Paul. A devious Paul is murdered in October 2004;[10][11] One Life to Live was met with criticism when the killer was later revealed to be married district attorney Daniel Colson, who had murdered Paul to cover up the fact that Daniel is secretly gay.[12][13] On March 1, 2010, the assembled family receives the news that Melinda has died of a heart attack.[14]

Family tree[edit]



  1. ^ a b "New Characters on ABC Series". St. Joseph News-Press. May 5, 1973. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
  2. ^ Whetsell, Tripp (November 21, 2011). "Life After 'Life' Is a Mystery". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012.
  3. ^ One Life to Live. Season 45. Episode 11, 097. April 29, 2013. The Online Network.
  4. ^ "Friday, February 24, 2012". General Hospital. ABC-TV. February 24, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.[dead link]
  5. ^ "Wednesday, March 20, 2012". General Hospital. ABC-TV. March 20, 2013. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Own A Piece of OLTL!". Soaps In Depth. Bauer Media Group. August 13, 2012. Archived from the original on February 6, 2013. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Susan Richmond (February 13, 1998). "OLTL Daily Recaps Archives: 1998: Friday, February 13". Soap Central. Archived from the original on June 16, 2007.
  8. ^ According to her tombstone; Melinda, Dorian and Addie were led to believe both parents died in August 1960; in 1998, it is revealed that Dorian witnessed her mother killing her father, and blocked out traumatic event, while the family employee, Ms. Stonecliff hid Sonya in a mental hospital. Dorian kills her in February 1998 when Sonya tries to kill Cassie.
  9. ^ Blair was in her mid 20s as of 1995 which would maker her around the same age as Todd.
  10. ^ "One Life to Live recap (10/27/04)". (Internet Archive). Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  11. ^ "One Life to Live recap (11/2/04)". (Internet Archive). Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  12. ^ Warn, Sarah (May 18, 2005). "Gay Villains Back with a Vengeance on Network TV". Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
  13. ^ West, Abby (May 5, 2005). "Killer Plotline: Soap follows up GLAAD award by outing gay killer". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
  14. ^ "One Life to Live recap (3/1/10)". Archived from the original on March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2010.

External links[edit]